What If?

May 15, 2010

Over the past month word has come forth that the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors are investigation several financial firms on Wall Street. The first was Goldman Sachs by the SEC back around mid-April. This past week it was announced that the SEC was adding JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG, UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. to their list. Others are likely to follow.

With the SEC able to bring only civil suits, federal prosecutors have entered the fray. They can bring criminal charges. So far they have included the same firms as the SEC to their list of investigations, and have added one more; Morgan Stanley. All this has to be some sort of record, and is by no means unjustified. But would this have taken place under the previous administration?

The first indication this would not have happened under the Bush II administration is Republican Representative Darrell Issa’s actions on April 20, 2010, just a day or so after the SEC filed charges against Goldman Sachs. Issa wants to investigate the SEC for investigating Goldman Sachs.

Issa’s is not alone. Practically every Republican member of Congress has had something negative to say about both the SEC’s and federal prosecutor’s investigations. And one would be hard pressed to find any action during the Bush administration that wasn’t extremely Wall Street friendly. In fact, one could go so far as to say that everything Bush did favored Wall Street. Except, of course, when his actions centered around the wealthy only — and most of them are a product of Wall Street.

Add to all this, federal prosecutors are now investigating Massey Energy’s West Virginia coal mine disaster where 29 workers died last month. Would this have happened under a Republican administration? Probably not. But there couldn’t possibly be any doubt in anyone’s mind that Massey is most likely guilty of crimes given all the documentation that has surfaced about their past actions.

And then there’s the BP oil spill. With both Bush and Dick Cheney being products of the oil industry, there couldn’t possibly be anyone who thinks that administration would have done anything except try to protect the industry. In fact, they would have been their top defenders.

Here’s the thing. One could argue over who was the best White House friend Wall Street and corporate America has ever had: Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. My argument would come down on the side of Bush — his efforts made easier by Reagan’s policies and actions. But no one could stand before God and say it isn’t so. Therefore, if you are an ardent Republican supporter and believe Wall Street and the likes of Massey Energy should not be left to their vices, then you are really in a quandary: Throw out the bum Democrats by ushering in Bush/Cheney Republicans, or protect you self and your family’s future? Which will you choose? There is a third option, you know!


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