On the Contrary, Politicians Do Get Ahead by Allying With Banks

Allying with the banks is not how you get ahead in American politics. Ezra Klein

Actually it seems exactly like how you get ahead. The debate over financial regulation was more like tough love vs. indulgent love. Very few national politicians were arguing that modern banking is predatory and a drag on the economy. That would be an enemy of the banks.

In 2009 politicians were all – save Wall Street to Save Main Street. Well politicians saved Wall Street and refuse to save Main Street because the policies required to save the rest of the economy would hurt the financial sector. In fact, some of those least allied with the banks in 2009 are no longer in office. Feingold lost reelection, Kauffman of Delaware was an appointee, Perriello of VA lost reelection.

The entire Republican House campaigned against banking regulations (and against TARP, which most of them voted for!) and our know-nothing electorate swept them into office. Christ, the Chairman of the Banking Committee Spencer Bachus said live, on air, at a hearing “my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”

He is in office, and many of those who championed the strongest regulations opposed by the banks are gone.

You get ahead in American politics by speaking ill of banks but voting for their lobbying points or you get ahead by praising the banks and blaming the government for not letting the banks be even more awesome. You don’t get ahead by speaking bad of the banks and then actually going against them.

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