Much of Wall Street supports Hillary Clinton, and if we look into her past and her proposed policies for the future- it’s easy to see why.
In the same way that it has become fashionable to be anti-establishment on the right, there is some of the same pressure on the left. Bernie Sanders’ campaign has been primarily based around income inequality and the abuses perpetrated by the richest 1% of the country -and the politicians that support them with their loophole-laden policies. Due to the rise of Sanders, Clinton -an establishment candidate is there ever was one- has been forced to lean a bit more to the left, and condemn the actions of big banks on several occasions and state that she would be, “tough on Wall Street.”
If we examine Clinton’s campaign donations, the speaking fees she’s received over the last year, and her proposed policies, it is difficult to believe her claim. In 2013, Clinton received $3.15 million in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and UBS. Moreoever, according to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics and OpenSecrets.org, this is the breakdown of Clinton’s campaign contributions since 2002:
Wall Street Behemoths like, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Lehman Bros., Morgan Stanley and Chase have been massive contributors to the Clinton campaign over the years with their contributions totaling: $2,456,613. Now, a campaign -especially a presidential campaign- costs significantly more than a few million to run, but this total is still far from trivial. Additionally, Clinton’s plan to be “tough on Wall Street” is really not tough on them at all. Unlike her primary opponents Sanders and O’Malley, Clinton does not support a full reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act – a banking law repealed by Bill Clinton that was originally passed in the 1930’s to limit the power of commercial banks. Clinton’s plan tweaks certain laws and loopholes in the form of a tax on short-term trades, and a risk fee on banks that hold over $50 billion in assets. As CNN reported, Clinton’s plan to reign in the feral funhouse of big banks was met with a “sigh of relief” from Wall Street. The plan clearly has its feet planted in both camps – it offers just enough to be seen as a real plan, while not really making any notable changes. Clinton knows that voters want to see action to ensure that a crash like 2008 doesn’t occur again, and she also realizes that the Wall Street support she has benefited from for over a decade will disappear if she is too tough on them.
Like much of running a presidential campaign -it’s a balancing act covered in facades, thin rhetoric and buzz words.
by Jesse Mechanic
Jesse Mechanic is the Editor-in-chief of The Overgrown.