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12:23 AM on 01/25/2010
oh your right Simon, it pays to be very weary at the moment of what they say and what the actually DO! The American people must adopt the attitude 'doing is believing' and NOT 'seeing is believing'. They are politicians, they will spin everything to make you see things that aren't actually there!

Actions are all that matter!
11:23 PM on 01/24/2010
Complete marketing tool, right down to the timing of its announcement which coincided with GS earnings announcement.
11:06 PM on 01/24/2010
If you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting.
10:46 PM on 01/24/2010
Anyone with half a brain who heard that Obama was planning on reviving the "spirit" of Glass and Steagall knew that Obama was probably prevaricating again; and when Geithner came out with his "clarification" the next day, everyone and his mother definitely knew that Obama was just doing more talk. He has zero intention of ever going against his Wall Street buddies, even if it means destroying the Democratic party.

WE NEED TO PRIMARY CHALLENGE OBAMA IN 2012, or go 3rd party. At this point it's hard to see how Obama would be worse than a Republican, so there's really nothing to lose. If the Democratic establishment decides to back Obama and these fake Wall Street "reforms" then they better like the taste of what they got in MA last week, because they're going to see a whole lot more of it in November.
No owning ideas. Limit only commercial use.
09:54 PM on 01/24/2010
"Secretary Geithner's spin on the Volcker Rule, Thursday night on the Lehrer NewsHour, is in direct contradiction to what the president said. At first, it seemed that Geithner (a href= just off-message(/a). Now it is more likely that he is (still) the message."

The statement attributed to Geithner at that link is about "the largest financial firms", whereas the Volcker Rule is about banks. Those aren't exactly the same firms. AIG, for example, was not a bank but rather an insurance company masquerading as a savings-and-loan. The statement attributed to Geithner says that the size of firms like AIG would be limited; the Volcker Rule would not do so.
09:44 PM on 01/24/2010
This is clearly mere political positioning. The worst thing one can do for the economy is cast a massive cloud of doubt over the future of our financial system. By providing no details, and only talking points, it is extremely clear that this message was not thought out and merely unveiled for political reasons.

Our economy needs a clear path to fixing the problems that caused our current crisis that the entire world can understand. That corrective path must also convince the entire world that the economy will survive. Casting doubt on the economy removes risk appetite, causing credit markets to tighten, leading to stagnation.

Providing no details also sets back the existing progress in Congress on financial regulations. The goal posts have been moved, but we no longer can see them. This is not a good path to recovery.
09:19 PM on 01/24/2010
Professor Johnson,
Your outstanding article only adds further evidence to many of our own unwanted suspicions:

My thoughts seem to mirror your own:

President Obama cannot serve two diametrically opposed masters. He cannot publically pretend to follow the sage advice of Paul Volcker and Elizabeth Warren while retaining Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. He simply cannot have it both ways..... He must choose. Further, his choice on this matter will largely influence the American people's choice in 2012. Moreover, many saw a small ray of hope with last week's banking reform proposals and were eagerly preparing to rally to their newly returned “prodigal son” of a President’s side.

Is the Administration simply playing a populist con in attempting to appear to fight the "Mega-Corporations" knowing full well that it's most probably already too late? Is this change in tone, but a pseudo-populist head fake....A Machiavellian deception solely meant to allow the President to falsely claim the mantle of the "failed trustbuster" who has "fought the good fight.” for the American people?

No amount of pseudo-populist speeches in Ohio or anywhere will obscure the fact that President Obama has inextricably linked his administration and its policies to Wall Street.

Mr. President are you with Volcker, Warren and Black..... or are you with...... Summers, Geithner and Bernanke? The majority of the American people are now following your actions…..not your words.

Make your choice.
11:12 PM on 01/24/2010
>"President Obama cannot serve two diametrically opposed masters. He cannot publically pretend to follow the sage advice of Paul Volcker and Elizabeth Warren while retaining Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. He simply cannot have it both ways..... He must choose."<

See bio on the Aesop Institute website
11:33 PM on 01/24/2010

It is long since time to make that choice and move Summers and Geithner out of the Administration!

Obama must do it without further delay!!!
All Myth is Astronomy
12:36 AM on 01/25/2010
That is it in a nut shell. In that choice is the fate of the first black President. I voted for him. he is a brilliant man. But he is dead wrong on his first year on the economic crisis. he has to choose and come out with reform guns blazing on Wall Street or it is the end of the Democratic Party. The GOP is already fractured by dysfunctional brain chemistry and delusion. So it looks like there will be a new Political Party from all political perspectives in these United States for people who want these crimes avenged. Enough is enough.
07:04 PM on 01/24/2010
Excellent post Mr. Johnson. I urge you to "keep telling it like it is." You are one of a few who seem to consistently get it right. There is absolutely no good reason for this country to allow the dangerously large banks we now have to continue to exist. The argument by some in the Obama Administration, including Geithner, that we need the large banks to be competitive with other countries is just total nonsense. It is just an excuse to keep alive the totally obscene sarlaries that go with the territory at the large banks, who are for the most part criminal organizations in my opinion. Some of them money launder money for organized crime, money launder for the rich to evade taxes, bribe, bid-rig, etc.
If a person worked at a large bank on Wall Street and they informed on wrongdoing at their company, does anyone think that when that person left and went to, or tried to go to, another Wall Street firm that they would be met with open arms? Of course not. Markopolis, in his 60 minutes interview, said that they reason that the Wall Street firms that knew about Madoff did not inform on him was because people in glass houses don't throw stones. In other words, they are a bunch of crooks. He is absoutely right.
06:18 PM on 01/24/2010
White House photo ops prove little. Actions are all that speaks and this administration is seriously deficient in doing much but speechifying.
06:08 PM on 01/24/2010
Simon, you are right. Obama is giving us incoherent mush. If he was serious he would not have Emanuel fighting to get Bernanke reappointed. Obama is in a cocoon. He likes to talk, but retracts from a fight. It's not that he wants to fight clean, it's that he does not want to expend the necessary energy or find the conviction from within. The man does not represent the people. We need to move on and recognize that progressives made a big mistake. Let's identify a genuine voice for the masses. Howard Dean comes to mind.
05:34 PM on 01/24/2010
Very insightful post, Simon, excellent analysis.
05:10 PM on 01/24/2010
What is the Volcker Rule?
All Myth is Astronomy
04:40 PM on 01/24/2010
There was another posting on HP noting that Elizabeth Warren made a special visit to the White House. If one is prone to be positive, the thought might be that Obama is indeed lining up a team to replace the current cast of (bad) characters.
If one is prone to being cynical (it's okay, admit it here--you're among friends) you'd likely think that all of this is still B.S., and Elizabeth Warren was asked to shut up and play along!
06:14 PM on 01/24/2010
I vote for BS.
10:55 PM on 01/24/2010
Yep. More smoke and mirrors with BS piled on top. Obama would sooner cut off his little toe than hurt any of his poor, poor Wall Street banker buddies. When Geithner and crew are tossed out in the cold, then I MIGHT begin to have a different opinion. But that is only the very first thing Obama needs to do.

Before that happens, anyone who votes for this shill or any of his Wall Street shill Democratic cronies in congress needs to get a clue.
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04:38 PM on 01/24/2010
Reform of banks and Wall Street is the number two priority. The nonsense of the last several years cannot be repeated.

getting the economy moving and reducing unemployment is first.

people are having a lot of trouble today.
10:58 PM on 01/24/2010
It can, and will, be repeated as long as Wall Street, err, I mean Obama is in charge.

The financial safety and security of his Wall Street banker buddies is Obama's top priority. Everything else is secondary to him.
04:13 PM on 01/24/2010
If Obama is really serious he would withdrawal Bernanke's nomination.

Another bunch or rhetoric from our "change" President.

Only when he replaces Tim Geithner and Bernanke and isolates Summers he will show that he is finally walking the talk.....
05:32 PM on 01/24/2010
My sentiments exactly.