An Unfortunate Phrase From Today's Bank Announcement

FDR in 1936:

Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.

For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace - business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred.

Obama announcing new financial regulations today:

My message to members of Congress of both parties is that we have to get this done.  And my message to leaders of the financial industry is to work with us, and not against us, on needed reforms.  I welcome constructive input from folks in the financial sector.

Let's choose not to read into it...there are some signs the announced reforms will be tough. Time will tell.

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)



I doubt the regulations will be tough

given the composition of Obama's economic team.

by desmoinesdem 2010-01-21 06:27PM | 0 recs
RE: I doubt the regulations will be tough

Watch for the Obama pattern: Call a large press conference; line it with backers; announce "tough new measures;" take proposal to the Hill; cave on all/most corporate demands; claim "something is better than nothing."

by randron 2010-01-22 08:17AM | 0 recs
Are you becoming a sceptic as well ?

I dont recall your diaries having this tone before ...

by Ravi Verma 2010-01-21 06:38PM | 0 recs
One year too late

This is reactionary political stuff. Wouldn't it have made more sense to go for reforms WHEN they had the leverage when they bailed out the financial institutions and AIG?


Also what about accountability when a regulator misses something? Madoff was violating EXISTING laws and got away with stuff. Has a single SEC employee been made to suffer? Has anyone  been fired from the State Department or intelligence agencies for the Detroit Delta flight near bombing fiasco ?


They can talk about rules, but I want to see if there will be enforcement.

by Pravin 2010-01-21 06:41PM | 0 recs
I doubt the regulations will be tough

It's interesting that FDR's words read so much tougher than those of Obama.  Then again, FDR seemed to have a much better grasp of the leadership principle. 

by bentlife 2010-01-21 06:54PM | 2 recs
RE: I doubt the regulations will be tough

FDR was 4 years into his term and many of his initiatives were being stuck down (by the SC). Also businesses were colluding against him resulting in a second depression. All in all tough times.

by vecky 2010-01-22 04:55AM | 0 recs
God Bless us

  Isn't it nice that we can all add our small voices to what will certainly be a huge flood of corporate attack ads parsing each sentence from that one termer dude. A truly united states of america, finally! And no more Air America to trouble us.

 We are all republicans now.

 A banner day indeed.

by QTG 2010-01-21 07:03PM | 0 recs
RE: God Bless us

Isn't that the truth?

by spirowasright 2010-01-21 09:30PM | 0 recs
RE: God Bless us

Sorry q, but many of us here were ahead of the curve on this one. We asked the question two years ago: how could our party consider electing someone to the Presidency who had no executive experience, and in fact, very little meaningful career experience? And beyond that, there was the fact that Obama had not one significant legislative accomplishment to his credit. In response, we were derided as "Hill-bots", or on some occasions, as racists.

Now that Obama is falling on his face, some Democrats are actually surprised; others are trying to blame his failure on "those damned Republicans" know, the ones who are no longer a meaningful political entity. Bottom line---and to paraphrase an aspiring candidate from the 2008 cycle---it's time for Mr. Obama to own his failures. 

As to your crack about "the truly united states of America", wasn't Obama the guy who could reach out to Republicans? Wasn't he going to be our "post-partisan President"?

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-21 10:47PM | 2 recs
RE: God Bless us

You shouldn't be such a sore winner.

by QTG 2010-01-22 11:20AM | 0 recs
What do you mean "our" party?

We're talking about the Democratic Party.  Not the party of Reagan, silly.

I was also unaware that Hillary Clinton had served in an executive capacity.  Please keep the jokes coming!

by JJE 2010-01-22 05:20PM | 0 recs
RE: What do you mean "our" party?

Don't look now, I wouldn't want to wake you. But a whole lot of Democrats just voted Scott Brown into a Senate seat held by the Kennedys for over half a century.

And maybe you never heard of the term "Reagan Democrats"? They were loyal Americans, who couldn't stand to see the country mangled any longer by the likes of Jimmy Carter. And at the rate Obama is going, I can assure you there will be Democrats who vote GOP in 2012.

As to Mrs. Clinton, she partnered with the President on many issues during the '90's, in addition to managing a large staff in the First Lady's office. Of course, that was when the First Lady actually did something substantial, as opposed to planting gardens like the current occupant.

Party loyalty should not mean blind loyalty, especially when our great country is slowly being flushed down the toilet.

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-22 08:21PM | 0 recs

You have no idea how many Democrats voted for Brown.

Sorry for waking you.

You realize Reagan left office 22 years ago, right?  Care to join the 21st Century?

by JJE 2010-01-22 09:14PM | 0 recs
Try thinking for yourself

Hate to take you outside the blogosphere, and especially a journalistic giant like HuffPo, but it doesn't take much analysis to figure out what happened.

Brown got 52% of the vote in a state where Obama won by over 20 points....and where Dems have an overwhelming registration advantage over Republicans.

Do the arithmetic, Einstein.

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-22 11:04PM | 0 recs
Sorry, I prefer data

to speculation.  I understand, though, how that could confuse someone who believes that divine providence governs the affairs of men.

by JJE 2010-01-23 10:28AM | 0 recs
Wow, that's a laugh

Hearing an Obam-oron say they prefer "data to speculation" is rich. You supported an empty suit for the Presidency, who had no specific/significant accomplishments, no executive experience, no resume and no portfolio.

The only thing that support for Barak Obama COULD have been based upon was speculation. And obviously, that can lead to huge disappointment.

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-24 11:16AM | 0 recs
Aww, u still mad?

Poor guy.  18 months and still crying over the primary.  Are all self-proclaimed martial artists such whiny little babies?  Just cuddle your Reagan binkie for a while - you'll feel better.

by JJE 2010-01-25 02:29PM | 0 recs
RE: Aww, u still mad?

Don't know what a binkie is, but I suspect most Americans would rather hold one of Reagan than of the current White House occupant:

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-27 12:27PM | 0 recs
RE: Try thinking for yourself

You need to try to not read too much into that however. Mark begich won in Alaska in a state that Republicans have held for decades and was won by Palin-McCain  by 22%. So it's all relative...

by vecky 2010-01-26 01:36AM | 0 recs

A simple but powerful post.


by Charles Lemos 2010-01-21 07:09PM | 1 recs
To put it in context

Here is what Obama told ABC a few days ago:

Well, you know, it is my responsibility to try to reset the tone. And I’m going to have a State of the Union speech and one of my goals, I think, I spoke about this on King’s birthday, the fact that I felt disappointed that we had lost some of that sense of common cause that existed a year ago and that I have not been able to change the tone here in Washington. I am going to keep on trying though. And the reason I’m going to keep on trying is, because if we can’t do that, if all that’s taken place back and forth between the parties is vitriol and accusations, then what’s going to end up happening is that we’re going to just keep on in a direction in which families are losing ground and they become further and further disenchanted with the possibilities of politics and government can solve any problems whatsoever.

Now does anyone believe that he is willing to pick a fight with anyone??

Btw Robert Reich weighed in on this today:

Larry Summers and Tim Geithner scuttled Paul Volcker’s plan to separate the banks’ commercial and investment functions, and didn’t want to limit the size of banks or the risks they could take on. Summers and Geithner have wanted to get the banks back to profitability as soon as possible. And Dems in Congress have had no stomach to take on Wall Street, a major source of campaign funding.

But suddenly the winds are blowing in a different direction over the Potomac. The 2010 midterms are getting closer, and the Dems are scared. Their polls are plummeting. The upsurge in mad-as-hell populism requires that Democrats become indignant on behalf of Americans, and indignation is meaningless without a target. They can’t target big government because Republicans do that one better, especially when they’re out of power. So what’s the alternative? Wall Street.

In any case do people remember this gem from not very long ago:

[A]ny plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans - including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest - and choose what's best for your family.

Frankly right now I don't really believe anything he says. This is just a manifestation of his new found populism. I hope he does follows this through but call me skeptical.

by tarheel74 2010-01-21 07:14PM | 1 recs
RE: To put it in context

If you read the interview with ABC/Stephanopoulus carefully, it sounds eerily like Carter's malaise speech from the late '70's.

The problem in not with the "tone", or with a lack of "common cause", Mr. President. What we're seeing now is not a crisis of confidence; it's a crisis of leadership.

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-21 11:22PM | 1 recs
Team Obama is clearly in disarray

There is little evidence that Obama vetted these proposals with his economic team, which appeared to be divided and in disarray following his announcement. Floating a trial balloon is obviously not a good way to craft economic policy.

As an example of how off-message things have become, Banking Chair Barney Frank---clearly off the reservation on this one---gave an interview to CNBC's Jim Cramer early this afternoon. He told Cramer that he would oppose immediate implementation, and suggested a five-year time frame, three years at the earliest.

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-21 07:47PM | 0 recs
RE: An Unfortunate Phrase From Today's Bank Announcement

Democratic Underground and Bartcop are already dead to me. It'sjust a matter of time befreo the closet Republicnas at MyDD and DKos join the list.

by spirowasright 2010-01-21 09:33PM | 0 recs
RE: An Unfortunate Phrase From Today's Bank Announcement

Strike closet Republicans. Maybe closet Greenies, or Naderites, or PUMAs, or whatever.

I'm an Independent who didn't vote for Obama, but I certainly feel for him and deeply resent the kind of bacvkstabbing that's been going on herre.

It's not as bad as the SCOTUS saying anything foes as faras corporate campaign spending is concerned, but it comes close.

by spirowasright 2010-01-21 10:01PM | 1 recs
RE: An Unfortunate Phrase From Today's Bank Announcement

There's plenty of annoying trolls around, but it still amazes me that someone who didn't even vote for Obama is playing loyalty cop.

by Steve M 2010-01-21 10:21PM | 3 recs
RE: An Unfortunate Phrase From Today's Bank Announcement

Somebody who didn't even vote for Obama is playing loyalty cop.


It amazes me too, but judging from what I've been seeing in the liberal blogosphere lately, apparently nobody else is.

by spirowasright 2010-01-21 11:52PM | 0 recs
RE: Those were the good old days

 To all my friends at MyDD,

Your favorite cheerleader fanboy is crying. Don't worry about me, though, I'm not crying for myself. I'm old, financially secure, white, male, and live in a gated community in Florida. I'll be OK. I'm crying for you and my progeny.

Yesterday's big news wasn't Conan 'stickin it to the man' or 'John Edwards stickin it to the woman', as Rachel Maddow ably pointed out on last night's show. The real news was the Supreme Court stickin it to US. Obama's first year, characterized most notably for his contituency's childish and short-sighted behavior was the last chance, and folks, the chance was blown. You're screwed, blued, and tatooed, even if you don't know it yet. You killed the Bill. Good work! You blew your chance. How noble! You've changed America....Not really, you just blew your last chance to ever do so. Don't wake up. It's too late, and it will only cause you to feel bad. Grab on to that feeling of superiority you feel for substituting nothing for something on principle, and take as much comfort as you can for being so much smarter than the elected officials you pilloried along the way. It's all you get.

 We have met the enemy. It's the man in the mirror. The opposition takes the long view, because they are smarter. (They aren't the republican politicians, btw). Stupidly, progressives have made all the classic day-traders' mistakes and consequently lost the democracy. Congratulations. The odds of a one term Obama Administration and a permanent progressive Democratic decline in Congress just sky-rocketted since unfettered corporate spending in the political arena was unleashed yesterday.

 I new the good old days would come to an end, but I'm still shocked by how short they lasted. Now, go on out there and attackthe President and the Democratic Congress some more. It makes no difference at this point, and you are so good at it.



by QTG 2010-01-22 08:38AM | 1 recs
RE: Those were the good old days

The stupidity is that far too many Democrats, and Republicans, treat politics like a sports, score points, etc, when the game is actually Govt. vs. Business.  We are so blinded by the shadow game that business has set up, and I have no doubt that they are neck deep in it, that we cannot see the actual puppet masters. Not puppet masters in the classical sense of out and out buying legislators, which does go on to a lesser degree, but more that there is a lot of collusion at the high-income levels rank to provide "us" with political sport while they "get down to business".  If it were not so, then companies would not be giving money to both sides of the isle, to make sure they have a voice no matter who gets in.  In that perspective, there really is no choice in America.

And progressives, for all their intellect, are far more to blame for this...if we have such high intellects, why the hell are we falling for this crap?  Obama vs. Hillary is STILL a sore spot...really?  The Democratic party is divided and bickering...and looking ridiculous doing it.  The only good news is that the Republicans are also, and in a much more public way than they ever have.

I honestly believe Obama went in to office expecting to have some fights, but that people would be willing to deal to make things work.  I was honestly surprised at the belligerence of the Republicans, but also from the Democrats...?  This reminds me of Rome before the fall of the empire far more than it reminds me of a healthy democracy working through adolesence.  I hope I am wrong, but for crying out loud.  

Republicans are bad enough, especially right now, to deal with...but Democrats seem to be WORSE.

At least after Brown's win, Lieberman's goose is completely cooked.  I expect to see him retire rather than loose as badly as he probably will, unless he gets with the program.

Obama?  I guess I would look to Truman at this point...if you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.

by Hammer1001 2010-01-22 10:49AM | 1 recs
RE: Those were the good old days

Both parties are scrambling right now. instead of Republican -vs- Democrat, more and more people are realizing that the real battle is the people -vs- Corporate America/Corrupt Washington. The people who are paying attention understand that is the reason why the Tea Party in now more popular than the Republican Party.

Scott Brown understood this because he really listened to the people and tapped into the backlash. Even in his acceptance speech, he barely said the word Republican and emphasized serving the people.



by tpeichel 2010-01-22 03:47PM | 0 recs
It Is Not Just Populist Politics

with Volcker backing him up.  Volcker has enormous authority, being the one who wrung inflation out of the American economy, and no one would ever think of accusing him of playing populist politics.

by Bob H 2010-01-22 10:43AM | 0 recs
RE: It Is Not Just Populist Politics

Except that none of these recommendations are in the house financial bill that has already passed by the slimmest margin; all Republicans and 27 Dems voting against it. Why were these regulations not there? Because at that time Paul Volcker was literally and figuratively in exile. So why the rebirth of this very important agenda? Simply put upcoming 2010 elections and a shellacking in Massachusetts. Is the president willing to fight the Republicans and the conserva-dems? Only time will tell, but judging by precedent, probably not.

by tarheel74 2010-01-22 12:43PM | 0 recs
Will Obama stand by Bernanke?

The natives are restless in the Senate, with Senators from Feingold to DeMint actively opposing Bernanke.

Obama gave an enthusiastic and unusually spirited endorsement of the Fed Chairman during the fall, when he announced that he was nominating Bernanke for a second term. I think he has no choice but to stand by his selection, and that he should vocally restate his support for the Chairman. If the President starts to waffle, it will look like one more case of Obama getting weak-knee'd in the face of opposition, and throwing an associate under the bus.

The economic team definitely needs a shake-up; better to get rid of Geithner and replace him with Sheila Bair.

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-22 12:24PM | 0 recs
RE: Will Obama stand by Bernanke?

I think Sheila Bair would get slaughtered right now because of this Bank of America thing. 

by Steve M 2010-01-22 12:45PM | 0 recs
RE: Will Obama stand by Bernanke?

In this climate, you may be right. But the BAC thing is fairly trivial; there is no evidence that she got preferential treatment, a la Chris Dodd and the "Friends of Angelo". Had she filed for a waiver---which is just some bureaucratic bs---it wouldn't even be discussed. And as it stands, this story has garnered minimal coverage, mainly in the blogosphere.

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-22 08:13PM | 0 recs
RE: Will Obama stand by Bernanke?

Ryan Grim at HuffPost, who has been on the money with his reporting on healthcare, including the now infamous backroom deal with PhRMA has this to say about the new Volcker plan:

Geithner, meanwhile, was tossed to the populist mob by "financial industry sources" who told Reuters that "Obama's newest Wall Street crackdown was met with hesitation" by Geithner, who is "concerned that politics could be sacrificing good economic policy."

by tarheel74 2010-01-22 01:19PM | 0 recs
RE: Will Obama stand by Bernanke?

Bair? Really? The FDIC is out of money and guess who is footing the bill as we close insolvent banks? The FDIC must take PROMPT CORRECTIVE ACTION when a bank's liabilities near the point of exceeding their assets. In theory, banks should be liquidated before they go negative, but time after time the actual assets of the failed banks are 20-30% less than claimed and the FDIC has to cover the losses. That is a complete failure by the FDIC and its leader Sheila Bair.

by tpeichel 2010-01-22 06:33PM | 0 recs
RE: Will Obama stand by Bernanke?

Regulatory authority over banks is divided among several agencies, depending on whether they are chartered at the state or federal level. This includes the Fed, Comptroller of the Currency, as well as the FDIC. I'm not sure you understand how that authority is apportioned.

The primary responsibility of the FDIC is to dismantle or sell off failed banks. The idea of blaming Sheila Bair and the FDIC for the rise in bank failures makes about as much sense as charging a fireman with arson as he attempts to put out a huge fire.

btw, the FDIC is not out of money; part of the reason that the fund drew down fairly substantially last year was Congressional meddling. In the legislation which increased the insured-deposit limit from $100,000 to $250,000, Congress specifically instructed the FDIC to ignore the increase when setting assessments for banks, so as not to increase the burden on already stressed financial institutions. Some of this is just basic arithmetic.

by BJJ Fighter 2010-01-24 01:51PM | 0 recs
RE: Will Obama stand by Bernanke?

So you think the FDIC is doing a good job when they close down a bank and they have 30% more liabilites than assets? What is your understanding of Prompt Corrective Action?

by tpeichel 2010-01-24 05:04PM | 0 recs
RE: Will Obama stand by Bernanke?

The average balance in the accounts under $100,000 is $5,706. Using averages can certainly skew the statistical analysis (the unavailable median would be nice to compare); however, the fact that the average is so far removed from the cap tells you that the majority of the depositors were already covered.

The fact that a few wealthy people have to understand the rules and work within them doesn’t seem to merit this sweeping change.

Less than 2% of deposit accounts exceed the insured amount, and those belong to some pretty stupid depositors who don't know that they should split their deposits between institutions so as to remain 100% insured.

by QTG 2010-01-24 06:31PM | 0 recs
I anxiously await

buckeyeblogger to tell us why these regulations are far too strong and will create chaos across the land!

by ND22 2010-01-22 12:36PM | 0 recs
Vote NO on Bernanke

Replace him with Volker and stop following the financial policies from the past 8 years. Separating Investment Banking from Regular Banking is a GREAT first step in fixing the problem. It is outrageous that the U.S. citizen has backstopped the excessive risk taking of the bankers. Much better than the current system:

Heads: the banks make money hand over fist on risky bets, and the bankers collect fat bonuses

Tails: the banks make risky bets and the U.S. Citizen is stuck with the tab, and the bankers collect fat bonuses 

Not to mention the government giving the banks cash at 0% interest, while they turn around and jack up the credit card rate on everyone!

by tpeichel 2010-01-22 04:49PM | 0 recs


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