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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Obama Too Cozy With Banks, Say Paul Krugman…And John McCain

In his New York Times column today, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman criticized Obama for going easy on the bankers. Krugman’s complaints are part of a broader frustration among progressives that Obama is too close to Wall Street and big banks. But this particular column had an unusual booster: Obama’s 2008 presidential opponent John McCain.

Earlier today, McCain tweeted from his official twitter account, @SenJohnMcCain, that “It may surprise you to know that I completely agree with Paul Krugman’s column in today’s @nytimes.

In fact, it shouldn’t be that surprising. Toward the end of the 2008 campaign, McCain attacked the close relationship between the government and Wall Street banks, calling for an independent commission to investigate the “casino on Wall Street of greedy, corporate excess” and the “old-boy network and Washington corruption” that prevented the government from effectively regulating the banks. Obama opted not to appoint an independent commission, preferring to focus on a way to quickly stimulate the economy.

Krugman’s most recent column attacked Obama’s argument that it was necessary to go easy on the banks in order to save the economy. Among other things, Obama has pushed states’ attorneys general not to investigate evidence of foreclosure fraud, but instead to settle with big banks for a couple billion dollars and a promise they’ll stop. Obama seems to be concerned that a thorough investigation of major mortgage lenders’ unethical foreclosure policies—Bank of America and others allegedly evict people from homes without bothering to check whether they’ve actually defaulted on their mortgages!—will upset the banks and make them less likely to give loans to would-be homeowners. But, Krugman points out, ignoring the problem will just lead to more foreclosures, which will depress housing prices—in addition to ruining countless lives.

It may not be a surprise that McCain—who loves to (occasionally) beat the drum of economic populism—agrees with Krugman that the government isn’t hard enough on the banks. But it should be a wake-up call for Obama, who now faces populist anger from both liberals and conservatives. Most of Obama’s economic policies may be much smarter and more appealing than Republican ridiculousness like extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and privatizing Medicare, but Americans on both the Left and Right may not be happy that he’s refused to take a hard line against the banks that started the financial crisis in the first place.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • QueenMoM


  • jebron

    Neither McCain or Krugman are lawyers and don’t realize that, unfortunately, greed is not a crime if it is not fraudulent [and fraud is very difficult to prove. The prosecutions they want would probably be a serious waste of money unless they simply want a show trial.

  • Debty

    The banks and Wall Street as well as the mortgage companies need to be investigated and jailed. This nightmare will not end for millions of Americans until real justice is served. If anyone else tried to do the Ponzi scheme that these banks and wall street are running with our lives would be in jail..IE: Bernard Madoff. Why should he spend 150 years in jail and we let the others go free? It’s time that the Attorney Generals are allowed to proceed not only to investigate and indict ,but be paid as well for the foreclosure fraud they inflicted on this country. Their is no free pass in this one and President Obama needs to realize this. Millions of Americans are suffering and the biggest foreclosure king Deutsche Bank should not be allowed to do business PERIOD in our country due to the devastation they have brought into it. This is one bank, this country needs tried and convicted.

  • Debty

    Yeah that hurt them paying a fine..notice who is making money and who’s not. People are still losing their homes and robo signing is still spreading. If its ok for the banks and wall street to walk away with just fines, its time you open the doors to the prison cells and let the others out and let them walk away with a fine, as well. This is America and justice for all prevails that we are all treated equally.. So open the cell doors or start the proceedings of the real criminals, Banks, Wall Street and mortgage investors, or you have to let the others go free.