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What can Berny Sanders do when there's a Republican congress?

ChristianKl          6 February 2016 03:33 AM

The Obama administration waged the war in Lybia without congressional approvement. There a lot that a president can do in practice without asking congress.

There are no additional laws needed to persecute criminal bankers. The Obama administration which imprisoned many people for using illegal drugs didn't even try to imprison any HSBC official when those laundered billions in drug money. Why? Obama gave the post of attorney general to a Covington & Burling lawyer. Covington & Burling didn't even reassign the lawyers offices will he was attonery general.
Covington & Burling clients are the Fortune 500 that don't like it when corporate executives are made personally responsible for the crimes their companies commit under their leadership. As a result certain persuctions weren't made even through there are laws on the books to punish criminals.

Berny would give the post to someone who would actually want to persecute corporate officials for crimes.

With Berny it will be interesting what Republicans in congress will do when there a bill to break up the to-big-to-fail banks and millions of Americans demostrating in favor of the bill. That's the game-plan with Berny. Forcing congress to make simple decisions that voters can understand. Either the Republicans want to support the to-big-to-fail banks against the wishes of the public or they don't.

Hillary won't be able to fight that way and try to regulate Wall Street with complicated measures that most voters don't understand and thus there will be no pressure on the Republican congress to do anything meaningful.

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melian 11 February 2016 05:18 AM

I think you might be projecting European attitudes to America. There are certainly people in the US who would enthusiastically support any legislation against the big business, but most of them are already committed Sunders’ supporters. The majority of the public is likely to be either hostile or indifferent to the idea of splitting the banks.


is4junk 12 February 2016 01:52 PM

I think you are right - but the European attitude is to coddle the banks. Take HSBC - its a European (UK) bank and the UK doesn't do anything about them and their laundering. Another example is UBS - again a European bank - with a long history of shady dealing.


ChristianKl 22 March 2016 10:14 AM

In the US 58% support breaking up the big banks ( ).
Even among Republican's there a majority in favor of splitting up the banks.


is4junk 6 February 2016 10:09 AM

What does breaking up the banks do? While I am not opposed - I don't see how it really helps. A big part of the subprime mortgage crisis was due to the bad credit rating agencies. And Having lots of small banks won't stop them from behaving in lock step when can make money.

As for the republican congress - he could try compromising. Bill Clinton got bills passed. Of course, there is no chance he will be anywhere close to the White House.


ChristianKl 7 February 2016 01:22 AM

If you believe in the concept of to-big-to-fail banks those take the whole economy with them if they fail. That means that the government has to bail them out if they might fail. It also means that if they do criminal actions like laundering billions of drug money the government can't effectively punish the organisation because it's also to-big-to-persecute.

That means that those organisations are incentived to take risks that earn huge returns at the cost of getting bailed out. It means that the companies also are going to make money with criminal activity as the government doesn't punish them enough to detere that.

In the saving&loans crisis hundreds of bankers did go to prison for misdeeds they committed. This last crisis played out differently, largely because the big banks have enough power to prevent the government going after them.


aliad 13 February 2016 11:06 PM

It's already too late to avoid the to-big-to-fail trap. The world banking system is already in a very fragile state. My gosh, the Bunds, the safest of the safe, is in major trouble. Because splitting up a bank requires a serious accounting and re-negotiation of counter-party risk, we'd have to bail them out before we could split them up.

A move by the US government to do a bail-in rather than a bail-out would probably bring down the world finances markets, locking up international trade until business could re-adjust. This would probably be good for the world economy in the long term, but it would be very uncomfortable in the short term and thousands of people would die as a result o starvation and other effects of economic dislocation.

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