David Dayen: Behind Closed Doors, Hillary Clinton Sympathized With Goldman Sachs Over Financial Reform

https://theintercept.com/2016/10/11/behind-closed-doors-hillary-clinton-sympathized-with-goldman-sachs-over-financial-reform/

Excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s previously secret speeches to big banks and trade groups in 2013 and 2014 show her exalting the work of her hosts, hardly a surprise when these groups paid her up to $225,000 an hour to chat them up.

Far from chiding Goldman Sachs for obstructing Democratic proposals for financial reform, Clinton appeared to sympathize with the giant investment bank. At a Goldman Sachs Alternative Investments Symposium in October 2013, Clinton almost apologized for the Dodd-Frank reform bill, explaining that it had to pass “for political reasons,” because “if you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it’s all the fault of Wall Street, you can’t sit idly by and do nothing.”

Clinton added, “And I think the jury is still out on that because it was very difficult to sort of sort through it all.”

Clinton praised Deutsche Bank in a 2014 speech for “the work that the Bank has done in New York City on affordable housing.”

While Deutsche Bank has given to anti-homelessness campaigns in the past, it was also cited in a New York State Senate report in January for refusing to maintain foreclosed properties in New York City neighborhoods and costing those communities millions in unpaid fines. Deutsche is also about to face a multi-billion-dollar penalty from the Justice Department for defrauding investors with low-quality mortgage securities, leading to the housing meltdown.

Those excerpts were among many listed in an 80-page document prepared by the Clinton campaign, listing potentially damaging quotes from the Democratic nominee’s paid but at that point still secret speeches. The report landed in campaign chairman John Podesta’s email, which was hacked, and then posted by WikiLeaks last week.

In a November 2013 speech to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Clinton pronounced herself proud to work with the trade group as a U.S. senator to “look for ways to help families facing foreclosure with concrete steps.”

NAR represents real estate agents, who had no authority to assist distressed homeowners. An April 2007 document lists NAR’s priorities in foreclosure mitigation, and they were able to get an amendment exempting mortgage debt forgiveness from being treated as earned income. But the rest amount to “urging” and “supporting” efforts to help homeowners that never happened.

Clinton has historically been far less critical of the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington than many other Democrats, and as secretary of state allowed two of her top aides — Tom Nides and Robert Hormats — to receive big payouts from their big-bank employers before entering public service.

“Thank you for lending me Tom Nides for the past two years,” Clinton said to a crowd at Morgan Stanley on April 18, 2013. As The Intercept reported in July 2015, Nides moved from chief operating officer at Morgan Stanley into Clinton’s State Department, and when Clinton left Foggy Bottom, Nides went right back to Morgan Stanley as a vice chairman.

Clinton joked about the “culture shock” for Nides, working a government job. “You should have seen his face when he learned there were no stock options at the State Department. But he soon not only settled in very nicely, he became positively enthusiastic when I told him we did have our own plane.” Clinton also gushed about Hormats, who joined her at State after a career at Goldman Sachs, in a 2014 speech at JPMorgan Chase………………..for the remaining article please visit https://theintercept.com/2016/10/11/behind-closed-doors-hillary-clinton-sympathized-with-goldman-sachs-over-financial-reform/

 

Download Hillary Clinton’s Paid Speech Flags: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3130829-HRC-Paid-Speeches-Flags.html

Mortgage Meltdown: NAFTA-Gate

NAFTA-GATE

The mortgage meltdown is a by product of many different unsavory things. One of them is the effect of NAFTA and our complete lack of control over our borders which has suddenly sliced into the ability of middle-class to keep their job, get a job or earn enough to pay the mortgage and other expenses, even with multiple incomes. 

NAFTA-GATE is a good thing. It focuses attention on a central problem. When President Clinton signed it, congress loved it, Hillary praised it right up until 2 years ago despite the obvious loss of jobs, and the American public didn’t understand it. Now that we are starting to understand it, and we don’t like it. The more we learn about how it is being executed, the less we like it. Executive ability again comes front and center. 

Canada has its own problems with lower wages and loss of economic power. They have their own interest in seeing changes in NAFTA. It is quite likely that they reached out to find out what specifically the candidates had in mind. 

Obama’s people, according to the latest reports simply repeated what he had said in public. 

Clinton’s people apparently did two things according to the very latest information — [a] reassured Canadian officials that campaign rhetoric is not policy and [b] got someone in Canada to leak an anti-Obama memo that would give Clinton an advantage in Ohio and Texas. Clinton admits that the untruthful NAFTA leak gave her an advantage. This eliminates Obama as a likely player in the creation of this script.

With investigations started in Canada, demands for resignations, accusations of meddling in American politics, apologies and finger-pointing we are once again left with dishonesty on the part of SOMEONE in the Canadian government, SOMEONE in the CLINTON campaign, and at least confusion in the Obama Campaign. It seems obvious that the one with the most likely access to Canadian officials would be Bill Clinton as former President since Obama had very little to do with Canada until now.

Once again we are dealing with a failure of executive leadership on the part of the Prime MInister, who should have had a handle on this if neutrality was the objective and a failure of executive leadership and judgment on the part of Hillary Clinton who was either dishonest or didn’t know what was going on).

Once again we are diverted from the real issues of renegotiating or opting out of NAFTA. In theory it was a great idea. In practice it is killing us. Canada could start with publicly stating its position on NAFTA, what it likes and what it doesn’t like.

The Candidates have started that discourse, but whether Clinton means what she says now or intends to return to her consistent praise of NAFTA and pride in her husband’s achievement in signing NAFTA is anyone’s guess.

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