Some crisis links (11.10.2008)

Paul Craig Roberts, after considering Barack Obama's advisers and early appointees, fears the War Party and Banksters will remain in power once Obama becomes President.

Using Oren Kerr as his foil, Glen Greenwald rightly accuses America's intellectual elite of betrayal during the Bush crime wave regime (see this, this and this). When considered as a whole, they were polite if not silent during that time. Neither may be appropriate responses to the events and actions of the moment. Greenwald writes:

The question isn't whether invective as opposed to reasoned argument is appropriate. Even with regard to the most morally urgent debates — perhaps especially there — conclusions are only worthwhile if steeped in premises that are well-supported, analysis that is well-informed, and reasoning that is sound. Nobody disputes that. The issue is that huge numbers of elites and other experts (such as Kerr) who came forth to opine on what the Bush administration was doing failed to inform the public, failed to sound the alarm, about just how radical and lawless these assertions were — what a profound departure from our constitutional traditions they represented.

Instead, many of our leading opinion-makers and elites often defended those policies and thus legitimized them. Even when there was opposition, it was typically tepid, mild, respectful, ambivalent, constrained, dispassionate — creating the appearance to a citizenry that relies upon experts and elites to sound the alarm when things have gone fundamentally off track that there was nothing unusual or noteworthy about the powers this administration was claiming and the conduct in which it was engaging.

Paul Krugman advocates that President-elect Obama opt for a stronger and consistent version of FDR's New Deal reforms. In this Krugman sounds a bit like a left Keynesian!

So also Rahm Emanuel, who informed the world that:

US President-elect Barack Obama intends to push a comprehensive programme of social and economic reform beyond an immediate emergency stimulus package….

Mr. Emanuel brushed aside concerns that an Obama administration would risk taking on too much when it takes office in January. He said Mr. Obama saw the financial meltdown as an historic opportunity to deliver the large-scale investments that Democrats had promised for years.

The economic crisis continues to cull the weak. The vultures thus continue to eye a rapidly fading General Motors, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Obama administration wants to save the American auto industry but might not arrive quickly enough to save this relic from America's industrial past.

These days, thanks to Treasury Secretary Paulson's enormous generosity with money belonging to others, survival concerns do not trouble AIG, who will receive another $40B from America's taxpayers, according to the New York Times. Peter Morici suggests implementing an alternative to extending the AIG bailout:

If AIG can't make it on the money the taxpayers have already apparently squandered, then the Treasury should simply exercise its warrants, take control of AIG, and sell off AIG's solid insurance businesses for what they are worth. The Treasury can buy back the CDOs for common shares in the company and reorganize the new AIG with more responsible management.

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