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Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence Summers’

A Recipe for Fascism

November 12, 2010 1 comment

by: Chris Hedges  |  Truthdig | Op-Ed

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(Photo: Doha Sam; Edited: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended into the irrational. On one side stands a corrupt liberal class, bereft of ideas and unable to respond coherently to the collapse of the global economy, the dismantling of our manufacturing sector and the deadly assault on the ecosystem. On the other side stands a mass of increasingly bitter people whose alienation, desperation and rage fuel emotionally driven and incoherent political agendas. It is a recipe for fascism.

More than half of those identified in a poll by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports as “mainstream Americans” now view the tea party favorably. The other half, still grounded in a reality-based world, is passive and apathetic. The liberal class wastes its energy imploring Barack Obama and the Democrats to promote sane measures including job creation programs, regulation as well as criminal proceedings against the financial industry, and an end to our permanent war economy. Those who view the tea party favorably want to tear the governmental edifice down, with the odd exception of the military and the security state, accelerating our plunge into a nation of masters and serfs. The corporate state, unchallenged, continues to turn everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse.

All sides of the political equation are lackeys for Wall Street. They sanction, through continued deregulation, massive corporate profits and the obscene compensation and bonuses for corporate managers. Most of that money—hundreds of billions of dollars—is funneled upward from the U.S. Treasury. The Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks use hatred as a mobilizing passion to get the masses, fearful and angry, to call for their own enslavement as well as to deny uncomfortable truths, including global warming. Our dispossessed working class and beleaguered middle class are vulnerable to this manipulation because they can no longer bear the chaos and uncertainty that come with impoverishment, hopelessness and loss of control. They have retreated into a world of illusion, one peddled by right-wing demagogues, which offers a reassuring emotional consistency. This consistency appears to protect them from the turmoil in which they have been forced to live. The propaganda of a Palin or a Beck may insult common sense, but, for a growing number of Americans, common sense has lost its validity.

The liberal class, which remains rooted in a world of fact, rationalizes placating corporate power as the only practical response. It understands the systems of corporate power. It knows the limitations and parameters. And it works within them. The result, however, is the same. The entire spectrum of the political landscape collaborates in the strangulation of our disenfranchised working class, the eroding of state power, the criminal activity of the financial class and the paralysis of our political process.

Commerce cannot be the sole guide of human behavior. This utopian fantasy, embraced by the tea party as well as the liberal elite, defies 3,000 years of economic history. It is a chimera. This ideology has been used to justify the disempowerment of the working class, destroy our manufacturing capacity, and ruthlessly gut social programs that once protected and educated the working and middle class. It has obliterated the traditional liberal notion that societies should be configured around the common good. All social and cultural values are now sacrificed before the altar of the marketplace.

The failure to question the utopian assumptions of globalization has left us in an intellectual vacuum. Regulations, which we have dismantled, were the bulwarks that prevented unobstructed brutality and pillaging by the powerful and protected democracy. It was a heavily regulated economy, as well as labor unions and robust liberal institutions, which made the American working class the envy of the industrialized world. And it was the loss of those unions, along with a failure to protect our manufacturing, which transformed this working class into a permanent underclass clinging to part-time or poorly paid jobs without protection or benefits.

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The “inevitability” of globalization has permitted huge pockets of the country to be abandoned economically. It has left tens of millions of Americans in economic ruin. Private charity is now supposed to feed and house the newly minted poor, a job that once, the old liberal class argued, belonged to the government. As John Ralston Saul in “The Collapse of Globalization” points out, “the role of charity should be to fill the cracks of society, the imaginative edges, to go where the public good hasn’t yet focused or can’t. Dealing with poverty is the basic responsibility of the state.” But the state no longer has the interest or the resources to protect us. And the next target slated for elimination is Social Security.

That human society has an ethical foundation that must be maintained by citizens and the state is an anathema to utopian ideologues of all shades. They always demand that we sacrifice human beings for a distant goal. The propagandists of globalization—from Lawrence Summers to Francis Fukuyama to Thomas Friedman—do for globalization and the free market what Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky did for Marxism. They sell us a dream. These elite interpreters of globalism are the vanguard, the elect, the prophets, who alone grasp a great absolute truth and have the right to impose this truth on a captive people no matter what the cost. Human suffering is dismissed as the price to be paid for the coming paradise. The response of these propagandists to the death rattles around them is to continue to speak in globalization’s empty rhetoric and use state resources to service a dead system. They lack the vision to offer any alternative. They can function only as systems managers. They will hollow out the state to sustain a casino capitalism that is doomed to fail. And what they offer as a solution is as irrational as the visions of a Christian America harbored by many within the tea party.

We are ruled by huge corporate monopolies that replicate the political and economic power, on a vastly expanded scale, of the old trading companies of the 17th and 18th centuries. Wal-Mart’s gross annual revenues of $250 billion are greater than those of most small nation-states. The political theater funded by the corporate state is composed of hypocritical and impotent liberals, the traditional moneyed elite, and a disenfranchised and angry underclass that is being encouraged to lash out at the bankrupt liberal institutions and the government that once protected them. The tea party rabble, to placate their anger, will also be encouraged by their puppet masters to attack helpless minorities, from immigrants to Muslims to homosexuals. All these political courtiers, however, serve the interests of the corporate state and the utopian ideology of globalism. Our social and political ethic can be summed up in the mantra let the market decide. Greed is good.

The old left—the Wobblies, the Congress of Industrial Workers (CIO), the Socialist and Communist parties, the fiercely independent publications such as Appeal to Reason and The Masses—would have known what to do with the rage of our dispossessed. It used anger at injustice, corporate greed and state repression to mobilize Americans to terrify the power elite on the eve of World War I. This was the time when socialism was not a dirty word in America but a promise embraced by millions who hoped to create a world where everyone would have a chance. The steady destruction of the movements of the left was carefully orchestrated. They fell victim to a mixture of sophisticated forms of government and corporate propaganda, especially during the witch hunts for communists, and overt repression. Their disappearance means we lack the vocabulary of class warfare and the militant organizations, including an independent press, with which to fight back.

We believe, like the Spaniards in the 16th century who pillaged Latin America for gold and silver, that money, usually the product of making and trading goods, is real. The Spanish empire, once the money ran out and it no longer produced anything worth buying, went up in smoke. Today’s use in the United States of some $12 trillion in government funds to refinance our class of speculators is a similar form of self-deception. Money markets are still treated, despite the collapse of the global economy, as a legitimate source of trade and wealth creation. The destructive power of financial bubbles, as well as the danger of an unchecked elite, was discovered in ancient Athens and detailed more than a century ago in Emile Zola’s novel “Money.” But we seem determined to find out this self-destructive force for ourselves. And when the second collapse comes, as come it must, we will revisit wrenching economic and political tragedies forgotten in the mists of history.

Chris Hedges, who writes a weekly column for Truthdig, is the author of “Death of the Liberal Class.”

All republished content that appears on Truthout has been obtained by permission or license.


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Obama’s Biggest Mistake: Selling Out to the Bankers

November 10, 2010 1 comment

The original sin of Obama’s presidency was to trust bank-friendly economists and Bush carry-overs, whose primary goal was to protect their own past decisions and futures.
November 7, 2010 |
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Bruce Bartlett says it was a failure to focus. Paul Krugman says it was a failure of nerve. Nancy Pelosi says it was the economy’s failure. Barack Obama says it was his own failure — to explain that he was, in fact, focused on the economy.

As Krugman rightly stipulates, Monday-morning quarterbacks should say exactly what different play they would have called. Paul’s answer is that the stimulus package should have been bigger. No disagreement: I was one voice calling for a much larger program back when. Yet this answer is not sufficient.

The original sin of Obama’s presidency was to assign economic policy to a closed circle of bank-friendly economists and Bush carryovers. Larry Summers. Timothy Geithner. Ben Bernanke. These men had no personal commitment to the goal of an early recovery, no stake in the Democratic Party, no interest in the larger success of Barack Obama. Their primary goal, instead, was and remains to protect their own past decisions and their own professional futures.

Up to a point, one can defend the decisions taken in September-October 2008 under the stress of a rapidly collapsing financial system. The Bush administration was, by that time, nearly defunct. Panic was in the air, as was political blackmail — with the threat that the October through January months might be irreparably brutal. Stopgaps were needed, they were concocted, and they held the line.

But one cannot defend the actions of Team Obama on taking office. Law, policy and politics all pointed in one direction: turn the systemically dangerous banks over to Sheila Bair and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Insure the depositors, replace the management, fire the lobbyists, audit the books, prosecute the frauds, and restructure and downsize the institutions. The financial system would have been cleaned up. And the big bankers would have been beaten as a political force.

Team Obama did none of these things. Instead they announced “stress tests,” plainly designed so as to obscure the banks’ true condition. They pressured the Federal Accounting Standards Board to permit the banks to ignore the market value of their toxic assets. Management stayed in place. They prosecuted no one. The Fed cut the cost of funds to zero. The President justified all this by repeating, many times, that the goal of policy was “to get credit flowing again.”

The banks threw a party. Reported profits soared, as did bonuses. With free funds, the banks could make money with no risk, by lending back to the Treasury. They could boom the stock market. They could make a mint on proprietary trading. Their losses on mortgages were concealed — until the fact came out that they’d so neglected basic mortgage paperwork, as to be unable to foreclose in many cases, without the help of forged documents and perjured affidavits.

But new loans? The big banks had given up on that. They no longer did real underwriting. And anyway, who could qualify? Businesses mostly had no investment plans. And homeowners were, to an increasing degree, upside-down on their mortgages and therefore unqualified to refinance.

These facts were obvious to everybody, fueling rage at “bailouts.” They also underlie the economy’s failure to create jobs. What usually happens (and did, for example, in 1994 – 2000) is that credit growth takes over from Keynesian fiscal expansion. Armed with credit, businesses expand, and with higher incomes, public deficits decline. This cannot happen if the financial sector isn’t working.

Geithner, Summers and Bernanke should have known this. One can be fairly sure that they did know it. But Geithner and Bernanke had cast their lots, with continuity and coverup. And Summers, with his own record of deregulation, could hardly have complained.

To counter calls for more action, Team Obama produced sunny forecasts. Their program was right-sized, because anyway unemployment would peak at 8 percent in 2009. So Larry Summers said. In making that forecast, the Obama White House took responsibility for the entire excess of joblessness above eight percent. They made it impossible to blame the ongoing disaster on George W. Bush. If this wasn’t rank incompetence, it was sabotage.

This is why, in a crisis, you need new people. You must be able to attack past administrations, and override old decisions, without directly crossing those who made them.

President Obama didn’t see this. Or perhaps, he didn’t want to see it. His presidential campaign was, after all, from the beginning financed from Wall Street. He chose his team, knowing exactly who they were. And this tells us what we need to know, about who he really is.

James K. Galbraith is the author of The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, and of a new preface to The Great Crash, 1929, by John Kenneth Galbraith. He teaches at The University of Texas at Austin.

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It Was the Banks – a failure to focus

November 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Published on Friday, November 5, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

by James K. Galbraith

Bruce Bartlett [1] it was a failure to focus. Paul Krugman says [2] it was a failure of nerve. Nancy Pelosi says it was the economy’s failure. Barack Obama says it was his own failure – to explain that he was, in fact, focused on the economy.

As Krugman rightly [2] stipulates, Monday-morning quarterbacks should say exactly what different play they would have called. Paul’s answer is that the stimulus package should have been bigger. No disagreement: I was one voice calling for a much larger program back when. Yet this answer is not sufficient.

The original sin of Obama’s presidency was to assign economic policy to a closed circle of bank-friendly economists and Bush carryovers. Larry Summers. Timothy Geithner. Ben Bernanke. These men had no personal commitment to the goal of an early recovery, no stake in the Democratic Party, no interest in the larger success of Barack Obama. Their primary goal, instead, was and remains to protect their own past decisions and their own professional futures.

Up to a point, one can defend the decisions taken in September-October 2008 under the stress of a rapidly collapsing financial system. The Bush administration was, by that time, nearly defunct. Panic was in the air, as was political blackmail – with the threat that the October through January months might be irreparably brutal. Stopgaps were needed, they were concocted, and they held the line.

But one cannot defend the actions of Team Obama on taking office. Law, policy and politics all pointed in one direction: turn the systemically dangerous banks over to Sheila Bair and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Insure the depositors, replace the management, fire the lobbyists, audit the books, prosecute the frauds, and restructure and downsize the institutions. The financial system would have been cleaned up. And the big bankers would have been beaten as a political force.

Team Obama did none of these things. Instead they announced “stress tests,” plainly designed so as to obscure the banks’ true condition. They pressured the Federal Accounting Standards Board to permit the banks to ignore the market value of their toxic assets. Management stayed in place. They prosecuted no one. The Fed cut the cost of funds to zero. The President justified all this by repeating, many times, that the goal of policy was “to get credit flowing again.”

The banks threw a party. Reported profits soared, as did bonuses. With free funds, the banks could make money with no risk, by lending back to the Treasury. They could boom the stock market. They could make a mint on proprietary trading. Their losses on mortgages were concealed – until the fact came out that they’d so neglected basic mortgage paperwork, as to be unable to foreclose in many cases, without the help of forged documents and perjured affidavits.

But new loans? The big banks had given up on that. They no longer did real underwriting. And anyway, who could qualify? Businesses mostly had no investment plans. And homeowners were, to an increasing degree, upside- down on their mortgages and therefore unqualified to refinance.

These facts were obvious to everybody, fueling rage at “bailouts.” They also underlie the economy’s failure to create jobs. What usually happens (and did, for example, in 1994 – 2000) is that credit growth takes over from Keynesian fiscal expansion. Armed with credit, businesses expand, and with higher incomes, public deficits decline. This cannot happen if the financial sector isn’t working.

Geithner, Summers and Bernanke should have known this. One can be fairly sure that they did know it. But Geithner and Bernanke had cast their lots, with continuity and coverup. And Summers, with his own record of deregulation, could hardly complain.

To counter calls for more action, Team Obama produced sunny forecasts. Their program was right-sized, because anyway unemployment would peak at 8 percent in 2009. So Larry Summers said. In making that forecast, the Obama White House took responsibility for the entire excess of joblessness above eight percent. They made it impossible to blame the ongoing disaster on George W. Bush. If this wasn’t rank incompetence, it was sabotage.

This is why, in a crisis, you need new people. You must be able to attack past administrations, and override old decisions, without directly crossing those who made them.

President Obama didn’t see this. Or perhaps, he didn’t want to see it. His presidential campaign was, after all, from the beginning financed from Wall Street. He chose his team, knowing exactly who they were. And this tells us what we need to know about who he really is.

James K. Galbraith teaches at UT-Austin and is the author of The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too [3].


Article printed from http://www.CommonDreams.org

URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/11/05-13

 

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Today Is the Day …from Michael Moore

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Friends,

This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That — and where to go from here — will be the subject of tomorrow’s letter.

Today, we have one job and one job only: Stop the return of the bigger criminal class, the Party of War, the people who (with a few Democratic enablers) manufactured the very mess we are in.

There is good news this morning: The final ABC/Washington Post poll shows that, among registered voters, people still say they prefer the Democrats over the Republicans by 5 percentage points. It’s only when the pollsters ask “likely voters” who they want that the Republicans come out ahead by a few points.

So it’s clear the majority of voters want the Dems, but the prediction is the Republicans will win because Dem voters are going to stay home.

So, our mission is simple: MAKE SURE NO ONE WE KNOW STAYS HOME TODAY. Here’s what I am going to do right now and what I’m asking the millions of you reading this to join me in doing:

1. Email, call and/or text every non-Republican in your personal address book and remind them to vote Democratic today. If they (rightfully) complain that the Dems have been disappointing, tell them they’re right, then ask them to watch this editorial by Rachel Maddow last night where she correctly lists the dozen or so things this Democratic congress did right — the types of things we’ll never see from the Republicans if they take over (equal pay for women act, taking student loans out of the greedy hands of the banks, funding for our first bullet trains, boosting veterans benefits after Bush refused to for 8 years, etc.).

2. Post a general reminder to vote (and who to vote for) on your facebook page and tweet it to your Twitter followers.

3. If you have the time, go down to a local candidate’s HQ or the local Democratic Party office and offer to make calls or give people rides to the polls.

4. Think local. No matter where you are in America, there’s someone on the ballot today in your town who deserves your vote. Guaranteed. If you’re in Wisconsin and you’re pissed at Harry Reid for letting Joe Lieberman derail the public option on health care, don’t let that stop you from getting everyone you know to go vote for Russ Feingold. In Florida and furious at the way the Obama administration coddled Wall Street? All the more reason to call every single person you know in the Orlando area to go vote for Alan Grayson. In California and mad about the total Democratic failure on global warming? You can still change the world for the better by showing up with all your friends to vote for Prop 19 to legalize personal use of marijuana (and stop the record numbers of people we put in prison who don’t belong there).

5. Explain to anyone who’s given up and doesn’t want to vote today that Obama was handed a terrible mess that he didn’t create. He may now understand he’s moved too slow and compromised too much on the big stuff that needed to get done (after all, Goldman Sachs was his #1 private contributor in the 2008 election). But in the last couple months he’s made some good moves — booting some generals, dumping economic advisor/wrecker Larry Summers, and hiring new people like consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren. Things are very bad right now. But they can get MUCH worse. War with Iran? A genuine worldwide Second Great Depression? A Republican Congress will spend every second trying to make it happen.

6. Finally, we must let the Democratic politicians know that our vote comes with one big condition: If they do not straighten up, get a spine and do what we expect of them, we will find alternate candidates to run against them in 2012. And we mean it. Go vote today, but also sign this petition that I’ll deliver to every elected Democrat — the “I’m Voting Democratic But I Will Work to Defeat You Next Time if You Don’t Do Your Job” petition, aka “The Democrats on Probation” petition. Let’s publicly put them on notice that we’ll give them just two more years to start doing the things we elected them to do. If they move one more inch to the “center” or to the right, they will never get our vote again. And we mean business.

Bill Maher said, “We have a center-right party and a crazy party. Over the last 30 years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital.” That about sums it up. But he also said, “Sure, I’m mad at the Democrats. I’m also mad at my cell phone company. But I don’t throw away my cell phone cause I’m mad and then rub dog shit on my teeth.” We all know this isn’t the best situation to be in. So consider this one last reason to get out and vote:

There are good people the country has never heard of who are running today all across America, most of them for the first time. Somewhere in this great land right now, the woman who will cast the deciding vote in the Senate for single payer in 2016 is running for mayor of your city in her first big race. Somewhere else, the person who will become the first female president of the United States in 2020 is running for the state house for the first time. Their careers will be over and that future will never be if you don’t show up today. Go to theballot.org, find out who’s great and running where you live, and then show up to vote for them. You may help light the spark that will save our sorry ass somewhere down the road. Don’t just hold your nose today as you go in the booth — go ignite a future revolution. The only thing that makes the corporate honchos happier than paying no taxes is making sure as few people vote as possible. They think they’ve bought this election.

Go prove them wrong.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

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Obama’s Pick For Summers’ Replacement Will Signal His Direction

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Rob Kall
by Rob Kall

 

Will Obama pick another Goldman Sachs, Bankster, member of the team of econoterrorists economists who caused the economic meltdown? Or will he appoint someone who has credentials which indicate he or she’s been a stalwart supporter of main street families and workers?

Lawrence Summers, it appears, is leaving, because his two year pass at Harvard is about to run out, and he’d lose his tenure and have to re-apply. So much for the “ask not what my country can do for me, ask what I can do for my country” attitude. That’s a joke. Summers is all about what’s good for him and his.

Summers, known for his brains, is credited with being one of the chief architects of Obama’s failed top down, save the too-big to fail banks and pretend to throw money at infrastructure economic recovery program, signed into law in February.

He’s one of those smart people who do very stupid things– making negative remarks about women when he was Harvard president was a previous big one. Amazing how really smart people can do the big stupid so horrendously.

The good news could be that Summers and his approach, which helped lead to the economic disaster we’re living through, will soon be gone. The bad news is that he will probably be replaced by someone worse. Obama is getting better at picking people whose bios don’t scream of “fox in the hen house” syndrome.

Rupert Murdoch‘s Wall Street Journal reports, or, one might even say, ebulliently gloats, that Obama is looking to replace Summers with a more corporate pedigree– apparently, a number of female executives. The article reports,

Two people familiar with the matter said the president is considering a senior corporate executive as a successor to lead the National Economic Council, answering criticism that the Obama administration lacks private-sector experience and is aloof from corporate America.

The WSJ mentions Anne Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox corporation as a prime candidate, and lists some other possibilities,

Other candidates include Deputy National Economic Council Director Diana Farrell, who came to the White House from McKinsey & Company, and Laura Tyson, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who served in the Clinton administration as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Are they kidding? Obama’s not corporate friendly enough? Well, he still has Geithner, another bankster.
Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Stephanie Taylor commented on Summers’ prospective departure.

“This is a big victory for anyone who voted for change in 2008 only to see Summers work from the inside to water down Wall Street reform, block President Obama’s promise to protect Net Neutrality, and urge other pro-corporate positions. While we feel bad for Harvard students and faculty who have to deal with Summers again, Harvard’s loss is America’s gain. When President Obama fills this important economic position, Americans need him to appoint a champion for regular working folks, not Wall Street tycoons — someone in the mold of Elizabeth Warren, Byron Dorgan, Robert Reich, Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, and Sheila Bair.”

This kind of response would make progressives and liberals and most Democrats happy. But then, we have to consider what Summers, under Obama’s direction, actually DID, as the Progressive Change Committee reports,

But, as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee documents,

Summers consistently tried to water down Wall Street reform. Newsweek’s Michael Hirsch: “chief economic adviser Larry Summers still questioned whether Volcker’s proposals were feasible…Obama hadn’t acted much like FDR in the ensuing months. Instead he had faithfully channeled Summers and Geithner and their conservative approach to stimulus and reform.” Summers also opposed breaking up the big banks — see Huff Post and Simon Johnson.

blocked Susan Crawford, a big Internet freedom advocate, from advancing Net Neutrality within the White House — eventually forcing her out. (Net Neutrality prohibits Internet providers from picking which websites work fast or slow for their customers based on the financial interests or political views of the Internet providers. This non-discrimination rule has been a crucial part of the Internet’s level playing field, until challenged in recent years by big cable and phone companies.)

When President Obama entered office, he did a Clinton administration transplant, filling a plethora of appointments with former Clinton staffers and people who worked for them. Summers, Geithner and former OMB director Orszag worked former Clinton Treasury Secretary economic disaster creator Robert Rubin, who made over $50 million (possible over $100 million) working for Citibank, including helping to block regulation of derivatives trading and repeal Glass Steagall. Of course, Rubin, before working as treasury secretary, was, for 20 years at Goldman Sachs, including as co-chairman.
Tim Geithner, Wikipedia reports, was Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs (1998-2001) under Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers. Summers was his mentor, but other sources call him a Rubin protégé Geithner was also president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, director of Policy Development and Review Department at the International Monetary Fund and was a senior fellow at the COuncil on Foreign Relations (CFR.) Rubin is now co-Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations as well.

Summers has a history of supporting de-regulation and prevention of supervision of trading in derivatives and the like. Another globalist, he was also chieff economist for the world Bank. It’s hard to imagine Summers not being invited by Rubin to have some role in the Council on Foreign Relations, and, of course, Summers will surely go back to collecting big speaking fees.

The Council on Foreign Relations is considered the most influential think tank in the US. Of course, Xerox, which Anne Mulcahy, the number one mentioned candidate by the Wall Street Journal, to replace Summers, is a member.

Realistically, we can expect Obama to select someone who will continue the policies of Summers, who can work well Geithner or his replacement. That means they will be strong supporters of globalization, opponents to strong corporate oversight and regulation and friendly to the interests of global corporations. This would be inconsistent with Obama’s professed interests, on the campaign trail, in reining in transnational tax avoidance.

But I could be wrong. Summers departure does offer president Obama an opportunity to throw progressives, main street and mainstream Democrats a bone– some positive action that would actually help Democrats at the polls. So far, while he’s helped with fund-raising, it doesn’t seem like the White House team has been willing to actually make appointments or take substantive action to help main street. Even his latest infrastructure funding proposal will have a very limited and long term effect on the endangered middle class.

Follow Rob Kall on Twitter: www.twitter.com/robkall


Rob Kall, Host, Bottom-up Radio Show WNJC 1360, publisher, OpEdNews.com and Futurehealth.org
Posted: September 22, 2010 04:21 PM

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