Response to Demeter (Reply #32)
Tue Sep 17, 2013, 11:08 AM
Demeter (75,286 posts)
38. I give up: Palast Has the Goods On Summers, and it's a must-read
Larry Summers: Goldman Sacked By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine
Joseph Stiglitz couldn't believe his ears. Here they were in the White House, with President Bill Clinton asking the chiefs of the US Treasury for guidance on the life and death of America's economy, when the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers turns to his boss, Secretary Robert Rubin, and says, "What would Goldman think of that?"
Then, at another meeting, Summers said it again: What would Goldman think?
A shocked Stiglitz, then Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, told me he’d turned to Summers, and asked if Summers thought it appropriate to decide US economic policy based on “what Goldman thought.” As opposed to say, the facts, or say, the needs of the American public, you know, all that stuff that we heard in Cabinet meetings on The West Wing.
Summers looked at Stiglitz like Stiglitz was some kind of naive fool who'd read too many civics books.
R.I.P. Larry Summers
On Sunday afternoon, facing a revolt by his own party’s senators, Obama dumped Larry as likely replacement for Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
Until news came that Summers’ torch had been snuffed, I was going to write another column about Larry, the Typhoid Mary of Economics. (My first, in The Guardian, 15 years ago, warned that “Summers is, in fact, a colony of aliens sent to Earth to turn humans into a cheap source of protein.”)
But the fact that Obama even tried to shove Summers down the planet’s throat tells us more about Obama than Summers—and whom Obama works for. Hint: You aren’t one of them.
All these Cabinet discussions back in the 1990s requiring the blessing of Goldman Sachs revolved around the Rubin-Summers idea of ending regulation of the US banking system. To free the US economy, Summers argued, all you'd have to do is allow commercial banks to bet government-guaranteed savings on new "derivatives products," let banks sell high-risk sub-prime mortgage securities and cut their reserves against losses.
What could possibly go wrong?
Stiglitz, who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, tried to tell them exactly what would go wrong. But when he tried, he was replaced and exiled.
AND IT GOES ON! AND GETS WORSE...
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I give up: Palast Has the Goods On Summers, and it's a must-read
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