President Obama has a rapidly vanishing opportunity to achieve historical greatness as a trust buster by breaking up the banks. Trust busting is an almost risk free path to lasting respect — Teddy Roosevelt's honored place in American history is more a result of his trust busting than his gross imperialism.
In the attached article, my good friend Marshall Auerback explains why Obama's faux populism attacks the symptom rather than the disease now infecting our financial system.
My guess is that Obama's “reform” policies — i.e., change we can believe in — will not even be smart politics in the long run, because at the end of the day, suckering the Tea Baggers (not to mention the so-called progressives) with phony populist appeals, while supporting cosmetic banking reforms, will alienate just about everyone except the oligarchical elites benefitting from his protectionist policies. In this sense, Mr. Obama is rapidly becoming just another Bill Clinton, a highly intelligent, self-made man of the people who squandered his opportunity for greatness on the altar of short-sighted service to the rich and powerful.
Attack the Disease, Not the Symptoms
Obama still doesn’t get it on how to rein in Wall Street.
Conceptual confusion remains at the heart of President Obama’s economic policy.