Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is Obama Ignorant OR Hopelessly Corrupted By Wall Street?

This commentary from Paul Krugman was posted in Jesse's Cafe Americain yesterday.  I wanted to zero in on Krugman's recounting of statements made by Obama in Bloomberg News last week, as I had missed this, as I'm sure a lot of other people did as well:

I was startled last week when Mr. Obama, in an interview with Bloomberg News, questioned the case for limiting financial-sector pay: “Why is it,” he asked, “that we’re going to cap executive compensation for Wall Street bankers but not Silicon Valley entrepreneurs or N.F.L. football players?”

That’s an astonishing remark — and not just because the National Football League does, in fact, have pay caps. Tech firms don’t crash the whole world’s operating system when they go bankrupt; quarterbacks who make too many risky passes don’t have to be rescued with hundred-billion-dollar bailouts. Banking is a special case — and the president is surely smart enough to know that."

Let that sink in for a moment.  Did Obama really say that?  Looks like a verbatim quote.  I have to believe, given Obama's educational track record, that the President is not brain-dead.  That leaves only one other possibility. 

We know that two key Obama cabinet members and policy implementers, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner,  are inexorably tied to Wall Street interests.  In fact, the high profile blog, Clusterstock.com, has established a Geithner-to-Goldman clock, initmating that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will be rewarded with a lucrative job at Goldman Sachs after his tenure with Obama ends:  Geithner-to-Goldman Watch

Most people probably are unaware that Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, made many millions as a Wall Street advisor at Wasserstein Perrella (now part of the Anglo-German bank Dresdner Kleinwort).  As a Congressman, he received millions in contributions from hedge funds.

It would appear from both word and deed that the whole Obama Administration is bundled up neatly and completely controlled by the dominant financial interests on Wall Street.  While Obama mesmerizes the hoi polloi with amusing appearances on The Letterman Show and grandiose speeches heavy on empty rhetoric and promises to be broken, Wall Street is busy stealing this country's money.  Is this the kind of Hope and Change that everyone voted for?


  1. Actually, I suggest you read Jessie's recent blog entry entitled Ding, Ding, Ding. I tend to agree with your conclusion, but do not discount the possibility-in my view it's more than than a possibility- that Obama's stupefying lack of action is the result of cowardice. After all, Obama was not known in some circles as Senator Slither for no reason.

    What's more, very few legislators, especially Senators, achieve their position by ever taking bold action. Quite the contrary. This was not always the case, but now we have a system that
    delivers politicians who spend at least half their time in office running for the next term. In short, for a variety of reasons, they are bred to be impotent in office.

  2. Do not overlook Rahm Emmanuel.

    The Chief of Staff controls access and information to the president.

    Rahm receives substantial funds and favors from Wall Street.

  3. Eduardo, I got the idea from my good friend Jesse's blog post. If it wasn't his blog, I would have just purloined the quote from Obama with no credit (LOL, just kidding).

    Jess, Rahm, Tim, Summers are all equally corrupt and play separate and distinct rolls. Tim is the stooge, although I don't think he has to act very hard. Rahm is dangerously overlooked and dangerously quiet behind the scenes, but probably controls Obama more than anyone realizes.

    Someone warned me about Rahm when it was rumored that Obama was going to appoint him chief of staff. I did some research on the guy and was thoroughly horrified/frightened about what the voters did to our country.

    I'm concluding that McCain would have been the far lesser of two really tragic choices.

  4. Don't overlook Rahm? Who chose Rahm, Jessie? Obama chose him. Obama isn't controlled by any of his staff, he is" controlled" by a far deeper mechanism that encompasses all his choices, including his economic team, high ranking subordinate creeps like Rahm Emmanuel, and overall policy.

    As for McCain being a lesser evil, I'd like to offer that this sort of thinking will get us absolutely nowhere. There is not one shred of evidence that McCain would be any better than Obama with respect to "the financial/economic crisis." What's more, McCain had the execrable Whore of Babylon as his #2. In short, the risk reward for voting for the elderly McCain was way too high.

    But I digress a tad.

    Investing in the Democratic/Republican duoply is not just a complete waste of time, it is, in my view, deeply counterproductive. Janus the two faced god is alive and well and he is a Republicrat.

  5. Dave,
    Jesse's blog is one of the best, it is great you know each other!

    Joe Weisenthal had his obligatory "gold is stupid" sort of post at Clusterstock today calling all demand for gold "speculative". While I am sure demand for stocks like AIG, FNM, and C are all solidly based on fundamentals and not speculative is nature, Joe omits the fact of the ginormous short position of many banks on gold (and especially silver). That guy really hates the metals, maybe he had a bad filling or something!

  6. Jesse is a good man. We've chatted, bantered and debated for about 5 years now.

    gyc, I'm not sure what Clusterstock's agenda with gold other than Joe and Vincent Whatever his last name is like to post commentary that is anti-gold. Given that Clusterstock tends to apologetic toward Wall Street, and gold is anathema to Wall Street's profit machine, it makes sense that Clusterstock tries to slam gold.

    Whatever the case is, both Joe and Vinny are incredibly ignorant and uninformed about gold. In fact, they often look rediculous and stupid with their rhetoric...