The Obama administration, for reasons that pass all understanding, has been running a campaign of leaks disparaging one of Obama’s few senior female appointees, Janet Yellen. Her high crimes include not being a protégée Bob Rubin and doing exceptionally well in economic forecasting. Rubin wants the job of Fed Chair to go to his top protégée, Larry Summers. Yellen, as Vice Chair of the Fed stands in the way of Rubin’s ambitions. (Rubin is too toxic to take the Chair directly.) The administration has been leaking primarily to the New York Times’ Binyamin Applebaum. His latest article contains this remarkable statement, without analysis.
“[T]he president’s top economic advisers uniformly support the selection of Mr. Summers. They regard him as a creative thinker and an experienced crisis manager, qualities they value in particular because they expect the Fed may confront difficult choices as it begins to retreat from its six-year-old stimulus campaign.”
The obvious question, except to the NYT, is who the “president’s top economic advisers” are who “uniformly support the selection of Mr. Summers”? There are six such advisers:
- Gene Sperling (Director, National Economic Counsel)
- Jason Furman (Chairman, CEA)
- James Stock (Member, CEA)
- Jacob Lew (Treasury)
- Penny Pritzker (Commerce)
- Sylvia Mathews Burwell (OMB)
Each of Obama’s top economic advisers is a Rubinite. Sperling is one of Rubin and Summers’ closest allies. Furman’s prior job was running the Hamilton Project – created by Rubin to propagate his ideas. Stock is a Rubinite, a colleague of Summers, and the co-author of the article that infamously coined the term “The Great Moderation” (Ben Bernanke popularized, but did not invent, their phrase.) Some “moderation” – to state the case gently he missed the most important economic developments in modern history. Jacob Lew and Furman share the characteristic of being Rubinites and leading architects and proponents of the “Grand Betrayal” (the effort to inflict austerity and cuts in the safety net). Pritzker is a national disgrace. She connected then Senator Obama with Rubin. Her appointment prompted extremely pointed criticisms.
Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell is a Rubin protégé who most recently worked for Walmart’s foundation.
So the real story should have been that one of the discredited officials who visited so much harm on our Nation and the world, Bob Rubin, has managed to place his protégés and allies in all six of the top economic positions in the Obama administration. Rubin and Summers are infamous for eviscerating effective financial regulation. Unsurprisingly, financial regulation, which has been under unremitting attack for 20 years since the Clinton administration’s “reinventing government” movement began in 1993, has remained scandalously weak and produced with the aid of another Rubinite, Timothy Geithner, the de facto decriminalization of the elite banking frauds that drove the crisis. It tells us nothing substantively that six Rubinites “uniformly support” a seventh Rubinite.
Pritzker and Rubin exemplify the problem. They are huge donors directly and they provide the links to other big bank donors for the Democratic Party. The banks Prizker and Rubin were most closely associated with engaged in massive frauds while they were in a position to prevent such crimes and failed to do so. Rubin leads the Wall Street Wing of the Democratic Party with the aid of allies like Pritzker, Rahm Emanuel, and Bill Daley – the leaders of the disreputable Chicago contingent. The Clinton, Bush (II), and Obama administrations have overwhelmingly given a free pass to the elite banksters. (The Pritzkers were a semi-exception. Bush II was willing to crack down on a leading bank fraud so closely associated with the Democratic Party.)
With the possible exception of their ally Alan Greenspan, no two individuals have as much culpability in the modern era for causing crises as Rubin and Summers. The Rubinites’ stated rationale to the NYT for appointing Summers to run the Fed redefines the old joke: “what’s chutzpah mean?” Instead of killing one’s parents and then demanding that the court show mercy to you as an orphan, the Rubinites demand to be put in charge of the Fed because they’ve caused so many more crises than Yellen that they have vastly more experience trying to deal with crises. When we were financial regulators we found it desirable to avoid creating crises. Summers and Rubin did not respond well to the crises they helped cause. Their “solutions” caused great misery in much of the world for decades.
–(Rubin is too toxic to take the Chair directly.) —
What and Summers is not? After watching nearly six years of hypocrisy, I guess not.
The Obama administration, for reasons that pass all understanding, has been running a campaign of leaks disparaging one of Obama’s few senior female appointees, Janet Yellen.
It may be somewhat off topic , however, it seems to me that in America, leaks to the press are illegal. Or is it that the question of legality comes down to the individual and who they work for?
Regardless, it comes as no surprise that the Obama administration is papering the house on behalf of Summers. From the outset he has surrounded himself with mindless neo-liberal ideologues.
From Ralph Nader:
Has there been a bigger con man in the White House than Barack Obama?
Once again the NYT is carrying the water for the Administration of the day. I suppose that is why they haven’t been indicted for publishing leaked information?
Obama should take a second look that this “genius” that he is considering appointing as fed Chairman.
1. This “genius” was one of the key architects of dismantling the Glass-Steagal Act so now the banks are underwater with toxic derivatives
2. This “genius”was a driving force to keep derivatives from being regulated and therefore to keep them opaque so that when a crisis hits, the other banks have no idea of what other banks have on their books and therefore lending ceases.
3. This “genius” attacked Brooksley Born when she tried to warn government about the dangers derivatives posed to the economic system. (She was proven right!)
3. This “genius” left government for the Harvard presidency and provided them with excellent financial advice that cost Harvard over $1 BILLION in interest rate swaps.
4. This “genius” and impressive thinker told an audience that women were not as well equipped as men in the sciences and math.
I do not believe that Obama is stupid and that is why he is looking to Summers. It is instead because Obama has sold his soul to his financial overlords while abandoning the working people.
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