Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Obama's Wall Street cabinet
A series of articles published over the weekend, based on financial disclosure reports released by the Obama administration last Friday concerning top White House officials, documents the extent to which the administration, in both its personnel and policies, is a political instrument of Wall Street.
Policies that are extraordinarily favorable to the financial elite that were put in place over the past month by the Obama administration have fed a surge in share values on Wall Street. These include the scheme to use hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds to pay hedge funds to buy up the banks’ toxic assets at inflated prices, the Auto Task Force’s rejection of the recovery plans of Chrysler and General Motors and its demand for even more brutal layoffs, wage cuts and attacks on workers’ health benefits and pensions, and the decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to weaken “mark-to-market” accounting rules and permit banks to inflate the value of their toxic assets.
At the same time, Obama has campaigned against restrictions on bonuses paid to executives at insurance giant American International Group (AIG) and other bailed-out firms, and repeatedly assured Wall Street that he will slash social spending, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The new financial disclosures reveal that top Obama advisors directly involved in setting these policies have received millions from Wall Street firms, including those that have received huge taxpayer bailouts.