Thursday, August 11, 2011

"The Great American Stick Up"

Genre: Nonfiction
Author:Robert Scheer
The former Los Angeles Times journalist and author Robert Scheer takes no prisoners in this account of how Wall Street managed to pull a compliant Clinton Administration over to its side. Clinton's acquiesence to further financial deregulations for Wall Street, especially repeal of the New Deal Glass Stegall Act of 1934 and other "modernizations" of banking laws helped lay the gorundwork that libertarian Republicans had started in the 1980's.

This book, one of many that have come out tracking the downfall of the American economy in the last decade or so, also shows that much of the personnel of that most recent crash like Fed Chairman Ben Bernake and Larry Summers (Clinton's Treasury Man, along with Robert Rubin) are still around to supposedly help "fix" the problem.

For those who want an insider's look at how much Washington and Wall Street are intertwined, look no further.

Here is Scheer interviewed on "Democracy Now" in the Fall of 2010.


  1. I didn't know that about President surprises me, in a way tho.
    Still, I thought he was mostly a good president. I didn't always agree with him, but honestly, I don't think anyone always agrees with a president!

  2. General Patton once said if everyone is thinking the same way then no one is thinking. I always respect the office of the President. I may not a particular person on office. I do support them even if they are less them worthy.

    I was also surprised that Clinton did so much to deregulate Wall Street.

  3. It surprised me as well Jacquie. It's certainly not something he wrote about much in his memiors.

    I liked a lot of things about President Clinton, but his signing these "modernizations" bills and listening to the likes of Summers and Greenspan was a major mistake.

  4. Patton was absolutely right, Fred. And as you infer, the Presidency is not an easy job and we have only have one of them at a time.

    I was surprised too about Clinton's role. I don't he knew as much about financial macroeconomics as he did about other matters. In short,he deferred too much to the big guys on Wall Street.

  5. That is the problem with the Presidency. You cannot be an authority on everything. You have to rely on the "authorities" on the subject. Sometimes working with the authorities it is like putting a fox in charge of the hen house

  6. That's exactly right in my view Fred. The same "top gun" authorities in a President's Cabinet or the Fed know the other top guns from working on Wall Street.

    Hence, they use cabinet power to protect their friends back on Wall Street and then go back to Wall Street later on. Hence the big bail-outs and bonuses and less help for the homeowners and small businesses. "Too big to fail" is another way of saying one back scratches the other so to speak.

  7. And doesn't that just sum up American contemporary politics in a nutshell Doug?

    Whatever candidates might say, if they are going to succeed they must have the backing of Wall Street, which is to me the US equivalent of the Iranian Revolutionary Council, the power behind the presidential throne that ensures no president can ever defy their iron will and ever hope to survive.

    Clinton was a broken and disempowered president-in-name-only.... long before his administration ended I think.

  8. Yes it does, AA, certainly as far as economics Wall Street has a very similar realtionship to government as does the Iranian theocratic overlords which you allude to ,especially since the 1980's and 90's when the "golden revolving door" between the White House and Wall Street started spinning like a Merry Go 'Round.

    I agree Clinton lost a lot of ground before he left.