September 8, 2009
From the excellent interview in the Business Spectator between Isabelle Oderberg and The 86 Biggest Lies on Wall Street and Obamanomics author John R. Talbott:
And when you describe the abhorrent behavior on Wall St, is that still going on?
Well, sure. Absolutely. Yeah. That’s the saddest thing about this whole episode. It took a major financial crisis that almost bankrupted the global financial system to make people realise that we had a very serious problem occurring in our financial system and what did we do? We raced around like Humpty Dumpty soldiers and horses trying to put the old system back together again and we put together these banks that were too big to fail. We put back together the credit default swap market and the derivatives market which is so interconnected you can’t allow anybody to claim bankruptcy. We tried to put back together the securitization market which allowed banks to completely flush assets with no risk to their balance sheets and to throw all the risk onto other parties and so, you know, there’s a reason why the global financial system almost collapsed. It seems silly to me for our reforms to put that same system back together again and if they’re successful in doing it, then all we’re doing is delaying the day of mourning when this all happens again.
. . . Obama has very strong and very popular social policies. He also has an immense popularity for being the first African American president. Do you think those social policies and his popularity in that sense will make him immune from criticism on his economic or financial policies or do you think that if he gets this wrong that it really will risk his political life-cycle?
. . . If you look at what he’s accomplished in office to date, it’s really straight out of George Bush’s play-book. He’s expanded the war in Afghanistan. He’s increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan. He’s given all the carbon credits from a carbon tax plan – 70 per cent of them he’s given away to the coal utilities. He’s given bailouts to the GM and the biggest companies and to the biggest banks. He’s allowed huge executive comp plans to Wall Street. And now he’s allowing the health care industry, the HMO industry and the pharmaceutical industry, to basically write the legislation that’s supposed to reform healthcare and limit its growth which it’s not at all. So, I think if George Bush tried to do any of these things, he would’ve failed miserably. I think he’s sort of benefiting from the fact that people are assuming he’s a progressive, but you would never know it from the legislation that’s passing.