The new WH Chief of Staff and Citigroup
Yesterday, the White House announced Daley’s departure — he will now co-chair Obama’s re-election campaign, which basically means raising huge amounts of money from his Wall Street friends — and unveiled his replacement as Chief of Staff: Jacob Lew. In 2010, Lew became head of the Office of Management and Budget when Peter Orszag left and then, a couple months later, accepted a multi-million dollar position as a high-level Citigroup official. Lew has spent many years in various government positions, but he has his own substantial ties to Citigroup. Here is what Lew was doing in 2008 at the time the financial crisis exploded, as detailed by an excellent Huffington Post report from last year:
[Lew] oversaw a Citigroup unit that profited off the housing collapse and financial crisis by investing in a hedge fund king who correctly predicted the eventual subprime meltdown and now finds himself involved in the center of the U.S. government’s fraud case against Goldman Sachs. . . .
[I]t is his few years at Citi — in particular the one year he spent at its then-$54 billion proprietary trading, hedge fund and private equity unit — that’s likely to raise the most eyebrows in the coming weeks as Lew faces a Senate confirmation hearing.
Especially his unit’s investments in a hedge fund that bet on the housing market to collapse — a reality suffered by millions of American homeowners.
For his work at Citigroup, work that included betting on the housing collapse, Lew received a salary of $1.1 million. After Citigroup received its $45 billion taxpayer bailout, Lew — two weeks before joining the Obama administration — received another $900,000 from Citigroup as a bonus. This was revealed only in 2010; in 2009, when Lew first joined the administration as a State Department official, both he and the administration refused to say if he had received a post-bailout bonus from Citigroup (at the time, there was a huge political scandal over Wall Street executives receiving large bonuses despite needing taxpayer bailouts). There’s certainly nothing illegal about betting on a housing market collapse, but it’s quite symbolic that those who made millions of dollars from the crisis are now running government policy.
Lew (like so many key Obama officials) also participated in the orgy of Wall Street de-regulation that took place in the 1990s when he served as Clinton’s OMB head; after leaving Citigroup to join the Obama administration, he unsurprisingly said in response to questioning from Sen. Bernie Sanders that he does not believe deregulation contributed to the financial crisis. The New York Times today says that Lew “has built a reputation as a pragmatic liberal who believes Democrats must compromise with Republicans on long-term deficits in order to forestall draconian cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.” The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein was a bit more blunt: Lew “has emerged as one of the members of the Obama administration Republicans prefer working with.” Whatever else one might want to say, Lew, a fairly standard-issue Democrat with less of a “centrist” reputation than Daley, is a perfect fit for this administration.
Here is another chance for OWS to show they really mean what they say. They won’t affect the outcome of the GOP primaries (or the election in November) but this might be doable.
Block the nomination of Jacob Lew.
This guy is a perfect target. The job of White House Chief of Staff does not require Senate approval but if OWS is really serious about breaking the revolving door between the White House and Wall Street and if they have any muscle at all they might be able to raise enough hell that they succeed in getting Obama to withdraw Lew’s name.
I’ll sit down while I’m waiting. I’m sure for reasons I don’t understand (having never attended an Occupation or tried the Koolaid) that OWS can’t do something like this. I mean we wouldn’t want them to get tainted by politics or anything, right?
Besides, they might embarrass Obama.
by law backtrack has to submit a budget by Feb 6. What a fine time to replace the OMB director. Look who his replacement is
It just occurred to me that maybe Daley quit because Obama & Jarrett are planning one last big goodbye scam and Daley does not want to be tainted with it since he wants a political future.
Lew sounds like the perfect guy to be in on it.
Ayup. My guess will be the Fannie/Freddie billion dollar program re mortgages. All for show, of course.
It is going to be harder to pull off since the scab has been ripped off of the putrefying sore of Obama “initiatives”. Wall St wants their money on their investment in Obama NOW because time is running out.
Correction: That “new” Obama Fannie/Freddie mortgage-help program will be a TRILLION dollar program, not a billion.
All for show, all for the image of “caring about the middle class,” and all for his own re-election purposes.
Always, always, read the fine print.
Most perfect test ever. Simple. EIther they do this, and they do it effectively (vs. just a token few people), or they’re clearly an OFA astroturf group. Clearly they’re already political given all the Republicans and Republican events they’ve protested. So pretending they’re not political can’t be the excuse.
It’s my fondest dream to be a cold hearted multimillionaire bastard and have a group like OWS manipulated into work for me. Mwahahaha.
Pardon me while I look for a secret lair location near a volcano. All the best ones are taken I’m finding.
A couple of days ago I ran across an Occupy Oakland story, apparently some protesters were caught with ‘a quarter stick of dynamite’ which was probably a M-1000 firework.. And in a huge coincidence, exactly what the OPD had complained about during their previous raids, that the protesters were throwing large fireworks at them.
Of course, Occupy claims it wasn’t them, just someone trying to make them look bad or whatever. Except they went all twinkles up at the GA to have weekly protest marches against the OPD. So this was an approved march, and in order to get the same tv worthy results, those M-1000s had to come out to play again.
Oh and the name of the march? ‘F*uck the police’ complete with banners and the usual destruction of property.
Same story (didn’t want to upset spammy with two links), with a great quote. It seems Occupy might want to use their “Tactical Action Committee”, the one responsible for the ‘F the police’ marches, more effectively.
They’ve lost at least one member on the citizen’s police review board….lol…and he has the same complaint we’ve had from the beginning.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/08/BAS61MMFQ7.DTL#ixzz1j58OP3Ve
To say OWS is being unreasonable is to assume they want to change things. They don’t. Their goal is to distract, burn up liberal energies, and reelect Obama. That is their only purpose.
Of course OFA/OWS is hoping for some shiny objects to distract like Palin, but if they can’t get that, a parade of idiots will do.
If on the other hand 10s of thousands to 100s of thousands protest the WH and force Lew to be dropped, then I’ll change my opinion. I’m not holding my breath though. So far the effort has been 100% helpful to Obama and his wall street and bank backers. A not so subtle hit to the real purpose of the real people in charge. Sorry to any suckers that think otherwise.
That’s an interesting thought-
Didn’t OWS start gearing up about the same time Sarah stated skipping deadlines to declare her candidacy?
BTW – What did they have planned if she did run?
Maybe they would have protested her liberal behavior of redistributing profits from oil companies to the citizens of Alaska. No wait, that can’t be it. Maybe it was her appointing a pro choice judge to the AK supreme court or promoting evolution and science. No wait, that can’t be it. Maybe it’s her stance on acknowledging climate change and wanting to actively do things to help the problem. Her efforts to protect the environment, esp. in the wilds of Alaska. No, that can’t be it. Oh, I know, it’s because she has scary lady parts. Knew it was something.
just what is it that the owies are complaining about.
redistribution is alive and well in the USA
I disagree with Ace most of the time, but he’s on to something here: