A big winner of the economic peril caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been the monolithic Wall Street management firm BlackRock, which has been granted sweeping new powers by the Federal Reserve.
Last month, the Fed named BlackRock as the adviser and investment manager for three emergency programs meant to prop up the fledgling markets. They are now tasked with controlling the primary market corporate credit facility (PMCCF), the secondary market corporate credit facility (SMCCF), and granting new bond and loan issuance.
Critics of the move fear that the agreement between the Fed and BlackRock are recreating the exact circumstances that have allowed systemic Wall Street corruption in the past.
“By giving BlackRock full control of this debt buyout program, the Fed is further entwining the roles of government and private actors,” wrote many different consumer-advocate groups in a letter criticizing the BlackRock’s deal with the Fed.
“In doing so, it makes BlackRock even more systemically important to the financial system. Yet BlackRock is not subject to the regulatory scrutiny of even smaller systemically important financial institutions,” the letter added.
BlackRock has become the world’s preeminent investment management corporation under the stewardship of its founder Larry Fink. Fink has exploited his Washington D.C. connections throughout his career, and he has particularly strong ties with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Fink was expected to lead her Treasury Department if Clinton defeated President Donald Trump in 2016. With Washington D.C. in his back pocket, Fink has been able to dominate Wall Street despite no apparent expertise or even basic competency.
“His economic empire is less a result of his economic skills and competitiveness and more a result of his political connections and trillion-dollar state contracts,” wrote sociologist and geopolitical scholar James Petras about Fink’s career.
“Fink’s most famous financial product, mortgage-based securities led to the biggest collapse in world financial markets since the Great Depression,” Petras added.
BlackRock has grown into the world’s most powerful firm because of Fink’s success in peddling influence with politicians in the Washington D.C. swamp. They capitalized during the last economic crisis, benefiting mightily from sweetheart deals orchestrated under former President Barack Hussein Obama. While corporations were going under left and right in the 2008 economic crash, BlackRock was cleaning up and consolidating power.
They profited from the economic misery by being awarded lucrative government contracts, often without having to even bid on them. BlackRock was tasked with managing the proposed rescue operations of Bear Stearns, the American International Group and Citigroup. They also implemented a Federal Reserve program to resuscitate the beleaguered housing market and were brought on as consultants to evaluate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Their growing influence was a major cause of controversy at the time.
“They have access to information when the Federal Reserve will try to sell securities, and what price they will accept. And they have intricate financial relations with people across the globe,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said in 2009. “The potential for a conflict of interest is great and it is just very difficult to police.”
“In other words, the conflict results in an enormous profit for the fund manager at the expense of the taxpayer,” wrote Neil M. Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in a 2009 report about BlackRock’s gaming of the system.
In a decade’s time from 2009 to 2019, assets under the control of BlackRock skyrocketed in value from $1.3 trillion to $6.84 trillion. Cronyism has paid off for Fink, and BlackRock is perfectly situated to exploit coronavirus hysteria in order to commit another heist.
Petras noted: “Fink has turned BR into an empire by spending his time and energy in the politics of controlling and milking the US Treasury. Controlling this activity is more influential than the President of the United States or Pentagon in deciding who among the elite wins and who loses!”
BlackRock has maneuvered themselves into the same role they were in when they cashed out on the economic peril during the previous crash. While Americans struggle to pay the rent, BlackRock will be racking up trillions more in ill-gotten gains.
Lindsey Graham Leads Senate RINO Coalition Urging President Trump to Protect Foreign Worker Visas
Graham led the letter of RINOs urging Trump to protect foreign labor.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is leading a coalition of RINOs in the Senate urging President Donald Trump to keep visas for foreign workers to take U.S. jobs.
Graham is joined by fellow RINO Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Mike Crapo of Idaho, James Risch of Idaho, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Todd Young of Indiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, and James Lankford of Oklahoma in signing onto the letter that has the audacity to claim that these foreigners taking jobs from U.S.-born workers will help the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The coronavirus pandemic has brought devastating loss of life and livelihood across our country. As we begin to reopen, we know you have many difficult decisions to make to ensure the road to recovery balances economic wellbeing with the safety of every American,” the letter states.
“In part, that balance requires consideration of vulnerable American businesses across all industry sectors, including farming, forestry, packing, hospitality, healthcare, and communications and information technology, all which rely on non-immigrant guest workers to survive,” they added – showing that they care more about protecting corporate profits than protecting American workers.
The letter urges for Trump to specifically protect the H-2A and H-2B programs to keep so-called temporary workers in the country to steal jobs from American workers who desperately need them.
“As you know, the H-2A and H-2B programs are temporary and seasonal guest worker visa programs that allow businesses to find the help they need when no American worker is available or qualified to fill in the gaps,” they wrote, adding that they hoped the Trump administration would “continue to protect American farmers and other small business owners who work hard to provide our country with fresh food and other vital services by not pausing issuance of H-2A visas in the future.”
The entirety of the letter can be seen here:
Republican Sens. Graham, Cornyn, Crapo, Risch, Rounds, Young, Murkowski, Sullivan and Lankford write President Trump to urge him not to restrict temporary, work-based visas, which they say will help the economic recovery pic.twitter.com/BPDjcjUXyR
— Michelle Hackman (@MHackman) May 27, 2020
The letter comes in stark contrast to another letter issued by young “America First” conservatives urging President Trump to put U.S. workers first.
Big League Politics reported on how one right-wing student leader appeared last night on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tongiht” to discuss the necessity of protecting U.S. workers during the coronavirus pandemic:
San Diego State College Republicans President Oliver Krvaric called for President Donald Trump to end the H-1B and OPT foreign worker programs during an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Tuesday, citing the danger the frequently abused cheap labor programs pose to the economic prospects of American college graduates.
“So essentially this giving a signal to this administration, letting them know that there is an appetite- especially among young likely voters to take care of the egregious H1B and OPT abuse that’s displacing American graduates and professionals across the board,” he said.
Krvaric had joined a coalition of College Republican groups across the country calling for an end to the visa worker programs in the midst of the recession. President Trump already enacted what has been called an immigration moratorium, but a lobbying effort by White House liberal Jared Kushner on behalf of globalist business groups limited Trump’s executive order to a few immigration restrictions.
The letter from the college Republican coalition staked out several policy proposals that would give American college graduates a real stake in mitigating the effects of the coronavirus recession.
President Trump should listen to his constituents who put him in the White House instead of the RINOs who he was elected to rebuke on immigration and other key issues.
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