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Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
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Fighting Back Against the Banksters


Oh, them wild and naughty bankers! What in the world will those rapacious rapscallions of Wall Street do next?

Just recently, we learned from Kenneth Feinberg, the government's special investigator of banker pay, that top executives of 17 financial giants shoveled $1.6 billion in excess compensation to themselves in 2008 — at the very moment their failing banks began to draw billions of bailout dollars from us taxpayers. Among the pranksters pocketing eye-popping amounts were the high-rolling bank bosses at American Express, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, PNC and Wells Fargo.

So, what's the punishment these self-serving money manipulators can expect from Washington's arbiter of excessive executive pay? None. In a stunning show of soft-on-crime leniency, Feinberg declared that he will not even attempt to recoup any of the $1.6 billion the money-grubbers grubbed from us. Declaring that he thought shaming these bad boys was enough, Feinberg asked plaintively, "At what point are you piling on and going beyond what's warranted?"

Shaming them? They're Wall Street executives — they were born without the shame gene! Piling on? They imploded their banks, crashed our economy, got Washington politicos of both parties to save their jobs, paid themselves a looter's level of taxpayer booty and now are getting a free pass to continue their flimflammery. Feinberg even refuses to release their names. Some shame!

If you rob a bank, the law hunts you down and throws your scrawny butt in jail to teach you and other robbers a lesson. But the lesson that Feinberg has given to America is that if you run a bank and rob the people, the law kisses your ample butt, giving you and others permission to find ever-more-creative ways to keep stealing from us.

Clearly, it's time that we found someone who won't kiss bankers' butts, but rather kick bankers' butts. We need someone who's not afraid to go up against the big banks and who won't be influenced by the money of Wall Street.

Who do we want? Elizabeth Warren! When do we want her? Now!

What we want is for President Obama to gut it up and appoint a real consumer advocate to serve as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Created by the Wall Street reform bill that Obama recently signed into law, the CFPB can be an independent, aggressive force to battle banker scams and rip-offs on behalf of ordinary Americans. However, it will only be that if an extraordinarily knowledgeable, feisty fighter who is unafraid to confront the banksters is put in charge.

That description fits Warren perfectly. The first thing you need to know about her is that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the tail-wagging puppy of Wall Street, is trying to block her because America's banking barons both despise and fear Warren. I don't know about you, but I find that wonderfully refreshing! What finer testimonial could a consumer protector have than to be vehemently opposed by the special interests she would regulate?

Warren, a widely respected Harvard law professor and an expert in bankruptcy law, actually wrote the bill to create this consumer protection agency, so her professional credentials for the job are impeccable. And, in a recent speech about the new CFBP, she said that "it must stand for families. We've long had enough where's there's been no one to stand for families." She wrapped up her speech saying, "I will keep pushing for the middle class." That's who we want and need — someone fighting for us.

Just as importantly, though, Warren comes from a working-class Oklahoma family, has personally faced financial crises and has felt the crushing power of uncaring bankers. "I learned early on what debt means, how vulnerable it makes people," she says. Warren, who has never abandoned her populist roots, is smart, tenacious — and can't be bought.

That's why the Wall Street establishment opposes her, and it is precisely why America needs her. To join Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in urging Obama to choose Elizabeth Warren to be our consumer champion, go to

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at




6 Comments | Post Comment
Anyone else wonder how folks like Mr Hightower can mention Wall Street with a straight face without ever once mentioning the private for profit bankers that own and profit from the Federal Reserve System? A system that has presided over the destruction of the dollar for their own financial gain (what was worth $1 in 1913 is now worth 4 cents)?
Comment: #1
Posted by: Mark
Tue Aug 3, 2010 4:15 PM
Wall Street may need Elizabeth Warren more than anyone; they are too far gone to sense the rage aimed at them. Despair fomenting in neighborhoods across the globe has law-abiding citizens thinking about tearing down another wall - another oligarchy. As always, a deception has been destroyed by the overwhelming greed that created it and honest people have to clean up after the weak.
Comment: #2
Posted by: jwwbrennan
Wed Aug 4, 2010 3:20 AM
Banking regulations are produced by Congress. Banks do what they do because, they are allowed. Democrats have controlled Congress for 40 of the last 52 years. Blaming Republicans for this mess is like blaming the peasants for Attila The Hun for invading them. Jim Hightower is either a "fat-cat" or a "fat-head".
Comment: #3
Posted by: David Henricks
Wed Aug 4, 2010 3:40 AM
On the article, universally the issues, problems, exploitation (23.7 dollars: TARP, TALF, PPIP, bailout and Guarantees), Wall Street Bonus money f/ 2002-2009, 1000 billionaires fraudulently reported net worth is 3.6 trillion dollars-- it's probably 36 trillion dollars on the 11.5 trillion dollars in tax havens being held in UBS of Switzerland since 2002, a new president and on a Constitutional Revolution, should confiscate 95 % of the (net worth of 36 trillion dollars) money.
On Revolution, if the intent on the 1000 billionaires is to "wait-it out" 'till the Revolution-- "it blows over" and then use the Federal Court to sue, etc., the new President should murder them. I see in the neigorhood of 700 billionaires need to be murdered in the country on "autocratic government," ELF Wave Spying on ordinary Americans (90 million-200 million) into the conscious minds of families, children and schools; and on emphatically on Begen-Belsen type of sub-camps (at least 2500) in the US (and 3 million ordinary Americans, families and children, already exterminated, I believe as of this date in 2010)
Comment: #4
Posted by: jason pacifico 58
Thu Aug 5, 2010 6:15 PM
Re: jason pacifico 58

History has never recorded 'murder' or its practitioners kindly. On the other hand 'treason' switches the onus, paving the way for the criminals to be sent to do hard labor rebuilding Haiti or parts of Afghanistan (Guantanamo doesn't seem in the nations best interest). Surely enemies have been identified and convicted for inflicting far less intentional damage on the nation. When people-like creatures destroy the lives of countless citizens and continue to drive what remains for decent folk directly into the abyss it is time to place the responsibility where it belongs and deal with those impaired by greed...but murder, good heavens no. That would be fighting incivility with incivility.
Comment: #5
Posted by: jwwbrennan
Fri Aug 6, 2010 5:34 AM
Unless this country, USA, decides to stop money changing as its primary industry Wall St. greed will continue unabated, continuing the CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS free ride paid for by the individual taxpayers. These KINGS get world wide protection of their investments by the Pentagon while locating abroad and not paying taxes while deriving the benefits of other peoples tax monies. The CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS whom[SCOTUS persons]don't pay taxes for their own benefits of tax subsidies and protection they shouldn't be protected by the Pentagon. As for money changer, they represent the only act of violence done that The Christ when he trashed their tables and kicked them out out the Temple. It is the deficit spending which funds the Pentagons/spy agencies.
Comment: #6
Posted by: kien lusk
Mon Aug 9, 2010 4:41 AM
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