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Bernie and the Big Banks


Bernie and the Big Banks

Robert Reich

The recent kerfluffle about Bernie Sanders purportedly not knowing how to bust up the big banks says far more about the threat Sanders poses to the Democratic establishment and its Wall Street wing than it does about the candidate himself.

Of course Sanders knows how to bust up the big banks. He’s already introduced legislation to do just that. And even without new legislation a president has the power under the Dodd-Frank reform act to initiate such a breakup.


There is no need to put a cap of how much these banks can own and manage.

Our monetary exchange system itself is flawed.
Once the system itself is re calibrated, the banks existence will be meaningless.

The Banks, as we currently know them, will not exist in ten years time.
Just limit the damage they can do in the next five years, Mr. Reich
That starts with Janet Yellen not printing the fake petrodollar for the benefits of Mr. Singer, Mr Schultz et al.
But you won;t take down your buddies, now will you, sir?
You will keep on enabling them.


The establishment sleeps with one eye open, worried about the truth monster lurking under its bead.


Exactly, the money system usurious, fiat-based, bloated with externalities, etc. is at the root of most of humanity's woes.


There is a lack of knowledge about just how big these banks are among the general public. It is almost that being so big that they become hard to see. Hiding in plain sight taken to the max. Ask someone to point out just how much they control, one doesn't expect the answer to be practically everything. We just don't think that way. That isn't how it used to be. This is a recent oligarchy and astoundingly dangerous. The oligarchs know full well how much more powerful they have become and ...

...if you want to define what an oligarch is in our society then these bankers are the essence of oligarchy.

They won't easily give back what they have taken from democracy. At a certain point it isn't just about the money. Political influence becomes a guarantor of increasing power and profits.

Why does Wall St care so much that they gave so much money to Hillary just to stop Bernie? It is because they will have written oligarchy in stone after she is elected and it will be too late to change anything by then simply because of the scale involved.

With Hillary - Too big to fail becomes written in stone as Too big to change.


Between the actual purpose of regulatory agencies (to allow bad stuff to happen or continue at a regulated pace), what money is and how the economy works, many Americans are woefully undereducated when entering the ballot box. This is one of the big reasons, I believe, folks vote against their best interests.

When humans start realizing that money only has value because we give it value, perhaps folks will start to recognize the real sources of wealth.


I disagree Wereflea; remember the French Revolution? While it is far easier and certainly less violent to create this change through the political system, people created these systemic monsters. People can and will take them out. There are way more of us than there are of them, and people worldwide are taking up this battle against the corporatocracy. The only question is how bad does it have to get before we act?


Although Ron Paul's 2011 Federal Reserve audit didn't go far enough, it revealed $16 trillion in taxpayer funded secret bailouts, confirmed by General Accounting Office report GAO 11-696, page 131.

Just as the ongoing growth of too-big-to-fail banks has been downplayed, the amount of taxpayers' money required for bailouts that redirects that money from "domestic programs" has been ignored. Had Sanders not mentioned bank break ups and TPP, neither topic would be discussed by any Democrat or GOP candidate in the 2016 race.

Since 2008 drug and insurance companies continue to merge themselves into too-big-to-fail companies so they can hop on the bail out gravy train when the next crash hits.

Being committed to bailouts much larger than $16 trillion when the next crash hits, Clinton has no choice but to tell us to suck up any ideas about expansion of Medicare or Social Security. She will need all of our (taxpayers') money to fund the next round of bail outs.


I find that a delusion that seems to possess a lot of people. I hate to say it but I don't think anything like that is possible. You compare our situation to the French Revolution? There were only about a billion people worldwide, the technology was primitive, pre steam power/pre-electricity/agrarian. The weaponry were muskets whereas we have tanks and machine guns. They used passenger pigeons at best while we have Prisim, Total Information Awareness, the NSA and CIA et al and...just who do you think will rise up btw? They were starving and dreadfully impoverished and forced to pay taxes they couldn't pay. We are fat cats by any comparison and are pretty damn comfortable. While you may feel that your rights in a democracy are worth risking death by revolt. I doubt the majority of Americans feel the same way. Btw riots are not political. They are venting anger and attract many simply for the opportunity to loot stores. Conditions that led up to the French Revolution were deplorable.


The problem is not that tens of millions of Murkins not identifying the problem. The problem is that too many of those tens of millions, for whatever reason, have not identified the source of the problem, and are therefore supporting "solutions" that are not solutions (Trump supporters for example ?).

If a significant number of Murkins were poised for revolution. Sanders would have had enough delegates by super Tuesday to win the nomination and hardly anybody would be showing up at GOP caucuses and primaries (record numbers are voting for GOP).


What can you do with $860B that you couldn't do with $330B?

Breaking up the big banks is just one step towards sanity.


But the French people by comparison didn't owe trillions in deficit spending, then you had to have gold reserves to print money. We are probably much worse off than were the French then but we continue to live on burrowed monies we can never pay back.


Precisely, the ultra rich have no other purpose in life other than to expand their wealth and power by all means necessary. This is pathological, the need to protect and expand one's wealth becoming one's sole cause in life.


We were not discussing riots at all. I mentioned them only to illustrate that a riot does not qualify as violent revolution.

The democratic convention in Chicago was a police riot and shocked this country because it was unnecessary and indecent. It was Daley's arrogance at work and it galvanized support for the protestors because the police abuse was caught on camera.


My point is you may object to some oligarch having a private island on philosophical grounds but you may have a nice apartment, a good job, various comforts like air conditioning, cable and heat in winter plus a car and plenty of food and clothing etc. The point is that the country as a whole would have to be willing to participate in a violent revolution and I just don't see that is realistic. People are unhappy but they aren't dying of starvation okay. Sorry if I am a heretic but revolution with a big R is simply out of the question.

That said if some terrible heat wave occurred in the next decade that threatened millions of lives that is a different story.


Actually they did because the crown had funded the American Revolution and also under the ancient regime the nobility were exempt from taxes and huge numbers were dependent on stipends from the king. Think thousands of millionaires getting their wealth from the tax payers each year simply because they are favorites of the King.


Bernie's "Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Exist" bill introduced in May 2015.



Looking at trends, i'd be completely unsurprised to get that terrible heat wave in 2016.

The winter just passed, AVERAGE temperature in the entire Arctic, was 10 degrees Celsius / 18 degrees Fahrenheit above historic norms. 18 degrees.

Last year we had fires in the PNW rain forest, and right now in early April 2016 we've seen whole weeks with temps in the 70s.


I agree wholeheartedly but that wasn't the kind of heat wave I had in mind. I should have said extreme heat wave. Should we encounter a 120F summer season that would include tornadoes, forest fires and a series of super storms then possibly people would flip out. However, I just don't believe a violent revolution is in our psyche as Americans. What do I know anyway. Lol I'll probably be dead by then and well ... Good luck kiddies!

The bad times ahead aren't nearly as bad as they could be, I hope. My biggest worry is that we have set into motion a continuing worsening of climatic conditions that will resist mitigation and our efforts to slow it down. You correctly mention this past year and forgot to mention that we said the same stuff the year before that which was another hottie. What if the El Niño is a new more permanent variant that persists in the environment instead of alternating with an El Nina? Heat baby, heat! What if we've tipped over to a too warm ocean that melts too much ice and in five years of 'hottie' years we notice that there are big changes to the Antarctic ice shelves and the north polar ice cap is down to thirty percent and that Greenland is gushing water each summer in literal rivers not streams of meltwater? A couple of decades of that heat and yeah I can see vast potential for civil unrest.

What if ... Is getting scarier and scarier. The last two years seem far too ordinary already. That's a bad sign. We are becoming used to seeing extremes as commonplace. I swear I am amazed by people in Florida considering a super storm might wash over the lower third of the state. F'n yikes big time.


Yes I think our reckless uncontrollable predatory capitalist system is on a burning train headed to the steep cliff and aboard are all living things.