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Ken Barrows

President Obama had to compensate his investors (I am looking at you, GS) adequately. Although it is odd that Henry Paulson, former head of GS, offered that deal and the Prez refused. Does he have a more pro-bank agenda than Goldman?


Jeff Connaughton's book "The Payoff" chronicles Washington's inertia in handling the financial meltdown of 2008. Regardless of what people think about the bailouts or whether Bush or Obama was responsible (both), one thing is clear--the president was invisible in this mix...as was the rest of Washington, save a few rogue congressmen (Kaufmann, Isakson, Specter). Even Biden, whose Kool-Aid Connaughton drank for a quarter century, seemed to vanish into political oblivion. Obama boasted of "the toughest regulations" on Wall Street in history during the debates, as if he'd stood toe-to-toe with the big banks and won a hard fought 15-round slugging match. To hear him tell it, FDR and Glass-Steagall had nothing on the Obama administration's financial services hardball. The fact is, the response to the latest round of financial rape-and-pillage was an ineffectual fart into the wind. The message to America was loud and clear: if you don't have at minimum tens of millions of dollars and employ a TEAM of lobbyists, we don't care about you, but make no mistake...we sure want you to think we do! Meanwhile, a sizable chunk of voters think that marginally different tax codes or whether insurance companies are coerced to fund birth control pills makes a modicum of difference in our DIRE outlook for the next decade. It's like debating steak or chicken for dinner as the Titanic sinks. My advice: stay home and pray for a miracle...we need one.


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