Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Likes The Clintons

Even before she became a 2008 Democratic Party presidential candidate, former Wal-Mart corporate board member Hillary Clinton lived in the White House during her husband Bill Clinton’s first two terms as U.S. president in the 1990s. And in a June 13, 2003 essay, “American Enterprise Institute (AEI)—Out of Touch,” that appears in his 2004 book The Pursuit of Justice, U.S. consumer activist Ralph Nader indicated how the first Clinton administration served the special interests of U.S. corporations:

“…One high official of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told me that they loved the Clinton government. Why not? Under Clinton they got corporate-managed trade called NAFTA and WTO, laws furthering media, telecommunications, agribusiness, banking, brokerage and insurance industry concentration, weak-to-nonexistent regulation, a chronic softness on corporate crimes against pensioners and small investors, and a pathetically indifferent consumer and labor policy—to name a few surrenders…”

In a May 2, 2003 essay, “Wall Street Accountability,” that is also contained in his The Pursuit of Justice, Nader also observed:

“The only way to end the corruption on Wall Street is to send a message that securities firms engaged in defrauding small investors will be punished to the full extent of the law and those culpable top executives will be convicted and sent to jail.

“It is also time to break up the behemoth Wall Street financial powerhouses. The Republicans and Democrats spent the last decade repealing Depression-era protection for investors and allowing financial institutions to combine in unprecedented ways. Firms should never be allowed to combine stock research, investment banking (selling shares to the public) and brokerage (buying shares for customers). Firms now have an ongoing incentive to provide rosy research and have their brokerage firms push stocks on individuals that benefit not the individuals, but the Wall Street firms’ corporate clients.

“Congress and state regulators need to bring back the Glass-Steagal Act…”

Next: The A.P. News Trust’s Special Influence: A 1990's Look At The Associated Press—Part 1