Hillary Clinton Takes A Stand Against Wall Street’s Dark Influence

Hillary Clinton

In a joint op-ed for the Huffington Post with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes aim at Wall Street’s dark influence over D.C..

The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate used the op-ed to explain why she’s supporting the Senator’s bill that takes aim at “slowing the revolving door” between Wall Street and the government. Clinton vowed “as president” she “would crack down on conflicts of interest in government.”

The legislation is referred to as the golden parachute bill, as in, how can the public trust someone to regulate a sector of big corporations that is getting an eight figure golden parachute from said big corporation. Liberal groups have been fighting for Clinton to address golden parachutes.

The bill, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), does so in many ways, most of which are the sorts of tweaks you would only see from lawmakers who really knows how this whole backscratching business is hurting the American people. That’s what makes this so interesting. It was introduced on the 5th anniversary of the Senate passing Dodd-Frank, and it’s called Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act.

Clinton and Baldwin start off by citing Lincoln’s “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people” and saying this is one of our biggest strengths. But that strength is undermined, they write, when Wall Street has a revolving door into government, when Wall Street actually pays their former employees a bonus to go work in government, when , “a public servant’s past and future are tied to the financial industry.”

You might be asking yourself, “How was this ever legal?” It is legal, it’s the way things are done right now. This might explain a little bit about how Wall Street got away with lying to investors in the lead up to the 2008 collapse, for example.

The bill they are supporting would prohibit Wall Street from giving bonuses to employees to leave to work in the public sector.
The bill is actually pretty radical in its common sense.

Its purpose:

To prevent conflicts of interest that stem from executive Government employees receiving bonuses or other compensation arrangements from nongovernment sources, from the revolving door that raises concerns about the independence of financial services regulators, and from the revolving door that casts aspersions over the awarding of Government contracts and other financial benefits.

This would stop former government officials from lobbying in practice without needing to follow the rules in place for lobbyists. Right now, they can try to influence legislators or members of regulatory agencies. “They offer regulatory access to private interests as “outside advisors” or “strategic counselors.”

Some critics charge that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is too close to Wall Street. This might be a reaction to her time as Senator of New York, where she had to work closely with Wall Street. But being close to something also lets you see exactly where the fault lines are. However some of this criticism probably also stems from former President Bill Clinton’s deregulation efforts during his presidency and general closeness with Wall Street.

FiveThirtyEight did the math and pointed out that Hillary Clinton has always, actually, been a liberal:

Clinton also has a history of very liberal public statements. Clinton rates as a “hard core liberal” per the OnTheIssues.org scale. She is as liberal as Elizabeth Warren and barely more moderate than Bernie Sanders. And while Obama is also a “hard core liberal,” Clinton again was rated as more liberal than Obama.

These tweaks to the rules and closing of loopholes would go a long way to stopping the current practice of the government paying people who are working for an agency they are allegedly overseeing. It would actually benefit confidence in Wall Street if they weren’t allowed to lie and mislead investors. (I’ve been making this argument since the 2008 collapse, an argument first brokered to me by a conservative financial analyst who could see that the current rules were set up to aid and abet systemic abuses and dishonesty.)

Two other Democratic presidential candidates also support the bill, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD).

Opponents of the bill will no doubt scream about the need for the private sector to have a seat at the table, but of course that is equivalent to white people crying about not being included in “Black Lives Matter”. The problem isn’t that the private sector isn’t being heard and doesn’t have influence. That is the opposite of the current problem.

Balance is called for. In order to restore balance, we have to empower the government to actually serve the people again. This is a never-ending fight in a democracy. The founders started it and it continues.

2:30 PM EST: Updated to reflect that Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley support Baldwin’s bill and that liberals groups have been pushing for Clinton address golden parachutes.

23 Replies to “Hillary Clinton Takes A Stand Against Wall Street’s Dark Influence”

  1. …so now the Trolls dedicated to smearing Hillary are gonna go on the offence relinking Hillary to the worst o’ Wall Street by any means necessary…
    …I hate goppies…

  2. Hey Geddy, you do remember what state Hillary represented, right? and you do know that the world financial center is in that state, right? And you do know it is not uncommon for those financial industry types to like it when there is a robust economy, right?

    No, you do not understand, obviously. You wouldn’t say the things you do say if you did understand how world finance, donations, investments and the economy all tie together – or even the geographics and demographics of Burlington vs NYC, for example.

  3. Why does it always seem
    as though Hillary is pandering to “Issue of the Day” ?

    Though I admire her, respect her,
    and would happily vote for her,
    this “trait” really puts me off.

  4. I will support Hillary Clinton as the nominee if Bernie Sanders cannot pull of the upset. My concern is while Hillary is by far better than any Republican, there are a lot of Big Businesses, Banks, and Legal firms who lobby that are supporting her.

    I am glad that she is saying what she is, and that she is supporting Baldwin and Cummings’ bill. I hope that she continues to move toward regulating Wall Street and other more populist ideals.

  5. Oh, puleezze. Jamie and Lloyd must of told her it is OK to say this to get elected. She will do a 180 if she gets elected.

  6. After all this time of taking Wall Street money, Hillary is adopting one of Bernie Sanders positions? My gut tells me if she wins the election all deals are off the table. She is beholden to the billionaires and corporate interests such as the private prison industry, the fossil fuel industry, and Monsanto. I have a very hard time buying this. If Hillary does end up being the Democratic nominee I will hold my nose as I mark my ballot for her.

  7. Even if I believed in her sincerity, I would still prefer a person who has held firm to these principles for 50 years, rather than one who has recently converted to these ideas from the opposite side.

  8. Private businesses use non-compete agreements to prevent former employees from using their insiders’ knowledge to help competitors. Courts have upheld the agreements (albeit with some caveats).

    Same principle here.

    While they’re at it, they should end the Food and Drug Administration’s incestuous relationship with Big Pharma.

  9. The berniebots clearly don’t understand the economy or the American public’s best interests. This silly campaign of theirs is focused only on punishing the millionaires and billionaires and establishing a 90% tax rate for income redistribution. He’s a one trick pony. Clinton has worked for the marginal members of society for her entire career, on women and children, and on economic fair play.

  10. You are a propaganda spewing fool.

    The first time she spoke about it?

    That would be the day they formed the company itself to take her down – it was under a different name back then – just for her.

    Then of course she was discussing it as SoS when the Supreme Court decision happened – and it was again released in the latest email dump from State.


    Hillary said the day of the Supreme decision, notably before she finished reading all the opinions attached.

    “This is unbelievable. Or maybe totally so given the forces at work, Not sure there is a legislative fix. Haven’t read the opinion yet. May require constitutional amendment”

  11. The best way to put the quietus on Wall Street is to implement a proportional rate tax on the movement of all moneys. The rate, upon reaching $10,000, would max out at 1% and would be a flat tax of 1% on all other transactions of $10,000 or more.

    That would discourage the sudden dumping of stocks onto a bear market. Or quickly investing a large sum and then suddenly pulling it off the market. In that scenario an investor would pay a 1% tax going in and a 1% tax pulling out. It’s not likely such an investor would want to have to immediately transmit those amounts to the treasury.

  12. Jane he hates all dems. He wants division.

    He wants the frontrunner to be attacked. He wants the dems to have a sideshow and a bloodbath.

    It is the same as Bill getting on TV and cheering Romney to get in or Trump to keep going.

    Yes, it makes sense -his type donate to second place dems to weaken the leader.

  13. It took me about 10 seconds to figure out how to subvert this proposal.

    It sounds good, but is meaningless

    I law student, and an accounting student could get around this in their sleep.

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