Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 30, 2009


Bloomberg - Wall Street's largest trade group has started a campaign to counter the "populist" backlash against bankers, enlisting two former aides to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to spearhead the effort. . .

The securities industry "must be perceived as part of the solution, which will allow it to better defend against populist overreaction," the documents, prepared for a June 17 meeting of SIFMA's board, said.

The board meeting minutes and staff-written papers, obtained by Bloomberg News, outline the program crafted by polling, lobbying and public relations companies paid at least $85,000 a month. The memos provide a glimpse, in often candid language, into how Wall Street is grappling with its pariah status.

"It is imperative that in this historic period of reform, the industry be recognized as playing a positive role in seeking change and providing solutions to the problems we face," one of the documents said. "There is currently widespread skepticism about the industry's commitment to this needed change.". . .

Michele Davis, Paulson's former spokeswoman, and Jim Wilkinson, his former chief of staff, are among those leading the effort. SIFMA is paying their firm, Brunswick Group LLC, a monthly retainer of $70,000, the documents show. Both Davis and Wilkinson declined to comment. Paulson left office in January. . .

Assisting them is a Democratic polling company, Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies, which is paid $5,000 a month. It is run by pollster Cornell Belcher, who worked on President Barack Obama's campaign. BKSH & Associates Worldwide, a lobbying firm chaired by Republican strategist Charlie Black, signed on for $10,000. . .

[A] survey of 1,256 U.S. investors through Opinion Research Corp. found 34 percent are "angry" about "the debacle on Wall Street and the related failure of regulatory oversight," ShareOwners.org said. It found 58 percent are "less confident in the fairness of the financial markets" today than a year ago, the company said.


Anonymous Mairead said...

As we all should know by now, psychopaths have not even the smallest feeling of shame. Only entitlement.

June 30, 2009 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly agree with Bill Brown, that it may take more than PR to rectify the problem.

Speaking as an angry person...

Over the last few years, the strangest things have been posed as Patriotic. Blind Greed, Blind Killing, and Blind Ignorance. The preferred steriotypical 'merican would be that of a man with the appearance of Rambo, the attitude of both Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson, and the voracious connivance of a Ken Lay.

Bouyed with previous colaborations to screw J.Q. including union busting and eminent domain issues, our government has shown they know which side of the bread is buttered. Also, the government had removed regulations that were instituted shortly after the 1929 Wall Street collapse that, arguably, could have prevented the creation of the sub-prime derivatives. And, to top-it-off, John McCain (an example of what inhabits our Congress) recently blamed our economic problems on the people who took out sub-prime loans... and defaulted.

My point here... if I have one, is that there is an apparent war on the working class. Both by the corporations; and after suitable financial stimulation, our government. It's nothin' personal, just something that can be easily explained with a statement about Competition. And this is where Millions of dollars get funneled into Washington through PACs, Millions (and Millions) of dollars are paid to thousands of Lawyers around the country. And Millions (and Millions) of dollars are rewarded to CEOs, CFOs, and other politically connected manulipulators that work the system to their benefit. All, to avoid giving some poor schmuck a 10 cent raise.

And... knowing that political hacks will occasionally be elected that favor Defecit Spending and Trickly-Down Economics, where money is purposely skimmed and funneled, how can anybody (except the favored Rich) ever invest their few hard-earned dollars into such a rigged system - no matter how much gold embossing is on the leather covered portfolio.

-just saying... but god did that feel good!


July 1, 2009 10:39 AM  

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