Comments: Thank You, Larry Summers

Laughing ALL the way to the bank.

REGULATE 2BIG2FAIL DOWN2 2LITTLE2CARE, call Pelosi @1-202-225-0100. Ask YOURSELF, has it been enough or would YOU like some more?

Posted by Mike Meyer at October 13, 2010 11:43 AM

I'd love somebody sensible to tell me, given the constraints of Congress and the environments, what we should have done differently.

Plenty of wiggle room in those clauses.

[W]hat did they want him to do?

Yes, this is a big question, the issue of what the desired end state is. As Lawrence Berra could have said, "If you don't where you want to go, you might not get there."


Posted by mistah charley, ph.d. at October 13, 2010 12:26 PM

It's sad to watch the early 1990s replay themselves. The destruction wrought by Summers and the financial economists is only part of what's going on. Summers et al will remain around because the Dems have no sufficient source of funds to turn to but the banks. All the blog donors put together couldn't even buy them one national ad. And on the other side, we have--surprise, surprise--another "spontaneous" right-wing political movement paving the way for the GOP to retake Congress, this time with corporations free to spend 50 billion dollars right before the election. So bottom feeders like Gingrich will soon probably be setting the agenda again, with lots of corporate and media support. And if things don't go well and they need to, they'll probably cheat.

Obama and team didn't foresee all this in time, or else they agreed with Rattner that they had no real choice, so now Obama will probably either go all-out triangulating or be triangulated. For all his brains, and maybe because of them, Obama hasn't shown a very savvy understanding of the political landscape since taking office. He has been schooled.

Fingers crossed.

Posted by N E at October 13, 2010 12:35 PM

IMHO, some acountant from New Jersey would have done much better.

Posted by Mike Meyer at October 13, 2010 01:11 PM

If you are ready to go baby John, go hydraulic and bring the heavy in a thimble. Interesting as it is now can you see Quakers as Anarchists evolving into pagan tweekers that love a synapse jump now and then just for purity?

Do you clean your nails before eating lunch in public?

Keep brining it!

Relax, just let it go there.

Go, then go, and go some more, then just go fuck it, and keep going…

Yes

Posted by go heavy, go hydraulic at October 13, 2010 01:25 PM

One of the few times I was ahead of the Jonathan Schwarz curve, however briefly.

Posted by Weldon Berger at October 13, 2010 01:51 PM

"Bring the Heavy in a Thimble" is now my personal motto. Anybody else want a t-shirt?

Posted by Mike of Angle at October 13, 2010 04:05 PM

One of the few times I was ahead of the Jonathan Schwarz curve, however briefly.

In my case, well ahead, I'm afraid. Jonathan was far too trusting.

In any event, it's all quite clear now. And I really would have had absolutely no problem with nationalising banks and shooting CEOs -- or, as is the case here, Managing Directors. Though, really, shooting is far too quick and painless.

Posted by NomadUK at October 13, 2010 04:05 PM

"Obama and team didn't foresee all this in time, or else they agreed with Rattner that they had no real choice, so now Obama will probably either go all-out triangulating or be triangulated. For all his brains, and maybe because of them, Obama hasn't shown a very savvy understanding of the political landscape since taking office. He has been schooled."-N.E

Forgive me N.E but this is an extravagant display of willful ignorance. There was NOTHING in Team Obama's performance during the run-up to the '08 election that didn't foretell what we are now witnessing (i.e the Democratic Party performing its institutional function as a Roach Motel for progressive energies and the diffusion of populous anger into harmless directions).

Posted by Coldtype at October 13, 2010 07:44 PM

"I'd love somebody sensible to tell me, given the constraints of Congress and the environments, what we should have done differently."

Well, I admit to being something of a pagan tweeker, but I'd suggest nationalizing banks and shooting CEOs. If I recall correctly, Dean Baker was a fan of the former, and to make the latter sensible, the CEOs could have fair trials first.

Posted by mds at October 13, 2010 10:29 PM

Appreciate the Bill Hicks homage in the last line.

Posted by Howard at October 14, 2010 02:55 AM

One thing they could have done differently was to have picked a Secretary of Labor and had her standing on the platform next to that dipshit Geitner and in front of the oinking Summers. Try to imagine the New Deal without Frances Perkins. You wouldn't have had Social Security (she wanted national healthcare, too) effective labor laws and countless other policy items we used to take for granted.

The murderous beast currently running our ship of state had no intention of ever helping workers, let alone the dispossessed. They didn't do it differently because they didn't want to.

Posted by drip at October 14, 2010 05:22 AM

Financial criminal Steve Rattner near deal to pay SIX MILLION DOLLAR fine

The headline is mine - the rest is from The Wall Street Journal

By KARA SCANNELL and MICHAEL CORKERY

Steven Rattner, the Wall Street financier and Democratic donor who oversaw the Obama administration's auto-industry restructuring, is finalizing a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission staff to resolve his role in a "pay to play" scandal involving New York state's public pension fund, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Mr. Rattner would pay roughly $6 million and agree to a two-year ban from the securities industry, the people said. SEC commissioners are expected to vote on the deal with Mr. Rattner on Thursday. Until then, terms could change, and the deal could even fall apart. An SEC spokesman declined to comment. Through a representative, Mr. Rattner declined to comment.

A settlement with the federal securities regulator and a ban on his participation in the securities business would represent a significant comedown for Mr. Rattner, who rose to the No. 2 spot at top mergers and acquisitions firm Lazard Freres & Co. before leaving to co-found in March 2000 a private-equity firm that ended up ensnared in the pay-to-play probe.

Mr. Rattner was tapped early on by President Barack Obama to help him right problems in the auto industry.

Just this week, members of Wall Street's elite toasted Mr. Rattner at a party at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York for the publication of his book on the auto bailout. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin were among those in attendance. New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. was a host.

Yet for more than a year, Mr. Rattner has been dogged by the pay-to-play probe, which has focused on allegations that state officials and others traded access to business from the roughly $125 billion fund in exchange for kickbacks, political favors and personal benefits.

"During my 35 years in the working world, I had never been accused of so much as jaywalking, so it was painful for me and my family to have my honesty and integrity impugned, often by innuendo," he wrote in his book about the probe.

for the rest, see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703673604575550650809277776.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Posted by Freddy el Desfibradddor at October 14, 2010 07:48 AM

You had me until the end, Jonathan, when you got what I hope is just too convoluted for me to comprehend - that I am an emotional freak.

Posted by Grandpa Ken at October 14, 2010 08:20 AM

thimble

http://fafblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/angry-thimble-sandwich.html

Posted by Freddy el Desfibradddor at October 14, 2010 08:37 AM

They could have nationalized the banks and executed the CEOs. They still may have a chance to do that once the realization that the real estate market has been one big fraud for the last ten years.

Posted by SideShow Bob at October 14, 2010 11:05 AM

"my optimism ended when he announced Rahm Emmanuel would be his chief of staff"

Wasn't that the day after he was elected? Doesn't seem to give you much time to feel optimistic exactly. I wouldn't kick yourself too hard if you felt that way for all of one getting up late after watching the news all night morning.

Maybe what you felt was flatulence not optimism?

Posted by DavidByron at October 14, 2010 07:18 PM

He's acted/acts JUST like I figgered he would.
Third Party, Folks.

Posted by Mike Meyer at October 15, 2010 12:55 AM

AT LEAST OBAMA kept the culperts ALL the way to the center of the limelight. Though costly, THAT'S PROGRESS.

Posted by Mike Meyer at October 15, 2010 01:02 AM

Jonathan, I suspect your short optimism was in reality a thank-god-W.-is-gone euphoria. I experienced the same brief rush when Clinton replaced Bush I.

Cheap thrills are what make us return again and again to the voting booths like suckers at carnival booths thinking that that kewpie doll is just the thing that will send them over the top with their dates. Whelp, I got news for you, pal: Your date wasn't that impressed. So what are you gonna do? You end up paying out the nose for a cheap toy, no nookie, and waiting for the next carny barker to sucker you in. The point here is...well, I'm not really sure.

Anyway, "what we should have done differently" is a sigh in the past tense... not a exactly the most optimistic way to launch the second half of a presidency.

Posted by Paul Avery at October 15, 2010 02:01 AM

Paul Avery wonders, So what are you gonna do?

This poem has gotten so popular that it often appears without attribution (like Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann, back in the 20th century) but it is from

There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery by Portia Nelson

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS

CHAPTER ONE

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I am lost . . . . I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

CHAPTER TWO

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


CHAPTER THREE

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in . . . it's a habit. . . but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

CHAPTER FOUR

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

CHAPTER FIVE

I walk down a different street.

Posted by mistah charley, ph.d. at October 15, 2010 08:29 AM

You are insufficiently positive, Jon. Robert Parry will chastise you. You just want to punish the Democrats, and when the Republicans win in November, it will be your fault.

Posted by Duncan at October 16, 2010 11:24 AM