Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

NYT Magazine interview with President Obama

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:58 PM
Original message
NYT Magazine interview with President Obama
Edited on Sat May-02-09 07:03 PM by ProSense


After the Great Recession

By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: April 28, 2009

On April 14, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University, trying to explain why he was taking on so many economic issues so early in his administration. He argued that the country needed to break its bubble-and-bust cycle and cited the New Testament in calling for a new economic foundation for the nation. This foundation would be built on better schools, alternative energy, more affordable health care and a more regulated Wall Street, he said. Later that afternoon (shortly before the Obama family introduced its new dog, Bo, on the South Lawn of the White House), I sat down with the president to talk about how his agenda might change daily life in this country.

This was our third interview about the economy, the first two occurring during last years campaign. And while the setting was decidedly more formal this time the Oval Office the interview felt as conversational as those earlier ones. We sat at the far end of the office from his desk and spoke for 50 minutes. None of his economic advisers were there. As the conversation progressed, Obama spoke in increasingly personal terms. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of that interview.

At the end of our conversation, when I asked him if he was reading anything good, he said he had become sick enough of briefing books to begin reading a novel in the evenings Netherland, by Joseph ONeill.

I. The Future of Finance

Q: The idea here is to look beyond the current moment and try to think about what American life is going to be like on the other side of the so-called Great Recession. And so I thought it might make sense to start where the trouble started finance. People who want to get a sense for how you think about education and jobs and all sorts of other issues can get a really good sense for your thinking by reading The Audacity of Hope, or by reading your old speeches, where you basically lay out your learning curve. But theres no chapter on finance in The Audacity of Hope. And so I wonder if you would be willing to describe a little bit of your learning curve about finance, and what you envision finance being in tomorrows economy: Does it need to be smaller? Will it inevitably be smaller?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I think that we should distinguish between finance as the lifeblood of our economy and finance as a significant industry where we have a comparative advantage right? So in terms of just growing our economy, weve got to have enough credit out there to fund businesses, large and small, to allow consumers the flexibility to make long-term purchases like cars or homes. So thats not going to change. And I would be concerned if our credit market shrunk in ways that did not allow for the financing of long-term growth.

What that means is not only do we have to have a healthy banking sector, but were going to have to figure out what we do with the nonbanking sector that was providing almost half of our credit out there. And were going to have to determine whether or not as a consequence of some of the steps that the Fed has been taking, the Treasury has been taking, that we see the market for securitized products restored.

Im optimistic that ultimately were going to be able to get that part of the financial sector going again, but it could take some time to regain confidence and trust.

What I think will change, what I think was an aberration, was a situation where corporate profits in the financial sector were such a heavy part of our overall profitability over the last decade. That I think will change. And so part of that has to do with the effects of regulation that will inhibit some of the massive leveraging and the massive risk-taking that had become so common.

Now, in some ways, I think its important to understand that some of that wealth was illusory in the first place.

more


Edited to note disclaimer on date: This article will appear in this Sunday's Times Magazine.
A version of this article appeared in print on May 3, 2009, on page MM36 of the New York edition.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. Nice pic.... but this economy is still SO not "his". .
And It ticks me off that the Times characterized it this way . . .
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I read it as his plan (outlook) for the economy, which fits the tone of the interview. n/t
Edited on Sat May-02-09 07:10 PM by ProSense
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks. Gotta pick the NYT Sunday Edition tomorrow morning now.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SamCooke Donating Member (406 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thats an incredible pic
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
firedupdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. Rec'd! I love the way President Obama intelligently explains
what he's doing and why.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Very insightful interview. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. Obama: Wall Street will play less dominant role

Obama: Wall Street will play less dominant role

WASHINGTON Wall Street is not going to play as dominant a role in the economy as regulations reduce "some of the massive leveraging and the massive risk-taking that had become so common," President Barack Obama says.

The changes in the role of Wall Street and the huge profits that came from that risk-taking could mean other adjustments as well, Obama said in an interview in this week's New York Times Magazine.

"That means that more talent, more resources will be going to other sectors of the economy," he said. "I actually think that's healthy. We don't want every single college grad with mathematical aptitude to become a derivatives trader. We want some of them to go into engineering, and we want some of them to be going into computer design."

The Obama administration is trying to restore more regulations on the financial sector to avoid some of the risk-taking that helped cause the current economic problems.

link








Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
8. That pic is a classic.
Just printed the article to read!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Tarheel_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
9. Off to the Greatest! Thanks for posting. (nt)
:kick:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
10. Excellent article and interview!
Well worth the time it takes to read it, thanks for posting this!

Recommended.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Jul 25th 2014, 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC