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March 5, 2009
Obama's econ 'dream team' Wall Street's nightmare
We were told that these were the smartest guys we could get to handle this economic crisis. In fact, one of them was so valuable and necessary we gave him a pass for not paying his taxes.
But the reality is that these guys just aren't very good - or competent. And their falling down on the job is exacerbated by petty bureaucratic squabbles that give the impression that no one is home and no one is in charge:
If you really want to understand why the markets have been tanking, why the smart money is sitting in cash and gold - well, just study the policy, or lack of it, that these guys have come up with to address economic ills not seen since the Great Depression.
The sad thing is, the "gang" took office with high hopes on Wall Street. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the former New York Fed chief, was supposed to have the experience needed to handle the banking crisis. Larry Summers, the head of the president's National Economic Council, was part of the brains behind the Clinton-era recovery.
And Paul Volcker, chairman of Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, helped save the free world back in the late 1970s and early '80s as chairman of the Federal Reserve when he squeezed inflation out of the economy and (along with President Ronald Reagan) helped return us to prosperity.
Wall Street loved this team. That's why the market rallied around the time Obama took office, even as he was promising tax hikes for "the wealthy." But what looks good on paper doesn't always translate into success (sorry, Mets fans).
The disappointment on Geithner starts with the fact that, since taking the job at Treasury, he's failed to articulate a way to bail out the imploding banking system - even though knowledge of the banking system's ills was supposed to be his strong suit. Worse, the word is that Geithner is still having trouble putting together a senior staff so he can come up with a bailout plan.
Thanks to all the class warfare produced by his boss, I'm told, Geithner can't find qualified people from Wall Street (the folks who know markets better than anyone else) to help solve the crisis. Instead, one saddened Obama supporter from Wall Street told me, "He's looking at a combination of bureaucrats and academics for these jobs."
It turns out that Larry Summers has an ego problem and doesn't play well with Geithner while the Treasury Secretary still doesn't have a clue what to do about the banking crisis despite our being assured at Obama's first press conference that a plan was in place and the president didn't want to talk about it and "steal the thunder" from his Treasury Secretary.
Eventually, the scales will fall from the eyes of even the most dedicated Obama supporter in the media. But by then it will be far too late and the chances of this idiot's brew of incompetents having trashed the economy beyond easy repair will have been proven true.