Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama's Wall Street Connections

In his 2010 book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, a Newsweek columnist named Jonathan Alter wrote the following about 2012 Democratic presidential candidate Obama’s record as U.S. president during his first year in the White House:

“…Obama’s debut was rocky by any standard…The official unemployment rate stood at 10 percent, but that didn’t include discouraged workers no longer in the job market or those seeking longer hours…The stimulus, officially called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was…too slow in creating jobs…He failed…to convince the middle class that he was focused enough on their number one concern: jobs…He failed to attach more conditions to the bank bailout…Obama…refused the pleas of liberals to nationalize the banks…”

One reason that the Wall Street-oriented economic policies of 2012 Democratic presidential candidate Obama’s administration haven’t been very successful in creating enough jobs in the United States to reduce the U.S. unemployment rate to below 3 percent by November 2012 might be because some of the same Wall Street executives and former Treasury Department officials apparently responsible for helping to create the endless Great Recession of 2008 were among the most influential economic advisers of President Obama during his first year in the White House. As The Promise: President Obama, Year One revealed:

“Obama asked his…campaign economic advisers…to assemble a team of 8 to 10 big thinkers for conference calls every 5 days or so…Three former Treasury secretaries were on the list: Robert Rubin, the…senior advisor (and former chairman) at…Citigroup.., Larry Summers, the…Rubin protégé.., Paul O.Neill, the…former ALCOA chairman…Two former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers,…Joseph Stiglitz and Laura D.Andrea Tyson also took part…Warren Buffett and Paul Volcker were often on the line. The second richest man in the world had met Obama in 2004…His endorsement gave the candidate a boost…Volcker…had known Obama since mid-2007…

“…During his years at the top of Goldman Sachs, the Clinton administration (where he…served as treasury secretary), Citigroup, and Hamilton Project…[Robert] Rubin mentored scores of…young policy types. More than a dozen of them eventually worked in important positions under Obama and maintained their relationship with Rubin. [Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, Michael Froman, Philip Murphy, Gene Sperling, Jason Furman, Jacob Lew, Gary Gensler, Diana Farrell, Lewis Alexander, Lael Brainard and David Lipton]…Summers quickly became Obama’s dominant economic advisor…

“…Buffet…had invested heavily…in Moody’s, one of the corrupted ratings agencies that gave cover to the reckless…Summers had taken a…hands-off view…of regulating derivatives while at the treasury department in the 1990s and as late as 2008 made more than $5 million consulting on them for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw and Co….The New York Times revealed that Summers was a consultant for Taconic Capital Advisors as early as 2004, when he was still president of Harvard and lecturing faculty members on why they shouldn’t moonlight…”


No comments: