Matt Stoller: How Democrats Have Become The Party of Monopoly and Corruption

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Matt Stoller
Finance writer Matt Stoller said Democrats became the party of monopoly and corruption by putting big business over people’s needs. Photo: MMG

History has proven if one can’t innovate with the times, they will be left behind. Yet, in some instances those who are supposed to represent the people rise to power at the expense of the people. It is what finance writer Matt Stoller said Democrats began doing in the 1980s and have continued to do today.

In an article titled “How Democrats Became the Party of Monopoly and Corruption” published last year, Stoller painted a picture of how big business marginalized and crushed livelihood of many American workers.

He said the Democratic Party embraced donor Wayne Thevenot’s quote, “I gave up the idea of changing the world. I set out to get rich.” According to Stoller, once Clinton was elected in 1992, he made appointments and passed laws that benefitted the wealthy, not the average every day American.

“In 1994, the Clinton administration and a Democratic Congress passed the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act, which allowed banks to open up branches across state lines. Clinton appointed Robert Rubin as his treasury secretary, super-lawyer Eugene Ludwig to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and reappointed Alan Greenspan as the chairman of the Federal Reserve,” Stoller wrote.

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“All three men worked hard through regulatory rulemaking to allow unfettered trading in derivatives, to break down the New Deal restrictions prohibiting commercial banks from entering the trading business, and to let banks take more risks with less of a cushion,” Stoller continued. “Citigroup finally got an insurance arm, merging with financial conglomerate Travelers Group, approved by Greenspan, who granted the authority for the acquisition under the Bank Holding Company Act. In 1999, Clinton and a now-Republican Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which fully repealed the Glass-Steagall Act that had shattered the Houses of J.P. Morgan and Andrew Mellon. The very last bill Clinton signed was the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which removed public rules limiting the use of exotic gambling instruments known as derivatives by now-enormous banks.”

Stoller also said the “Telecommunications Act of 1996” paved the way for monopolies like AT&T and kept internet businesses from being held accountable for wrongdoing.

Farmers were adversely impacted by all the legislation, Stoller said, and companies like Walmart became corporate superpowers.

“It was under Clinton that the language of politics shifted from that of equity, justice, and potholes to the finance-speak of redistribution, growth and investment, and infrastructure decay,” Stoller wrote. “The Clinton administration organized this new concentrated American economy through regulatory appointments and through non-enforcement of antitrust laws.”