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We are the 99 percent

Wall Street Doesn't Just Run the Show, They Write the Law

Posted 9 years ago on May 24, 2013, 2:41 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: capitalism, wall street, citigroup

In the most damning piece of recent evidence that Occupy Wall Street was right that it's Wall Street who runs things, not the government, the NYTimes today reports that Citigroup lobbyists wrote several bills that recently passed the House Financial Services Committee:

Bank lobbyists are not leaving it to lawmakers to draft legislation that softens financial regulations. Instead, the lobbyists are helping to write it themselves.

One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month — over the objections of the Treasury Department — was essentially Citigroup’s, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swathes of trades from new regulation.

In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)" As we previously reported, on May 7th, nine deregulatory bills sailed through the House Financial Services Committee. We wrote about one of them, HR 992, and this particular bill garnered only SIX "nay" votes, out of SIXTY-ONE total representatives on the Committee.

This egregious bill, which is named "Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act", but it should be called, "If Banks Get Bailed Out, We'll Get Sold Out. Again," was written in large part by Citigroup. As the NTYimes reports:

"Citigroup and other major banks used a similar approach on another derivatives bill. Under Dodd-Frank, banks must push some derivatives trading into separate units that are not backed by the government’s insurance fund. The goal was to isolate this risky trading.

The provision exempted many derivatives from the requirement, but some Republicans proposed striking the so-called push out provision altogether. After objections were raised about the Republican plan, Citigroup lobbyists sent around the bank’s own compromise proposal that simply exempted a wider array of derivatives. That recommendation, put forth in late 2011, was largely part of the bill approved by the House committee on May 7 and is now pending before both the Senate and the House."

Citigroup was responsible for the death of Glass-Steagall, which led to the free-wheeling and casino-lifestyle that caused the 2008 Financial crisis. Citigroup mismanaged their firm and loaded up to the hilt with toxic mortgage products, requiring a massive taxpayer bailout. And if that weren't enough, they also received a total of $99.5 Billion in secret loans from the Federal Reserve after the crisis to avert their own ruin. And now, they're writing our laws to tear down even the paltry protections put in place post-crisis.

America: Brought to you by Citigroup



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[-] 6 points by taxvrich (6) 9 years ago

God Bless Occupy Wall Street and all the volunteers who help to focus attention on the real enemy of America, "the too big, too rich, too greedy, too powerful financial sector which corrupts and demeans human beings while waging war against an American middle-class or Main Street recovery.

Also, I thank the NY Times and the reporters who are true patriots for reporting shedding light on these corporate lobbyist who prefer to operate in the shadows or mask themselves as 501-c-4 groups.

An article like this exposes the fallacy of tea-bagger rhetoric, we should remember the right-wing Congress of 14 years ago repealed Glass-Steagall at the behest of Citi-Group.


[-] 3 points by GlassSteagallNow (3) 9 years ago


A bill to reintroduce Glass-Steagall has been introduced into the Senate by Sen. Hark in of Iowa!

S.985! To match HR 129

We've got to rally forces in demanding Congress pass Glass-Steagall into law again and put the whole rotten system through bankruptcy reorganization. It is the only pathway to a recovery of our physical economy.

Face it - Dodd-Frank was designed to kill us off!

[-] 2 points by willknutsen (2) 9 years ago

Just do not participate in the system: do not invest money on Wall Street. And remember: if your are planning a revolution, you have to have a system ready to replace what you are tearing down. I am an "old hippie. Dropped out in '67. I ran an "alternate community for ten years, lived on the road for another ten.. I never met anyone who knew how to change the system we have. You can only change yourself. Sounds like "lighter than air" crap, I know. But someone show me a better way, and I'll think about it.

[-] 2 points by jfenello (4) 9 years ago

Many of the laws written by corporations are so one-sided and egregious, that they violate civil liberties as guaranteed in our Constitution.

But lawsuits are expensive, and big corporations have a huge advantage in the courts. We need to start fighting these unconstitutional laws in a new way.

Instead of relying on donations to fund small teams of attorneys, we as individuals need to directly petition our government for redress. We need to bring our complaints to the courts as pro se litigants.

While we'll lose at the beginning, we'll have the advantage of a very low cost per lawsuit. That means we can bring them sequentially, one after the other, in coordinated ways. All while learning as we go. (court cases are public record, so every legal theory that's put forward will be responded to by the court, giving insights into how we can win the next case).

Of course, all of this assumes that we still have justice is our justice system. Either way, we need to know. Comments welcome ...

Jay Fenello http://ProSeAction.org

[-] 2 points by DebtSUSPENSIONRights (181) 9 years ago

I had to default on a citibank card. It was a card I had never missed a payment on for 15 straight years. Before I actually defaulted, I contacted Citibank and explained why I was about to default. They had no option for me other than to tell me to pay my bill. In just two years and 4 months since that call, Citibank elevated my card's debt from around 9 grand to 15 grand, all in penalties and fees, all while I am caregiving for a parent and could not work without endangering their well being. Thank you Citibank.

[-] 1 points by DebtSUSPENSIONRights (181) 9 years ago

The irony is that if Debt suspension insurance had been economically priced, I would have paid for it all along. Instead I was harrassed by debt callers to the point of losing possible work opportunities that I could do from home because I gave up on answering every phone call that came in.

[-] 2 points by aaronparr (597) 9 years ago

these politicians need to be kicked out of office immediately for this.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago

anyone can write law

"official" that's a social stander or something

[-] 1 points by hgwwd (1) 9 years ago

As it is shown publicly, the government in the 21st century breathes the same breath as financial institutions. The government and financial institutions are on the same side, the government will do everything to help financial institutions to get through bad times so they can continue to reap people off in good times. The people can only control the financial institutions if the people is the government and not just represented by a government.

[-] 1 points by Fangsinmybeard (5) 9 years ago

For over 140 years, corporations and the imperial money-hoarders have been writing the law or socially engineering the U.S. into total dysfunction. The only redeeming aspect is that popular or community-wide resistance to the effort of resurrecting the old Roman empire paradigm has either been undone or stopped financial coup's until recently. We must endeavor to hold the money-hoarders responsible or at least nullify their power.

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

Here's the people in bed with them:


[-] 1 points by mdarling (7) 9 years ago

Wall Street does not write the law. Wall Street does not have the constitutional ability to write laws, it never has. It is elected officials in congress who write law. However the elected officials are corrupt and are conducting an open conspiracy in fraud and embezzlement. But as the greedy CEO said to the CBC reporter: "Write us the rules and we'll follow them."

To be honest, I am convinced the OWS needs to direct far more energy at the puppets in congress and the state legislators, but even doing that misses the target.

So what is the end game? The end game is getting it written down: All the standards go up right bloody now -- in other words the constitution must be amended -- a very nasty battle is coming. Instead of thousands of people being arrested and jailed for hitting on CEOs, it would be far more efficient for us to go to jail hitting our legislatures. This battle does not need to fought on the streets, it will be fought on steps marble and concrete. Democracy is dead inside our houses but we own the steps outside.

Two generations of compensation Transitional government Truth and reconciliation Criminal incarceration

The conversation must occur in a forum that everybody acknowledges as legitimate. In Canada we have a forum called the Royal Commission. OWS is not the legitimate forum but we can force the conversation and we can push the embezzlers away from the table. There are many amongst us who are not pacifists -- nobody needs to get killed -- but I cannot see how the words can get written down without it becoming a very nasty fight. Cute and nice is not working.

Michael D, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

Puppets don't write law, that's why they're puppets.

They just enact it.

You can embarrass them, you can impeach them, You can even vote in an honest man, but as long as the money keeps flowing in and corporations operate under their current charter, they know that even if they no longer control the Houses, they will still own enough States to tip the balance in their favor.

The key is in changing the corporate charter, because to change their charter, is to change their behavior..

[-] 1 points by mdarling (7) 9 years ago

I agree the CEOs need to be professionalized. A CEO must be recognized as a public servant with duties to society instead of their tired excuse to serve only profit and some abstract mutual fund share holder or the BC teacher's pension fund or whatever.

But the politician won't do a god damn thing until the law tells him to do it or the people force him to do it. It's time to get it written down. I'm tired of taking on government on a case by case basis where they reply "well we're not required to do that." and even if you win they just turn around three years later and write a piece of legislation that wipes out the change. It's a futile exercise. But when it gets written in a constitution then it's fuck the whims of the politicians and get the change done through court.

And shooz you're being semantic. The legislatures write law, that our politicians are lackeys only indicates their corruption.


[-] 1 points by mdarling (7) 9 years ago

We have the same problem up here, for example, Harper destroyed our environmental laws after the oil companies thought that be a great idea. Harper is a tool. My point is screw the companies it's a waste of time.the CEOs don't give a shit and they ain't listening to you or me nor do they have any reason to listen nor will they ever listen unless your name is Mony. Fuck 'em, waste of time -- Attack the legislatures. Attack the politicians. That is where the law comes from. Yes the parties are gnomes of the corporations but I know where the politicians work and I know where they live. Shave and spray paint. More efficient, very centralized. I don't think Occupy methods are working. The information campaign is awesome but the attack is on the wrong target -- sorry, not the wrong target, but there is far too much emphasis on corporations while the legislatures are being virtually ignored. I was part of Occupy at the start but I and a lot of my brothers and sisters have left because the method don't work -- too mild. Anyways shooz I don't think we disagree on anything except tactics, what target to hit. We need to get laws written and we're not going to get them written hitting on CEOs. We need a process that stops politicians from rubber stamping legislation without proper process and that can only be done through constitution.


[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 9 years ago

a government cannot function without the confidence of the people

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (5843) 9 years ago

We do not have a government, only a criminal gang.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

Important News Post & Monsatan are part of this - 'write your own laws' Corporate Crapitalism Culture !!!

My primary objection is to Monsatan Corp. not to GMOs per se, which with a changing climate may well have a part to play in our future - which of course Monsatan knows all to well. We are right to be fearful about 'Purely for Private Profit' Corporations & we should fear and be suspicious of these quasi-human institutions above all else. I think science should be for science's sake & the results shared for the good of humanity NOT for private corporations who only really strive for monopoly, money & control !!

Open source GMOs ?!!! Now there's a thought, right ?!! We should be wise about science but justifiably fearful about The Trans-national Mega Corporations who strive for more and more mere monetary private profit in the short and medium term & then, utterly monstrous monopolistic practices in the longer term !

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 9 years ago

by the way this is not new and this is not news. come on they had the patriot act ready to go.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23620) 9 years ago

We do not live in a democracy. We live in a plutocracy. The question remains: Can a democracy be a democracy when it has a capitalist economic system? It appears not, because the force of capitalism to exploit is the overarching controlling function over both the political system and the economic system.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 9 years ago

Or perhaps we should ask: Can Capitalism survive in a democracy.. time will tell if the people have the strength to over power and oust Capitalism with the strength of Democracy. It can be done.. if we are willing.. the thing preventing us .. the capitalists continue to promise" change" and that fills the hearts of many with hope .. Face it people .. change ain't coming.. surely we all realize by now, if the plutocrats agree to anything, it will be on their terms..

War on Capitalism.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23620) 9 years ago

Either way, capitalism has to go.

[-] 2 points by ProblemSolver (79) 9 years ago

I am with you 100%

Capitalism is a cancer to civilization. Capitalism prevents growth of beauty and nature. It destroys everything in its path. It devours the very soul of man.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23620) 9 years ago

Well said.

[-] 2 points by ProblemSolver (79) 9 years ago

Capitalism has cast a huge dark shadow over the civilization of mankind. It has made the people cold , cold and bitter. Driving man insane. Biting each other in their madness. Blaming each other for their woes. The insanity has infected the greatest of men from leadership to the innocent. There is no escaping it's clutches.. no running away no turning back.. The madness is all around us .. falling ever so heavy .. forcing us to the ground. We weep , we fight .. we are angered.. and we seek vengeance. But there is no merciful hand in sight. We must continue.. we must go on .. further the fight.. we must we must .. for to fall and die has but one result.. but to go on to victory can be our only plight.. go on to victory I say stand up and fight.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23620) 9 years ago

We can begin by shunning the objectives of capitalism, and living our own lives the way we want to, not the way TPTB try to force us to.

[-] 1 points by tankcoil (37) 9 years ago

Very well said Sir; you have very wide mental vista-vision. I wish we had leaders with such vision. The blind and greedy leader's policy is--personal wealth and beggars on the street. They have forgotten that when the beggars outnumber them, they cannot be the rulers anymore. It is a matter of time only.

[-] 0 points by ProblemSolver (79) 9 years ago


Our leaders have selective vision; they only look at the successes of capitalism .. not its failures..

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

Union Yes!!!!!

Fighting that "war", for over a century.

They could use your help.



[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8306) from Phoenix, AZ 9 years ago

So are there any plans to run primary opponents against the two Democrats you featured in your poster. So these two Ds are the only two co-signers, and the bill enjoys 100% support among the Ds and some support from the Rs too, or at least that's the way you make it look, I hope OWS isn't becoming FOX NEWS.

In any case seems a good test for OWS, is it an ACTION group or a bitching group, get involved, get in the primaries.


[-] 0 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 9 years ago

it doesn't matter no one is doing anything to stop this.