Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Those Wall Street Money Brokers

The New York Post reports today that Senator Hillary Clinton announced that she knows who’s to blame for our current economic woes: Wall Street money brokers. Get the full quote here:

"I stood up to Wall Street, calling on them to take responsibility for their role in the home mortgage crisis ... Why don't we hold these Wall Street money brokers responsible for their role in this recession?" [emphasis added].

The former first lady (two times) and the junior senator represents the Empire State, where the financial services sector (“Wall Street”) accounts for 20% of the state’s total revenue. She is a former partner of the Rose Law Firm - a firm whose practice includes complex commercial business transactions and whose website boasts the Coolidgesque mission statement: “The needs of business are our primary concern.” She has sat on the board of Fortune 500 companies such as Wal-Mart. Her husband has partnered with perhaps a half dozen private equity shops, investment funds and consulting firms. Her daughter is a former McKinsey consultant and now works at the hedge fund Avenue Capital. Where I work, we call all of those professional and familial contacts with the financial system “institutional knowledge”.

The point being, she’s well positioned to know that there is no such thing as a money broker. Stock broker? Check. Mortgage broker? Sure. Insurance broker? Yeah, why not.

But there simply aren’t any money brokers on Wall Street. There aren’t any on Main Street, either. No one with an ounce of financial acumen uses the term "money broker."

Now let me think. When did we last hear about money brokers?

So we have a would-be president shucking her way through the cornfields of Indiana, tellin’ them farmers who to blame for their troubles (nevermind that corn is up 60% since 2005). Maybe we can find a better image to illustrate the point.

Well, I'm certainly glad that problem has been solved. Now where is my passport and suitcase?

Final point: lest you think I'm being a little over-sensitive, Hillary chose her words very carefully here. How carefully? Carefully enough that her campaign put out a correction last night when she was originally misquoted as saying "money grubbers" instead of "money brokers."

1 comment:

sg said...

About as sensitive as her comment yesterday:
"...Senator Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me," she went on to say: "There's a pattern emerging here."

Yes, a pattern resulting from Clinton's cultivation of her new target demographic, The Bigot Vote. When you slice and dice the electorate as many ways as she has and all the decent people line up with your opponent, you end up courting some pretty ugly characters with even uglier tactics.

Clinton's campaign reminds me of the early Republican debates where you had a bunch of relatively decent (if uninspiring guys) trying to sound as mean and nasty as possible. However, Clinton's campaign sounds even meaner and nastier because these statements are not just and act but another window through which to glimpse her ruthlessness.