The Instigator
Oreo222
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Should Citigroup be eliminated?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 542 times Debate No: 73692
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

Oreo222

Pro

Citigroup should be eliminated due to their unethical control of the government. My opponent shall try to dissuade me in my opinion and perhaps those of the voters/audience, while I do the same to him/her. Whomever my opponent may be, good luck.
imabench

Con

I accept this debate and shall argue that the banking conglomerate 'Citigroup' should NOT be eliminated
Debate Round No. 1
Oreo222

Pro

The large organization called Citigroup must be shut down due to the amount of power they have over the Legislative and Executive branches of U.S. government. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is quoted is saying, "During Dodd-Frank, there was an amendment introduced by my colleague, Senator Brown and Senator Kaufman, that would have broken up Citigroup and the other largest banks. Now, that amendment had bipartisan support and it might have passed, but it ran into powerful opposition from an alliance between Wall-Streeters on Wall Street and Wall-Streeters who held powerful government jobs. They teamed up and they blocked the move to break up the banks, and now Citi is larger than ever. The role that senior officials played, from the Treasury Department played in killing the amendment wasn't subtle. A senior Treasury Official acknowledged at the time in a background interview with New York Magazine, the official from Treasury said, and I'm gonna quote here, 'If we'd been for it, it probably would've happened. But we weren't, so it didn't.' That's power."
You can hear the entire speech here: https://youtu.be...

Based on this, it is evident that Citigroup has massive control over the government. Power that must be eliminated. Citigroup has the Treasury in it's grip and isn't keen on letting go. The only way to root out corruption is to pull out the roots themselves. Since Citigroup and other Big Banks caused the Great Recession of 2007-2008, who says they can't do it again? Now, you might say that the Dodd-Frank Law prevents that from happening, but that's not true. Dodd-Frank is simply a recycled law. During the Great Depression, a similar law was implemented. Over time, that law was whittled away by corrupt politicians until it ceased to exist. Politicians that were corrupted by Wall Street. Due to the original law being eliminated, the Great Recession occurred. Dodd-Frank is simply a repeat of that original law. If that first law could've been terminated, why can't Dodd-Frank? Citigroup has massive sway over Congress as well, so the legislatures will of course bid their master's will.

Citigroup must be eliminated to eliminate the corruption in D.C. and to safeguard our economy from another financial crisis. During the Great Recession, more than 8,000,000 people lost their jobs because of Wall Street and Citigroup. More than 700,000 homes were going into foreclosure every year because of Wall Street and Citigroup. The automotive industry was on the brink of collapse because of Wall Street and Citigroup. You mean to tell me that the organization that crashed the economy and made millions lose their jobs and homes shouldn't be eliminated? It needs to be eliminated.

You might say that getting rid of Citigroup and Wall Street in general would hurt the economy because of lost jobs. Well, Iceland recently decided to nationalize their banks and punish the CEO's for excessive gambling that hurt their economy. Since then, the economy has gotten better. If it worked in Iceland, why can't it work in the U.S.?
imabench

Con

1) The Elizabeth Warren quote.

"....but it ran into powerful opposition from an alliance between Wall-Streeters on Wall Street and Wall-Streeters who held powerful government jobs...."

^ Warren didn't specify that the lobbyists who defeated the amendment came only from Citigroup, she only said that an alliance between SEVERAL large banks on Wall Street lobbied Congress to defeat the amendment. Therefore to attribute the defeat of the bill entirely to the effort of Citigroup is wrong, and to call for Citigroup to be disbanded as a result of this assumption by extension is also wrong.



2) "Citigroup must be eliminated to eliminate the corruption in D.C. and to safeguard our economy from another financial crisis. "

First off Citigroup doesnt single handedly produce all of the corruption in D.C.

Secondly, Citigroup Isn't the largest bank in the world and it isnt even the largest bank in the US. In the US its only the 3rd largest bank behind Bank of America and JPMorgan. Worldwide it only barely breaks the top 15

http://www.bankrate.com...
http://www.forbes.com...

So Citigroup isnt some massive maniacal business enterprise that has congress by its nuts... It's not even the biggest bank in the US, and everything that Pro is blaming Citigroup for allegedly causing was actually caused by several different factors that collectively played a far larger role in the economic collapse than Citigroup.



3) " You mean to tell me that the organization that crashed the economy and made millions lose their jobs and homes shouldn't be eliminated?"

Citigroup wasn't the organization that collapsed the economy, you yourself even admitted that Wall Street, aka ALL of the banks on Wall Street, played a role in the economic recession, not just Citibank.

Also, simply eliminating one of the biggest banks in the US would cause a huge economic hiccup itself since you would be losing people hundreds of jobs, and the billions of dollars people had trusted to citibank would vanish into thin air as well. So flat out eliminating Citibank would not prevent a possible economic crash, it would actually risk triggering another one.



4) "You might say that getting rid of Citigroup and Wall Street in general would hurt the economy because of lost jobs. Well, Iceland recently decided to nationalize their banks and punish the CEO's for excessive gambling that hurt their economy. Since then, the economy has gotten better. If it worked in Iceland, why can't it work in the U.S.?"

For starters, Iceland isn't a major financial market in the world... It's ICELAND after all.

Secondly, correlation =/= causation. Iceland's economy may have grown better simply because the rest of the world economy has gotten better as well, there's no way to prove that their economic turn around was directly caused by nationalizing its banks.

Last and most importantly, what in the history of the US government suggests that it is even capable of running a huge bank successfully? The US has a national debt so big that it all the money that actually exists couldn't pay it off right now, we regularly have multi hundred-billion dollar national deficits, and there are thousands of examples of the US spending a ton of money on things that are arguably useless and pointless.... The government has a HORRIBLE track record when it comes to handling money, yet you want to sell the idea that putting them in charge of a huge multi-national bank will somehow magically make things better?


Debate Round No. 2
Oreo222

Pro

First off: love the Elsa pic.

Second: Elizabeth Warren DID specify which lobbyist defeated the amendment. If you listened to the entire speech you'd know that. The sole purpose of the speech was directed at Citigroup.

Third: Eliminating Citigroup would make thousands lose their jobs, yes. However, there are other ways to negate that loss. Passing and infrastructure reform law would create about 4,000,000 jobs. I'm certain that's way more than a few thousand losses.

Fourth: If you listened to the entire speech, you would know that the only reason the amendment wasn't passed was because of Citigroup slaves in the Treasury and Congress. Yes, there are several other banks and businesses that corrupt D.C. as well. I should have specified that and it was a mistake on my part. Nobody's perfect. (No, this does not mean that all the businesses that corrupt politicians should be eliminated as well. Only Citigroup and perhaps others on Wall Street as well.)

Fifth: "...there's no way to prove that their economic turn around was directly caused by nationalizing banks." Well, the economy didn't get HURT now did it? So nationalizing the banks either improved the economy, or did nothing at all. Nationalizing the banks was part of punishing the Big Banks for excessive and illegal gambling with customer money. The job loss was minimized due to the growing economy.

Sixth: The amount of power Citigroup has over D.C. is astounding and unprecedented. Elizabeth Warren is again quoted in saying, "A century ago, Teddy Roosevelt was America's 'Trust Buster.' He went after the giant Trusts and Monopolies in this country, and a lot of people talk about how those Trusts deserved to be broken up because they had too much economic power. But Teddy Roosevelt said we should break them up because they had too much political power. Teddy Roosevelt said, 'Break them up because all that concentrated power threatens the very foundations of our democratic system.' So the U.S. DOES have a history of taking on big businesses and overcoming them. I'll put it simply: money corrupts all too easily.
Again, the entire speech is right here: https://youtu.be...
All it takes is for you to copy and paste it into your search bar.

Seventh: You mean to tell me that none of those Congressmen and women have been corrupted by Citigroup and other Wall Street banks? If we demolish the roots of the cause, the corruption will go away. Sure, the other business like Koch Industry would still corrupt D.C., but corruption would diminish. Sure, you might say that we could just limit the amount of donations/bribes corporations and banks give to campaigning politicians, but that wouldn't stop a Citigroup and other Wall Street banks from ripping off customers and causing another financial crisis.

Eighth: "The government has a HORRIBLE track record when it comes to handling money." Well, that's due to politicians that are corrupted by banks like Citigroup. Those politicians would do favors and ONLY do favors to those banks and businesses. That's why the U.S. has had, as you put it, "...a HORRIBLE track record when it comes to handling money."

Ninth: I'll just leave you with another quote from that speech, "...and now we're watching as Congress passes yet another provision that was written by lobbyists for the biggest recipient of bailout money in the HISTORY of this country. And it's attached to a bill that needs to pass or else the entire federal government will grind to a halt. Think about that kind of power. If a financial institution has become so big and so powerful that it can hold the entire country HOSTAGE, that alone is reason enough to break them up. Enough is enough."
imabench

Con

"Elizabeth Warren DID specify which lobbyist defeated the amendment. If you listened to the entire speech you'd know that. The sole purpose of the speech was directed at Citigroup."

I didn't say that Citigroup wasn't who Warren was targeting in her speech, I said that Citigroup weren't the only ones who lobbied to defeat the amendment that was proposed. Warren herself even admitted that several banks were involved, but she only went after Citigroup due to the influence she sees within the bank.



"Eliminating Citigroup would make thousands lose their jobs, yes. However, there are other ways to negate that loss. Passing and infrastructure reform law would create about 4,000,000 jobs. I'm certain that's way more than a few thousand losses."

Infrastructure reform law would also cost a hell of a lot of money that the government doesn't have, and last time I checked, people who have jobs in banking arent exactly qualified to fill jobs in construction or engineering. Furthermore, infrastructure spending would have to be tremendous to further offset the amount of money and investments held by citibank that would vanish if it were simply dismantled, so the idea that infrastructure spending could offset shutting down a large bank is not a very wise conclusion to arrive at.



"If you listened to the entire speech, you would know that the only reason the amendment wasn't passed was because of Citigroup slaves in the Treasury and Congress."

'Slaves'? People who used to work for Citigroup who now are in the government aren't 'enslaved' to their former employers. Lots of Congressmen and Senators worked minimum wage jobs at one point, but we can tell they arent enslaved to their minimum wage jobs because the minimum wage in the US is still somewhere around $7.50... Also, you still refused to acknowledge that other banks also lobbied to have the legislation defeated, not just Citigroup, which is what Senator Warren is trying to suggest in the video.



"nationalizing the banks either improved the economy, or did nothing at all. "

It's ICELAND, the banks were so puny that anything could have been done to them without risking too big of an economic setback since Iceland didnt have a large economy to begin with.... Iceland isnt even in the top 100 economies in the world, so it's entirely plausible that nationalizing banks could have cause a huge economic setback but didnt in iceland due to how small their economy was to begin with

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The circumstances for Icelandic banks cant be equally applied to United States banks since United States banks have a far more massive impact on world markets...



"the U.S. DOES have a history of taking on big businesses and overcoming them"

The kinds of businesses that the government busted during the days of Teddy Roosevelt were corporations that had monopolies over resources, such as oil and coal. Citigroup does not have a monopoly on all banking in the US, it isn't even the biggest bank in the US either, it's THIRD... So if you want to get rid of Citigroup purely because of its size, then you also have to get rid of Bank of America and JPMorgan as well.

When the three largest banking institutions in a nation with the economy the size of the US are suddenly just dissolved, it doesnt take an economist to figure out that the economy would suffer badly as a result.



"If we demolish the roots of the cause, the corruption will go away"

Corruptible people don't become cured from being corrupted by getting rid of those who are corrupting them, they will simply just sell out to someone or something else. If Citigroup goes, then the people who are 'enslaved' to Citigroup could simply switch their allegiance or be bought by other huge institutions, whether they be banking, or oil companies, etc.

Getting rid of Citigroup won't stamp out corruption in the government because Citigroup isnt the only root cause of corruption... People who are corrupted by Citibank could easily just end up being corrupted by other entities that lobby the government hard.

"Sure, the other business like Koch Industry would still corrupt D.C., but corruption would diminish"

You just shot your last argument in the foot, and if corruption did diminish, how much would it diminish by? A fraction of a percent? Citibank isnt even the largest bank in the US... When you take into account larger banks, oil companies, huge businesses like Wal-Mart, lobbying groups like the NRA, car companies like ford and GM, etc, Citigroups impact on DC becomes very very small in scope. Eliminating Citigroup to get rid of corruption would be the equivalent of selling a mansion just because a few light bulbs dont work....



"The government has a HORRIBLE track record when it comes to handling money." - Me
"Well, that's due to politicians that are corrupted by banks like Citigroup" - Con

We're just at the point where big banks like Citigroup are the big bad boogeyman that is responsible for all the problems that con points at, and that getting rid of Citigroup and other banks are the only solution to make everything all better.

================================================================================================

To summarize, dissolving Citibank would conceivably cause a hell of a lot of economic problems for a frail and recovering US economy in the short run, while not removing the threat of another potential banking-related recession in the long run, since Citibank isn't even the biggest bank in the United States. Citibank has influence and is big, we can all accept that, but the fact that it has influence and is a big bank aren't legitimate reasons for it to simply be dissolved, that's just being paranoid.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 1 year ago
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Disbanding multinationals doesn't solve any problems, except creating unemployment. What should be done is to initiate political change to reduce the power of corporations in the government. Institutional changes are needed.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by kingkd 1 year ago
kingkd
Oreo222imabenchTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Hmm. interesting that Pro calls them "Citigroup slaves", as they choose their profession. Con wins that Citigroup is neither the only problem that "caused" the economic downturn, nor the biggest group affecting it. Con also wins that SOME jobs would be lost. In conclusion, Citigroup is not a monopoly or terrororist organization, or a "great evil" upon society.