hightower
January 22, 2010

 

 

Giving proper thanks to Wall Street
by Jim Hightower

No doubt you'll want to join me in sending a heartfelt "thank you" to Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, John Mack and Brian Moynihan.

They are, respectively, the chief banking whizzes at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America the four biggest Wall Street firms whose get-rich-quick recklessness brought our financial system to its knees and wrecked our economy. During the last year and a half, these four collected nearly half-a-trillion of our tax dollars to bail out their sinking institutions.

Despite this public generosity to save them, these too-big-to-fail giants still are not meeting their obligations to us. Instead of making loans that America's cash-starved businesses must have so they can start generating jobs again, the Wall Streeters have gone right back to the same sort of high-risk investment gimmicks that caused our country's economic mess. They've also used our money to take over some smaller banks in order to make themselves even bigger. And, of course!, they've returned to the charming practice of lining their own executive pockets with multimillion-dollar bonuses.

Meanwhile, we taxpayers are still owed about $120 billion that we doled out to save the financial system money that should now be going to other budget needs. To get it back, the White House has proposed a new Wall Street tax on the 50 largest banks most of which are now raking in huge profits from speculative investment schemes that bankers developed by using dirt cheap federal funds.

Yes, a proper way to thank Blankfein, Dimon, Mack, Moynihan and others for the way they're treating us is with this tax. But it will be paid by the banks, not by the bankers who did the damage. So, let's also show a little personal gratitude to the greedheaded bank barons by assessing a windfall tax on the absurd bonuses they plan to pay themselves.

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Copyright 2009 by Jim Hightower & Associates
Contact Laura Ehrlich (laura@jimhightower.com) for more information.