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January 16, 2014

Politico Celebrates Washington's Imaginary Victory Over Wall Street

We did it, America! Our broke, dysfunctional government has somehow pulled itself together long enough to soundly defeat powerful, wealthy Wall Street, turning the financial industry into a squeaking little gerbil. At least, that is what finance wants you to think.

Politico’s Ben White seems convinced: On Thursday, he declared victory in what he described as Washington’s tireless quest to tame Wall Street after the financial crisis.

“‘In 2009, Washington went to war against big Wall Street banks hoping to blow up the kind of high-risk, high-reward strategies that helped spark the financial crisis,’ White wrote. ‘Five years later, that war is largely over. And Washington won in a blowout.’

This is wrong on many levels, and dangerously so. Banks are vigorously waving the white flag in hopes that we will forget how they are by some measures bigger than ever, and at least as powerful as ever in what is still an ongoing war with Washington — a war they actually started.

“‘That’s ridiculous,’ Stanford professor Anat Admati, co-author of The Bankers’ New Clothes, emailed when asked about White’s story. ‘Nice narrative but false.’

“‘To think that the war is over is just contradicted by the facts from one end of Washington to the other,’ said Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of Better Markets, a Washington nonprofit group pushing for financial reform. Just hours after White’s piece was published on Thursday, Kelleher posted a rebuttal to it on The Huffington Post.”

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Read full Huffington Post article here

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