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Democrats launch war on Wall Street; Google search for Goldman Sachs & SEC nets Obama.com ad on reform

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Schapiro during a meeting Sept. 30, 2009 by Getty Images

In some ways, the civil fraud lawsuit lodged against Goldman Sachs on Friday for betting on a housing downturn was a calling card from Mary L. Schapiro, chairwoman of President Obama's Securities and Exchange Commission. Amid rumors of more investigations to come and stunned chatter on Wall Street about how the firm's big-money donations to Democrats did not spare Goldman, the SEC's message was clear: we are on duty and on alert, and we are not going to miss the next Bernie Madoff.

But make no mistake. Democrats believe a war against  market manipulators on Wall Street will help recapture voters turned off by the massive spending program known as healthcare reform. Polls show that targeting the financial industry is more of a winner than tackling immigration reform. So, pushing a major regulatory reform bill  in the Senate that has already passed the House, and issuing talking points to vulnerable candidates, Democrats are planning to ride Wall Street to victory in the 2010 elections.

Saturday, Obama dedicated his weekly radio address to the topic. Monday morning, the White House announced the president will travel to New York on Thursday to deliver remarks at Cooper Union on Wall Street reform. Two years after the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression, Obama plans to call for swift Senate action on regulatory reform of the financial industry.

"The crisis has already wiped out trillions of dollars in family wealth and cost over 8 million jobs,"  the White House said. "The president will also remind Americans what is at stake if we do not move forward with changing the rules of the road as a part of a strong Wall Street reform package."

Pity the Republicans, who find themselves in the unenviable position of having to defend Wall Street at a time when it's the villain of the day. Their latest pitch is that the effort to tighten banking and market rules would be a costly over-reach by government regulators. That could prove a hard sell on Main Street -- one reason Democrats are wooing some Republicans, like Ohio's George Voinovich, whose state was hard-hit by the housing slump and recession.

As for the Democrats, they are all over it. This morning I tried a Google search for "Goldman Sachs" and "SEC" and the first sponsored link was the official Goldman Sachs website. The second one was an ad from barackobama.com, urging voters to join the fight against Wall Street.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Mary L. Schapiro. Credit: Getty Images

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Comments () | Archives (8)

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Of course, Gop will get more seats in White districts. They went outside of themselves to vote for true change, now seeing the implications, they've turned into TeaBaggers and other expressions of White anxiety and regret for the bad decisions/votes THEY made. The GOP platform has always been a myth supported by White fear and not much else empirical evidence that non-Progressive(forward thinking) policies actually work somewhere other than in a deluded, isolated, mind.

Having shown that is has no factual basis for success anywhere in nature, the so-called 'conservative'(Stagnation) movement relies on lies, White fear, national anxiety, to keep itself relevant.HERE'S THE DEAL: The GOP ran its program for 30 yrs.(sometimes channeled through Clinton), AND IT WAS SHOWN TO BE A MISERABLE FAILURE IN PRACTICE. To think that anyone would actually voter for these people ever again, or form a delusional splinter party, to avoid truth and contrition, is disturbing and gives credence to the absolute dumbening of America through media and substandard educational practices. Can people really have a memory that short and uncritical? TeaBags say "Yeah".

@JEFF

Really? Progressive ideals work?

14 points
the new deal
Regan
GWB

are only a few ideals and politicians that come to mind when thinking of plans that have been progressive and have essentially failed.

Speaking of fraud! Are these the same Democrats who, along with Barack Obama, recently ignored the Republicans and majority Americans, then told lies, used bribes, buyouts, backroom crooked deals, gave jet rides, signed a phony abortion protection bill, doing anything they felt they needed to do, to rush force through, a costly Obama healthcare bill. Taxpayers will face an avalanche of new taxes to pay for Obama's excessive spending. When can American people file a fraud lawsuit against Obama and the Democrats?

How about all the dem crooks appointed to Freddie Mack and Fannie May by
Dodd and the other guy with questionable morals in the house ?They were
told it did not matter if the mortgagee could pay or not.The greatest problems
came under the supervision or lack of it from the dems in charge since 2006
and some Clinton Appointees.The present bill's main goal is just to score
political points on the backs of small and medium size businesses that have
no connection with the problem.A one size fits all government nightmarish
sea of red tape to please the sectarians and ideologues of the dem party.

Will the democrats get more seats in the black/minority districts? Seems the myth is in the blacks mind, who support only the democrats for the generous handouts they think they will get. Many are too simple minded to realize the democrats are keeping blacks in bondage, by making them believe they can't compete with others, and pay their own way in life. Sisters and brothers, I may not speak the best english, but to me, all people need independence to be Free. Open your mind, you have voted democrate for years, too many of us are still in the ghetto, killing each other, waiting in lines for welfare. Get yourself educated, think on your own, check the republicans policies and values. they are not your enemy. (I AM BLACK).


I hope we are seeing the system at work, working toward a fair and robust accountability for the wrongs committed (if any) versus grand standing. Proving fraud will be complex and I fear over Govt. prosecutors heads.

It is interesting to me that the Obama PR people have launched a propaganda campaign on Google against Goldman. It demonstrates that they are trying to distribute a specific message. The search I did came up with messaging that says Help Change Wall Street. When you click there is a landing page that asks to join the effort. It is obviously a political strategy more than a genuine effort to make improvements. I don't know if increasing regulations is the correct approach but something needs to change.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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