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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 8,745

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These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don't be fooled by their progressive veneer

It’s a framing that’s been everywhere over the past two years: the Resistance v Donald Trump. By some definitions that “resistance” even includes people like Mitt Romney and George W Bush. By almost all definitions it encompasses mainstream Democrats, such as the likely presidential hopefuls Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand.

In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.
But outward appearances aren’t everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late – on Wall Street. According to CNBC, all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.

Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and Gillibrand weren’t far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and other powerful executives.

Posted by DrFunkenstein | Tue Jan 22, 2019, 07:33 AM (97 replies)

An Attorney General Under Sanders To Force Feed Climate Change Action?

Most of the conversation has been about what Sanders could accomplish by getting his agenda passed through Congress, but I wonder how much Sanders could avail himself of the executive powers to push the fossil fuel industry to change practices in a truly major shift.

The state of New York is investigating whether Exxon Mobil misled the public and investors about the risks of climate change, a move sought by environmentalists that could signal a broader reckoning with the conduct of big energy companies.

A spokesman for Exxon Mobil confirmed Thursday that the company had received a subpoena from the office of the attorney general of New York, Eric Schneiderman, related to the subject of climate change and was “assessing” its response.

The investigation focuses on whether Exxon Mobil intentionally clouded public debate about science and hid from investors the risks that climate change could pose to its business according to a person familiar with the matter.

Schneiderman has broad leeway to take on such a sweeping target under both consumer protection laws and New York’s Martin Act, a securities law that protects investors.

Under the Martin Act, you cannot lie to investors or suppress information from them. There is a much lower bar for guilt than in a typical criminal procedures. With the full force of a Sanders administration pushing aggressively, you could see ramifications for the fossil fuel industry far beyond what was imposed upon the Big Tobacco industry. Not only could there be fines, but there can be demands for sweeping reforms towards clean, renewable energy.

Because he hasn't taken money from the fossil fuel sector, he would feel no qualms about pushing them to foot a large part of the bill for for shifting the US economy towards sustainable energy. And Republicans and "moderate" Democrats would be powerless to stop it.

Perhaps it is time to rethink what would be possible under a Sanders administration. An aggressive, Eliot Spitzer-type of AG is one possibility for bringing about short-term changes to climate change or other major issues. Thoughts?
Posted by DrFunkenstein | Mon Feb 8, 2016, 12:12 PM (3 replies)
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