This is so crazy I can hardly believe I’m writing it.
After Congress passed a law removing $7 billion in pointless public subsidies for the biggest banks, Wall Street’s top lobbyist just claimed banks have a constitutional right to that free public money.
That wild assertion is one of only 8 public comments filed at the Federal Reserve on this question, so it’s critical that we call on the Fed to ignore Wall Street’s ridiculous claim – and finalize the rule ending this wasteful public subsidy.
I realize this sounds nuts – because it truly is – so let me break it down:
Each year, banks have gotten a guaranteed 6% dividend on stock they own in the Federal Reserve, rain or shine.
That means they make their money back over and over – in addition to all the huge benefits they get from being a member bank in the Federal Reserve system.
What makes this even more spectacular for the banks — and more ridiculous for the public — is that it’s completely risk free for the banks! Even if the Fed disbanded they would get all their money back.
When a staffer in Congress uncovered this giveaway, both Democrats and Republicans agreed to repeal this wasteful subsidy and redirect the money to the federal highway trust fund.
That would put $7 billion over the next 10 years into repairing our nation’s highways instead of enriching banksters!
Wall Street isn’t happy about losing all this free money. The country’s top bank lobbyist, Rob Nichols at the American Banking Association, wrote a letter to the Federal Reserve saying banks are constitutionally “entitled” to this public subsidy – and essentially threatened to sue if the Fed finalizes the rule.
Now I can't be sure what the courts will decide if it ever gets that far, but it wouldn't surprise me if they rule in favour of the banks - especially with their earlier decision that corporations - and banks are corporations - are entitled to be considered legally a "person". It's called "Corporate Personhood".
Originally corporate personhood was designed to make it easier for corporations to pay taxes. But it has since been used as a technique to help AVOID taxes, and to be able to donate mega bucks to the campaign funds of politicians WITHOUT the knowledge of the general public.
The argument in favor of that is, is that a person has the right of privacy. If a corporation is legally a person, then it too has a constitutional right to privacy. The courts agreed - as long as corporations have the status of personhood, that is.
Last week the state of California took the first step towards ending that. A bill that would end corporate personhood passed the state assembly and went to the state senate. If it passes, Gov. Brown is expected to sign it. Big money isn't going to be too happy.
They'll probably sue on the grounds such a bill is unconstitutional. While they are waiting their turn on the dockets, there will probably be an injunction against denying corporations their personhood and they can go on as they have been. There's even the possibility that this whole issue will be in an indefinite state of limbo and corporations will be free to exercise their right of "privacy", and we the people will get the royal screw job - as usual.