A very good article, as far as it goes. Like most Democrats, Mr. Feingold seems at best to tiptoe around the edges of the problem. But, at least unlike most of the other Wall Street Democrats, he at least seems to see that there is a problem.
Banks have a very special role in our free market system; they are rationers of capital. When fewer and fewer banks are making more and more of the critical decisions about where capital is allocated, there is an increased risk that many worthy enterprises will not receive the capital needed to grow and flourish.
Close. But the real problem is that as there are fewer and fewer big banks it becomes easier and easier for them to operate as complete crooks and rig the system.
If the mafia controls one of fifteen local trash companies, you can (maybe) choose not to do business with them. But, when they control the only trash company that will pick up your trash, then you have no choice. And of course, they know this too which is why they set it up that way so they can masssively overcharge you and rip you off.
That's today's 'financial' system. If you think of it as being the mafia, you've got it about right. They just don't speak with Italian accents and hang out at the local meat shop. But, they operate in exactly the same way.
Take a look back at the Goldman Sachs hearings a short while back. Mr. Feingold's statement refers to GS's legitimate way of making money. But, what was really happening was that GS was not only making big fees supplying money to companies, but then they were secretly working behind their customers backs to bet against them in the markets. It was a rigged game. Companies and individuals who thought they were hiring GS to work for thier interests instead were really playing in a world where GS was using its enormous financial clout to make sure they failed ... as long as they did so in such a way that GS made even more money.
That's not a case of 'gee, its unfortunate that money didn't get allocated properly in a market with big consolidated banks.' Instead that's a case where the big consolidated banks are using their financial clout to screw you coming and going. You'd be better off dealing with Tony Soprano.
Feingold's ok, but I like Thomas Jefferson better.
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
The banks do have 'issuing power' today in the form of the private Federal Reserve. And, its kind of a quaint little distinction anyways when the banks today own the whole damn government.