The downgrades in the credit ratings of major banks mean very little to the average consumer, but the downgrade in the credibility of Congress and the mess we have made of our financial regulatory structure should give us all pause.
The Fed has been run like an elite club, handsomely rewarding its banker directors while sacrificing the homeowners and families who most need safeguarding.
Despite their proven effectiveness in many cases, these policy tools are prohibited by U.S. trade and investment policies. Particularly in the wake of the worst financial crisis in 80 years, it's an embarrassingly outmoded position.
It's an uphill climb for Obama to even mildly criticize Mitt Romney for being a vulture capitalist given his lack of accomplishment in holding anyone on Wall Street accountable for the economic carnage they wreaked.
To have Jamie Dimon involved in overseeing the management of the New York Fed, an organization that oversees his activities, decisions, and potential losses, is no longer acceptable. We do not accept such conflicts of interest in other parts of American society.
The protesters consider Geithner the key architect of Obama's economic recovery plan and the loudest voice within the president's inner circle for taking a "hands off" approach to tougher government rules to tame Wall Street's risky practices.
In the diplomatic language of Treasury communications, Mr. Geithner has just told Jamie Dimon to resign from the New York Fed board. It looks bad -- and it is bad -- to have him on the board of this key part of the Federal Reserve System at a time when his bank is under investigation with regard to its large trading losses and the apparent failure of its risk management system. If Mr. Dimon resigns, that is a major humiliation and recognition -- at the highest levels of government -- that even the country's best connected banker has overstepped his limits. If, as seems more likely, Mr. Dimon stays in place, that would be a great victory for the big banks -- and a reminder of who is really in charge of the country.
Fun as it may be to beat up on the arrogant Jamie Dimon for the $2 billion-plus derivatives fiasco at JPMorgan Chase, this is like blaming the lion that ate the kid who got too close to its cage at the zoo, rather than going after the guy who allowed such an unsafe cage to be built.
The degree to which Chen Guangcheng has put the planet's two most powerful nations in uncomfortable positions and forced a delicate diplomatic dance reflects, in part, the rising power of activists and protesters.
Our leaders are no more serious about human rights in China than they are about such conditions in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, for the simple reason that we need what those nations have more than they need us.
It's said that no Wall Street leader, no economist, no legislative committee, no regulator, could predict the perfect storm of all investment assets collapsing at the same time in 2008. I beg to differ.
Given the Republican strategy of take-no-prisoners, the only bipartisanship is capitulation. It's hard to tack back and forth between leadership and appeasement without looking like a captain who's not sure where he's taking the ship. More leadership, please.
While many in the media have blamed the failures on reckless borrowers, the real driver of the crisis is lawless banks offering "bait-and-switch" adjustable rate mortgages.
President Obama should ask Geithner for a completely new short list, one with three real candidates who all want the job, and all of whom can pass muster with the member countries of the World Bank.
Clearly people comfortable in the Washington-Wall Street axis have no sense of shame. They know all too well what Goldman and the other financial swindlers have been up to, causing so much misery for tens of millions throughout the world.
Sachs' public and worldwide campaign to lead the World Bank is unprecedented, but is entirely appropriate to our time.