The Great American Stickup: How the Political Class Mugged America and Handed the Money Over to Wall St.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
By Paul Martin

With so much opportunity, why has Obama presided over such an economic disaster?

By Amy Goodman

Goodman: As we continue our discussion on the state of the economy, we’re by veteran journalist and editor Robert Scheer. His book is just out; it’s called The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street. What is wrong with the economy today? And how did we get here? 

Scheer: Well, you know, you say a longtime journalist. I worked for the Los Angeles Times as a national reporter, and I covered these hearings in Washington when the Clinton Administration in the ’90s basically fulfilled the promise of the Reagan Revolution. Reagan was not able to reverse the sensible regulations of the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt designed to prevent us from getting into another depression. And those regulations of Glass-Steagall, which Feingold was against — was for keeping and against reversing, said that investment banks playing with supposedly rich people’s money should not be allowed to merge with commercial banks that were using the deposits of people that were insured by the taxpayers and that these were different activities. And Reagan could never pull off that kind of deregulation. In fact, because of the savings and loan scandal at the end of his term, he actually had to sign off on increased financial regulation. But when Clinton came in, he brought in one of the big players on Wall Street, Robert Rubin, who has been head of Goldman Sachs, and basically turned to him and said, “You know, what do I need to do to get Wall Street on my side?” And they said, reverse what they considered to be onerous financial regulation. And Clinton delivered on that. He brought in Rubin then to be his Treasury secretary, who was followed by Lawrence Summers, who’s now the top economics adviser in the Obama White House.

The Rest…HERE

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