Apr 28, 2010
Republican hypocrisy trumps Main Street
The Republican hypocrisy is just absolutely stunning. That Republican hypocrisy rules on all levels of government.
On the very day U.S. Senate Republicans were skewering Goldman Sachs executives at a hearing of the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations on Tuesday and saying the financial system needed reform, Senate Republicans – for the second consecutive day – blocked Democratic efforts to overhaul the financial system and crack down on the Wall Street greed that was a major contributor to the worst recession since the Great Depression. Instead, Republicans stood up for one of their major benefactors, Wall Street, and every single Republican voted on Tuesday to block debate on the bill.
The committee hearing was chaired by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, and they are the culmination of nearly a year and a half of investigation. The freezing of financial markets and collapse of financial institutions sparked the investigation, and those factors led to millions of Americans losing their jobs, their homes and their businesses in the recession that the crisis sparked, the worst economic decline since the Great Depression.
Tuesday’s hearing explored the role of investment banks in the development of the crisis, and it focused on the activities during 2007 of Goldman Sachs, one of the oldest and most successful firms on Wall Street. Goldman documents make clear that in 2007 it was betting heavily against the housing market while it was selling investments in that market to its clients. It sold those clients high-risk mortgage-backed securities and CDOs (Collateralized debt obligations) that it wanted to get off its books in transactions that created a conflict of interest between Goldman's bottom line and its clients' interests.
Goldman Sachs executives avoided specific answers about the financial crisis and the bank’s relationship with its investors, and the frustration over their stalling and evasiveness frustrated both Republicans and Democrats on the panel. The firm reaped huge profits from the collapse of the US housing market, and Levin accused Goldman of "trying to sell a shitty deal" to investors," which is, of course, true.
The rightwing blogs and Republican noise machine were not concerned with the obscenity of those huge profits and the raping of Main Street. No, they were upset that Levin said “shitty.” Wow. Talk about hypocrisy.
While the hearing was going on, Wall Street lobbyists were roaming the halls of the Capitol spending that $1.4 million a day to make sure we never get real financial reform, and Republicans again blocked debate. They blocked debate, not the bill.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is expected to again put the matter to a vote today to see if Republicans will stand up for Wall Street or Main Street.