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Congressman Doesn’t Believe White Collar Crime on Wall Street Exists

Alan Pyke and Scott Keyes
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Sunday 18 August 2013
The price America paid for the financial crisis measures in the trillions – probably in the tens of trillions – of dollars.
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There’s no such thing as financial crime, according to Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA).

At a town hall meeting in El Dorado Hills, California on Tuesday, a constituent asked McClintock for his “stance on Wall Street criminal practices.” The congressman responded, “Well first of all, for a criminal practice there has to be a gun. It’s pretty simple.”

Watch it:

After detailing his opposition to reforms that would curb bank risk-taking and simplify the financial system, McClintock added that bad financial decisions are the responsibility of the individual who makes them and that’s “the price we pay for the freedom to make all of the good decisions in our lives.”

The price America paid for the financial crisis measures in the trillions – probably in the tens of trillions – of dollars. That crisis was brought on by sweeping fraud involving faked signatures and lies about loan terms, and was exacerbated by short-term  compensation incentives that encouraged financial executives to manipulate stock prices with disastrous long-term effects. A recent survey found an alarmingly high willingness to commit such gun-free acts of thievery among Wall Street employees, provided they would get away with it.

More importantly, McClintock’s resistance to increasing the government’s role in checking financial industry excesses is surprising given the endless trickle of evidence that the industry is subverting competition to extract profits from the economy rather than provide useful resources. The specific idea his constituent raised, of reinstating a Depression-era law known as Glass-Steagall, is only one of several proposals for how the government could protect the real economy from the financial system. Others include taxes on high-frequency trading schemes, strengthening regulation of derivatives and the “shadow banking” system that caused the financial crisis, and banning banks from the physical commodities markets.

ABOUT Alan Pyke

Alan Pyke is the Deputy Economic Policy Editor for Before coming to ThinkProgress, he was a blogger and researcher with a focus on economic policy and political advertising at Media Matters for America, American Bridge 21st Century Foundation, and He previously worked as an organizer on various political campaigns from New Hampshire to Georgia to Missouri. His writing on music and film has appeared on TinyMixTapes, IndieWire’s Press Play, and TheGrio, among other sites.

Politicians from the Party of

Politicians from the Party of Stupid are such assholes!

McClintock would like you to

McClintock would like you to believe that crimes:laws being broken, only occur if a GUN is involved!!! However, I think all politicians should have to watch a television series titled "White Collar" where lots and lots of FBI investigating confirms that WHITE COLLAR crimes do, have and still exist, especially in our "too-big-to-fail" financial system!!! Meaning all of those people on Wall Street should be "stopped and frisked" just for wearing their white-collared shirts...hence the title of the CRIME being WHITE COLLAR!!! Our corporately funded news sources are blinding WE THE PEOPLE from the facts about the individuals that should be imprisoned...Wall Street executives, members of the SEC, partners in accounting firms, tax accountants and tax attorneys that are lying, stealing and cheating from WE THE PEOPLE in fraudulent financial transactions daily!!!! Glass-Steagall was put in place after the Great Depression to keep our banking system from raping WE THE PEOPLE and having to bail them out...Our politicians should all be voted out...they are all in on these WHITE COLLAR "games" that are ruining OUR American economy!!

“Well first of all, for a

“Well first of all, for a criminal practice there has to be a gun. It’s pretty simple.”

Guess we better release Bernie Madoff then. Maybe it's not as simple as a simpleton's brain thinks it is.

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ABOUT Scott Keyes

Scott Keyes is an investigative researcher for at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Scott went to school at Stanford University where he received his B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Sociology. He has appeared on MSNBC and TBD Newstalk TV and been a guest on many radio shows. His writing has been published by The Atlantic, Politico, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott comes to DC from southwest Ohio, a state very near and dear to his heart.

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