Break Alliances Between Wall Street and the White House

MONEY in politics is nothing new; in fact, money and politics are siblings in the family known as Power.

But the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent McCutcheon decision to enable further consolidation of campaign dollars to influence politicians, coupled with levels of inequality that rival those preceding the stock market crash of 1929, reveals a clear message:

Without a broader dispersion of power, influence and money, we cannot have a true democracy — one in which the majority of the population dictates the nation’s direction.

More than a hundred years ago, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis penned a book called “Other People’s Money.” He argued that too much concentrated wealth and power in the hands of a few elite players, known as the “money trusts,” were dangerous to the economic safety of American citizens.

At the time, a handful of families — the Morgans, Stillmans, Rockefellers, Bakers and Aldrichs — dominated finance and exerted that influence on political decisions, and did so for decades afterward.

In my new book, “All the Presidents’ Bankers,” I trace the longstanding blood, intermarriage and protégé-mentor ties between presidents and bankers, relationships fostered at adjoining estates, Ivy League university attendance, yachting expeditions and exclusive club gatherings.