Friday, September 26, 2008

Can Obama Solve Financial Market Meltdown?

From the Progressives (Critically) for Barack Obama Facebook group that I manage.

Can Obama Solve Financial Market Meltdown?

Obama is lying about his opposition to NAFTA. Obama makes populist promises to Ohio voters while quietly assuring corporate lobbyists not too worry. You know how it is, this is just campaign rhetoric. I’ve got to assuage these people who lost their jobs—they don’t understand globalization. Donate with a clear conscience; you guys can count on me. Our party has a big tent of voters but a small room of decision makers.

And his get tough on Wall Street rhetoric rings a bit hollow, too. While Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson have turned Marx on his head, socializing losses and privatizing profits, Democrats like Obama have been far too meek. And just why is that?

Introducing Robert Rubin, a former Goldman Sachs Chairman, current Citigroup Director and Bill Clinton’s former Treasury Secretary. He was a major force for deregulating the financial industry and pushing “free” trade agreements like NAFTA. He is also one of Obama’s top economic advisors. Wal-Mart friend and Rubin acolyte Jason Furman is also a top advisor. Bad news for Main Street, I think.

More info on Rubin and Furman’s nefarious influence here:

This financial crisis should be a GIFT to any Democratic candidate, yet it is not. Democrats cannot fully exploit this crisis politically because Democrats played a major part in passing the Wall Street friendly laws, like the repeal of FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act, that lead to this disaster in the first place. It is hard to talk populist when you receive $9,873,356 in donations from Wall Street, more than any other presidential candidate (

In all of Congress, Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the only person to have proposed something remotely reasonable. The crux of his proposal is that if a company is too big to fail, then it is too big to exist and that a new tax on the superrich—the people who have benefited from this debacle—is the way to pay for it. Check out my post ( for more info. Maybe someone else in Washington is actually addressing the root causes of this nightmare, but I haven’t heard about it.


Call the Obama campaign and remind him that the American people want him to take a tough stance on Wall Street and dump his corporate economic policy advisors.

If Obama’s office gets 500 calls, they will notice. Your call makes a difference.

PLEASE CALL NOW: (202) 224-2854

Two Demands:
* Get rid of Robert Rubin and Jason Furman. These are the sorts of pro-corporate functionaries that caused the crisis in the first place. They cannot be a part of the solution.

* Any bailout should do the following

- shield the taxpayers from future losses and give us a stake in potential gains.
- reregulate the financial markets & break up companies that are too big to fail!
- help homeowners struggling with foreclosure
- cap CEO compensation—no golden parachutes.
- tax on the superrich to pay for cleaning up this mess.


We currently have 752 members. Let’s get our numbers up to 1,000 by October 1st so we can generate some real pressure on the Obama campaign. If they don’t hear from us, we don’t exist.

Please take a moment and invite three friends to join. It will only take a minute and we can make some real change!


- Dean Baker ( lays down some solid conditions for a Wall Street bailout, including controlling banks lending more money than they have (ie, caps on leverage for financial institutions), the re-nationalization of Fannie and Freddie, support for people losing their homes and strong caps on executive compensation. He also deals with arcane but seriously shady practices like credit default swaps and why they must be regulated.

- A surprisingly good analysis of the crisis by NYT financial columnist ?? ( Surprising because it is the Times, not because I’m familiar with the writer’s work.

- Robert Kuttner discusses how deregulation got us into this mess: (

- And Dan La Botz has an interesting socialist analysis here:

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