Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No "Change" Toward Dissenting Voices

President Obama's deliberate exclusion of the CEOs of JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs from the Dodd-Frank Act signing ceremony further proves that Obama was about as serious about "change" as Bush was about being "a uniter, not a divider."

"Change" was President Obama's campaign centerpiece. Changing the political culture by eliminating Washington's cynical business practices. Adding transparency to government. Getting rid of the dirty tricks, pay-offs, and pay-backs.

Well, the administration invited to the ceremony the bank CEOs who have been the "most sycophantic" while "rebuking" those who "don’t instantly agree that every policy coming out of the Democratic caucus on Capitol Hill is the most brilliant idea ever," according to anonymous Wall Street executives.

How fitting, then, that Citi and Bank of America, essentially wards of the state, served as the perfect yes-men, and were then invited to the signing ceremony. Sort of like tossing a treat to an obedient lap dog, isn't it?

Forget that Morgan and Goldman are two of the largest firms on Wall Street. Forget, even, that Goldman's recent SEC flogging provides a colorable excuse for the administration to deny its invitation.

The bottom line, as CNBC reports, is that the administration is retaliating against Morgan and Goldman:

JP Morgan Chase was very active in the efforts to shape the legislation. Its chief, Dimon, publicly critiqued aspects of the bill. Goldman Sachs was less active and prominent but still played a role in lobbying lawmakers to have some aspects of the bill changed.

Bear in mind that Obama was not striking against Republican ideologues. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon is a long-standing Democratic donor and was once referred to as "Obama's favorite banker." Goldman was Obama's second-largest donor.

But, cross the administration, and you will feel its wrath.

This "change" sure sounds like business as usual.

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