Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 7 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/6/09

Worrying and Puzzling Over Obama and the Banks

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   1 comment
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler
Become a Fan
  (31 fans)

I've been feeling more pain, again, where I contemplate the situation before us. It was a wonderful time, from Election Eve through the Innauguration.

But now we've gone a ways into this administration, and not everything I see is as reassuring as I'd like.

So I'm worrying. I'm worrying that our guy, Obama, may blow it, that he may be making mistakes that would be too costly to countenance.

Here are two things I believe to be true:

1) The success of Obama's presidency depends upon his successfully rescuing us from this financial/economic disaster he inherited. If he succeeds, the American people will follow him to all kinds of good places, and he will be the Transformational President that he has it in his heart and soul to be, and that I devoutly hope that he'll be able to be. But if he fails at this, the American people will turn away from his leadership.

That's a shame, since fixing the economy is not as right down Obama's alley as the kinds of things that are of the heart and soul and vision and moral conviction. But that's the hand he's been dealt.

2) The second thing I believe is that the key to solving the economic problem --declining production, rising unemployment, falling markets-- is properly addressing the banking problem. Get the banking situation squared away OK, and we'll bottom out and at least sooner or later rise, and people will feel OK. We know how to do "recession," and that's a whole lot better than the scary position the economy is in now.

We need for Obama to be very, very competent right now. And in some ways he does seem competent. But the economists I find most persuasive now on the issue of the banking crisis –people like Paul Krugman and Robert Kuttner and Dean Baker—seem deeply concerned that the Obama/Geithner approach is wrong-headed and inadequate.

So I’m worried: so much rides on his getting this right.


And I’m puzzled: why are the Obama-ites not following the path that not only liberals like Krugman, but also conservatives like Alan Greenspan, now espouse?

Should I believe that Geithner knows better than Krugman and the others? I somehow doubt it. Besides, Geithner and Krugman seem to me members of the same tribe of mainstream/liberal economists, both outstanding of kind, who speak the same language and likely understand the situation in similar terms. (And Geithner himself is quoted from the 1997 financial crisis saying the very kinds of things that would point toward doing what Krugman et all say to do.)

But if that’s so, why the gap between Krugman’s prescriptions and Geithner’s medicines?

Here’s one idea that occurs to me:

Perhaps the Obamites have combined a strategic political decision with their economic/financial decision.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Andrew Schmookler 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

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (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.
Follow Me on Twitter     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.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

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

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

# 8 Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

Power and Corruption: Just What Is Their Relationship?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend