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Monday, 30 March 2015 07:14

Anti-Wall Street Public Stands Behind a Resolute Elizabeth Warren

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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

aelizabethwarren34(Photo: Edward Kimmel)

Elizabeth Warren is reminding the Democrats to show some backbone and not give in to Wall Street's threats to withhold funding to the Democratic National Committee and some national candidates. Why are the big banks trying to intimidate the Democratic Party? Because the most outspoken senator - Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) - is proposing that the big banks should be broken up.

Her reasoning is simple: The few banks that control most of the nation's money are not, as Obama officials often assert, "too big to fail." Warren argues that actually, they are too big not to fail.

A March 27 article from the Guardian provides the context to the threat:

Big Wall Street banks are so upset with Elizabeth Warren’s call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to SenateDemocrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said.

Representatives from Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party’s tone toward Wall Street, sources familiar with the discussions said this week.

Bank officials said the idea of withholding donations was not discussed at a meeting of the four banks in Washington but it has been raised in one-on-one conversations between representatives of some of them. However, there was no agreement on coordinating any action, and each bank is making its own decision, they said.

Will the withdrawal of Wall Street political contributions to the Democratic Party seriously impact elections? The answer is probably not. As The Guardian points out, "The amount of money at stake, a maximum of $15,000 per bank, means the gesture is symbolic rather than material."

Furthermore, the Wall Street bullying to make Democratic bigwigs tremble would not likely result in severe financial campaign contribution losses to the Dems. That is because a lot of Democrats in Congress are subservient to the interests of the big banks and financial institutions. Therefore, individual mega-rich bankers, millionaires and billionaires will give to individual Democrats who vote as Wall Street dictates in any case.

Hillary Clinton, the corporate media pre-anointed 2016 Democratic candidate for president, is well-liked by the financial industry. In a Politico article entitled, "Why Wall Street loves Hillary," the center-right website notes that "the banks are ready to shower her with campaign cash." So, it doesn't appear to be a flare across her bow. The article even comments upon how the financial industry will forgive Clinton some Elizabeth Warren-like rhetoric figuring she doesn't mean it, but needs the "regulate Wall Street" rhetoric to win the nomination and the presidency. Then she'll jetrison the populism and embace her good friends who run the financial industry, according to Politico's analysis.

In response to the Wall Street threats, Warren sent out a defiant email to her supporters on March 28. In the email, Warren issued a challenge to the banks that Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) once proclaimed "owned" Congress:

Yesterday, Wall Street took a warning shot at us. They announced that they may not help Senate Democrats in 2016 because they don’t like my "tone" and they want to nip this challenge in the bud before the idea of standing up to big banks spreads too far.  

So I set a big goal: To match the $30,000 Citigroup & JPMorgan have threatened to withhold from Senate Democrats in 2016 – not with giant checks from millionaires and billionaires, but from regular people like you chipping in $5 or $10 at a time.

In less than 24 hours, more than 1200 people chipped in – and they crushed our $30,000 goal. Can we double down and send an even louder message to Wall Street?

The big banks are ready to throw down? Let’s say, "Bring it on."

Warren's call to "bring it on" demonstrates that, by standing our ground on crucial reforms, the people might just be able to best the captains of the universe on Wall Street.

Not to be reprinted without permission of Truthout