Go ahead, Wall Street! Jump!
One of biggest disappointments of Obama's first term (notice I said first term) was the failure to rein in Wall Street. Of course I don't blame him entirely for that failure. And I certainly don't blame him for getting us into the mess in the first place.
But I do blame him for not taking a stronger stand against those who did: The Tim Geithners. The Ben Bernankes. The investment bankers. The Wall Street 1-percenters.
Earlier this year, PBS aired an excellent two-part Frontline documentary on what was happening on Wall Street in the crucial months leading up to the 2008 election.
"Money, Power, and Wall Street"
In the first segment, we see a clear pattern of screw-ups at the highest levels of government. We also hear a story of ass-covering so monumental that if the Pampers company doesn't buy the rights to it, they're missing the opportunity of a lifetime.
At the peak of the crisis, just as the full dimensions of the screw-up were becoming clear, uber-bankers Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke made the canny (but also dishonest) decision to keep Candidate Obama apprised of the situation, while denying Candidate McCain the same information. As a result of getting a steady stream of insider information, Candidate Obama was able to bone up on his economics, and in the fall of 2008, when President Bush brought the candidates into a roundtable discussion on how to deal with the crisis, Obama looked had a plan and looked prepared, while McCain, who hadn't been told what was happening, looked the fool.
Well guess how PRESIDENT Obama returned the favor to Geithner and Bernanke after the election? He rehired them. And since then, he's even promoted Geithner to Secretary of the Treasury!
Are you following this? Let me break it down for ya.
► Two fat-cat bankers.
► Both George W. Bush appointees.
► Both were at the controls of the government's financial policy machinery in the months and years leading up to the crash.
You'd expect these lame-o's to be among the first whose heads rolled after "regime change," wouldn't you?
But is that what happened?
Nope. Not at all. Bernanke and Geithner are still firmly at the levers of power, still trying to help their old pals at the Wall Street banks, and still screwing over the rest of us.
All for the price of a couple insider tips that helped Barack Obama get into power.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
I haven't quothed Scripture at you for a few days now, and I was getting kinda antsy. Hope you don't mind if I reuse one now and then.
+1 for the Frontline piece, Money Power Wall St. It was eye opener, fo sure. Except, IMO, it was a little soft on some of TBTF financiers.
Also, "Inside Job" was a good documentary. Showed the elite club made from members of top Ivy League & business schools, large Wall St firms, and Washington DC -- the club that carefully collaborated to bring the financial system to collapse. In the film he analyzes the Clinton, the Bushes, and Obama administrations, and their roles.
The thing that makes me vomit nearly is when I read that so and so is being considered for some position in the administration now... and lawd, if it's not one of those Players! One of my biggest disappointments is Obama sent no message, he made no heads roll when they were vulnerable and needed govt. backing, and needed govt. to 'soft test' their garbage, ahh their assets, so their firms wouldn't Bankrupt. He had a golden opportunity early in his admin, and he went completely soft. Why? IDK.
I also think Bill Moyers interviews of David Stockman, and his interview Gretchen Morgenstern, were good.
Serious.. meg, serious? Go down the campaign donors list. DPB they were covered and cloaked from day one. "They" got the federal reserve, the Dept of Treasury, and then to tie up the package neatly ... they hired the big dog of Wall Street legal firms to head up DOJ. That pretty much covered the bases. Now, if it was a little hand holding and a mass jump.. and I have my favorites to join in... tell ya dobro, you grab 5 to join in, and I will grab 5.... let's see who really should be on the Ledge Leaping Olympiad. How many times have we heard .... " most economists say/agree".... (fill in the blanks) ...
Meg...Kootch will argue about anything that smacks of not agreeing with him all the time. You actually agreed with DBP about something. Heaven forbid you would ever agree with anything that I said or JoB said. - lol ( and,it seems that according to Kman, Obama is the anti-Christ...he's to blame for everything)
You mentioned Bill Moyers...can't say enough good things about him and his journalism :)
(trying to keep this comment as generic as possible - lol)
All it took was for him to make sense. Next, you might too. He doesn't rise to the level of "anti-Chrsit".. a tool for him maybe. A front man in a suit. He doesn't have the juice.
Kman, can't tell what you're arguing w/the 'serious' thing.
Jan, heaven forbid ...(oh nevermind) in this thread I agreed with a particular assessment not person, an assessment that Wall St. financialization machine and our central govt priests have woven a democracy-murdering blanket in which they are smothering us.
Why do politics have sacred leaders? These ones don't deserve respect, craven fools at best. Plus, for non-religious ppl, why does religious terms like "anti-Christ" even matter?
OK, then. Obama is ... anti-Santa. An empty shirt. Better? :)
Hate focusing turns non-religious ppl to holy war emotions, no different from Taliban or Westboro churchers. Focus instead on deep understanding of what's actually true, not snipets for puppets, and how things really work and the complexity of it. Only from That will I find what I as a citizen can do.
You someday may win the kootch
nevermind, I think you're saying he couldn't hard-stress them cuz they brought him to power?
off topic here, sorry OP:
what do you think about what simpson's saying, about how repubs are scared to raise taxes in order to deal with the deficit due to them signing that grover norquist's non-taxing oath? they can't pass simpson-bowles cuz they are terrified, according to senator simpson who seems po'd.
do you think republicans will be able to pass this? do you think they will feel a one-time tax raise will be fine and they can still hold to a high level of no-new-tax ideology without being hog-tied, forevermore, to an oath to grover norquist?
waahhh, K-man made the ledge too crowded now I can't fit My faves!
gdamnit moveover, I got a couple economics schools deans and some elite paper-smacking testifiers.
no...I think Grover Norquist has them by the proverbial balls...he has pledged to unseat them if they break the pledge.And if they stick with him, constituents will eventually kick 'em out. I don't know why anyone gives this man any importance at all..he doesn't/can't even shave right ;->
(yeah, I have a few words on Grovie's oath-harvester, but have to collect them after a thought experiment that went sideways into a parallel universe)
There's a season for everything, and a time for every purpose. isn't that the quote?
Grover had his season and his purpose. At the start he just trying to get accountability, right? The central govt is Huge, and voters learned they can't trust their DC pols, so Grovie found a medieval way to put them in straight-jackets, in order to get a bizarre form of "accountability". Perhaps it worked well for a while.
What he's doing is not illegal. But it IS not necessarily effective now, is disgraceful, and a stupid way for legislators to have to work. It's very very Nanny-ish: "We don't trust your intention, so we will hog-tie you to the fence, into perpetuity, and pretend you can still do your best work." (like some nanny laws that conservatives & libertarians hate. interesting.)
Anyway, Grovie is another reason why voters need a huge amt education about issues, not party punch bowl trash-talking half-lies and inuendo scare-tactics campaign crap. Do you hate what Grovie is doing? Enuf education on the part of voters would crater him - even if they don't vote for your party. But voters have to be really educated, not just more party zombies. Grovie IS vested in party ppl staying uneducated. Haters be making Grovie very secure.
what gets me is the "Grovie"s background...a damned lobbyist...like that's qualifications for running people in congress. Chaps my hide that they are more indebted to him than to their constituents..
and, oh, yeah...besides other right wingy things, he worked with Oliver North and his Nicaraguan thing...now that's inspirational. I've seen some interviews with him...have a hard time listening to them all the way through...but feel like I should...
Don't hate him....UNDERSTAND him. Best way to deal with your opponent. Yeah, you may find yourself scarily slipping between both realities, sometimes. But that's the best way to really understand what's ticking, and how to 'untick' it.
meg are you boning up on your Sun Tzu ? 孙武 Here's how you marginalize Grover Norquist. Reduce the size of the federal government. Spend no more than you take in as taxes. Pass and sign a constitutional amendment for a balanced federal budget. Poof! Norquist gone.
The ripple effects of the stock exchange shut-down were being felt as far away as Washington state Tuesday morning, where Highland Park resident David Preston was hunkered down in his basement, gripped by uncertainty.
"I was going to go out for donuts this morning," he said, "but with all the markets shut down, I probably won't risk it."
Ah.. but the markets around the world were trading... robustly. Starting to get the feeling we are not the only place in the world to conduct business?
But who wants to go to Japan for donuts?
Ah the beauty of capital.. you don't even need a wheelbarrow anymore. Just hit the "send" button to execute. Donuts a cure for uncertainty?
Anyway, Grovie is another reason why voters need a huge amt education about issues, not party punch bowl trash-talking half-lies and inuendo scare-tactics campaign crap.
War on Women?
4 million new jobs?
Things like that?
it's too bad the education your are opting for doesn't include accuracy...
you wouldn't invest on the basis of the quality of the political information you are disseminating,
This just heard on tonight's PBS Newshour (11/20/12):
The day's other major business story involved Hewlett-Packard. The company announced that a British firm acquired last year had lied about its finances. As a result, H.P. said it's taking a charge of $8.8 billion against earnings. H.P. stock fell 12 percent in daily trading today.
So let me get this straight, HP.
You paid $9 billion for a foreign company based on . . . what?
–A wink and a nod?
–A number written on a napkin?
–An e-mail from some Nigerian prince?
I always thought you had to be kinda smart to make computers.
Guess this just means there's different kinds of smart.
Still only one kinda dumb, though.
Oh, hi Hewlett-Packard.
I'm afraid we're gonna have to ask you to go ahead and move your desk down to the basement now. Mmmm-KAY?
dude. how do you think BofA avoided taxes in '08/'09?
they bought merrill lynch at a loss and wrote it off.
simple accounting. it's done every day by people way smarter and richer than you and i will ever be.
and it should be criminal.
Thanks r/b . . .
Couple of years ago some Dems in Congress proposed a 0.03% "transactions tax" on market trades.
That's a rate of oh-point-oh-three percent. Or about 1/300th of the tax rate you'd pay on a hot dog from 7-11.
The proposed tax wouldn't have "hurt" anyone but the big Wall Street traders, and it would have raised $350 billion in revenue over 10 years.
Guess who killed it?
Go ahead. I'll give you oh-point-oh-three guesses.
Hint: It was "a person with character trying to do the best thing he can for the people against enormous odds."
Oh, come on you guys . . .
The most popular proposal has been the Financial Transactions Tax, popularly known as the “Robin Hood Tax.” It’s already been implemented in 11 European countries--Britain, for example, has taxed stock trading since 1986--and the European Union is deliberating whether to impose it across the continent. An alternative proposal from the International Monetary Fund would tax traders’ net profits and wages--known as the Financial Activities Tax, or--oh yes--the FAT.
Advocates are now reviving their support for a bill that Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced last November, which would impose a 0.03 percent tax on financial transactions. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan group, estimated that their financial transactions tax would raise $350 billion over 10 years.
The Obama administration, however, isn’t a fan of the financial transactions tax. The White House believes it would be easy to evade, could hamper economic growth, and might make markets more volatile, not less so. Instead, Obama has proposed a new “financial crisis responsibility fee” on big banks, which would raise about $61 billion.
It's not that hard to find stuff to complain about with a guy that has a 4 year record behind him, a lot of it spent fighting pure obstruction (that would be the "enormous odds"). I won't bother to post a list of accomplishments, you can easily google that if you care.
Again, this speaks to my earlier discussion with the gang. Obama is just a tempered version of the stock Chicago School/Trickle Downers who have occupied the WH since Reagan. Clinton included. Clinton wasn't steeped in the Chicago School like Obama was but he bought into THE PLAN as soon as the TBTF financial industry figured out how to compromise any of his actual progressive tendencies with regards to their control over $$.
There hasn't been a true economic progressive in the WH since FDR. We've had a few social progressives but that's allowed by the TBTF gang. They're happy to let the left and right mess around the edges with that kind of stuff. It doesn't affect $$$. They actually enjoy our little diversions with it.
....keeps our eyes OFF the ball.
>>I won't bother to post a list of accomplishments, you can easily google that if you care. –dobro
–Said list of Obama-complishments has already been posted and responded to on this very forum. In fact, it's been making its way around the Internet for several months now, and someone's been spamming Craigslist RnR with it almost continually. Perhaps you've noticed.
In the list of which I speak, one of the accomplishments near the very top is "Reformed Wall Street."
>>It's not that hard to find stuff to complain about with a guy that has a 4 year record behind him . . .
–Bueno. Can I quote you on that later, sir?
Alright then. I will anyway.
DP: calm down. i had a hot date last night, and wasn't waiting with bated breath by the keyboard for your response.
yeah, i'm quite aware that obama has been soft on wall street. and yes, i, too, want a STET tax. a quarter point would be nice.
that's eight times more than congress proposed.
what can i say? according to some people in these fora, i'm trying to turn america into a syndicalist, bolshevik state that resembles the soviet union, where no one gets ahead by any means and everyone wears gray wool - even in the summer - and we eat a lot of beets.
which is why i voted for the guy who's soft on wall street. right?
anyway, notice that one of the reasons obama cited for his opposition to a STET tax was that it would be easy to evade. his fee proposal is enforceable, it's transparent, and it's small enough to keep creeps like kudlow from accusing him of being a commie terrorist america-hater from the floor of NYSE.
but i agree that obama's proposal - a $61 billion fee - is pretty lame compared to STET tax. i want to raise trillions on those &%$#*@!s' backs, not billions. take it right off the top before their lip even begins to quiver. mean-like. bully-like. shark-like. with a snarl. just like they do to grandma.
obama certainly won't make that happen. but i have a feeling someone will, and in the not-too-distant future. people just aren't p.o.'ed enough yet. they're getting there, though.
however, despite his lax attitude toward the investor class, i have to take issue with wakeflood's assertion that obama is a full-blown friedmann-school voodoo economist.
Yeah, I'm not all the way to full-blown voodoo economist, R/B. I guess what I'm saying is that, based on his actions specifically, he clearly has adopted the base position of a Corporatist. (Choosing Geithner and Summers over even a centrist like Volker, not pushing for reinstallation of Glass-Steagall, timid mortgage relief, and the list goes on.
Any deviations from that position in action have either been due to overwhelming evidence to the contrary, or politically motivated. Everyone was in favor of stimulus but he let it take the form of tax cuts and merely crumbs of actual Keynesian injections of $ into infrastructure, etc. ala CCC, etc. When, at the time, even high profile financial pundits were saying, "we're all Keynesians now".
So, maybe I should have clarified the labels better. His monetary policy may not be pure Freidman - as I think he leaves that area to Bernanke - but his overall economic tendency is surely laissez-faire at best and solidly Corporatist at worst. A Keynesian, he ain't. But we don't disagree on that.
I think my point is, that his starting position is when it comes to gov't intervention in the economy, it starts with making sure big business is happy. After that, he tries to mollify the masses as best he can. And that is surely a recipe for more of the same as what got us into this mess in the first place and simply a slower death spiral.
And I do agree with your assertion R/B, that we're "getting there". Occupy has given it visibility, and if the TeaBaggers actually could think logically through the root of their anger, rather than reflexively taking their talking points from fathers Koch/Limbaugh, they'd realize that gov't of/by/for the people isn't the end result that their masters are driving them to.
Who knows, maybe we'll someday end up joining arms with the more rational of them with a shared goal of taking back our government. (Although that might end up looking like Bolsheviks vs. Mensheviks. Ha!)
Regardless, clearly the topic is now part of the national discussion. Let's hope that it doesn't just get tamped back into the underground by the monied few...
when the pendulum swings all of the way to the right
this is what a centrist looks like...
there is alot of talk bout how the not Obama campaign the Republicans waged failed.
Obama's not Romney campaign didn't.. and that's a good thing
but this kind of legislation is the inevitable result of a not ____ campaign.
the proposed fee is too small to be effective.
it's good that Obama is pandering to his base by proposing a fee at all..
but the fee he proposes does little more than pay lip service to their request....
and in the end will be paid by the little guy anyway..
just one more fee to bleed your 401k dry :(
JoB, don't think this legislation has anything to do with a/the campaign. It does have to do with the fact that pendulum is way past center. And the fact that both parties are beholden to WS.
As long as $ is at the core of our elections, the voice of the people is marginalized. I'm looking for any way I can to support getting $ out of elections as job #1. It's gonna' take years, maybe decades but it's worth the fight. We be doomed otherwise.
You must log in to post.