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Obama’s New Chief of Staff Hails From Wall Street

Posted on Jan 9, 2012
AP / NBC News / William B. Plowman

Jack Lew is a liberal who worked for Speaker Tip O’Neill and studied under beloved progressive Sen. Paul Wellstone, but he was also the chief operating officer of a Citigroup unit and doesn’t fault deregulation for the shoddy economy.

The president says Lew was chosen by his predecessor, William Daley, who offered a surprise resignation after one year on the job.

Shahien Nasiripour of The Huffington Post reported in 2010 that Lew testified to the Senate that he did not believe deregulation caused the financial meltdown:

Lew, a former OMB chief for President Bill Clinton, told the panel that “the problems in the financial industry preceded deregulation,” and after discussing those issues, added that he didn’t “personally know the extent to which deregulation drove it, but I don’t believe that deregulation was the proximate cause.”

Lew, who headed President Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget during the period when Clinton signed off on the major deregulation of Wall Street and the telecommunications industry, made a fortune while at Citi. That same Huffington Post report notes that his 2009 bonus alone amounted to nearly a million dollars. 

When he announced his new chief of staff, Obama declared, “Jack’s economic advice has been invaluable and he has my complete trust, both because of his mastery of the numbers, but because of the values behind those numbers.”  —PZS

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By Say No to Corporate America, January 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another bankster, what a shock… it would have been if he didn’t keep it in the fraud-family . It’s way past time to OUT EVERY Globalist Puppet!

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By harold, January 11, 2012 at 4:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well…it was either someone from Monsanto….or BigPharma….BigAG….a General….or Wall Street? 

I feel all hopey-changy now…for sure….  LOL.

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By jamescloud9, January 11, 2012 at 12:53 am Link to this comment

We need 25 Elizabeth Warrens; we don’t need anybody from Wall Street.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, January 10, 2012 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment

Rocky Anderson for president

So when does TruthDig start running articles about him and his campaign for the Justice Party?

Or is hat asking too much truth being dug up at Truth Dig. Can ya dig it? As inn truth-dig it?

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By Jimnp72, January 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

gee what a surprise!

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By Ted Whitney, January 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is more of a traditional republican than any of those dudes running against

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By abikecommuter, January 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

The nature of work needs to change so we return to nature what we take from it. Right
now we go off to GM, BP, or Citicorp and feed of Monsanto MCD and take supersized
craps on Kohler. We sell our lives and families to commute and get sick off the air and
water because Exxon wouldn’t want anything to change, and if there is no jobs we can
always make the world safe for Haliburton through armed theft of Arab oil via Abu Grahib.
Because if you try to walk or grow your own you’d get run over and no one would be
prosecuted. Except you may get guantanamoed for surviving. All Lew did was end up at
the top of the food chain like Billy Graham and Romney. Because its a screwed up
system that can’t grow it’s own food and find its way through its own community.

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, January 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, Surprise,
Surprise”.  Wall $treet paid good money to buy our
government.  They gave Obama nearly $30 million in
the last election, and the list of the top ten firms
who’s people contributed to campaigns includes 5 Wall
$treet firms headed by Goldman-Sachs at just under a

So, Wall $treet’s man in the White House not only has
all of his economic policy under the control of Wall
$treet, but now also has the Chief-of-Staff, who is
the hands-on runner of the government and gatekeeper
for access to the President as yet another Wall
$treet guy.

Strangest sight of all is watching Labor campaign and
work for Wall $treet’s President.  Voters need to
learn to never, ever vote for the candidates with
Wall $treet money in their accounts.  Go to or to find out who they

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A Bird in the Hand's avatar

By A Bird in the Hand, January 10, 2012 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Thank you JShort for pointing out:

The unit he oversaw invested
in a hedge fund “that bet on the housing market to collapse.”

That pretty much sums it up..

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By Sandy Berman, January 10, 2012 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

I place idiots like balkas somewhere between a protozoa and detached piece of

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BrooklynDame's avatar

By BrooklynDame, January 10, 2012 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

*Sigh*...*BIG, HEAVY SIGH…*

I’d like to see someone who knows how Wall Street works but is a true progressive
and understands that the laws/regulations must be in place to protect the working
class—and then those laws must be enforced.

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By J Short, January 10, 2012 at 10:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In June 2006, Lew was named chief operating officer of Citigroup’s Alternative
Investments unit, a proprietary trading group.——> The unit he oversaw invested
in a hedge fund “that bet on the housing market to collapse.”[3]


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By Mig gonz, January 10, 2012 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

obama is destroying our country one building block at a time. he was chosen to pacify our anger at the bush amdministration and our government as a whole. if we do not try to stand up to this cabal (goldman sacs+ all other wall street demons) that is running the show behind the curtain, then we are doomed. we will go to war and i for one will not fight a rich mans war. America needs to wake up now and if we dont we will realize we are headed for a nightmare, which will be wwwIII.

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By John M. Trott, January 10, 2012 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where it started is anyones guess. What I cannot stand is the way Obomba has conducted his first four years. Big money, big ag, big cave ins are his legacy.
However, can you really vote for a certified lunatic rightwing nut, not me. I will still vote for the Obomba and hope that OWS can grow and give us the change that we need and deserve.

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By balkas, January 10, 2012 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

i place liberals of america s’mwhere between mussolini and hitler.

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By Ian, January 10, 2012 at 8:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ahh…  the gentle breeze of D.C.‘s revolving-door
freshens me as I drink my morning coffee…

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By bpawk, January 10, 2012 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Again, Obama has chosen another right-wing wall streeter to be in his circle - his past behaviour shows that he has always served the elites but he does his folksy-homey thing when trying to solicit votes for re-election. Don’t fall for it - go to his past record to see the real man - what you’re getting now is that he will say anything to get re-elected.

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By Anon, January 10, 2012 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


“What on earth is Obama thinking?”

The same thing he was thinking when he appointed Timothy Geithner.  What are you thinking?  Obama isn’t working for you, if you haven’t noticed protecting CIA torturers, extrajudicial assassinations of US citizens, antagonism against the Iranian “axis of evil,” indefinite detention, military commissions, continual erosion of 4th Amendment protections, Republican-inspired corporate handouts to the health care industry under the guise of reform, etc., by now.

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By oakland steve, January 10, 2012 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

working man…

“Proximate cause” is a term of art that is used in law to define that set of circumstances without which a harm would not have occurred.  He meant to say that the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley (gutting Glass-Steagall) and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, did not directly cause the collapse of the banking systems in this and other countries through the end of the separation of commercial and investment banking, and the express prohibition of any oversight of the derivatives market.

Does anybody buy that?

Jack Lew is an ass.

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By ardee, January 10, 2012 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

Another Financial Industry guy in the administration. Who would have thunk it!

All you Obama loyalists must go through an awful lot of Preparation H!

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, January 9, 2012 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

All that shifting of blame is just that trying to shift the blame from one group of con artists
to another with a more pleasing line…there is no difference at all between them Obama
picks a Clintonista, to replace a Daily….it was Clinton that got rid of glass Steagal…..of
course he can say absurd things that’s what he is paid to do…

The elite doesn’t want re regulation of the financial markets. Anyway it doesn’t really
matter because it’s not going to get any better, as long as the one percenters remain in
charge…...15.3 trillion dollars in debt and growing, building a global empire is

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By gerard, January 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

working man:  You ask: ‘Are you denying that.. derugulation was the (proximate) cause”  A mealy-mouthed word, that “proximate” meaning “immediate.”
Lack of regulation, having been going on for many months and years, was the slow-moving, sneaky cause which fed into the “immediate” cause which was various kinds of financial (unregulated) tricks and abuses that combined with the slow-moving cause to climax in a huge blow-up.  Makes little difference to the “common man” who doesn’t know what hit him or what to do about it.  Let’s not quibble about vocabulary here.  That’s cavalier and not helpful.

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By kdyson, January 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

What on earth is Obama thinking? deregulation allowed
the worst abuses to take place…and putting someone
who does not think it played a huge roll in the
financial meltdown is stupid…just more of the same
type of people running the show…perhaps someone with
more economic ability should be considered for the

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By bigchin, January 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

another bankster in Obama’s White House…

quelle surprise!!!!

Obama is a fraud.

The Democrats are frauds.

Vote for Justice - vote for Rocky Anderson.

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By gerard, January 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Now we can wait and see whether the “people” behind the “facts” behind the “numbers”  can ever find their way to the surface and make themselves heard to Jack Lew. He “doesn’t fault deregulation,” however which would seem to indicate that he won’t promote regulation, so there you have it.

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they call me the working man's avatar

By they call me the working man, January 9, 2012 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

The statement from the article “doesn’t fault deregulation for the shoddy economy” is false. Read the quote you posted.

“the problems in the financial industry preceded deregulation,” and after discussing those issues, added that he didn’t “personally know the extent to which deregulation drove it, but I don’t believe that deregulation was the proximate cause.”

There are other factors that caused our economic problems. Are you denying that?

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