Summers also served as Chief Economist of the World Bank, 1991-1993
While Secretary of the Treasury from 1999-2001, Larry Summers worked with the Clinton administration and Congress to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act so that Citicorp could become Citigroup. The Glass-Steagall Act was a reform instituted during the Great Depression to prevent financial concerns from consolidating and becoming "too big to fail." The Graham-Bliley-Leach (bi-partisan) Act that repealed Glass-Steagall was a gift to Wall Street which has wreaked so much havoc today.
Today, Citigroup received another gift from the US government: $25 billion influx of capital (I am still waiting for my bailout) and a guarantee of $300 billion to salvage the company from having to pay the price for their failing mortgage backed securities. It still makes more sense to me to save homeowners from losing their homes, but that's just me. Citigroup was definitely the big winner today, after GM and Ford were sent back to Detroit empty-handed. I don't think any capitalists should be bailed out, but it is hard to figure out the "Plan."
We have decades of economic, security, environmental and war problems to solve and President-Elect Obama is filling his nascent administration with Blue-Tinged Neo-cons (Clinton and Biden, so far) for his foreign policy team and blatant Economic Hitmen for his financial team. These Economic Hitmen, like Larry Sanders and Timothy Geithner who have been practicing their neo-liberal policies of "Shock economics" all over the world and who have been instrumental in our current financial crises, now will be part of the governmental institution that will give them more legitimacy in some eyes for further destruction.
Even though the situation seems dire and even more dire to me because many of the "left-intelligentsia" are falling for rhetoric-based "hope" and are rolling over for it, I still think we do have some things to be thankful for this week.
Personally, I am thankful for my six-month-old Grandson, Jonah, and for my children and friends and family. I am extremely thankful for the huge support that Cindy for Congress garnered over the past year and for our very respectable showing on November 4th. I am thankful for the friends we have made here in San Francisco and for the opportunity to challenge Nancy Pelosi again in 2010.
I am also thankful, that even though we have a "new boss" that is "same as the old boss" transitioning into our White House, George Bush and his criminal cronies will be through infecting our Republic. I am aware that it is the same Empire only with a new cast of characters, but how great will it be not to have to hear George's fake cowboy accent anymore? I am grateful that part of his huge unpopularity is due to the fact that I went down to Texas to camp on his doorstep and point out that not only did the Emperor have no clothes, but he was also a liar and a criminal.
There is still much work to do. When the euphoria wears off of the electorate and the Democrats realize that Obama is not the Messiah they have been waiting for (the Republicans got that "wake up call" from Bush), we have to be here to pick up the pieces. We also have to keep pointing out inconvenient and troubling truths no matter how unpopular it makes us. Once a person has connected the dots, those connections, correlations and truths cannot be easily discarded, and one cannot go back on "Soma vacations" (see Huxley's Brave New World) of denial no matter how tempting that is.