With the stock market having hit the top of the rollercoaster, investors were hit with a dose of hard reality this week as the sins of a Republican-controlled economy finally took hold after the momentum of the Obama-era economic revival succumbed to the financial malfeasance being enabled by Trump and his billionaire buddies.
The Republicans are counting on the public conveniently forgetting everything that happened the last time they were driving the economic bus, 2008’s disastrous journey into the biggest financial crash since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
At that time, thankfully, Obama and a fully-Democratic controlled Congress managed to pass a series of financial regulations that undid the mistakes made in every administration since the Reagan era.
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The financial reform bill, named the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act after its two main sponsors, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), introduced reforms in mortgage and consumer lending and put in place a number of regulations designed to avoid a repeat of the catastrophic crash that wiped out the life savings of many Americans and saw many evicted from their homes in heartbreaking foreclosures.
Since the advent of the presidency of a man elected on a platform of swamp-draining and populism, the Republican bait and switch scheme is in full gear. Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress (meaning, in essence, a business oligarch campaign finance donation-controlled Congress) have done everything they can to reverse those policies that help restore stability to the economy and restore the system that created the Great Recession in the first place.
In fact, the conditions that they’re enabling are bringing us all closer to the risk of a 1930’s level depression than anytime since the era when black and white “talkies” were the height of media technology.
Any fiscally intelligent person would look at what’s currently happening with the repeal of financial regulations and sensibly ask just one question: WHY? Even the most learning-disabled toddler quickly learns not to touch the stove after they’ve been burned the fist time.
President Trump provided an answer to that question today. It may not be the answer any of us want to hear, but it’s perhaps one of the few honest statements to ever emanate from the Liar-In-Chief’s lips.
The occasion was the first meeting of the President’s business council. Among the corporate luminaries who attended were such titans of industry as Tesla’s Elon Musk, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, General Motors’ Mary Barra, IBM’s Ginni Rometty and Wal-Mart’s Doug McMillon, according to CNBC.
With discussions hitting on topics ranging from trade, tax reform and immigration, the talks inevitably turned to the Dodd-Frank bill and how its critics are complaining that it has made banks more reluctant to loan money in a bid to keep their balance sheets clean and stay solvent.
That’s when Trump, in a moment of unprecedented frankness revealed the true reason that he’s so hell bent on repealing the legislation that, as its name implies, not only regulates Wall Street, but protects consumers.
“We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank because frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine that had nice businesses, they can’t borrow money,” Trump said. “They just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow it because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.”
So Trump is abandoning consumer protection because his billionaire friends, you know, the ones he just gave trillions of dollars in tax cuts to, can’t get the banks to loan them more even money.
Trump’s actions to bring us back to the bad old days not only are reckless and dangerous, they highlight one of the major failings of the Obama administration, it’s failure to convict and send to prison a single one of the financial industry CEO’s who were responsible for the economic meltdown through their fraudulent lending practices.
The foolish Trump voters believed that a billionaire was going to work against his own self-interest and turn the economy to their benefit. Now they continue to support him despite the proof in front of their own eyes that the only people he cares about are himself and his wealthy friends.