Friday, July 17, 2009

Krugman, Taibbi, Johnston and Morgan nail Goldman; Commmenter nails Summers

Paul Krugman may not yet be awake to civic media as the only democratic remedy for America's economic (and soon to be political) crisis, but in today's column he does pillory Goldman Sachs as the driver of the financial oligarchy that has usurped control of American government and its elite universities as well. Comment after comment on Krugman's column is sharp; enough so perhaps to put some pressure on President Obama to recast his economic bailout program and change its leadership. References by commenters to GS critics like Matt Taibi, David Cay Johnston (audio clip from CBC Canada) and Mike Morgan are must reading. Morgan himself writes that
Sadly, what people don’t realize . . . is this time Goldman Sachs and other Banksters have raided our future, as they have control over many of our pensions, endowments and other fiduciary assets. Over the next few years, as people start to realize their pensions are gone, that is when the masses may finally rise up and crush Goldman Sachs and other greedy bastards that have destroyed so much. Unfortunately, it will be too late.
At Harvard in the 1960's, my professors would have dismissed language like this as "generating more heat than light." What would their counterparts at Harvard say about it today?

One comment to the Krugman column, #5 from Ruskin of Buffalo, NY, was recommended by more readers than any other - about 500 so far. It calls on President Obama to replace Larry Summers:
There are clearly MANY people in the Obama administration who have had a hand in the extraordinary betrayal of ordinary Americans represented by the policies formulated by Treasury Secretary Geithner, but the one person I would beg the President to get rid of is the second-in-command, Lawrence Henry Summers, head of the National Economic Council. I can think of nothing the President could do that would more clearly signal to the American people that he understands how angry tens of millions of us are, over the policies which have lavishly rewarded the banks at the expense of the taxpayers, than terminating Larry Summers's tenure in the Obama White House.

Why single out Summers? Because he is so obviously the big enchilada in the economic team; because his insensitivity to common sense behavior for someone in his position led to his "earning" millions and millions of dollars by giving talks [my link] to bankers and consulting for other players in financial services; because he was singularly unsuccessful in the most important job he ever took on (the presidency of Harvard) where his tin ear and lack of empathy left him isolated and rejected by the central faculty of the university. For God's Sake, Mr President, this MAN HAS HAD HIS TURN in the corridors of power - replace him with someone who has a heart as well as a brain, someone who has not lived his whole life surrounded by moneyed people, someone who CARES about the "little people" of this country (to reference Leona Helmsley.)
As a Harvard Alum, I can say that Ruskin says what I've been thinking for months. Summers really should go, and Ruskin's case for the man's quick departure is just plain eloquent. And David Olive at the Toronto Star says it's time for Summers to go, with Laura Tyson a a competent and ready-made "plug and play" replacement.

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