Sunday, August 29, 2010

Recommended Reading

With high unemployment likely to continue unabated right on through the next presidential election, and average people still caught in the crosshairs of this so-called "jobless recovery," it's looking more and more like  President Obama's ballyhooed economic recovery plan hasn't quite panned out as planned. Newsweek has a fascinating examination of how Wall Street managed to do an end-run around the administration, in the process imperiling his presidency and, more importantly, the economy (again!).  Their conclusion?  No FDR, this.  From the article:
There was so much passion and ambition in Obama’s words about fixing the economy, and so much dispassion and caution in his policy choices. Early in the Democratic primaries, in January 2008, Obama had stunned many of his supporters by praising Reagan as a transformational president—a contrast to the eight years of Bill Clinton, Obama added cuttingly. Reagan, Obama said, “put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it.” Yet at what would seem to be a similar historical inflection point—what should have been the end of Reaganism, or deregulatory fervor—President Obama seemed unprepared to address the deeper ills of the financial system and the economy. Several officials who have worked with the Obama team said the president’s heart was in health care above all else. “He didn’t run for president to fix derivatives,” says Greenberger. “And when he brought in Summers and Geithner, he just thought he was getting the best of the best”—good financial mechanics, in other words, who would “get the car out of the ditch,” to use one of Obama’s favorite metaphors.
Check out the entire piece here.

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