Monday, September 14, 2009

After No Millionaire Left Behind Went Splat!

No millionaire Left Behind2 One year ago today Lehman Brothers failed, marking the beginning of an economic collapse brought  on by by the Republican policies of socialism for the rich only and free enterprise for the poor.  They shifted wealth from the poor and middle classes into millionaire’s pockets.  They deregulated financial markets and did not enforce those few regulations that remained allowing the greediest executives to abuse the system for their own gain until the bubble burst.

US President Barack Obama is poised to call on Congress to approve an overhaul of the US regulatory regime.

In a speech to mark one year since the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank, he will also mount a vigorous defence of his administration's economic policies.

The US president will focus on "the need to take the next series of steps" in regulatory reform, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Mr Obama's team have argued that they staved off a second Great Depression.

Mr Obama will give his speech at 1210 local time (1610 GMT) in New York, at Federal Hall on Wall Street, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first US president... [emphasis original]

Inserted from <BBC>

In my opinion, we need to reform the following areas:

  • First we need extensive consumer protection from loan fraud, credit card abuse, and more.
  • Second, we need to regulate derivatives to ascertain that companies like AIG (under whatever new name they’re using this month) can never again underpin the loan market with worthless paper.
  • Third we need to regulate hedge funds to prevent them from manipulating the market in secret and base trades on insider information.  In addition, we need to tax hedge fund managers at the prevailing rate.  The fact that these billionaires pay a smaller percentage of their incomes than workers in their secretarial pools is obscene.
  • Fourth we need to dust off the policies of a Republican from the days that the GOP actually stood for something beyond fear, corruption, greed and intolerance: Teddy Roosevelt.  During the meltdown and subsequent bailout we kept hearing “too big to fail”.  That such companies can hold American taxpayers hostage to pay for their greed proves just one thing.  Too big to fail means two big to exist!

As important as economic recovery is, it is not enough.  Isn’t it time to put an end to this cycle of abuse?


Annette said...

I agree, and I think that is exactly what he wants.. He has asked for stiff regulations and so far he keeps getting push back from the Senate and Congress.. I known he had written to Bernanke and Paulson warning them this was going to happen way before it did and they dismissed him. Sad, but true.. Now they are looking at hindsight and outrage..

I hope Congress will step up, but am afraid it will be a fight, even with the Democrats to get it done. Lots of money changes hands.

Jolly Roger said...

I would disagree that the President staved off another Depression; I would argue that we are in one, and it will get worse, precisely because the President has so far refused to go after the "too big to fail" institutions.

Sadly, I do not see this President even trying. He seems to be afraid of the racist Rushpubliscums, even though he was given a clear mandate to face them down.

Jack Jodell said...

I agree that a modern-day dose of Teddy Rooseveltism, establishing that it is government (elected by and representing the people), and not concentrated capital, who should have final say in the way this country's business is conducted. This Republican "free market" nonsense has ruined our economy and funneled billions of dollars to the top of the income scale where they do NOT belong! Obama needs to grow a pair and start kicking some conservative Republican butt---NOW!

Mauigirl said...

It's going to be very hard to change the system, and unfortunately Obama has made it clear he wants to work within the system. JR may be right because even back in the 30s it looked as if things were improving for awhile...and then they didn't.

TomCat said...

Annette, you've made another good point. Sadly he has too much on his plate right now. The Bush/GOP regime left dozens of messes and the US public gets fearful when too many issues are thrown at them at once. I hope he concentrates more on this once healthcare is settled.

JR, Obama's economic team made that claim and I disagree with it as well for the same reason. I would say, however that he has staved off, at least temporarily, the complete economic collapse to which we were headed. Please note my reply to Annette about his plate. I'm like you. I want it all, and I want it NOW! But I realize that he has to slay one dragon at a time. Nevertheless, he needs to learn that, as you saw me saw many times before, bipartisanship with Repuglicans is not possible now.

Hi Jack, and welcome. I liked your blog when I stopped by today. I'm with you on this one. It's time to take off the gloves.

TomCat said...

Sorry I missed you Maui. You commented while I was replying. Since the Great Depression, four things have happened to create the current mess. Corporate lawyers found loopholes in the regulations. Republicans weakened the regulations. Republicans failed to enforce the regulations. Democrats turned a blind eye to the first three.

ivan said...

I don't remember the right quote, but I think Pres. Obama did warn today that the fat cats should not pull out the money again as they did with Lehman Bros.
Come to think of it--and it's not original--the same thing happened in 1929. Mr. Obama said that the depression was avoided, but don't pull any more shandies.

the walking man said...

Loved the way the talking heads spun the presidents speech as a play for points with the unions. I wonder if there is some shades of the old payola system going on? You know just pay the mouth to get airplay for the financial desire to continue the robbery.

TomCat said...

OK, Ivan. You got me. What are shandies?

TomCat said...

Good question, Mark. In many cases, the MSM skew the spin to favor the corporations that advertise with them.