Wall Street Hillary—Oct 31, 2016 | By –47hj.,b43
You to learn that the emails confirm two obvious points: One, Hillary Clinton is awfully friendly with Wall Street. And two, the media have no problem prostrating themselves to carry water for her. There is simply no credible way to spin what’s in these emails on either count.
Well, leave it to the New York Times to try denying the first point even as they confirm the second. On October 17, an above-the-fold business section article was headlined “Clinton Not That Chummy With Wall Street, Emails Hint.” Right after conceding that in Hillary Clinton’s lucrative speeches to Wall Street banks, “she does say a lot of what her audience presumably wanted to hear,” the Times‘s financial wunderkind Andrew Ross Sorkin says that “she may be inclined to impose heavier regulations on the financial industry than is fully understood.”
The evidence for this is astonishingly thin. One is a staffer’s characterization that on a phone call Clinton was “kind of leaning toward endorsing Glass-Steagall,” the longstanding law that put a firewall between commercial and investment banking. The 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall has since been blamed by some, unconvincingly, for helping cause the 2008 financial crisis. However, every public statement Clinton has made on the matter opposes Glass-Steagall, and reinstating it would force her to admit that her husband is responsible for the financial crisis, because he’s the president who signed its repeal.
Sorkin’s other proof consists of a Clinton staffer meeting with an adviser to Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has long been on the warpath for strict financial regulation. This probably says less about Clinton’s willingness to embrace financial regulation than about the Clinton campaign’s desire to keep Warren’s left-wing supporters from going off the reservation.
Another point Sorkin attempts to make is that Clinton spoke at length about economic fairness and irresponsibility in the financial industry to Deutsche Bank. Sorkin then promptly undermines this by quoting Clinton speechwriter Dan Schwerin, who said he wrote that section of the speech “precisely for the purpose of having something we could show people if ever asked what she was saying behind closed doors for two years to all those fat cats.” And how’s this for straw grasping? “Mr. Schwerin’s casual reference to bankers as ‘fat cats’ . . . [is] a tiny clue about how the Clinton machine may really perceive Wall Street.” Sorkin also assures us the “vibe” of the emails is unfriendly.
Finally, he notes that emails show Clinton is flirting with making banks pay a “risk fee.” A Democratic presidential candidate wants to tax big business? With a scoop like that, Sorkin’s Pulitzer is all but assured.
Left unmentioned is that Clinton privately told her Goldman Sachs audience that she thinks Wall Street has been unfairly demonized, that the Dodd-Frank financial regulations—which she has publicly lauded for curbing Wall Street excess—were in fact bad, and that she has a “public” and “private” position on Wall Street regulation. When push comes to shove, forgive us for thinking the banks will discreetly get what they want because they gave Clinton millions in speaking fees and contributions, even as the public is being fed something altogether different.
While this story was laughably unpersuasive, we expect it accomplished its goal. This is precisely the kind of beat-sweetening coverage that will ensure Sorkin and his colleagues primo access to the Clinton White House.
source-weekly std-THE SCRAPBOOK -, nyt, andrew ross sorkin, eliz warren, dan schwerin,