News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 12, 2012: While Barack Obama may remain the lesser of two political evils, even after his misguided small ball debate performance last week, never lose sight of the real Barack Obama – not the fictional character he played in the 2008 campaign.
This is going to be one of my commentaries that is occasionally built around the content of an interesting new book, but a very good introduction comes from another source.
Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz appearing on the Charlie Rose Show recently said Obama was right to save the banks but there was no reason for him to save the bankers who created the mess. Obama could have insisted as part of the bailout they get fired instead they are still there doing better than ever because Obama made no such demands.
In the edited version of the interview that appeared in print in BusinessWeek magazine, those dangerous comments were removed from the transcript.
But that is what he said. No surprise. We all know it. We should not forget. Obama and his ethically challenged and quite possibly indictable Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, who went out of their way not only to rescue banks and so called other too big to fail financial institutions both in the U.S. and some far way. They also did absolutely nothing to penalize all the Low Lifes who ran these banks and other institutions into the ground while making themselves very rich, by screwing the rest of us.
How is that possible? Easy, if your goal is making sure all of them survived nicely because you are one of them like Geithner is. After all, he was a former president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. It’s easy if you are Barack Obama who only believes in himself and helping those who would help his re-election. Fat Cats who go to $40,000 a person fund raising dinners.
The irony for Obama is that many of them are backing Mitt Romney not him. The bad news for the rest of us is that they are still writing out big checks to Obama to say thank you and for all practical purposes they are using our money from their gigantic salaries and mega-bonuses to buy both Obama and Romney and those expensive dinner tickets that will get them taken care of.
Their financial institutions are once again making the Big Bucks feasting on free money from the Feds while the rest of us pay ridiculous credit card and loan rates these bankers charge us.
Sorry- almost forgot about Sheila Bair’s new book “Bull By The Horns.”
Bair makes the same points in detail.
Here is Sheila Bair in the current issue of Fortune Magazine discussing her book. First this introduction from Fortune about Sheila Bair ….
Sheila Bair is the former chairman of the FDIC and she’s currently a senior advisor of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the author of “Bull By The Horns.” Sheila is a lifelong Republican who was raised in Kansas, and talks a lot about the populism and the spirit of Kansas. And I think it’s telling that Sheila is from Kansas, but specifically that she was born in a town called Independence. (Laughter.)
So, with the spirit of independence in mind, I wanted to kick off our conversation, Sheila, by asking you to talk a little bit about why you decided to write this book. You lived through it. It was painful. And then you reopened the wounds.
SHEILA BAIR: “But now it’s not really getting fixed. That’s the sad truth of it, and I fully support my former regulatory colleagues. I know they’re trying to do the right thing. But if you look at the pace of reform, it’s just still not getting fixed. And I do think that it is symptomatic of a larger problem in Washington, which is the financial services industry, the perspective of very large financial institutions has really co-opted, I think, both parties, all branches of government. There is a tendency, and we saw it with the bailouts, to see the world and our economy, and our economic well-being through the prism of very large financial institutions.”
“You have to look more broadly at the public interest in your regulatory functions and I think that the underlying philosophy of the bailouts, which continued in 2009, was to make the banks profitable. And the rest of it would take care of itself. And we did succeed. Boy, did we make the banks profitable again. Their profits now are close to where they were pre-crisis in the so-called golden years of banking.”
And most of all ….
“I think in 2009 the system had become stable. That was the time to impose some accountability, get the balance sheets cleaned up, replace boards of management where it was necessary. Get the toxic assets off the balance sheet. We really didn’t do that.
“We were going to get a meaningful program, and then Obama came in, he appointed Tim as Secretary of the Treasury. And Tim and I had already clashed. Tim’s bailout philosophies were not something I agreed with. And so that was a punch in the gut, as I say in my book. And then when we started talking with him about foreclosure prevention what they ended up doing was actually a program that one of the economists in the Bush Treasury Department had devised that we thought wouldn’t work. It didn’t provide enough economic incentives. It was administratively complex. I had critiqued it in detail to Hank, and he didn’t pursue it.”
If you want to read the entire long Fortune interview go here ..
Thanks a lot President Barack Obama. For nothing!
Before you give any credit to Mitt Romney, these Robber Bankers are even bigger friends of his. As noted above, they are giving even more campaign money to Romney because as rich as they are, they would even do better with Mitt Romney as President.
Mitt belongs to the same country clubs as the Robber Bankers. They feast together.
May God help the rest of us because this next election won’t.