Preview: How Big Banks Victimize Our Democracy

June 20, 2012

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s appearances in the last two weeks before Congressional committees — many members of which received campaign contributions from the megabank — beg the question: For how long and in how many ways are average Americans going to pay the price for big bank hubris, with our own government acting as accomplice?

On this week’s Moyers & Company, Rolling Stone editor Matt Taibbi and Yves Smith, creator of the finance and economics blog Naked Capitalism, discuss the folly and corruption of both banks and government, and how that tag-team leaves deep wounds in our democracy.

Taibbi’s latest piece is “The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia.” Smith is the author of ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism.

Meanwhile, for anyone who wants to understand why, in one of the richest nations in the world, so many poor people are teetering on the edge, author and advocate Peter Edelman joins Bill to talk about continuing efforts to fight poverty, and what it will take to keep the needs of poor people on the American political agenda.

A former aide to Robert Kennedy and faculty director of Georgetown University’s Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy, Edelman’s new book is So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America.

Learn more about the production team behind Moyers & Company. Watch the full show.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1121805024 John Cloud

    I can not imagine that the injustice described will end easily. A paradigm shift never has. Is this as far as evolution of community can go? Are we wired to fail at establishing lifelong egalitarian society?

  • Ballm95
  • Gp92510

    …when a bookie takes a bet from one side, he then takes an equal position on the other side, both bets cant be wrong…when Dimon places a bet on one side and then bets on whether that bet is correct (or incorrect) , he can lose both ways….but, if he does it with FDIC -covered deposits, he cant lose…only the taxpayer loses..why is this criminal activity?…Because the taxpayer NEVER gets any of the winnings…….In NEWSPEAK this is called moral hazard….Will Rogers called it stealing…

  • Mona

    right on – my money is going to people I do not feel it should go to – my money is to go to supporting the concrete aspects of our infastructure.  I think military spending is too high, we have too many overseas military bases.  wall street should not be in my pocket.  real capitalism lets companies the fail go away – they should  not be bailed out by my tax money.

  • Anonymous

    Standing up:  Since Clinton’s compromise w (R) Congress, family was denied FS, got 13 pd jobs in 2 wks, but not 36 applications!  On FS again, alone. $100.hr. job (4 hrs/mo.) at non-profit w DD individuals, “mission” to get DD work & I am DD, refused to put me on as employee, denied earned income tax credit w daughter at home & earned SS quarters for my retirement. Tax payer goal of 12 hrs a mo, working disabled (16 to typical 40 hr wk) quit because the non-profit treated disabled me as property, stole my art & published without artistic control, pay or credit. The State of AZ cut ADA budget ($172,000 in ’08) like Trump (under the bus.) ADA rule deployed= more places to benefit disabled (Autistic 50yr. old spoke for the 1st time in his life.) No “employee” EEOC recourse. I model jobs of the future Mitt can’t create, inclusion of the ADA vet, short hours, high pay (tax payer) (disabled) & awareness of the ADA. 5 letters  from Obama about leveling the playing field. In AZ US District Court  Spanish is a “disability” to remove (SB1070) obstacles to prosecution, Kyl & McCain refuse help (just say no.)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for talking about the ever-blurrier line between banksters and traditional mobsters.

    The links in this comment point to two stories that are sorta old news,  but given that you are getting down to nitty gritty about how the overall game gets played, and who is really playing in that game, it seems like this part of the tale should be getting some light as well.
    Not that I pretend to know how a tale like this can actually get told in the US these day, let alone on national TV …
    But it seems like creating a crisis where a couple of major banks had essentially no choice but to accept billions in drug money is not totally out of the realm of possibility here 

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs 
    and the earlier story .. 
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2009/dec/13/drug-money-banks-saved-un-cfief-claims 

    and then there’s the parallel matter of the naked shorts and I suppose, the automated trades …