Wall Street Declares War on Bernie Sanders

By William K. Black

Wall Street billionaires are freaking out about the chance that Bernie Sanders could be elected President.  Stephen Schwarzman, one of the wealthiest and most odious people in the world, told the Wall Street Journal that one of the three principal causes of the recent global financial trauma was “the market’s” fear that Sanders may be elected President.  Schwarzman is infamous for ranting that President Obama’s proposals to end the “carried interest” tax scam that allows private equity billionaires like Schwarzman to pay lower income tax rates than their secretaries was “like when Hitler invaded Poland.”

Schwarzman and Pete Peterson co-founded the private equity firm Blackstone.  Peterson leads the effort to destroy the safety net in America.  His greatest dream is to privatize Social Security so that Wall Street could increase its revenues by tens of billions of dollars.  Blackstone is a major owner of Sea World, and it was in this sphere that Schwarzman went beyond his delusional rants about Hitler and became vile.  When an Orca killed its trainer, Schwarzman lied and blamed the death on the trainer, claiming that Sea World “had one safety lapse — interestingly, with a situation where the person involved violated all the safety rules that we had.”

Schwarzman’s claim that the global financial markets are tanking because of Bernie’s increasing support is delusional, but it is revealing that he used the most recent market nightmare as an excuse to attack Bernie.  The Wall Street plutocrats, with good reason, fear Bernie – not Hillary.  Indeed, it is remarkable how vigorous and open Wall Street has been in signaling through the financial media that it has no problem with Hillary’s Wall Street plan.  CNN, CNBC, and the Fiscal Times, under titles such as:  “Here’s Why Wall Street Has Little to Fear from Hillary Clinton,” pushed this meme.

Michael Bloomberg was the second Wall Street billionaire to pile on to Bernie this week.  Bloomberg leaked to dozens of media outlets that he was again considering a run for the presidency.  The same leaks explained that Bloomberg’s fear of Bernie was the key.  Bloomberg is infamous for organizing the mass arrests designed to crush the Occupy Wall Street movement.  He is Wall Street and he openly represented Wall Street as Mayor of New York City.

Mayor Bloomberg today accused the Wall Street demonstrators of trying to cripple the city’s economy.

“What they’re trying to do is take the jobs away from people working in this city,” the mayor declared in his harshest criticism of the three-week-old protest that has caught the attention of the nation.

Mayor Bloomberg was outraged that Wall Street banksters were criticized for their roles in leading the world’s largest criminal enterprises.  Bloomberg invented a fictional alternate history in which the banksters were the victims of Congress, which purportedly forced them to make millions of bad and fraudulent loans – and then to sell the fraudulently originated loans to the secondary market through fraudulent representations and warranties.  This is deranged, but Wall Street billionaires are deranged.  They are surrounded by media, gofers, and politicians who treat their incoherent ramblings as genius.  Bernie scares all of these groups.

Why do the Wall Street billionaires hate Bernie?  Paul Krugman, unintentionally, provided the key in his most recent attack on Bernie.  Krugman claimed that the key to what he claimed was President Obama’s success was not “breaking” “Wall Street’s power” over our economy and democracy.  To Krugman and Hillary’s horror, however, Democratic voters, like the median U.S. voter, understand that breaking the paramount power of the Wall Street billionaires over our economy and its political power that has caused us to descend into crony capitalism is essential to take back our Nation.

Political scientists’ research has revealed the crippling grip on power that the Wall Street billionaires have in practice and the fact that the wealthy have, on key public policies, strikingly different views than do the America people.  In particular, the 1% are exceptionally hostile to Social Security and anything that protects the weak from predation by the wealthy.  They are also stunningly unconcerned about problems such as global climate change while they are paranoid about debt, deficits, and inflation even during the depths of the Great Recession.  The domination of the plutocrats of our economy and the shards of our democracy has led to decades of terrible policies designed to ensure that financial regulation will fail.  These policies have crushed the middle class and abused the poor.

Read Tom Frank’s New Book

Read Tom Frank’s blockbuster new book about the shameful history of the “New Democrats’” alliance with these plutocrats.  Reading simply the passages explaining Bill Clinton’s shameful effort, in a cynical deal with New Gingrich, to begin to privatize Social Security in order to transfer tens of billions of additional dollars from the American people to Wall Street and put all our retirements at risk is worth the price of the book.

You don’t have to watch the polls to know how well Bernie is doing.  Just listen to the intensity of the billionaires’ bleating about Bernie.

20 Responses to Wall Street Declares War on Bernie Sanders

  1. Great article! It helps draw the battle lines into focus.

  2. Thank you Bill Black for again telling it like it is. Perhaps Ms Schwarzman’s analogy to the beginnings of World War II in not so far off base in the sense that Bernie Sander’s speech on the evils of Wall Street, delivered in the lion’s den, can be considered analogous to FDR’s scrap iron and oil embargo’s of Japan. Although legal, Japanese leaders considered them acts of war and soon retaliate with the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines. Let us hope the American people react to Wall Streets attacks as they did to Japan’s.

  3. is not so far off

  4. Everyone is feeling the “Bern!”

  5. Another book to read is Jane Mayer’s Dark Money. It reveals the extent to which government has been overtaken by the rich, (kochs and others). It also goes into detail about how they did it and it’s not a nice story for the rest of us.

  6. Bill Black: Bernies AG!…….that’s what I say!!!

    • I agree, and give him a generous budget to hire and train a cadre of young investigators and prosecutors to go in and clean up Wall Street and other fraudsters. That would keep WS occupied for the duration of Sanders first term at least.

  7. Would appreciate the title of ‘Tom Frank’s blockbuster new book about the shameful history of the “New Democrats’” alliance with [the] plutocrats.’ Thanks.

  8. You doubt he’d be assassinated if he were to make actual changes?

    • That’s always a possibility even if he weren’t proposing great changes. Both Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan were targets of assassination attempts, and neither could be called an enemy of the status quo.

  9. Bruce Krasting

    From 1983 to 2009 Social Security ran huge surpluses. SS ran up a Trust Fund to $2.8 Trillion. This massive amount of money was the target of many “Privatize”efforts, including Peterson.

    But that is over now. SS is no longer running a surplus that Wall Street wants. SS is running $70B annual deficits. The deficits will rise, every year, for the next twenty. It is no longer possible to Privatize SS, no one (especially Wall Street) wants anything to do with the deficits.

    Those who believe that guys like Peterson are waiting in the wings to privatize SS are just ill informed. Mr Black should find something else to worry about.

  10. It is not the surplus that the privatizes want to get their hands on, but the huge SS collections that continue to be paid in annually. If SS has less to pay out as a result of fees collected by “privatization”, well that is some body else s problem, not the fund managers. They will collect their fees before any pay outs are made. Instead of average pay outs of $1300/month, recipients might get $7oo. Oh well, good for the cat food industry.

  11. The risk of his assassination is a good reason why he should carefully choose a courageous and principled running mate for vice president. I suggest Elizabeth Warren would fill the bill admirably, but there are several other options within the ranks of the Democrats.

  12. Robert Lavergne

    There is no way that the DNC will allow Bernie over Hillary, despite what the public wants. Wall St. owns both parties and what it wants is what we’ll get – more wealth for the few, more impoverishment for the many, and more war. Bernie is playing the same role that Kucinich played. When crunch time comes, Bernie will support Hillary and the DNC. All you Bernie supporters will see all your support AND money given to Hillary. The Democrats have been competing with the Republicans in a race to the right ever since the coup that put LBJ and KBR into the oval office and when Jimmy Carter chose Volcker to do what Nixon couldn’t.

    • You may be correct, but Bernie could run an independent campaign as he is not funded by the DNC or Wall Street. If Michael Bloomberg were to mount an independent candidacy also, we could have an interesting four way race (with four quasi New Yorker s running). The last time I believe that happened was 1860 when a plurality elected a long shot candidate from Illinois.

      • The Democratic party allowed FDR to run and win for four terms and he was further left than Bernie.

        • Yes in deed they did. Of course they didn’t really understand what they were getting when he first got the nomination. He was just a regular Democratic governor from the then most populous (and liberal) state with a progressive but not particularly aggressive record. He was still preaching the gospel of the balanced budget as a candidate. Once in office, FDR rose to the occasion and became the giant we recognize today. The party could hardly abandon the enormously popular president after that.

  13. What is the evidence that Bernie would support Hilary, rather than branch out as an independent if the need arose to do so?