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AFTER FINANCIAL "REFORM," WHAT HAVE WE WON?

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Meanwhile what's left of the American left is in retreat in Detroit at the Social Forum debating a plethora of important issues but unable, it seems, to agree on a joint program for economic survival. They are more upset with the hideous Israeli embargo on Gaza than our own corporate elites embargo on jobs and justice for American workers. As a result many have become sadly irrelevant in this fight with the exception of some brave members of Congress, and groups like A New Way Forward and Citizens for Financial Reform who stuck to their guns.

As far as prosecuting wrong doers in high places, the pro-corporate Supreme Court this week more than signaled a rejection of statues passed in the wake of the Enron scandal to jail financial criminals. The FBI did carry out the biggest bust in history of mortgage fraudsters this month, but has not touched the Wall Street firms that knowingly securitized and sold fraudulent mortgages and profited from them. (These Wall St billionaires can now retreat to their mansions in East Hampton, where, perhaps not so coincidentally, the Town Government is embroiled in its own financial crime scandal.) Meanwhile 14 million families face foreclosure.

Will prosecutors ever get it together to act?

Does this relate to the financial reform battle? You bet. As reporter Charles Gasperino asked on the Daily Beast: "Why should anyone expect some paper-pushers in Washington to prevent something as complicated as the next great financial meltdown when they couldn't stop Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme?

What to do? I feel like I am fighting a loosing battle even trying to distribute my film PLUNDER THE CRIME OF OUR TIME (plunderthecrimeofourtime.com), and companion book that argues the case for the financial crisis as a crime story. I would like to think that screenings and discussions nationwide could help stoke a movement to keep this fight for a jailout and economic justice going, at least until the next crash.

Anyone out there want to get involved in helping? Clearly, the compromisers in a compromised Congress have gone as far as they will, or perhaps can, go. It's our challenge to intensify the heat, or step aside and let hypocritical Teabaggers dominate the discourse.

News Dissector Danny Schechter directed the DVD Plunder The Crime of Our Time and In Debt We Trust try to educate and energize a movement for economic justice tapping into the massive anger that's out there. Comments and suggestions to Dissector@mediachannel.org

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.
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