By Robert E. Prasch*
If we go by the rumors circulating in the financial press, the Obama Administration is on the verge of selecting a proven failure – Lawrence Summers – to be the next Chair of the Federal Reserve System. This is the man, let us recall, whose greatest success in office was to work for the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 and the nudge along the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (which forbade any agency from regulating Credit Default Swaps). These profoundly mistaken decisions provided the nation’s largest and most irresponsible financial institutions with the bulk of the permission they needed to leverage up their balance sheets, hide the risks inherent in the mortgage-backed securities they were pushing onto unsuspecting investors, all while enabling them to become Too Big To Fail (and, as no less than the Attorney General of the United States has affirmed, Too Big To Prosecute).
By William K. Black
In November 2011, President Correa appointed Pedro Delgado as head of Ecuador’s Central Bank. The appointment was controversial. The obvious controversy was that Delgado is Correa’s cousin. Conservatives claimed that Delgado lacked integrity. Some progressives shared the concerns about his integrity and saw Delgado as too supportive of Ecuador’s largest banks and bankers. The recent banking crisis, in which the owners and managers of Ecuador’s four largest banks began a bizarre campaign of threatening to induce a run on their institutions to extort Correa into withdrawing his very sensible program of increasing the banks’ taxes and reforming the bankers’ dangerously perverse executive compensation, provided a test of these concerns by Correa’s supporters about Delgado. I explained how irresponsible the banking oligarchs’ campaign was in interviews in Ecuador and the U.S. and an article. I explained the vigorous manner in which U.S. regulators of my era would have acted to end the oligarchs’ efforts to extort the government and people of Ecuador by threatening to cause a banking run. Continue reading