Early in the primary season last year, my colleague from up the hall told me of a dinner she had with her Wall Street working neighbors. Now, not all of the people in NJ who work on Wall Street are evil people. Some of them were just rank and file finance types. One of my colleague’s friends quit Wall Street to work part time as a professor. So, these people were not in the corner offices. I thought for sure she was going to tell me they were all die hard Republicans. Not so. She said her friends said they feared a Depression if McCain was elected and a deep recession if Obama was elected. They actually thought that Hillary was the one who was most economically sound.
No, I’m not being a Hillary groupie here. My mind had been made up to vote for her anyway and at that point, Obamamania was in full swing. What I found disconcerting is that these people who typically vote Republican thought it would be a disaster and they didn’t think Obama was going to be much of an improvement. My colleague didn’t say anymore about it but after that point, she didn’t criticize Hillary anymore. I think they told her something that frightened her.
A couple of days ago on Conflucians Say, I mentioned that it feels like the country is being controlled by a “Small evil group to which no one we know belongs”. It feels like feudalism, as if the Normans had reconquered and grabbed everything in sight. There’s a new patronage system. To the victors go the spoils. The rest of us have become serfs without any real rights. Go ahead, try to assert your right of assembly. Try to get your speech widely heard outside of the blogosphere. Try to be non-religious and apply for govenment grants for your social programs. Try to get your case of age discrimination heard fairly before the Supreme Court. (Guys, I am really concerned about Sonya Sotomayor considering who is appointing her)
And then, I read the piece by Matt Taibbi yesterday about Goldman-Sachs called the Great American Bubble Machine. It’s all about how G-S has been right there in the middle of every major financial crisis sinee 1929. Opaque investment securities? G-S. Credit default swaps, CDO’s, the internet bubble and collapse of NASDAQ? G-S. How about the $4/gallon oil crisis of last year that hurt so many families and caused food riots in other parts of the world? G-S.
G-S are those greedy nobles who rape, pillage and take what they want without consequence. It’s really too bad that the US got rid of bills of attainder for special cases because if there was ever a corporation that should never be allowed to get anywhere near taxpayer money ever again, it would be Goldman-Sachs. Unfortunately, our current government is infested with former Goldman-Sachs guys who have their fingers in everything financial.
Matt’s piece is full of charming quotes but this one really stood out for me because the person in question had a huge impact on the outcome of the primaries last year but mostly flies under the radar in today’s media environment:
The market was no longer a rationally managed place to grow real, profitable businesses: It was a huge ocean of Someone Else’s Money where bankers hauled in vast sums through whatever means necessary and tried to convert that money into bonuses and payouts as quickly as possible. If you laddered and spun 50 Internet IPOs that went bust within a year, so what? By the time the Securities and Exchange Commission got around to fining your firm $110 million, the yacht you bought with your IPO bonuses was already six years old. Besides, you were probably out of Goldman by then, running the U.S. Treasury or maybe the state of New Jersey. (One of the truly comic moments in the history of America’s recent financial collapse came when Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey, who ran Goldman from 1994 to 1999 and left with $320 million in IPO-fattened stock, insisted in 2002 that “I’ve never even heard the term ‘laddering’ before.”)
After reading this piece, it no longer surprises me that Corzine hasn’t done diddly squat for the homeowners of NJ and their outrageous property taxes. I’m pretty deaf to the local Democrats who wail, “But if Corzine isn’t re-elected, we’ll get stuck with Christie and he’s a Republican and it will be WORSE!” Really? How could it be worse? What has Corzine done for us? He might as well have been Thomas Kean. They were virtually indistinguishable. Corzine, for all intents and purposes, *is* a Republican, albeit a socially liberal one. So, what’s the diff? Shouldn’t someone be held responsible for the gross unfairness, ineptitude and greed of the modern Democratic party? And who better than Jon Corzine, former CEO of Goldman-Sachs who claims to not know that his own company was scamming ordinary day traders on his watch? Where do Corzine’s loyalties lie anyway? NJ has survived Republican governors before. We have a Democratic assembly. Why not just vote nothing on top? I’m not giving my vote to Corzine until he starts to act like a Democrat.
In fact, I can’t think of a better way to kick the Democrats’ asses in gear than to defeat Jon Corzine. He can be a cautionary tale: this is what will happen to you if you don’t start acting like a Democrat. You won’t get another chance. Your ass is glass. Oh, and by the way…
WHERE IS MY VOTE. JON???
NJ and NY, where the financial groups hold sway, were the ones that put Obama over the top at the Democratic Convention last year. Those were states where Hillary won by 10 points or more. The votes of Hillary supporters were wiped out at the convention. Zeroed. Nullified. Like the primaries in those two states never even happened. We were disenfranchised, not by crazy Obamaphiles, but by a small evil group to which no one we know belongs.
And the former CEO for Goldman-Sachs lead the way.