We have written more than a few posts on Rep. John Adler’s siding against the public option and true health care reform (as opposed to health insurance reform).
We have repeatedly noted that, in positioning himself this way, Adler has not only alienated his base – the base that he shouldn’t automatically rely on in 2010 – but also will NEVER get republican votes or avoid republican Party attacks. In fact, he is still one of the targeted seats by the republican Party for 2010.
So now, we recently found out that Rep. Adler was one of a group of Democrats who met with Wall Street executives (including JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs) last fall – at the very time they were pushing to weaken legislation that would regulate the financial services industry:
In mid October, members of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), a caucus of pro-business Democrats, traveled to New York City. According to an emailed itinerary for the trip drawn up by an event planner working for the group and obtained by TPMmuckraker, members met on October 12 with executives from Goldman, and the following day with execs from JP Morgan. Sandwiched between those events was a fundraiser for the New Dems, and a meeting with CEOs from Marsh and McLellan Companies, a consulting and insurance firm.
Based on the itinerary, the Goldman meeting was to be attended by Reps. Joe Crowley and Scott Murphy of New York, and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. The JP Morgan meeting was to be attended by Reps. Crowley, Murphy, Melissa Bean of Illinois, John Adler of New Jersey, and Jim Himes of Connecticut — a former Goldman banker. Crowley serves as NDC’s chair, and Bean as its vice chair.
Regulation of the financial services industry is pretty much accepted as necessary to help avoid the same abuses from prior deregulation and a repeat of the mess that was made over the past few years. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and former International Monetary Fund economist Simon Johnson both agree that this is imperative. Yet, Adler and other Democrats were more interested in strengthening their Wall Street ties, as evidenced by the itinerary here, which shows Adler as confirmed to meet with $5 billion TARP recipient JP Morgan Chase.
The big pushback was on the regulation of derivatives, which a quick google search will show was a big reason for the crisis, and what happened as a result of Adler (and his counterparts’) efforts?
While the House Financial Services Committee was tweaking the reform bill proposed by the Obama Administration this summer, the New Democrats pushed back on key regulatory issues. One of the biggest: derivatives, the complex financial instruments that helped spark the global financial crisis. Most derivatives are traded in murky over-the-counter deals. The Obama administration wanted to push some of them onto regulated trading platforms. But that would have crimped one of Wall Street’s most lucrative businesses: The top five U.S. commercial banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America, were on track through the second quarter to earn more than $35 billion in 2009 trading unregulated derivative contracts, according to a review of company filings with the Federal Reserve and people familiar with the banks’ income sources. So JPMorgan, along with Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, lobbied McMahon, Bean, and other New Democrats to temper the proposed rules.
And look at who two of those companies are – JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs – the two that Adler and his “New Democratic Coalition” members met with.
Looks like Adler is “banking” on his actual constituency in his District not knowing or caring where his loyalties lie.