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Obama’s Toxic Advisers

Posted on Mar 24, 2009
Obama, Gensler and Tarullo
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Gensler again?: Gary Gensler, center, Barack Obama’s pick for Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman, looks on as the president-elect shakes hands with Federal Reserve Gov. Daniel Tarullo at a news conference in Chicago in December.

By Robert Scheer

Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont who is independent in spirit as well as party label, has placed a hold on President Obama’s nomination of Gary Gensler to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Sounds like a minor issue to get worked up about, but the senator is right. Like most Americans, I am eager for Barack Obama to succeed, but I see this appointment as further evidence that the president has entrusted his economic policy to the wrong people.
Gensler helped create this financial crisis when he was in the Treasury Department back in the Clinton era, when bipartisan cooperation with Wall Street lobbyists was all the rage. Sanders gets right to the point: “Mr. Gensler worked with Sen. Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan to exempt credit default swaps from regulation, which led to the collapse of AIG and has resulted in the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history.”

Sanders’ hold will not stop the Gensler nomination, because Congress and the president, recognizing the nation’s mood, want to give Wall Street whatever it wants to make the stock market go up. And Gensler is a reassuring figure to the moguls of finance; he was a partner at Goldman Sachs before being brought by Goldman honcho Robert Rubin to the Clinton Treasury Department. 

After Rubin left to take a $20-million-a-year job at Citigroup, which he helped run into the ground, Lawrence Summers, his protégé and replacement at Treasury, elevated Gensler to be an undersecretary. Gensler then performed as Summers’ point man in advocating for deregulation legislation that enabled the current debacle.

The explosion of toxic assets is a direct result of the laws pushed through by Rubin and his followers, and in the decade since, we have had a 20-fold increase, to more than $530 trillion, in the value of those newfangled financial instruments, which Warren Buffett in February 2003 correctly termed “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

Yet when one member of the Clinton administration, Brooksley Born, then head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, attempted to sound a warning, she was treated by the rest of Clinton’s economic team as the enemy. 

In response to Born’s warning, they drove her from government and pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which summarily exempted from regulation the derivatives that now haunt us. The claim at the time by Summers, now top economic adviser in the Obama White House, was that “[t]his legislation promotes innovation and competition in the U.S. financial markets and may help to reduce systemic risk.” Of course now we know, as Born predicted, that it did quite the opposite. What irony that Gensler is being rewarded with Born’s old job for getting it wrong.

In congressional testimony supporting the radical deregulation of the financial derivatives market, Gensler had insisted with great enthusiasm that “OTC derivatives directly and indirectly support higher investment and growth in living standards in the United States and around the world.” As to the many trillions of dollars in credit swaps that now afflict the world economy, Gensler specifically called for freeing swaps of this kind from existing government regulation in the Commodity Exchange Act, which regulated other futures such as wheat sales. He said, “ … [S]wap transactions should not be regulated under the CEA. … ”

His key argument, and that of Summers as well, was that even raising the prospect of regulating what have proved to be toxic derivatives would deny these financial instruments the “legal certainty” they needed to thrive. What a loss that would be, warned Summers, who called the financial derivatives market “a powerful symbol of the kind of innovation and technology that has made the American financial system as strong as it is today.”

So “they”—Summers, Gensler, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their über mentor, Rubin—were as wrong as anyone could be. Perhaps such error is human, but aren’t there folks out there with a better prospect of getting it right that Obama can rely on?

A great deal is at stake, and we are being asked to support the president’s plans as a matter of trust in a hopeful new leader. But the latest administration plan, announced by Geithner on Monday, seems to be more of the same. We taxpayers are being asked to buy back from the banks the very toxic assets that the members of Obama’s economic team once celebrated as an unmitigated blessing. Only this time, instead of trusting the banks, we will turn over control, but little risk, to hedge funds that are totally unregulated. Here we go again. 


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By wildflower, March 25, 2009 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Re: Bob Scheer: “Sanders gets right to the point: “Mr. Gensler worked with Sen. Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan to exempt credit default swaps from regulation, which led to the collapse of AIG and has resulted in the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history.”

Why is Sanders the only one on Capital Hill expressing a concern about “conflicts of interest” and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act? Where is the rest of Capital Hill?  Surely, Sanders is not the only one trying to put a stop to this madness. Shouldn’t everyone be working to protect the public from crooks like AIG’s Cassano who was recently mentioned in Rolling Stone:

“. . . Cassano’s outrageous gamble wouldn’t have been possible had he not had the good fortune to take over AIGFP just as Sen. Phil Gramm — a grinning, laissez-faire ideologue from Texas — had finished engineering the most dramatic deregulation of the financial industry since Emperor Hien Tsung invented paper money in 806 A.D. . .

. . . The very next year, Gramm compounded the problem by writing a sweeping new law called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act that made it impossible to regulate credit swaps as either gambling or securities. . .

The blanket exemption meant that Joe Cassano could now sell as many CDS contracts as he wanted, building up as huge a position as he wanted, without anyone in government saying a word. . . insurance companies don’t have to hedge. And that’s what AIG did. “They just bet massively long on the housing market,” says the source. “Billions and billions.”

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By P. T., March 25, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

There seem to be two red lines that Obama simply fears to cross:  Wall Street and the Israel lobby.

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By tp, March 25, 2009 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems to me Bernie Sanders could be used by Obama’s advisory team to reshape Wall Street. Those greed masters that Obama picked to man the positions in our economy only have one thing in mind and that is the bottom line to their Wall Street one armed bandit minded JP Morgan Mafia men.
I am surprised, after seeing Obama’s strategy in keeping those highly paid employees employed by giving them bonus’s to the average tune of 1.1 million at AIG because they knew some secret maneuvers (?????) that he didn’t employ the biggest shyster of them all—Joseph Cassano. I learned about him thanks to thebeerdoctor who recommended an article called “The Big Take over” in the rolling stone mag. The link again is > < Thank you doc.

I am beginning to really like Bernie Sanders and I agree with his ideas which are real leadership for the people ideas. We need to get rid of greed in our leadership, drug companies, health care providing facilities along with some doctors and in our educational institutions. We need unions. We need and will continue to be needy if we let the arrogant greedy bankers keep us enslaved, in debt and continue to over price our living standards compared to almost all other developed countries in the world. Obama said a fundamental change in the way we think. So for, it seems the same old bunch is in charge.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, March 25, 2009 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When it comes to “economics”, Obama is not a progressive in any sense of the word.  He’s Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street.  “Greed is good.  Greed works.”  What a horrendously bitter pill to swallow for all of us who voted for him.

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By prole, March 25, 2009 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

“the latest administration plan, announced by Geithner on Monday” doesn’t just, “seem to be more of the same” – it is more of the same. And predictably enough, Scheer’s arrant apologetics in once again wanting to have it both ways by scapegoating so-called “toxic advisors” while keeping a tight ‘cordone sanitaire’ around his savior Obama is likewise “more of the same”. This is starting to get a little monotonous - the hoaky halo should be starting to lose its luster, by now. But old habits apparently die hard, and lifelong apologists for Democratic duplicity like Scheer and the Washington Post coterie just can’t cut their political umbilical cords. So the buck can never be allowed to stop with St. Barack. There always has to be a new fall guy to leave twisting slowly in the breeze. Go ahead, toss Geithner to the wolves and set up Gensler to follow. Sure they deserve it, Sanders doesn’t merit any special kudos for pointing out the obvious. But why does the head cheese get a free pass again? “The explosion of toxic” advisors “is a direct result of the” appointments “pushed through by” their teflon-coated president.  At exactly what point does Obama finally begin to have to accept some of the responsibility for what his own personally-appointed ‘advisors’ are doing? His flatterers are always telling us how smart the kid supposedly is, where’s the evidence for it? When will his starry-eyed groupies finally get over their visceral bonding with their larger-than-life hero and see him with the same cool detachment with which they assessed the baleful Bush? At what point does rational analysis finally begin to catch up with partisan pandering?  “A great deal is at stake, and we are being asked to support the president’s plans as a matter of trust in a hopeful new leader” least by Scheer and the usual uncritical claque of Obama publicists like him that is, who, for some reason, are evidently emotionally unable to face up to the sad fact that they and many other naive voters have been had, but yet again. You can fool some of the people all of the time – and it doesn’t matter much whether they’re Republicans or Democrats. “Perhaps such error is human, but aren’t there folks out there with a better prospect of getting it right” than Obama Copacabana that we can rely on?  The advisors are only as good as their toxic president.

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By KDelphi, March 25, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

here are a couple of good articles ie it (I posted it once—I think my browser or connection is screwed up again)

“Secretary of the Thievary” by Lance Selfa


“Geithner’s Public Private Partnership Puts Public Most at Risk”
By Matthew Rothschild,

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By Styve, March 25, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

According to this article, Gensler may be just the person for the job of cleaning up the mess he helped create.

“Mr. Obama has vowed to reverse the deregulatory stance of the Bush administration and overhaul the entire system of financial supervision. Though Mr. Obama’s team has not mapped a specific plan, advisers on his transition team said reining in derivatives would be one of the biggest and most complicated parts of that effort.

“Advisers to Mr. Obama said Mr. Gensler, 51, would bring immense expertise to the challenge and said it would be a mistake to think that he would oppose tough regulation just because he did so in the 1990s.”

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By KDelphi, March 25, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Eric Prentiss_—Yes! And, Sanders was right about putting taxes and restrictions on the Bailout, right about single payer health care, right about changing Union contracts, right about taxes, right about regulating so-called free enterprise.

He is a Socialist. That is the Third Party that we need. Socialist Democracy.

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By Eric L. Prentis, March 25, 2009 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Hurray for Sen. Bernie Sanders for holding up the CFTS nomination of Gary Gensler. The US desperately needs a third party since the Republicans rest firmly up Wall Street’s as* and the Democrats are only one bowel movement behind. The Obama administration is turning into Bush lite on the economy and Iraq: stop listening to Schumer/Dodd/Frank and the mainstream corporate media, they are completely co-opted by the money changers.

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By Shift, March 25, 2009 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

Well Duh!  We just voted for change, not positive change.

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By P. T., March 25, 2009 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

What is being proposed appears to be a backdoor bailout scam.  Instead of the government buying the toxic assets directly, the government provides guarantees to the hedge funds that buy them.  That way taxpayer money won’t be needed until later, when the toxic assets go bad.  Later, the taxpayers will be told they have to make good on the guarantees because the government cannot be allowed to default on what it guaranteed.  It’s a shell game.

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By wildflower, March 25, 2009 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

RE Kdelphi: “I dont want to REGULATE “Hedge Funds”. . . I dont want them to exist! WHY do they have to??”

Go for it Kdelphi.  But until they disappear we obviously need them regulated. The public needs protection from hedge fund criminals:

ROBERT KUTTNER:. . . there are three big parallels between what happened in the ‘20s and what has been happening on Wall Street lately. One is insiders with conflicts of interest that are not fully disclosed to the public. . .  Secondly, there’s much too much borrowed money. There’s much too much leverage in the economy, and particularly in the financially engineered parts of the economy.

BILL MOYERS: Which would be hedge funds?

ROBERT KUTTNER: Which would be hedge funds and derivatives, . . . the third is the lack of transparency. The regulators—

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

ROBERT KUTTNER: Regulators and the public don’t get any kind of disclosure. And hedge funds, because of the loophole in the securities laws, they’re not regulated at all. And to the extent that there is a degree of transparency, regulators do get to look at the assets of banks. Sometimes they don’t know what they’re looking at. Now, you put those three things together, you have a risk of an economy based on asset bubbles where people—

BILL MOYERS: Asset bubbles?

ROBERT KUTTNER:. . .It’s what happened in the ‘20s and . . . in the ‘90s. There’s a euphoria that sets in. Some of it’s engineered euphoria. If you cook your company’s books to make it look like your profits are higher than they really are, that’s gonna bid up the price of your stock.

And if you’re an executive who’s compensated on the basis of the price of the stock, that’s called a conflict of interest. And that was at the heart of what happened in the ‘20s and . . .‘90s. That’s why we need the kind of transparency that Mr. Donaldson was promoting when he was head of the SEC. _

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By jkfields, March 25, 2009 at 8:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most of you go on waaay too long. It’s about what Bernie said about Gensler. Just look at Gensler!! Victory is Bernie’s.earlier

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By, March 25, 2009 at 8:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Within the last few days O’bama announced a $1,000,000,000,000 trillion[for starters]which is to be used to subsidize the derivative traders losses by the American taxpayers. Wall St. rallied, of course, in fact the rally started a day or 2 before the official announcement which means the insider derivative traders knew in advance that their losses would be paid for by the taxpayers and started trading to take advantage of their good news Socialism for them and capitalism for taxpayers, no health programs or social services for the taxpayers who are forced into using their tax monies to buy stock shares for the derivative traders who can keep the profits. THIS IS THE END OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM, when tax monies are used to finance others investment losses, the derivative traders. Also, with the interest rates being held artificially low by the Fed, it forces money into the stock market to create another financial bubble. This is the same strategy which created the world wide financial crisis to begin with and it’s being done by the same people. A definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over again expecting a different result. THIS IS INSANE.

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By Folktruther, March 25, 2009 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

Amen, Jackpine. Obama is in over his head.  His appointment of neolibs and war enthusiasts has led him to continuing Bushite policies while maintaining a pseudo-Progressive rhetoric of Hope n Change.

And what is usually not mentioned, except on anti-Semtic blogs, and MUST be critiqued, is that underlying the neoliberalism and the War on Terrorism is the Zionism that is hijacking American policy.  The class struggle has been systematically distorted by ethnicity.  Obama seems to be a captive of Zionism.  Which includes Goldman Saks. 

This is simply disastrous.  He has set a course, or a political course has been set for him, that is leading the US to war, depression and tyranny.  It is essential to attack the Zionism that has appeared to capture both parties, the neolibs and neocons. 

If this criticsm of Zionism is left to the anti-Semite blogs, it will strengthen right wing forces in the US, and help lead to a full fledged fascism.

Anti-Zionism must be distinguished from anti-Semism, which has been conflated by the Zionists and other right wingers, and be attacked from the left.  Just as both Christians and Jews are united around the Israeli lobby, Christians and Jews must unite to oppose it.

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By wildflower, March 25, 2009 at 8:02 am Link to this comment

Re RDV: “And as long as they can count on robbing us of billions to underwrite their arrogant greed and deception to keep them in the lap of luxury, what regulation is ever to prevent them from future shenanigans to create the illusion of prosperity out of thin air?”

It’s not like we haven’t been here before.  Everyone knows what needs to be done to protect the public and prevent these meltowns. This discussion with Bill Moyers, Robert Kuttner and William Donaldson occurred in 2007:

BILL MOYERS: . . when Bill Donaldson went to head the SEC after the Enron, the scandals, and set out to regulate wrongdoing, you became the skunk in the garden, right? Big business, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the right-wing circulated rumors that you were a Stalin-like planner. I mean, they didn’t want to be regulated, right? They don’t want regulation.

WILLIAM DONALDSON: Well, I think a lot of people realized that we needed regulation. You just had to look at where public opinion was and where investor sentiment was after Enron and WorldCom. A very dangerous situation. . .

BILL MOYERS: Well, the NEW YORK TIMES, when you retired, gave you credit for restoring faith in the markets. And you did it by strong enforcement.

ROBERT KUTTNER: But, you know there was a window that lasted maybe two years. It took a calamity like the meltdown of ‘01. ‘02. 2000, 2001, rather, to get support for regulation. As soon as that calamity passed it was business as usual. And I think the people who gave you such a hard time didn’t want any more regulation. I mean what really occurred was that the sub-prime crisis was the result of the Fed’s failure to enforce lending standards.

The game was give a loan to somebody who may be at risk of not being able to pay it back. And then an investment bank turns the loan into a security, and some hedge fund or pension fund buys the security, and a private rating agency certifies that it’s a safe security. No one knew what in the heck these things were worth until people got a little bit skittish. And then it turned out that a lot of them were worthless. But anybody who talked about the idea that maybe this should be regulated was another skunk at the garden party.

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By NYCartist, March 25, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

I like what Bernie Sanders said on DemocracyNow this morning, http://www.democracynow  (paraphrase)very few people understand all this (re the economics, the derivatives) and he implied that there’s something wrong with that.  Gensler, Geithner: these are not “household names”.  The key thing, as R. Scheer points out, that I come away with is that this guy was not acting in our interest in the past, nor has this whole Wall St. recycling crew of advisers. 

We need a followup article from Scheer or whoever wants to do it: criticizing Obama while progressive.  Too many people who are progressives seem reluctant to be critical.  The very Left does and the Republicans and Right (overlaps there) do.  Or have I been some of the folks who are also saying, “Hey, it’s the regular people who are getting ripped off in these proposals from DC!”.  Name names, so I can find/read more.

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By KDelphi, March 25, 2009 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Exactly, Scheer..if Pres. Obama continues with the Wall St appointments, many of his proposals will be DOA.

Listen to “pundits” and Dems in Congress—the stock mkt goes up ne day and they point to it as success. Most people lost their ass in the stock mkt this year. I dont give a rat’s ass if it ceases to exist! The middle class has no busines in this casino US stock mkt,. but were forced there by the gods of privitization, who invented ways to enrich themselves more with the private pensions scam. NOw, insurance industry execs will enrich themselves more with the privitized policy that people like Max Baucus are ready to put forward, for “health” “care” ‘reform”.

Making profit from life or death matter is immoral—war, medical care (necessary care), a roof over your head, etc.

thebeerdr is right, except, that the status of govt debt is so much worse now, thanks to Bushies, GOP and the neo-libs who went along with it. It will be much worse than when Clintons’ policies were enacted, and, is too global for even FDR’s policies to apply with certainty. I know that it is unpopular to say so, but how about de-globalization? I dont heaR anyone mentioning that. How about stablilizing the economy, rather than constantly pushing for “growth” (of whatever) Doesnt it matter WHAT grows? Why is so-called “growth” always good?

jacklpine—and praise and peace come to you also.

wildflower—I dont want to REGULATE “Hedge Funds” (an non-existent entity used to black mail the population), I dont want them to exist! WHY do they have to?? Summers is full of it—“innovation” all right, as long sa you know that whichever party is in office, you will be able to black mail working people and not lose much. I detest these people. They need to GO!
Did anyone’s 401k or IRA “go back up”, after Paulson and Bernanke’s bailout? Did they “save your pension and retirement”?? No, they were too busy saving Hedge Fund crooks retirements. You get to pay.

Now, lets privitize and “take a look at” “entitlements”! If they would CUT the privitization (Medicare Advantage and Part D, HMOS for Medicaid and SCHIP, the HORRIBLE Rx drug bill )we could save thet system as it is, and, if we put everyone on Medicare, we could save the country. The Big Three autos would get back on their feet on their own (or not), and, the number one cause of bankruptcies in the uS would be eliminated. More people could afford to stay in their homes, etc.

I guess that must be too simple..and its also moral, which the US govt seems loathe to latch onto. It is obvious that this team sees no place for morality in businesss—on that much they are correct, with the way the US “free mkt” is set up. If profits are first, all else is secondary.

Pres. Obama is letting Wal St thieves run the economy. Its true. But, this time, it is more urgent that Wal St be kicked to the curb. It is the entire world. All of our allies are calling for global regulation and, the US, as usual, appoints people who can be counted on NOT to regulate.

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By Bushfatigue, March 25, 2009 at 7:24 am Link to this comment



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By psickmind fraud, March 25, 2009 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

It’s become all too apparent that “The audacity of hope” book title is really a cruel joke on the American people.  Torches, pitchforks, tar and feathers, would seem to be our only REAL hope.

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By wildflower, March 25, 2009 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

Re Thebeerdoctor: “there is hardly a mention of any kind of usury laws to limit the amount these banks “too big to fail” can charge. . . little is being said about what Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s were up to by throwing all these “toxic”  assets into newly formed “tranches” and given a triple A rating. . .”

Yes, yes, yes, beerdoctor.  It’s obvious there has been no effort to protect the public, which is infuriating. Is it not the role of government and our elected officials to protect the public and investors?

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By thebeerdoctor, March 25, 2009 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

re: wildflower

I do not know if you have noticed, but there is hardly a mention of any kind of usury laws to limit the amount these banks “too big to fail” can charge. Also, very little is being said about what Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s were up to by throwing all these “toxic”  assets into newly formed “tranches” and given a triple A rating. A rotten system is not worth saving.

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By wildflower, March 25, 2009 at 6:12 am Link to this comment

Re Scheer: “The explosion of toxic assets is a direct result of the laws pushed through by Rubin and his followers, and in the decade since, we have had a 20-fold increase, to more than $530 trillion, in the value of those newfangled financial instruments, which Warren Buffett in February 2003 correctly termed “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

Where is the outrage and call for regulations on these hedge funds?  The greed, the corruption, the meltdowns, the bail outs will all continue without regulations. Is it the intent of our elected officials to allow this to continue?

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By RdV, March 25, 2009 at 5:05 am Link to this comment

jackpine savage:


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By Kevin, March 25, 2009 at 3:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obviously Obama’s intentions are to preserve the corrupt system itself. I see only one solution to this offense. We must end the two party system and destroy the electoral college, thereby making every political issue vulnerable to more coherent debate and scrutiny. Every idea of government must stand by it’s own merit. Only independent thinking can see past this party loyalty fog.

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By jackpine savage, March 25, 2009 at 3:51 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer appears to have not gotten the memo.  None of these men did any of those stupid, terrible things of their own volition.  It was all forced upon them by evil Republicans.

Who are we to look at the facts presented to us and make an informed decision?  Mr. Obama - praise him - alone knows the intent within their hearts.  If Mr. Obama - praise him - says that these men are pure of heart and mind, then they are.  They will work tirelessly for the betterment of America, because Mr. Obama - praise him - has directed them to do so.  And we can rest assured that Mr. Obama - praise him - will fix all of these problems; we must simply believe.

Besides, it’s obvious that what’s good for Wall Street is what’s good for America…Mr. Obama - praise him - says so.  End of argument.

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By Jon, March 25, 2009 at 3:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Toxic Advisers is exactly right.

The trio of Rubin, Summers, and Geithner are all beholden to Wall Street and the banks, and knew full well way in advance of Obama’s election what was coming.  Their vision is to just hand the banks and Wall Street trillions, ask no questions—-since its a good ol boys club.  They have zero respect for American working people, which is evidenced by the lack of action on Main Street.

This is Reaganomics all over again:  give 9 trillion to the banks, while 600,000 are laid off each month, while 75,000 foreclosures happen each month, and just let these Americans twist in the wind.

Obama pleads for time.  Time for what?  Time, during which ordinary good Americans end up homeless?  Where is the help for these disenfranchised people?  Their kids? 

Obama is no better than W was:  hand America’s wealth to corporate power, while citizens drown. 

This is the financial version of Katrina—Obama is handing trillions to contractors, while people lose everything.  According to a British study, for every 1% increase in unemployment, 50,000 people die.  The banks could care less, and so could Obama.  Will Americans rise up and throw off this terrorism?

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By blogdog, March 25, 2009 at 3:32 am Link to this comment

So Obama has gotten it “wrong” by hiring the guys who previously got it “wrong?” How much of this hand wringing are intelligent observers supposed to put up with?

Obama is doing exactly what he’s being told to do. Like every president since Nixon, he’s a sock puppet, mole, tasked to advance the trilateralist/CFR/Bilderberg agenda. And what is that? If it ain’t clear yet, it’s almost embarrassing to have to articulate it:

Drive the global standard of living down to 3rd world levels, while squeezing every last red cent from the working class dupes. Distract any and all, whose brains aren’t already numbed by the ubiquitous flood of stupifying pop culture, with a perpetual, Left/Right schism of non-issues and scare them witless with a Global War Of Terror.

Points in fact: as Obama’s theatrical detractors on the “right” red-bait him and his sycophant legions, he dutifully follows orders, tossing bones of a pittance in stimulus (a faux New Deal) while shoveling hundreds of billions into attempts to re-inflate the Wall Street/City of London derivatives ponzi scheme, rather than simply shredding it all, as should be done; then he continues to expand the war into Pakistan, spreading chaos toward ultimately failing that state too.

He is Z-Big’s boy.

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By RdV, March 25, 2009 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

And as long as they can count on robbing us of billions to underwrite their arrogant greed and deception to keep them in the lap of luxury, what regulation is ever to prevent them from future shenanigans to create the illusion of prosperity out of thin air?
  At Obama’s orchestrated press conference last night—no one addressed Obama’s picks of the crooks that set up the racket as his team in charge of draining every cent of wealth from this country for generations to come—no mention of class war being waged against us in the greatest transference of wealth in history. The bonuses pale in comparison.

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By Amon Drool, March 25, 2009 at 3:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

my first indication that barackstar was not what i was hoping for was his san francisco speech given in private (he thought) to some well-heeled fundraisers last year.  in it he included people who had major doubts about “free” trade with those whom he saw as being unable to cope with modernity.  i started to think of him then as being another bill clinton…a bright fellow on the make very willing to do the work of the trilateralists and CFR’ers.  after all, what else can the best and brightest of any generation do but become members of the managerial class?  on sunday, frank rich pointed out that barackstar has had the misfortune of running into a katrina moment (financial collapse) early in his administration.  i can’t say that i’m surprised that the guy is incapable of rising to the occasion.

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By Tom Morrison, March 25, 2009 at 3:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The constant in all of these “toxic” advisors seems to be links to Goldman Sachs. Perhaps the solution is to excise people with that institution in their resume. It may be unfair, but to quarantine the infection, it may be necessary.

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By thebeerdoctor, March 25, 2009 at 3:21 am Link to this comment

The blind supporters of President Obama refuse to see these ridiculous choices for what they are. I guess we are suppose to get use to the idea of Clinton era retreads and their failed policies, are now going to make everything (eventually BHO would advise) right as rain.
You rob from the people and give it to the rich, and you have a handsome new President telling the people it’s good for them. The Rich Ones tells us it hurts them even more.

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By RdV, March 25, 2009 at 3:17 am Link to this comment

“Congress and the president, recognizing the nation’s mood, want to give Wall Street whatever it wants to make the stock market go up.”

  Even if it means “addressing entitlements” (threatening social security to cushion Wall Street hedge fund managers). I don’t think so. What America are you living in—the one with the cheering crowds on Wall Street and not the one where AIG gets death threats?

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By drklassen, March 25, 2009 at 2:51 am Link to this comment

It’s hard to trust any of these folks when all they can consider is trickle-down solutions.  The real fix to the problem was to have the Fed simply refinance any mortgage that was nearing, or in, arrears at a low, reasonable, fixed-rate regardless of the actual “value” of the property, so long as the original value was no more than, say five times the household income of the owner(s) at the time of purchase.  Most of the bad mortgages would then simply have disappeared along with the time-bomb of credit default swaps.

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By Kaelieh, March 25, 2009 at 1:28 am Link to this comment
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Is everybody in the damn world in bed with Goldman Sachs? Everyone in Obama’s cabinet sure is. Right now Obama is making Hoover look like a great president.

Why not bring Born back? Apparently, she has a clue. Oh, wait she’s never worked for Goldman Sachs.

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