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Obama’s Treasury Secretary? Let’s Hope Not

Posted on Nov 6, 2008
Flickr / World Economic Forum

Barack Obama is rumored to favor Lawrence Summers as his treasury secretary. That’s a terrible choice, says Robert Scheer, if the president-elect is at all concerned about the financial meltdown.

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Truthdig: Today on the Truthdig podcast, Truthdig editor Robert Scheer explains why the man rumored to be Barack Obama’s choice for treasury secretary would be a huge mistake. The frontrunner who has emerged for Barack Obama’s treasury secretary is rumored to be a man named Larry Summers, who was the treasury secretary under Bill Clinton. Tell us why you think that would be a terrible mistake?

Robert Scheer: Lawrence Summers is as responsible as anyone for the current economic meltdown. He was Robert Rubin’s protege in the Treasury Department, and he became secretary of treasury after Rubin, who had come from Goldman Sachs to be Clinton’s secretary of treasury, went off to CitiGroup—which was the first company from the kind of deregulation pushed through under Clinton. Summers was the secretary of treasury that got Clinton to sign off onto the two most egregious pieces of legislation that permitted the financial meltdown. This was legislation carried by Phil Gramm, the Republican senator who was head of the Banking Committee, and his name is one of them, it’s called the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, or otherwise known as the Financial Services Modernization Act—that was in 1999. And in 2000, as a lame duck, the Clinton administration approved after Congress passed again at Graham’s insistence, something called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. These two pieces of legislation allowed the current meltdown. They allowed the commercial banks, investment banks, stockbrokers and insurance companies to merge. That’s why you have this problem of AIG buying these phony toxic securities and everything. And it did not have any degree of transparency, it allowed them to merge their data, it allowed them to merge their activities. And the Commodity Futures Modernization Act said that all these new-fangled financial instruments that they developed, the hybrid instruments, the credit swaps and so forth, were automatically freed form any government regulation or any… were not covered by any pre-existing regulatory legislation. It’s those instruments that have gotten us into this problem. We don’t know what they’re worth. Taxpayers are now being forced to buy them. And that’s the heart of the whole thing. And it was Lawrence Summers who was secretary of the treasury, who in 1999-2000, urged Clinton successfully to sign off on those two pieces of legislation. It’s now admitted that they didn’t even known what was in them. That it had not been vetted, there had not been hearings in Congress on the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, and so Lawrence Summers has got his fingerprints all over these things. He assured the president, he assured everyone else, that this was a very good thing to do, but what in effect did, was end the regulatory regime that had been put place under Franklin Deleano Roosevelt during the Great Depression to prevent such a meltdown. So the idea that you would now reward Lawrence Summers for having gotten us into this mess by making him secretary of the treasury, and in an administration that has been elected to promise change and go back to this retread, go back to this guy who helped get us into this mess, is mind-boggling.

Truthdig: So what responsibility ultimately does the Bush administration have to bare for this economic meltdown if so much of the deregulation that took place that enabled it happened under the Clinton administration?

Scheer: I mean, deregulation was the Republican siren, this was the Reagan revolution, the Republicans have been pushing this forever. And certainly it was the Republican Party, as I mentioned Phil Gramm was certainly key to it, who pushed through the deregulation that passed under Clinton. Clinton’s problem was that he was an opportunist, and he went for this triangulation. And he signed off on it because people like Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers told him it was an OK thing, that it was a good thing to do. I don’t think Bill Clinton himself was a big advocate of it, I don’t think he understood it, but he signed off on it because Wall Street wanted it. What happened with the incoming Bush administration is that then there were attempts during that time to rewrite some of those laws, to soften them up to extend regulation. But the Bush administration embraced this deregulatory opportunity and went to town with it. So they do have major responsibility. And as this meltdown was clearly emerging, they did not respond in any real way. So I don’t want to get Bush off the hook, he certainly was the one who brought us to this mess. I don’t want to get the Republican Party off the hook. The Reagan revolution and the mantra of deregulation is certainly their baby. But, I’m trying to address your initial question about picking Lawrence Summers. And I think we should recognize there are plenty of Democrats who bear responsibility for this. Wall Street are into Democrats like Lawrence Summers who do bear responsibility. And certainly Robert Rubin, who was his mentor. Robert Rubin, in January of this year, gave a speech at Cooper Union in New York saying we weren’t really experiencing a serious crisis—this is just the normal fluctuation of the business market. And Barack Obama, on the other hand, two months later very clearly spelled out that we are in a crisis—and he did point to this very legislation that Clinton signed off on as being central to it. So, I for the life of me cannot understand why Barack Obama would now turn to Lawrence Summers who certainly among the Democrats was a leader in pushing or that legislation.

Truthdig: So is there anyone you can think of who would be a better candidate?

Scheer: Well, I think that there’s a war on Barack Obama’s economic soul going on now. So I think that if he listens to Paul Volcker, he listens to Warren Buffet, if he could listen to George Soros, Paul Krugman, I think he’d be in a lot better shape. I think he should turn to those people who like Buffet and Paul Volcker, formal head of the Fed, who did warn us about these dangers. Who was against, Warren Buffet, certainly a big capitalist, called these new financial instruments financial weapons of mass destruction. He predicted this nightmare. So I would certainly feel more comfortable is he was relying on them rather than on Robert Rubin or Lawrence Summers for his key picks.

Truthdig: Well we should say for the record, that this is a rumor; we are not certain who he’s going to pick.

Scheer: Yeah we’re not, and after all Barack Obama has stressed in this historic victory, and I do think this is historic, and should be applauded in every way, has said that he is going to be accountable o the people who put him in office and he’s going to be a real agent of change. Well it’s not change in any kind of positive direction to turn to the same cynics who got us into this mess. And certainly summers and Rubin are right in there.

Truthdig: Well we hope he doesn’t. Thank you.

 


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By Oceana, November 26, 2008 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

9/11 was not a surprise to some of us. When people were shocked that 9/11 occurred, I was thinking, “Why not us?  What has taken so long?”  Please consider Russia and Chile. We are facing the same fate by these same greedy ignorant bastards who have no ability to think outside of their own self-interests.

Democracy Now! | Naomi Klein, Robert Kuttner and Michael Hudson Dissect Obama’s New Economic Team &
Source: http://www.democracynow.org
On Monday Obama named New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner to the post of the Treasury Secretary. Former Treasury Secretary under Clinton Lawrence Summers was named the Director of the National Economic Council in the White House. ...

Solari | Navigating Toward a Financially Intimate World 9:17pm
Source: solari.com
A 5-day course (October 24-28, 2008) taught by Catherine Austin Fitts and others in Hohenwald, Tennessee—receive guidance, resources, and tools you’ll need to launch your own green business.
An excellent 3 hour program with Catherine Austin Fitts is linked below.


11.25.2008
COAST TO COAST AM WITH GEORGE NOORY: SHOWS 9:13pm
Source: http://www.coasttocoastam.com
Appearing for the first three hours, financial advisor Catherine Austin Fitts discussed the economic crisis and possible solutions. $4 trillion has been pulled out of the economy, she said, and the big mystery is where did it go? At the core, we’ve experienced a financial coup d��tat—assets have been stripped out of communities in order to make people more dependent on Washington and centralized government, she asserted. “We’re watching the control and consolidation of cash flow.” Now the Fed and Treasury are putting trillions back into the economy by printing money—that isn’t going to solve our financial problems, she commented. The current bailout of Citibank is just enough to keep it going, but there’s no assurance that’ll be enough, Fitts stated. These bailouts are like “steroids”�they’re not building real economic value. Fitts proposed a path back to economic vitality: People should put their money into local economies and avoid investing in…

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By lichen, November 9, 2008 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Maani, I haven’t read the Harper’s article, but I thought of Hudson right away because I’ve read so much of his excellent analysis, and he is so on-point about the current crisis and how to fix it long-term.

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By Maani, November 9, 2008 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

lichen:

Did you read the Harper’s article?  Or did you come up with Hudson on your own?  In either case, good choice!

Peace.

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By lichen, November 9, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

I nominate Michael Hudson for the post!  But of course Mcbombus is going to pick the corporatists for his administration.

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By Paracelsus, November 9, 2008 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

I think Antonio Villaraigosa is very polarizing presence on the transition team, and I think he would be a constant lightning rod as a member of the cabinet. Additionally I find him disreputable, and thuggish.

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By Louise, November 9, 2008 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

KDelphi
“I have an idea—why dont we help PE Obama show the world we dont want to be at odds anymore, especially in our own hemisphere….why not suggest unconditional aid to Haiti and Cuba, in light of the horrible storm they have experienced.”

~~~

I had exactly the same thought last night! What better way to say “sincerety” than send aid down to Cuba and Haiti?

Good way to say sorry for our interference all those years back, as well, eh?

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By KDelphi, November 9, 2008 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Sandler—same article. I couldnt post the entire article. It sounds like he is saying that he was taught taht Friedman’s way was “devil”, but later, with experience , changed his mind. He gives examples as to how govt internvetion does not work, in his opinion.

LAWRENCE SUMMERS: In many ways Milton Friedman was a devil figure in my youth, [in a] Keynesian household of economists. I grew to see the issue as more nuanced as I was in school and ultimately have come to have enormous respect for Friedman’s views on a range of questions. That’s a respect that is born of the power of his arguments as one considers them more and more deeply. But it’s a respect that’s also born of the lessons of the experience

LATER

LAWRENCE SUMMERS: Because he seemed, with his emphasis on individualism, freedom, and markets, to be so unconcerned with fairness and with the needs of the collective. I think what people came to appreciate is that there is a kind of ethic of “finders keepers” which says the people are entitled to what they produce, which also enters into concepts of fairness. Many of the ideas that were put forward in the name of redistribution and fairness seemed to do far more to hurt those who were well-off than to help those who were poorly off. And it was those losses, those attempts to be fair and redistribute, that led to some greater skepticism about the scope for government to direct and plan economic activity.

I dont know—sounds pretty complimentary to me…

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By KDelphi, November 9, 2008 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Louise—I had thought of that. Still, I think it is important to convey to PE Obama how we feel (I am not saying we all feel the same) about Summers and others.

I have an idea—why dont we help PE Obama show the world we dont want to be at odds anymore, especially in our own hemisphere….why not suggest unconditional aid to Haiti and Cuba, in light of the horrible storm they have experienced.

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By Saddler, November 9, 2008 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, that PBS interview you linked to was very helpful, but you took Summers out of context. The response that you quoted wasn’t about who he personally admired, it was about who he thought was most influential.

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By Louise, November 9, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Afterthought!

We don’t even know Barack Obama’s choice for treasury secretary will emerge from his Transition Economic Advisory Board. Duh ...

By the way, fuzzy leg warmers go well with knickers. Helps keep the body temperature constant and sooth frazzled nerves. smile

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By Louise, November 9, 2008 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

FYI wink

The full membership of Obama’s Transition Economic Advisory Board is:

David Bonior (member of House of Representatives, 1977-2003)

Warren Buffett (chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway)

Roel Campos (former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission)

William Daley (Midwest chairman of JPMorgan Chase; secretary of commerce, 1997-2000)

William Donaldson (chairman of the SEC, 2003-2005)

Roger Ferguson (president and CEO of TIAA-CREF; former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve)

Jennifer Granholm (governor of Michigan)

Anne Mulcahy (chairman and CEO of Xerox)

Richard Parsons (chairman of the board of Time Warner)

Penny Pritzker (CEO of Classic Residence by Hyatt)

Robert Reich (professor at the University of California-Berkeley; secretary of labor, 1993-1997)

Robert Rubin (chairman and director of the Executive Committee at Citigroup; secretary of the Treasury, 1995-1999)

Eric Schmidt (chairman and CEO of Google)

Lawrence Summers (professor at Harvard University; managing director at D. E. Shaw; secretary of the Treasury, 1999-2001)

Laura Tyson (professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley; chairman of the National Economic Council, 1995-1996; chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, 1993-1995)

Antonio Villaraigosa (mayor of Los Angeles)

Paul Volcker (chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, 1979-1987)

Note:

Summers is number fourteen on the list, and the object of a great deal of RUMOR and SPECULATION. Personally, I think I’ll wait for the “official” decision before I get my knickers in a twit.

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By Maani, November 9, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

There is a very interesting article in this month’s issue of Harper’s Magazine called “How to Save Capitalism.”  (It’s not what you think.)  It is a collection of short essays by some economic thinkers, some of whom come off as much better choices for Treasury Sec’y than anyone openly named thus far.  All the pieces are excellent, but I was most impressed by Joseph Stiglitz (Professor of Economics, Columbia University), Michael Hudson (Professor of Economics, University of Missouri), and James K. Galbraith.

Peace.

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By Fahrenheit 451, November 9, 2008 at 5:15 am Link to this comment

LOL, prisoners talking about which cell is best.

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By pablabon, November 8, 2008 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You have to understand that the people we think of as the elite, politicians and university presidents, are only supplicants of the mega-wealthy.  If they serve their masters then the trickle-down theory actually does work for them.  They receive donations, cushy positions, seats on the board and end up with personal millions (they just have to live on their knees begging from billionaires).  They serve only their own interest.  Unpatriotic swine (the elite everywhere think they have more in common with each other than with the human cattle of their own countries) jobs for their own countrymen are merely a joke in terms of their priority list.  Rahm was a horrible start, this guy is a POS.

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By Dave "knowbuddhau" Parker, November 8, 2008 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://www.asanet.org/page.ww?section=Issue+Statements&name=Statement+on+Summers

A fellow HuffPoster provided this link, thought I’d share it with y’all.

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By peacenik1, November 8, 2008 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary! 

Note to Obama:  Don’t bring back too many of the Clinton people.  We need CHANGE, not retreads.

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By KDelphi, November 8, 2008 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Maani—Oh nooo! (Mr. Bill—- Clinton!)

Seriously—it doesnt look good. Will he consider some others? Or is this even a sure thing?

beerdr-LOL. For a cognitive dissonance type laugh/cry—try Ayn Rand….spooky…

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By blueshift, November 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

I wish Mr. Scheer would write (rewrite) this analysis, then repost it, as it’s (1) really difficult to follow as a transcript form an audio presentation, and (2) there is some circular logic - particularly in letting Clinton off a bit easy.

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By leilah, November 8, 2008 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

According to Robert Kuttner one of the real problems with Summers as the Sec. of Treasury is his adherence to the belief that entitlement programs should be the first order of business.  That means cuts in Social Security and a diminution of Medicare.  Nothing like more sick and poor elderly to lighten the national load, ey?
Also, the next boom cycle has been measured out.  It will be the Cap and Trade program in about 15 to 20 years.
The S&L;crisis went away relatively unnoticed but still paid in full.  Now the mega debt brought about by “just a few greed-heads set loose in the laissez-faire market” will eventually be swept under the rug and paid for on the backs of workers.  After a few years of forgetting, they’ll pull the same thing all over again.

Reminds me of the punch line of an old vulgar joke that goes, “If you think I’m doing that sixty-seven more times, you must think I’m crazy.”

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By Maani, November 8, 2008 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Apparently, the MSM is picking up on this discussion:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/08/us/politics/08treasury.html?sq=Treasury&st=cse&scp=2&pagewanted=print

Peace.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 8, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

re: KDelphi

To continue with this Friedman thing. Back in 1980 I did some work with the Libertarians. I remember this one stout fellow who use to drive around in a car with signs on both sides that said: THE GOVERNMENT IS ROBBING YOU. But even this chap, who sometimes listened to audio books of Herbert Spencer’s works, said to me: “Milton Friedman is a nut.”

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By KDelphi, November 8, 2008 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

beerdr—My dad went to a Chicago School Conference when he was teaching at Wayne State University—-he came home and said, “You know , I really dont know what the hell that guy was talking about! It would trample millions of peoeple. He will never get anywhere. He acts like the market is magic or something”. Voila’!

It was when Friedman was an advisor for Goldwater—I was very young, but, I remember, because my mom (one of those who seemed to think that calling yourself a Republican made you rich—lol)LOVED Goldwater. My dad as “less impressed” but stayed a gOP until Bush 1. (no blood for oil), even when in Detroit.He later recanted.

Anyone who has a modicum of smarts should know by now that the market is NOT a “person” (ie it has no thoughts or feeling, it does not intuitively fix things), it has no “rights”, and it need not be “respected” nor “obeyed” when it no longer serves the people—since the people invented it.Well, perhaps a certain “type” of “people”.

We can dis-invent it.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 8, 2008 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

re: Blackspeare, KDelphi

My late father, long ago understood what a creep Milton Friedman was, back when he was held in high regard. Dad said: “That nut thinks he can justify slavery.”

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By Oceana, November 7, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

In response to Blackspeare’s post:

Let’s hope, but I will not assume that, nor be that gracious until I hear him state in a National and Global press conference and put in writing and published in the WSJ, NYT, FT, LAT, The Guardian, etc., that he was wrong and wants to make amends for his role in causing much suffering for the world at large that ended up benefiting the few.  He needs to state his “lessons learned” and how he plans to correct this mess that they all created by adhering to Hayak and Friedman’s ill-conceived ideology.

I would also like some kind of assurance that the algorithms of many IT systems that support this financial debacle be rewritten.  What a task that will be due to the many layers of codes buried deeply below the surface of so many systems within corporations and governments that are all linked together; and linked through various other IT systems.  Maybe some of the computer systems can actually rewrite the code from their home office and upload in various locations since many require direct access to main servers.

This is much bigger than just Mr. L. Summers as he represents one layer that truly does need to be held accountable, but the other layers that have been put in place have created a gigantic monster with its overreaching tentacles in all aspects of our society.  I will not be surprised if one day as these technology systems and new financial ways of doing business that were implemented and enacted before and after the year 2000 will be uprooted and destroyed; just as previous legacy systems were removed and destroyed so that there was no turning back.

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By KDelphi, November 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

Blackspeare—Summers is a great admirer of Friedman.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitextlo/int_lawrencesummers.html#16

LAWRENCE SUMMERS: “I think we’ve come to find that market-oriented mechanisms can do things to increase equity. The availability of private insurance provides tremendous insulation for millions of individuals. But I think we’ve also come to see that an excessive emphasis on equity can result in a leveling down rather than a leveling up….”

When asked who he admired, as well as (Hayek)

“Friedman, George Stigler, the Chicago School of Economics was very much influenced by Hayek. Certainly Thatcher, and [Anatolii] Chubais in Russia, Vaclav Klaus in the Czech Republic….”

I guess everyone has to make up their own mind. I think that Friedman has been so discredited that we wil all be paying for his excesses the rest of our lives. But,everyone needs to make up their own mind..

It seem to me that if it “works”—why doesnt “it” do it, instead asking us for a bailout?

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By Blackspeare, November 7, 2008 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Summers might just be the right guy——we learn from experience and Summers appears to be one who does just that.  He knows where the errors were made and now he can avoid them.  And like another post stated——let’s put the Milton Friedman “survival of the fittest” economic theory to its final resting place along side old Miltie!

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By KDelphi, November 7, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Well, it does matter. Paulson?

Geithner would be better than Summers—but they are both free market capitaslists. I wish Obama would embrace this world view.

http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

But, I was never under the illusion that Pres Elect Obama woudl change our fundamentally “free market system”. He never said he would, in fact, he said he “loves the free market”.

You have to remember that, most of the people making the decisions in the uS, have done pretty well under our current system. So have the people who funded their campaigns. I dont know why we would think that they would change it.

We already bailed it out!

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By Dennis, November 7, 2008 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m going to keep it short , its not the person they pick for treasury , but rather the model they choose to follow. please just put a steak through the heart of the Milton Friedman economic theory.

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By michael roloff, November 7, 2008 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“On Friday, Obama is meeting with his transition economic advisory board, which includes Summers, Rubin, investment guru Warren Buffett, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. But campaign aides said Obama did not plan to announce his Treasury pick at the afternoon press conference that is scheduled to follow the meeting.”


http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15391.html

his government will represent of the u.s. financial elite foremost.

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By troublesum, November 7, 2008 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

A couple of months ago TD featured a review of the book THE BIG SQUEEZE, Tough Times for the American Worker.  I have since read the book.  The outlook for the American worker is far worse than that for wall street.  If we don’t have a voice in this new administration we are well on the way towards a two tier society of masters and slaves and a permanent underclass of unemployed and underemployed workers.

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By Maani, November 7, 2008 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

The current issue of Foreign Policy magazine asked a panel of “top thinkers” to suggest choices for a variety of top positions in the Obama administration.  (See my post on the “Obama Administration Begins to Take Shape” thread.)

Among the choices for Secretary of the Treasury were David Lipton (former under secretary of the Treasury), Hillary Clinton (!), Warren Buffett, James Galbraith, Michael Bloomberg, Mohamed El-Erian (ex-IMF and Harvard), Indra Noori (PepsiCo chair), Steve Forbes and Roger Altman.

ANY of these would be better than Summers.

Peace.

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By KDelphi, November 7, 2008 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Sure—Summers “has knowleedge of it” so he can “get us out of it”..what total bs! Almost all true progressivse are coming out agaisnt this one. So Clinton is awful, but thank you sir may I have another?

It reminds me of Bill Maher’s discussion on his show on the coal mine disaster—that Bush had hired a bunch of coal mine owners to regualte the mines. A conservative on his show said “well maybe they would have knowleege of it”. He replied , “Yes, but not the way a fox has knowledge of hens!”

I’ll tell you something—we had better hope to hell Obama does not do this and goes with Krugman, Buffett or SOMEONE.I posted a link to Naomi Klein’s petition to ask Obama not to do this—but I guess it wasn here. Its at the Shock Doctrine site, if anyone is interested..

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By RdV, November 7, 2008 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

This is the line in the sand. should he cros it, it will be:
Wow. That was a short celebration!

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By bobbylon, November 7, 2008 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Podesta, Emanuel, Rubin and Larry Summers. When did Hillary Clinton win the White House? Is this quid pro quo for keeping those on the Obama cheerleader squad? So much for change.

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By troublesum, November 7, 2008 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Obama met with top business executives today to get their advice on what to do about the economy.  Of course there were no labor executives there to give their advice - he doesn’t want to hear it.

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By troublesum, November 7, 2008 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Summers should have disappeared under a rock after saying that women can’t do math and science.  I can’t believe Obama would want him in government in any capacity.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 7, 2008 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

re: Louise

Damn straight. As they say in England, hear hear!

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By Louise, November 7, 2008 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

By Louise, November 6 at 9:33 pm #


Seems a lot of folks are concerned that Obama may fill his cabinet up with Clintonians. First, I don’t think he will ... not entirely anyway. But there’s something we need to remember. Times are critical and so is time. Obama needs to get someone working on these disastors as quickly as possible. We’ve already seen how problems will continue to be handled under the duck!

So what’s a guy to do?

Remember, except for Clinton and company, we haven’t had a democrat president or a democrat cabinet in the White House since Carter! Were talking twenty eight years here folks! And while we all want change, we need to remember it helps to get people in there who know their way around town! We can train the new ones as we go, but right now we need someone right now!

So for the sake of urgency and in the name of for gosh sakes ... if searching recent history is the only way Obama can find someone ... anyone who understands where we are and how we got there and is willing to tackle the mess, I say go, go Obama! And I hope folks will realize, it’s going to take a little while [a little while we may not have] to flesh out the perfect body!

I personally don’t know who’s best qualified, Lyndon LaRouche maybe? Yeh like you all will accept that!

Actually that might be a good idea.

And I think we need to remember something else. Carter could have been the great president who led our economy to recovery after he inherited the mess left by Nixon and Ford, but we didn’t let him, did we. We were all to busy chopping him up in little pieces! Which brought us Reagan, and twelve years of hell! And a group of freaks who waited out Clinton and gave us BUSH! And another freakin’ eight years of Hell, which has brought us to this mess! My gosh folks, don’t sit here and bitch at each other ... let Obama know!

Don’t want Summers? Go online and offer some sound and sensible alternatives!

http://www.change.gov/

And blog! And if you want APPLY!

http://www.change.gov/page/s/application
http://www.change.gov/learn/transition/

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By mud, November 7, 2008 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

You wanted change? You wanted change??!!

We don’t got to show you no stinking change…

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By Yankee Running Dog, November 7, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Looks like reality is catching up quick with the naive euphoria of Obama’s win..

Let me see, the first pick was Rahm Emanuel for White House Chief of staff, an Israeli shill who will make sure that the NeoCon disaster capitalism game with the war on terror will continue on unabated.  Rahm volunteered for the Israeli Defense force in the first Gulf War, he should bring a “fair and balanced” approach to the US lopsided support of Israel verses the Arab nations.  This will not bring any change to the Middle East, just the same old war on terror nonsense that is at the top of the pile for continuation of running the US EMPIRE. 

And now Robert Rubin is whispering into Barack’s ear and out comes Lawrence Summers.  These are the guys who help write the architecture for the current financial meltdown.  It looks like Wall Street had its boys ready to go with either candidate, and are ready to plug them right in. 

So much for change.  There is a two party system in the USA for a reason.  The corporate oligarchy simply sponsors each candidate and then gets its way however the election goes. That would be problematic where there 5 or 6 real political parties.  When I voted, there were 8 different candidates running for president on the ballot.  Of course, the corporate media only allowed its two candidates any air time.  Until this changes and the money is taken out of the elections, we will get, as Dennis Kucinich said, the best candidates that money can buy.

Barak Obama will put a different face on the corporate oligarchy than the Neocons.  That is not hard to do.  The problem is that most people mistake that new construct to the matrix as change, when it really is not.

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By Chris Bieber, November 7, 2008 at 8:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

meet the new boss-same as the old boss…

shuffling the Elite Card deck…..

and our few Constitutinally GUARANTEED freedoms and rights remaining are ready to be sacrificed on the altar of “emergency” and “moderation”....

The Fabian Socialism of the last 100 years in America has almost been totally realized…. and the conditioned Left(and Right) obliviously think “change” will occur….well it will…change to MORE regimentation, MORE surveillance, MORE indentured servitude(with the NATIONALIZATION of banks the FedGov will OWN YOUR DEBT/MORTGAGE/YOU!!! and MORE bodybags….The New Decider(the Omniscient One) wants to redo the Afghan imbroglio and then take our troops into Pakistan…great…then maybe the Sudan or the Congo or….

his “peace” will be so…so….

bipartisan.

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By Jim, Canada, November 7, 2008 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read somewhere that one of Obama’s many advisors is or was Joseph E Stiglitz, ex-WB, Nobel prize-winner etc etc.  Reading JES’ pieces in Vanity Fair, ‘Reversal of Fortune’, November 08, and ‘The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush, December 07, it seems to this non-economist non-financier that he has a pretty good grip on what’s gone wrong with the system.  Not to say that he would make a treasury secretary but a very good guy to have at your elbow as you thread your way through what should be done and into the hairy politics of how to do it . . .

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By Terry Thomas, November 7, 2008 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think we should be looking for candidates for impeachment for the crimes committed on our county and society. Those who work on a profit made on the backs of American as well as foreign workers. We must not allow this trend to continue. For the future of the world we must make an example of these people instead of rewarding them with another shot at unregulated profits while pillaging our(the peoples) countries resources and polluting the land, sea and air with oil by-products and nuclear waste. Let’s start with a few real patriots instead of the same torturous old Bushit.
  tp

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By Purple Girl, November 7, 2008 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

Regardless of which SOB’s on Wall Street wanted these crap legislations it was Phil Gramm who gave them the access to Gov’t Policy- He was working for them, NOT US!McCain seemed to surround himslef with every criminal and low life in the Country- His campaign tactics alone can attest to that.
The Clintons have also been exposed as Corporationist, and YES Opportunist. Hillary hooked herself to a rising star in the Democratic Party and thought she could ride it right into the WH. A Rude Awakening for many of US ol’ Clintonians.
So I admit I have been fooled before, so I do realize I amy have again with Sen Obama. But frankly I’m willing to take that chance.
Even though Summers helped get US in this mess (it took Congress to pass this crap also)He may understand it enough to help unwind the web of disasterous ‘products’. Sounds like most in Finance Really ahve no idea what these ‘products’ even mean to the big picture. Granted Summers should be facing Charges too- since he Too was Hired to work for US, yet served the Wall Street Beasts instead. but much like a Soiciopathic serial mass Murderer , perhaps we should keep him around long enough to study the mind set of these criminals to better inform ourselves about what motivates them, and how to identify them in the future.
I’ve heard Summers has been VERY helpful in these meetings to the President Elects understanding…Probably trying to suck up an dsave his ow as. But let’s be perfectly Honest, the Treasury Sec has been the lapdog of the Federal Reserve ...Thus Greenspan was the Wicked Witch and Summers Just one of his flying Monkeys.
Fire the Private Profiteer Bankers ‘Good Ol’Boys’ Club…Dismantle the Federal Reserve- the Granddaddy of ‘Private Contractors’ Screwing US!
I would not shed a tear if it began Raining Brokers on Wall Street!Certainly would save time and Money over prosecuting them all.JUMP!

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By kushk, November 7, 2008 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

I agree that Summers will be a terrible choice. Because Obama cannot afford to project the image that his administration is going to be an extension of Bill Clinton.  Perception is important.  But I have full confidence in Barrack Obama.  I think he will go for a younger and less controversial guy on this most important appointment.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 7, 2008 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

P.T., when it comes to Washington, it is all one big chummy club. I posted this link on a another thread, but it seems to apply here. Forget the winter of our discontent, this will be the summers of our permanent discontent if this arrogant noxious creep is slipped back into the machinery. If President-elect Obama makes this stupid move, everyone should protest.
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/106195/

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By troublesum, November 7, 2008 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

The Clintons didn’t make it back into the White House but a lot of their frinds are going to.  Is this the price Obama had to pay in order to keep the Clintons from bolting back in June and July?  What other concessions did he make to them?

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By Outraged, November 6, 2008 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

Thanks KDelphi.

Scheer is correct that this would not be a good choice.  This would be a blantant assault on the will of The American People.  So…. what’s going on here. It appears to be more of the same, and more of the same will eek itself out to the certain demise of the American experiment.

Maybe instead of worrying about it we should begin to seriously consider a plan B.  Such as how will we divide up the country after it’s demise….?  Leave the states as they are… group together regionally… and the like.  Always best to think ahead, sounds like there’s rain in the forecast.

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By Paracelsus, November 6, 2008 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

@KDelphi

I signed the petition. If Obama makes Summers part of the team, then it should confirm the suspicion of contempt that the government has for its citizens. Before Lincoln, it was legal to secede from the Union.

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By KDelphi, November 6, 2008 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

Here is what Naomi Klein thinks and her is the petition:

http://action.openleft.com/page/petition/nosummers

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By Paracelsus, November 6, 2008 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

As Mr. Scheer said we should be gushing for Obama. I knew they were bums before Obama got selected as Prez. But I don’t want to be spoilsport. Do I have permission now not to gush?

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By Bboy56, November 6, 2008 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Geithner is the guy you should be concerned about.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/obamas-treasury-candidates-old-guard-of-the-corporate-elite.html

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By P. T., November 6, 2008 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

You almost can’t screw-up too badly in Washington.  The folks there will still find you another job.  Look at the guys who get us into foreign policy disasters.  They still get recycled.  It is like musical chairs.

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