Monday, March 16, 2009

Acting on Wall Street's Behalf

Robert Kuttner, progressive economist and writer, slams the Geithner/Summers team:

The Geithner/Summers approach is complex, slow, ad hoc, non-transparent, and far too Wall Street oriented. Only now is Geithner getting around to initiating proper audit of the zombie banks he is aiding, under the euphemism, "stress tests."

As an indication of just how closely Geithner and company are acting on Wall Street's behalf, consider this tidbit, whose significance the media largely missed: Friday's Washington Post
reported that a man named H. Rodgin Cohen, under consideration for Deputy Treasury Secretary, had become the latest proposed senior appointee to withdraw from consideration. The Post treated the story as part of the continuing saga of unfilled sub-cabinet jobs.

But who is "Rodge" Cohen? Astoundingly, he is a senior lawyer from the firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, and the man who has been negotiating with Geithner on behalf of the large Wall Street banks!

What the hell, if you're going to act mainly in the interests of the banks, why not bring just their people right into government? The story didn't give details, but only mentioned that "an issue" had emerged during the vetting process. We can only imagine what kinds of conflict of interest problems the vetting team unearthed.

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