Ralph Brauer, Progressive Historians - Geithner and Summers along with Rubin are why this financial crisis will not be satisfactorily resolved, for in order to take the necessary steps to alleviate it all would have to admit their part in causing it and even more pointedly admit that their boss at the time, William Jefferson Clinton, also played a role. . .
If one parceled out blame the way they do in auto accidents, the GOP would bear the majority of it for they supplied the Congressional majority--and even put their names on the bill that caused this mess, the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act. But Rubin and his two sidekicks convinced Bill Clinton that the bill would be a good idea. So on Rubin's advice, Clinton looked the other way while Citi put its considerable lobbying forces into motion to make Gramm-Leach-Bliley possible, which is why one of the pens Bill Clinton used to sign the bill hangs in a prominent place in the office of former Citi CEO Sandy Weill--the man who created what was once America's largest financial institution out of a loan-sharking business.
Both Geithner and Summers played a role in this fiasco. Summers was the more prominent for he served as Rubin's assistant Treasury Secretary before succeeding his mentor, who for his role in making Citi's mergers legal received a cushy job at Citi as his reward. Geithner at the time was serving as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs under both Rubin and Summers. Several commentators have noted the closeness of the three.
Where Rubin's fortunes fell as Citi plunged into one of the greatest bubble implosions in economic history, one that rivals the collapse of the East India Company or the Tulip Bulb fiasco, Summers and Geithner were fortunate to remain some distance from ground zero. . .
Summers was chased from the Presidency of Harvard only to reemerge as one of Barack Obama's chief economic advisors. Geithner became head of the
The Glass-Steagall Act, as it became known, was one of the most important pieces of economic legislation in American history. Essentially it prohibited banks from entering into the securities market, which Glass felt was one of the root causes of the Great Depression. Sixty years later this history was ruled irrelevant for the "new economy" of the 1990s as Rubin openly campaigned for the repeal of Glass-Steagall.
If Glass-Steagall was one of
The presence of Geithner and Summers in the administration of Barack Obama merely testifies that as long as they have the President's ear, the roots of this crisis--and hence its long term resolution--will be ignored, for to do otherwise would be to admit they helped to cause it. Yet we also should remember had Barack Obama not won in November, waiting in the wings was the man whose name is on the bill that repealed Glass-Steagall--Phil Gramm. . .
Geithner, Summers and Rubin ultimately were part of a fascinating convergence that took place at the end of the last century. For the first time since Grover Cleveland's Democrats and William McKinley's Republicans agreed on economic fundamentals, in the 1980s and 90s the two parties occupied the same economic common ground.
Gramm-Leach Bliley is not the result of some conspiracy or even a bald-faced attempt by Wall Street to buy off Congress and the Executive branch--although record amounts of lobbying funds were spent to be sure it passed. In the end GLB is about the power of shared ideas, an economic orthodoxy that made the likes of Rubin, Summers and Geithner indistinguishable from their Republican counterparts. . .
Boston Globe - President Barack Obama's aunt, a Kenyan immigrant who ignited controversy last year for living in the
Zeituni Onyango, a tall, frail-looking woman in her late 50s who walks with a cane, had fled
THE NEW BLACK POWER
Washington Post - Under Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's proposed fiscal 2010 spending plan, the April 16 holiday, which commemorates the day President Abraham Lincoln freed the District's 3,000 slaves in 1862, would be discontinued next year. This would avoid paying holiday rates to critical personnel, saving $1.3 million -- enough to pay for 23 full-time employees, the mayor's office said. . .
Memphis Commercial Appeal - A pair of Memphis legislators argued over whether a bill to fine people who wear their pants so low they expose their underwear amounts to "legislating fashion" or "legislating decency and hygiene." The "Saggy Pants Bill" makes it a misdemeanor to "knowingly wear pants below the waistline, in a public place, in a manner that exposes the person's underwear or bare buttocks." It defines underwear as "clothing worn between the skin and outer layer of clothing, including but not limited to boxer shorts and thongs."
CBS 5, San Francisco - One week after President Barack Obama's top law enforcement official seemed to indicate the feds would no longer raid pot clubs, DEA agents busted a medical marijuana facility in
Boston Globe - Dozens of