A Missed Opportunity? Obama’s Economic Plan

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Crossposted from our New Media site Antemedius: still under construction, but come on over and kick the tires!

Political Economist F William Engdahl is author of the book “A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order.” Mr Engdhahl has written on issues of energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning with the first oil shock in the early 1970s. Mr. Engdahl contributes regularly to a number of publications including Asia Times Online, Asia, Inc, Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Foresight magazine; Freitag and ZeitFragen newspapers in Germany and Switzerland respectively.

Speaking with Paul Jay of The Real News about President Obama’s stimulus package and newly announced budget, Engdahl says the fundamental causes of the economic crisis were missed, and opines that until President Obama reinstates Glass-Steigel restraints on banking which were repealed by the Clinton administration in 1999 and begins to re-regulate the financial system, there will not be a flow of healthy credit into the healthy economy.

Real News – March 1, 2009 – 11 min 52 sec

Taking on the banking cabal

Engdahl: President Obama has left intact a brain dead banking system that is out of control


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    • Edger on March 2, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    before the house of cards collapses?

    • Viet71 on March 2, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Just wow.

    Opposing Obama’s economic moves is not popular with some, so I’ll put it this way:

    Geithner’s a fucking idiot.

    Thanks, Edger.

  1. (1) Obama is not stupid.

    (2) Geithner and Summers helped lay the basis for the financial bubble and its inevitable implosion.

    (3) Geithner and Summers fail to recognize their own culpability and are incapable of ever recognizing that their paradigm of unregulated markets has utterly failed the real world test.

    (4) Geithner, Summers, and ninth-inning reliever Bernanke (and Paulson before Geithner) are desperately and busily tinkering with the faucets of the Titanic, which is currently stern-upwards and pointing straight down.

    (5) Obama, unless he becomes stupid, will eventually figure out that Geithner, Summers, and Bernanke are essentially seeking to protect and preserve the interests of the Big Money Boyz, not the best interests of the American public. In short, Obama will realize–like Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Volcker, and Nouriel Roubini already seem to realize–that incremental tinkering with the faucets of the Titanic is not going to work.

    (6) And by then the economy will have such downward momentum that even the medieval party of Rush Limbaugh will not be able to continue its generation-long campaign to revive the Middle Ages, where the lords of the manor could extract corvée from the serfs and pay no wages or provide no benefits at all.

    (7) And then, as Obama surely knows, can come the Great Restructuring. What will be the new model? Why not adopt the best features of the economies, infrastructures, health care systems, and criminal justice systems of such countries as Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, France, the UK, Germany, and Spain–while trying to maintain and enhance the continued excellence of U.S. higher education and its research relationships with industry (economically productive industries–not merely the nonproductive sinkhole of the defense industries)?

    (8) How long will it take? At the current rate of descent, the U.S. and world economies should be utterly submerged by early 2010. By then even Republicans–other than the Rush Limbaugh diehards–may be ready to accept Change.

    So, in a nutshell:

    -Obama is not stupid.

    -Geithner, Summers, and Bernanke are clueless (or at the very least, timid) tinkerers who lack the capacity to right the ship.

    -Therefore, confronted by utter economic collapse, Obama will be compelled to change crews and ships and steer an entirely new economic and social course within the next year.

  2. had been clearer about when they’re talking about TARP, when they’re talking about Obama’s budget, and when they’re talking about legislation that would restore regulations in the financial industry. They seemed to go from one to the other without distinguishing the various subjects.

    They really didn’t talk about Obama’s budget at all and what kinds of regulations are needed – this was more a critique of TARP focused mostly on the personalities involved in administering it.  

  3. …the most plausible of any I’ve heard.  I believe Obama’s motivations are good.  I am dismayed by his cabinet choices (especially in the Economic and War areas).  I ask myself how to reconcile these seemingly opposite ideas.  To answer this dilemna I have made up a new verb.

    Much of what Obama has done has been to wisely keep himself from being “Kuciniched.”  The Big Money Boyz are still in charge and he knows it; they would have Kuciniched him fast if he had appointed the likes of Roubini, Krugman, Stiglitz or James K. Galbraith rather than Geithner and Lare the Slummers.  

    As FMA says:

    So why did Obama choose these two? Perhaps because they are both well regarded by the financial establishment and provide a comfort level to the Big Boyz. In short, give the Big Boyz and the Establishment what they want just to prove that mere improvisational tinkering can’t fix a a total wreck. But only when even their best efforts to prop up the whole, rotten, imploding Ponzi Economy inevitably fail will it finally become politically possible to make major structural reforms.

    I think Obama appointed these smug neanders because he had to if his plans are to have any chance of ultimate success.  Yes, it’s risky.  Yes, it’s dangerous.  But it is a delicate balancing act through which his words of empathy and working for a more equitable society might be realized.  

    I wish him well and hope and pray that the higher instincts of his nature may win out over this quagmire of greed and corruption which is the rotting flesh of the USA.

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