Mike the Mad Biologist

At this point, diversity in the Obama administration means you’ve never worked for Goldman Sachs. Meet the newest Obama nominee, Gary Gensler for head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (italics mine):

Gensler helped create this financial crisis when he was in the Treasury Department back in the Clinton era, when bipartisan cooperation with Wall Street lobbyists was all the rage. Sanders gets right to the point: “Mr. Gensler worked with Senator Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan to exempt credit default swaps from regulation, which led to the collapse of AIG and has resulted in the largest taxpayer bailout in US history.”

…Gensler is a reassuring figure to the moguls of finance; he was a partner at Goldman Sachs before being brought by Goldman honcho Robert Rubin to the Clinton Treasury Department.

…Gensler then performed as Summers’ point man in advocating for deregulation legislation that enabled the current debacle

And did Gensler ever:

In congressional testimony supporting the radical deregulation of the financial derivatives market, Gensler had insisted with great enthusiasm that “OTC derivatives directly and indirectly support higher investment and growth in living standards in the United States and around the world.” As to the many trillions of dollars in credit swaps that now afflict the world economy, Gensler specifically called for freeing swaps of this kind from existing government regulation in the Commodity Exchange Act, which regulated other futures such as wheat sales. He said, “…[S]wap transactions should not be regulated under the CEA. …”

His key argument, and that of Summers as well, was that even raising the prospect of regulating what have proved to be toxic derivatives would deny these financial instruments the “legal certainty” they needed to thrive. What a loss that would be, warned Summers, who called the financial derivatives market “a powerful symbol of the kind of innovation and technology that has made the American financial system as strong as it is today.”

How about appointing someone who didn’t completely screw the pooch in the area over which he will be regulating?

Obama’s economic nominees are approaching an Onion parody.

Comments

  1. #1 Kevin
    March 29, 2009

    It is similar to his stuffing of the DOJ copyright enforcement arm with RIAA lawyers. I understand wanting someone with experience in the industry for which they have oversight responsibilities—-but putting the foxes in charge of the hen house is not the change most people were hoping for

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