22 June 2009

My letter to the White House

I still count myself an Obama supporter, but I sent this to make it clear that we progressives among his supporters are RESTLESS.

I was very disappointed when the President failed to stand up to the banks on cramdown by bankruptcy judges on first home mortgages. Sen. Durbin was right, "the banks own the place."

Now, the socalled financial reform package is here, and it's clearly insufficient. There should have been more consolidation, more control of derivatives, more clear negative consequences for overleveraging.

But, in any case, the President must make absolutely clear to the Congress that this is absolutely the minimum that will be acceptable. The compromises have already been made. No more concessions to Wall Street: pass this and expect more reform later on, not less.

The President's numbers on handling the economy are slipping, and it's because he's been TOO accommodating. Messrs. Summers and Geithner clearly have the wrong mindset. We need a serious new Pecora style commission, a reinstatement of Glass Steagall and widening of its scope to include hedge funds and investment banks, and an overall scheme that really will prevent the kind of deemphasis on a production economy and overemphasis on speculation by the financial sector that very nearly caused the collapse of the entire World economy in the last year.

Mr. Obama must be MORE BOLD, more reform-minded, and more determined to use and even grow his political capital to live up to his promise of real change, because the way things are going, the perception is already dawning that there is to be little in the way of change at all, and that in fact Obama is just more of the same kowtowing to the money elite.

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