Posts tagged ‘Lawrence Summers’

August 11, 2013

The DC Folly Trolley – 08/11/13

Gurgle, Gurgle.

A rising tide sinks small boats.

calming

Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Ludolf Bakhuizen.

Only God can keep our boats afloat.

***

Are The Rich Nervous Yet?

If you haven’t watched this short on MoveOn or seen it on Facebook, it’s worth the time. The narrator is Ed Asner, a icon for decades in the role of Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

asner

http://www.moveon.org/share/72e232/

hollywood-legend-ed-asner-has-outraged-republicans

***

Blunder Wonder.

I really hate to keep picking on this guy, but everybody else does so why not.

We are of course talking about Larry The Blunder Guy.

Larry Summers is part of the tragic triumvirate that has to share a large part of the blame for The Great Recession. That terrible trio of Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin and The Blunder Guy himself advocated for and signed off on the horror show known as bank deregulation. That crunching sound you keep hearing is an economy still collapsing under the weight of crushed housing and minimum wage junk jobs.

Of course, these Clintonistas weren’t the only law breakers who completely cracked the Glass-Steagall rules that prohibited the merger of commercial and investment banks.

gramm

Former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, arch-enemy of all things government that don’t protect the wealthy.  Got him rich though.

We also have to thank blunder wonders Phil Gramm, Jim Leach and Tom Bliley, Republicans from right wing states, for authoring the Orwellian-named and catastrophic Financial Services and Modernization Act of 1999. This blight on the public trust led to the rise of the so-called “too big to fail” banks and the near collapse of the planet’s economy. But, before we label the miscreants who finagled a wild west environment for the gunslingers of Wall Street as fools, let us not forget that their devilish deeds gained untold wealth for each of these major accessories to the financial collapse of 2008.

Just one example, I’ve read estimates of Bill Clinton’s riches that range as high as $68 million. You don’t accumulate that kind of geedis by blocking Wall Street scams.

Yet among this group of wealthy misfits, Larry Summers stands out. The former Obama adviser is inextricably linked to the infamous Enron debacle.

During the period when Enron execs were diabolically manipulating energy prices in California, Summers told then Gov. Gray Davis in a phone conversation that the state’s regulations were responsible for the soaring prices and that Davis needed to, what else, deregulate. Summers, in effect, thumbed his nose at Californians suffering under a rigged market in electricity pricing.

So the Blunder Guy struck yet again by refusing to help financially strapped residents of the Golden State just when they needed help the most.

(There are many books covering the Enron flim flam. One of the best among them is Ken Eichenwald’s Conspiracy of Fools. You can find a copy in your local library, if you still have one. Also good is The Smartest Guys In The Room by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. Both books illustrate how greed and a callous disregard for their fellow men drive the executives who rule corporations and Wall Street banks).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/05/

larry-summers-enron_n_3708137.html

.

breaking news

During a recent press conference, President Barack Obama once again praised the service of Larry Summers . According to reports, the former economic adviser is still on the president’s short list for Fed Chair nominees.

barry larry

barry loves

Only in America.   

***

King Of The Hill.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) announced today that he is serious about seeking the nomination of his party to run for president.

king

Peter King of New York.  Going for the whole shebang.

If he wins the election, we will finally have an undisputed “King of the Hill.”

Don’t laugh. He already has Wall Street and corporate payola in his pocket and he has his sights set squarely on the defense/security industry. With that kind of cash, who knows?

According to a spokesperson, King is already taking speech lessons to help him moderate his Noo Yawk twang. He will soon be speaking Iowa English.

You may recall that when former governor Al Smith ran for president, some thought his heavy New York accent contributed to the loss to Herbert Hoover, who won the election easily.

In the next cycle, then NY Gov. Franklin Roosevelt’s aristocratic manner of speaking appeared to be an asset (along with the depression, of course).

Regardless of accent, God save us all if King pulls it off.

***

He Did His Best To Tell It Like It Is.

“The real reason we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post “Thou shalt not steal”, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” and “Thou shalt not lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.” George Carlin, an American hero.

carlin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

Why didn’t we listen to him?

***

Democracy Ends In U.S. Before It Begins.

Well, it’s not like we ever really had a democracy. Not if you consider the overpowering influence of campaign payola versus the vote. To win in U.S. politics, even to begin, you gotta have the geedis. (Geedis-Mafia speak for money).

Speaking of the vote, the vast majority of American citizens were disenfranchised for more than half of the country’s existence.

In the beginning, only propertied males could vote. Women didn’t gain the vote until early in the 20th century and African-Americans, at least in the South, were denied the vote until well past the mid-century mark.

Moreover, for all of its history, the United States Senate has been and remains an undemocratic institution. To wit, some 500,000 citizens in Wyoming are represented in that miserable body by two votes as are the more than 37,000,000 residents of California. So vast is the imbalance in the Senate that small states with a minority of the nation’s population have come to dominate the majority. And you thought we lived in a democracy!

That brings us, rather abruptly, to former President Jimmy Carter, who recently said “America has no functioning democracy.” Carter was referring to the corrupting influence of Wall Street and corporate cash on government. He might as well have included the entire history of the country from its inception to the present.

jimmy carter

Jimmy Carter, a good man but an unlucky president.

Related articles

July 28, 2013

The DC Folly Trolley – 07/29/13.

What Am I Bid For This Seat?

Let’s not be so harsh with our rich brethren. After all they are obeying all the laws they bought and paid for.

And what’s wrong with owning a Senate seat or two anyway. They paid for them; they own them. Simple.

WALL STREET

Speaking of the Senate, Dick Durbin (D-IL) remarked of Wall Street banks, “They own the place.”  No one ever contradicted his statement.

But here’s a new take on corruption in Follyland, DC.

A lobbyist claimed that Congress critters and the White House are engaging in extortion and black mail of Wall Street firms and corporations by forcing these unfortunate businesses to kick in the payola or else.

So the message from our political establishment is pay up or we pass legislation that will harm your business.

Now we all know that government in Follyland is upside down, inside out and backwards. But this lobby critter invented a whole new take on corruption in government. The briber is innocent. It’s the bribee whose at fault.

***

Amazing Scientific Discovery.

Scientists at the Sardo Institute of Genetic Research have discovered a gene possessed by rich people that renders their immunity systems incapable of recognizing any notion of corruption from birth to death.

double helix

A depiction of the double helix, the molecular structure of DNA.

The gene produces a hormone that effects brain’s ability to implement conscience. And without conscience, the rich are peculiarly unable to recognize behavior patterns associated with corruption.

So for the rich, it’s not that they don’t give a fuck about everyone else. They are simply genetically incapable of caring about anyone but themselves.

***

See No Evil.

Tribalist: Blind loyalty to a group or cause of like minded people.

For example, tribal Democrats are loyal to Bill Clinton even though the former president usurped the label of Democrat. Clinton, you’ll recall was one of the most economically conservative presidents in history. He executed a right wing agenda that it is still impacting the world economy – NAFTA and bank deregulation – and placed in dire jeopardy the nation’s entire middle class. For his efforts, he has been richly rewarded by the world’s 1%. He used the presidency as a stepping stone to enormous wealth – some estimates of his newly found riches number in the tens of millions of dollars.

see no evil

A variation on the Here, See, Speak No Evil theme, adds Do No Evil.

Despite his chicanery – to say nothing of his zipper shenanigans – the man is simply adored by tribal Democrats who can see no evil.

***

Heeeee’s Baaaaaaaack!!!

What’s the old saying, you can’t keep a bright, rich man down.

That goes double for Larry Summers. He’s both.

Yet it’s amazing how dumb so many brilliant people can be. And then be totally oblivious to obvious stupidity. But if you’re bright and rich, an MIT grad and a Harvard professor, what else or who else matters.

 tragic triumvirate

The Tragic Triumvirate.

Summers was an apostle of Robert Rubin, the deregulation deity who became Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton. Rubin is a man of enormous wealth who used his position in Treasury as a stepping stone to even greater wealth. So wealthy in fact that the substantial riches of Clinton and Summers together pale in comparison to the deity of deregulation.

But let’s not underestimate the destructive policies of Summers, who as head of Treasury in the waning years of the second Clinton administration, championed even more harmful bank deregulation. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act permitted banks to bundle mortgages into packages, a practice that nearly destroyed the so called “too big to fail” banks and the American economy as well and it was a Summers’ bullying advocacy of the legislation that buried opposition in the administration and eventually led to Clinton’s signing off on this atrocity.

By the way, and this fact isn’t widely known, but the CFMA led directly to the Enron implosion, the collapse and bankruptcy of the giant auditing firm Arthur Andersen and the loss of lifetime pensions and careers for thousands of ordinary workers.

So what does this boondoggle get for Summers. Well, untold riches for one thing. And then an appointment as President Barack Obama’s chief economic adviser.

Moreover, the former Treasury secretary is campaigning for the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve soon to be vacated by the retiring Ben Bernanke. Incredibly, he is said to be the frontrunner on Obama’s short list and the president’s preferred choice.

Abject failure certainly has its advantages in Follyland.

The president went so far as to order a staffer to anonymously leak Summers’ name as the White House choice.

That balloon, however, has apparently popped. The criticism and opposition to an appointment of this Harvard professor has been so widespread, that alas for Larry the fairytale may not come true.

.

In related news, the president said the new Fed chairman should consider ordinary people.

Uh, don’t get too excited about that statement. For one thing, it’s good public relations. And for another, Jamie Dimon, he president’s favorite bankster, has veto power over any nominee.

***

Our American Heritage.

Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

judy

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz

(1/8) Movie CLIP (1939) HD – YouTube

.