I don’t accept the assumption that the Obama administration will just roll over for Goldman Sachs and the other Wall Street hustlers. I think not only this administration but even some Republicans will feel the need to respond the immense outrage of ordinary Americans that has left so many millions losing their jobs, savings. I think you’re exaggerating the ability of politicians to ignore the public will. The reason of my writing and speaking out is to get the public out.
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:15:31 GMT
Suzannedk from Netherlands asks:
“Dear Robert Scheer:
Have you heard of or read anything about the Jean-Claude Paye study of how the U.S is changing all laws by challenging each and everyone of them that would stop their road to permanent World War/Corporate Empire? ‘La fin de L’Etat de droit’ published in Paris in 2004 was held from publishing the English translation by the U.S. Intelligence powers until key E.U./U.S. agreements giving the U.S. final rights over International Human Rights Laws were signed. The English translation came out in late 2008, the title chosen first by the author completely changed. Noam Chomsky knows it well. ‘Global War on Liberty’.”
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:16:31 GMT
Another question from the Yahoo: “Why are there so many Goldman Sachs executives in our government? Does anyone out there see how this is a huge conflict of interest?”
3:16 Comment from farras abdelnour
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:16:55 GMT
Comment: I fully agree that this country needs badly an alternative, viable, and reliable party as a counterweight to the established and corrupt Republicans and Democrats. Nothing will substantially change until this happens.
3:18 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:18:56 GMT
It’s a conflict of interest that was very obvious, or should have been, in the Clinton administration, that of George W. Bush and yes, in the Obama administration. It is in fact outrageous that whether Republicans or Democrats gain control of the White House, that they turn basic control of economy to the wealthiest and most powerful financial contributors that happen to be based out of Wall Street. Moreover, I find it, as the column indicated, very disappointed that Obama would turn over to Robert Rubin, who did so much to create this mess. People like Geithner and Summers and former Goldman lobbyists, yes it is outrageous.
3:19 Comment from Samuel the Brave
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:19:07 GMT
Comment: Hi Robert—What do you think the outcome of the SEC suit is likely to be?
3:21 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:21:53 GMT
I’m worried about it because as I indicated before, the laws regulating the activities of derivative traders are very limited. I applaud the SEC for having unearthed this incredibly blatant swindle, which defies all expectations of responsible, financial transaction, and because it is so blatant I hope that it can prevail, but I would never underestimate the power of Goldman’s lawyers to muddy the waters and escape relatively unscathed. This is a civil suit. The fine will probably not be on the dimension that would cause inconvenience to Goldman, so no, I am not counting on it to produce major change or accountability.
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:22:51 GMT
We have time for a few more questions.
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:22:58 GMT
3:23 Comment from Guinevere28
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:23:48 GMT
Comment: What do you think it would take to weed out the Goldman influence from the government?
3:25 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:25:54 GMT
Well first of all, Obama should have enforced his own ban on lobbyists going into the government, which was violated when he appointed Mark Patterson. ... Think about it, he [Patterson] was lobbying in Washington to get the laws that already favored Goldman to be even kinder and now he is the chief of staff in the Treasury Department. Talk about a platinum revolving door between Goldman and the government. I think the only way to get these folks out is to shame them, call attention to their power and to demand that the president turn to people that don’t have dirty hands in the enterprise to help bail us out.
3:25 Comment from Terry Stamats
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:25:56 GMT
Comment: What would we be discussing if the market hadn’t adjusted yet? Suppose real estate values were still climbing, we wouldn’t even be talking about reform, would we? Think about it.
3:28 Robert Scheer
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 23:28:11 GMT
That’s not true in my case because as a columnist and previously correspondent for the L.A. Times I wrote during the ’90s about the dangers inherent in this push for radical deregulation of the financial industry. I was not alone. Even William Safire, former Nixon speechwriter turned columnist for the N.Y. Times, wrote about the dangers of reversing Glass-Steagall and allowing development of these too-big-to-fail financial monstrosities. Certainly Brooksley Born testified 17 times about the danger of failing to regulate the rapidly spiraling derivative market. There were others expressing concerns, they just weren’t being listened to.