Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Greenspan Clause

Lots of wailing during the past few days about the Wall Street paychecks Larry Summers collected before his current stint in Washington. But on the fairly safe assumption that Obama won't ask him to stay on, less than a year from now Ben Bernanke will be free to receive similar paychecks from the same firms that benefited or survived because of decisions he made. Incredible, isn't it? Eventually Geithner will follow. Instead of waiting until that happens to rant/report on it, commenters/the press should focus on this story right now.

Congress needs to fix this with a blanket restriction that covers all current and future Fed, Treasury, and White House officials involved in the bailouts. Give anyone who feels it will affect his future standard of living a few days to resign without being subject to it. (And wouldn't it be interesting to see who objects or tries to stop it?) It's stunning and shameful that this hasn't been done yet.

For more, be sure to read this post by Glenn Greenwald.


Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...


How can we possibly attract the best, most qualified people to serve in the government -- if we can't guarantee them 6-figure lecture fees and sinecures on the Boards of gigantic defense contractors afterwards?

I heard former President Bush is organizing a Fox Hunting Retreat for all these beleaguered Treasury officials, down in Crawford. Gotta keep morale up.

What else did you think would happen, when we started "running government like a business" ??

4/07/2009 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

-- forgot to add: when they said we would "run the government like a business," nobody specified which business. What if it's AIG or Bear Sterns?

4/07/2009 3:31 PM  
Blogger CMike said...

Theoretically, how much loot do you think a Fed Chairman would be in line for if he married, say, a foreign correspondent for the news division of a broadcast network which was a subsidiary of a parent company which was, by market cap for many years, among the four or five largest corporations in the world?

4/07/2009 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Goldhorder said...

lol.. Yes what a great idea TCR. We'll outlaw corruption. Then our political leaders will behave responsibly! Brilliant...sigh

4/08/2009 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The great scholars of capitalism, from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes, understood full well that a functioning economic system depends not on greed, but on moral sentiments and an acceptable social contract between the rich and the rest of society. The rich can make money, of course, but they must not flaunt it or consume it frivolously. Instead, they must invest their wealth for social benefit, whether in business or in philanthropy, or in both as in the case of history's most celebrated capitalist-philanthropists, from Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. It is only the dangerously arrogant rich or the servants of the rich who believe that morals don't matter in the great matters of finance."

Capitalism and Moral Sentiments, Jeffrey Sachs

If we don't get this corrected, the bad guys win, and it's the end of our Nation as we have known it.

4/08/2009 12:47 AM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


Okay ... I have a solution! Make a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT separating BANK AND STATE, like CHURCH AND STATE!

Done ... OOOUUUU ... I'm tired that took a lot out of me! I think I'll go nap now!!!

Look the rich have to compete with the US GOVERNMENT more than the Middle Class(whats left of it). I am not sure how taxing the rich into poverty solves anything. In fact why not just abolish INCOME TAX since the USA will never pay off its debts anyway! What's wrong with the US CONgress living on a shoestring like WE THE PEOPLE? They still have excise taxes so make them live on that budget ...

CAPITALISM? Whats that? How can you have CAPITALISM when most of the Fortune 500 companies can only exist on US GOVERNMENT contracts(hand outs). Thats SOCIALISM at best! USSA Style! The entire US defense industry depends on WELFARE! The entire US Financial system depends on US GOVERNMENT sponsored WELFARE! How much of MicroSoft's business is government contracts? Apple? God knows big infrastructure CONTRACTORS are all on the Fed or State or County or City dole! I ought to know I was one of them!

The question is do these large WELFARE recipients produce anything that the masses can benefit from? Microsoft does and so does Apple and so do farmers, but I have yet to see much public benefit from CDS and MBS or even the new F22 fighter jet! How do I benefit from US bunker busters being dropped on caves in Afghanistan? Or being dropped on the Gaza strip by the Israelis? How exactly did we all benefit from the Vietnam War? Nobody ever benefits from destruction of infrastructure ...

The majority of the government WELFARE goes to the TOP 10% US corporations. Who pays the least amount of taxes in America? The top 10% of US corporations! Whats missing here is SMALL BUSINESS! OBAMA has near totally ignored small business. Small business is the backbone of American jobs and innovation. At one time MICROSOFT was a small business and even APPLE started in a garage! For that matter so did GE! Can we afford to snuff that out with misguided government policies and taxation? They've already caused the export of America's MIDDLE CLASS. OBAMA ... yeah, the MIDDLE CLASS ... thats your tax base! See that thing there on the ground in front of you ... yeah ... thats your foot! Try not to shoot it! Try to remember that as you hand out $700bil to Goldman Sachs!


4/08/2009 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Summers is something else... anti-regulation, Harvard School disgrace, the Wall Street payola, hedge fund...

"I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable, and we should face up to that. I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted.”
Analysis: Somalia Piracy Began in Response to Illegal Fishing and Toxic Dumping by Western Ships off Somali CoastIt seems, how can Summers solve the financial crisis, when he is clearly part of the problem. How many time can a person show their true colors.

4/14/2009 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sort of says it all:

From huffingtonpost.com:
"U.S. has created a system whereby Wall Street "oligarchs" have monopolized and cannibalized the economy.
At the same time, Washington regulators have been rendered ineffective, seduced by their aura of wealth and power."
Economist: America Is Just Like An Emerging Market, Wall Street Oligarchs And All
From marketwatch.com:
Jack Bauer can't stop 'The Goldman Conspiracy'
10 reasons why Wall Street has absolute power over America's democracy

4/24/2009 2:09 PM  

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