Hey, Congress Squares, Don't Water Down This Finance Reform Thing, Huh? By Eddie Money

by Eddie Money


From time to time, the Awl offers space to average citizens with important perspectives on national issues. This is one such time!

Hey, baby. It’s me, Eddie Money, here to rap at you about the financial regulatory reform bill being proposed by Connecticut senator Chris Dodd at the behest of the Obama administration. And more specifically, the danger of its getting weakened by congressional compromise.

Now, I can dig that some of you might be thinking: Why is Eddie Money rapping to me about financial regulatory reform? He’s just a cop from Brooklyn who happened to have a golden voice and a gift for melody and a rock n’ roll dream and the guts to follow it.

Well, sure, my name is Eddie Money. (Eddie Mahoney, originally, but y’know, that’s showbiz, baby.) And sure, they call me “The Money Man.” And yes, I have earned millions and millions of dollars during my legendary career. But I’ll tell you one thing: I never forgot where I came from. I never forgot the people who made me the star I am today. The people who come to Eddie Money shows are not always the richest people in the world. Sometimes their wives are working or they’re pulling double shifts. It’s hard to get a sitter. For people to take the time and the energy to get out there and hear some great rock n’ roll-I gotta tell you, I love the people who come to my shows. They’re really, really great people!

Check it out, the way I see it, the main problem the reforms need to address is the derivatives market. These fuckin’ derivatives, no one understands these things! No one knows what the fuck they are! What’s the actual product being sold? There’s no pool cue or coffee beans or classic radio hit powered by driving guitars and sweat and soul. There’s nothing you can hold in your hand or drink or sing to yourself all day while you’re at work. Nothing you can touch or feel. It’s all just hollow abstraction, magical numbers pulled out of the sky, equations invented by math geeks to legalize high-stakes gambling with invisible money. The shit that these Magneto guys were pulling, or Goldman Sachs: constructing deals so complex that no one really knew what’s going on, then pulling the rug out from under their own partners because they’d made more lucrative side bets against them. At least that’s my take. You see last week when Clinton admitted he’d make a mistake by leaving derivatives unregulated while he was in office? It’s like he wants to go back, go back and do it all over. But he can’t go back, you know? And the whole country, the real people, Eddie Money fans, that’s who ended up getting royally screwed.

So it’s up to my man Obama to fix it now. And congress. And it actually seems like there’s some solid progress being made. That prick Mitch McConnell wasn’t talkin’ so loud this week after the S.E.C. (it’s wild, man, those pasty-faced dudes are way into porn!), after they filed their suit against Goldman Sachs and the national polls started tilting over 50 percent in favor of regulation (as long as the words “Wall Street” were used as the object in the phrasing, ha ha.) Suddenly the republicans are willing to play ball. Suddenly it’s all a big bipartisan love party, right? But that’s where I get worried. This bill needs to have some teeth, to take a serious bite out of these legal swindlers right where the sun don’t shine. (Or semi-legal, or maybe it’s all just too Byzantine to tell.) I can picture Chris Dodd getting all cozy in that negotiation room with Richard Shelby, lighting up a stogie and compromising this thing right out of effectiveness. Financial reform is “at a crossroads,” according to Robert Kuttner of The American Prospect.

It reminds of me something Apollonia said to me while we were filming the “Shakin’” video back in 1983. Yes, that Apollonia. What, you don’t think The Money Man’s got it like that fruity little cat in the purple pants? He does. I mean, I do.

She said, “You know how they say, ‘The perfect is the enemy of the good?’”

I said, “Yeah, sugar. I heard that.”

“Well, sometimes thinking the perfect is the enemy of the good becomes the enemy of the better.”

She blew my mind, Apollonia.

Couple years later, I kicked drugs and brought Ronnie Spector back to her rightful place at the top of the charts after that creepy gun freak kept her locked up in a mansion like frickin’ Beauty and the Beast or something. And as we know now, she’s lucky he didn’t shoot her in the face. There’s another argument for tighter regulation, right there! And gun control!

But what do I know, right? I’m just a cop from Brooklyn with a golden voice and a gift for melody who followed his rock n’ roll dream all the way to eleven (count ‘em!) top 40 hits and four platinum or multiplatinum certified albums. Whether those scumbag fat cat bankers on Wall Street like it or not, Eddie Money songs still get played on the radio every day in this country! Also, I’m touring throughout the rest of this year and doing a three-day Royal Caribbean concerts cruise to the Bahamas in November with Lou Gramm. It’s gonna be a gas! You should come. Here’s what you get for $799 (plus tax):

* Exclusive full band Concerts with Eddie Money and Lou Gramm of Foreigner
* Party with Eddie, Lou and their bands at your
* Private Cocktail Reception and Meet and Greet
* Party with great photo opportunities
* Ask the questions you’ve always wanted to know at the Artist’s Q&A;
* Intimate acoustic performance with Eddie
* Let Eddie and Lou decide if you should quit your day job as they judge

Hey, since everybody on board will technically be a “cruiser,” maybe we should call the whole thing “Eddie and the Cruisers!” I just made that up just now! I should call Royal Caribbean and see if we can work that in to the promotional material. Oh, but Lou might get pissed. Eddie and Lou and the Cruisers? Nah. Hmm. We will be leaving U.S. territory. Maybe we could work a “foreigners” thing in there somewhere. Or maybe I could get Lou bumped and replaced with John Cafferty? Nah. Lou’s good people. And I’m psyched to hear “Urgent” live on a boat.

“Money’s daughter Jesse Money appeared on the 2008 MTV reality competition Rock the Cradle, coming in last. She also toured with Eddie in 2008–2009, performing as his opening act, as well as singing backing vocals throughout his show, including the Ronnie Spector part on ‘Take Me Home Tonight.’”