Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Obama must fire Larry ''sanctity of bonuses'' Summers

Like many progressives, I was more than a little dismayed when the guys Obama picked to run his economic program were Wall Streeters who had worked for Bill Clinton but advocated and enacted many of the deregulatory and trade practices that gutted our economy.

But I hoped that those who said Obama needed insider technicians to affect change were right. Now after months of bailouts on terms the Bush administration could have written, that is no terms at all just a blank check, it is clear that the defenders of those choices were dead wrong.

The breaking point came this weekend when Larry Summers, Director of the National Economic Council, and former Clinton Treasury Secretary, said on This Week with George Stephanopoulos that the administration's hands were tied about blocking bonuses because of the sanctity of contracts.

As Glenn Greenwald pointed out, the administration eventually got around this sanctity when it came to allowing bankruptcy judges to renegotiate bad mortgages, had no trouble asking autoworkers to make contract concessions, and I would add that Obama's Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, had no problem ignoring contracts when he fired schools full of teachers at a time in Chicago, and his merit pay proposal, if enacted, would gut many contracts.

In spite of their loud protests about Wall Street bonuses, Obama's economic team isn't moving too fast to actually stop their payout or other abuses of taxpayer provided bailout money. Their creative solutions seem to be limited to writing blank checks to guys they were were working with and for just a few months ago.

Could it be that some contracts are more sacred than others?

Isn't it looking more and more like Summers, Rubin, and company are there not to reform Wall Street but to protect their buddies back at their firms from real change and punishment for the historic damage caused by greed?

Recently, a story said that the Obama administration is bracing for a populist backlash to all the bailouts. Instead of bracing for the backlash, he could prevent it by starting to take actions that show Wall Street is not being allowed to dictate their own punishment and reform.

He should not only fire Larry Summers, he should grab him by the collar, drag him out the front door of the White House and kick his ass off the porch.

If the rest of his economic team continues to bow and scrape to the various perfumed princes, trust fund babies, and sociopaths on Wall Street, they should be given the same shoe leather pink slip in short order.

The public needs to see some heads on pikes, and if Obama can't bring himself to do it to those on Wall Street, he could at least do it to their apologists in his own administration.


Anonymous said...

And while President Obama's at it, why not question the FED Chairman...Ben Bernanke..where was he while this AIG "deal" was going down...? Bernanke, was one of the very few who has been there during the Bush Administration, the "transitional period" and Obama's Administration...so why doesn't some one ask BERNANKE..how these "retention bonuses" were "overlooked", and just how/why it happened...

Anonymous said...

Plutocrats - Guillotine or let us have health care - Guillotine or let us have health care. What will it be? Guillotine? OK. Pitchforks, everyone.

Anonymous said...

Obama is following the sad path of Bill Clinton - a FASCINATION with the BIG MONEY boys of the NY & DC establishments, the authoritarian crowd who threw all that muck against the Clinton White House resulting in the Ken Starr open-ended hyper-partisan "Independent Counsel" investigations that led directly to the Monica impeachment.
And in the process FORCED CLINTON to TACK miles to the Right, from backing off his "gays in military" Pledge after "Blue-Dog" 'Democrats' pitched a fit, to hiring Republicans Dick Morris and David Gergen, to having his Treasury Secretaries ROBERT RUBIN and LAWRENCE SUMMERS effectively being uber-Right-Wing Republican DEREGULATOR _PHIL GRAMM's_ best, most effective DEREGULATION LOBBYISTS.
That is, Rubins & Summers URGED Clinton to sign the Gramm-Leach-Bliley deregulation atrocity, the one that GUTTED the Depression era Glass-Steagal act, and included the infamous "ENRON EXCEPTION", allowing Enron and other 'financial instutions' to create DERIVATIVES with NO regulation or oversight !! - essentially the genesis of THIS economic crisis!
Rubins COULDN'T EXIT the Clinton admin (from Treasury Secretary) to TAKE ADVANTAGE of that new dereg atrocity fast enough - he promptly took a job at Citi-Bank, where he "advised" them on how to buy Traveller's Insurance Group and go into the "investment banking" (= speculation) business as Citi-GROUP - for which Rubins got paid at least $10 million, with no real "responsibility" besides providing the POLITICAL GREASE for Citi's venture into super-hedge-fund "investment banking."

It is beyond merely CLUELESS that Obama PRETENDS NOT TO NOTICE the MASSIVE FRAUD of the THREE TRILLION dollars in BAILOUTS these past 12 months - he is energetically and actively HELPING the Banksters TAKE HOME THEIR LOOT, he is HELPING Rubins, Summers, Goldman-Sachs, AIG, Citi, and the others SWEEP MASSIVE FINANCIAL FRAUD under the door.

the SOLUTION to all the above is SIMPLICITY itself: START RUNNING FORENSIC or criminal or at least ENERGETIC AUDITS!

It is ASTOUNDING that the American press, media AND public, are SO wrapped up in the Big Bankster's (propaganda) frame of reference, that NO ONE is talking about CRIMINAL AUDITS !!!