The extraordinary faith-slash-naivete-slash-stupidity that the Obama administration is showing in the people who made every day April Fools Day for our economy -- save specific auto company executives, of course! -- is vast and wide. But is it also deep? As it turns out, yes! That's the only thing one can draw from the decision to seat Neal Wolin as Deputy Treasury Secretary. Having gained traction and momentum beginning with Greg Sargent's reporting, the Wolin story made its way to the Rachel Maddow Show last night, where Media Monitor Brian C. stuck a big old red flag on it. And with good reason! Wolin, as it turns out, is a real blast-from-the-past where the royal FUBARing of the economy is concerned, as he was a driving force behind the drafting of legislation of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which gutted the Glass-Steagall Act and removed the firewall between commercial and investment banking.
Or, as Maddow puts it, allowed for the creation of "gigantomegacompanies," combining banks and insurance companies into entities for orgiastic superloons to find new and disturbing ways to muck about with wealth. Now, as Maddow reports, the Treasury Department disputes the contention that Wolin was a key author of the GLB Act, that rather, he merely "supervised" a bunch of other lawyers who worked on the Act's drafted, but didn't do any of the drafting itself. Of course, if that's true, then you don't really get to make the "send the mad bomber in to defuse his own bomb" argument to underpin this appointment, and you get to couple that with the idea that Wolin was an absent-minded supervisor, as well.
But I'm sure Wolin is good for something, right? What did Maddow's guest, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi think? "The truth is," Taibbi said, "We should be rounding up anyone who had anything to do with that law and chaining them to a rock in the middle of the ocean."
Can we still afford rocks heavy enough?