The hedge fund--those lovely instruments that enriched a few, then crashed the economy and stripped the rest of us--owned the debt collectors (the lovely folks who call and hound you for $50 you owed back in 1993, and resell the zombie paper so it remains on your credit report). And they owned the arbitration company to which consumers were FORCED to use in the event of any dispute. Kinda the way insurance companies, HMOs and Big Pharma does. And a lot of other corporate heavyweights who deal with ordinary people. They can what they please to you; you have to use bought arbitrators...
Well, the Minnesota Attorney General, channelling Eliot Spitzer when he wasn' chasing ass, saw right through that. Details here. Recall, for 8 years the states had to protect the little guy, as Bush-Cheney had other aims. Now, the states are broke, and Barack, Holder and a re-tasked FTC are trying to pick up the pieces. At least Minnesota had the sand to strike back, forcing this relationship out in the open, and causing a divestiture of the arbitration element. But the philosophy of greed, adhesion contracts, disparate power, lobbying--it's still there. Same genes as Big Healthcare and Big Pharma ; the DNA is dug in deep and the hedge funds are just that material without all the brick and mortar trappings. Fanboys and girls--capital's just recycled rich folk largesse. Contrary to well placed myth, it doesn't come from noble widows & orphans investing their pennies. And in turn, these leeches own the smaller leeches, like credit card companies/debt collection firms. And I bet Goldman Sachs is in there somewhere hahaha.
Note: (so you don't think I have it in for arbitration as a concept), in family law/divorce, or in commercial settings where the parties are on equal footing and want to hold down the drama, arbitration works. The American Arbitration Association agreed--volunteering to get out of consumer related arbitration. They make enough skrilla on corporate/commercial stuff.
Perhaps Barack needs to play up this populist approach...this unified gang out to make money and screw YOU...in the health reform maelstrom. Entrenched power and greed can always brainwash the clearly malleable skulls out there. But linkages like this are hard for even the most seasoned moron to ignore. And finally more than a few will wake up. Not only on healthcare, but financial regulations, banking/credit card protections, etc.
We'll see. At least I won't have to talk to a goofy arbitrator first.