FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Janus Faced on Banking and Finance: Hillary Clinton’ Economic World View

by

“So we have two Hillary Clintons, which says we have a person who is a liar.”
– Rudy Giuliani, The Guardian, Oct 9, 2016

Again, WikiLeaks made its sniping foray into the US election with ample juicy material prior to the second presidential debate, this time revealing excerpts of paid speeches shedding light on Hillary Clinton’s view on banking, finance and trade.

These are particularly pertinent because they show, consistently, how the Democratic nominee for the White House remains at odds on her current trade stance to what has essentially been a Weltanschauung of corporate freedom at the expense of state control.

Behind the scenes, before an audience that has remunerated her to be friendly and benevolent to the corporate sector, Secretary Clinton has shown herself to be very partial to sympathy and praise. In public, she has attempted to mine the populist storm against corporate elites and the sapping dangers of free trade. In private, she has fawned and placated.

What matters in these excerpts is a vision entirely consistent with the Clinton duo, which have functioned over the years as annexes of corporate representation in US politics. As she explained to Brazilian bankers in May 2013, dreams of “a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that is green and sustainable,” preoccupied her.

Even such figures as Vice President Joe Biden have accepted the premise that the destruction of middle-class financial security in this now very broken Republic began during “the later years of the Clinton administration” rather than during the reckless dark reign of George W. Bush. By that point, the rot had essentially hobbled middle America.

Managed appearances have proven to be the acme of the candidate’s approach, a point that has troubled Clinton aide and campaign strategist Robby Mook. The persistent, seemingly irresistible link with Goldman Sachs, which has hosted events for the Clinton Foundation with the enthusiasm of Beelzebub’s minions, has niggled him. In a message to Clinton’s campaign manager Chairman John Podesta on May 10, 2014, Mook “flagged” the point that “it’s a little troubling that Goldman Sachs was selected for the [Clinton] foundation event.”

The Podesta stash available on WikiLeaks is riddled with confessionals and loves notes with big banks and the board room. This stands to reason: the Clintons see power oozing out of officials otherwise unaccountable to the great unwashed in democracy.

To that end, there are an ample number of paid speeches to the corporate sector, much of this connected with addresses given to various branches of that less than wonderful doyen of muscular finance. Occasionally, they become autobiographically frank.

Clinton’s remarks in February 2014 reflect on her distancing from “the struggles of the middle class”. Having lived what she regarded as a fairly prosaic middle class life, one with its “accessible health care” and a father sceptical of “big business and big government”, Clinton now felt an astral detachment, even though she had not “forgotten” her previous faux humbleness.

The extent of that void is evident in her pointed observations to Deutsche Bank (October 7, 2014) which suggest a formula of self-correction for financial naughtiness within the industry itself. One had, like President Teddy Roosevelt, to avoid unleashing the forces of nationalism and populism. The solution here? Let representatives of the banking industry find their own. “And I really believe that our country and all of you are up to that job.”

There is room to issue sallies against the disgruntled. Her speech (Oct 29, 2013) to the Goldman Sachs Buildings and Innovators Summit speaks about those wretches who have evident biases “against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives.” Such matters as divesting assets, “stripping all kinds of positions, the sale of stocks” were all “very onerous and unnecessary”. Truly, criminality can be a complex business.

That same month, Clinton appeared at the Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium (Oct 24, 2013) to suggest that the bankster phenomenon in the United States had been misunderstood and simplified. There had been terrible “misunderstanding” and “politicizing” in place of “greater openness on all sides”.

Throughout her political life, the face of Clinton’s strategizing is evident. She stresses the need for having different positions, sometimes a different one in public from that in private, a point made in an April 24, 2013 speech to the National Multi-Housing Council. “You have to sort of figure out how to – getting back to that word, balance – how to balance the public and the private efforts that are necessary to be successful, politically, and that’s not just a comment about today.”

The rich pickings of the Podesta files again took the Clinton campaign off guard. A particularly clumsy retaliation was suggested by Vice Presidential running mate Tim Kaine. To CNN he claimed ignorance, having not approached the presidential hopeful before making observations about claimed authenticity. “I have no way of knowing the accuracy of documents dumped by this hacking organization.” Having asserted this as true, he then suggested you could not “accept as gospel truth anything they put in a document.”

Mook, who should be getting rather used to these things, seemed even less adept than his previous efforts. Again, the campaign, in vain attempts to navigate Clinton’s traumatised approach to fact, finds itself stumbling. The one certainty that has good chance of becoming fact is that the banks will know that a Clinton administration will do little for reform and much to untether the Prometheus of Wall Street.

More articles by:

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail