By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN: December 17, 2014
President Obama and then Secretary of State Clinton decided that America has a critical shortage of banksters and decided to import some from Ecuador. The banksters showed their gratitude by showing the Democratic Party with “donations.” Sometimes a small story reveals the core truth of large public policy issues far better than the big overall story can. The New York Times has just published an article entitled “Ecuador Family Wins Favors After Donations to Democrats.” The short-version is that Obama has decided to give what amounts to asylum to a family from Ecuador after it made large campaign donations to Democrats.
“It was one of several favorable decisions the Obama administration made in recent years involving the Isaías family, which the government of Ecuador accuses of buying protection from Washington and living comfortably in Miami off the profits of a looted bank in Ecuador.
The family, which has been investigated by federal law enforcement agencies on suspicion of money laundering and immigration fraud, has made hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to American political campaigns in recent years. During that time, it has repeatedly received favorable treatment from the highest levels of the American government, including from New Jersey’s senior senator and the State Department.”
And it gets better:
“The Obama administration has allowed the family’s patriarchs, Roberto and William Isaías, to remain in the United States, refusing to extradite them to Ecuador. The two brothers were sentenced in absentia in 2012 to eight years in prison, accused of running their bank into the ground and then presenting false balance sheets to profit from bailout funds. In a highly politicized case, Ecuador says the fraud cost the country $400 million.
The family’s affairs have rankled Ecuador and strained relations with the United States at a time when the two nations are also at odds over another international fugitive: Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.”
It’s not bad enough that Obama refuses to prosecute our banksters who grew wealthy by leading the three financial fraud epidemics that cost the U.S. over $20 trillion in lost GDP and over 10 million jobs – he’s now importing Ecuador’s banksters – even their families who were banned from entering the U.S. because they committed immigration fraud.
“MIAMI — The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.
The woman, Estefanía Isaías, had been barred from coming to the United States after being caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. But the ban was lifted at the request of the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton so that Ms. Isaías could work for an Obama fund-raiser with close ties to the administration.”
Yes, it’s the Obama/Clinton concept of good government, respect for the rule of law, and the proper response to elite white-collar criminals who loot “their” banks and cause the crises that devastate an entire nation – as they did in Ecuador in the late 1990s and the U.S. a decade later – is to ignore the crimes of the banksters. The banksters and their kin are a potential source of political contributions. Under Obama/Clinton, the U.S. is a sanctuary not just for U.S. banksters, but those from other countries who appropriately express their gratitude to the politicians who grant that sanctuary. When our leaders have contempt for our laws and knowingly choose to get in bed with the banksters and immunize their crimes, you know that crony capitalism has arrived.
Obama and Clinton’s New-“New Colossus”
President Obama and Former Secretary Clinton designed a New-“New Colossus” for the Statue of Liberty. Emma Lazurus’ words once read.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The Obama/Clinton New-New Colossus reads:
Send us your elite banksters yearning to keep their wealth and immunity
Have them make large political contributions to my Party’s teeming whores
I’ll let you violate U.S. and foreign laws with impunity
Douse the lamp; show us the green and we’ll secretly open the golden door
Blame it on Correa
But it was this passage from the NYT article that captures how far we have fallen under the leadership of Obama and the Clintons.
“The Isaías brothers consider themselves political exiles unfairly attacked by the Ecuadorean government and have garnered support on Capitol Hill, where sentiment against Ecuador’s leftist president runs strong.”
You see, key Democrats on Capitol Hill, Obama, and the Clintons share a common cause – they hate Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa. Indeed, Correa is so bad that the New York Times would not even put his name in print in the article! Correa’s unforgivable sin from the perspective of Obama, and Clintons, and some Democratic Party representatives in Congress is that he successfully implements policies favored by the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Correa did crack down on the banksters, but that is a small part of his policy package. Correa has three paramount policies, substantially increasing spending on education, health, and infrastructure. He has done so in a manner that greatly reduced unemployment, poverty, and inequality because those three programs focused on the people most in need.
One can understand why Correa and his successful implementation of traditional Democratic Party policies would make him anathema to the Rubin wing of the Democratic Party. But understanding why the Rubin wing of the Party hates Correa with such a passion that it feels proud about helping convicted banksters and immigration frauds get away with their crimes with impunity reveals the depth of the pathologies of Obama and the Clintons.
Concentrating increased government spending on education, health, and infrastructure is a policy recommended in that notoriously “leftist” screed – the Washington Consensus. Unlike Obama and the Clintons (all lawyers), Correa is a skilled economist who did his dissertation on the Washington Consensus. The Washington Consensus urges that each of these increases in spending should be oriented towards helping those most in need – the poor. Correa did so.
It is telling that the Rubin wing of the Democratic Party is, when it comes to applying the rule of law to the banksters and increasing spending on education, health, and infrastructure (with special emphasis on serving the needs of the poor), far to the right of the infamous Washington Consensus. Note that the Rubin wing of the Democratic Party does not simply disagree with Correa on the desirability of greatly increased spending on education, health, and infrastructure with a focus on providing those benefits where they are most needed. The Rubin wing is enraged at Correa for those (successful) “leftist” policies. The “leftist” budgetary priorities that Correa created and that enrage the Rubin wing were promulgated and became a “Consensus” in “Washington” under the notorious “leftists” Presidents Reagan and Bush (I). Similarly, it was under President Bush (I) that we had our greatest success in prosecuting the U.S. banksters. It was the Clinton administration that began the gutting of financial regulation and the large scale reassignment of FBI agents and AUSAs that substantially reduced prosecutions of banksters.
It is a measure of how far to the right that Obama and the Clintons have led the Rubin wing of the Democratic Party in these contexts that Correa’s primary public policies – which were once so mainstream in both major U.S. political parties that they were presented as “consensus” views even among conservative economists – are now treated by the Rubinites as so “leftist” that their success enrages and terrifies Obama and the Clintons.
It is amusing that the New York Times’ article treated Correa as so far beyond the pale that it “dared not speak his name.” Correa’s policies of applying the rule of law and prosecuting elite bank frauds and increasing spending on education, health, and infrastructure needs with a focus on the poor are not considered remotely “leftist” positions among the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party. They are core beliefs of the Democratic Party and they were the among the policies that made America great.