July 23, 2020, David Sirota at Jacobin writes -
"...this past Monday, Biden told his Wall Street donors that actually, he is not proposing any new legislation to rein in corporate power or change corporate behavior — and this was reported exactly nowhere, even as his campaign blasted it out to the national press corps.
You don’t have to believe me — you can click here to read the full pool report that the Biden campaign distributed to the press after his teleconference fundraiser. That event was headlined by Jon Gray, a top executive at the Blackstone Group, which is a private equity behemoth at the center of the climate, health care, housing and pension crises. Blackstone executives had already donated $130,000 to the Biden campaign and $350,000 to a super PAC supporting him.
Here’s the relevant section, reviewing what Biden said:
Second question, again from Mr. Gray, who noted that there are “a bunch of business leaders” on the line. “What do you think is essential to get this economy rolling again?”
“I come from the corporate state of American, many of you incorporated here,” said Mr. Biden. “It used to be that corporate America had a sense of responsibility beyond just CEO salaries and shareholders.”
“Corporate America has to change its ways. It’s not going to require legislation. I’m not proposing any. We’ve got to think about how we deal people back in.”
There’s an obvious contradiction here. Before making these comments, Biden had previously promised to pass legislative initiatives to change corporate behavior on everything from climate change to tax policy. He has an entire section of his website outlining promises to pass corporate accountability legislation. He has received praise for these kind of promises.
But now he’s telling his donors they can rest assured that legislation to change corporate behavior is not forthcoming. Indeed, read Biden’s comment again: “It’s not going to require legislation. I’m not proposing any.”
Now, sure, you can try to write this off as just another gaffe — good ol’ Joe being good ol’ Joe. But it is part of a pattern.
Biden had previously promised his wealthy donors that if he is elected, “nothing would fundamentally change.” He insisted that we don’t need a political revolution in America because that might “disrupt everything.”
Nothing could be a bigger mischaracterization than Joe Biden calling himself, "middle class Joe". No one but his campaign calls him that. It's a total fiction. Joe Biden is more Wall Street than even Chuck Schumer.
Actually, Joe Biden is a travesty to working people and the middle class.
Common Dreams Reported in February 2020:
Biden Has Consistently Chosen Wall Street over Main Street. Biden has served his Wall Street investors well. The following list provides some of the highlights of Biden’s service to Wall Street over his career – to the detriment of Main Street.
- Supported banking industry consolidation and Too Big to Fail Banks. Biden helped banks and insurance companies consolidate and become too big to fail. In 1994, Biden backed the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act that eliminated any remaining barriers to inter-state banking. This opened the floodgates to a new era of corporate consolidation of the banking industry.
- Supported the elimination of protections that limited Wall Street speculation. Biden helped to eliminate protections against financial industry speculation thereby creating conditions that exacerbated the Great Recession of 2008. In 1999, Biden voted for the Financial Services Modernization Act, which repealed the Depression-era Glass-Steagall law barring banks from owning securities and insurance businesses. One of Biden’s largest contributors MBNA lobbied for the repeal of Glass Steagall and he delivered. Glass-Steagall created a wall between commercial banks and investment banks. Workers and small businesses use commercial banks to deposit their money in federally guaranteed checking and savings accounts. Glass Steagall prevented banks from transferring these federally guaranteed deposits to their investment banking operations that focused on high risk and speculative investments.
In this way, Glass-Steagall served to limit the ability of banks from using no-risk federal guaranteed deposits for high-risk speculative investments. The 1999 act repealed these protections. Not surprisingly, this allowed Wall Street to create a new era of rampant speculation – which adversely affected small businesses and workers.
- Supported Wall Street banks while hurting Main Street small business and middle-class borrowers. The Bankruptcy Act of 2005 presented Biden with a stark choice between Wall Street and Main Street. Biden not only chose Wall Street, but he championed Wall Street’s interests. This bill made it much more difficult for financially distressed families to receive the protections that accompany a bankruptcy filing. Conversely, it aided the banking industry by making it easier to collect that debt.
Bankruptcy was designed to help individuals and businesses eliminate all or part of their debt or help them repay a portion of what they owe. It often involves a bankruptcy court and negotiating a repayment plan. However, the Act basically removed bankruptcy as an option for millions of families. Many consumer groups and unions opposed the bill.
However, it was proposed and energetically supported by the finance industry. The credit card industry spent $100 million lobbying for the bill over an eight-year period. MBNA, one of Biden’s leading donors, lobbied hard for its passage. Only Biden and 3 other Democratic Senators joined with a solid bloc of Republicans to defeat every attempt to moderate the bill.
An article in The Guardian provides an assessment of Biden’s role by Melissa Jacoby, a law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill specializing in bankruptcy, “Biden was one of the most powerful people who could have said no [to the Bankruptcy Act], who could have changed this. Instead he used his leadership role to limit the ability of other Democrats who had concerns and who wanted the bill softened…. I don’t know how else to explain his stance on bankruptcy policy for financially distressed families other than his relationship with the consumer credit industry. There really isn’t another plausible explanation.”
Elizabeth Warren, then a Harvard law school professor, adamantly opposed the bill in its various forms. She even wrote an entire paper criticizing Biden’s role in an earlier version of the bill. Bernie Sanders, then a Congressman from Vermont, voted against the bill. In the final vote, Biden and 17 other Democrats voted for the bill.
A Mother Jones article by Tim Murphy provides a detailed account of how Biden assisted his investors (especially MBNA and the entire banking sector) by supporting and helping to craft this pro-Wall Street legislation that was ironically named the Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. Between 1980 and 1997, the number of Americans filing for personal bankruptcy jumped more than 300 percent, affecting 1.3 million households annually. Borrowers were being hit with significant increases in medical bills, student loans, credit card fees, and mortgages while experiencing a long period of stagnant incomes.
The rise in personal bankruptcies was very troubling to the banks and credit card companies. The banking industry crafted a bill that did not focus on the needs of debtors and did not address the reasons why personal bankruptcies were increasing. Instead, the banking industry and its political allies focused on making it harder for people to declare bankruptcy and easier for banks and credit card companies to collect. The Bankruptcy Act made personal bankruptcy more expensive, complex, bureaucratic, burdensome and less effective and, thus, more difficult for families to get out of crushing debt. But it did protect the assets and interests of the banks holding the debt. The number of personal bankruptcy filings has fallen by half since the Act became law.
Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the chosen candidates of Oligarchy.