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Rolling Stone: Obama's Big Sellout

Ancalagon the Black

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Obama's Big Sellout

The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway


Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers "at the expense of hardworking Americans." Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it's not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.

Then he got elected.

What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history.

I think this article delves a bit into what's frustrating the political left right now.

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The only outsider in the race was Palin(not that she would have had any power)

Expecting anything different than what we have from a Chicago political creation was delusional.

But then the political left indulge in that daily anyway to survive:evilg:

Man of the people:hysterical:

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This passage

Just look at the timeline of the Citigroup deal," says one leading Democratic consultant. "Just look at it. It's ****ing amazing. Amazing! And nobody said a thing about it."

Barack Obama was still just the president-elect when it happened, but the revolting and inexcusable $306 billion bailout that Citigroup received was the first major act of his presidency. In order to grasp the full horror of what took place, however, one needs to go back a few weeks before the actual bailout — to November 5th, 2008, the day after Obama's election.

That was the day the jubilant Obama campaign announced its transition team. Though many of the names were familiar — former Bill Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, long-time Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett — the list was most notable for who was not on it, especially on the economic side. Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist who had served as one of Obama's chief advisers during the campaign, didn't make the cut. Neither did Karen Kornbluh, who had served as Obama's policy director and was instrumental in crafting the Democratic Party's platform. Both had emphasized populist themes during the campaign: Kornbluh was known for pushing Democrats to focus on the plight of the poor and middle class, while Goolsbee was an aggressive critic of Wall Street, declaring that AIG executives should receive "a Nobel Prize — for evil."

And this

Now here's where it gets really interesting. It's three weeks after the election. You have a lame-duck president in George W. Bush — still nominally in charge, but in reality already halfway to the golf-and-O'Doul's portion of his career and more than happy to vacate the scene. Left to deal with the still-reeling economy are lame-duck Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former head of Goldman Sachs, and New York Fed chief Timothy Geithner, who served under Bob Rubin in the Clinton White House. Running Obama's economic team are a still-employed Citigroup executive and the son of another Citigroup executive, who himself joined Obama's transition team that same month.

This is also good

Taken together, the rash of appointments with ties to Bob Rubin may well represent the most sweeping influence by a single Wall Street insider in the history of government. "Rather than having a team of rivals, they've got a team of Rubins," says Steven Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. "You see that in policy choices that have resuscitated — but not reformed — Wall Street."

I said it before. President Obama is to Wall Street as GW Bush was to Oil companies

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Never thought Rolling Stone would take him to task. They've been on their knees for him the whole time.

The left has been tearing into Obama for quite some time now. Like the right, they're pissed about a lot of things, including the stimulus spending.

The article is pretty interesting, although I don't like it when journalists engage in ad hominem attacks. Plus, the article is somewhat misleading. The article leaves readers with the impression that future bailouts to troubled banks are cash giveaways because the taxpayers won't be getting equity stakes in the banks receiving the bailout money. What the article doesn't make clear is that such "bailouts" are actually loans accompanied by various covenants (i.e., increased government oversight until the loan is paid off).

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As Treasury secretary under Clinton, Rubin was the driving force behind two monstrous deregulatory actions that would be primary causes of last year's financial crisis: the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (passed specifically to legalize the Citigroup megamerger) and the deregulation of the derivatives market. Having set that time bomb, Rubin left government to join Citi, which promptly expressed its gratitude by giving him $126 million in compensation over the next eight years (they don't call it bribery in this country when they give you the money post factum). After urging management to amp up its risky investments in toxic vehicles, a strategy that very nearly destroyed the company, Rubin blamed Citi's board for his screw-ups and complained that he had been underpaid to boot. "I bet there's not a single year where I couldn't have gone somewhere else and made more," he said.

Despite being perhaps more responsible for last year's crash than any other single living person — his colossally stupid decisions at both the highest levels of government and the management of a private financial superpower make him unique — Rubin was the man Barack Obama chose to build his White House around.


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The House of Reps is working on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 as we speak.

Is that code for bend over for the taxpayer?

Or the one they plan to take TARP funds and spend on hiring:silly:

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Have you seen how much "reform" and "protection" are in that act?

The only people protected are bankers

I don't read legislature, I have staff for that ;)

They didn't do too bad of a job w/ the Credit Card Bill of Rights... anyways, here is an executive summary: http://financialservices.house.gov/Key_Issues/Financial_Regulatory_Reform/FinancialRegulatoryReform/4173_summary.pdf

Consumer Protections: Creates the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), a new, independent federal agency solely devoted to protecting Americans from unfair and abusive financial products and services.

Financial Stability Council: Creates an inter-agency oversight council that will identify and regulate financial firms that are so large, interconnected, or risky that their collapse would put the entire financial system at risk. These systemically risky firms will be subject to heightened oversight, standards, and regulation.

Dissolution Authority and Ending “Too Big to Fail”: Establishes an orderly process for dismantling large, failing financial institutions like AIG or Lehman Brothers in a way that ends bailouts, protects taxpayers, and prevents contagion to the rest of the financial system.

Executive Compensation: Gives shareholders a “say on pay” – an advisory vote on pay practices including executive compensation and golden parachutes. It also enables regulators to ban inappropriate or imprudently risky compensation practices, and it requires financial firms to disclose any compensation structures that include incentive-based elements.

Investor Protections: Strengthens the SEC’s powers so that it can better protect investors and regulate the nation’s securities markets. It responds to the failures to detect the Madoff and Stanford Financial frauds by ordering a study of the entire securities industry that will identify needed reforms and force the SEC and other entities to further improve investor protection.

Regulation of Derivatives: Regulates, for the first time ever, the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives marketplace. Under the bill, all standardized swap transactions between dealers and “major swap participants” would have to be cleared and traded on an exchange or electronic platform. The bill defines a major swap participant as anyone that maintains a substantial net position in swaps, exclusive of hedging for commercial risk, or whose positions create such significant exposure to others that it requires monitoring.

Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending: Would incorporate the tough

mortgage reform and anti-predatory lending bill the House passed earlier this year. The legislation outlaws many of the egregious industry practices that marked the subprime lending boom, and it would ensure that mortgage lenders make loans that benefit the consumer. It would establish a simple standard for all home loans: institutions must ensure that borrowers can repay the loans they are sold.

Reform of Credit Rating Agencies: Addresses the role that credit rating agencies played in the economic crisis, and takes strong steps to reduce conflicts of interest, reduce market reliance on credit rating agencies, and impose a liability standard on the agencies.

Hedge Fund, Private Equity and Private Pools of Capital Registration: Fills a regulatory hole that allows hedge funds and their advisors to escape any and all regulation. This bill requires almost all advisers to private pools of capital to register with the SEC, and they will be subject to systemic risk regulation by the Financial Stability regulator.

Office of Insurance: Creates a Federal Insurance Office that will monitor all aspects of the insurance industry, including identifying issues or gaps in the regulation of insurers that could contribute to a systemic crisis and undermine the entire financial system.

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I don't read legislature, I have staff for that ;)

They didn't do too bad of a job w/ the Credit Card Bill of Rights... anyways, here is an executive summary: http://financialservices.house.gov/Key_Issues/Financial_Regulatory_Reform/FinancialRegulatoryReform/4173_summary.pdf

Its too bad there is no executive summary for loopholes and exceptions :)

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Mid level mangers? Peh

Mid-level fellas were next:


In October, Feinberg slashed pay for the first 25 most highly compensated employees at the TARP firms, prompting complaints from critics that the companies were being put at a competitive disadvantage for attracting and keeping top talent. Now Feinberg will issue pay rulings on employees 26 through 100 at the six companies

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I don't think this is a conspiracy t heory. Just like it wasn't a conspiracy theory to say Dick Cheney was tied to energy companies

Many of the conspiracy theories about the Bush Administration are BS as well. For example, Michael Moore spent a lot of time talking about the Bush Administration's connections to the Carlyle Group and implied that we went to war with Iraq in large part because of the Administration's desire to line the pockets of companies like the Carlyle Group.

What Moore didn't tell you is that the Bush Administration killed the poorly-named artillery system called the "Crusader." The Carlyle Group stood to make billions, with a "B", from that program. Yet, for some off reason, Michael Moore didn't disclose that little detail in his lame movie.

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