Monday, April 18, 2016


Over the last few weeks the mainstream media (MSM) has had a field day recontextualizing a few cherry picked moments from a lengthy interview with Bernie Sanders conducted by the New York Daily News Editorial Board. MSM points to the interview as validation of their relentless months long campaign to smear Sanders as an imposter who can’t back up his political rhetoric with policy specifics. As Hillary Clinton expresses her heartfelt concern for (chastises) young people that “don’t do their own research,” the MSM is banking on their sound bite consumers not having the time, nor the inclination, to actually read (or even listen to) the damn thing all the way through. Conflict narratives always work best when their given “truth” is untraceable...

The Missing Point is, in part, a conscious response to 24-hour news cycle sound bites and 140 character reductive reasoning. In a culture that seeks to keep us trapped inside the vacuum of vicarious second hand “experience,” taking the time to actually do it yourself can be an act of rebellion. So I listened to the damn thing – all the way through. Such a rebel.

But I get it – too busy, maybe later, how’s your schedule looking next month? My last post was a two cuppa coffee marathon, so I’m gonna keep this one brief, and just call attention to one particularly ironic moment in the interview. You may have heard a line or two of it already in the MSM:

Daily News: Okay. So, um, you would then leave it to JPMorgan Chase or the others to figure out how to break, it, themselves up? I’m not quite...

Sanders: What you’ve determined is that if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. And then you have the secretary of treasury and some people who know a lot about this, making that determination. And if the determination is that Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan Chase is too big to fail, yes, they will be broken up.

Daily News: Okay. Um, you saw, I guess, what happened with Metropolitan Life. There was an attempt to, um, bring them under the financial regulatory scheme, and the court said no. And what does that presage for your program?

Sanders: It’s something I have not studied, honestly, the legal implications of that.

It’s that last line the MSM jumped on as proof that Sanders hasn’t put in the time to research what he is talking about. But what the hell is the interviewer talking about?

Well, I did some research, and here’s the basics: MetLife is branded as “too big to fail” (Systemically Important Financial Institution or SIFI) under Dodd–Frank, the first “nonbank” (yes, that is a word) to be categorized as such. MetLife sells off its banking assets in order to give the appearance that they are not a potential threat to the economy (look ma – no bank!). MetLife sues the Financial Stability Oversight Council (set up under Dodd–Frank specifically to do the kind of “determination” that Bernie references in the above quote) in order to remove the “too big to fail label and WINS the case. This didn’t happen last year, or even last month – it was literally last week! The Daily News Editorial Board brings it up in the interview just days later and Bernie says he doesn’t know the legal implications of that. GOTCHA! Told ya so :b

So what is the take away? Is it that Bernie doesn’t know what he is talking about? Or is it that Dodd–Frank isn’t getting the job done, as Hillary has been claiming it will in every single debate? This is exactly why Bernie has consistently said we need a modern Glass–Steagall.

The interviewer is using the court decision as an example of how the banks will push back against anyone who tries to break them up, but SO WHAT? Does that mean we’re supposed to back down and just leave the fate of the world economy in their grabbing hands? The financial institution in question isn’t even a “bank,” which may have given them just enough legal wiggle room to escape being labeled “too big to fail.” Probably not a winning strategy for Goldman Sachs or JPMorgan Chase.

The New York primary is tomorrow – BREAK THEM UP.


Oh yeah, there’s also this from last week. And Happy Birthday Mom!

No comments:

Post a Comment