I sincerely believe that a majority of business-savvy Americans who regularly read the New York Times believe that President Obama should have selected Paul Krugman as his Treasury Secretary. Unlike Timothy Geithner (or chief economic advisor, Lawrence Summers), Krugman was not a part of the rogue operations on Wall Street that brought the world economy to its knees ...AND he was the 2008 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences!
Even though Krugman wasn’t offered this post (and one has to wonder why not), in his New York Times columns and blogs (and an open letter published in RollingStone magazine) Krugman has repeatedly weighed in with free advice. And, with one anomalous exception, his Times articles have been consistently negative on Obama’s bailout and stimulus plans. Below I’ve cut and pasted a few lines from seven recent Paul Krugman columns and one of his latest blogs.
February 8th: “Even if the original Obama plan ... had been enacted, it wouldn’t have been enough to fill the looming hole in the U.S. economy ... Yet the centrists did their best to make the plan weaker and worse.”
February 12th: “Officially, the administration insists that the plan is adequate to the economy’s need. But few economists agree.”
February 19th: “To be sure, the Obama administration is taking action to help the economy, but it’s trying to mitigate the slump, not end it.”
February 27th (anomalous praise): “...I don’t blame Mr. Obama for leaving some big questions unanswered in this budget. There’s only so much long-run thinking the political system can handle in the midst of a severe crisis; he has probably taken on all he can, for now. And this budget looks very, very good.
March 5th: “...there’s a growing sense of frustration, even panic, over Mr. Obama’s failure to match his words with deeds.”
March 8th: “...the plan was too small and too cautious.”
March 22nd: “If the reports are correct, Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the ‘cash for trash’ plan...” “...it fills me with a sense of despair.”
March 23rd: “...administration officials keep saying that there’s no subsidy involved, that investors would share in the downside. That’s just wrong.”
But there is still an “elephant in the room” that Krugman is neither writing nor speaking about. However, it was obliquely alluded to in his interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! yesterday.
At one point Amy asked (likely by pre-agreement): “And this issue of counterparties, a word we’re just learning right now, that AIG gets all of these billions of dollars, and they use some of it to pass through to banks once—well, to entities like Goldman Sachs, to UBS, which had to pay a massive fine to the US government, so we’re paying their fine for violating us?”
I won’t reproduce Paul’s answer here, but rather I want to emphasize that the word counterparty, which Amy is apparently just learning, is a terminology used in the discussion of Credit Default Swaps (CDS). And I want to make the point that Krugman has never mentioned CDS in any of his columns ...OR the notional amount of the “fines” that A.I.G. and the big banks REALLY want us taxpayers to pay them for their having “violated us.”
So why didn’t Amy call the “elephant in the room” by its real name: CDS?
Well, once before I’ve argued that the big businesses that own the mainstream media in general, and the NY Times in particular, have likely banned Krugman from ever mentioning such ugly issues as the existence of evidence for widespread election fraud or the existence and significance of CDS, so long as he remains on their payroll.
In an earlier OpEdNews column I have written about CDS and given some links to authoritative sources of information about them. So here I will only explain the connection between the code word counterparty and the true “elephant in the room.” Apropos, here below are some passages from an extremely informative article by Thomas Tan: