Robert Rubin

Defunct DLC

That great corporate driven lobbyist think tank, the Democratic Leadership Council or DLC, is disbanding. Yes, that lovely organization which brought you financial deregulation, NAFTA, the China PNTR, more income inequality, and Democrats jumping into bed with multinational corporate agendas is officially D.O.A.


The DLC also had two severe deficiencies. The first was its relationship to the business community, which was driven--in large part--by the organization's corporate sponsors. Wall Street had too much sway in the DLC; the Wall Street Democrats--people like Bob Rubin, Larry Summers, Steve Rattner, Roger Altman--tilted the policy focus away from productive corporate investment and toward financial speculation fueled by deregulation. This was not merely a policy mistake, it was a moral failure. The DLC's support for free trade--at the expense of fair trade (demanding equal access for our products from our trading partners)--seems downright foolish in retrospect.

And then there was the war in Iraq, which the DLC supported reflexively, as a way of seeming "strong", without ever really analyzing the intellectual weaknesses of the casus belli--which, combined with the exposure of the financial community's depredations in 2008, provided a final crushing coda for the DLC . In a way, the difference between the DLC in the 1990s and the 2000s was the difference between Bill Clinton and Joe Lieberman

RUBIN'S RUBES: Matt Taibbi's slapdown of the Obama Administration

In the December issue of Rolling Stone the journalist Matt Taibbi hits yet another grand slam exposing the murky world of Wall Street and Washington politics ("Obama's Big Sellout").  Taibbi provides a detailed and thoughtful analysis on the myriad connections between numerous Obama appointees and Robert Rubin, the Obama presidential campaign's economic advisor, and former Clinton Treasury Secretary who led the charge for the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, to create the megamerger that was to become Citigroup.

Rubin then left the Clinton Administration to lead Citigroup in their tumultuous downfall.

Below is a very brief synopsis of some of Taibbi's salient points.  Any and all remarks in parenthesis are mine, and should not be attributed to Taibbi's article.

They will NEVER be held accountable!

It is becoming abundantly clear that Barack Obama is going to pursue the same centrist pro-Wall Street policies as did Bill Clinton, and Clinton's big money contributors.

Dylan Ratigan, the host of "Fast Money," is one of the few voices of taxpayer outrage on CNBC. Today he interviewed Obama economic advisor Laura Tyson. Keep yourself away from objects that you might be able to hurl at your computer screen, because it will be hard to restrain yourself.

Here's the link
[If someone knows how to embed the video, feel free to do so or let me know how]

A few "highlights":
- It's not appropriate to think of this as coming out of the taxpayer's hide.
- The interests of Wall Street and Main Street are one (Main Street should be glad we are bailing out Wall Street)
- This isn't a bailout, it's an effort to "restore normalcy"