“Look, it’s Larry Summers,” said Swamp Rabbit, pointing at an oil slick on the wetlands that surrounds my shotgun shack in Tinicum. “I think he’s heading north, maybe back to Harvard.”
“No way,” I said. “He gambled away a big chunk of Harvard’s endowment.”
We’d just read that Summers will not be nominated to head the Federal Reserve Board. One less malignant hustler using a powerful post to undermine the quality of life of Americans who aren’t rich. I can’t think of a better possible story out of Washington, D.C. Maybe if Summers had been knocked on his ass by someone who lost a home to one of the banks he helped bail out during the economic crisis he helped cause.
No surprise that Barack Obama, according to The New York Times, had wanted Summers for the job but apparently didn’t choose him because of the political risks:
…But as that Oval Office meeting last year also suggests, Mr. Obama’s one concern about nominating Mr. Summers has been the potential for a Senate battle — not only from Republicans spoiling for fights, but also from Democrats who view Mr. Summers as having been too friendly toward deregulating big banks when he was Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration…
“Too friendly” — how’s that for polite understatement? Summers played a key role in the repeal of Glass-Steagall. After the big banks went belly up, he saved them with taxpayers’ money, much of which should have been spent to replace millions of lost jobs, and on a large-scale foreclosure-blocking program. And now, even though he won’t head the Fed, the self-satisfied little toad is still playing Iago to Obama’s Othello.
Footnote: From a piece by Peter Beinart that explains why the Democratic Party will become even more like the GOP unless progressives completely overhaul it:
From Tony Coelho, who during the Reagan years taught House Democrats to raise money from corporate lobbyists to Bill Clinton, who made Goldman Sachs co-chairman Robert Rubin his chief economic adviser, to Barack Obama, who gave the job to Rubin’s former deputy and alter ego, Larry Summers, Democrats have found it easier to forge relationships with the conservative worlds of big business and high finance because they have not faced much countervailing pressure from an independent movement of the left.