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.