Larry Summers is unqualified and should step down.

I have been thinking a lot about Larry Summers and the fucking mess he has made of our economy.  I didn’t really know much about him at all except for the fact that he was a misogynistic pig.  Last night I saw a news article about the horrendous error he made while at Harvard and was wondering WTF would Obama pick such a baffoon.  Amy Siskind has a marvelous post about Summers and that pig Rick Warren so I’ll let her tell you about it:

It’s not been a particularly good week for two well known misogynists:  Rick Warren and Larry Summers.  Nor has it been a particularly good few months for President Obama.

Obama had little concern for poking women in the eye with his early associations as he became president.  I suppose he figured that 56% of women voted for him in 2008 and he could take their vote for granted going forward.  WRONG!

President Obama’s Inauguration was presided over by Rick Warren, well known for his belief that women are second class citizens put on the earth to serve their husbands. The New Agenda issued a press release also noting that Warren encouraged battered wives to stay in their abusive relationships.  Hundreds of viewers wrote to our blog about their personal experiences at the hand of Rick Warren and his church – treating women like objects under the control of their husbands.  If only they could make a better meal, keep their home cleaner, or be a better wife – then they wouldn’t “deserve” the beating that their husbands gave them.

Warren is back in the news this past weekend for his ties with a Ugandan pastor who is helping to spearhead legislation which, if enacted, would result in the execution of HIV-positive gay men. Would Warren condemn this killing? NO.

Larry Summers, Obama’s pick for Director of the National Economic Council, also made news this Sunday.  Putting Summers into this role  was Obama’s end around strategy after women’s group such as The New Agenda spoke out when Obama contemplated appointing Summers to Treasury Secretary, a post that would require senate confirmation.   Director of the NEC did not require senate confirmation so Summers was able to skate in despite his comments while at Harvard that girls are genetically inferior to boys in math and science.

This past Sunday, a Boston Globe article cited that Summers ignored warnings about investments while at Harvard, costing the University’s endowment $1.8 billion.  This should hardly be a surprise to anyone.  The New Agenda has been speaking out about Summers inability to work with others – especially women – for over a year now.

I wrote in The Daily Beast last December that Summers ignored warnings from Brooksley Born on the derivatives market:

The implosion of the derivatives market and the subsequent collapse of many of our prominent financial institutions could have been averted. Back in 1998, there was a clear and unequivocal warning. A woman by the name of Brooksley Born, then chairwoman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, warned Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, and Larry Summers of the risks inherent in not regulating derivatives.

Michael Greenberger, a senior director at the commission at the time, noted: “Brooksley was this woman who was not playing tennis with these guys and not having lunch with these guys. There was a little bit of the feeling that this woman was not of Wall Street.”

Summers, then deputy to Rubin, took it from there: “In early 1998, Mr. Rubin’s deputy, Lawrence H. Summers, called Ms. Born and chastised her for taking steps he said would lead to a financial crisis,” The New York Times reports.

More recently, Summers has also been featured all over the press for not heeding warnings by Iris Mack who also while at Harvard Management Co spoke out about the lack of understanding there of the risk inherent in derivative products held in Harvard’s portfolio. Summer’s reaction: fire her.

Not only does Summers have a track record of being unsuccessful, he also has ties to the Wall Street firms that he is meant to watch over through policies and stimulus monies. In April, I wrote a piece about how Summers had received over $8 million in compensation from these firms for 2008:

For 2008, Larry was paid over $5 million from DE Shaw, one of the largest hedge funds in the world. DE Shaw has multiple strategies that they run – and many of these strategies intersect with markets in which Larry can have major impact. For example, the derivatives market which Larry and gang are seeking to regulate.

Larry also received $2.7 million from Wall Street banks during 2008 that were recipients of government bailout money. For one speech alone, Larry Summers was paid $135,000 by Goldman Sachs! Now, does Goldman Sachs ring a bell for anyone? Yes, not only has Goldman received billions of dollars of TARP funds, Goldman was also the single biggest beneficiary of money that was drained out of AIG.

There’s an old adage on Wall Street: you roll with dogs, you get fleas. Well President Obama must be pretty darn itchy right about now.

You can read her entire post here.  And if you’re wondering what Noam Chomsky thinks about it I’ll tell you.

I am a huge Noam Chomsky fan.  I’ve read a lot of his books and find him to be almost physic.  I found this interview he did with Amy Goodman in April and I can’t stop thinking about it.  I am not a huge Democracy Now but he’s spot on here:

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think President Obama is any different than President Bush when it comes to the economy? And if you were in the Congress, would you have voted for the bailouts and the stimulus packages?

NOAM CHOMSKY: He’s different. I mean, first of all, there’s a rhetorical difference. But we have to distinguish the first and the second Bush terms. They were different. I mean, the first Bush term was so arrogant and abrasive and militaristic and dismissive of everyone that they offended, they antagonized even allies, close allies, and US prestige in the world plummeted to zero. Now, the second Bush administration was more—moved more toward the center in that respect, not entirely, but more, so some of the worst offenders, like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others, were thrown out. I mean, they couldn’t throw out Dick Cheney, because he was the administration, so they couldn’t get rid of him. He stayed, but the others, a lot of them, left. And they moved towards a somewhat more normal position.

And Obama is carrying that forward. He’s a centrist Democrat. He never really pretended to be anything else. And he’s moving towards a kind of a centrist position. He’s very popular in Europe, not so much because of him, but because he’s not Bush. So there is the kind of rhetoric that the European leaders and, in fact, the European population tend to accept. In fact, you know, even in the Middle East, where you’d think people would know better, they accept the illusions. And they are illusions, because there’s nothing to back them up. So, yes, he is different from Bush.

Same—on the economy, well, you know, the current Obama-Geithner plan is not very different from the Bush-Paulson plan. I mean, somewhat different, but circumstances have changed. So, of course, it’s somewhat different. But it’s still based on the principle that we have to—somehow, the taxpayer has to rescue the institutions intact. They have to remain intact, including the people who, you know, destroyed the economy. In fact, they are the ones who Obama picked to fix it up.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Like Larry Summers, for example, who is now his chief economic adviser. I mean, he was Secretary of Treasury under Bill Clinton. His great achievement was to prevent Congress from regulating derivatives, exotic financial instruments. Well, that’s one of the main factors that led to the crisis.

His kind of senior adviser, one of the first, was Robert Rubin, who was Secretary of Treasury right before Summers. His main achievement—many achievements, like what he did to Indonesia and the third world, but here, his main achievement was to lead the way to revoke the Glass-Steagall legislation from the New Deal, which protected commercial banks from risky investments. It broke down those barriers. Immediately after having done this, he left the government, joined Citigroup as a director, and they began to make huge profits, including him, from picking up insurance companies and so on and making very risky loans, relying on the “too big to fail” doctrine, meaning if we get in trouble, the taxpayer will bail us out, which is just what’s happening, taxpayers now pouring tens of billions of dollars into rescuing Citigroup.

Well, these are the advisers who were supposed to fix up the system. Tim Geithner was right in the middle of this. He was head of the New York Federal Reserve, so, yes, he was supervising these actions. Now, you know, you can argue about whether they’re doing the right thing or the wrong thing, but are these the people who should be fixing up the system?

Actually, the business press just had some interesting things to say about this. Bloomberg News, you know, main business press, had an article in which they reviewed the records of the people who Obama invited to his economic summit. I think it must have been last November or December. They just reviewed the record. I think there were a couple dozen of them. People on the—you know, people like, say, Stiglitz, Krugman, they were never even allowed close to it, let alone anyone from the left or labor and so on, given token representation. So they went through the records, and they concluded that these people should not be invited to fix up the economy. Most of them should be getting subpoenas because of their record of accounting fraud, malpractice and so on, and helping bring about the current crisis.

She went on to ask Chomsky why Obama surrounds himself with these people.  Remember he told us to judge him by these people.  So, far I see him as a homophobe/mysogynist.  Right?  Here’s his response:

NOAM CHOMSKY: Because those are his beliefs. I mean, his support comes from the—his constituency is basically the financial institutions. Just take a look at the funding for his campaign. I mean, the final figures haven’t come out, but we have preliminary figures, and it seems to be mostly financial institutions. I mean, the financial institutions preferred him to McCain. They are the main funders for both—you know, I mean, core funders for both parties, but considerably more to Obama than McCain.

You can learn a lot from campaign contributions. In fact, one of the best predictors of policy around is Thomas Ferguson’s investment theory of politics, as he calls it—very outstanding political economist—which essentially—I mean, to say it in a sentence, he describes elections as occasions in which groups of investors coalesce and invest to control the state. And he takes a look at the formation of campaign contributors, and it gives you a surprisingly good prediction of what policies are going to be. It goes back a century, New Deal and so on. So, yeah, it can predict pretty well what Obama is going to do. There’s nothing surprising about this. It’s the norm in what’s called political democracy.

AMY GOODMAN: Would you have let Citibank, would you have let Citigroup, would do have let the AIG fail?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, there are other possibilities. So, the government could just take over the viable parts. And parts of them are functioning; parts are dysfunctional, like the toxic—what they call the toxic asset parts, you know, the financial manipulations.

Well, one thing you could do, which has been suggested by a number of economists like Dean Baker, just take over the good parts, essentially nationalize them, put them under public control. And “nationalize” means public control, at least if you have a democracy. Not here, but if you had a functioning democracy, it would mean let them be under public control, and the parts that are responsible for the huge losses, just let them go off by themselves. In fact, that would be the way of taking care of the AIG bonuses that everyone’s screaming about. In fact, as Baker pointed out, just spin off the parts that were involved in financial manipulations and caused the crisis, let them go bankrupt and let the executives try to get the bonuses from a bankrupt firm, OK, with no legislation necessary. That’s what should be done with Citigroup.

And in fact, it’s interesting, it’s kind of happening. You know, after the breakdown of Glass-Steagall, they did bring in—they made use of it, under Rubin’s direction, among others, to take—bring in insurance companies and other risky investors. Now they’re divesting them. And they’re going in the direction of becoming, you know, commercial bank.

Now, incidentally, this is not the first time this has happened. Paul Volcker is on the news today, you know, saying, “Let’s slow down,” and so on. Well, he’s the one who, under Reagan, who helped bail out Citigroup last time they crashed. At that time they were Citibank. They had followed World Bank and IMF instructions and lent huge amounts of money to Latin America and were assured by the World Bank that it’s all fine, you know, markets will take care of it, etc. Well, in a crash, Paul Volcker came in. He raised interest rates very sharply. Third world countries, whose payments are tied to US interest rates, couldn’t pay their debts. The IMF moved in, took care of it, and essentially recapitalized Citibank. That’s the way the system works: you make risky loans, you make a lot of money, and if you get into trouble, we’re here to bail you out, namely the taxpayer.

So, Mr. Ready On Day One has basically hired and put in charge the very people who caused the freaking collapse.  He’s paying back the people that put him into office and screwing the taxpayers.  Gee, this really sounds like change you can believe in.  Obama is a fraud and should be impeached.  His administration consists of career politicians and Chicgo crime lords with a very tiny percentage of people who have actually held a real job.  It’s never too early to start impeachment proceedings.

 

 

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11 Responses

  1. This is a really good post !

  2. I see Hillary on TV – love her — he needs her at a Press Conference — WHAT A LOSER

  3. he memorized what 4 sentences of a speech?

  4. Obama is a blow hard — I did this, I did that — look at my I am a hero.

    He just said some cadets have served in Afghanistan – bullshit – being a cadet means you’re in school getting an education. LOSER.

  5. Opens with reminder of 9/11 and never uses terrorists or muslims — sending 30,000 (not 35,000 as was leaked to the press) begin pulling out in 18 months?

  6. Talleebhaan…..sounds like Schwarzen-kennedy. Struggle against “extremism”? huh — I thought we were fighting Muslim Terrorists — aka Al Qaeda.

  7. he’s such a loser — I oppose everything he says

  8. I reject YOU BARRY — does he even know what he’s saying?

    Poor Hillary having to sit through this shit. I hope she’s going through the wedding list –who to invite who NOT to invite.

  9. Dang it, I didn’t know you guys were going to be here. Ginny said she couldn’t so I thought it was off. Sorry I miss you. He such a suck ass.

  10. Interesting article. Were did you got all the information from… ?

  11. The interview with Chomsky was conducted ealier this year with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now. If the links not there just go to the website and search for Chomsky. The other article is from The New Agenda and the link is in the post.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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