Duke shfaqur rezultatin -19 deri 0 prej 13
  1. #1
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri presid

    By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She now spends most of her time in India and other parts of Asia researching a book about textile artisans. She also writes regularly about legal, political economy, and regulatory topics for various consulting clients and publications, as well as writes occasional travel pieces for The National.

    All right, all right. I can’t take it any more. Yesterday I read a Facebook post that blamed the current US electoral predicament on the “pointless” 22nd Amendment. For those of you without a US Constitution handy, the 22nd Amendment is the one that limits US presidents to serving two terms.

    That Facebook post implies that without the 22nd Amendment we’d get to see a third term for the Obamamometer. That risible suggestion, combined with the incessant legacy-burnishing that he’s indulged in– at least until he realized that HRC might be in trouble and started to hit the campaign trail in earnest– made me realize the time for shredding aspects of that legacy is way overdue.

    When the Obamamometer finally settles on what he’ll do next– whether that would be run a sports team, become a venture capitalist, found a new religion, cure cancer, or merely hob nob with the global elite and play lots of golf, I’m sure he’ll make a fine job job of it– just as he’s done with his Presidency. Over the next couple of months, I intend to post occasionally on this legacy: but rather than burnishing that record, I’ll indulge in a bit of legacy busting.

    First up, the rule of law and corporate crime.

    The Holder Doctrine

    Federal prosecutors, and regulatory agencies, have turned into toothless tigers when it comes to prosecuting C-suite types, and pursuing corporations seriously, for economic crimes. Both financial institutions and their management got virtually a free pass for their activities that led to the Great Recession. And not only for those, but for subsequent foreclosure abuses, LIBOR and other market manipulations, money laundering, tax scams, and doing business contrary to US sanctions policy. Yet to date, not a single C-suite type has been indicted.

    It’s not just financial institutions that’ve received a free pass. Big Pharma, for example, has also been lucky, as have companies that have engaged in creative tax minimization strategies (Apple, anyone?). And if looked at from the perspective of legal topics, rather than corporate actors, entire areas of law– antitrust, for example– are not really relevant anymore.

    You don’t have to take my word for it. No less a source than the NY Times’ DealBook column– not a venue, incidentally, renowned for its trenchant, timely critiques of either Wall Street or other corporate behavior– in September lamented, Law Enforcement ‘Not Winning’ War on White Collar Crime. I wrote about this article in a September post and so won’t rehash all the arguments I made then here. But a few points are in order.

    The lack of enforcement not only means that the guilty don’t pay. It also determines what corporate strategies get pursued, which business models are developed or rejected, what attitudes corporations take to risk, and how resources get allocated to name just a few consequences. And as I’ll discuss below, it also shapes how attorneys practice law, and the impact their advice carries in deterring certain types of corporate behavior.

    I never thought I’d be nostalgic for President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice (DoJ). Now, I’m well aware of the scandal that ensued over Attorney General Alberto Gonzales imposing ideological litmus tests on assistant US attornies. Nonetheless, in the wake of the collapse of the dotcom bubble, the Bush DoJ actually enforced the law. It prosecuted cases and claimed scalps. Companies such as Adelphi, Enron and WorldCom all saw top-level management prosecuted, and malefactors sent to jail.

    Change We Can’t Believe In

    Those who voted for Hope and Change in 2008 certainly got the change part– at least with respect to the DoJ. But when we look at the DoJ’s enforcement priorities and the track record that followed, it’s perhaps not the change they were hoping for. The Obamamometer’s first Attorney General, Eric Holder, outlined and followed what came to be known as the Holder doctrine.

    Allow me to quote from my September post:

    [Under the Holder doctrine the DoJ eschewed corporate charges against companies and executives, instead opting for negotiated settlements (often imposing de minimis, slap-on-the wrist penalties that were significantly undersized compared to the magnitude of damage done, especially by TBTF banks and other financial predators, to name just a few).

    The DoJ under Obama’s second AG, Loretta Lynch, originally followed the Holder doctrine, until that was superseded when Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates authored a memo outlining a new approach in September 2015. Under this approach, the DoJ intended to increase accountability for corporate wrongdoing, and this included an increased focus on pursuing criminal charges against responsible individuals. The DoJ sought to drive a legal wedge between individuals and the corporations for whom they worked by only allowing corporations to receive “cooperation credit” that would reduce their potential exposure (including penalties) if the corporation cooperates in surrendering as early as possible comprehensive detailed information concerning the individual misconduct.

    There’s much more in a similar vein in that earlier post, for those with an interest. But the bottom line for purposes of this post is what has this supposed policy shift, from Holder’s doctrine to Yates’s memo, meant in practice. The short answer: bupkis. We’re still waiting for the more robust enforcement approach the Yates memo supposedly heralded to kick in. As an attorney I know who specializes in white collar defense work summed it up to me, “The DoJ’s walking a new walk, and talking a new talk, but nothing’s really changed.”

    In fact, in only two areas have we seen the DoJ take a muscular approach toward enforcement during the Obamamometer’s administration, insider trading, and offenses under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

    Insider Trading

    US Attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara has compiled an undefeated string of convictions for insider trading (some of which may be at risk of being overturned due to some appellate decisions, which are beyond the scope of this post). But as I wrote last month in The SEC Fiddles While the System Burns: Insider Trading Enforcement As Securities Law Theater, focusing on insider trading as an enforcement priority constitutes a form of securities law theater. Scare prosecutorial resources are expended on insider trading abuses, rather than being deployed to investigate, punish, and (hopefully) deter, far more serious systemic problems.

    The insider trading focus provides the illusion that the DoJ is doing something about high-level cheating. Yet it has little broader deterrent effect on stymieing the wider corporate scams that misallocate resources and erode confidence in the integrity of the system. Insider trading enforcement is usually directed at individuals, and doesn’t implicate wider considerations of corporate strategy or policy. Prosecuting insider traders maintains the myth that the greatest threats to US capitalism are individual bad corporate actors, rather than anything more sweeping or systemic. Catch the bad actors, fine them or throw them in jail, and never think about any deeper problems.

    Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

    Another area highlighted as an enforcement priority is bribery and foreign corruption, with prosecutions undertaken under authority of the FCPA. Allow me to quote from a speech made by assistant attorney general Leslie R. Caldwell last week:

    The effects of foreign corruption are not just felt overseas. In today’s global economy, the negative effects of foreign corruption flow back to the United States. American companies are harmed by global corruption when they are denied the ability to compete in a fair and transparent marketplace. Instead of being rewarded for their efficiency, innovation and honest business practices, U.S. companies suffer at the hands of corrupt governments and lose out to corrupt competitors.


    This is why the fight against international corruption has been, and continues to be, a core priority of the Department of Justice. It has been a core priority for the Criminal Division, and our commitment to the fight against foreign bribery is reflected in our robust enforcement record in this area, which includes charges against corporations and individuals alike from all over the world. Since 2009, the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section has convicted more than 65 individuals in [FCPA] and FCPA-related cases, and resolved criminal cases against more than 65 companies with penalties and forfeiture of approximately $4.5 billion.

    Sounds reasonable, right? I mean, after all, no one would come right out in favor of more international corruption?

    But when we unpack it, we butt up against a few problems. First, to quote my contact the white collar defence specialist again. The lack of an effective DoJ deterrent has enormously complicated his practice and his ability to get his clients to understand and act on prudent legal advice. “What I’ve seen happening more and more in the last couple of years is the chairs of audit committees of major companies openly mocking the DoJ’s enforcement capability.” This leads the companies to pursue courses of action that they wouldn’t dare to undertake if they worried that the DoJ would aggressively pursue securities law violations.

    Where does this leave their lawyers? Well, it often means that they must either moderate their advice, or risk losing their clients. Clients who want to do something will resist their impulses and continue to listen to what they hear as their lawyers crying wolf only for so long. Eventually, the less scrupulous among them are going to ignore the contrary advice, or get another lawyer. The lack of effective enforcement at the DoJ hinders the efforts of the best, most prudent, and most ethical members of the legal profession to practice law as we would want them to.

    So, what happens instead? Well, the most scrupulous of them will continue to give what they regard as sound legal advice (even if what some privately call the Department of Jokes does not enforce the law in a way that lends credence to that approach). But that means they often have to develop new areas of expertise when their clients beat a path away from their doors. “We have to act sometimes as shoe salesmen, flogging competence in FCPA violations, that occur in subsidiaries or with foreign suppliers,” says my white collar defense specialist contact. “This work leads us to countries and legal systems we don’t know well, to uncover chickenshit violations that occur far from home.” Far better, he believes, would be for the DoJ to focus on law-breaking that occurs in the United States, as that could be effectively deterred by the agency refocusing its enforcement priorities. Now that would be a legacy we could all believe in.

    Bottom Line

  2. #2
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    Pjesen tejter do ja dedikopj fakteve cka permetuar, cberi, kush ka lobuar, leker, lidhjet ne cikago, ke vuri ne post mbasi mori pushtetin etj.

  3. #3
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    At a time when Congressional hearings are set to call testimony from some Goldman Sachs employees, it is vital to understand how widespread that institution’s ties are to the Obama administration. This diary shows the pervasive influence of Goldman Sachs and Goldman created institutions (like the Hamilton Project embedded in the Brookings Institution), employees and influence peddlers in the Obama administration.

    While many of the people listed below formerly worked for Goldman Sachs or its offshoots (like the Hamilton Project, including all three of that project’s first Directors) influence can be exerted not only through people but through money, awards, sponsored scholarship, and creation of an agenda favorable to Goldman Sachs (which is where Brookings and the Hamilton Project come in and have proved especially useful to Goldman Sachs).

    It is further of note that although Goldman Sachs has been the center of attention especially since Matt Taibbi’s insightful investigative journalism, that I have not been able to find a comprehensive list of the influence of Goldman Sachs in this administration. Recently in the New York Post, for instance, Michelle Malkin wrote a good article called "All the President’s Goldman Men" but she only listed the usual suspects like Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Rahm Emanuel, Gary Gensler and Mark Patterson.

    But that’s just the tip of the Goldman Sachs iceberg. Here you will find, I believe, the most comprehensive list of people-groups yet available to show how Obama’s administration has really become the Goldman Sachs administration. But I need your help. I suspect there are far more people out there with such ties that I have missed even though I have spent lots of time researching this issue. If you know of other people who should be on this list, please help out and give the details in a comment to this diary.

    One further caveat. The Obama administration is not the first administration that Goldman has infiltrated, although it is perhaps the one that has been most completely co-opted from top to bottom. Recall that former Secretary of the Treasury Paulson in the George W. Bush era came from–Goldman Sachs where he was its chief. Recall too that the brilliant, late economist John K. Galbreath has written an entire chapter of a book devoted to the Great Depression and the economic collapse of Wall St. that accompanied it to the role of Goldman Sachs.

    Law professor William Black, who participated in actions against individuals in the Savings and Loan collapses decades ago, recently told Bill Moyers recently that:

    "The highest return on assets is always a political contribution."

    In this spirit we name the first two links between Goldman entities and the Obama administration: they are out of alphabetical order for obvious reasons. All the others are in alphabetical order.

    Let’s look at the Goldman Sachs government that we have in place now, that is masked by Barack Obama. Fittingly, we begin with Obama:


    Although to my knowledge he has never directly worked for Goldman, he has taken boatloads of their money (an investment repaid many times) and he calls Robert Rubin, the former head of Goldman Sachs "my friend Bob". (See the video clip of then Senator Barack Obama’s address to the Goldman-Rubin funded Hamilton Project in a link below where he uses these words and calls for cuts in entitlements and more NAFTA-type agreements).

    Jesse Unruh, the late California politician and political thinker, once called "money the mother’s milk of politics." Certainly, Obama sucked at the teats of Goldman Sachs more than any other politician in recent times. It began for him as little-known Senator from Illinois with a razor- thin resume whose ambitions outshine his accomplishments. Obama’s eloquent, heavily prepped address to the Democratic National Convention caught not only the eyes of the Democratic top brass, but that of the big bankers. As early as the Spring of 2006, Senator Barack Obama was intimately involved with Bob Rubin and Goldman Sachs through his involvement with the Hamilton Project.

    Fittingly, Senator Obama was chosen by Rubin and the Hamilton Project to give the inaugural address of the Hamilton Project in April, 2006. An excellent, seminal discussion of the Hamilton Project by Dr. Kirk James Murphy, M.D., can be found here. A video clip of then Senator Barack Obama speaking at the inauguration of the Hamilton Project in April, 2006 can be found here and here (with an excellent discussion) and here. Here Obama heaps lavish praise on Robert Rubin ("my friend Bob") and on the Hamilton Project while setting out its (and his subsequent administration’s agenda) of cuts in entitlements, the need for more NAFTA-type free trade pacts and a pro-big corporation government. In 2006 then, Obama was a Goldie and articulating its desires and policies.

    Little wonder then, that Goldman and Rubin heavily funded Obama as a Senator (his biggest campaign contributor) and as a presidential candidate. Goldman Sachs employees (and they were not the floor cleaners) contributed $994,795 to Obama’s presidential bid, almost four times the amount they gave to his Republican opponent, according to OpenSecrets. Over Obama’s entire career, Goldman has been his second biggest contributor, according to OpenSecrets, giving him more than $1,051,000. Goldman not only wanted Obama to win, they paid lots of money to insure that their man would occupy the White House. Again, as William Black noted:

    "The highest return on assets is always a political contribution."

    Goldman’s 30 pieces of silver investment in Obama reaped them billions of dollars in returns as the TARP bailouts and the subsequent news about Goldman Sachs has shown. So although Obama may never have "worked for" Goldman in the traditional sense, he’s one of Robert Rubin’s boys and on Goldman’s books.

    University of Minnesota political scientist Prof. Lawrence Jacobs, described the giant squid’s attachment to the Obama administration:

    almost everything that the White House has done has been haunted by the personnel and the money of Goldman . . . as well as the suspicion that the White House, particularly early on, was pulling its punches out of deference to Goldman and its war chest.


    Is it any wonder that between his service as "Senator Credit Card", his efforts to limit busing for desegregation, and his five draft deferments at the height of the Vietnam War that Joe Biden is attached to one of Goldman’s tentacles? Goldman has been a major campaign contributor to Biden and according to OpenSecrets, Biden in 2007 alone took almost $25,000 from the Robert Rubin related Citigroup (Rubin was its head as well as being a former head of Goldman).

    And guess who was the keynote speaker at the Hamilton Project 2010 kickoff event a few days ago (April 20th, 2010) Tuesday morning at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel? That’s right: Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Goldman Sachs/Robert Rubin’s Rosemary’s Baby. You can see some pics of Biden at the Hamilton Project event along with who else–Robert Rubin–here.

    As described by the Huffington Post:

    Biden was speaking at the relaunch of the Hamilton Project, a think tank founded by ultimate Wall Street Democrat Robert Rubin to publicly despair about the deficit and other things bankers worry about the most.

    Note too that in his address Biden paid tribute to Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission, something that the Hamilton Project and Robert Rubin (and Goldman) have been pushing for years because it really means cuts in entitlements (again, have a look at Sen. Obama’s 2006 speech at the Hamilton Project where he calls for entitlement cuts).


    Interestingly, the man who introduced Joe Biden at the Hamilton Project’s relaunch (described above) was none other than Roger Altman, who is connected to the Hamilton Project.

    Altman may not hold down a desk job in the Obama administration–he’s too big a fish for that just as is Robert Rubin–but he is one of those power brokers with all encompassing contacts within the Democratic Party. Altman is a Hamilton Project member, according to Dan Frumkin’s excellent article in the Huffington Post, as well as having served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under none other than Mr. Goldman Sachs, Robert Rubin. He is now now Chairman of Evercore Partners, which the Hamilton Project program described as "the most active investment banking boutique in the world." (and the Obama administration is trying to sell itself as one that is getting tough on big banks and Goldman?).

    Like so many of the Goldman people, Altman has a touch of scandal/criminality about him. According to Wikipedia, Altman was forced from his position as Assistant Treasury Secretary because of a records keeping scandal.

    Altman is a co-author, along with Robert Rubin, of the Hamilton Project’s "From Recession to Recovery to Renewal: An Economic Strategy to Achieve Broadly Shared Growth." Some of Altman’s ties to the Goldman-Rubin funded Hamilton Project can be seen here.


    Brainard is the United States Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs in the administration of President Barack Obama. She is an associate and protege of Mr. Goldman Sachs, Robert Rubin. She has written numerous articles and bookson the joys of outsourcing work overseas.

    Brainard also worked at Brookings which has embedded within in Goldman Sachs and Robert Rubin’s Hamilton Project. Goldman was clever in doing this because they hid a conservative thinking, pro business group like a Trojan Horse in what is generally perceived as a liberal think tank.

    Like Timothy Geithner, who is her boss, Brainard is a brainy person who had trouble with income tax rules and regulations, thus joining quite a lengthy list of Goldies who ape the law. The Washington Post reported that:

    Brainard’s nomination was held up by Republican concerns over allegations that she failed to pay property taxes on time. (What is it with Treasury and tax problems?)


    Speaking of big fish, Warren doesn’t need to work for the US government or for Goldman. But he’s invested billions in Goldman expecting even greater returns. Obama has also admitted in the debates to "pal’in around" with the Sage of Omaha and Buffett is one of Obama’s fundraisers and economic advisers.

    For more on Buffett see this written by Michael Winship at Truthout:

    On Friday, Susan Pulliam reported on the front page of The Wall Street Journal that, "A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director tipped off a hedge-fund billionaire about a $5 billion investment in Goldman by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. before a public announcement of the deal at the height of the 2008 financial crisis, a person close to the situation says."

    As the Journal notes, the Buffet deal came at a key point in the Wall Street collapse, restoring confidence in the markets and lifting Goldman’s stock from a 40 percent slide to a 45 percent surge. The hedge-fund billionaire in question is Raj Rajaratnam, whose Galleon Group currently is embroiled in one of the biggest insider trading scandals in history: 21, including Rajaratnam, have been charged; 11 already have pled guilty.

    (emphasis added)


    Although Barack Obama was the overwhelming favorite of Goldman Sachs to be president in 2008, for he could serve as their Trojan Horse, they were smart enough to hedge their bets, so to speak and back Hillary too. According to the Washington Examiner, Goldman Sachs in 2008 alone gave:

    ($415,595.63 inflation adjusted), which was itself almost three times as much as Bush received as well.

    And of course, it was Hillary’s hubby Bill Clinton who chose ex-Goldman chief Robert Rubin to serve in his White House. Bill, Hillary and Bob Rubin are Washington, D.C. kissing cousins.


    Another example of the revolving door between Goldman Sachs and Obama’s administration. Craig served as Obama’s White House Counsel and after resigning, has taken on a position as Goldman Sach’s chief lawyer in defending against its SEC suit. A former Goldie, Robert Hormats, sits at the top of SEC’s enforcement group too. What a hoot!

    Note that Craig is a lawyer and lawyer’s rules of professional responsibility prohibit not only direct conflicts of interest but anything that hints at a conflict of interest.

    Here is doubtlessly why Goldman wanted Craig as its top lawyer in the SEC complaint:

    Greg Craig, Obama’s first White House counsel, has joined Goldman, we learned this week. He may not have too much pull in the West Wing, which drove him out for hewing too close to Obama’s campaign promises, but as a former insider he will provide valuable intelligence to the world’s largest investment bank.

    Read more at the Washington Examiner:


    Thomas Donilon is Deputy National Security Adviser to Barack Obama (despite having a career that is mostly involved with domestic politics). Donilon was a lawyer at O’Melveny and Myers and made almost $4 million representing meltdown clients including Penny Pritzker (of Chicago) and Goldman. This from Michelle Malkin’s article RealClearPolitics. More information is available on Donilon over at


    Joined Goldman in 1986; partner and managing director until 2007. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President since January 2009 (replacing none other than Timothy Geithner, his Goldman compadre). This all from the Wall Street Journal.


    Elmendorf became Obama’s Director of the Congressional Budget Office in January 2009. Elmendorf previously was the Director of the Hamilton Project; it’s third.

    Note too that the first 3 Directors of the Hamilton Project ALL serve in the Obama administration. While other journalists/writers have explored the links between Goldman Sachs and Obama, few have looked at the connection between the Hamilton Project and the Obama administration. Note again that the Hamilton Project was funded by Robert Rubin and Goldman Sachs. Note too that the current director of the Hamilton Project, its 4th since its founding in 2006, is Michael Greenstone. How long will it be before Greenstone goes to the Obama administration, making it a perfect 4 for 4 for Directors of the Goldman funded Hamilton Project? To show that there is a revolving door between the Obama Administration and Goldman/Rubin/Hamilton Project, Greenstone served as of Obama’s chief economic advisers.


    Rahm, of course, is Obama’s Chief of Staff, the very first person Obama selected to be in his administration. Rahm has lengthy and fruitful ties to Goldman, and vice versa. Rahm took in about $75,000 from Goldman Sachs as a Congressman and was on a $3,000 a month retainer from Goldman while he worked as Bill Clinton’s chief fund raiser.

    Timothy Carney has explored some of the links between Emanuel and Goldman Sachs:

    …one of Barack Obama’s top sources of funds in this past election, Goldman has always had some particularly strong allies within government. Emanuel is one such ally.

    An interesting early chapter in the Goldman-Emanuel relationship took place in the setting of Bill Clinton’s campaign for the White House in 1992. Clinton hired Emanuel as his chief fundraiser.

    At the same time, however, Emanuel was on the payroll of Goldman Sachs, receiving $3,000 per month from the firm to “introduce us to people,” in the words of one Goldman partner at the time. This is certainly a noteworthy relationship, but it’s one that has almost entirely escaped scrutiny.

    Corporations and partnerships are and were at the time prohibited by law from contributing to federal candidates out of the corporate coffers. So, while Rahm tapped Goldman employees personally for six figures in gifts to Clinton’s candidacy—more than any other firm—Goldman, as a company, was helping keep Clinton’s top fundraiser well-fed.

    In his four terms in Congress, Emanuel has raised $74,750 from Goldman, making the firm his number four source of funds. Goldman has helped Emanuel. How has Emanuel helped Goldman?

    The most obvious answer, as mentioned in this column two weeks ago, is in Emanuel’s lead role in shepherding the “$700 billion” bailout—first proposed by former a Goldman CEO, Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson—through the skeptical House.

    Of course, back in the Clinton days, Goldman benefited from NAFTA and the bailout of the Mexican currency, with Emanuel pushing NAFTA through Congress, and Rubin hammering out the peso bailout.

    McClatchey newspaper’s Greg Gordon, in his article entitled, "Goldman’s White House Connections Raise Eyebrows" also noted how Rahm and Goldman worked together to make money:

    One White House insider who knows something about how Wall Street does business is chief of staff Emanuel, who earned millions of dollars in investment banking after he left the Clinton White House. His work for the Chicago-based financial services firm Wasserstein Perella & Co. intersected with Goldman in at least one deal.

    In 1999, Emanuel was a key player representing Unicom Corp., the parent of Commonwealth Edison, in forging its merger with Peco Energy Co. to create utility giant Exelon Corp. Goldman was also advising Unicom.

    The White House declined immediate comment on that connection.

    So how real is the Obama/Democratic party’s supposed new toughness on big banks when the administration’s point guard was on the Goldman payroll and become a multi-millionaire through big banks and Wall St. deals?


    Diana Farrell is Deputy Director of the National Economic Council (since January, 2009) in the administration of President Barack Obama. She formerly worked for two years at Goldman Sachs in New York according to

    In 2003, Farrell was the author of a paper, "Perspective on Outsourcing" in which she argued that sending American jobs overseas might be "as beneficial to the U.S. as to the destination country, probably more so." In a book titled “The Economists’ Voice: Top Economists Take on Today’s Problems,” Farrell wrote a chapter titled “U.S. Offshoring: Small Steps to make it Win-Win.” Her chapter, published in 2008, centered on offshoring.

    In the Obama administration, Farrell works with a coven of Goldies including Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers, who is her boss.


    Chairman of Obama’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

    According to Wikipedia, Friedman worked for much of his career with Goldman Sachs, holding numerous executive roles. He served as the company’s co-chief operating officer from 1987 to 1990, was the company’s co-chairman from 1990 to 1992, and the sole chairman from 1992 to 1994; he still serves on the company board.

    Friedman was another Goldie involved in controversy, as many of the Goldies have been in government service, involving his former employer. His actions, like other affiliated with Goldman, show scant respect for rules, regulations or laws.

    Wikipedia notes:

    Wikipedia notes:

    On May 7, 2009 Friedman resigned as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in response to criticism of his December 2008 purchase of $3 million of stock in Goldman Sachs. Friedman, who remains a member of Goldman Sachs’ board, came into violation of Federal Reserve policy when Goldman was converted to a bank holding company in September 2008, thereby placing it under the regulatory authority of the New York Fed. Friedman requested a waiver from this violation when the conversion occurred, which was granted roughly two and a half months later.


    Robert Rubin’s Chief of Staff while Rubin served as Secretary of the Treasury and an Obama “head hunter” according to “Rubin Proteges Change Their Tune as They Join Obama’s Team” in the New York Times.


    Furman served as the second Director of the Hamilton Project after Peter Orszag’s departure for the Obama administration and he in turn left the Hamilton Project in June 2008 to direct economic policy for the Obama Presidential Campaign.


    Obama just appointed Fudge to his budget deficit reduction committee. Fudge has been the pr craftsman for some of America’s largest corporations. She sits, according to the Washington Post, as a Trustee of the Brookings Institution within which the Hamilton Project is embedded.


    Gallogly sits on the Hamilton Project’s advisory council. He is also, according to Wikipedia, currently a member of President Barack Obama’s President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.


    He’s one of the most documented of all people within the Obama administration while serving as Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury. He was named head of the New York Fed by none other George W. Bush, again perhaps underscoring Gore Vidal’s observation that American is run by one corporate party and it has two wings: Republican and Democratic.

    While at the head of the New York Fed, Geithner prior to the crisis not only failed to see storm clouds on the horizon, he also in 2008 ordered the bailed out AIG not to disclose its sweetheart payments to big banks including, you guessed it, Goldman Sachs. Geithner also worked with W’s Treasury Secretary Paulson to fashion the TARP agreements whereby billions were handed out to Wall St.

    Geithner is a protoge of both Robert Rubin and Larry Summers.

    Like other Goldies, Geithner has had trouble with rules, tax regulations and various. Recall that he had trouble at his confirmation hearings over his tax returns. Whorunsgov sums them up:

    At the end of the Clinton administration, Geithner moved to the International Monetary Fund, where he was director of policy development. That period led to a blot on his personal record. The IMF, unlike most employers, does not pay the employer match on Social Security and Medicare taxes. Geithner was responsible for paying those taxes himself. He did not to do so until he was audited in 2005, and even then only paid the back taxes for 2003 and 2004. He did not pay the back taxes for 2001 and 2002 until after Obama tapped him to be Treasury secretary at the end of 2008.

    Many of Geithner’s actions profited Goldman Sachs directly or indirectly, such as Geithner’s decision to deny Goldman’s competitor the same treatment he gave Goldman. As Time magazine noted:

    [Geithner]Would not grant Lehman Brothers the right to become a bank-holding company — a status given to both Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs just days after Lehman filed for bankruptcy

    Lehman Brothers collapsed, leaving Goldman Sachs with fewer competitors and a greater market share.


    Gensler was a Goldman Sachs partner who is Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission head. Gensler is the guy who as a former Treasury official exempted the $58 trillion credit default market from oversight. Those financial instrumentals played a key role in the global economic downturn and led to billions of dollars in profits for banks like Goldman Sachs.


    Greenstone is the 4th Director of the Hamilton Project. Just as attorney Craig went from advising Obama to defending Goldman Sachs against the SEC complaint, Greenstone has used the revolving door to go from went an economic adviser position to Obama to one of the Goldman Sachs outlets, in this case its think tank embedded in the Brookings Institution and funded by Goldman and Robert Rubin. All 3 previous Directors of the Hamilton Project work in the Obama administration.


    The pro-corporatist think group funded by Goldman Sachs and Robert Rubin and cleverly hidden in the Brookings Institution as their Rosemary’s Baby/Trojan Horse. Espouses cutbacks in entitlements, strict budgetary thinking applied to all social programs (but not the defense department); outsourcing of American jobs overseas; more NAFTA-type agreements. Three of the first 4 Directors of the Hamilton Project serve in the Obama Administration. The fourth went from an economic adviser to Obama to the Hamilton Project.

    It might also help to recall that the name "Hamilton Project" is significant. Recall that Alexander Hamilton, after whom the institute was named, had as his most famous dictum that "the people are a great beast." Hamilton espoused a powerful state bank and centralized government and presidency.

    Note too that Sen. Barack Obama was the inaugural speaker at the Hamilton Project and lavished praise on "my friend Bob [Rubin]" and called for cuts in entitlements (Social Security) and more NAFTA agreements. This is the same guy who lied to the electorate, then, in union states like Ohio and Pennsylvania during the Democratic primaries when he said "NAFTA needs rethinking." He is firmly and totally behind NAFTA and has done no "rethinking" of it while President and with his party in firm control of Congress.

    For more information, see the reading listed below on this subject and the Project’s web site.


    The top economics official at Obama’s State Department, Hormats spent the prior 27 years at Goldman Sachs, including as the Vice Chairman of Goldman’s international arm.

    Hormat’s appointment to the Obama administration led Glenn Greenwald to this observation:

    A Goldman executive as COO of the SEC’s enforcement division. This is all consistent with the observation of Desmond Lachman — previously chief emerging market strategist at Salomon Smith Barney and IMF deputy director — regarding "Goldman Sachs’s seeming lock on high-level U.S. Treasury jobs," which he cited as but one of the many "parallels between U.S. policymaking and what we see in emerging markets."

    Imagine how this will play out. The SEC has lodged a complaint against Goldman Sachs. Goldman’s former Vice President in charge of Business Intelligence sits in the SEC’s enforcement division while Obama’s former top lawyer, White House Counsel Gregory Craig, has gone to defend Goldman Sachs!


    Former Vice President of Goldman Sachs in San Francisco where he where he led Goldman’s Information Technology Security Investment Banking practice. Kashkari served under Treasury Secretary Paulson and was kept on by Obama after his inauguration for a limited period to work on TARP oversight.


    Sometimes called "Obama’s brain", she serves as Obama’s Ambassador to the OECD. Kornbluh was Deputy Chief of Staff to Mr. Goldman Sachs, Robert Rubin.


    Lew is the United States Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. According to Wikipedia, Lew sits on the Brookings-Rubin funded Hamilton Project Advisory Board. He also served with Robert Rubin in Bill Clinton’s cabinet as Director of OMB.

    Like many affiliates of the Hamilton Project, along with Barack Obama, Lew believes that fiscal discipline needs to be applied to Social Security (not much talk about runaway costs in the military budget). According to the New York Times, Lew has testified that:

    “Fiscal discipline is essential to protect Social Security and strengthen Medicare, so that both will be there in the years ahead. Reducing the accumulated federal debt will help us to protect these important programs.” (Congressional testimony in March 2000.)

    Also like Robert Rubin, Lew has worked with Citicorp. The New York Times reported (same link as above) that:

    As executive vice president of New York University, he tangled with a union representing graduate students who help teach courses.


    According to Paul Krugman, Lipton is at now at Obama’s National Economic Council and the National Security Council. Lipton worked with Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, again according to Krugman, on the US response to the Asian financial crisis of the 1990’s. MergeFoundations reports that Lipton worked closely with Robert Rubin:

    [he] advised and assisted Secretary Rubin on many key aspects of international economic policy.


    Eric Mindich, while not officially serving in the Obama administration, is a strong Obama supporter with extensive ties to the President, according to a Ben Smith/Politico article. Mindich is a hedge fund manager and sits on the Advisory Council of the Hamilton Project and has worked at Goldman Sachs. In fact, he was the youngest ever partner with Goldman Sachs at the age of 27.

    According to Wikipedia:

    Prior to forming Eton Park in 2004, Mindich spent 15 years at Goldman Sachs in two main roles: leading the firm’s equities risk arbitrage business and managing the firm’s equities division. He joined the firm in 1988 in the equities arbitrage department and ran that department from 1992 until 2000.[1] In 1994, at age 27, he became the youngest partner ever in the history of Goldman Sachs.[1] In 2000, he became co-chief operating officer of the equities division and in 2002 became co-head of the equities division and a member of the Goldman Sachs Management Committee. In 2003, Mindich joined the Executive Office as senior strategy officer and chair of the Firmwide Strategy Committee.

    Another website, Operational Due Diligence at Checkfundmanager, indicates the following about Mindich:

    In March of 2009, Eton Park’s [hedge fund founded by him] assets under management were estimated to be around $13 billion.

    An article from April of 2009 lists Mr. Mindich among the “inner circle” of economic advisors to Lawrence H. Summers, who is the current chief economic adviser to President Barack Obama. Mr. Mindich is also listed in another article as being a top level Democrat fundraiser.

    …Eric Mindich, founder of Eton Park fund, reportedly supports Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy (2007).

    …A February 2005 article rattles off a number of impressive credentials for Eric Mindich, including launching the largest hedge fund in history, graduating summa cum laude from Harvard, becoming the youngest ever partner at Goldman Sachs, and being endorsed by former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin.


    Obama’s Budget Director was the founding director of the Hamilton Project, funded by Goldman Sachs and Robert Rubin. Furthermore, Wikipedia indicates that Robert Rubin, Goldman’s ex-head, was one of Orszag’s mentors.

    A BBC article notes Orsag’s commitment to Hamilton Project ideals like cutting the budget (mostly by cutting entitlements) and his ties to Goldman Sachs:

    Mr Obama has signalled his determination to keep the budget deficit in check by appointing Peter Orszag, the head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    It is the OMB, rather than the Treasury, that allocates government spending and estimates the size of future budget deficits.

    His appointment could help ease the new president’s relations with Congress.

    Peter Orszag is well-known as a fiscal conservative, who is concerned to keep spending and tax cuts in check.

    He was one of the first directors of the Hamilton Project, a Brookings think tank initiative backed by Robert Rubin…

    The BBC failed to point out that Goldman Sachs also contributed to funding the Hamilton Project, and he was not "one of the first directors of the Hamilton Project" he was its first Director.


    former lobbyist for Goldman Sachs who serves under Timothy Geithner as his top deputy and overseer of TARP bailout funds, $10 billion of which went to Goldman.

    Ratner is the shady billionaire financier who Obama appointed as his “car czar” and who resigned after it was revealed that his company, the Quadrangle Group, was apparently involved in “pay to play” for a billion dollars or so of New York State pension funds, and was under possible indictment by the New York AG and the SEC, also sits on the Advisory Council of the Goldman funded Hamilton Project.

    Rattner is yet another Goldie-Hamilton Project person in trouble with the law. He was the main financial supporter of Harold Ford’s aborted New York Senate run and speculation was that Rattner wanted a Senator to help protect him.


    He was a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission from 2000-2009 and was its vice chair from 2001-2008. He too sits on the Hamilton Project’s advisory board.

    From this excellent discussion at "Meet Robert Rubin" here’s more information on Reischauer and his extensive links to Robert Rubin:

    Robert Reischauer, another policy insider who penned a memo in 2009 with fellow Brookings Institution elites calling for Obama to take "action to stem the growth of Social Security and Medicare," were recently nominated by Obama to be Social Security Trustees. (The Blahous pick he apparently owed to Senator Mitch McConnell.)

    Reischauer has close ties to economic wrecking ball Robert Rubin—the Goldman Sachs chairman who became Clinton Treasury Secretary and pushed through radical deregulatory banking laws, then went to Citigroup to score $120 million for driving his company into the ground. Rubin and Reischauer knew each other at both the Harvard Corporation and the Clinton White House, where Reischauer was director of CBO. Reischauer is on the advisory board of Rubin’s Hamilton Project, and the two most recent CBO directors have come straight from Hamilton.

    NOTE: since writing this, it appears the above (and the quote below on Alice Rivkin) comes word for word from an Alternet article by Matthew Skomarovsky found here.


    Obama just named in March Alice Rivlin to his so called deficit reduction commission. Have a look at her background and you’ll see why and that Obama has stacked that commission with people who want cuts in entitlements.

    Again, an excellent summary of her Goldman-Brookings (read Hamilton Project) Obama connections:

    One of Reischauer’s co-signers of the Brookings memo, Alice Rivlin, is another fox Obama has put in charge of the Social Security henhouse. Former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve under Greenspan at the peak of the tech bubble, and also a Hamilton Project board member, Rivlin will likely make another great Wall Street ally on the commission. In 2004 Rivlin co-authored (with Obama’s current Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, among others) a 138-page Brookings report titled "Restoring Fiscal Sanity" advocating $47 billion in entitlement cuts, including an "increase in the retirement age under Social Security" and "more accurate inflation adjustments to Social Security benefits."

    Wikipedia also says of her:

    She is currently on the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Wikipedia also notes that she has extensive Brookings Institution connections (within which the Hamilton Project is now embedded) including from 1957–66, 1969–75, 1983–93, and 1999 to the present.

    Rivlin is a frequent speaker at the Hamilton Project as shown by this page at the Hamilton Project’s web site; you can see videos of her talks and the subjects of her papers here.


    Son of Robert Rubin (see next entry). Served as a headhunter for Obama per the New York Times article, "Rubin Proteges Change Their Tune as They Join Obama’s Team".


    Mr. Goldman Sachs and co-funder, along with Goldman, of the Hamilton Project. Served as the 70th U.S. Sect. of the Treasury under Bill Clinton and spent 26 years at Goldman Sachs becoming its Co-Chairman from 1990-1992. He also served as Chairman of Citigroup. Along with Goldman Sachs, Rubin funded the Hamilton Project embedded in the Brookings Institution. In other words, he embedded within what is perceived as a liberal think tank a Trojan Horse that espouses cutbacks in entitlements (but not Defense budgets), more NAFTA like agreements, outsourcing of jobs overseas and strict budget consciousness applied to health care. Rubin used the same tactic with Barack Obama: choosing an essentially ambitious yet cautious conservative and turning him into a Trojan Horse for his causes and those of Goldman’s/the Hamilton Project’s. Rubin is the de facto President of the United States and he and the Hamilton Project tell Obama and his administration what to do. Obama gets to ride on Air Force One.

    According to a recent Politico article:

    Behind the scenes, Rubin still wields enormous influence in Barack Obama’s Washington, chatting regularly with a legion of former employees who dominate the ranks of the young administration’s policy team. He speaks regularly to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who once worked for Rubin at Treasury.


    Prior to advising Timothy Geithner on bailouts, Sperling was paid the paltry sum of $887,727 by Goldman Sachs for one year of consulting work. Sperling, another acolyte of Robert Rubin’s raked in even more that year, according to William Grieder at the Nation:

    [he was paid in addition] $480,051 as a director of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, plus $250,000 for his quarterly briefings to two hedge funds, plus the speaking gigs [$158,000] (including an appearance before the Stanford Group in Houston subsequently charged with running a Ponzi scheme). Meantime, his day job at the Council on Foreign Relations paid $116,653. A busy, busy wonk.


    Storch worked for Goldman Sachs for 5 years reaching the position of Vice President in the Business Intelligence Group. He is Obama’s Managing Executive of the Security and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.


    It didn’t take Larry Summers long to land a big time job after he crashed and burned as Harvard’s President. He sits at Obama’s right hand as Obama’s chief economic adviser and head of the National Economic Counsel. Summers’s boss at Goldman was non other than Robert Rubin, former co-Chairman of Goldman and also former head of Citicorp.

    Summers has reaped nearly $2.8 million in speaking fees to banks and institutions he is now supposed to be helping to regulate and oversee.

    Goldman Sachs paid him $135,000 for a single speech he gave in April, 2008, a very good investment repaid many times to Goldman.

  4. #4
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    The 2008 election
    In 2008, President Obama received more than $2.5 million in campaign finance support from employees at Goldman Sachs (NYSES), JPMorgan Chase (NYSEPM), and Citigroup (NYSE) alone. While there were distinctly more Wall Street firms represented on the list of supporters of John McCain, the reality is that McCain's Wall Street ties only garnered him $1.5 million in support:

    Emri:  o1_large.png

Shikime: 168

Madhėsia:  89.9 KB

    In fact, the contributions from Goldman Sachs employees alone to Barack Obama outpaced McCain's total contributions from his top three firms of Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup.

    This was a dramatically divergent trend from past elections, as in 2000, George Bush raked in nearly three times more from Wall Street when compared to Al Gore. That held true again in 2004, when President Bush received $36.2 million from those in finance, insurance, and real estate, more than twice the amount Democratic senator John Kerry received.

    In total, Obama received more almost $44 million from those in the finance industry, of which $16.6 million came from those classified in "securities & investment," i.e., Wall Street.

    Emri:  o2_large.png

Shikime: 104

Madhėsia:  55.5 KB

    The run-up to the 2008 election was also the height of the financial crisis. In fact, the Lehman Brothers collapse on September 15th was exactly 50 days prior to the date on which Barack Obama defeated McCain. And statements from each campaign provide some evidence as to why Obama was favored by Wall Street.

    While the Obama campaign took a pragmatic stance during the financial crisis, noting, "[i]n front of audiences on Wall Street and Main Street, Sen. Obama has proposed an aggressive plan to mitigate the sub-prime mortgage crisis both to protect homeowners and to prevent the problems in the housing market from taking a toll on the economy as a whole," it was a dramatically different tone than the one struck by John McCain.

    In an interview, McCain said bluntly to ABC's George Stephanopoulos, (emphasis added), "I think that Wall Street is the villain in the things that happened in the subprime lending crisis and other areas where investigations and possible prosecution is going on."

    There is no denying Obama was greatly favored by Wall Street and the financial sector in 2008, but the 2012 election tells a radically different story.

    The 2012 election
    Consider how dramatically the campaign contributions shifted in 2012, where no financial firm was among Barack Obama's top seven donors, whereas all of presidential candidate Mitt Romney's top seven donors were:

    Emri:  o3_large.png

Shikime: 103

Madhėsia:  91.6 KB

    In fact, apart from the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, 14 of the top 15 organizations represented by Romney's donors were Wall Street firms. Were it not for public accounting firm Deloitte, which ranked eighth in employee campaign contributions for Obama, not a single firm in the financial industry is found on Obama's list.

    Romney's contributions from those in the Securities & Investment industry were almost 350% higher than President Obama's, and roughly three times more when looking at the broader financial industry:

    Emri:  o4_large.png

Shikime: 102

Madhėsia:  54.9 KB

    In total, Obama's contributions from those in finance were $23 million less in 2012 when compared to 2008, a decline of more than half. This was driven by the 60%, or $10 million drop from those employed on Wall Street.

    While many chalk this up to Romney's close ties to the financial industry -- which is certainly true -- another reason is the dramatically different tone from President Obama regarding banks.

    Consider the 2012 campaign websitesays, "President Obama passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to hold Wall Street accountable, prevent future financial crises, and end the era of 'too big to fail.'"

    Wall Street reform aims ensures that if a financial company fails, it will be Wall Street that pays the price -- not the American people -- and sets ground rules for the riskiest financial speculation."

    That language is a far cry from the, "mitigate," "protect," and "prevent" verbiage used in 2008.

    Say what you will about Barack Obama, but the reality is, he lost a great deal of support on Wall Street from the 2008 campaign to the 2012 election.
    Ndryshuar pėr herė tė fundit nga HFTengineer : 08-11-2016 mė 23:01

  5. #5
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    Kabuki teater:

    Despite his rhetorical attacks on Wall Street, a study by the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Project shows that President Barack Obama has received more money from Wall Street than any other politician over the past 20 years, including former President George W. Bush.

    In 2008, Wall Street’s largesse accounted for 20 percent of Obama’s total take, according to Reuters.

    When asked by The Daily Caller to comment about President Obama’s credibility when it comes to criticizing Wall Street, the White House declined to reply.

    Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says the distance between the president’s rhetoric and actions makes him look hypocritical.

    “It’s almost as if President Obama won’t cross across a Wall Street picket line except to get inside with [his] hand out, so he can raise money,” Fleischer told TheDC, referring to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators who the president has been encouraging over the past week. “That sort of support causes him to look hypocritical.”

    Fleischer continued by saying that President Obama and Democrats, such as New York Sen. Charles Schumer, who has received approximately $8.7 million from Wall Street since 1989, should stop taking campaign donations from Wall Street banks if they are so offended by their actions.

    “They can’t say we hate Wall Street, but we love their money,” Fleischer said. (RELATED: White House: Millionaire tax isn’t enough)

    Being Wall Street’s campaign cash king is hardly the image President Obama has been trying to project in public, where he has been setting himself up as the champion of the progressive Occupy Wall Street movement and as the avenger of jilted Bank of America customers.

    “Banks can make money,” Obama said last week, responding to questions during an interview with ABC News about Bank of America’s decision to levy a $5 monthly fee on debit card users. “They can succeed, the old-fashioned way, by earning it.”

    In fact, the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks lobbyist spending and influence in both parties, found that President Obama has received more money from Bank of America than any other candidate dating back to 1991.

    An examination of the numbers shows that Obama took in $421,242 in campaign contributions in 2008 from Bank of America’s executives, PACs and employees, which exceeded its prior record contribution of $329,761 to President George W. Bush in 2004.

    According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wall Street firms also contributed more to Obama’s 2008 campaign than they gave to Republican nominee John McCain.

    “The securities and investment industry is Obama’s second largest source of bundlers, after lawyers, at least 56 individuals have raised at least $8.9 million for his campaign,” Massie Ritsch wrote in a Sept. 18, 2008 entry on the Center for Responsive Politics’s OpenSecrets blog.

    By the end of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, executives and others connected with Wall Street firms, such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, UBS AG, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley, poured nearly $15.8 million into his coffers.

  6. #6
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    President Obama has called people who work on Wall Street “fat-cat bankers,” and his reelection campaign has sought to harness public frustration with Wall Street. Financial executives retort that the president’s pursuit of financial regulations is punitive and that new rules may be “holding us back.”

    But both sides face an inconvenient fact: During Obama’s tenure, Wall Street has roared back, even as the broader economy has struggled.

    The largest banks are larger than they were when Obama took office and are nearing the level of profits they were making before the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, according to government data.

    Wall Street firms — independent companies and the securities-trading arms of banks — are doing even better. They earned more in the first 21 / 2 years of the Obama administration than they did during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, industry data show.

    (See data in an Excel file here.)

    Behind this turnaround, in significant measure, are government policies that helped the financial sector avert collapse and then gave financial firms huge benefits on the path to recovery. For example, the federal government invested hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in banks — low-cost money that the firms used for high-yielding investments on which they made big profits.

    Stabilizing the financial system was considered necessary to prevent an even deeper economic recession. But some critics say the Bush administration, which first moved to bail out Wall Street, and the Obama administration, which ultimately stabilized it, took a far less aggressive approach to helping the American people.

    “There’s a very popular conception out there that the bailout was done with a tremendous amount of firepower and focus on saving the largest Wall Street institutions but with very little regard for Main Street,” said Neil Barofsky, the former federal watchdog for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, the $700 billion fund used to bail out banks. “That’s actually a very accurate description of what happened.”

    Neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration, for instance, compelled banks to increase lending to consumers, known as “prime borrowers.” Such a step might have spurred spending and growth, although generating demand for loans may have proved difficult in the downturn.

    A recent study by two professors at the University of Michigan found that banks did not significantly increase lending after being bailed out. Rather, they used taxpayer money, in part, to invest in risky securities that profited from short-term price movements. The study found that bailed-out banks increased their investment returns by nearly 10 percent as a result.

    “If the goal was to support lending, it would have been sensible to require a portion of the money to support credit origination,” said Ran Duchin, one of the finance professors who completed the study. “Lending to prime consumers was not the most profitable use of their capital.”

    Some of Wall Street’s success has moderated in recent months, with bank stock prices down and layoffs on the rise. This mostly has reflected the renewed slowdown in the U.S. economy this year and the European debt crisis buffeting global markets.

    Representatives of the financial industry say regulations in last year’s Dodd-Frank legislation, which Obama pushed for and signed, also have crimped bank profits. But many analysts think the law will make the financial system more stable. The legislation, for instance, requires banks to maintain a greater capital cushion to withstand losses during bad economic times. The measure also created a regulator whose sole purpose is to police lending to ordinary Americans.

    But many of the legislation’s most significant measures have yet to be put into place, and their ultimate effect on the bottom line remains unclear.

    Financial firms have raised major concerns about one of the largest structural changes made by the law, the “Volcker Rule.” This measure would bar banks from engaging in trading and other speculative activity on their own behalf rather than to profit customers. But the rule’s impact could prove limited because of loopholes and exceptions allowed by lawmakers and regulators working to implement it.

    Federal assistance

    One of the main reasons Wall Street rebounded so quickly from its lows is government support.

    Even before Obama took office, the government pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into banks. The Federal Reserve, which is independent of the administration, lowered interest rates, allowing firms to borrow money cheaply and trade with it, booking huge profits. The Fed also introduced lending programs that bolstered stock and bond markets and allowed banks to earn a steady return on reserves they kept with the central bank.

    “The too-big-to-fail banks got bigger profits and avoided failure because of trillions of dollars of loans directly from the Federal Reserve,” said Linus Wilson, assistant professor of finance at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “Today, their profits are boosted by lower borrowing costs because their managers and creditors expect a Fed lifeline when markets get jittery.”

    Banks also have benefited from the large increase during the recession in unemployment insurance. Increasingly, banks offer debit cards to the unemployed to collect their government benefits. These debit cards carry a range of fees that bolster banks’ bottom lines.

    What’s more, states — with their budgets shattered by the financial crisis and recession — have increasingly been moving to enroll new employees into Wall Street-run retirement accounts rather than government pension programs. That’s potentially more lucrative for Wall Street, which can charge fees for managing the savings of individual retirees.

    Since Dec. 31, 2008, the largest banks — those with more than $100 billion in assets — have increased their total combined assets by about 10 percent.

    As banks get larger, they can become more profitable. This is because investors tend to be more willing to lend them money at interest rates lower than those other banks are charged. There is a common perception that big banks are less risky because the government will still step in to save them if they get into financial trouble. On the flip side, under new financial regulations, the largest banks will have to hold more financial reserves than smaller banks — although precisely how much is still being discussed.

    Banks’ profits up

    Profits have also rebounded. The largest banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, earned $34 billion in profit in the first half of the year, nearly matching what they earned in the same period in 2007 and more than in the same period of any other year.

    Securities firms — the trading arms of big banks and hundreds of other independent firms — have fared even better. They’ve generated at least $83 billion in profit during the past 21 / 2 years, compared with $77 billion during the entire Bush administration, according to data from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

    Compensation at these firms also has bounced back. Financial firms paid about $20.8 billion in bonuses for work done in 2010, according to research by the New York state comptroller. In New York City, the average Wall Street salary last year grew 16.1 percent, to $361,330, which is more than five times the average salary of a private-sector worker in the city.

    By contrast, millions of Americans continue to face economic difficulties. That is fueling broad public anger at Wall Street and has given rise to the “Occupy” protest movements nationwide.

    Obama’s advisers say they plan to harness this frustration in the presidential campaign by drawing a contrast with Republican candidates who favor rolling back the Dodd-Frank legislation.

    “People are going to make their own judgments based on the positions that candidates take and their track record,” said David Plouffe, a senior Obama adviser. “. . .You have to look at these as comparative exercises.

    “Americans want leaders who will be fair and insist on accountability on Wall Street. But Republicans, including all of their presidential candidates, have essentially said, ‘Let’s give Wall Street a blank check.’ ”

    The president, however, has not shunned Wall Street. He has courted financial executives for campaign donations, including inviting them to a campaign gathering at the White House. He has attracted more money for his campaign and for the Democratic National Committee from financial firm employees than all of the GOP candidates combined — a total of $15.6 million.

    © The Washington Post Company

  7. #7
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    CChiago shcool of economics [neoliberals]

    Artikulli origjional KTU :
    Barack Obama waited just three days after Hillary Clinton pulled out of the race to declare, on CNBC: "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market." Demonstrating that this is no mere spring fling, he has appointed the 37-year-old Jason Furman, one of Wal-Mart's most prominent defenders, to head his economic team. On the campaign trail, Obama blasted Clinton for sitting on the Wal-Mart board and pledged: "I won't shop there." For Furman, however, Wal-Mart's critics are the real threat: the "efforts to get Wal-Mart to raise its wages and benefits" are creating "collateral damage" that is "way too enormous and damaging to working people and the economy ... for me to sit by idly and sing Kum Ba Ya in the interests of progressive harmony".

    Obama's love of markets and his desire for "change" are not inherently incompatible. "The market has gotten out of balance," he says, and it most certainly has. Many trace this profound imbalance to the ideas of Milton Friedman, who launched a counter-revolution against the New Deal from his perch at the University of Chicago. And here there are more problems, because Obama - who taught law at Chicago for a decade - is embedded in the mindset known as the Chicago School.

    Obama chose as his chief economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist on the left side of a spectrum that stops at the centre-right. Goolsbee, unlike his Friedmanite colleagues, sees inequality as a problem. His primary solution, however, is more education - a line you can also get from Alan Greenspan. Goolsbee has been eager to link Obama to the Chicago School. "The guy's got a healthy respect for markets," he told Chicago magazine. "It's in the ethos of the [University of Chicago], which is something different from saying he is laissez faire."

    Another of Obama's Chicago fans is the 39-year-old billionaire Kenneth Griffin, the CEO of the hedge fund Citadel. Griffin, who gave the maximum allowable donation to Obama, is a poster boy for an unbalanced economy. He got married at Versailles, and is one of the staunchest opponents of closing the hedge-fund tax loophole.

    While Obama talks about toughening trade rules with China, Griffin has been bending the few barriers that do exist. Despite sanctions prohibiting the sale of police equipment, Citadel has been pouring money into controversial China-based security companies that are putting the local population under unprecedented levels of surveillance.

    Now is the time to worry about Obama's Chicago Boys and their commitment to fending off regulation. It was in the two-and-a-half months between winning the 1992 election and being sworn into office in 1993 that Bill Clinton did a U-turn on the economy. He had promised to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, adding labour and environmental provisions - but two weeks before his inauguration, the then Goldman Sachs chief, Robert Rubin, convinced him of the urgency of embracing liberalisation.

    Furman, a Rubin disciple, was chosen to head the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project, the thinktank Rubin helped found to argue for the free trade agenda. Add to that Goolsbee's February meeting with Canadian officials, who got the impression that they should not take Obama's anti-Nafta campaigning seriously, and there is every reason for concern about a replay of 1993.

    The irony is that there is absolutely no reason for this backsliding. The movement launched by Friedman, introduced by Ronald Reagan and entrenched under Clinton faces a legitimacy crisis around the world - nowhere more evident than at the University of Chicago itself. In May, when the university president Robert Zimmer announced the creation of a $200m Milton Friedman Institute, more than 100 faculty members signed a letter of protest. "The effects of the neoliberal global order ... strongly buttressed by the Chicago School of Economics, have by no means been unequivocally positive," the letter states. "Many would argue that they have been negative for much of the world's population."

    When Friedman died in 2006, the memorials spoke only of grand achievement, with one of the more prominent appreciations, in the New York Times, written by Goolsbee. Yet now, just two years later, Friedman's name is seen as a liability even at his own alma mater. So why has Obama chosen this moment, when all illusions of a consensus have dropped away, to go Chicago retro?

    The news is not all bad. Furman claims he will be drawing on the expertise of two Keynesian economists: Jared Bernstein, of the Economic Policy Institute, and James Galbraith, son of Friedman's nemesis, John Kenneth Galbraith. Our "current economic crisis", Obama recently said, is "the logical conclusion of a tired and misguided philosophy that has dominated Washington for far too long".

    True enough. But before Obama can purge Washington of the scourge of Friedmanism, he has some ideological house cleaning of his own to do.
    Ndryshuar pėr herė tė fundit nga HFTengineer : 08-11-2016 mė 23:11

  8. #8
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    Abner Mikva, the Chicago Democratic Party stalwart and former Clinton White House counsel, offers a variation on that theme. "If Clinton was our first black president, then Barack Obama is our first Jewish president," says Mikva, who was among the first to spot the potential of the skinny young law school graduate with the odd name.

    "I use a Yiddish expression, yiddishe neshuma, to describe him," explains Mikva. "It means a Jewish soul. It's an expression my mother used. It means a sensitive, sympathetic personality, someone who understands where you are coming from."

    Obama, of course, is a Christian. And his middle name is Hussein. In the presidential election, he won 78 percent of the Jewish vote and about 70 percent of the Arab-American vote, according to unofficial exit polling. Obama collected 52.8 percent of the overall vote.

    Putting aside which of the three great Abrahamic religions can lay claim to Obama's soul, it is clear that his political career, from its South Side inception to the audacious run for the White House, was nurtured and enabled by a close-knit network of Chicago Jews.

    Mikva and his friend Newton Minow, the former Federal Communications Commission chairman and Kennedy-era New Frontiersman, were there at the beginning. Minow first heard about Obama in 1988 from his daughter Martha, a professor at Harvard, where Obama was studying law. Minow, senior counsel at Sidley Austin, offered him an internship and later a permanent job at the white-shoe firm, but Obama declined, saying he was planning to go into politics.

    When Obama graduated, Mikva, then a U.S. appeals court judge in Washington, tried to lure him with a prestigious clerkship, but Obama turned him down too. That, according to Mikva, took some chutzpah.

    Both Mikva and Minow say they sensed back then that Obama was something special. They made a point of staying in touch.

    Obama's circle of Jewish patrons and advisers widened further in 1992 when he became involved in a voter registration drive that brought him into contact with Bettylu Saltzman, a liberal activist (and daughter of the late Philip Klutznick, a former commerce secretary and shopping mall developer). Saltzman says she knew from the moment she met Obama that he would someday be president. She introduced him to David Axelrod, who saw something similar.

    Axelrod designed the strategy in which Obama first won the backing of white liberals and then reached out to blacks. Jews made up a significant number of the first constituency.

    "As Jews got to know him, they recognized a kindred spirit, not someone who came down from Mars," Mikva said.

    Rabbi Arnold Wolf, of KAM Isaiah Israel synagogue across the street from Obama's Chicago home, was another early backer. Like Mikva, he sees what he called Obama's "Jewish side."

    "Obama is from nowhere and everywhere -- just like the Jews. He's black, he's white, he's American, he's Asian, he's African -- and so are we," Wolf said.

    Certainly, Obama is comfortable with Jews, especially Jews from Chicago. Axelrod will remain at his side as senior adviser, and Rep. Rahm Emanuel will be White House chief of staff. Billionaire Penny Pritzker, who has known Obama since the mid-1990s and served as his campaign finance chairwoman, was said to be under consideration for commerce secretary until she took herself out of the running.

    But Jews haven't always been comfortable with him. The once-solid alliance between Jews and blacks that was forged during the civil rights movement has frayed in recent years. During the primary campaign Sen. Hillary Clinton was far more popular among Jewish voters, many of whom were worried about Obama's close friendships with influential Palestinian thinkers, including his former Hyde Park neighbor Rashid Khalidi, now at Columbia University.

    Mikva and Minow recall trying to help candidate Obama reassure skeptical Jewish audiences that he would be a genuine friend to Israel.

    "He was frustrated," Mikva said. "And I remember I told him that it wouldn't matter if your name was Chaim Weizmann [first president of Israel], there are some Jews who won't vote for you no matter what you say because they are Republicans."

    Obama jokingly asked if it would make a difference if he called himself Baruch Obama, noting that the Swahili name Barack and the Hebrew Baruch derive from the same linguistic root. Both mean "blessing."

    Throughout the presidential campaign, Obama did and said what was necessary to court the Jewish vote. In March he made the pilgrimage to AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization. There he pledged unwavering commitment to Israel's security. In July he traveled to Israel and was photographed with Israeli leaders.

    Even without the Jewish vote, Obama would have carried New York, California and Illinois, three key states with large Jewish populations. Florida was a different story.

  9. #9
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    "Some of my earliest and most ardent supporters came from the Jewish community in Chicago," Obama told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2004, just after his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention had galvanized the party and made his name a household word overnight.

    That was not hyperbole.

    Newton Minow
    Newton Minow

    Typical Obama first came to Chicago in 1985, after he graduated from Columbia University, and spent three years in the city as a community organizer. In 1988, he left for Harvard Law School, and in the same year met Newton Minow, a Jew and a longtime Democratic powerbroker who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under President John F. Kennedy. He is currently senior counsel at the Loop law firm of Sidley Austin.

    Minow's daughter Martha ("She's not just Jewish, she's very very Jewish," her father said) was a professor at Harvard Law School at the time. "She called me in 1988 to say that the best student she ever had wanted to spend the summer in Chicago and she wanted me to meet him," Minow relates. "I said what's his name, and when she said 'Barack Obama,' I said, you gotta spell that."

    Minow asked a partner in his firm to look up Obama when he visited the law school. "He started to laugh," Minow said. "He said, we hired him already."

    Obama worked at Sidley Austin as an intern that summer; the firm is where he met attorney Michelle Robinson, and they married in 1992. Minow later offered him a second internship followed by a permanent job, but Obama turned it down because, he said, he was planning to go into public service or politics.

    Minow and his wife have remained friends with the couple and supporters of Obama's political career. "We introduced him to a lot of our friends and held fund-raisers for him," Minow said. "We find him to be truly outstanding. If you just look around, you can see he's got many many Jewish friends. He is very much at home with Jewish people, their values and interests."

    He believes that many in the Jewish community supported Clinton over Obama because "they didn't know Barack Obama. They were not informed about him. They had a loyalty over the years to the Clintons. It's not that they were negative about Barack; they were just committed elsewhere."

    Minow continues to actively support Obama's candidacy; a nephew serves as one of his speechwriters.

    In Chicago, meanwhile, the Obamas settled in Hyde Park and Obama became a popular lecturer at the University of Chicago law school. Abner Mikva, whom Obama already knew from Washington, also taught there, and the two renewed their acquaintance and became close. "We would have lunch and breakfast together and talk about a lot of things, different issues," Mikva said.

    Through Project Vote, a voter registration drive that Obama worked on in 1992, he met two key future supporters, both Jewish. One was David Axelrod, a former Chicago Tribune reporter and chief consultant to Chicago mayors Harold Washington and Richard M. Daley who has been Obama's chief strategist since 2002.

    Bettylu Saltzman
    Bettylu Saltzman

    The other is a largely behind-the-scenes champion who has been there since the beginning of Obama's political career and played a quietly crucial - perhaps the most crucial - role in it. She is Bettylu Saltzman, a longtime liberal activist whose father, Philip Klutznick, was a legendary Chicago developer, Jewish leader and statesman who served as secretary of commerce in the Carter administration and played a leading role in the development of the State of Israel.

    Saltzman recalled that when she first met the 30-year-old Obama, "I don't know what I saw, but others saw it too. I'm impressed by the numbers of people who said the same thing. He was clearly brilliant and articulate. I don't know what it was, but there was something about him that was clearly destined to be something very special."

    She was working in Bill Clinton's presidential campaign at the time and, perhaps because she was thinking in presidential mode, "I immediately thought, he's going to be president some day. I said to my husband and to a lot of other people, he is going to be our first black president. Why I don't know, but I will never ever forget it."

    Later, she said, as she got to know Obama, "I would sort of tease him about it. I always said to him, this is what I think is going to happen, and I think in his own mind he always thought that was what he was going to be, too."

    While Saltzman said she "never thought about (her support) Jewishly," she added that "obviously I'm not going to support someone who is opposed to Israel and what it stands for. He's right on all the issues when it comes to Israel. He's in exactly the same place (Hillary) Clinton is, maybe even stronger. He's a clearer thinker."

    She was also impressed with Michelle Obama and says that "we could have two great people in the White House."

    Saltzman supported Obama during his campaign for the state Senate, which he won in 1996, and in his failed bid for Congress against Bobby Rush in 2000. And when Obama was contemplating a U.S. Senate run in 2002, she introduced him to a group of powerful Chicago women who call themselves the Ladies Who Lunch. Many became his supporters.

    The following year, Saltzman may have played an even more crucial role in Obama's political rise when she asked him to speak at a downtown Chicago rally against the Iraq war that she was organizing. The speech he gave there became famous, and Obama's early opposition to the war served as a centerpiece of his primary campaign for president.

    Saltzman has remained a supporter and now devotes her time to Obama's presidential campaign. "What he did in his early life in Chicago proved that he has a great commitment to people who are less well off," she said, adding that she is encouraged by how many young people are working to get out the vote for him. "People don't always understand the fact that he thinks so clearly," she said. "He is deliberative but not indecisive." And as for Israel, "I think his (recent) trip to the Middle East proved how well accepted he was there."

    Meanwhile, after he finished his work with Project Vote, Obama took a job at a civil rights law firm, Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, led by Judson Miner, a well-known Chicago civil rights attorney and Mayor Harold Washington's former counsel. Miner said he met Obama when he read an article in the paper about Obama's wanting to join "a silk stocking law firm." He called Obama, Obama called him back and Miner's young son answered the phone. "He said a guy called me with a very funny name," Miner related. "I had forgotten all about him, but just by chance I called him back."

    They agreed to meet and have lunch. Afterwards, "I called my wife and told her I just had lunch with the most impressive person I've ever met," Miner said. "He was truly extraordinary in all sorts of ways. He had a unique comfort with who he was and no pretenses. He was not trying to impress you with who he was. He had a lot of questions and wanted to talk seriously about things he was giving a lot of thought to."

    Obama worked for Miner's firm for close to 10 years in two different stretches. When he decided to take time off to run for the state Senate, Miner said, a telling incident occurred. Under a fairly common arrangement, Obama planned to work for the firm part-time while serving in the Senate, considered by many to be a part-time job, and Miner agreed to pay him.

    "On about his third day in Springfield, he called me up and said, Judd, this is unfair to you guys. I'm going to be putting in a lot more time than I thought I was going to, and I wouldn't feel right about being paid" by the law firm, Miner related.

    Today, Miner is a firm supporter of his former employee's presidential bid. "He has plenty of life experiences that have sensitized him to the things that matter most," he said. "He has enormous self confidence but it is not arrogance. He is not a person who feels he has to hide things. He has very strong views but is very flexible."

    Obama's "great strengths" are that he is "most comfortable dealing with people who he respects, who he thinks are dealing with him as equals, are sharing their true opinions. He is not interested in people who are yes men," Miner said.

    "I don't know a blemish the guy has. We had many conversations about how do you engage in what you care about professionally while balancing your family obligations and commitment, and he has been quite successful in working it all out. He would be very effective in anything he wanted to do," he said.

    Working at Miner's firm introduced Obama to many in the city's liberal community, and during his state Senate tenure, he gained other supporters, including Illinois Sen. Ira Silverstein, an Orthodox Jew who shared an office with him in Springfield. They also shared carpooling duties when both their children attended the secular pre-nursery at Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School.

    When they first met, Obama "never knew what an Orthodox Jew was," Silverstein said. Although his Hyde Park district had a large Jewish community, there were few Orthodox Jews. "Down there (in Springfield) on the Sabbath, he didn't understand my restrictions at first but he offered to help if I needed anything. He was very respectful and curious to find out. We talked about religion a lot. He is a very religious person," he said.

    Silverstein continues to support Obama and said he is disturbed that "there is lot of bad information out there, a lot of miscommunication, misinformation that has been proved false" about the senator. He said he and Obama often shared their pro-Israel feelings and that when Silverstein sponsored numerous resolutions condemning PLO bombings, Obama eagerly signed on as a co-sponsor.

    "I know him," he said. "People can read what they want to in the press, but I know him personally and I can testify to" his pro-Israel views. "That's different than hitting a blog," he said. "If people don't want to listen to me they don't have to, but there's a lot of hearsay out there."

    In the state Senate, he said, Obama impressed him by his ability to work with the Republicans when the Democrats were the minority party, and by his ability to "bring people together."

    Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf
    Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf

    Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, rabbi emeritus of KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation and a legendary Hyde Park liberal, is Obama's neighbor and longtime supporter. When Obama was running for the state Senate, Wolf held a fund-raiser for him and told him that "some day you will be the vice president of the United States. He said, why vice president, then he laughed. But we were all thinking this guy isn't going to stay in the state Senate."

    "He moved across the street from a synagogue," KAM, he said. "He didn't have to do that."

    In fact, Obama even has a Jew in his mishpocheh, albeit on his wife's side. Rabbi Capers Funnye, the spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken-Agudath Achim Congregation on Chicago's South Side is Michelle Obama's cousin - her grandfather and the rabbi's mother were sister and brother.

    Funnye, an enthusiastic supporter of Obama's presidential bid, said he met him before the couple married and "thought it was a good match." Later he worked with Obama when he was in the state Senate and Funnye was the director of a South Side youth services center and found him helpful and "always reachable."

    "Despite some of the things that have been said, I certainly believe (Obama) has a genuine affinity for the State of Israel and the Jewish people," Rabbi Funnye said. "I'm hopeful that the broader Jewish community and the rest of the country will simply grow to understand they have nothing to fear from Obama on the State of Israel and Jewish issues in general."

    His own congregation is "extremely supportive," and, he said, "throughout the black Jewish community in the United States, there's great enthusiasm and support for his candidacy. This is a historic moment in time in the history of our country." If Obama is elected president, "I think we will have achieved the ideals for which this country really stands," he said.

    When Obama ran for the Senate in 2004, he had not yet visited Israel - one scheduled trip coincided with the birth of his daughter - but he has since been there twice, in 2006 and earlier this summer. Michael Kotzin, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, was along on the January, 2006 trip, part of the federation's "ongoing agenda to help public officials better understand Israel," he said. (The organization is nonpartisan.)

    On the trip, "we exposed him to aspects of Israel that might not otherwise be noted, aspects where this community and the federation are actively engaged," he said. The senator discussed Ethiopian aliyah with the head of the Jewish Agency "to understand aliyah, how basic that is to Israel," Kotzin said, and visited an Israeli-Arab-Christian village, among other sites.

    The visit "gave him insights into Israeli life and society that are not commonly known, and that registered for him when he gave his main speech in Chicago on Israel and the Middle East," he said. "He ended up talking about the trip he took and how he connected with aspects of the Israeli population and people and understanding the importance of Israel to our community."

    Lester Crown
    Lester Crown

    Another longtime Chicago supporter, philanthropist, community leader and member of one of Chicago's Jewish royal families, Lester Crown, has known Obama since his first days in Chicago, when Minow called Crown and "said we have in our office a young man who I think is really going places, and I'd like you to meet him." Crown has been a supporter ever since; his son James heads Obama's Illinois financial campaign.

    Crown said that despite Obama's "rock-star, amazing popularity," he has not changed fundamentally in all the years they have known each other. "He's the same person, even though there are tremendous pressures on him. In the last six or eight months, he hasn't gotten a swelled head. If he ever got a little bit of one, his wife would bring him back in two minutes." Michelle Obama, he said, is "absolutely brilliant."

    Crown said he is "bothered" by portions of the Jewish community that express concerns, particularly, about Obama's position on Israel. "From the time I met him, the times we talked about Israel, and we talked about it several times, he has been an ardent backer of Israel's defense position, Israel's security position," he said. "He has been a proponent of the two-state solution, but only on the hopes that you will have a demilitarized peaceful Palestinian entity, which you do not have now."

    Most important, Crown said, is that "knowing him long before he got into politics, I know he is completely supportive, without any question or equivocation, of Israel's security. He is only interested (in a two-state solution) if Israel's security is absolutely assured, and that was his position long before he ever went into politics. His speeches to AIPAC are not new positions, merely the vocalization of what he has always believed," he said.

    The doubters

    Not everyone in the Jewish community agrees.

    Jewish criticism of Obama - aside from the lunatic fringe that still harps on his middle name, Hussein, and supposed Muslim "credentials" - centers on four factors: his positions on Israel, several of his foreign policy advisors, his foreign policy inexperience and his apparent willingness as president to talk to the Iranian regime. His domestic agenda is little mentioned in these debates.

    Emily Soloff
    Emily Soloff

    Emily Soloff, area director of the nonpartisan American Jewish Committee, said that is natural since "the Jewish community is passionate about many things but particularly about Israel. People for whom Israel is the issue or the primary issue look with a magnifying glass at everything a candidate says or does. The nature of campaigning in America makes it difficult for any candidate to hold up to that kind of scrutiny."

    In addition, she said, "Jews are well educated, they're readers, there are many Jewish bloggers, all of which means the amount of information that comes out about a candidate, there is tremendously more information coming out than there has been in the past."

    In such an environment, "people tend to shrei (Yiddish for yell) a little bit louder to get their voices heard," she said. "In terms of this election, Obama's youth and his newness also has put him under greater scrutiny than candidates who have been in the public eye for much longer and have longer records of action as well as words."

    Even former Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky has expressed his concerns, telling a Shalom TV interviewer that Obama has no record on foreign policy and that an Obama presidency would be a "risk" for Israel.

    Closer to home, Rabbi Victor Weissberg, a local Israel activist and chair of To Protect Our Heritage PAC, which works to promote a closer alliance between the United States and Israel, said Obama is "flawed.

    "He is suddenly forced to become specific and not use a lot of gloss words like change; that isn't working for him any more," he said. "He's a very bright fellow but he's sort of a hollow man, and America really needs somebody of substance who will say what he means and won't change," he said. Obama has changed his position on offshore oil drilling and other issues, he said. "We're not dummies, we can think straight," he said. "The people who are going to lead us need to think straight too and not shoot their doggone mouths off."

    "At the AIPAC conference, he was a wow." Weissberg said. "He had people standing up on their seats cheering. He has tried to say all the right things about Israel, but because he flip-flops, people are really at sixes and sevens with themselves about him. Israelis think he's not the right candidate at the right time for their situation. We were there for Pesach and almost unanimously they were in favor of (presumptive Republican nominee John) McCain."

    Polls have, indeed, shown that McCain is perceived in Israel as a staunch friend of the Jewish state, and that some Israelis have been wary of Obama's statement, during a meeting with Jewish leaders in Cleveland in February, that "there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you're anti-Israel."

    Chaya Gil
    Chaya Gil

    One Israeli native and longtime Chicagoan, attorney and community activist Chaya Gil, said she is "definitely worried" about an Obama presidency, for several reasons.

    One is the candidate's "very close intimate relationship" with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his longtime pastor who gained notoriety for his inflammatory statements and is widely perceived to be anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Obama denounced Wright earlier this year and eventually severed his ties with him and his church.

    "Wright doesn't love America, he speaks against his country and he said awful things about Israel. He's no good for the Jewish community and it's not good that he is the role model for Obama," Gil said. She said that when Obama said he wasn't aware of some of Wright's positions, "he was lying. There is a character issue."

    In addition, she said, Obama "said he will talk to Iran and other countries. That says to me that he will be manipulated by Iran and others."

    She said she is also concerned about Obama's relationships with some advisors perceived to be anti-Israel, including Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor in the Carter administration; Samantha Power, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, who was forced to leave the Obama campaign after making a derogatory remark about Hillary Clinton but is said to still be advising him; and Robert Malley, another Clinton administration advisor.

    Gil's worries parallel those of right-wing media outlets that have recently taken aim at the advisors. Brzezinski was perceived as unfriendly to Israel during the Carter administration and, more recently, initially endorsed the views of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, authors of articles and a book blaming the pro-Israel lobby for American foreign policy failures. They are anathema to most Jews. Brzezinski later said their book overstated its case.

    Power has drawn the ire of Israel activists because of her stinging criticism of Israel's first Lebanon War. Malley was perceived as blaming Israel for the breakdown of the U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian talks at Camp David in the summer of 2000, which he attended as a senior adviser to President Clinton.

    Another frequent target of conservative bloggers has been George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has often been critical of Israel's policies. He has contributed to the Obama campaign.

    The campaign has said that the three advisors, who are among hundreds, have a peripheral role in the campaign and do not advise Obama on Middle East policy. Soros, although he has donated to Obama, has no role in the campaign, an Obama spokesperson has said.

    Gil said that Obama "has put these people on ice lately, hushed up their relationship. But they're not dead, they will pop up the minute he's elected." Israelis, she said, although they were impressed with him during his recent visit to the Jewish state, "know he is not coming in good faith."

    She said that "at a time of pressure," Obama "loses his balance. He is very good when he is prepared, but once in a while he is asked a question that he does not expect, and he stutters. He would say whatever suits him."

    Another Israeli-born Chicagoan, who did not want to be identified, said she is "very very uncomfortable" with Obama, "not because he is not a good man" but because "he knows very little about Israel."

    She added that she doesn't believe Obama has enough experience to be able to run the country in difficult times. "If you ask me, we need a strong person who can move things around to what they used to be, a strong America, a great Israel," she said. That person is not Obama, she said.

    Richard Baehr
    Richard Baehr

    Much of the concern over Obama's perceived anti-Israel advisors has been spurred by Richard Baehr, the chief political correspondent of the American Thinker, an online conservative magazine that Jewish Telegraphic Agency political correspondent Ron Kampeas calls "the principle redoubt of Obama-Israel skepticism."

    In a recent phone conversation, Baehr, who is a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, reiterated his concerns about Brzezinski, Power and Malley, calling them "Jimmy Carter retreads."

    "If you have one or two bad apples, OK, but this team is full of them from top to bottom," Baehr said. "This is what the pro-Israel community is most nervous about."

    Kampeas, the JTA correspondent, writes that "much, if not the vast majority, of the material targeting Obama's advisors is distorted and even false," and many Jewish Obama supporters agree.

    Doni Remba
    Doni Remba

    One, former Chicagoan Gidon "Doni" Remba, president and co-founder of the Jewish Alliance for Change, which advocates for Obama in the Jewish community, has dedicated his Web site and newsletter to rebutting what he calls "lies that are spreading virally. A lot of Jews are getting concerned on the basis of a fear and smear campaign, and they're not looking at the facts. This is politics at its worst," he said in a recent conversation.

    He said that information in the American Thinker by Baehr and Northbrook's Ed Lasky "looks like a very serious essay, but it is all based on distortions, misleading information, twisting statements, statements taken out of context and downright false information."

    For instance, Remba said, Brzezinski "was not an advisor to Obama on Israel, just somebody who had a couple of conversations with him about Iraq." (The Obama campaign confirmed that neither Brzezinski, Power nor Malley advised Obama on Israel-related issues.)

    "The critics ignore the fact that McCain had as much or more of a relationship with these same anti-Israel advisors. McCain said he would consider appointing seasoned hands, people like Brzezinski and James Baker (secretary of state for the first President Bush). Obama said he would never consider using Baker. People ignore that.

    "The most prominent smear is that he is secretly not pro-Israel, but everything he has done and said, his entire record of years of public life, all the legislation he sponsored is pro-Israel," Remba said, accusing Obama's Jewish detractors of "bringing up very tangential things and twisting them in such as way as to arouse people's fears.

    "I saw it in my own family," he said. "A lot of Jews, they are getting these e-mails. I got them from my uncle, my cousins, my family in Israel and other parts of the country. People are saying, is this true? Their fears have been aroused."

    On the Israel question, some Jews see the fact that Dennis Ross, President Clinton's Middle East envoy and chief negotiator who served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, is advising Obama on Israel as a reassuring sign. Joy Malkus, research director for the Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs, a Chicago-based political action committee that supports Israel, church-state separation and reproductive choice, said members of the PAC "are comfortable with where (Obama) stands as far as Israel is concerned. Especially now that Dennis Ross has come to work for him, we have no concerns whatsoever as far as his position on Israel goes." The PAC has endorsed Obama but will not be supporting him financially because he is not accepting money from PACs.

    Malkus said the PAC decided to support Obama because "McCain's voting record (on Israel) is perfect so there's no reason to think he would not be excellent on Israel but he does not meet our domestic criteria."

    She said she thinks some Jews are uncomfortable with Obama because of his shorter voting record, but said that "I find it disappointing. I don't think you can just base (your vote) on the length of a voting record. He's surrounding himself with people who care about moving the process forward and having a two-state solution that works. If people have questions, they should look back at what (Dennis) Ross has written. He is quite a strong person to have in your corner." The PAC, she said, is "strongly in favor of the U.S. facilitating whatever is necessary to move the peace process forward, and that's where Obama stands on Israel."

    Baehr counters such arguments from Jewish supporters. "I don't see the fact that some major scions of the Jewish community support (Obama) as meaning he is pro-Israel," he said. "In the Senate, he has behaved more traditionally and signed on to most resolutions that AIPAC would consider pro-Israel. But now and then something slips out." He cited a 2004 interview in which Obama was critical of the Israeli security wall and his more recent statement, to Cleveland Jewish leaders, that being pro-Israel doesn't mean being pro-Likud.

    "I don't think an American president should decide who he should be for in the Israeli government," Baehr said. "His view of being pro-Israel doesn't mean being sympathetic to the elected leaders of the Israeli people. That's a difficult position to put yourself in."

    He said another "bothersome factor" is that people in Obama's Hyde Park neighborhood said "he wasn't reticent about arguing that American policy is too pro-Israel and needed more balance. The general perception is that he was a Palestinian sympathizer. That doesn't mean he is hostile to Jews or Israel but he is not a strong Israel supporter.

    "Now he's saying all the right things and voting the right way, but there are a whole bunch of little threads out there that make people nervous," Baehr said. "Nobody questioned whether McCain or Hillary (Clinton) was pro-Israel, but with Obama, there are questions."

    Joel Sprayregen, the Chicago attorney and Israel activist, said that he worries about Obama's lack of experience, his foreign policy advisors, and "the fact that he was so wrong on the surge in Iraq," which Obama opposed. Many Americans believe that the added troop deployment known as the surge has made Iraq safer.

    Sprayregen said that while he is encouraged that so many thoughtful and committed Jews are in Obama's camp, he believes that "Jews still tend to vote Democratic in knee-jerk fashion thinking they're still voting for FDR's New Deal. Too many Jews do not take into account the fact that President Bush has been enormously supportive of Israel. I think we have no better guide than (Connecticut senator) Joe Lieberman, a true liberal on domestic issues, as to which of his senatorial colleagues is more qualified to be commander-in-chief." Lieberman is supporting McCain.

    The supporters

    If Obama has a way to go to garner solid Jewish support in other parts of the country, in Chicago it seems solid and growing.

    Some of his champions are longtime friends like Rabbi Wolf of KAM, who worries that Jews who don't know Obama think of him as "remote." "It may be the Muslim element in his background, it may be that he's black. Jews are like everybody else, they have some questions about a black president," Wolf said.

    But he may understand Obama's background better than most. When people ask him if Obama is "tough enough," he says, "When you come up in Chicago politics, you better be tough."

    He believes Obama is "very cautious. Whenever we talked about issues, I would always be more radical than he. He listened a lot but said very little. He'll listen and listen and you don't always know what he thinks. He knows as much as any of us about the Middle East, and he hasn't said a word about the Palestinians that President Bush hasn't already said."

    Many Jews may have been more friendly to Hillary Clinton, he said, because "she is more of a known quantity. You know, the Jews can't stand not to worry. Nobody (in politics) is against Israel, they can't afford to be, why should they be? He knows more than most people do about the (Middle East) situation, but he's going to go very cautiously and not do anything that shakes up the Jewish community. I'm not sure I agree with that, but that's what's going to happen."

    He would advise Obama to "make his Jewish supporters more visible. He could mention them, put them forward, be proud of the Jewish community's support."

    The rabbi's own feeling is that Obama is "sort of Jewish in a way. His overachieving is Jewish, his intellectualism is Jewish, even his charisma has a Jewish side. Maybe I feel it more strongly than others do, but I feel like he's one of us.

    "I like McCain too, but he ain't one of us," he added.

    One of Obama's most ardent Chicago supporters is Jack S. Levin, an attorney practicing international law and a longtime community activist who said he is not a Democrat but an independent who "supports candidates I think are superior. I am not a down-the-line Democrat or Republican and I don't support mediocre candidates. I support Barack because I think he would be best for our country," he said.

    Levin has known Obama for more than 15 years, since Levin served on the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee and met the young law student. "Members of the Visiting Committee don't typically take much note of students, but he was outstanding, an absolutely standout student," he said.

    He became reacquainted with Obama when he served in the Illinois Senate and sponsored legislation that would help to create jobs by bringing more private equity and venture capital to the state, one of Levin's areas of expertise. He continued to be so impressed with Obama that now he serves on his campaign finance, tax policy, Jewish community and Middle East committees.

    He calls Obama "a brilliant, far-thinking, organized, thoughtful super kind of person. He has wonderful thoughts and ideas and he soaks up experiences in moments that it would take other people years to get. He is jumping in knowledge year by year. His grasp of ideas and concepts and ability to understand what other people are thinking is wonderful."

    Having served in the office of the Solicitor General in Washington, Levin said he has many friends who have worked in the White House, and believes that "the most important attribute of a president is the ability to think, reason, absorb information and make decisions when there is conflicting advice, and Obama is just terrific at that.

    "You can give all the speeches you want to about how you would handle issues, but (as president) 100 times a day things cross your desk that you had never thought of, and (a president needs) a great ability to think and grasp, to do the right thing, to analyze the conflicting advice being received and work it out and say, this is the course we should take.

    "No one is as good as Obama at hearing conflicting views, thoughts, advice and ideas, at looking at a complex problem and implementing solutions," he said.

    Levin said he does much international travel and what those trips have shown him is that "our country has turned into a pariah on the world stage. For the last few years, our leaders have not been people who could interrelate well with other world leaders. We are reviled, not respected."

    Obama, he said, "is going to be the closest there is to someone who is able to restore some modicum of respect internationally."

    Levin said he has worked with Obama for years on many issues and that the senator has always been a strong supporter of Israel.

    As for Jewish community support, he said that "here in Chicago, people know him better than other places, and the vast majority of the Jewish leadership of Chicago support him wholeheartedly. We know he would be best for Israel and for the United States. I think it is an issue of Obama getting better known in Florida, New York and other places where the Jewish community hasn't yet had the opportunity to touch hands with him and realize how wise and capable he is and how strongly he supports Israel."

    Why the distrust?

    A number of Obama's Jewish supporters have set about figuring out why some Jews - especially in other states - are distrustful of him. Abner Mikva said that the "unknown" factor is strong. Jews "were distrustful of (John) Kerry, (Al) Gore, (Bill) Clinton before he ran, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson. It goes all the way back. The first time I was campaigning for John F. Kennedy, I stopped at somebody's door, a Jewish voter, and he said, you know he's an anti-Semite. His father was, so he must be."

    Another factor, Mikva said, is one that "always bothers and embarrasses me about my co-religionists. A piece of our community still thinks of African Americans as schvartzes - somehow not sufficiently educated or smart enough to occupy the White House. All I can say to that is, they're wrong. I think (Obama) will turn out to be one of the greatest presidents we've ever had."

    He said he once tried to explain to Obama why some parts of the Jewish community didn't support him. "I said, Barack, it wouldn't matter if your name was Sholem Aleichem, there's some segments of the Jewish community you wouldn't get. He said, well, my name is Baruch Obama." (During his 2004 campaign, Obama, visiting a Jewish center for the aged in Boston, discussed the etymological relationship of his first name, which means "blessed" in Swahili, to its Hebrew counterpart, Baruch.)

    On the racial issue, Remba, the president of the Jewish Alliance for Change, agreed that "some people from an older generation have a very different experience in their lives with black Americans than people even in their 40s and 50s. Middle-aged and younger people have grown up in integrated America and are very comfortable and used to working with blacks, knowing them as friends and neighbors, viewing them in a way that race doesn't matter."

    To some people, including Jews, who grew up in an older era, "your whole experience of black people is they come from the wrong side of the tracks, they're associated with crime, with danger, they're poor, gang related. If your whole experience of black people is the South Side of Chicago - not Hyde Park - you would have a sort of fearful set of associations."

    He said he believes some "holdover of these associations and biases" may be in play with Obama's candidacy, but many Jews may be able to overcome it. "The vast majority of Jews, including older Jews, can judge Obama as an individual, an American, someone who has been so close to so many people in the Jewish community of Chicago for so many years. When they get to see who he is, I hope they'll put aside their fears," he said.

    Those fears have been stoked by e-mails to pro-Israel activists warning that if Obama is elected, Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will have prominent places in his administration, as well as a cartoon published earlier this year in the Israeli newspaper Maariv showing Obama painting the White House black.

    Alan Solow
    Alan Solow

    Still most of Obama's Jewish supporters believe it is the Israel issue, not racial politics, that may be keeping some Jews from endorsing him. Alan Solow, a Chicago attorney, community leader and former chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council who has known Obama for many years, said he would like to put those fears to rest.

    He has known Obama since both lived in Hyde Park and began actively supporting him during his U.S. Senate bid. "Working on his behalf, I had the opportunity to have many discussions with him on a wide range of issues," he said. "I have always been delighted with the way he approaches problems and I've become more impressed as time has gone on."

    On the Israel question, Solow said Obama's entire public policy approach, statements and votes "all consistently point to a position that is very helpful to strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. There isn't one single action or vote that anyone can point to that would cast any doubt on what his position would be," he said.

    Beyond foreign policy, Solow said, "I think his positions are much more consistent with the vast majority of the Jewish community - the right to choose, separation of church and state, social justice issues generally. The Jewish community ought to be looking at those issues as well." He said that although many Jews don't feel they know Obama as well as they do Hillary Clinton or John McCain, he has a "long consistent record" of pro-Israel support. "People should look at what his record is and not say, we still don't know," he said.

    On the question of inexperience, Obama's old friend Ira Silverstein said, "Look, McCain has been around longer, but we've had President Bush in there and he was a governor, the head of a major league baseball team, and look at our economy. I've seen (Obama) work in the Senate. I've seen him. He can bring people together. I know him personally. Leadership? I

  10. #10
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    Stafi io obames athere :

    U.S. Treasury Department:

    Timothy F. Geithner(Jewish spouse: Carole M. Sonnenfeld) – Secretary of the Treasury

    Neal S. Wolin(Ashkenazi Jew) – Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

    Rosa G. “Rosie” Rios(Mestizo) – Treasurer of the United States

    Mark A. Patterson(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chief of Staff to Secretary of the Treasury

    Matthew Kabaker(Ashkenazi Jew) – Deputy Assistant Secretary, Counselor to the Secretary

    Lewis A. “Lee” Sachs(Ashkenazi Jew) – Counselor to the Secretary

    Gene B. Sperling(Ashkenazi Jew) – Counselor to the Secretary

    Lewis Alexander(Ashkenazi Jew) – Counselor to the Secretary

    Richard L. “Jake” Siewert, Jr.(Ashkenazi Jew) – Counselor to the Secretary

    Jeffrey A. Goldstein(Ashkenazi Jew) – Under Secretary for Domestic Finance

    Michael S. Barr(Ashkenazi Jew) – Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutitions

    Mary J. Miller(Ashkenazi Jew) – Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets

    Timothy Massad(Ashkenazi Jew) – Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability

    Richard Gregg(Ashkenazi Jew) – Fiscal Assistant Secretary

    Alan B. Krueger(Ashkenazi Jew) – Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy

    George W. Madison – General Counsel

    Lael Brainard(Ashkenazi Jew) – Under Secretary for International Affairs

    Ben S. Bernanke(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chairman, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System

    Janet L. Yellen(Ashkenazi Jew) – Vice Chairman, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System

    William C. Dudley(Ashkenazi Jew) – President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

    Lee C. Bollinger(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chairman, Board of Directors, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

    Timothy F. Geithner(Jewish spouse: Carole M. Sonnenfeld) – Secretary, United States Department of the Treasury

    Neal S. Wolin(Ashkenazi Jew) – Deputy Secretary, United States Department of the Treasury

    Gary F. Locke(Chinese) – Secretary, United States Department of Commerce

    Rebecca M. Blank(Ashkenazi Jew) – Acting Deputy Secretary, United States Department of Commerce

    Hilda L. Solis – Secretary, United States Department of Labor

    Seth D. Harris(Ashkenazi Jew) – Deputy Secretary, United States Department of Labor

    Steven Chu(– Secretary, United States Department of Energy

    Daniel B. Poneman(Ashkenazi Jew) – Deputy Secretary, United States Department of Energy

    Gene B. Sperling(Ashkenazi Jew) – Director, National Economic Council

    Alan B. Krueger(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers

    Jacob J. Lew(Ashkenazi Jew) – Director, Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

    Paul A. Volcker(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chairman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board

    Ron Bloom(Ashkenazi Jew) – Senior Counselor for Manufacturing Policy to the President

    Steven L. Rattner(Ashkenazi Jew) – Director, Presidential Task Force on the Automotive Industry

    Jared Bernstein(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser to the Vice President

    Fred P. Hochberg(Ashkenazi Jew ) – Chairman and President, Export-Import Bank of the United States

    Ronald Kirk(Negro) – U.S. Trade Representative, Office of the United States Trade Representative

    Douglas H. Shulman(Ashkenazi Jew) – Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service (IRS),,id=98192,00.html

    David A. Lebryk – Commissioner, Financial Management Service (FMS)

    Van Zeck( – Commissioner, Bureau of the Public Debt

    Debbie Matz(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chairman, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)

    Martin J. Gruenberg(Ashkenazi Jew) – Acting Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

    John E. Bowman(Ashkenazi Jew) – Director, Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)

    John Walsh – Acting Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

    Edward DeMarco – Acting Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)

    Donna J. Gambrell(Negro) – Director, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI)

    Karen G. Mills(Ashkenazi Jew) – Administrator, Small Business Administration (SBA)

    Michael J. Astrue(Ashkenazi Jew) – Commissioner, Social Security Administration (SSA)

    Jon D. Leibowitz(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chairman, Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

    Gary G. Gensler(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

    Mary L. Schapiro(Ashkenazi Jew) – Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

    Daniel L. Goelzer(Ashkenazi Jew) – Acting Chairman, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)

    Kenneth R. Feinberg(Ashkenazi Jew) – Special Master for Executive Compensation, U.S. Treasury Department

    Neil M. Barofsky(Ashkenazi Jew) – Special Inspector General, Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)

    Adam J. Szubin(Ashkenazi Jew) – Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

    Eric Hampl(Ashkenazi Jew) – Director, Treasury Executive Office of Asset Forfeiture (TEOAF)
    (no picture available)

    James H. Freis, Jr.(Ashkenazi Jew) – Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

    Edmund C. Moy – Director, United States Mint

    Larry R. Felix– Director, Bureau of Engraving and Printing

    Douglas W. Elmendorf(Ashkenazi Jew) – Director, Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

    Gene L. Dodaro(White European) – Comptroller General, United States Government Accountability Office (GAO)

    Daniel K. “Dan” Inouye – Chairman, United States Senate Committee on Appropriations

    Timothy P. “Tim” Johnson( – Chairman, United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

    Max S. Baucus(White European) – Chairman, United States Senate Committee on Finance

    Mary L. Landrieu – Chairman, United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

    Harold D. “Hal” Rogers( – Chairman, United States House Committee on Appropriations

    Frederick S. “Fred” Upton– Chairman, United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce

    Henry A. Waxman(Ashkenazi Jew) – Ranking Member, United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce

    Spencer T. Bachus III(– Chairman, United States House Committee on Financial Services

    Barney Frank(Ashkenazi Jew l) – Ranking Member, United States House Committee on Financial Services
    Ndryshuar pėr herė tė fundit nga HFTengineer : 08-11-2016 mė 23:19

  11. #11
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    The news that Tim Geithner, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary, was hired as president of the private-equity firm Warburg Pincus has inspired a lot of commentary about the “revolving door” between government and Wall Street. Some have wondered what Geithner’s move to Wall Street suggests about his independence during a powerful twenty-five-year career in the U.S. government. Here’s a confession: I’ve been through that revolving door myself. During twelve years in the U.S. financial sector, I went back and forth between the two worlds, working sometimes as a government official and, at other times, as a Wall Street executive.

    I argued last week in the Wall Street Journal that my former employer on the government side, the Federal Reserve, has stopped acting independently from Wall Street. Back in the spring of 2003, though, I was only a couple of years into working at the Fed’s New York branch (the New York Fed, for short)—essentially the U.S. central bank’s operational command center. I was still a relatively green attorney supporting the Fed’s various financial-services businesses. Geithner was even newer to the New York Fed than I was. A career bureaucrat at the U.S. Treasury Department and the International Monetary Fund, he was also new to the world of Wall Street—a highly unusual background for a New York Fed president.

    Of all places, I met Geithner on a basketball court. The New York Fed’s gym, at its downtown Manhattan headquarters, wasn’t fancy; imagine the dilapidated space those high-schoolers used in the movie “Hoosiers.” The New York Fed’s staffers, myself included, used it for pickup basketball games twice a week. A few months into his new job, Geithner started showing up at our Monday-night sessions. I was immediately impressed by Geithner’s jump shot. It was incredibly accurate—beautiful to watch. Soon, I became even more impressed by Geithner’s exceptional talent for interacting with all of us—a hodge-podge of New York Fed employees ranging from economists to janitors. During the games, he would often remain quiet, appearing to focus intensely on the action. But just when you wondered if he was annoyed by our persistent smack talk, he would let out a quip or a small personal jibe; inevitably, the rest of us would erupt in laughter.

    Apparently, Geithner was getting to know Wall Street in the same amiable way he was getting to know all of us. Geithner’s constant calls and contacts with Wall Street during his time as New York Fed president never would have been obvious to someone like me. I was only a junior Federal Reserve officer. I read about them afterward, in the newspaper, like everyone else. But, relatively soon after Geithner began leading the Fed’s New York branch, I was struck by the way in which he was recruiting Wall Street veterans to fill senior roles. When I’d arrived, the New York Fed had been an institution that almost invariably promoted from within its own ranks. Under Geithner’s leadership, the New York Fed now brought in an executive vice-president from JPMorgan Chase to run its corporate group, along with a general auditor from American Express. Most tellingly, he also hired William Dudley, who had previously worked as the chief economist at Goldman Sachs, to run the Fed’s trading floor. It seemed that Geithner’s relative lack of familiarity with the U.S. banking sector was making him lean on Wall Street veterans to compensate. In other words, Geithner hadn’t come through any revolving door himself, but he was building one at the New York Fed.

    My last pickup game with the New York Fed president came sometime in 2007. I know because I left the Fed soon afterward. Frustrated with what I perceived as a progressive loss of independence from Wall Street, I decided to try something new. I took a job at an investment bank.

    My decision to go to Wall Street was driven mainly by my disappointment with the Fed, not by a desire for money or prestige. This may sound dubious, but in my new environment, I believe that I remained true to my Fed training. If I was now asked to opine on a thorny accounting issue or a questionable trade, I still approached the issue as I would have done as a central banker. I still believed wholeheartedly in the public-service mission of the Fed. Indeed, when the Fed recruited me back to help during the financial crisis, I returned—only to find myself disillusioned all over again. I went back to Wall Street once more, and then finally decided to take a teaching position at a business school and try to help improve the U.S. financial sector from the outside.

    In other words, I’ve been through the revolving door myself many times; the experience has taught me that working both on Wall Street and in Washington doesn’t in itself compromise a person’s independence. And yet, watching Geithner from a distance as he continued to lead the New York Fed and then went on to join the Obama Administration, I maintained my belief that he was deferring too much to Wall Street. I’m not talking about his actions during the Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers meltdowns in 2008, when Geithner helped orchestrate the central bank’s emergency responses. I believe that the Fed—led by its New York branch—did what was needed to stabilize a collapsing U.S. banking sector.

    I’m talking instead about Geithner’s time as Treasury Secretary. For all the hope and change promised by the Obama Administration, Geithner’s approach seemed remarkably similar to that of his Republican predecessor, the former Goldman Sachs C.E.O. Hank Paulson. Sure, there were strategic moments of political theater—like when, in December of 2009, Geithner blasted Wall Street for giving out record bonuses a little more than a year after Lehman Brothers’s bankruptcy, telling Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt that none of the big U.S. banks “would have survived” without government assistance. But, during his entire tenure in Washington, Geithner never publicly advocated for a truly forceful and clean revamp of Wall Street. A return to Glass-Steagall-style reforms that would have re-imposed clear boundaries on the activities of different types of U.S. banks? Forget about it. Instead, Geithner helped usher through Congress the convoluted and less effective Dodd-Frank legislation, much of which we’re still waiting to see implemented. Not surprisingly, the idea persists in the minds of the American public that Washington still isn’t back on the side of Main Street.

    In his 2011 book “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President,” the journalist Ron Suskind wrote that, in March of 2009, President Obama ordered Geithner to prepare a plan for winding down Citigroup—not only one of the world’s biggest banks but one of its most poorly performing. It’s uncertain whether such a breakup would have been feasible, but, if there was a time for the Treasury Department to consider it, here it was. As the story went, Geithner ignored the order.

    The Treasury denied Suskind’s narrative. Nevertheless, given what I’ve seen of Geithner’s approach both inside and outside the Fed, the idea behind it seems plausible: Geithner, once a Wall Street neophyte, had become a Wall Street authority, and used that authority to influence President Obama and other lawmakers to be more accommodating to the big banks.

    Which brings me back to the topic of Geithner’s new position at Warburg Pincus. Geithner praised the firm, in its press release, for having “an excellent record of performance, a very compelling global strategy, and an ethical reputation of the highest regard.” According to that press release, Geithner will work “on over-all firm strategy and management, investing and portfolio management, organizational and funding structure, and investor relations.” It is unclear, from the news accounts I have seen, whether Geithner’s role will include communicating—formally or informally—with his former colleagues in government on policy issues affecting private-equity firms. Am I worried about the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington? Deeply. But, when it comes to Geithner specifically, my concern at this point isn’t about how Wall Street may have influenced him in the past. I’m more worried by how Geithner—as a revered government veteran on Wall Street—may influence Washington in the future.

  12. #12
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    We’ve already made our choice for the best headline of the year, so far: “Citigroup Replaces JPMorgan as White House Chief of Staff.”

    When we saw it on the website we had to smile — but the smile didn’t last long. There’s simply too much truth in that headline; it says a lot about how Wall Street and Washington have colluded to create the winner-take-all economy that rewards the very few at the expense of everyone else.

    The story behind it is that Jack Lew is President Obama’s new chief of staff — arguably the most powerful office in the White House that isn’t shaped like an oval. He used to work for the giant banking conglomerate Citigroup. His predecessor as chief of staff is Bill Daley, who used to work at the giant banking conglomerate JPMorgan Chase, where he was maestro of the bank’s global lobbying and chief liaison to the White House. Daley replaced Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who once worked as a rainmaker for the investment bank now known as Wasserstein & Company, where in less than three years he was paid a reported eighteen and a half million dollars.

    The new guy, Jack Lew – said by those who know to be a skilled and principled public servant – ran hedge funds and private equity at Citigroup, which means he’s a member of the Wall Street gang, too. His last job was as head of President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget, where he replaced Peter Orzag, who now works as vice chairman for global banking at – hold on to your deposit slip — Citigroup.

    Still with us? It’s startling the number of high-ranking Obama officials who have spun through the revolving door between the White House and the sacred halls of investment banking. Sure, you can argue that it makes sense that the chief executive of the nation would look to other executives for the expertise you need to build back from the disastrous collapse of the banks in the final year of the Bush Administration. Remember — it was Bush and Cheney with their cronies in big business who helped walk us right into the blast furnace of financial meltdown, then rushed to save the banks with taxpayer money. That little fact seems to have been overlooked in the current primaries.

    All this brings back memories of Hank Paulson, doesn’t it? Hank Paulson, the $700 million man who became secretary of the treasury for President Bush. Paulson had been head of Goldman Sachs, the rich investment bank. As his successor at Goldman Sachs, Paulson chose Lloyd Blankfein. Several times, according to Bloomberg News, Rolling Stone, and Paulson’s own memoir, the treasury secretary made sure Blankfein and Goldman got privileged inside information.

    But Bush and Cheney aren’t the only ones to have a soft spot for financiers. President Obama may call bankers “fat cats” and stir the rabble against them with populist rhetoric when it serves his interest, but after the fiscal fiasco, he allowed the culprits to escape virtually scot-free. When he’s in New York he dines with them frequently and eagerly accepts their big contributions. Like his predecessors, his administration also has provided them with billions of taxpayer dollars – low-cost money that they used for high-yielding investments to make big profits. The largest banks are bigger than they were when he took office and earned more in the first two-and-a-half years of his term than they did during the entire eight years of the Bush administration. That’s confirmed by industry data.

    And get this. It turns out, according to The New York Times, that as President Obama’s inner circle has been shrinking, his “rare new best friend” is Robert Wolf. They play basketball, golf, and talk economics when Wolf is not raising money for the president’s campaign.

    Robert Wolf runs the U.S. branch of the giant Swiss bank UBS, which participated in schemes to help rich Americans evade their taxes. During hearings in 2009, Michigan’s Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the permanent subcommittee on investigations, described some of the tricks used by UBS: “Swiss bankers aided and abetted violations of U.S. tax law by traveling to this country with client code names, encrypted computers, counter- surveillance training, and all the rest of it, to enable U.S. residents to hide assets and money in Swiss accounts.

    “The bankers then returned to Switzerland and treated their conduct as blameless since Swiss law says tax evasion is no crime. The Swiss bank before us deliberately entered United States, actively sought U.S. clients and secretly helped those U.S. clients defraud the United States of America.”

    And so it goes, the revolving door between government service and big money in the private sector spinning so fast it becomes an irresistible force hurling politics and high finance together so completely it’s impossible to tell one from the other.

  13. #13
    i/e regjistruar Maska e HFTengineer

    Pėr: Obama pejse e sistemit neoliberal neocnsrevatist qe sot po mbron hillarin dhe kush e beri pre

    Last week, we noted that Rahm Emanuel’s brief but profitable stint as an investment banker highlights the revolving door swinging between Washington and Wall Street. Two stories in particular, one from the Chicago Tribune in 2003 and the other from Fortune Magazine in 2006, have detailed Emanuel’s days as a banker, which earned him more than $18 million in less than three years.

    Today, Politico examines a major deal Emanuel worked on as the Chicago-based managing director for the now-defunct investment bank Wasserstein Perella, headed by Bruce Wasserstein, a major Democratic donor. The deal involved a $16 billion merger that created Exelon Corp., now one of the nation’s largest electric utilities.

    Politico points out that Exelon is in the midst of trying to buy another company, which could create “the nation’s largest power company.” From Politico:

    Emanuel’s elevation to the White House comes at a pivotal time for the company he helped create. Exelon is now involved in a hostile takeover bid for the assets of NRG Energy ...

    The deal potentially faces a host of regulatory and government approvals, and industry insiders will be watching to see that Exelon is treated fairly by the Obama administration ...

    Executives at Exelon declined comment.

    An Emanuel representative said that Exelon won’t get any special favors from the White House. “Serving the American people and President Obama is Congressman Emanuel’s only priority,” the representative said.

    The Washington Post also recently noted that Emanuel is still close with Exelon’s CEO, John Rowe. Emanuel reportedly called Rowe “while he was shopping at a bookstore and agonizing over the toll that a move back to the White House would take.”

Ruaj Lidhjet

Regullat e Postimit

  • Ju nuk mund tė hapni tema tė reja.
  • Ju nuk mund tė postoni nė tema.
  • Ju nuk mund tė bashkėngjitni skedarė.
  • Ju nuk mund tė ndryshoni postimet tuaja.