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Can Obama stop the looting before it's too late?

by Jerome a Paris Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 06:23:00 AM EST

I've been really encouraged to see Obama hit the ground running and, for instance, announce the coming repeal of tons of Bush (de)regulatory decisions.

But things are happening so fast on the financial side that even such rapid action may not be sufficient to limit the damage currently being done by the Busgh administration in its dying days.

Consider the following appalling stories from this week-end:


First, this item reported in the WaPo (and also diaried by skosb) about yet another present made to banks:

A Quiet Windfall For U.S. Banks
With Attention on Bailout Debate, Treasury Made Change to Tax Policy

The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

Then this new plan for AIG announced in the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. Throws New Lifeline to AIG, Scrapping Original Rescue Deal

The U.S. government reached a deal Sunday night to scrap its original $123 billion bailout of American International Group Inc. and replace it with a new $150 billion package, according to people familiar with the matter.

(...) the arrangement stands to considerably ease terms on the faltering insurer

which is described as follows on naked capitalism:

AIG should have no rights at this point. Zero. Zip. Nada. The government already on the hook for an open-ended liability. Yet the Fed is treating AIG as a party that has rights and is negotiating with them, as opposed to dictating terms. This is staggering.

(...)

not only was the initial AIG de facto bankruptcy a case of looting, the government has now decided to aid and abet AIG management in further looting.

But wait, this is not over. paul94611 linked to the following articles earlier this morning:

Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Identify Bank Loans

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.

(...)

Total Fed lending topped $2 trillion for the first time last week and has risen by 140 percent, or $1.172 trillion, in the seven weeks since Fed governors relaxed the collateral standards on Sept. 14. The difference includes a $788 billion increase in loans to banks through the Fed and $474 billion in other lending, mostly through the central bank's purchase of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds.

So, there you go:

  • the $700 billion bailout;
  • an additional $140 billion in tax breaks for banks;
  • $150 billion for AIG, on much sweeter terms than they were paying for the earlier $85 billion bailout (with a whoopping 5% drop in the interest rate they have to pay, for instance);
  • lest we forget, the $29 billion guarantee to JPMorgan for Bear Stearns assets (but that's almost small change now);
  • and $1,200 billion new liabilities on the Fed's (ie ultimately the taxpayers') balance sheet, backed by mostly junk paper;
But maybe this explains things:

Bear Stearns Risk Manager to Guard New Henhouse

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Let’s say you were the chief risk officer of the former Bear Stearns Cos. in the two years preceding the bank’s collapse in March.

And let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that the postmortems revealed Bear to have had too much risk and too little management of it. The only way JPMorgan Chase & Co. would agree to acquire Bear was with a $29 billion sweetener from the Federal Reserve for some of the less-palatable assets.

Following the acquisition of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan, you would expect said chief risk officer to:

a) Retire quietly to his country home;

b) Open a “consulting” business, allowing him to deduct the costs of a home office at the country home;

c) Land a plum job offer from another Wall Street bank;

d) Land a job as a bank supervisor at the Federal Reserve.

If you picked a, b or c, you would be incorrect. The correct answer is d.

Michael Alix, chief risk officer at Bear Stearns from 2006 until its demise in March, was named senior vice president in the Bank Supervision Group of the New York Fed on Oct. 31.

It’s not unusual for Wall Street to reward its own, offering rogue traders -- the ones who escape criminal prosecution -- new jobs at different firms. But the Fed? At a time when its balance sheet is exploding with increasingly risky assets?

Lack of accountability seems to be the hallmark of the outgoing administration, this is sadly not news. But right now that painful fact is bringing about a transfer of wealth of close to $2 trillion from the taxpayers to the financial world which needs to be stopped before it's all gone.

The tax rule seems reversible, as might be the terms of the AIG loans (given who now owns AIG). The Fed's behavior and its disclosure behavior should be reviewed urgently.

I hope Obama and his team are on the case right now.

Display:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/10/5427/5812/592/658418

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 06:28:58 AM EST
European Tribune - Can Obama stop the looting before it's too late?
Yet the Fed is treating AIG as a party that has rights and is negotiating with them, as opposed to dictating terms. This is staggering.

staggering only if you haven't suspected for a while now that banks have entirely too much power over politicians.

if there ever was an objective science of economics, it's obvious that it can be bent way out of shape to accommodate the privileged very few, at the protracted and painful cost to the many, some even yet unborn!

there are so few voices that explain how sophisticated this greatest ever heist in history was, and how gulled were so many naive people.

and you have to go hunt them out...

thanks, J, for peeling back the onion again.

the only thing these shysters are banking on, at the end of the day, is that the people are too dumbed down to suspect  that these secret enclaves of the unaccountable are responsible for a declining dollar, unemployment, inflation and insecurity about the future, all to be in hock to the most greedy and unscrupulous gang of thieves ever given so much power to destroy so many lives.

all because of ignorance and deceit!

invisible people, sucking from the treasury at their convenience, even charging the rubes for lawyers to defend their own evil interests from civil suits.

no wonder mum and dad wanted me to be a banker or a lawyer.

how much can they loot before the public's muted growl becomes a mighty roar?

2 trill and counting... not a charge against any of them, not even one bad apple...

how long before we're taxed in blood when our tractor-trailers of worthless currency aren't enough for the taxman, and our ever more insanely megalomaniac financial overlords?

what will happen when the anesthetic wears off, and we realise we've been deftly eviscerated?

these guys are going to need every bloodsoaked penny to pay private armies of malodorous thugs to protect them from being strung up from the nearest lamp-posts by a red-misted public, and then they all have to rest sometime.

gonna take a whole lotta ambien to get their beauty sleep, i bet...

 

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 09:42:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wow ! winds of revolution !
by vladimir on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 01:25:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that howling hurricane in my head?

the feeling that the world as we know it needs turning upside down?

it's always the same story, the powerful, not being content with their domination, reach too far and people rise up... don't need a crystal ball to see how this might end. brute force has never succeeded in permanently erasing intelligence and imagination, but it ain't for want of trying!

the more you suppress it, the more it pops up where you don't expect.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 05:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps one thing Obama can do (yes he can) is make clear that his administration will NOT make the Watergate mistake and put everything behind us: he can and must hold accountability up as one of the cornerstones of his administration.

i guarantee you. there will be some sputtering and double thinking. Obama needs to flex some preemptive muscle here.

by pfiore8 on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 06:30:51 AM EST
That would presuppose that Obama's team has a desire to stop the looting.  It could be that the privatization of government in the US is already complete enough that the Treasury and the Fed are already arms of Goldman/Carlyle... as the evidence seems to indicate.

Expecting transparency in this situation is making me choke.  I want Obama to prove me wrong.  

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 06:39:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that this bunch of first class passengers is stuffing their lifejackets with gold as the Titanic sinks around them.

I cannot see how this global deficit-based system - ANY of it - can survive in even the medium term. It is simply beyond saving.

Fortunately, I think Obama has the intellectual firepower, and absence of preconceptions (maybe) which will be necessary for the transition which is coming.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 06:55:34 AM EST
ChrisCook:
I think that this bunch of first class passengers is stuffing their lifejackets with gold as the Titanic sinks around them.

LOL, hole in one... probably trading futures in emergency rations, lifeboat space and drinking water...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 09:54:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
politics so I cannot explain why I feel VERY optimistic right now.  The main problem Obama has which is a HUGE No-No for discussions ... Obama staying alive.  If he does even half the stuff you folks would like to see, he'll make tons of powerful enemies who are used to getting their way. Wouldn't mind taking a bullet for the guy; hell of a way to check out.  (Is that last comment a no-no?)

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 07:05:39 AM EST
Although the decision to transfer public wealth to private interests is certainly a decision which merits strong critique, one can ask whether the alternatives are much better:
> letting foreign concerns snap up US financials?
> letting the financials default?
by vladimir on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 08:26:24 AM EST
Why not just nationalise the bankrupt firms?

Oh, and impose confiscatory taxes on all wealth above - say - US$ 10 million to get the scum who made off like bandits in this round.

And actually prosecute tax evaders.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 08:39:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds good - on paper. The question with nationalization of banks (of any business for that matter) is whether the government can do a better job managing the thing than can private concerns. Past experience teaches us that it can't... really it can't. No matter what the down side of private enterprise is (and there are down sides) - the up side is that it's generally much more efficient than the public sector at producing goods and services and at directing investment.

Regulation is probably better - but that takes time to think through and implement.

Taxing is a great idea - and I certainly think that fiscal policy of western governments doesn't do a good job of redistributing wealth.

by vladimir on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 10:49:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a false binary choice though. The banks are not being run well at this moment in time and they are in danger of collapse. The government can run them well enough that nationalising them now and re-privatizing them once the crisis is past is perfectly viable.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 11:52:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At this point in time, it's hard for me to imagine the government doing a worse job than the private sector.

Besides, you could nationalise them and do nothing but fire the management, burn the shareholders and force them to be honest about their balance sheets. Instant efficiency gain to the tune of several hundred billion US$/yr on management alone. And if you think that a company can't run fine for a year or two without a board of directors and a CEO, I have a couple of Enron shares I want to sell...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 02:03:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Past experience teaches us that it can't... really it can't."

Which past experience?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 04:09:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On a macro level:
Soviet? East German? Chinese?

On a micro level in France:
> La Banque Postale as compared to almost any other retail network. RETAIL.
> La Poste? The first thing you want to do when you walk in is ... walk out.
> URSSAF? If you've EVER had to interact with them... you would not think of this public service as a role model of any sort.
> Education nationale? Although I'm all for the concept, I can only deplore the fact that there is a massive exodus of all those who can pay... away from the public to the private sector. Why?
> ...

On a general level:
Competition is what drives innovation.
Innovation is what drives... almost all the benefits mankind has acquired from agriculture, industry & services.

Really. It can't.

by vladimir on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 09:56:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a massive exodus from the public to private sector in French education? that's news ! Considering the private sector has remained at 20% since a very, very long time. And of course, that's considering the catholic schools are actually "private", considering their teachers are paid by the states and their building maintained by the collectivités locales. The actual private sector, that is actually free to hire its teacher and teach what it wants, is less than a percent of French pupils.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 09:10:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for providing these statistics, which I wasn't aware of. Wrongly, I based my assumptions on what I have observed throughout the West-Parisian suburbs and the choice that most of my friends with children seem to have opted for over the past 5 or so years.

My children are attending private school since 2006 and I see a difference in the quality of education they are receiving. I think that it's primarily a result of the motivation of the faculty - which is more pronounced in the private system. Two points I'd like to share:

1st: There hasn't been a single strike in the private school my children attend while there have been numerous disruptions in the public system during the same period. I, as a user of the service, appreciate that.

2nd: The expectations set by the faculty are much higher in the private school than they are in the public system. The difference in the amount of homework is truly enormous... which isn't always easy to deal with. But at least we have the impression that our children are being prepared for their future.

Finally, all my 3 kids seem to appreciate going to school more than they did while they were in the public system.

by vladimir on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 09:40:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said, it is hardly an indictment of public services, since such schools practically part of the public system of education, which in France relies too much on segregation ; which can be done within the all-public system (finding a way to get in the best state high school around) or by paying (a rather small sum) to get in a "private" school.

My personal experience, was spending a year in a "private" school, and afterwards going to the local "good" public school ; and life was better for me, and the teachers much better, at the later school.

It strongly depends on what exact neighbourhood you are in ; for example in Neuilly many go in public schools, since those are already socially segregated for all practical purposes.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 09:50:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
why shouldn't teachers be allowed to strike? Nobody strikes for the heck of it; strikes cost money - quite a lot of money. So if the teachers are striking every year, it means that either they are paid too little, or they are using strikes as a political weapon.

In the former case, the solution is to pay them fair wages - then they won't strike. In the latter case, some kind of political compromise must be struck so the teachers do not feel compelled to use such an expensive tool to make their case.

Either way, the blame is not solely - or even, IMHO, primarily - with the teachers.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 10:25:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's always the same story. As a user of a service on strike, it's very annoying. As a participant, a spectator, a political activist,... it's an understandable way to make a statement.

I certainly agree that staff delivering public education services in France are not paid nearly what they deserve to be paid.

Regarding the comment about social segregation which comes automatically with the neighborhood you live in, I actually live in a city with perhaps the highest family income level in the Yvelines (Viroflay). Does that mean that public schools in Viroflay are better than in... Les Mureaux ? From what I understood, French schools are neither managed nor financed at the local level - as they are in the US.

by vladimir on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 10:40:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An important factor of pupil performance is the level of the other pupils. Another is that as teachers get positions on seniority, which means that "quiet" schools end up with older experienced teachers compared to places that are not so quiet. Also, although teachers are financed at the state level, school buildings and many activities are - municipality level for the primary schools, département level for secondary schools. Which usually means more funds for computers, activities during lunch, better financed classes vertes and classes de neige...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Nov 12th, 2008 at 10:50:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So far I'm encouraged.  And the front page of the American edition of the FT this morning suggests they're going to start ramming health care reform, the Green New Deal, stimulus, etc, through Congress immediately in a kind of "Big Bang" thing.

Unfortunately, the best he can do with all this you've got here is try to game out what gets done after the Inauguration.  A lot of this looks reversible.  He's not the president yet, so he doesn't have the authority to do anything beyond the normal powers of a senator.  Once he's president, he can overturn unilaterally anything Bush has done unilaterally, as we're seeing with the executive orders.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 08:37:09 AM EST
The All-Mighty Presidency brought to you by the Bush Admin. and the Repubs., and utilized by ... Obama!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 09:09:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A good indication he wants to be the new sheriff as well as the new President, will be Obama's choice of Attorney General. This entire financial meltdown has not had one indictment of anyone involved at the management levels of these institutions and most of the people involved knew the products were fraudulent. It would be very easy to get the mid level executives to testify against their bosses.

In addition; these beneficiaries of the bailout havent had to agree to one new regulation which tells me Congress is owned by these interests and if Obama and a new team doesnt do something significant; the whole system needs to collapse with the focus on everyone who has benefitted from the initial fraudulent derivative products and the subsequent bailout

by An American in London on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 09:04:04 AM EST
We're talking about the financial equivalent of invading a sovereign nation with no justifcation.  And let's strike down the meme of "who coulda thunk it" (translation: who could have predicted) before it's allowed to take hold.  From Bloomberg's analysis of the Lehman fiasco:

As cut off from information as Fuld may have been, it wasn't as if he didn't recognize the firm's problems. In November 2004, more than two years before the bull market reached its peak, Fuld was telling people around him that low interest rates and cheap credit would create a bubble that could one day pop.

``It's paving the road with cheap tar,'' he told colleagues in a meeting at the time. ``When the weather changes, the potholes that were there will be deeper and uglier.''

For those who think the US Federal gubmint is caught on the sidelines of all this, rather than an integral part:


Meanwhile, worried that his lieutenants wouldn't be able to fetch a fair price from an investor, Fuld was pursuing another strategy. The plan his associates devised would offload Lehman's toxic commercial-mortgage portfolio to an independent company, codenamed Spinco. The new company's stock would be owned by Lehman shareholders, and its startup capital would be provided by the firm. While Lehman would have to raise fresh capital to replace what it transferred to Spinco, investors would be buying into an investment bank with a scrubbed balance sheet.

Management Shift

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gave the plan initial approval, Lehman executives said. There was only one hitch: It would take at least three months to meet SEC requirements. Lehman didn't have three months.

Remembering that floundering investment banks like Goldman were allowed to become bank holding companies, check out this example:


He had approached Timothy F. Geithner, 47, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in July to see whether Lehman might become a bank-holding company, which would allow it to widen its funding base. Geithner was cool to the idea, according to a person familiar with the discussions, saying it wouldn't solve the problem of Lehman's troubled assets. Fuld never made a formal application.

Fed `Haircuts'

Now, Fuld went back to Geithner. With Lehman running out of cash -- it had only $1 billion left by week's end -- it had to borrow money from the Fed's broker-dealer facility by Monday if it wanted to stay in business. Again the New York Fed, on whose board Fuld sat until the day before, was of no help. He was told Lehman's assets didn't fit the criteria for collateral, Bernanke would later say. The Fed also raised its ``haircuts,'' or collateral requirements, a person familiar with the discussions said, making it harder for Lehman to borrow from the facility.

Note also that Mr. Geithner is one of the names floated for Sec Tres.

Obama gonna put a stop to this theft?  Here's how deep the interconnections run.


It was McDade who called Fuld from the Fed meeting on Sunday afternoon, not Paulson. Far from helping Lehman, Paulson, Geithner and other officials, including SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, began pressing Lehman to declare bankruptcy. McDade told them that would have serious repercussions for other firms. Wall Street executives gathered at the Fed said a bankruptcy wouldn't be the end of the world. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley both had war rooms with charts detailing Lehman's subsidiaries and their exposure to each one, and they thought their potential losses would be limited.

I can't even summon the anger to keep writing, my mind is so boggled.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 09:41:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Keep in mind that the Obama team was remarkably watertight in terms of leaks during the campaign.  The names being "floated" are pure bs made up by somebody who needed to write an article.  They have not leaked anything all year, why start now?
by paving on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 09:54:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if they are pure BS, they still mould the frame through which potential appointees are viewed. If the press "floats" a list full of Good Old Boyz, and Obama goes completely off the list and picks somebody who actually might do something useful for a change, everyone in the Independent Press(TM) will look at their little lists, look at the guy and start screaming their heads off about how far-left the new guy is... It will, of course, never occur to them - at least not in public - that the problem might be that their lists are so far to the right that no politician in a civilised country should be able to survive picking anybody on it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 10:51:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama is unlikely to just rush out and stop the looting.  First it will be necessary that the scope of the problem be clearly laid out, the un-feasibility of the current approach made clear and a convincing case for an alternate path sold to a majority of the population.  Obama needs to be seen as taking necessary actions.

It would be premature to bring too much of this to a head while GWB remains in office.  But Congress should lay the groundwork with continuing investigations in the House and Senate.  The majority of Republicans are furious about the bail-out as it is.  But the economy is being held hostage to the ongoing looting.  Once Obama is in a position to lead a public re-education from the White House, it could be quickly shown that what has happened is folly and is only making things worse.  Then much of what has been done can be repaired.  Nationalization, re-organization while under government control and according to revised regulations with a view to re-privatization at a profit to the public may be the best way to proceed.

Meanwhile, the more blatant the looting becomes, the better the case will be for un-doing and disgorgement. Given the damage being done, the beneficiaries of this exercise in "disaster capitalism" cum regulatory disaster could come to see prison as among their better alternatives.  

The Republicans have long prated on about the dangers of "class warfare" while carrying out one of the most successful class wars in history.  They  have sown the wind and may be about to reap the whirlwind, that whirlwind being fueled by informed public rage at what they have done.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 01:36:56 PM EST
Big Unknown:

Candidate Obama and his staff constructed the largest mass political organization the US has seen post WW 2.

What will President Obama do with that organization?

In theory it could morph into a door-to-door education and persuasion operation.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 01:45:04 PM EST
do the more extreme on the republican side see them as an equivalent of Mao's red guard?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 01:53:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 02:45:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 03:29:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Much of the organisational infrastructure is in place and has not yet dispersed. What's to prevent the organisation from taking up the task of campaigning for a downsizing of Wall Street?

Obama is, after all, just one guy. If this mass mobilisation is really as mobilised as has been suggested, it should be possible to assemble sufficient cadre and activists to continue the organisation even if central support is pulled.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 02:09:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Obama organization is sending people to Georgia for the Senatorial run-off.  So 'campaign mode' is still happening.  (It will be interesting to see the affect.)

For the rest of it, Leadership is needed from people at all levels within the organization if it is going to continue or be allow to decay.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 03:46:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exciting Update:

Kos is reporting "Lots of people have been pushing David Plouffe.  I totally support this idea, no offense to [Senator] McCaskill.  This guy is the brains behind the infrastructure of the Obama campaign. Imagine giving him the reigns to the entire party, every Congressional seat."

As DNC chairman Plouffe would be able to seamlessly meld the Obama campaign organization and the regular Democrat party machinery.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 04:13:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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