Bernie: "Their Greed Has No End..." Class Warfare Is Here But Working Families Aren't Defending Themselves
Goal for Saturday: connect the Bernie Sanders statement above with the Anonymous statement below (without embedding another video). Ron Suskind's new book, Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and The Education of A President, which comes out Tuesday seems to do just that. The two Suskind books that I've already read, The Price of Loyalty, about Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's startling disillusionment with George W. Bush, and The One Percent Doctrine, the first chronicling of Vice President Cheney's dangerous sociopathic world view, sold me on Suskind as a credible reporter. And now he's been looking at what many of us have sensed is an equally dysfunctional-- at least in terms of the well-being of American working families-- Obama Administration.
I don't know how many times I've heard credible sources calling for the firing of Wall Street hack Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Inexplicably, Obama won't budge. But Suskind's reporting makes it even more difficult to understand why Obama has keep his failed chief economic advisor in place and claims Geithner ignored a direct order to consider "reconstructing" the Wall Street predatory banks that tanked the economy when they came begging for taxpayer dollars to stay afloat.
The book states Geithner and the Treasury Department ignored a March 2009 order to consider dissolving banking giant Citigroup while continuing stress tests on banks, which were burdened with toxic mortgage assets.
In the book, Obama does not deny Suskind's account, but does not reveal what he told Geithner when he found out. "Agitated may be too strong a word," Suskind quotes Obama as saying. Obama says later in the book that he was trying to be decisive but "the speed with which the bureaucracy could exercise my decision was slower than I wanted."
Geithner says in the book that he did not recall that Obama was mad at him about the Citigroup decision and rejected allegations contained in White House documents that his department had been slow to enact the president's plans.
"I don't slow walk the president on anything," Geithner told Suskind.
"The Citbank incident, and others like it, reflected a more pernicious and personal dilemma emerging from inside the administration: that the young president's authority was being systematically undermined or hedged by his seasoned advisers," Suskind writes.
Suskind states that Obama accepts the blame for mismanagement in his administration while noting that restructuring the financial system was complicated and could have resulted in deeper financial harm. One of the major complaints about Obama's administration is that it was too easy on major financial institutions, including Citi. The president had wanted Treasury officials to focus on a proposal to dissolve the bank, but no plan was ever created, the book states.
I know one thing, if I were in New York City today, I'd be down at