Saturday, December 12, 2009
Barack Obama and Wall Street
Another strong statement from the eloquent one. The headline of an item in Marketwatch.com reads "Obama blasts Wall Street for economic crisis".
By Jonathan Burton, MarketWatch SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- President Barack Obama blasted Wall Street for worsening the economy's downturn and promised to make financial markets more transparent and accountable.
In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, the president applauded the House of Representatives for passing sweeping financial reform legislation and said the economy is recovering from the "irresponsibility" of Wall Street firms that "gambled on risky loans and complex financial products, seeking short-term profits and big bonuses."
It was "risk management without the management," Obama said. "Their actions, in the absence of strong oversight, intensified the cycle of bubble-and-bust and led to a financial crisis that threatened to bring down the entire economy."
Obama also blamed an "era of easy credit" for some of the excesses. "Millions of Americans borrowed beyond their means, bought homes they couldn't afford, and assumed that housing prices would always rise and the day of reckoning would never come," he said.
"It was a disaster that could have been avoided if we'd had clearer rules of the road for Wall Street and actually enforced them," the president said.
"Then he got elected"
Obama's Big Sellout - Matt Tabibi in RollingStones.com:
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. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.