The Ugly Truth About Bernie Sanders’ Wall Street Tie-up

The Ugly Truth About Bernie Sanders’ Wall Street Tie-up

The Ugly Truth About Bernie Sanders’ Wall Street Tie-up


FLASH: Shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA) dove 15% after US Senator Bernie Sanders (D:Vt)criticized the price of the company’s leukemia drug on Twitter. Wall Street is very short ARIA/shares

The stock ended the day down about 14.8% at $11.14 a share.

Ariad did not immediately respond to LTN’s request for comment.

The key biotech ETF (NYSEArca:IBB) has fallen 21% in Y 2016, as the sector faces renewed criticism on the Presidential campaign trail.

Last month, Hillary Clinton proposed a consumer response team that would monitor drug prices and impose penalties for unjustified price increases.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen far too many examples of drug companies raising prices excessively for long-standing, life-saving treatments with little or no new innovation or R&D,” Hillary Clinton said.

Note: The stock of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:ARIA) registered an increase of 0.55% in short interest. ARIA’s total short interest was 29.09-M shares in October as published by FINRA. Its + 0.55% from 28.93-M shares, reported previously. With 4.63-M shares average volume, it will take short sellers 6 days to cover their ARIA’s short positions. The short interest to Ariad Pharmaceuticals Incorporated’s float is 16.82%. About 905,600 shares traded hands. Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) has risen 112.24% since 4 March, 2016 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 104.20% the S&P500.

Symbol Last Trade Date Change Open High Low Volume
NASDAQ:ARIA 13.07 13 October 2016 0.27 12.8 13.2 12.63 5,867,700
HeffX-LTN Analysis for ARIA: Overall Short Intermediate Long
Bullish (0.42) Bullish (0.26) Very Bullish (0.50) Very Bullish (0.50)

Paul Ebeling, Analysts


We are all familiar with the concept of “damning with faint praise.”

But every coin has 2 sides, and so does this idiom. The other side of this coin – let’s call it praising with faint damnation – is created an interesting dynamic in the race for the Democratic nomination for President this Summer.

Big money interests allied with the GOP’s most extreme economic elements used a thin and transparent veil of “opposing” Bernie Sanders to actually try to convince Democratic primary voters not to nominate Hillary Clinton.

On the stump, Bernie Sanders liked to rail against Billionaires and Wall Street.

He was, in fact, the primary campaign’s noun-verb-Wall Street candidate. And he seemed only too happy to quietly take the help of the big moneyed Republican establishment in his quest for ideologically purifying the Democratic party.

It is not that the helpful notes from some of GOP’s wealthiest benefactors for Bernie Sanders went unnoticed.

Certain groups, like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, openly associated themselves with the socialist from Vermont. Claiming credit for Hillary Clinton’s victory in Nevada not being sufficiently large, Crossroads had this to say:

““American Crossroads and Bernie Sanders helped Nevada caucus-goers see right through Hillary Clinton’s manufactured zeal on immigration reform after spewing virulent Trump-like rhetoric—and that one-two punch shaved Clinton’s 50-pt lead a year ago to a slim, single digit win,” Steven Law, Crossroads CEO and president, said in a statement.”

The type of “help” the Crossroads CEO is talking about came from other dark-money funded conservative groups as well.

Such “help” included an ad in Iowa from ESA Fund, a conservative Super PAC, highlighting Bernie Sanders’ free college, free health care and tax-the-rich agenda to Iowa Democratic voters, under the hilarious cover of claiming that Sanders was “too liberal” for Iowa, hardly an insult for Iowa’s primary voters on the Democratic side.

The ad-buy, totaling $600,000 was backed by Ameritrade CEO Joe Ricketts and his son. The Ricketts Family is one of the wealthiest in the world, with a net worth of$4.5 billion.

The ad’s effectiveness encouraged the tactic to be repeated.

Another conservative group, Future 45, has picked up right where the Ricketts’ Super PAC left off. This ad not only reiterated Sanders’ pony-for-every-liberal promises for the Democratic primary voter while ostensibly being framed as anti-Sanders, it also repeats Sanders’ charges of economic impotency against President Barack Hussein Obama. The group behind the ad was funded by billionaire hedge fund managers, including prominent backers of Republican Presidential candidate and famous cottonmouth Marco Rubio.

The tactic is not  unheard of.

In fact, Democratic senator Claire McCaskill deployed the same strategy masterfully when she inserted herself into the Y 2012 Republican Senate primary with ads calling once-longshot Todd Akin “too conservative” while highlighting his right wing credentials to a right wing Republican base in Missouri. It worked, notes Steve Benen, as Mr. Akin won the primary and royally lost to McCaskill in the general election.

This type of advertising has advantage beyond the content of the messages in the ads.

It allows both the beneficiary and the benefactor to claim mutual contempt, however thinly veiled, thereby escaping accountability.

Because they are technically tagged as spending “against” a campaign rather than for, they are harder to track as outside spending actually in favor of the candidate. This allowed Bernie Sanders to claim to be against the Billionaire class all the while gladly accepting their money to promote himself with a “wink and a nod”.

Why are these groups helpful to Bernie?

If Bernie Sanders himself is to be believed, they certainly did not want a President Sanders, though they might be quite content with a candidate who, for all his bluster, has proven an ineffectual legislator.

But the larger truth is that Bernie Sanders is the candidate Republicans wanted to run against in November. With their party having nominated Donald Trump, who the elite Republicans see as an extremist, their safe bet was to get the Democrats to nominate an extremist as well, if only to even the odds.

Hillary Clinton is the most vetted candidate in the history of presidential races, with the possible exception of Barack Hussein Obama, who had every stone in his life turned over for the crime of running for and being President while Back.

Bernie Sanders could not hold up to the minor vetting of the primary process before the voter would have found out that his legislative record is replete with attempting to dump nuclear waste on a poor Latino community, voting with Republicans to protect gun-touting racist thugs on the US-Mexico border… and naming post offices.

Bernie Sanders gets visibly irritated and threatens to walk off the stage with activists trying to draw attention to the important issue of black lives, then trivializes the issue. Hillary Clinton sat in the line of fire of trumped up Benghazi charges from Republicans for 13 straight hours without breaking a sweat.

The Republicans know that polls done on the general election in the midst of primary season were meaningless.

The general election campaign determines the outcome of the general election. They have a problem when it comes to that with Hillary Clinton. They have publicly aired and attacked Hillary Clinton with every single thing they have, and she’s beaten all of them. Everything they are throw at her in the general election is old stuff and somewhat less effective so far.

But for Bernie?

We did not see the the Republican’s morph his face into Stalin, Fidel Castro, or Hugo Chavez for being a socialist. We did not see the Republicans go after him for being an out-of-touch tax-and-spend Vermont liberal. We did not see them use the failure of single payer in Vermont and tie it around Bernie neck nice and tight.

Republicans’ opposition research on Sanders.

They did put together an effective destruction campaign before Bernie had chance to spell “democratic socialism.” They will if need be destroy Bernie Sanders; they will link every vulnerable Democrat to him in every conservative or moderate state and district and take them down too, how will a “how can you defend Obamacare when even your party’s socialist nominee thinks it’s so bad it should be replaced?” question work out for a vulnerable Democrat?.

Republicans claim a mandate to not just reject Bernie’s ideas to expand the social safety net, but also justification to roll back progress we have already made: to abolish Obamacare, to privatize Social Security and Medicare, to roll back banking regulations, to bust unions, to tear apart immigrant families, to deport DREAMers, to grant police carte blanch to shoot unarmed black kids, to cut taxes on the very wealthy and to raise them on everyone else.

A Sanders nomination would have handed the GOP their wildest goals, not just politically but in public policy. It would have been their best opportunity to roll back both liberal policies and liberalism 50 years or more.

No wonder the hedge fund managers and investment bankers are working hard for Bernie and as we saw Friday, he for them.

It is worth noting that if Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States that Senator Sanders would be in line to be the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee


Paul Ebeling, Editor

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