Occupy blue Wall Street?

Call the fourth group Blue Wall Street: the bankers, financiers and business leaders who thrive in the world of the blue social model — and who likely have never visited a criminal court or a benefits center in their lives. Members of what Howard Dean likes to call “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” prefer not to think too much about Blue Wall Street and its role in the Democratic coalition, but particularly as times get tougher for the blue social model, it is Blue Wall Street that makes things work and calls the shots.

For Blue Wall Street the conflict between the interests of the private sector and the power of the government does not really exist. The symbiosis between Blue Wall Street and the state is strong and deep. The pension funds, bond issues and other financial transactions that blue city and state governments need helps nourish Blue Wall Street; Blue Wall Street helps integrate the policy agenda of other government focused interest groups with larger national priorities and movements. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the archetypes of this symbiosis: they are government-backed forces in the capital markets built around support for the single most important American social program of the blue period: home ownership. The securitization of home mortgages was one of the driving forces in the development of American capital markets after World War II; when the blue system was working, Fannie and Freddie promoted Wall Street profits and the economic well being of the middle class…

Blue, government-oriented Wall Street; the professional do-gooders and the progressive intellectual and foundation establishment; the unionized government workforce; and the beneficiaries of social programs: this is the blue coalition. Many blue partisans don’t fully get this; they think of Wall Street as the enemy without fully grasping the essential role that the financial community plays in the creation and administration of blue policy. The participation in and support of blue social and economic policies by American finance both enables and shapes those policies, and it was the belief on Wall Street in the 1940s and 1950s that the blue social model provided the most effective path for national economic development that created the postwar commonwealth, which many blue activists today hope to restore.