There’s nothing quite as refreshing as listening to anyone from the Clinton team talk about the banking system that they helped destroy.
Whether it’s Bill Clinton defending the banks, or in this case,his Treasury secretary dismissing the importance of “too big to fail,” it’s wonderful to see that even after the trillions down the toilet and millions of unemployed, they still don’t get it.
(In typical Bill Clinton fashion, he later flip-flopped and showed support for the anger aimed at banks. Amazing speaker, but I still can’t stomach seeing him.)
Team Clinton’s Robert Rubin somehow misses a key point about the need to break up “too big to fail” banks, while speaking with CNBC:
Calls by former Citigroup chief Sanford Weill, and others, to break up the nation’s major banks do not solve the risk problems at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis, Robert Rubin, former Clinton Treasury Secretary, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday.
A Citi board member from 1999-2009, Rubin said, “If you followed Sandy’s path, and you broke up the banks in some fashion or other … the risk isn’t going to go away. The systemic risk, the ‘Too Big to Fail’ risk, will move from one place to another place.”
Um, yeah Bob, but this misses the point. The point has been that the banks will always carry risk and look for new ways to cross boundaries and gamble, but when they do, it won’t be the public that has to bail their sorry asses out. The problem has always been about freeloaders, such as Rubin’s Citi, that require massive taxpayer bailouts so they can continue to pay massive amounts of money to their handout-loving bankers, like Ruben.
It’s not terribly surprising that Rubin still doesn’t get it though. Besides his own efforts to create the problems on Wall Street during the Clinton years, he then lined his pockets with tens of millions of dollars that was based on bogus deals that were stripped from the Citi books. Never once did Rubin offer to pay back that bogus money – ultimately money paid by US taxpayers – nor was he even asked to pay it back.
It’s no wonder he thinks the system is fine as it stands today. It’s his system, he created it, and he’s done quite well by it. Too bad it stinks for everyone else.
For those of you who missed it, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi did an AMA on Reddit yesterday and of course, the subject of “too big to fail” did come up. It’s really worth reading the whole thing, including the issue of Mary Jo White running the SEC.