It's time for Plan B. The White House is about to be sold to the same people who bought it in 2008. The front page of today's New York Times says it all. President Obama is on the hunt for campaign cash and the Wall Street crowd represents his main target. After all, he and his "good friend Tim" (Geithner) delivered in the biggest way possible. Obama must be thinking that it's payback time! Pony up fellas.
This much is clear. There will be no federal prosecutions of Wall Street crooks for the 2008 financial collapse, no day of judgment for massive mortgage fraud before, during and after the housing bubble, and no representation for the people the in the White House, no matter who wins in 2012. Populist rhetoric will guarantee a place on the no-fly list for any who stray from the new party line.
The Times article resorts to irony right out of the gate:
"Mr. Obama, who enraged many financial industry executives a year and a half ago by labeling them “fat cats” and criticizing their bonuses, followed up the meeting with phone calls to those who could not attend." New York Times, June 13 Make the jump»
The White House snatched back one of the few bones it's thrown to the people outraged at the looting of the United States Treasury by failed financial concerns - the big banks and Wall Street. The promised appointment Elizabeth Warren as head of the new agency to protect consumers from the financial services industry has been seriously downgraded. Instead of running the Consumer Finance Protection Agency, Warren's role has been diminished to that of special assistant to the president and adviser to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
"President Obama, sidestepping a possibly heated confirmation battle, will appoint Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren as a special advisor to the Treasury Department to launch the government's powerful new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to two Democratic officials familiar with the decision." LA Times, Sept 15
An interim appointment would have given the no-nonsense Warren the full authority to structure consumer bureau in the interests of the people. A special adviser role is defined in a New York Times article as follows:
"Ms. Warren will be named an assistant to the president, a designation that is held by senior White House staff members, including Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff.
"She will also be a special adviser to the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, and report jointly to both men." September 15
The title of the Times article says it all: Warren to Unofficially Lead Consumer Agency.
Of course, President Obama could have set it up for Warren to officially lead the agency through an interim appointment. Warren's outstanding efforts and her extraordinary record of being right on the issues are more than enough justification for that. Make the jump»
I have a question. It emerged after reading the two paragraphs below while waiting for French Toast "delux" in a diner. There was nothing else to do but read the Washington Post (Apr. 4, 2009)
"The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials.
"Administration officials have concluded that this approach is vital for persuading firms to participate in programs funded by the $700 billion financial rescue package."
So here's my question, when did it become necessary to persuade people to accept a bailout? Make the jump»
Since I've posted this I've come on another major piece on what's happening with the banks. New also a discussion of the implications of the ongoing Oligarchic Coup in the U.S. (with comparisons to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.). I am including it at the bottom of this thread. Please also take a look at Kuttner's latest, cited at length in my comment. carol.
Paul Krugman interviewed on This Week with George Stephanopoulis. Make the jump»
The lead story in today's Huffington Post, is a post by Robert Kuttner White House Confidential, in which he releases to memos, supposedly exchanged between President Obama and Rahm Emanuel regarding the failure of the Adminsitrations policie's dealing with the banking crisis. Taken together they are a damning critique of a policy that threatens to simultaneously sink the economy further and weaken the political clout of the Adminstration. Make the jump»