Mexican Anarchist Black Cross responds to state repression & expresses solidarity with political prisoners in Mexico
In recent days, following the events of the demonstrations on December 1st for the presidential inauguration of Enrique Peña Nieto, during which the police forces, both of the Federal [national] and Federal District [Mexico City] forces, brutally repressed demonstrators - officials of the Federal District government, amongst whom were the head of government of the FD and the capital’s attorney, have made statements declaring that those responsible for the clashes are anarchist groups.
Faced with this, we want to clarify:
The Mexican Anarchist Black Cross is a libertarian initiative, our work is aimed to extend solidarity with prisoners, both the so-called ordinary ones and those imprisoned for their ideas and political actions and anarchists, supporting them in their legal processes, distributing their letters and doing outreach events to publicise their situation: we organise anti-repression workshops, promote self-organization in our neighborhoods and communities, as well as knowledge of legal defense strategies, based on the idea that repression is a mechanism inherent to Capital and the State, which does not hesitate to use it to maintain the domination and exploitation which sustains this system; we also disseminate anti-prison ideas and thinking, to prompt debate on the social control nature of the prison, and its function in maintaining the capitalist system.
As an initiative, our efforts are aimed at these tasks, which have always been done in the open. All the activities that we organise and participate in are called for via our webpage or by email, and are signed.
In the mass media, it has been mentioned that amongst the detained were persons belonging to anarchist groups. Faced with these assertions it is necessary to declare that none of those detained belonged to the Mexican Anarchist Black Cross. Nonetheless we declare our absolute solidarity with all the people detained and demand they be freed immediately.
We understand that these declarations, along with the allegations of instigating the events that occurred during the demonstrations, are part of a campaign of criminalisation and persecution against anarchist groups and individuals. Marcelo Ebrard has distinguished himself by the targeting and criminalisation of anarchist groups, during his tenure as Secretary of Public Safety of the City, so this campaign is no surprise to us and we see in these statements a revenge against us because of the work we have carried out, principally in solidarity with the young anarchists that the Government of the Federal District has confined in its prisons in recent years.
We have given solidarity to these, as well as with different cases at a national level of political prisoners, and in that context we have made several reports showing the intrinsically repressive character of Federal District government, who has subverted its own laws in using them in a biased way to create and stage accusations and trials riddled with irregularities.
We denounce this campaign of persecution, that began in 2003 with accusations against anarchist groups following the October 2 commemoration march and in the last year has worsened, (not to mention that a call has been circulating in recent days from an apocryphal group for an activity in solidarity with prisoners), and continues with the administration of Miguel Ángel Mancera, who has also had no hesitation in making incriminating statements against anarchist groups active in the “City of Despair”.
What happened on December 1st is the product of social discontent. The investiture of Enrique Peña Nieto is only one part, we can not fail to see that there is a growing outrage at the current social, economic and political climate, in which the concentration of power in a narrow group of people and companies are bringing grave consequences for the vast majority of people. The police, federal and local, displayed their usual brutality against all the protesters; against anyone they found in their path, making arbitrary and indiscriminate arrests. This, coupled with the news of comrades wounded around San Lazaro,  further enraged the protesters.
For us, violence originates in the political system and the state, which intends to subdue us by means of its instruments of social control, and the economic system that deprives us of the ability to have a dignified life and exploits us through appropriation of our labour. This is the originating violence and faced with it it will always be legitimate to organise. The real terrorists are those who by their actions or their silent complicity, have plunged the country into a senseless war, filling the cities of fear and death, persecuting and criminalizing poverty and assassinating whoever organises themselves and dares to stand up against it.
Through this communiqué we thus denounce the growing campaign of criminalisation of social protest, and especially against anarchist groups and individuals. Those responsible for this are the Government of the Federal District. We demand the immediate liberation of each and every one of the persons detained.
Down with the prison walls!Freedom for all!Mexico ABC
Source

Mexican Anarchist Black Cross responds to state repression & expresses solidarity with political prisoners in Mexico

In recent days, following the events of the demonstrations on December 1st for the presidential inauguration of Enrique Peña Nieto, during which the police forces, both of the Federal [national] and Federal District [Mexico City] forces, brutally repressed demonstrators - officials of the Federal District government, amongst whom were the head of government of the FD and the capital’s attorney, have made statements declaring that those responsible for the clashes are anarchist groups.

Faced with this, we want to clarify:

The Mexican Anarchist Black Cross is a libertarian initiative, our work is aimed to extend solidarity with prisoners, both the so-called ordinary ones and those imprisoned for their ideas and political actions and anarchists, supporting them in their legal processes, distributing their letters and doing outreach events to publicise their situation: we organise anti-repression workshops, promote self-organization in our neighborhoods and communities, as well as knowledge of legal defense strategies, based on the idea that repression is a mechanism inherent to Capital and the State, which does not hesitate to use it to maintain the domination and exploitation which sustains this system; we also disseminate anti-prison ideas and thinking, to prompt debate on the social control nature of the prison, and its function in maintaining the capitalist system.

As an initiative, our efforts are aimed at these tasks, which have always been done in the open. All the activities that we organise and participate in are called for via our webpage or by email, and are signed.

In the mass media, it has been mentioned that amongst the detained were persons belonging to anarchist groups. Faced with these assertions it is necessary to declare that none of those detained belonged to the Mexican Anarchist Black Cross. Nonetheless we declare our absolute solidarity with all the people detained and demand they be freed immediately.

We understand that these declarations, along with the allegations of instigating the events that occurred during the demonstrations, are part of a campaign of criminalisation and persecution against anarchist groups and individuals. Marcelo Ebrard has distinguished himself by the targeting and criminalisation of anarchist groups, during his tenure as Secretary of Public Safety of the City, so this campaign is no surprise to us and we see in these statements a revenge against us because of the work we have carried out, principally in solidarity with the young anarchists that the Government of the Federal District has confined in its prisons in recent years.

We have given solidarity to these, as well as with different cases at a national level of political prisoners, and in that context we have made several reports showing the intrinsically repressive character of Federal District government, who has subverted its own laws in using them in a biased way to create and stage accusations and trials riddled with irregularities.

We denounce this campaign of persecution, that began in 2003 with accusations against anarchist groups following the October 2 commemoration march and in the last year has worsened, (not to mention that a call has been circulating in recent days from an apocryphal group for an activity in solidarity with prisoners), and continues with the administration of Miguel Ángel Mancera, who has also had no hesitation in making incriminating statements against anarchist groups active in the “City of Despair”.

What happened on December 1st is the product of social discontent. The investiture of Enrique Peña Nieto is only one part, we can not fail to see that there is a growing outrage at the current social, economic and political climate, in which the concentration of power in a narrow group of people and companies are bringing grave consequences for the vast majority of people. The police, federal and local, displayed their usual brutality against all the protesters; against anyone they found in their path, making arbitrary and indiscriminate arrests. This, coupled with the news of comrades wounded around San Lazaro,  further enraged the protesters.

For us, violence originates in the political system and the state, which intends to subdue us by means of its instruments of social control, and the economic system that deprives us of the ability to have a dignified life and exploits us through appropriation of our labour. This is the originating violence and faced with it it will always be legitimate to organise. The real terrorists are those who by their actions or their silent complicity, have plunged the country into a senseless war, filling the cities of fear and death, persecuting and criminalizing poverty and assassinating whoever organises themselves and dares to stand up against it.

Through this communiqué we thus denounce the growing campaign of criminalisation of social protest, and especially against anarchist groups and individuals. Those responsible for this are the Government of the Federal District. We demand the immediate liberation of each and every one of the persons detained.

Down with the prison walls!
Freedom for all!
Mexico ABC

Source

Peña-Nieto isn’t my president: At dawn this morning, thousands marched in Mexico City in protest against the fraudulent election of Enrique Peña-Nieto, who was sworn in at midnight. Protests are expected to continue throughout the day.

Police have responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, injuring dozens; one death has been reported, but unconfirmed.

Peña-Nieto is likely to continue former president Felipe Calderon’s legacy, during whose six-year presidential term more than 120,000 Mexicans were killed, hundreds of thousands disappeared and countless others ravaged by femicide, kidnapping, extortion, prostitution & trafficking. 

As always, the mainstream media coverage of this is leaving much to be desired (if it is even covered at all); demonstrators at the heart of the protest in Mexico City have been tweeting photos & providing real-time updates via social media.

Click here for various livestream channels.

Photo 1, 2, 3, 4

Police pepper spray anti-austerity protesters in PortlandNovember 4, 2012
Several anti-austerity protesters were pepper-sprayed by police Saturday afternoon in the Lloyd District apparently over the issue of what route the protesters were marching along. The Portland Police Bureau said the event, which grew to several hundred demonstrators,  did not have a permit. There was one arrest, and police said they used pepper spray after demonstrators used wooden shields to directly confront police officers. Meredith Reese, 31, of the Portland Action Lab, said not everyone knew the route. When the group turned left on Northeast 14th Avenue from Multnomah Street, a line of police officers blocked them from passing. She said several high school students headed the rally. When a few protesters tried to push through, Portland police forces, including officers in riot gear and several police on horse, tackled them and sprayed pepper-spray into the crowd. At least five people dropped to the ground, Reese said. "It was really crazy how the police started spraying everybody," Reese said. "It was unexpected." She said the police seemed to target those holding signs. 
"They were going after people I think just to discourage us," she said. "But this is just the beginning. It’s going to be a long fight." Reese said the event was meant to be family-friendly. "I think the police targeted people based on what they were wearing and their signs," she said. Portland police said in a release Saturday afternoon, “In the weeks leading up to this event, the Police Bureau attempted to contact event organizers to discuss the intent of the march and to ensure that the event would be peaceful. To date, no organizers or responsible parties responded to these requests. "It should be clear that free speech events do not require a permit; but, marches or demonstrations occurring in public streets that restrict movement of other community members do require a permit issued by the city of Portland."Marcher Laura Czarniecki is a certified elementary education teacher but started working for a private preschool when she couldn’t find a job. The 31-year-old stood was among the demonstrators earlier Saturday as hundred they rallied together against austerity cuts Saturday afternoon at Holladay Park in Northeast Portland. 
The group marched along Northeast Multnomah Street. The protesters represented different facets “the 99 percent,” and fought for causes such as health care reform, cutting military spending and, like Czarniecki, public education."I believe strongly in social services for all," she said. "I am deeply troubled by the privatization of our public education systems." Most of the protesters were peaceful, chanting “Enough is enough.” They whistled. They waved flags and signs. Then they took to the streets. Nicholas Caleb, 29, a spokesman for Portland Action Lab, said the rally was an attempt in continuation of the Occupy Portland movement to bring together those fighting for different causes in order to bring down austerity cuts. "It’s another effort to get that energy organized," he said. "People oppose the status quo. Occupy was one of those and there will be many more." Caleb said he hopes the rally will make a difference."Each act of dissent shows the reality," he said. "People are suffering and desperate. These types of rallies show that the energy is still here and will be for a while."  Organizers said they had hoped to draw as many as 1,000 people to participate in a mass demonstration against corporations. The event is organized by Portland Action Lab, a group that spun out of Occupy Portland gatherings and organized the F29 Shut Down the Corporations protest last February and the N17 Occupy the Banks action. Occupy Portland and other organizations are endorsing the event.  Organizers are hoping protesters in other cities across the country will also stage demonstrations as part of the campaign. “Mobilizing the Saturday before the election was an intentional tactic to call attention to the lack of true democracy in the political system,” the group said in a press release. “Both political parties have agreed to force the burden of this ‘crisis’ on the people.” 
SourcePhoto

Police pepper spray anti-austerity protesters in Portland
November 4, 2012

Several anti-austerity protesters were pepper-sprayed by police Saturday afternoon in the Lloyd District apparently over the issue of what route the protesters were marching along. 

The Portland Police Bureau said the event, which grew to several hundred demonstrators,  did not have a permit. 

There was one arrest, and police said they used pepper spray after demonstrators used wooden shields to directly confront police officers. 

Meredith Reese, 31, of the Portland Action Lab, said not everyone knew the route. When the group turned left on Northeast 14th Avenue from Multnomah Street, a line of police officers blocked them from passing. 

She said several high school students headed the rally. When a few protesters tried to push through, Portland police forces, including officers in riot gear and several police on horse, tackled them and sprayed pepper-spray into the crowd. At least five people dropped to the ground, Reese said. 

"It was really crazy how the police started spraying everybody," Reese said. "It was unexpected." 

She said the police seemed to target those holding signs. 

"They were going after people I think just to discourage us," she said. "But this is just the beginning. It’s going to be a long fight." 

Reese said the event was meant to be family-friendly. 

"I think the police targeted people based on what they were wearing and their signs," she said. 

Portland police said in a release Saturday afternoon, “In the weeks leading up to this event, the Police Bureau attempted to contact event organizers to discuss the intent of the march and to ensure that the event would be peaceful. To date, no organizers or responsible parties responded to these requests. 

"It should be clear that free speech events do not require a permit; but, marches or demonstrations occurring in public streets that restrict movement of other community members do require a permit issued by the city of Portland."

Marcher Laura Czarniecki is a certified elementary education teacher but started working for a private preschool when she couldn’t find a job. 

The 31-year-old stood was among the demonstrators earlier Saturday as hundred they rallied together against austerity cuts Saturday afternoon at Holladay Park in Northeast Portland. 

The group marched along Northeast Multnomah Street. 

The protesters represented different facets “the 99 percent,” and fought for causes such as health care reform, cutting military spending and, like Czarniecki, public education.

"I believe strongly in social services for all," she said. "I am deeply troubled by the privatization of our public education systems." 

Most of the protesters were peaceful, chanting “Enough is enough.” They whistled. They waved flags and signs. Then they took to the streets. 

Nicholas Caleb, 29, a spokesman for Portland Action Lab, said the rally was an attempt in continuation of the Occupy Portland movement to bring together those fighting for different causes in order to bring down austerity cuts. 

"It’s another effort to get that energy organized," he said. "People oppose the status quo. Occupy was one of those and there will be many more." 

Caleb said he hopes the rally will make a difference.

"Each act of dissent shows the reality," he said. "People are suffering and desperate. These types of rallies show that the energy is still here and will be for a while." 

 Organizers said they had hoped to draw as many as 1,000 people to participate in a mass demonstration against corporations. 

The event is organized by Portland Action Lab, a group that spun out of Occupy Portland gatherings and organized the F29 Shut Down the Corporations protest last February and the N17 Occupy the Banks action. Occupy Portland and other organizations are endorsing the event. 

 Organizers are hoping protesters in other cities across the country will also stage demonstrations as part of the campaign. “Mobilizing the Saturday before the election was an intentional tactic to call attention to the lack of true democracy in the political system,” the group said in a press release. “Both political parties have agreed to force the burden of this ‘crisis’ on the people.” 

Source
Photo

"A tool of Wall Street, a man who’s decriminalized torture and is still complicit in it, a drone assassin, someone who’s launched an unconstitutional war, supports kidnapping and indefinite detention without trial, and has prosecuted more whistleblowers like myself than all previous presidents put together." - Daniel Ellsberg, anti-war activist & Pentagon Papers whistleblower on President Barack Obama

"A tool of Wall Street, a man who’s decriminalized torture and is still complicit in it, a drone assassin, someone who’s launched an unconstitutional war, supports kidnapping and indefinite detention without trial, and has prosecuted more whistleblowers like myself than all previous presidents put together." - Daniel Ellsberg, anti-war activist & Pentagon Papers whistleblower on President Barack Obama

Obama campaign in debt after DNC goes over budget by $15 millionSeptember 9, 2012
The Democratic National Convention went $15 million over its budget, being forced to borrow money. The miscalculation could hinder President Obama’s re-election bid, as his campaign may have to pick up the bill.
Two-thirds of the borrowed money came from Duke Energy Corp., and this chunk of money will need to be repaid next year.
Bloomberg News interviewed several anonymous sources familiar with the convention’s finances in order to understand internal deliberations regarding the budget.
Of the $15 million that the DNC borrowed, $5 million will have to be repaid immediately and is likely to come directly from Obama’s campaign account. In the final months of the presidential campaign – a crucial time for winning over undecided voters – the debts may impact the Obama’s campaigns ability to spend on advertising and sway Americans.
Democrats are already facing a cash disadvantage: Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee have a bank balance of $169 million, while Obama’s team only has $107 million. The DNC banned direct cash contributions from corporations, which caused it to fail reaching its US$36.7 million fundraising goal for the convention.
“It is always easier to raise corporate dollars in advance of a convention because of the visibility and profile that corporate sponsorship can offer,” Tony Corrado, a professor who specialized in campaign finance, told Bloomberg News. “After a convention, once the signs are down and the politicians have left, raising money is a much more difficult task.”
After financial help from Duke Energy Corp., the DNC was only strapped for $5 million that it would need to immediately repay its vendors. Mike Dino, former executive director for the host committee during the DNC in Denver, told Bloomberg News that the Obama administration did well by only going over by $5 million.
“If they got within 5 million, considering that they used the line of credit, I think that’s awesome, given the restrictions that they had to deal with,” he said. “They should be relieved to be in that range.”
But even though the Obama campaign is now millions in debt, it also received 700,000 donations during the convention – more than their goal of 600,000- potentially limiting the impact of their overspend.
Source
A few things to keep in mind here: Of course the $15 million was borrowed money, not taxypayer money. However, most was borrowed from Duke Energy. Whose interests do you think Obama will keep in mind being in multi-million dollar debt to an energy corporation?
Another point: Those numbers of both campaigns are outrageous - $169 million? $107 million? Money must be taken out of politics. But that’s capitalism for you. 

Obama campaign in debt after DNC goes over budget by $15 million
September 9, 2012

The Democratic National Convention went $15 million over its budget, being forced to borrow money. The miscalculation could hinder President Obama’s re-election bid, as his campaign may have to pick up the bill.

Two-thirds of the borrowed money came from Duke Energy Corp., and this chunk of money will need to be repaid next year.

Bloomberg News interviewed several anonymous sources familiar with the convention’s finances in order to understand internal deliberations regarding the budget.

Of the $15 million that the DNC borrowed, $5 million will have to be repaid immediately and is likely to come directly from Obama’s campaign account. In the final months of the presidential campaign – a crucial time for winning over undecided voters – the debts may impact the Obama’s campaigns ability to spend on advertising and sway Americans.

Democrats are already facing a cash disadvantage: Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee have a bank balance of $169 million, while Obama’s team only has $107 million. The DNC banned direct cash contributions from corporations, which caused it to fail reaching its US$36.7 million fundraising goal for the convention.

It is always easier to raise corporate dollars in advance of a convention because of the visibility and profile that corporate sponsorship can offer,” Tony Corrado, a professor who specialized in campaign finance, told Bloomberg News. “After a convention, once the signs are down and the politicians have left, raising money is a much more difficult task.”

After financial help from Duke Energy Corp., the DNC was only strapped for $5 million that it would need to immediately repay its vendors. Mike Dino, former executive director for the host committee during the DNC in Denver, told Bloomberg News that the Obama administration did well by only going over by $5 million.

If they got within 5 million, considering that they used the line of credit, I think that’s awesome, given the restrictions that they had to deal with,” he said. “They should be relieved to be in that range.”

But even though the Obama campaign is now millions in debt, it also received 700,000 donations during the convention – more than their goal of 600,000- potentially limiting the impact of their overspend.

Source

A few things to keep in mind here: Of course the $15 million was borrowed money, not taxypayer money. However, most was borrowed from Duke Energy. Whose interests do you think Obama will keep in mind being in multi-million dollar debt to an energy corporation?

Another point: Those numbers of both campaigns are outrageous - $169 million? $107 million? Money must be taken out of politics. But that’s capitalism for you. 

The Screwed Election: Wall Street Can’t Lose, and America Can’t Win
August 11, 2012 - by Joel Kotkin
About two in three Americans do not think what’s good for Wall Street is good for America, according to the 2012 Harris poll, but do think people who work there are less “honest and moral than other people,” and don’t “deserve to make the kind of money they earn.” Confidence in banks is at a record low, according to Gallup, as they’ve suffered the steepest fall in esteem of any American institution over the past decade. And people have put their money where their mouth is, with $171 billion leaving the stock market last year alone, and 80 percent of Wall Street communications executives conceded that public perception of their firms was not good.
Americans are angry at the big-time bankers and brokers, and yet, far from a populist attack on crony capitalism, Wall Street is sitting pretty, looking ahead to a presidential election that it can’t possibly lose. They have bankrolled a nifty choice between President Obama, the largest beneficiary of financial-industry backing in history and Mitt Romney, one of their very own.
One is to the manner born, the other a crafty servant; neither will take on the power.
Think of this: despite taking office in the midst of a massive financial meltdown, Obama’s administration has not prosecuted a single heavy-hitter among those responsible for the financial crisis. To the contrary, he’s staffed his team with big bankers and their allies. Under the Bush-Obama bailouts the big financial institutions have feasted like pigs at the trough, with the six largest banks borrowing almost a half trillion dollars from uncle Ben Bernanke’s printing press. In 2013 the top four banks controlled more than 40 percent of the credit markets in the top 10 states—up by 10 percentage points from 2009 and roughly twice their share in 2000. Meantime, small banks, usually the ones serving Main Street businesses, have taken the hit along with the rest of us with more than 300 folding since the passage of Dodd-Frank, the industry-approved bill to “reform” the industry.
Yet past the occasional election-year bout of symbolic class warfare, the oligarchs have little to fear from an Obama victory.
“Too big to fail,” enshrined in the Dodd-Frank bill, enjoys the full and enthusiastic support of the administration. Obama’s financial tsar on the GM bailout, Steven Rattner, took to The New York Times to stress that Obamians see nothing systemically wrong with the banking system we have now, blaming the 2008 market meltdown on “old-fashioned poor management.”
“In a world of behemoth banks,” he explained to we mere mortals, “it is wrong to think we can shrink ours to a size that eliminates the ‘too big to fail’ problem without emasculating one of our most successful industries.”
But consider the messenger. Rattner, while denying wrongdoing, paid $6.2 million and accepted a two-year ban on associating with any investment adviser or broker-dealer to settle with the SEC over the agency’s claims that he had played a role in a pay-to-play scheme involving a $50,000 contribution to the now-jailed politician who controlled New York State’s $125 billion pension fund. He’s also expressed unlimited admiration for the Chinese economic system, the largest expression of crony capitalism in history. Expect Rattner to be on hand in September, when Democrats gather in Charlotte, the nation’s second-largest banking city, inside the Bank of America Stadium to formally nominate Obama for a second term.
In a sane world, one would expect Republicans to run against this consolidation of power, that has taxpayers propping up banks that invest vast amounts in backing the campaigns of the lawmakers who levy those taxes. The party would appeal to grassroots capitalists, investors, small banks and their customers who feel excluded from the Washington-sanctioned insiders’ game. The popular appeal is there. The Tea Party, of course, began as a response against TARP.
Instead, the partynominated a Wall Street patrician, Mitt Romney, whose idea of populism seems to be donning a well-pressed pair of jeans and a work shirt.
Romney himself is so clueless as to be touting his strong fund-raising with big finance. His top contributors list reads something like a rogue’s gallery from the 2008 crash: Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Citicorp, and Barclays. If Obama’s Hollywood friends wanted to find a perfect candidate to play the role of out-of-touch-Wall Street grandee, they could do worse than casting Mitt.
With Romney to work with, David Axelrod’s dog could design the ads right now.
True, some of the finance titans who thought Obama nifty back in 2008 have had their delicate psyches ruffled by the president’s election-year attacks on the “one percent.” But the “progressives,” now tethered to Obama’s chain, are deluding themselves if they think the president’s neo-populist rancor means much of anything. They get to serve as what the Old Bosheviks would have called  “useful idiots,” pawns in the fight between one group of oligopolists and another.
This division can be seen in the financial community as well. For the most part Obama has maintained the loyalty of those financiers, like Rattner, who seek out pension funds to finance their business. Those who underwrite and speculate on public debt have reason to embrace Washington’s free spenders. They are also cozy to financiers like John Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs CEO and governor of New Jersey, whose now-disgraced investment company MF Global is represented by Attorney General Eric Holder’s old firm. 
The big-government wing of the financial elite remains firmly in Obama’s corner, as his bundlers (including Corzine) have already collected close to $20 million from financial interests for the president. Record support has also poured in from Silicon Valley, which has become ever more like a hip Wall Street west. Like its east-coast brethren, Silicon Valley has also increased its dependence on government policy, as well-connected venture capitalists and many in the tech community  have sought to enrich themselves on the administration’s “green” energy schemes.
Romney, on the other hand, has done very well with capital tied to the energy industry, and others who invest in the broad private sector, where government interventions are more often a complication than a means to a fast buck.His broad base of financial support reflects how relatively few businesses have benefited from the current regime.
Who loses in this battle of the oligarchs? Everyone who depends on the markets to accurately give information, and to provide fundamental services, like fairly priced credit.
And who wins? The politically well-situated, who can profit from credit and regulatory policies whether those are implemented by  Republicans or Democrats.
American democracy and the prosperity needed to sustain it are both diminished when Wall Street, the great engineer of the 2008 crash, is all but assured of victory in November.
Source

The Screwed Election: Wall Street Can’t Lose, and America Can’t Win

August 11, 2012 - by Joel Kotkin

About two in three Americans do not think what’s good for Wall Street is good for America, according to the 2012 Harris poll, but do think people who work there are less “honest and moral than other people,” and don’t “deserve to make the kind of money they earn.” Confidence in banks is at a record low, according to Gallup, as they’ve suffered the steepest fall in esteem of any American institution over the past decade. And people have put their money where their mouth is, with $171 billion leaving the stock market last year alone, and 80 percent of Wall Street communications executives conceded that public perception of their firms was not good.

Americans are angry at the big-time bankers and brokers, and yet, far from a populist attack on crony capitalism, Wall Street is sitting pretty, looking ahead to a presidential election that it can’t possibly lose. They have bankrolled a nifty choice between President Obama, the largest beneficiary of financial-industry backing in history and Mitt Romney, one of their very own.

One is to the manner born, the other a crafty servant; neither will take on the power.

Think of this: despite taking office in the midst of a massive financial meltdown, Obama’s administration has not prosecuted a single heavy-hitter among those responsible for the financial crisis. To the contrary, he’s staffed his team with big bankers and their allies. Under the Bush-Obama bailouts the big financial institutions have feasted like pigs at the trough, with the six largest banks borrowing almost a half trillion dollars from uncle Ben Bernanke’s printing press. In 2013 the top four banks controlled more than 40 percent of the credit markets in the top 10 states—up by 10 percentage points from 2009 and roughly twice their share in 2000. Meantime, small banks, usually the ones serving Main Street businesses, have taken the hit along with the rest of us with more than 300 folding since the passage of Dodd-Frank, the industry-approved bill to “reform” the industry.

Yet past the occasional election-year bout of symbolic class warfare, the oligarchs have little to fear from an Obama victory.

“Too big to fail,” enshrined in the Dodd-Frank bill, enjoys the full and enthusiastic support of the administration. Obama’s financial tsar on the GM bailout, Steven Rattner, took to The New York Times to stress that Obamians see nothing systemically wrong with the banking system we have now, blaming the 2008 market meltdown on “old-fashioned poor management.”

“In a world of behemoth banks,” he explained to we mere mortals, “it is wrong to think we can shrink ours to a size that eliminates the ‘too big to fail’ problem without emasculating one of our most successful industries.”

But consider the messenger. Rattner, while denying wrongdoing, paid $6.2 million and accepted a two-year ban on associating with any investment adviser or broker-dealer to settle with the SEC over the agency’s claims that he had played a role in a pay-to-play scheme involving a $50,000 contribution to the now-jailed politician who controlled New York State’s $125 billion pension fund. He’s also expressed unlimited admiration for the Chinese economic system, the largest expression of crony capitalism in history. Expect Rattner to be on hand in September, when Democrats gather in Charlotte, the nation’s second-largest banking city, inside the Bank of America Stadium to formally nominate Obama for a second term.

In a sane world, one would expect Republicans to run against this consolidation of power, that has taxpayers propping up banks that invest vast amounts in backing the campaigns of the lawmakers who levy those taxes. The party would appeal to grassroots capitalists, investors, small banks and their customers who feel excluded from the Washington-sanctioned insiders’ game. The popular appeal is there. The Tea Party, of course, began as a response against TARP.

Instead, the partynominated a Wall Street patrician, Mitt Romney, whose idea of populism seems to be donning a well-pressed pair of jeans and a work shirt.

Romney himself is so clueless as to be touting his strong fund-raising with big finance. His top contributors list reads something like a rogue’s gallery from the 2008 crash: Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Citicorp, and Barclays. If Obama’s Hollywood friends wanted to find a perfect candidate to play the role of out-of-touch-Wall Street grandee, they could do worse than casting Mitt.

With Romney to work with, David Axelrod’s dog could design the ads right now.

True, some of the finance titans who thought Obama nifty back in 2008 have had their delicate psyches ruffled by the president’s election-year attacks on the “one percent.” But the “progressives,” now tethered to Obama’s chain, are deluding themselves if they think the president’s neo-populist rancor means much of anything. They get to serve as what the Old Bosheviks would have called  “useful idiots,” pawns in the fight between one group of oligopolists and another.

This division can be seen in the financial community as well. For the most part Obama has maintained the loyalty of those financiers, like Rattner, who seek out pension funds to finance their business. Those who underwrite and speculate on public debt have reason to embrace Washington’s free spenders. They are also cozy to financiers like John Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs CEO and governor of New Jersey, whose now-disgraced investment company MF Global is represented by Attorney General Eric Holder’s old firm. 

The big-government wing of the financial elite remains firmly in Obama’s corner, as his bundlers (including Corzine) have already collected close to $20 million from financial interests for the president. Record support has also poured in from Silicon Valley, which has become ever more like a hip Wall Street west. Like its east-coast brethren, Silicon Valley has also increased its dependence on government policy, as well-connected venture capitalists and many in the tech community  have sought to enrich themselves on the administration’s “green” energy schemes.

Romney, on the other hand, has done very well with capital tied to the energy industry, and others who invest in the broad private sector, where government interventions are more often a complication than a means to a fast buck.His broad base of financial support reflects how relatively few businesses have benefited from the current regime.

Who loses in this battle of the oligarchs? Everyone who depends on the markets to accurately give information, and to provide fundamental services, like fairly priced credit.

And who wins? The politically well-situated, who can profit from credit and regulatory policies whether those are implemented by  Republicans or Democrats.

American democracy and the prosperity needed to sustain it are both diminished when Wall Street, the great engineer of the 2008 crash, is all but assured of victory in November.

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Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi, portrait, wave Egyptian flags and banners as they demonstrate in Cairo’s landmark Tahrir square on Saturday, June 23, with tensions soaring in Egypt as the nation awaited the results of a divisive presidential election. Results were expected to be announced Sunday, June 24.
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Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi, portrait, wave Egyptian flags and banners as they demonstrate in Cairo’s landmark Tahrir square on Saturday, June 23, with tensions soaring in Egypt as the nation awaited the results of a divisive presidential election. Results were expected to be announced Sunday, June 24.

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