Friday, March 06, 2009

Blaming Obama

Robert Reich takes down the critics who are blaming the current Wall Street meltdown on Obama. I'm sure our readers already know that part, but here's an interesting vignette you may not know about.
Worse: When it turns out that people like Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, who took home $68 million in 1997, was the only Wall Streeter in a meeting last September at the New York Federal Reserve to discuss the initial AIG bailout with Tim Geithner, then New York Fed chair, among others, at the very time Goldman was AIG's largest trading partner, a distinct scent of self-dealing begins to emanate. When it turns out that Citigroup got a bailout deal last October far more generous than that given to any other distressed bank, when a top Citi executive was advising the Treasury and Fed, the scent increases. Goldman's past CEO was treasury secretary at that time, by the way, and another former Goldman CEO was a top Citi official and also a former treasury secretary. I am not suggesting anything so crude as corruption. But could it be, given these tangled webs, that -- innocently, unintentionally, perhaps even subconsciously -- the entire bailout effort was premised on saving these companies rather than protecting the public? Or that the distinction between the two was lost, and still is?
Well I'm perfectly willing to call it outright criminal corruption and the one thing I blame Obama for at this point is his insistence on continuing to put the same sort of insiders in charge of cleaning up this mess. Geithner, Bernacke and the rest of power players are apparently too emotionally invested in their relationships in the financial sector to make the sensible decisions that would solve the problem at the expense of their friends. In the end the majority of Americans are never going to be satisfied with socialized losses while the private profiteers get to keep their ill-gotten gains.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Meander said...

If Geithner and Bernacke are doing what Obama's told them to do, then they are engaging in a higher level of politcal kabuki than I've ever seen, because they LOOK absolutely clueless and tone-deaf

2:39:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well that vignette goes back to the Bush administration but they're all rather tone deaf on this one. This is one of these places where I'm really down on how Obama is handling it.

Hey, btw, did you try to friend me on FB? I ignored someone who I didn't recognize and I didn't have any friends in common with yet. I assumed it was someone looking for a different Libby. Hard to tell with only knowing people by nyms.

2:52:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

"try to friend me on FB? -- knowing people by nyms."

Unazungumza Kiswahili? Ninatokea Marekani. Ninazungumza Kiingereza tu!

4:59:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

It's true Fogg. I've succumbed to Facebook. Another black hole in the space time continuum.

5:50:00 PM  

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