I’d love to know… 4 April 2009Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.
Two geese chatter in the hippo enclosure in the zoo in Berlin… [AP]
I’d love to know what the geese are saying…
Other than that.. a few tidbits from Hirsh at Newsqueak…
Tim Geithner dismisses the idea that he is manipulated by Wall Street. And indeed the Treasury secretary, a career Washington technocrat, has never worked on the Street. But that doesn’t mean the kings of finance aren’t influencing Geithner now. In fact, the public-private partnership plan that Geithner laid out with great fanfare last week to address the “legacy” assets issue was first conceived by Warren Buffett.
Buffett proposed the idea in a letter to Hank Paulson early last October, according to Phillip Swagel, who was assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy under Paulson. (A current Treasury spokesman confirms that Buffett “had some interesting ideas that are consistent with the concept” of what has become known as the Public-Private Investment Program, or PPIP.) In his letter from last fall, Buffett mentioned that he had been discussing the issue of how to deal with the toxic assets with Bill Gross of PIMCO, the giant bond fund, and Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs.
and a little bit more…
On one side are those who want to fix the financial house we have; on the other are those who think we should knock it down so we can build a brand-new one—a new Wall Street, in other words. The keep-the-house-intact crowd includes Geithner and Bernanke, as well as Obama-appointed regulators like Mary Schapiro of the SEC. They want serious fixes to the Wall Street system—new rules and regulations to repair the old house and ensure that it doesn’t burn down again in the future—but they don’t much want to change its structure. Having giants like Citigroup and Bank of America dominating the landscape is OK with them, as long as those giants follow the new rules. On the other side of the debate are critics such as Paul Krugman and possibly Paul Volcker and Sheila Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., who think the old house is structurally unsound. They believe that not only can’t we solve the present crisis by merely tinkering with the old house, but that we’ll assuredly find ourselves in another crisis down the line if we don’t dismantle it entirely.
Hirsh states there is a deep philosophical divide in the administration, one that must be settled.
I’d argue it has been settled.
And of course along the way he says Buffett only wanted to help. Help! Help us!… we are so helped we are DYING…
Oddly enough, this appeared in the Guardian… which has often taken the tack wth Obama of simply not reporting on details or issues that are “uncomfortable”. Very bland vanilla reporting… Well whoops. Tho this does appear with a headlined disclaimer that the “orator” is never at a loss:
Normally word perfect, Obama ummed, ahed and waffled for the best part of two and a half minutes.
Well.. whoops he does. Did. Will.
It has been making the rounds of the righties.. The author, Crace, added his own opinions on where Obama’s thought process was in the long pauses, I snipped those out…
Nick Robinson: “A question for you both, if I may. The prime minister has repeatedly blamed the United States of America for causing this crisis. France and Germany both blame Britain and America for causing this crisis. Who is right? And isn’t the debate about that at the heart of the debate about what to do now?”
Brown immediately swivels to leave Obama in pole position. There is a four-second delay before Obama starts speaking
Barack Obama: “I, I, would say that, er … pause … if you look at … pause … the, the sources of this crisis … pause … the United States certainly has some accounting to do with respect to . . . pause … a regulatory system that was inadequate to the massive changes that have taken place in the global financial system … pause, close eyes. I think what is also true is that … pause … here in Great Britain … pause… here in continental Europe … pause … around the world. We were seeing the same mismatch between the regulatory regimes that were in place and er … pause… the highly integrated, er, global capital markets that have emerged … pause. So at this point, I’m less interested in … pause … identifying blame than fixing the problem.
That was about half of it… he finished up with a “look forward” sign off.
I think we’ve taken some very aggressive steps in the United States to do so, not just responding to the immediate crisis, ensuring banks are adequately capitalised, er, dealing with the enormous, er … pause … drop-off in demand and contraction that has taken place. More importantly, for the long term, making sure that we’ve got a set of, er, er, regulations that are up to the task, er, and that includes, er, a number that will be discussed at this summit. I think there’s a lot of convergence between all the parties involved about the need, for example, to focus not on the legal form that a particular financial product takes or the institution it emerges from, but rather what’s the risk involved, what’s the function of this product and how do we regulate that adequately, much more effective coordination, er, between countries so we can, er, anticipate the risks that are involved there. Dealing with the, er, problem of derivatives markets, making sure we have set up systems, er, that can reduce some of the risks there. So, I actually think … pause … there’s enormous consensus that has emerged in terms of what we need to do now and, er … pause … I’m a great believer in looking forwards than looking backwards.