Donald Trump, Wall Street, xenophobia and torture

This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Appoints (SURPRISE!) Wall Street Lawyer To Head SEC

4 January 2017

During the campaign, Trump called both Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton puppets of Goldman Sachs. Now he can’t stop appointing Goldman Sachs employees and affiliates to his administration. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

By Barry Grey in the USA:

Wall Street’s Trump euphoria propels Dow above 20,000

26 January 2017

On Wednesday, Wall Street celebrated the installation of an administration staffed by CEOs and pledged to remove all obstacles to corporate profit-making by pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average above the 20,000 level for the first time in history. US stock indexes have been soaring since the November 8 election of Donald Trump, with the Dow rising 9 percent in just 11 weeks.

The blue chip index gained 155 points to close at 20,068 on Wednesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 and Nasdaq indexes also recorded strong gains and ended the day in record territory.

Trump hailed the record-breaking close with a tweet: “Great!#Dow20K.” His senior economic adviser, the former hedge fund boss Anthony Scaramucci, congratulated Trump for the market surge, tweeting, “Stock market performance in 6 weeks following President Trump’s victory is best among all elections since 1900#ThankYouTrump.”

The record close came one day after Trump issued orders aimed at removing all obstacles to the completion of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, demonstrating his contempt for environmental concerns and the sentiments of Native American tribes and their supporters, who have been protesting for months against the Dakota project’s threat to the Standing Rock Reservation’s water supply and traditional lands.

This boon to the energy and materials corporations and their Wall Street backers coincided with meetings between Trump and corporate CEOS on Monday and Tuesday at which the billionaire real estate mogul-turned president reiterated his pledge to gut health and safety and environmental regulations and slash corporate taxes.

In remarks just prior to meeting Tuesday with the CEOs of the US-based auto companies, Trump promised to shift the business climate “from truly inhospitable to extremely hospitable.” He called current business regulations “out of control.” Administration officials broadly hinted that Trump would meet one of the auto bosses’ key demands by rolling back fuel efficiency standards. On Monday, Trump told a meeting of a dozen CEOs that his advisers thought “we can cut regulations 75 percent, maybe more.”

Other actions Trump has taken in the five days since his inauguration include a freeze on all pending regulations and a hiring freeze for all federal agencies. …

Not all federal agencies. This hiring freeze does not apply to waging wars (‘defence’) and spying (‘intelligence’).

The surge began the day after Trump’s November 8 election victory, as the markets, initially shaken by the unexpected defeat of their favored candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton, turned sharply upward, buoyed by Trump’s promises of massive tax cuts for corporations and the rich, the wholesale lifting of business regulations, a massive expansion of military spending, and the prospect of a full-scale attack on social programs.

As Trump began to name one billionaire or multi-millionaire after another to his cabinet, along with ex-generals and far-right opponents of public education, Medicare and Social Security, housing assistance, environmental protections, the minimum wage and occupational health and safety, the upward spiral on Wall Street accelerated. It is barely two months since the Dow first hit 19,000.

The rise stalled for several weeks while the financial elite waited to see if Trump really intended to carry out the social counterrevolution to which he had alluded during the campaign. The markets soared once again after Trump’s installation and initial pro-corporate moves.

Trump is the embodiment of the American financial aristocracy, in all its brutish and violent backwardness and criminality. What the markets are celebrating is a government that in an unprecedented manner openly functions as the instrument of this oligarchy.

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal if anything understated the greed-driven euphoria in corporate and financial circles in an article headlined “CEOs Savor New Washington Status.”

“For CEOs,” the Journal wrote, “the moves have sent a message that their stock is rising in Washington, with some betting that they will have a bigger say in running the country…

“Along with [former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex] Tillerson at State, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross [Commerce], former Windquest Group chairwoman Betsy DeVos [Education], Andy Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurant Holdings [Labor] and former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon [Small Business Administration] have been tapped to play big roles in his administration.”

The Journal could have added, among others, longtime Goldman Sachs lawyer Jay Clayton the head the main Wall Street regulation, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The presence of three former Goldman Sachs executives in top positions in the Trump administration, in addition to Clayton, helps explain the frenzied runup in the share prices of major banks. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase together account for some 20 percent of the rise in the Dow since November 22.

Trump’s plan to “make America great again” is a drive to wipe out every social gain won by the working class in the course of more than a century of struggle and return to a supposed “golden age” when the corporations could plunder and pollute the country to their heart’s content.

The fraud of Trump’s “concern” for the American worker is exposed by the reality of the forces that are actually benefitting from his policies.

One of the Goldman alumni chosen by Trump for top posts in his administration is Gary Cohn, the bank’s former president and chief operating officer. In return for his leaving the bank and assuming the post of director of Trump’s National Economic Council, Goldman is handing Cohn more than $285 million in bonuses, stock holdings and other investments, according to Bloomberg News.

The Wall Street Journal, in an article published Tuesday titled “Bankers Cash In on Post-Election Stock Rally,” reported that executives of major Wall Street banks have sold almost $100 million worth of stock since the election, more than in that same period in any year for the past decade.

In addition to the share sales, bank officials have sold another $350 million worth of stock to cover the cost of exercising stock options.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, according to the newspaper, sold 200,000 Morgan Stanley shares three days after the election, and has since sold another 385,000 shares, altogether realizing a profit of at least $8.4 million.

Six Goldman Sachs executives, as well as board member and ex-finance chief David Vinar, exercised 983,000 options, representing $200 million worth of shares.

The advent of Trump has already boosted the fortunes of Wall Street bankers by millions of dollars, and this is only a small preview of the colossal plundering of the American and world economy that is to come.

In an interview with ABC News broadcast Wednesday night, President Donald Trump enthusiastically endorsed waterboarding in interrogating prisoners, and said he would consider seeking to repeal the current legal ban on torture if his top national security officials recommended it: here.

The two executive orders signed by President Donald Trump on Wednesday at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) constitute an assault not only against immigrants, but against the working class as a whole. The main order called for beginning construction of “the wall” on the Mexican border that was endlessly promoted by Trump in the course of his presidential campaign, and for an escalation of the criminalization of undocumented immigrants. These measures are aimed at whipping up xenophobia and anti-immigrant chauvinism in order to carry out a wholesale assault on the democratic rights and social conditions of the entire working class, together with an accelerated transfer of wealth to the corporations and financial oligarchy in the name of “America First”: here.

8 thoughts on “Donald Trump, Wall Street, xenophobia and torture

  1. Yesterday President Trump launched his first major attacks against immigrants. He announced that he would build a wall along the southern border with Mexico and strip federal grant money from sanctuary states and cities that protect undocumented immigrants.

    States and cities are going to be on the front lines of taking on the Trump administration’s attempts to target immigrants and criminalize communities of color.

    In California, Senate leader Kevin de León has introduced SB 54, the California Values Act, to create safe spaces and expand protections for the undocumented. This legislation would ban the use of state and local resources for carrying out the work of federal immigration officials in deportation actions.

    This bill is a huge step in keeping immigrant families together and standing up for those who are being targeted by the Trump administration.

    Add your name to say you support the California Values Act and to urge other states to pass similar legislation to protect immigrants from the harmful policies of the Trump administration.

    By working at the state and local and level, we’ll be able to resist Trump’s plans to mass deport immigrants and tear families apart. Immigrants are our neighbors, friends, family members and co-workers. They are part of our communities and this country is theirs to call home.

    This moment requires that we come together to protect those who are most vulnerable under Trump’s administration. Thank you for joining with us in that effort.

    In solidarity,

    Erika Andiola
    Our Revolution


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