Obama road tests hopey changey 2.0
Yves Smith spells out her strong opinion of our dilemma nationally for the elections of 2012. This particular arena of regulating banks and non banks and and accountability also takes on a wider symbolic meaning in this election cycle. How this plays out in determining national budget spending priorities through the lens of an explosion of money spent on national and state elections makes for a need for voters to pay close attention to actual issues and to gain some knowledge underlying economic understanding…a complicated task for a potentially interested public. We in Mass. have another election to follow closely through Elizabeth Warren, who has a different take on the issues.
Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism has a long post worth a visit to read the whole piece…here is a portion:
…So let’s return to the rebranding of Obama. From the Financial Times:
Barack Obama outlined a plan to toughen penalties against banks that commit fraud in a speech on Tuesday that hardened his attacks on Republicans for “collective amnesia” in backing policies that caused the financial crisis and economic downturn.
Speaking in Osawatomie, Kansas, Mr Obama summoned the spirit of another president, Teddy Roosevelt, who spoke in the same city a century ago about his “new nationalism” and the need for a fairer system that supported the middle class..
Mr Obama was scathing about the banks’ opposition to new financial regulations, saying they were only feared by “financial institutions whose business model is built on breaking the law, cheating consumers or making risky bets that could damage the entire economy”.
“I’ll be calling for legislation that makes [anti-fraud] penalties count – so that firms don’t see punishment for breaking the law as just the price of doing business.”
The misdirection is blindingly obvious. The claim is that the Administration needs new tools to get tough on banks. No, it has plenty of tools, starting with Sarbanes Oxley. As we’ve discussed at length in earlier posts, Sarbox was designed to eliminate the CEO and top brass “know nothing” excuse. And the language for civil and criminal charges is parallel, so a prosecutor could file civil charges, and if successful, could then open up a related criminal case. Sarbox required that top executives (which means at least the CEO and CFO) certify the adequacy of internal controls, and for a big financial firm, that has to include risk controls and position valuation. The fact that the Administration didn’t attempt to go after, for instance, AIG on Sarbox is inexcusable. The “investigation” done by Andrew Ross Sorkin in his Too Big To Fail (Willumstad not having a good handle on the cash bleed, the sudden discovery of a $20 billion hole in the securities lending portfolio, the mysterious “unofficial vault” with billions of dollars of securities in file cabinets) all are proof of an organization with seriously deficient controls.
But more broadly, it’s blindingly obvious this Administration has never had the slightest interest in doing anything more serious than posture. As we wrote in early 2010:
Recall how we got here. Early in 2009, the banking industry was on the ropes. Both the stock and the credit default swaps markets said that many of the big players were at serious risk of failure. Commentators debated whether to nationalize Citibank, Bank of America, and other large, floundering institutions..
well, i’m glad you see that.
Obama has destroyed Social Security. compared to that, giving the banks some new rules to work around is very small stuff.
in any case i am sick of “rebranding” and stirring rhetoric.
Let them eat campaign rhetoric cake…
We had our chance to deal with banks and investment houses in 2008. We only let a few fail, rather than most of them, and start the idustry afresh. More short term pain, but better long term, and there would have been no bonuses supported by TARP.
And the tools are irrelevant, becuase regulators do not know where to look, and the subjetcs are politically connected – MF Global anyone? Does anyone think the Democratic party will hold Corzine accountable. Heck no, he’s probably been giving them insider tips for years.
So another election, and another group of crappy candidates. Frustrating.
In a recent conversation with an old lefty ally here in Austin we pondered whether “Obama Democrat” is about to acheive the same perjorative status as the earlier “Reagan Democrat”. It’s looking that way to us.
I guess I should add that they tend to overlap quite a bit, at least the ones old enough to have voted for St. Ronnie.
It is interesting to see Obama starting to suck up to the dirty rotten hippies again. I do not think it will work and certainly he will not fool me twice. I expect that the young, people of color and far left parts of the Democratic party will sit this one out and I do not think he can win without them. The GOP is certainly not putting up credible candidates or this one would be called already–How many states did Reagan win against Carter again?
Basically, Obama’s campaign them reads like “Gabbo is coming”, write the Respublicans playing the role of Krusty and Sideshow Bob. Now we just need a candidate like Lisa Simpson.
Basically, Obama’s campaign them reads like “Gabbo is coming”, with the Respublicans playing the role of Krusty and Sideshow Bob. Now we just need a candidate like Lisa Simpson.
Apparently the Obama Justice Department has had trouble finding any fraud, especially in the CDO market,
(in)Actions do speak louder than words.
Mr. Holder is apparently too busy chasing after underwear bombers and the like.
It would appear that the Republican Party has struck some kind of under the table deal with the Obama White House. how else to explain their front runners in the current presidential nomination process? Mitt, Newt, Herbert, etc., is that a motley crew!! Newt wanted a revolution of some sort. What he failed to realize is that it would have required a group of committed republicans rather then a group of Republicans in need of commitment.
“…makes for a need for voters to pay close attention to actual issues and to gain some knowledge underlying economic understanding…a complicated task for a potentially interested public.”
Certainly an accurate description of a need to know. It brings to mind the words of that die hard 18th century republican,
“When will the people be educated? When they have enough bread to eat, when the rich and the government stop bribing treacherous pens and tongues to deceive them. When will this be? Never.” M. Robespierre
If I sat anywhere on the political spectrum, I think I’m something like on the right side of where the Democrat party used to be a while back. (As the masthead says, slightly left of center.) I cannot see myself voting for any of Obama’s opponents. But I cannot see myself voting for Obama either. I’ve been arguing against Obama’s economic policies since GW was the one peddling them, why would I want to reward anyone who wants to extend them even further? I expect to sit this one out too.
after he left them without food for a week and came home drunk and kicked them, the “progressives” are all wagging their tails and saying Obama is our best hope.
these people completely fail to understand the (critical) difference between SS and welfare. so they are betting that Obama will be better for welfare for old folks than the Republicans.
And occupiers, with giving the military new secret detention rules.
“When they took away the Muslims, I said nothing………….”
And your salvation lies in who? Newt? Mitt? Ron?
I would agree with both of you regarding sitting this one out if not for the Supreme Court. The next term at least 1 new justice will be appointed. At least with Obama, I certain we won’t get another Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, et al. If we do, we can kiss any thought of change good by for 30 years based on the age of the group.
No, I’m not falling for his recent return to podium heroics. He appointed Furman and Hillary dropped out. Enough said.
So we get judges who give us Kelo?
I’ll take another Roberts any day.
Islam will change
All I can do is vote for candidates who I think will try to do the right thing for the country as opposed to the Koch brothers or some other interest group. I have no faith in Obama based on the last 3 plus years. There are Senate and House races where I will be voting for the Democrat. While I understand the idea that Obama will be the lesser of two evils come November 2012, I refuse to support evil. Someday maybe enough people in this country will be desperate enough that they will not either. Until that day comes I will support both finacially and at the ballot box those who at least seem to have the country–and all of its residents- at heart and not support those who talk a good game, but act poorly.
Hillary in 2012?
Yes Robert, you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head. Again the lesser of evils. Isn’t that great. The President never saw a compromise he couldn’t resist regardless of how little it serves the American workers. And his list of potential rivals reads like a roll call at the nut house. Apologies to the mentally ill. In the mean time Social Security will end up eviscerated, the nation’s wealth continues to be squandered on useless military adventurism and the domestic economy can’t find a way out of the sewer. It sure would be nice if good old Barack would live up to his well spoken words. That he is capable of making sense when he talks, a skill his potential foes are yet to master, Obama has to implement those lovely ideas, not just reiterate them.
Already been through the family connections thing. Do we really need to do it again? Hillary was a definate DLC connection. Obama for sure signalled his connection with Furman.
There is no way, short of the proverbial live boy/dead girl scandel, would any Dem primary Pres Obama. Not going to happen. From the Dem point of view primarying Obama would literally destroy the party based on a 90+% voting support from the black voters. If your a long term Dem party guy/gal it’s looking like the best result would be for the Rs to win in 2012.
This assumes: 1) The economy will continue into the crapper and better to have teh R take the hit than the Dem Party 2) If you beleive the economy is going under again then having Obama in office when it happpens will even further discredit the progressive left and the Dem label. If Obama wins and the economy continues to crater – even if the EU is the cause when it goes down – the Dems get blamed. The Rs will just point and say ‘look even the hated Bush Jr turned it around, yet the Dems cannot even do that.’ And they would be right.
If you think Obama and Geitner can turn the economy around, Europe won’t pull the entire mess down around it, then yes you want Obama in the White House.
basically you Dems are stuck with Obama. That’s what you wanted and you got it…good and …
Islam will change
Well, Dan, I normally vote based on the candidates judicial preferences. But, I’m having a hard time getting up the energy to vote this time. If the voting spot weren’t right across the street, I probably wouldn’t vote at all. But, I will vote for the DINO hoping I’m not making yet another mistake. NancyO
What do you mean, “Kelo?” Is this a particular case? Pls. explain. NancyO
When Obama was first elected I spent my time explaining to people that it was going to take at least 3 presidential elections before we had half a chance of getting the president we want.
Hope people vote in their primaries. That is the point of true people power.
i am just paranoid enough to think the banks can turn the economy around whenever they want
as long as the politicians are not going to do it.
I don’t agree. Voting for O because you hope for a good SC appointment, is to reward the man who destroyed the New Deal because you are afraid of the days of back alley abortions.
I don’t think those days can come back. Or if they do, they can be dealt with far easier than people are going to be able to do without Social Security, much less the kind of society it represents.
If politics still means anything, an election in which the real Democrats just stayed home might give the politicians something to think about.
This guy studied Clinton and Reagan way more than Carter and Kennedy. Voila.