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April 04, 2009


Strawman Cometh

fixed Moe Lane link LUN

Cecil Turner

What a crock. Here he "defends" Wall Street in January, months before the AIG mess:

Obama, anger rippling his usually calm countenance, said bosses of big finance firms must sacrifice along with other Americans [. . .]

"That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful, and part of what we are going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility," Obama told reporters in the Oval Office. [snips for brevity, emphasis added]

And, of course, his famous AIG quote (back before we knew his team had insisted Dodd insert the authorization language in the Porkulus bill):
Mr Obama said: 'I don't want to quell anger - I think people are right to be angry. I am angry. Ultimately, I am responsible as President of the United States. We have a big mess to clean up.'
He's been leading the angry peasants from day one . . . and only stopped rabble rousing when his own involvement became obvious. Pretending to be the bankers' pal in a "private" meeting is priceless. I wonder when the next Dem fundraiser is scheduled.


Good for Larry. He's probably thinking "Good God--and I thought the Harvard faculty were insane lefties."


If mainstream media is reluctant to cover anti-tax tea parties, in A toast to tea parties I list some ideas the MSM should cover.

  1. Repeal so-called "Stimulus" pet project earmarks scheduled for 2009-2010 that offer little stimulation.
  2. Repeal so-called "Stimulus" spending for the years 2011 and beyond because scheduling such things now is not stimulus, but rather designed to prepare the election battlefield for 2012.
  3. Cut out the massive drag on future GDP from the Obama 2010 budget by removing extraordinary intrusive social engineering that covers up problems rather than solves them. Kill massive "Murtha effect" special deals for special people. We've already spent too much money that we don't have.
  4. Allow TARP money to be returned voluntarily immediately to unshackle private companies from the heavy hand of presidents who want control of private companies.
  5. Allow some business and some ill-advised home ownership to fail, just the way some fires are good for the forest and nature's way of enabling new growth.
  6. Hold politicians accountable for their words, their actions, and their associations. They associate with some pretty stinky characters.
  7. Drop the idea that the government knows what is right and must be in charge. It's regularly wrong, unleashing consequences worse than the disease. The Community Reinvestment Act protected and put on steroids by Congress caused the housing crisis and regulator forced "Mark to Market" rules precipitated the capital crunch. Government undermined capitalism; capitalism didn't undermine government.


SBW--Why not forward that to AT with permission to reprint it? The editor may be out for much of the day because his daughter's getting married so you might not get an immediate response.

Charlie (Colorado)

SBW, +1 on Clarice's suggestion.


I wish I was concise as this guy, an IT somewhere in California, who labeled the
components behind PDS, in that piece that appeared in Free Republic, but he's really
layed out the insanity in which we live in today:

So let’s see…if you’re all out of money, the thing to do is spend more money you don’t have. We add that one to the list that says when there’s an energy crisis because gas and oil are getting expensive, you need to keep the oil in the ground and burn food to make the cars go. When America faces an economic crisis from a bunch of companies failing you give the companies a whole lot of money other people have earned from doing other things…and if you find a tenth of a percent of it has gone toward bonuses, be sure and get the word out that nobody can personally benefit too much from saving these companies whose failure would surely be devastating to our economy.

This is way beyond Orwell. It’s a Bizarro world just like out of Superman comics. Recklessness is frugal, frugality is reckless, perverts are normal, normal people are perverts, spending money is saving it, saving it is wasting it, the way to “lead” a nation that is depressed is to talk some smack about it every chance you get (on foreign soil); and the solution to every single problem involving scarcity is to make it more difficult and expensive to produce whatever is scarce.

For the record, M.K. Freedberg thinks this is a passing phase, like the flu, I'm beginning to think it's more like ebola,
leaving more disfiguring remnants


I think what we have here is Tom-Daschle-in-reverse.

Tom Daschle turned his PREVIOUS public service into a personal windfall.

Summers appears to have cashed in on Wall Street's belief that he would have influence in the NEXT administration. Kind of a PRE-leverage of influence.


Phew, narciso, I thought this was Opposite Year or something.


It's very much an opposite year, Clarice, but I have little to do with it. The colon should have been the tip off or the line breaks.


shouldn't the pitchfork party be directed at the idiots in Washington who set the ground rules for Wall Street's irrational exuberance?

Barney Frank, Chris Dodd,Phil Gramm (yes, he was responsible for much of the deregulation),and the rest of the clown show all bear as much responsibility as the grifters in New York.


Hi, Clarice and ChaCo. I passed the toast to tea parties on to AT. Thanks for the suggestion. /sbw

Captain Hate

fixed Moe Lane link

Thanks for fixing the link. Did those bankers just sit there and take it when our affirmative action president was shaking them down like the street punk he's always been? It would've been a good time for a John Galt to appear and send President 666 out for a smoke break.

Kelly M.

Outrageous! It is time for Larry Summers to go. Larry Summers

1 Must be fired for his dishonesty, lack of integrity, huge conflict of interest, and lack of moral fiber. Is this who should be advising Obama on financial issues and the economy?

2. Should donate the $8 million he earned to charities to help the millions of Americans struggling to put food on the table now.

Need more?

1. Larry Summers fired Iris Mack, PhD, for blowing the whistle:

”A former quantitative analyst at Harvard Management Company, the university's once-vaunted endowment manager, tells the Harvard Crimson she was fired for voicing concern to then-university president Larry Summers' chief of staff about the money manager's risky use of derivatives the traders didn't understand.
“The episode dates back to 2002, when analyst Iris Mack, . . .the second African American woman to earn a Harvard PhD. in applied math . . . joined the much-venerated Harvard Management Company, which invests the university's then $18 billion endowment, to find what she termed a "frightening" state of affairs.”

Check out the whole story here: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/04/larry_summers_ignored_frightening_trading_practice.php

2. Conflict of interest: Summers is a managing director of the hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co. Did he try to help his friends and himself by continuing to bail out businesses? You bet.

3. Andrei Shleifer, a close friend of Summers cost Harvard a $26 million settlement with the U.S. government. A federal court found Shleifer liable for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Government, after Shleifer violated conflict-of-interest rules by making secret investments in Russia at the same time he was working for a Harvard group contracted by the U.S. Government to advise the Russian government. While Shleifer was being investigated, Summers pushed to have Shleifer promoted to a prominent chair at Harvard. http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Against-Larry-Summers-the-by-John-Wilson-081106-709.html

4. Summers was a main player in financial deregulation, a primary cause of the present economic crisis. Summers sought to silence Brooksley Born, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, who correctly foresaw that unregulated derivatives trading could put other financial markets at risk. While Born attempted to draft regulations to address this risk, Summers and his cronies accused her of fostering a financial crisis. Congress, apparently under pressure from Summers et al, suspended Born’s Commissions’ regulatory authority. Born then left her position as head of the Commission. “It was Larry Summers who called her up and screamed at her,” according to Siskind, who notes that the financial meltdown might have been averted if Summers had listened to Born (a woman).


5. While at the World Bank, Summers signed a memo that declared: “Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Least Developed Countries]?” The memo noted, “I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.” http://www.whirledbank.org/ourwords/summers.html

The guy has got to go.

Charlie (Colorado)

Amateur hour continues: Obama Administration looking for ways around their own rules, to encourage business participation.

Rules, like taxes, are for Republicans.

Charlie (Colorado)

Barney Frank, Chris Dodd,Phil Gramm (yes, he was responsible for much of the deregulation),and the rest of the clown show all bear as much responsibility as the grifters in New York.

You know, I'm going to ask you a question that I often ask in this context: which regulation was removed that led to this? But don't just say "Glass Steagal repeal" because (a) it wasn't a simple repeal, and (b) I want some specific causal connection.

Charlie (Colorado)

Note, btw, that failing to create NEW regulations (as you describe) is not the same as DEregulation.


It appears that Geinther was also specifically involved in changing regulations to make CDS easier to trade. I beleive the article was in the Washington post. The whole crew in this up to their ears.


President Pitchfork's Administration.

Thomas Esmond Knox

Seems simple to me.

Summers gives back the money and stays


Summers keeps the money and goes.

Am I missing something? Honesty?

Similarly, with regard to AIG donations to Obama:

Obama gives back the money and stays

or Obama keeps the money and goes.

Am I missing something? A nuance?

It is a small amount for him, but it would be a larger amount for me.


I think Geithner has recently had his forehead botoxed.

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