Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Shootout at the Capitol Corral - Congress versus Goldman Sachs


After two weeks of pre-meditated murder by Obama, the SEC, Senator Carl Levin, Senator Chris Dodd and the Democratic leadership in Congress, in which the president and his gang pilloried the Demons from Wall Street, the heavy weights from Goldman went before Congress in a 10 hour marathon Tuesday for a public shootout.

It was no contest. The Democrats had virtually persecuted the Goldman gang in the days leading up to the hearing before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations with civil charges from the SEC, a public scolding from former Goldman poster boy Obama, and charges of misconduct by the two Senators in their haste to get a financial reform bill through the Senate.

The court of public opinion was swayed, but not convinced, that the Obama style of liberal spending and bigger government was needed, but it was not over yet. That had to be decided in the outcome of the hearing. But this shootout was a rerun of the most famous shootout in the history of the wild west, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

The gunfight at the O.K. Corral has been portrayed in numerous Western films. It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order and open-banditry in frontier towns of the Old West, where law enforcement was often weak or nonexistent. The fateful battle took place in Tombstone, Arizona, where Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp fought the Clantons and McLaurys.

One group of fighters represented rural Democrats from Texas who were involved in the cattle-trade in a remote area of Arizona territory which had been desert just a few years before. The other faction, (the Earps) had come from the East with the frontier, and represented the very different city interests of Yankee Republican capitalists and businessmen who were attempting to manage a silver-mining boom-town with Eastern expectations of behavior.

The battle left three rural Democrats dead and the Yankee Republican capitalists in control and the outcome of the shootout at the Capitol Corral had just about the same outcome. Before the dust had settled the Democrat Senators with their thousands of pages of briefings, tons of staff and seats behind the elevated bench were outfoxed, outclassed, outsmarted and out to lunch. The Yankee capitalists had won again.

Now I worked on the hill a couple of times and have been to many a hearing and I do not remember a time when the Congress ever looked so disheveled, disoriented, ill-prepared and out matched than this particular hearing. The politicians, well they looked every bit the good old boys and the Goldman gang the city slickers. This battle turned out no different than the last shootout back in 1881.

Of course the liberal media are sure to paint a different picture because the Democrats are their champions of the far left redistribution of wealth philosophy and Heavens knows the media may soon be out of work and in need of a redistribution of wealth to take care of them. But the outcome of this battle was never in doubt to any honest observer.

Three levels of Goldmanites testified with the junior executives first, the senior executives second, and the CEO Lloyd Blankfein last. Committee Chairman Carl Levin started out the attack, and his effort soon withered into a constant repetition of the same old question because a socialist thinker clearly has no clue how a capitalist system works. The juniors executives had him so flustered he constantly was searching through the thousands of pages of documentation trying to figure out where in the world the emails he quoted were to be found.

Like good junior execs, the Dapper Dans from Goldman seemed to be taking forever to find whatever the Senators were talking about. There was little continuity in the questions and no follow up questions, even when the opportunity presented itself. As the hearing droned on and on with each Senator grilling the Goldman gang the interrogators got more and more confused until one might have asked what they were doing at the hearing.

When the senior executives took the floor and started explaining the complex and highly complicated world of Wall Street high finance, as played by the biggest and best in the world, the look of utter confusion was in all the Senate faces. One by one they acknowledged defeat when they admitted they did not understand the intricacies nor mind set of Wall Street.

By the time Blankfein took the center seat even John McCain, with all his years of experience, was left befuddled and dazed. The white flag of surrender was raised and finally the hearing was brought to a close. Perhaps the power of Goldman was most obvious by the fact the New York Stock Exchange, and every foreign stock exchange in the world, crashed when the hearing started and the Dow was down over 200points before it was through.

When the actions against Goldman can cause world stock markets to tumble one can only surmise Congress might have underestimated their standing. But Goldman went further as the Goldman stock was about the only publicly traded stock to gain in value on this day. It was an exclamation mark on the power of the money changers.

To be honest, I have done many critical articles about the activities of Goldman over the past few years and was hoping some of my questions would be answered. They were not to be. Our Senators seemed to lose their minds when attempting to extract guilty pleas or inside information to prove how dastardly Goldman had acted during the economic meltdown.

By the end of the hearing Goldman was assuring Congress they would help the committee with new provisions of the financial reform bill that would have a chance of meeting the needs of America while bringing some sort of discipline, ethics and transparency to the Wall Street wagering in the markets.

That's a good thing since no members of the Committee seemed to comprehend what was going on. Obama is certain to have no comment as what is there for him to say? Tuesday was a big victory for Goldman. They demonstrated that no matter how intense their opposition may come after them, they are up to the challenge.

Perhaps now the stock market can continue it's upward momentum. And one last point on the fading liberal power of the Obama Democrat machine. About midway through the hearing the committee took a recess so the Senators could go vote on the procedure to move the financial reform bill to the floor. It was the second straight day good old Harry Reid brought it up for a vote and for the second straight day the Republicans and a Democrat defeated the Obama initiative.


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