The latest TV ad from shady anti-financial reform group Stop Too Big To Fail advocates killing financial reform legislation because, the ad claims, the big banks actually want to see reform happen.
The ad follows the same “bailout, bailout — BAILOUT!!” script of the group’s previous ads, but with a new twist. Now, instead of misrepresenting the position of a progressive economist (as the group did with Simon Johnson and Robert Reich), Stop Too Big To Fail makes the twisted argument that financial reform should be defeated precisely because big bank CEOs have made extremely broad statements of support for a regulatory overhaul.
The group’s first ad buy was for $1.6 million, and ran in Virginia, Nevada, and Missouri. We hear the new ad is running in Virginia, and the online version (watch below) targets Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Who supports this phony reform? The big banks,” proclaims the ads female narrator. “The CEO of Goldman Sachs — a bank under investigation — says, quote, ‘The biggest beneficiary of reform is Wall Street itself.’ And after receiving billions in taxpayer bailouts, Citigroup’s CEO says, quote, ‘You can count on Citigroup to support these efforts.’ When big banks line up to support phony reform, it’s like, well you know.” At that point, the image of pigs feeding at a trough flashes on the screen.
Let’s take a closer look at that last quote from Citi’s Vikram Pandit, which is rendered on the screen as:
“You can count on [Citigroup] to support” these efforts.
It’s a reference to a letter Pandit wrote to President Obama late last month that proclaims support for reform in terms so broad as to be virtually meaningless. “I have been a firm advocate of strong regulatory reform,” he wrote, adding that “I believe banks should not speculate with their capital.”
As TPMmuckraker has reported, Stop Too Big To Fail has used the services of the conservative ad agency that worked for the Swift Boat Vets in 2004.
Here’s the new ad (and special thanks to TPM Reader VF):