Video: Is your Senator a bankster?

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    >>> don't dunk.

    >>> welcome back. it a peers we do indeed have a two- party system today in america -- unfortunately, it's not democrats or republicans . it is clear from the latest developments in the fight for financial reform, that the great divide in our political system right now is between the people and the people's party . and the banksters. and the bankster party . for example -- any of these 33 lawmakers who yesterday voted for the kaufmann-brown safe banking amendment , legislation that actually would have dealt with too big to fail, deserves to be considered a member of the people's party . at least for the day. special props to the three gop lawmakers, who crossed that aisle. you can see here senator coburn, senator ensign and senator shelby. unfortunately, the amendment was ultimately defeated by 66 nay votes, including some nos from a numb of lawmakers who were happy to give away your money in the original bailout package. those senators, some of whom you see here, are definitely in the bankster party . giving away your money when the banksters ask for it. refusing to reform the system after the fact. how do you actually have the audacity to vote for a handouts with no strings attached to stinking-rich bankers who have leveraged our system to its nose, cause an economic collapse . and then you do nothing to fix the problem a few years later. you guys are funny. oh. another disappointing blow to the people's party ned, a compromise on senator bernie sanders ' audit the fed amendment . on thursday, the people's party , democrats and republicans a part of it, had the momentum, transparency , and accountability. it's easy to say, right? well, the fed was thrown up against the ropes, with senator sanders ' amendment gaining more and more traction, to reveal to the american people just how big of a fraud may be being run against them at the federal reserve , empowered by the government . but then, the banksters, representing white house and treasury opposition to the proposal, because they don't want to deal with the mess, once we actually open up the vault -- managed to convince senator sanders to compromise. take a listen.

    >> we have been working with senator dodd's office and some other offices and i'm going to ask that my amendment be modified.

    >> well, instead of all that we will get to see under sanders' original ploe posal, all the emails and conflicts between people like chairman alan greenspan and some of the bank members, foreign bank deals, monetary policy decisions, communication among policy-makers trying to deprive the american people of real debate -- you're not going to get that. you'll simply get a peek inside the bag, so to speak, a one-time audit of the fed's emergency loans during the financial crisis and a one-time review of the fed's governance structure. better than nothing, believe me. a formal vote is expected next week. yesterday, the banksters of course, clearly winning this particular battle. in the war for our financial future . they're continuing to take your money every day. what's heartening, however, though, is the surprising number of lawmakers actually willing to stand on the side of the people, knowing how formidable the bankster opposition is, and how hard the work is going to be for all of us to effectively free ourselves from the prison the banksters have put us in by taking over our government . it's not going to be easy. joining us now, independent senator of vermont, bernie sanders , and a man who is up to the job in my view. senator, some disappointed in the compromise. why did you do it?

    >> well, first of all, if they're disappointed, they don't know what's in the compromise. this is a major step forward in terms of transparency . i've got to get 60 votes to pass legislation. and what we did is make sure that all of the important ingredients of what i have been fighting for remains in that legislation. for example, what you will see, if my amendment passes and we carry that into the conference committee on december 1st , you're going to see a list of all of the financial institutions that have received trins of dollars in low-interest loans, zero-interest loans if the fed. it will be up on your internet screen. number two, explicitly put into and strengthened by my new amendment , you're going to see a gao audit of conflicts of interest, so there's going to be an investigation. of lloyd blankfein sitting in a room with the fed, arguing for an aig bailout which results in goldman sachs getting $13 billion , 100 cents on the dollar. you're going to be looking at other conflicts of interest, where heads of large financial institutions are talking about the fed in terms of emergency programs, which ends up yielding them huge amounts of money. so i think this is a very, very strong amendment , my hope is that we can get it passed hopefully on tuesday.

    >> to what do you attribute the surprising support for what previously would have been viewed as fairly unlikely amendments that really do deliver some version of transparency or accountability to the people?

    >> well here's what's going on. we managed to put together something that's almost unprecedented here on capitol hill . a coalition between some of the most progressive members of congress , myself and others, along with some of the most conservative members, including progressive and conservative grassroots organizations. millions of people coming together. now, i think we were close to having the votes. but i didn't think we were right there. what some of the more moderate democrats, for example were saying to me, and i think we were losing some republicans as well. what some of the more moderate democrats were saying is, look, we don't think the congress should get into the day-to-day monetary policy of the fed, including you know, whether or not we're going to raise interest rates or lower interest rates . frankly, dylan , that was never my intention. i put language in the original amendment that made very clear, that's not what i thought we should be doing. they wanted more reassurance that would not be happening. i did that. also in fairness, we had hoped for a more ongoing investigation. this is limited to what i think most people are concerned about. is what has happened since the financial collapse and the expanded role of the fed. but to say that this is not a very, very strong amendment , i think would be inaccurate.

    >> if you were to look at the underlying issue with the marketplace right now, which is the view that the structure of the market , not that the behavior of the market , but the structure of the market is deeply flawed, and that it's deeply flawed because we have legalized high-frequency trading which now accounts for 60% of the volume every day, that is exclusively to the benefit of the sell-side banks . it destabilizes our markets and provides more liquidity benefit to the average investor. we've encouraged credit card lending at the expense of small business lending. because that is more profitable for big banks . although it is not necessarily beneficial to our country. and we're allowing even under the financial reform bill , the continued use of credit derivatives without capital. in secret. at what point will those that are in the coalition that have supported you, catch onto the fact that the sell-side banks have been basically getting away with murder, pretending that it's innovation?

    >> look, you don't have to convince me. you've got 99 other people you may have to convince. i would get back to the original point, that you raised a few minutes ago. and that is that we have six huge financial institutions who have assets equal to over 60% of the gdp of this country. that is basically insane and that is very reckless. not only for all of the power that these guys have, the fact that they can spend $3 00 million last year, just lobbying congress. not only because of the taxpayer liability of too big to fail. and let me tell you, that if one of those guys go, if the bank of america is going to go, they will be bailed out. because they take half of the economy with them. but just simply an issue that is not talked about enough -- what do we think about four financial institutions issuing two-thirds of the credit cards in this country, and half of the mortgages? do you consider this a competitive economy? so at the root of these things, and i know my colleague, senator brown, senator kaufmann, begin the process last night . i am disappointed. but not shocked that we can only get 33 votes to begin -- begin the process of breaking up these large financial institutions . clearly, that is something we've got to do. and what we've got to do, we're going to bring up another amendment , i hope to do this. put a cap on interest rates on credit cards which are now off the wall, 25, 30%.

    >> do you think it's unfair for me to look through our senate through the lens of banksters' or people's party on this issue?

    >> i would categorize it differently than you. but if your point is, does wall street have unbelievable power over what goes on in washington ? of course they do. why should anyone be shocked about that. that's the case, these guys spent, when they fought for deregulation, i should tell you that when i was in the house, i helped lead the opposition. voted against that deregulation. do you know how much money they spent in a ten-year period? it's estimated they spent $5 billion , of course they have --

    >> a good investment if you get the use of the entire country's capital base.

    >> you got it, that's right.

    >> thank you, senator. a pleasure as always, senator bernie sanders from vermont. thank you.

    >>> up next here, "busted" --

By Dylan Ratigan Host, 'The Dylan Ratigan Show,' 4 p.m. ET on msnbc

The one main benefit to the financial reform effort so far is that it helps further do away with the false paradigms of "left" or "right," and "Democrat" or "Republican." Fewer and fewer people are falling for those lies anymore. Try to get an ideological conservative to explain why Republicans love spending and so eagerly give welfare to banks. Try to get your local liberal to explain why it was a good idea to make backroom deals with abhorrent corporations and drill, baby, drill. Heck, even try to get a Tea Partier to explain choosing bailout-lover Sarah Palin to keynote their convention, especially when that movement once had at least some pre-astroturf roots in protesting government giveaways.

What we have now is a group of politicians with shifting alliances on a case-by-case basis to the special interests who fund them. And currently, the most damaging one to our nation is the rise of the Bankster Party. Thankfully, we can now better identify its members.

Anyone who voted for the Kaufman-Brown SAFE amendment deserves to be considered a member of the "People's Party", at least for today. And while I may not agree, I am also okay with someone voting no on Kaufman-Brown if they voted no on the bailout in the first place. That at least shows a consistent ideology and we wouldn't need to break up the banks into smaller parts if our leaders had the will to let them fail.

But there is a special place for those who have the audacity to do something as incredibly un-American as voting to provide unencumbered welfare for rich bankers and then subsequently do absolutely nothing to fix the problem. And that special place, for now, is in what we should call from this point forward the "Bankster Party". Allow me to present to you its current members:

Bankster Party

  • Daniel Akaka
  • Lamar Alexander
  • Max Baucus
  • Evan Bayh
  • Michael F. Bennet
  • Christopher S. Bond
  • Richard Burr
  • Thomas R. Carper
  • Saxby Chambliss
  • Susan M. Collins
  • Kent Conrad
  • Bob Corker
  • John Cornyn
  • Christopher J. Dodd
  • Dianne Feinstein
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Chuck Grassley
  • Judd Gregg
  • Orrin G. Hatch
  • Kay Bailey Hutchinson
  • Daniel K. Inouye
  • Johnny Isakson
  • John F. Kerry
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Herb Kohl
  • Jon Kyl
  • Frank R. Lautenberg
  • Joseph Lieberman
  • John McCain
  • Claire McCaskill
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Robert Menendez
  • Lisa Murkowski
  • Bill Nelson
  • Jack Reed
  • Charles Schumer
  • Olympia Snowe
  • John Thune
  • Mark Udall
  • George Voinovich
  • Mark Warner

People's Party

  • Mark Begich
  • Jeff Bingaman
  • Barbara Boxer
  • Sherrod Brown
  • Roland Burris
  • Maria Cantwell
  • Bejamin Cardin
  • Robert Casey Jr.
  • Tom Coburn
  • Byron Dorgan
  • Richard Durbin
  • John Ensign
  • Russell Feingold
  • Al Franken
  • Tom Harkin
  • Edward Kaufman
  • Patrick Leahy
  • Carl Levin
  • Blanche Lincoln
  • Jeff Merkley
  • Lisa Mikulski
  • Patty Murray
  • Mark Pryor
  • Harry Reid
  • John D. Rockefeller IV
  • Bernard Sanders
  • Richard Shelby
  • Arlen Specter
  • Debbie Stabenow
  • Tom Udall
  • Jim Webb
  • Sheldon Whitehouse
  • Ron Wyden

The Dylan Ratigan Show airs Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET on msnbc.

© 2013


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