Wall Street’s reaction to the Democratic victory in the House and the Senate has been relatively sanguine. Partly because no-one feels the Democrats really campaign on much—besides exploiting the obvious advantage of not being in the same party as George Bush—no-one really fears the Democrats are going to engage in any sort of grand Great Leap Forward scheme to reshape America, massively redistribute wealth or bring Wall Street and Greenwich even further under the thumb of Washington, DC.
But it’s worth remembering every now and then that at least some of the support for the Democrats comes from folks who want to do exactly that. Peter Laarman, the executive director of some outfit called Progressive Christians Uniting, gives us an especially vivid illustration of Wall Street-loathing leftism in an item on the Huffington Post. He writes that the Democrats current proposals are a good “starter kit” but don’t go far enough.
But this is not a kit that will really blunt the Walmartization of the U.S. labor market or begin to take down the back-dating bond-trading hedge-funding IPO-floating vultures who can't quite seem to grasp the meaning of the common Anglo-Saxon word "enough."
Very much like Iraq, the soaring of the vultures is an issue that is sure to try the souls of newly-empowered Democrats. This is so because theirs is a party burdened not only with its own LieberClinton dead enders on Iraq and the Middle East but also a party whose economic thinking is now dominated is by overpaid winner-take-all types. Proto-populist election-time rhetoric aside, it's Wall Street and not Main Street that steers the DNC.
Here's a little test of how serious the Democrats will be about siding with working people and small proprietors: will they shut down the "Paulson Committee," as it's called? Will they stop the Sarbanes-Oxley wrecking crew whose proper title is the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation? This unofficial panel of "concerned private citizens," spurred on by Treasury's Henry Paulson, wants to block shareholder suits against corporations that defraud shareholders and also block state attorneys general like Eliot Spitzer from suing corporate defendants in securities cases. They want to let accounting firms off the liability hook when they do what Arthur Andersen did for Enron, namely collude in cooking the books. They want to gut Sarbanes-Oxley on the grounds that its rules are unduly burdensome despite all the evidence to the contrary of record corporate profits, an efflorescence of new IPOs, burgeoning executive pay, and the continuing open scandal of backdated stock options.
Oh. And if that’s all too subtle for you, here the title of the piece: “Now Let's Vote Out Winner-Take-All Economic Terrorism.” So, you know, if you support reforming Sarbanes-Oxley, you’re pretty much in league with Al Qaeda.
Now Let's Vote Out Winner-Take-All Economic Terrorism [Huffington Post]