Was there a quid pro quo whereby Summers took cash from Wall Street and then entered the administration and did Wall Street's bidding? Not explicitly, no. Bribery in our country most often operates in the world of the implicit - Summers got the cash because he was a solid Wall Street investment, a guy who could be counted on to continue championing deregulation in crucial government and public policy spheres. It was likely both a reward for his longtime deregulation advocacy, and an encouragement for him to continue in that advocacy - a signal that he will continue to be rewarded for his extremism.
And we now see the consequences. With the global community ready to embrace very strong financial regulations, our government - whose economic policy is steered by Summers - worked to water down those regulations. Indeed, a $7 million investment got Wall Street a huge return - perhaps it's best investment in the lat few years.
Put another way, there's a cause and effect there - it may not be overt, it may be subtle, the news media may be more interested in reporting on the trivialities of Barack and Michelle's European travels, and the Summers case may be a microcosm of a larger systemic probem, but it's there. You can avert your eyes from it, stomp your feet and pretend beyond a reasonable doubt that it's not true, but it's right there.
Monday, April 06, 2009
According to David Sirota's analysis of the G-20 meeting: