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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 39,405

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NICHOLS: In an Economic Democracy, Stiglitz and Reich Would Be Contenders for Fed Head

Sen. Bernie Sanders has written the president and urged him to pick someone like Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz or Robert Reich to head the Fed instead of his rumored first choice, Larry Summers, who pushed for the disastrous financial deregulation in the 90s, and browbeat regulators who might have lessened the disaster by actually enforcing the laws that were left.

Banks and Wall Street are the real power in America as evidenced by all the policies that don't change even when we change the party of the resident of the White House.

Obama could take a small step toward economic democracy by not letting the economic terrorists on Wall Street pick one of their loyal servants to head the Federal Reserve.

One potential contender for the job, Lawrence Summers, has a record of delivering for Wall Street and the big banks—as an advocate for deregulation, privatization and the elimination of essential regulatory protections such as the Glass-Steagall Act. As economist Dean Baker noted after the economy melted down in 2007 and 2008, "The policies [Summers] promoted as Treasury Secretary and in his subsequent writings led to the economic disaster that we now face." But Summers is also an over-the-top advocate for the sort of free trade agreements that have left communities across this country with shuttered factories and high unemployment. He’s so disinclined toward the public investments that might renew those communities that Congressman Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, has said, “Larry Summers hates infrastructure.”


Declaring that “it’s time for new leadership at the Federal Reserve and a new approach to our troubled economy,” Sanders has identified Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich as “excellent candidates” to replace Chairman Ben Bernanke when the chairman finishes his term January 31.

“We need a new Fed chair who will act with the same sense of urgency to combat the unemployment crisis in America today that has left 22 million Americans without a full time job,” argues Sanders. To that end, Sanders rejects Summers as a contender, writing to President Obama that “it would be a tragic mistake to nominate anyone as chair of the Fed who continued those failed policies. Instead, we need a new chair who will have the courage to hold Wall Street accountable for their fraud, recklessness and illegal behavior, and stand up for the needs of ordinary Americans.”

But Sanders also recognizes that, in the race for the Fed chairmanship, progressives should have a contender. Or, perhaps, two.


On Obama's tax proposal: why not just propose a MINIMUM tax corporations must pay?

Regardless of deductions, credits, and so on?

Then let REPUBLICANS bring up lowering the the upper end, and haggle to a little of both?

Letter to Obama to NOT appoint Larry Summers to Fed

Feel free to plagiarize this and send it to the White House


Do NOT appoint Larry Summers to head the Federal Reserve.

Few people who have had input into our economic policy have been more disastrous to the interests of average Americans, and did it less out of ideology than loyalty to only the wealthiest Americans.

It would be nice to see someone who was RIGHT in the 90s get the highest level economic appointments instead of trying to cure cancer with more cancer.

Larry Summers will destroy the economy (again)

Larry Summers is one of a handful people who have had the most destructive effect on economic policy in American history and probably second only to Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in responsibility for crippling regulators ability to stop Wall Street from scamming us into the poor house, and it's pretty clear he did it not out of ideology but loyalty to the top 1%, the rest of us be damned.

This guy should never, ever be appointed to anything again, and if bad economic policy was a crime, he'd be in prison for life.

The first paragraph of the excerpt is a good summary of his rap sheet.


WEDNESDAY, JUL 24, 2013 06:00 AM PDT


In the 1990s, Summers and then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin led the effort to stop Brooksley Born from regulating derivatives, precisely the financial instruments that magnified the housing bubble and accelerated the financial collapse. Under his watch as Treasury Secretary, Congress eliminated Glass-Steagall’s firewall between commercial and investment banks, legalizing the merger of Citigroup (where Rubin would later become CEO). He further oversaw passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which banned all regulation of derivatives, even from state anti-gambling laws. Even Bill Clinton has apologized for deregulation of the riskiest sector in finance; Summers has not. Even well after the crisis, in 2011, Summers pronounced himself “more cautious than many about constraining financial innovation,” a not-so-thinly veiled code for encouraging a return to casino activity on Wall Street.

After contributing to the crisis, and then losing $1.8 billion for Harvard by investing most of their cash reserves in an endowment stuffed with risky trades, Summers denied the existence of the housing bubble. At the Federal Reserve annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 2005, right before the crash, economist Raghuram Rajan warned of the imminent catastrophe in a formal paper, arguing that excessive risk-taking had surged, and that the banking system faced a “full-brown financial crisis” from the sliver of toxic securities on their own books. Larry Summers was the first to stand up and attack Rajan, bellowing that he found “the basic, slightly lead-eyed premise of [Mr. Rajan's] paper to be misguided.” Incidentally, Janet Yellen spoke publicly about the risks of the housing bubble around this same time.

In short, if we wanted to pin the crisis on one person, Summers would be a viable candidate. Nontheless, he failed upwards by taking a lead position on the Obama economic team, and the man responsible for much of the financial crisis would set to fix it. He predictably failed again. Summers lowballed the estimate of how much stimulus would be necessary to get the economy back to full employment; he lied to key members of Congress about the Administration’s commitment to providing housing debt relief and support for cram-down, where bankruptcy judges would be empowered to rewrite the terms of mortgages (this never happened, as the White House withdrew support and created a mortgage relief program that has massively underperformed); and he stood mute about monetary policy efforts to turn around the economy, which would be his main area of impact at the Fed. So on fiscal, debt relief and monetary terms, when the economy was reeling and everything counted, Summers missed on all three.


What would have been the downside of ending the filibuster since Democrats RARELY used in minority?

and even then, it usually took extreme public pressure to get them to do that, like opposing the appointment of Scalia clone Alito to the Supreme Court.

If they aren't going to use it when they are in the minority, and Republicans are going to abuse it endlessly, what is the advantage in keeping it?

RAVITCH: when the rich dictate higher ed policy: San Jose Online Courses FLOP

I have nothing against online education in principle, but I don't like doing anything because schools are coerced into doing it by someone looking to make a buck.

I teach college and the only advantage my students see to online classes is it is much, much easier to cheat.

So if Gates et al succeed in their efforts to remake make public higher education in their image, they will make the resulting degrees nearly worthless.

San Jose Online Courses Flop

by Diane Ravitch

Enthusiasts of online education are forever gushing about the prospects for high-quality, low-cost education, delivered to masses of students sitting at a computer.

In January, San Jose State announced a partnership with a firm called Udacity, and the results to date have been a disappointment. Udacity is funded by equity investors as the next new big thing. Technically, the Udacity program is not a MOOC because it is neither "massive" nor "open," but it is a trial of the concept of online learning.

"According to the preliminary presentation, 74 percent or more of the students in traditional classes passed, while no more than 51 percent of Udacity students passed any of the three courses....The spring courses – a remedial math course, a college algebra course and an introductory statistics course – were chosen in part because of the wishes of Bill Gates, whose foundation gave the effort a grant," university officials said.

The university will make improvements in the courses and try again. Udacity is expanding to Georgia, where "the company recently signed a major deal with the Georgia Institute of Technology to eventually offer a low-cost online master’s degree to 10,000 students at once."


RAVITCH: Top Lawyer for Dems in Senate from Public Ed Destroying Gates Foundation

Millions of parents and teachers watch and hope that Congress will scrap the failed policies of the Bush administration called NCLB.

It is this worrisome that the chief counsel for the Democrats on the Senate HELP committee was a senior policy person at the Gates Foundation.

Gates is infamous for its religious devotion to measurement. "What cannot be measured cannot be controlled" is the line we hear again and again, as children are reduced to data points and their lives are measured out in teaspoons and centimeters on a scale.

Maybe she is different. Let us hope.


since ALEC wrote and pushed stand your ground laws, can they be sued for outcome?

In particular, since the laws are having a disparate impact on black people being killed?

So if the father of black teens sees George Zimmerman walking around his neighborhood...

He could get out of his car, chase him down, get in a tussle, and shoot Zimmerman dead, and claim Zimmerman had been acting suspiciously, possibly stalking black teenagers, and a Florida jury would acquit him?

That father would have a stronger case than Zimmerman did since Zimmerman actually has a track record of killing black teenage boys and therefore being a threat to the community.

PIC: Obama campaign speech & Snowden

This was posted at Reddit with the caption "Change one thing... and perfect."

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