Wall Street and Politics

For Immediate Release

Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858;
or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Wall Street and Politics

WASHINGTON -  

JAMES K. GALBRAITH

Galbraith is Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. chair in government/business
relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the
University of Texas at Austin. His latest book is The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too.

Galbraith said today: "Revolutions devour their children. Deregulation
has been the public faith of the financial sector since Reagan. Under
Bush II, waves of predatory finance in housing were aggressively
promoted by Alan Greenspan, by McCain's closest economic adviser Phil
Gramm, and by so-called regulators who systematically subverted the
public interest. For a year, the Fed and Treasury have been propping up
the markets in the hope that this system would recover on its own. It
will not, and today's [Lehman] collapse should mark the end of that
mindset."

A recent interview with Galbraith is at The Real News.

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MAX FRAAD WOLFF

An economist and writer, Wolff is an instructor at the Graduate Program
in International Affairs at the New School University. He is a frequent
contributor to Huffington Post, Asia Times and The Indypendent.
Wolff says that the decision to not bail out Lehman is a political and
public relations one; he also states that a Federal Reserve rate cut
tomorrow -- widely rumored on Wall Street -- would amount to a massive
subsidy.

A recent interview with Wolff is at Democracy Now.

DOUG HENWOOD

Henwood is author of the book Wall Street and editor of Left Business Observer.
He said today: "The weekend's financial emergency and Wall Street's
Monday morning swoon in reaction to it are further proof that the
housing bust and its fallout just won't go away. Every time it looks
like there's been a resolution -- Bear Stearns, Freddie and Fannie --
there's only more to come. This melodrama has more false endings than a
bad horror movie. The authorities are scrambling for solutions,
improvising as they go along. My guess is that this has more to run,
and the structural problems of the U.S. economy (maldistribution of
income, excessive borrowing, energy profligacy, etc.) are the
underlying causes. Until those are addressed, we're going to face years
of financial problems, economic stagnation, an eroding job market, and
strains on living standards. And it looks like we're exporting these
problems to the rest of the world. But our political system seems
unable to discuss these issues seriously."

SHEILA KRUMHOLZ
MASSIE RITSCH

Krumholz is executive director and Ritsch is communication director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which operates the OpenSecrets.org
web page featuring in-depth information on money in politics. According
to OpenSecrets.org, the top recipients from PACs and individuals
associated with parts of the financial sector for the 2007-2008
election cycle are:

Commercial Banks:

Barack Obama: $1,884,358
John McCain: $1,703,678

Hillary Clinton: $1,572,508

Mitt Romney: $798,401

Rudolph Giuliani: $765,001

Insurance Companies:
John McCain: $1,312,155

Hillary Clinton: $1,262,409

Barack Obama: $1,147,886
Rudolph Giuliani: $887,750
Christopher Dodd: $829,106

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