Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/22/10

So Long, Summers

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   5 comments
Author 53308
Message Robert Scheer
Become a Fan
  (27 fans)
From Truthdig

Finally! The announced departure of Lawrence Summers as the president's top economic adviser is welcome news. Harvard's loss in taking back its $586,996-a-year professor and "president emeritus," who is also paid millions by Wall Street on the side, is the nation's gain. Maybe now Barack Obama, who hopefully will also push out Summers' prote'ge', Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, will begin to provide an authentic populist alternative to those tea party Republicans who totally absolve Wall Street of responsibility for the economic collapse. But the early signs are not fully reassuring.

As I stated in my column last week, for the umpteenth time urging Summers' dismissal, I expected the president to have kind words for a man who deserved none if he were to be fired. But Obama's effusive praise on Tuesday went well beyond the requirements of professional pink-slip courtesy and suggests that he is still in denial over the role of key Democrats like Summers in getting us into this mess:

"I will always be grateful that at a time of great peril for our country, a man of Larry's brilliance, experience and judgment was willing to answer the call and lead our economic team."

A parsing of that one sentence will reveal much of what is rotten in our political system and distorted in the president's response to the economic crisis he inherited. There is simply no serious accountability when Summers is lionized for his disastrous service and Wall Street's high rollers are bailed out after their stark disgrace. By what standard would one judge as "brilliant" the abysmal performance of Summers both as treasury secretary in the Clinton administration and more recently as a top economic adviser for Obama?

The "great peril" for our country that Obama referred to was a direct result of the radical financial deregulation that Summers helped make law when he worked for Bill Clinton. He led the effort to destroy the career of Brooksley Born, the Clinton-appointed head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission who had the prescience to sound the alarm in the face of a dangerously spiraling market in suspect mortgage packages. Her sensible suggestion in a "concept release" for a study of the risks in those newfangled financial gimmicks horrified Summers, who told a Senate committee:

Click Here to Read Whole Article

 

Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Scheer Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert Scheer is editor in chief of the progressive Internet site Truthdig. He has built a reputation for strong social and political writing over his 30 years as a journalist. He conducted the famous Playboy magazine interview in which Jimmy (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Christopher Hitchens: Reason in Revolt

The Peasants Need Pitchforks

Robert Scheer Hosts Dennis Kucinich -- an Unpredictable American Original

Obama Pulls a Clinton

Geithner and Goldman, Thick as Thieves

How Little We Know About the Origins of 9/11

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: