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Fri Jan 27, 2012, 01:47 PM

TAIBBI: "The administration is clearly listening to the Occupy movement." [View all]

Is Obama's 'Economic Populism' for Real?


Seriously: despite what people think, the crimes weíre dealing with are not terribly complicated, and any veteran investigator would grasp the basic concept Ė taking worthless crap and selling it as high-end merchandise Ė within ten minutes. The most important element contributing to the success of a committee like this is a locked room full of clean hands. And Breuer and Khuzami are not a good start.

But itís too early to say what is going on. Everything that Iíve heard about Schneiderman in the last year leads me to believe that heís the genuine article. I havenít heard a single thing suggesting otherwise. But there are certainly a lot of curious elements here. For one thing, as Yves Smith points out, Schneiderman really isnít getting much extra authority by taking this post. As New York AG he could already have taken this investigation anywhere he wanted:

Itís clear what the Administration is getting from getting Schneiderman aligned with them. It is much less clear why Schneiderman is signing up. He can investigate and prosecute NOW. He has subpoena powers, staff, and the Martin Act. He doesnít need to join a Federal committee to get permission to do his job. And this is true for ALL the others agencies represented on this committee. They have investigative and enforcement powers they have chosen not to use. So we are supposed to believe that a group, ex Schneiderman, that has been remarkably complacent, will suddenly get religion on the mortgage front because they are all in a room and Schneiderman is a co-chair?

One thing we do know: Obamaís decision to tap Schneiderman publicly, and dump Geithner, and whisper about a millionaireís tax, signals a shift in its public attitude toward the Wall Street corruption issue. The administration is clearly listening to the Occupy movement. Whether itís now acting on their complaints, or just trying to look like itís doing something, is another question. Itís way too early to tell. But itís certainly very interesting.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/is-obamas-economic-populism-for-real-20120126#ixzz1kgKVU3bD

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