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Occupy History: The American Revolution Was About Debt Relief

10:07 am in Uncategorized by DSWright

Happy Independence Day! It seems appropriate given Occupiers are in Philadelphia right now to mention an interesting aspect of the American Revolution: debt relief.

From the New Yorker:

The American Revolution, some historians have argued, was itself a form of debt relief. In 1787, just before the Constitution was drafted, New Yorkers formed the Society for the Relief of Distressed Debtors. They launched an investigation and found that, of 1,162 debtors committed to debtors’ prison in New York City in 1787 and 1788, 716 of them owed under twenty shillings. In 1758, New York’s debtors were moved to New Gaol, near what’s now City Hall Park. Describes the horrible conditions in New York’s debtors’ prison. In 1791, John Pintard, a state legislator and stockbroker, fell for William Duer’s financial scheme, which helped trigger the Panic of 1792, the nation’s first stock-market crash. Pintard eventually landed in debtors’ prison in Newark.

The idea that debt is necessary for trade, and has to be forgiven, is consequent to the rise of a market economy. Americans fought to provide the same debt relief to everyone because we believe in equality and because bankruptcy protection makes taking risks less risky. Our willingness to forgive debt lies behind a good part of our prosperity. Pintard got out of jail in 1798, and he filed for bankruptcy in 1800. He went on to found the New-York Historical Society in 1804, and to help open the New York Bank for Savings in 1819. Mentions Joseph Dewey Fay. In 1841, Congress passed a sweeping federal bankruptcy law that offered bankruptcy to everyone. Meanwhile, in 1831, the New York State Legislature abolished imprisonment for debt. Other states soon followed. Debtors’ prison was abolished, and bankruptcy law was liberalized, because Americans came to see that most people who fall into debt are victims of the business cycle, and not of fate or divine retribution.

Oh how far we’ve fallen.

Today not only do homeowners not get debt relief they get fraudulently foreclosed on. And students are saddled with debt their entire lives that can not be discharged even during personal bankruptcy.

Debt slavery is back in style, will Revolution follow?

Re Vice President Biden: Is America In A Depression?

2:50 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

Yesterday Vice President Biden made an important statement regarding the American economy, from ABC News:

Vice President Joe Biden today offered a blunt assessment of the plight of the unemployed, telling supporters at a campaign rally in Iowa that the economy remains “a depression for millions and millions of Americans.”

“The unemployed are in real trouble,” Biden said in a speech on the banks of the Mississippi River in Dubuque. “My grandpa used to say, from Scranton, he’d say, ‘Joe, when the guy in Dunmore…is out of work, it’s an economic slowdown. When your brother-in-law is out of work, it’s a recession. When you’re out of work, it’s a depression.’”

“It’s a depression for millions and millions of Americans,” he said.

Is Vice President Biden right and how many millions? Let’s take a look.

The Vice President specifically noted the unemployed as being in a Depression.

ui1may2012

The number of persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force or U-1 unemployment rate has stayed above 8% for the last few years. But it is important to note that the ubiquitous U-1 measure is only a part of the overall employment story.

Read the rest of this entry →

Generation X Lost Most From Wall Street’s Crisis

3:07 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

The recent Federal Reserve Report On Wealth has generated considerable controversy and discussion throughout America and beyond. But one aspect that is not getting enough attention is the generational differences highlighted in the report.

Generation X – people roughly born from the early 60s to early 80s – is by far the biggest loser in terms of wealth. The crisis created by Wall Street shredded their wealth and the bank bailouts only benefited the rich. Gen Xers were in the position of having some modest wealth – mostly in their homes – but not enough to buy political influence.

So while it is arguable to say Gen Xers are the biggest losers generally, given the many others suffering who did not have much wealth in the first place (millennials for instance) it is true to say that as an age group they lost the most wealth proportionally.

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Gen X had a 54% Drop! Imagine losing over half your wealth in 3 years, many don’t have to imagine they lived it. Seniors lost the least, which is not surprising given their reliance on government services and that many liquidated their homes for retirement. Younger people did not have much wealth accumulated in order to lose it. The people that really got screwed were middle aged, middle income Americans.

Though it is important to remember everyone but the 1% lost wealth in the crisis – the 1% were able to engineer themselves a bailout from the government they control so their wealth actually increased in those 3 years.

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As the late great George Carlin said “They call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.” Occupy.

(h/t Zero Hedge)

1% Success Stories: Man Makes $10 Million For 9 Months Work

3:09 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

While middle and working class Americans have seen a wealth crash the last few years, a fortunate few have made out like bandits (which is what generally happens when you act like a bandit). Some were so rich they were not even counted in the Federal Reserve’s survey:

That exclusion means that the new Federal Reserve numbers for 2010 understate — by $1.37 trillion, the total wealth of that year’s Forbes 400 — America’s actual level of wealth concentration.

Woops.

One (kind of racist) academic, Charles Murray, even coined a term for these successful people – The Cognitive Elite (dun Dun DUN!). You know, the people who are richer than you because they are smarter, more industrious, and even have better values.

Well, let’s look at one recent 1% success story that comes from that “cognitive elite.” The story of a man who is a member of Murray’s elite corporate managerial class that deserves to rule us because they are just so good.

From Yahoo Finance:

PLANO, Texas, June 18, 2012 – J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (“jcpenney”) (JCP) today announced that Michael Francis will be leaving the Company, effective today. Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson will assume direct responsibility and oversight of the company’s marketing and merchandising functions.

Johnson said, “We thank Michael for his hard work at jcpenney and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Hard work eh? He must be a long term employee who worked his way up from the mail room and [insert trite bullshit here] and he really strove to make JC Penney’s the company it is today and…

Not so much.

From Zero Hedge:

Because despite leaving just 9 months after his hiring, Francis is entitled to collect a whopping $9 million in pro-rated signing bonus (alongside $100,000/month in salary): all in all – a tidy package of $10 million for shooting the breeze while observing a sinking retail ship. Not bad for a company whose stock has just plunged to September 2010 levels.

For some perspective, from The Big Picture which includes more charts:

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Michael Francis has been have launched into the 1% from just that 9 months of “work” (if he wasn’t there already). 9 months of work, $10 million, and JC Penney is at historic lows. Talk about failing up!

So remember when someone tells you those rich people are so “superior” that they are not just luckier than you but that they have “better cognitive abilities” – it is like most of the things you are told about present day America, a lie. They aren’t smarter, they aren’t more virtuous, the 1% are simply raiding the system. A system they have mangled to serve themselves at your expense.

While record numbers of children live in the street, while veterans have record unemployment, while the middle class disappears – a public company, owned by many of your pensions, is paying this do nothing douchebag $10 million.

That’s your America and that’s just how it will stay unless you change it.

Don’t be a sucker. Occupy Wall Street.

RIP Middle Class: Americans’ Wealth Plummeted 40% from 2007 to 2010

4:09 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

Wall Street’s fraud based crash has really taken its toll. From Washington Post:

The recent recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans’ wealth, according to government data released Monday, with ­middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.

The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.

But don’t call it class warfare.

The recession caused the greatest upheaval among the middle class. Only roughly half of middle­-class Americans remained on the same economic rung during the downturn, the Fed found. Their median net worth — the value of assets such as homes, automobiles and stocks minus any debt — suffered the biggest drops. By contrast, the wealthiest families’ median net worth rose slightly.

The drops are truly staggering both for income and net worth:

Read the rest of this entry →

Where are the JOBS Obama? Here, I’ll Show You

5:36 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

I know many people are in election mode which narrows vision considerably, so let me just say upfront Mitt Romney may be the embodiment of all that is wrong with America: a self-absorbed Corporate Gangster that hides in esoteric dogma to rationalize his transgressive lifestyle. He won’t be getting my vote, it would be like electing Gordon Gekko president. By the way Mittens, if your plan was to fire everyone and sell the country for parts… too late.

That being said, what the hell is Obama’s plan to turn this economy around? Is there one?

Yes there is, and it’s really stupid.

From President Obama’s website:

When President Obama took office, the economy was losing more than 700,000 jobs per month. President Obama acted quickly to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which cut taxes for small businesses and 95 percent of working families. It also included emergency funding to support about 300,000 educator jobs, more than 4,600 law enforcement positions, and investments in the clean energy sector that supported 224,500 jobs through 2010. Through April 2012, the economy has added more than 4.2 million private sector jobs over 26 consecutive months of job growth.

President Obama knows we still have more work to do. That’s why, in his State of the Union address, the President laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last—an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.

OK… so let’s see what that entails, from Whitehouse.Gov:

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a Blueprint for an America Built to Last, encouraging companies to create manufacturing jobs in the United States while removing deductions for shipping jobs overseas and encouraging insourcing. During the past two years, we have begun to see positive signs in American manufacturing – with the manufacturing sector adding more than 300,000 jobs since December 2009, with companies engaging in the emerging trend of “insourcing” by bringing jobs back and making additional investments in the United States. Manufacturing jobs are growing for the first time since the late 1990s.

The proposals the President is describing today are designed to build on this progress. They include six proposals that Congress should act on immediately to encourage job growth in the United States and that are fully paid for by closing tax loopholes that encourage the shifting of jobs and shielding of profits overseas.

OK… what are the six proposals?

1. Removing tax deductions for shipping jobs overseas and providing new incentives for bringing them back home

2. Targeting the domestic production incentive on manufacturers who create jobs here at home and doubling the deduction for advanced manufacturing

3. Introducing a new Manufacturing Communities Tax Credit to encourage investments in communities affected by job loss

4. Providing temporary tax credits to drive nearly $20 billion in domestic clean energy manufacturing

5. Reauthorizing 100% expensing of investment in plants and equipment

6. Closing a loophole that allows companies to shift profits overseas

The Blueprint includes other provisions like enforcing trade agreements, making Wall Street “play by the rules” and keeping tuition costs from going “too high.”

In other words… Obama’s economic strategy is lame bullshit. No change, no vision, nothing.

This isn’t change you can believe in, it’s not even change at all.

If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insane then Obama needs a straightjacket. Neoliberalism doesn’t work, has never worked, and will never work in creating broad prosperity. You would think after 30 years of watching the overwhelming majority of the gains going to the Top 1% and an epic crash to rival the Great Depression we would have learned something. Nope.

“Enforce Trade Agreements”
– The agreements were written by multi-national corporations for their benefit not America’s.

“Make Wall Street Play By The Rules” – They literally write the rules: OCC, SEC, CFTC, Federal Reserve.. totally stacked with Wall Street cronies. Sometimes the firms get so greedy they break their own rules. But otherwise Wall Street has captured the regulators. They are the regulators.

“Keep tuition from spiraling ‘too high’”
– If higher education is an investment in the future why are people walking out of it with any debt?

What may be the saddest fact of all is Obama can’t even get the lame bullshit he is proposing through a Republican congress. That’s how far stupid Right America has moved. Even defeatist, weak, mostly ineffectual reforms are unpalatable to the reactionaries in Congress.

 

How About A Real Jobs Program?

Allow me to offer six proposals that would actually improve the lives of the 99%.

1. Wipe Out The Debt. The Too Big To Fail Banks should be nationalized, wound down, and destroyed with a total wipe out of the debts they hold. Free enslaved Americans so they can reset and begin to grow again.

2. Nationalize the Fed. The Federal Reserve is the third iteration of a corrupting institution two other Democratic Presidents destroyed – Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Allowing private money interests to have a strangle hold on the nation’s money supply is a recipe for the kind of crony capitalism and subsequent inequality America now faces. The Fed is not “independent” at all. It is independent of democratic control but it is not independent of Wall Street. Nationalize America’s Central Bank and have it absorbed by the Treasury Department under democratic control.

3. Withdraw from the World Trade Organization. Neoliberal globalization is an economic, political, social, and environmental disaster. It has lead to unstable markets, democratic deficits, racial/ethnic/religious hatreds, and environmental degradation. It is time to restore bi-lateral trade agreements that value fair labor standards and protect the environment.

4. Protect and Invest in New American Industries. Even Ronald Reagan knew that new industries needed protection – that’s why he protected through anti-Free Trade measures the burgeoning Semiconductor Chip industry. One of the reasons Silicon Valley exists (besides the Pentagon creating it) is America protected its semiconductor industry when it counted.

China is now surpassing America in clean technology particularly solar energy – guess what? No. A 100% tariff on all foreign imports of clean energy technology including solar tech. We make it, we buy it, we put our people to work to make it happen. We are going to win the future by not playing a rigged game against slave drivers and reckless polluters.

5. Tax FIRE to build TECI. The Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE) economy often euphemistically referred to as “Wall Street” creates no value – at best it is a utility that helps the REAL economy function, at worst it’s a parasitic gang of plutocrats who wreck markets and corrupt politics.

The next evolution within the REAL economy should be Transportation, Energy, and Communication Infrastructure (TECI). Investing in roads and public transportation, alternative energy, a reliable and robust broadband and phone tower network creates jobs while rebuilding the country. Production instead of finance means a reindustrialization program. Real jobs for a Real economy.

How do we pay for it? Taxing the FIRE with a Financial Transaction Tax. Take from the useless to fund the productive.

6. A War On Corporate Politics. To secure the jobs program corporations simply must be removed from the political process. Right now the Supreme Court is firmly pushing corporate interests and Congress is bought by corporate powers. Before legislation can be put forward to politically disenfranchise corporations an all out assault from the White House should be launched. Any corporation giving money or lobbying against the jobs agenda should be hit from all sides from federal lawsuits and continuous investigations utilizing new federal powers granted by Anti-Terrorism legislation.

The Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and other security services should begin infiltrating Corporate America and provoking them into engaging in securities fraud or regulatory abuses then arresting executives. Agent provocateurs could help shut down a possible Corporate response to the jobs program. Strangling a political movement in the cradle is the best strategy.

——-

While #6 may or may not have some satire interlaced within it (see if you can find it) this Six Point Proposal would create jobs, now. It would also build a better society so America could no only win the future but in so doing have a victory worth having.

The US House Of Representatives Just Voted For Permanent Taxpayer Funded Wall Street Bailouts

5:48 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

Today, the United States House of Representatives voted to end the fund Wall Street – rather than Taxpayers – would have to pay into that would serve as the bailout mechanism in a future financial crisis. In other words they voted to repeal the already meager Dodd-Frank regulations and go back to precisely the circumstances that existed when Congress claimed it had to give $700 billion to Wall Street because the banks were “Too Big To Fail.”

Official Photo of Spencer Bachus - Wikimedia Commons

From the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s own Press Release:

As Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Bachus was responsible for identifying $35 billion of savings included in the package, going above and beyond the committee’s deficit reduction target by more than $5 billion. Bachus’ recommendation to eliminate a federal bailout fund for large financial institutions was accepted.

Remember this is the same Congressman who said Congress’ job is to “serve the banks.” From Think Progress:

Bachus, in an interview Wednesday night, said he brings a “main street” perspective to the committee, as opposed to Wall Street. “In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks,” he said.

And oh how he has.

Now the taxpayers are back on the hook if/when the banks have another financial crisis – which given that Bachus and friends are deregulating even more is quite likely.

When you are asked how could America be in such decline and have such a negative view of the future – answer: because we learn nothing from our mistakes.

Enjoy the next bailout which Spencer Bachus is working night and day to make sure YOU, not the people responsible, pay for.

Goldman Sachs Tries To Get Into Islamic Banking or “Why They Hate Us”

1:16 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

I am not in any way, shape, or form a Muslim. But you know what? I stand with many Muslims today as being offended and disgusted by Goldman Sachs’ presumption (and in fairness, their existence given that as a U.S taxpayer I bailed them out). From Reuters:

Goldman’s plan to become one of the first top Western banks to raise money through Islamic bonds, announced last October, has attracted controversy in the industry, and the bank has not so far proceeded with the plan.

Some analysts have suggested Goldman might use the proceeds of the sukuk to lend money to clients for interest, which would be against Islamic law, and that the issue might not trade at par value on the Irish exchange, which would also contravene sharia law.

Now what the fuck. Is it not enough that Goldman Sachs:

* Committed securities fraud in the mortgage securities market

* Which a congressional investigation revealed significantly contributed to the Financial Crisis of 2008.

* Or that Goldman Sachs directors have been caught insider trading.

* Or Goldman Sachs’ role in the Greek Crisis.

* Or that according to at least one 12 year veteran of the firm Goldman Sachs has a culture of screwing its clients.

And on and on.

No, that apparently is not enough. Now Goldman Sachs, our American Ambassadors Extraordinary of Greed and Connivance, are going to defraud and chisel their way through the Islamic world. Well I am sure this will do wonders for peace in the Middle East.

Record Military Suicides: The Price of A Daydreaming Empire

2:06 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

Baseball was once America’s favorite cultural pastime. Today, in politics at least, nothing is more fashionable than praising and celebrating “the troops.” I Support the Troops serves as continual shibboleth that the ever scrambling political class recites and riffs on in the pathetic attempt to convince the public that they take public service seriously. Those in power, in what could only be described as a tragic paradox, are constantly callously searching for ways to be authentic, or at least to appear to be authentic. This has lead to ever increasing heights of hair-pulling, clothes-tearing, and histrionics when praising the troops and their sacrifices. As the horrors of war become increasingly difficult to justify “the troops” become ever more celestial and divine as if praise is a substitute for care and passionate veneration a substitute for actual living.

President Obama even went so far as to make troops the role model for Americans in his State Of The Union, though he was shrilly attacked for it by the Right, Obama was merely taking the game to its next logical step.

But do Americans really Support The Troops? Do they really even care? No, not really.

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I am sorry if that is an upsetting message, but it is none the less true. A truth not gleaned from public statements or opinion polls or sound bites on the news but from actions and the easily understood consequences of those actions.

Politifact, somewhat discredited by recent rulings, recently decided to “fact check” a public statement Congressman Rush Holt made on military suicides:

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th) cites a grim statistic relating to military service: 18 veterans commit suicide daily across the country.

That would mean 126 veterans a week or more than 6,000 a year — and Holt isn’t wrong, a PolitiFact New Jersey investigation found.

A number of organizations — including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — say that statistic is the best estimate available.

No, it is not wrong. Nor is it just veterans, as according the New York Times Active-Duty Soldiers are committing suicide at record levels:

Suicides among active-duty soldiers hit another record high in 2011, Army officials said on Thursday, although there was a slight decrease if nonmobilized Reserve and National Guard troops were included in the calculation…

Active-duty Army suicide rates have been higher than civilian rates since 2008, when there were nearly 20 suicides per 100,000 in the Army, compared with close to 18 suicides per 100,000 in a civilian population that was adjusted to be comparable to Army demographics. The Army projects that final 2011 numbers will be more than 24 suicides among active-duty soldiers per 100,000, another record high.

It is also worth noting that given the stigma of suicide many service-members, their families, commanders and others often try to make suicides seem like accidental deaths – the real numbers may be even higher.

Is it so hard to understand why men and women involved in some of the most horrifying, nakedly imperialistic, and wasteful wars might want to leave this world sooner rather than later?

But wait, America has a way out, a loophole in the social contract. We all get to praise the troops and their service which means what they were ordered to do in our name, under our authority, and with our money is irrelevant. It is a rather nice arrangement if you do not want to deal with the issue. Unfortunately “the troops” lived it and can not say a few benign words and walk out into the sun for another day of self-glorification.

What have we ordered “the troops” to do, and what were the consequences?

In the Iraq War alone their were over 100,000 civilian deaths according to one study, and according to leaked Pentagon records:

According to official figures, 3,884 US soldiers died between 2004 and 2009, an additional 224 soldiers from allied nations, well over 8,000 members of the Iraqi security forces (reasonably reliable figures are missing for 2004) and 92,003 Iraqi civilians whose deaths are documented by at least one source. Together, this makes more than 104,111 deaths, a figure that approximates the number of victims reported dead in these documents, namely 109,032

Getting killed, maimed or killing and maiming tens of thousands of innocent people by mistake or purposely – that must do wonders for mental health.

Afghanistan, now America’s longest war, has seen 2,800 Americans killed, 27,000 Americans maimed, and over 30,000 civilian deaths.

While we aimlessly deploy “the troops” to far away lands to perform grizzly tasks to maintain our ruthless empire – where is the American people’s focus? What, in our attention economy, have we deployed our own resources towards? Ourselves of course!

While other (usually poorer) Americans fight and die for “freedom” other (usually richer) Americans are busy pursuing fantasy. Movies, TV, Video Games, Novels, Social Media Aps, Role-Playing games, or just the all consuming narcissism of moi … as one of the co-creators of the internet Robert Cailliau noted, if these trends continue the future is likely to be like the Matrix but worse. A people daydreaming their lives away while the cruel realities necessary for their position and place are borne but others – others whose only reward is posthumous praise.

 

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Is this a system worth killing so many innocent people for? Is this a system worth dying for?

There is no simple answer to those questions or to other questions I have raised, but there is one thing that seems crystal clear regarding the tragic state of our military service members – if you really want to Support the Troops Bring Them Home.

Donald Rumsfeld Uhhh Tim Geithner May Not Serve In Obama 2nd Term

12:24 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

 

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(Timothy Geithner by J Wohland)

 

Sometimes Presidents make horrible cabinet choices.

Bad cabinet choices can wound a good administration or damage one already spiraling down. It is easy to see how it could happen – someone comes highly recommended, with an impressive resume and lots of other credentials. They do well in the interview process and have a good rapport with the President-elect and his trusted aides or maybe he or she is a trusted aid. Given that dynamic, it’s not hard to see why George W. Bush chose Donald Rumsfeld and its not that hard to see why Barack Obama chose Tim Geithner. But in both instances Presidents made tragic errors.

Though I’m sure Bush was warned by people about Rumsfeld, it is well known Obama had a warning almost immediately from Senator Byron Dorgan that Summers, Geithner and crew were the wrong choices for his economic team, from New York Magazine:

There’s a poignant moment of sorts in December 2008 when the North Dakota senator Byron Dorgan implores the president-elect not to go with his economic team. “I don’t understand how you could do this,” he tells him. “You’ve picked the wrong people!” As indeed Obama did, under the tutelage of Robert Rubin, who also tried to finagle a White House guru role for himself, not unlike the perch from which he helped wreak havoc at Citigroup during its subprime orgy

Indeed, possibly the worst mistake of the Obama presidency. Larry Summers and his former Deputy Tim Geithner were the embodiment of the economic establishment that lead to the 2008 financial crisis. In fact, Summers and Geithner lead the campaign to oust Brooksley Born from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission – why? Because Mrs. Born wanted to regulate derivatives thinking they were dangerous and would lead to a financial meltdown. Summers, Geithner, Greenspan and Rubin destroyed Born then supported legislation that further deregulated derivatives. Woops.

Presidents also don’t like to admit they made a horrible mistake (who does really?) and so the most tacit admission is found when they dump people in the second term. This is what happened with Rumsfeld and why Tim Geithner is now, surely with White House consent, hinting he won’t be back:

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said he doesn’t expect President Barack Obama to ask him to stay in office if he’s re-elected, and dismissed Wall Street’s concerns about financial regulations.

“He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “I’m confident he’ll be president. But I’m also confident he’s going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury.”

I’m confident if Obama isn’t re-elected Geithner will be one of the reasons why.

There are many good reasons to dump Tim Geithner like him being a blatant Wall Street puppet, not paying his taxes and being in charge of the IRS, having his fingerprints all over the Bankster give away that has people in the streets…but an even more compelling reason for Geithner to go is this -

 

What if Elizabeth Warren Becomes a Senator?

 

No one did more in the Obama Administration to undermine Elizabeth Warren than Tim Geithner.

From HuffPo:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has expressed opposition to the possible nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a source with knowledge of Geithner’s views.

The financial reform bill passed by the Senate on Thursday mandates the creation of a new federal entity charged with protecting consumers from predatory lenders.

But if Geithner has his way, the most prominent advocate for creating the agency may not be picked to lead it.

Simon Johnson:

And having Ms. Warren on the scene — providing an alternative, pro-consumer perspective — may not be to his liking.

President Obama missed his best opportunity to reform the financial system when advisers — including Mr. Geithner – recommended in March 2009 that he defer to top bankers

But forget the backroom, the contention became clear as day during the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission when Warren grilled Geithner on his role in the bailouts and why AIG received 100 cents on the dollar and why banks are now MORE concentrated not less.

 

Needless to say relations would be much better between the White House and Massachusetts’ newest Senator if Tim Geithner was not the Treasury Secretary.

The tragedy of time or at least humans existence within it is the inability to go back and fix mistakes. Summers, Geithner and crew were bad choices that not only secured the power of Wall Street to keep putting the country at risk but deeply damaged the public’s trust in the Obama Administration and government generally.

Kicking Geithner to the curb after re-election will not undo what has been unfortunately done, but it will be a good start. What needs to happen for America to heal is not just a repudiation of certain individuals like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers but a repudiation of the philosophy they brought to government – that a Wall Street Elite should ruthlessly operate America for their own interests only stopping to confer with society through its representatives in DC with a check and a message “We own you.”