Cancer victims or Wall Street bankers?

Obama’s campaign fundraisers at Goldman Sachs, AIG, and Citi seriously harmed the world economy through their greed, recklessness, and arrogance.

Cancer, neuropathy, and victims of other debilitating diseases live in constant pain.

Obama takes serious political risks to help one of these classes. Care to guess which?

More than 100,000 questions were submitted, with the idea Obama would answer those that were most popular. But after 3.6 million votes were cast, one of the top questions turned out to be a query on whether legalizing marijuana might stimulate the economy by allowing the government to regulate and tax the drug.

“I don’t know what this says about the online audience,” Obama said in the session in the East Room, drawing a laugh from his live audience, which included teachers, nurses and small-business people. “The answer is no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow the economy

Editorials in favor of the legalization of marijuana recently appeared in Time and The Economist. However, Obama is too busy mocking cancer victims and bailing out his Wall Street friends to do much about it.

Update: On Twitter, John Robb notes that Obama is using “special entities” to avoid complying with Congress’s laws regarding bailouts. No such innovation when it comes to providing pain relief to those with terminal diseases.

6 thoughts on “Cancer victims or Wall Street bankers?”

  1. you know, john robb’s incessant whining about black swans and cataclysms is really getting on my nerves… especially the part about how the “oligarchy” has taken over america. he really ought to read some american history once in a while. what exactly does he think the constitutional convention was afterall?

    this is nonesense. the “oligarchy” (whoever they are at the time) has always run america – BY DESIGN. the entire constitution was a deal between anti-federalist populists and monied interests who deep down inside wanted a monarchy. we don’t have a monarchy, thanks to the farmers with pitch forks, but we do have a republic which is essentially a diffuse oligarchy.

    the fact that wall street has good lobbyists isn’t some sort of earth shattering insight… it’s how things always have been. people with a lot of money want to have a say in what happens in washington… its just that the people with a lot of money change from time to time. and to say that they are “buying” influence… well that’s the god damned american way. they buy influence. and sometimes that influence is for good, and other times for ill, and when ill, the politician loses… usually regardless of how much money s/he has raised. and then the new pol goes up to washington, and the whole game starts over. this pattern is not unique to washington. it happens in every municipal government, every county government, and every state government in the country. legislation attracts interests. a bit like saying: “shit attracts flies.” we all know this.

    as for the “special entities” etc. geithner is clearly trying to create a pre-11 process for the orderly liquidation and winding down of major financial institutions… right now we have no so such process, and to allow another TBTF entity to go into an 11 without adequate protection in place would push the economy so far into the red that there may be widespread social upheaval across the globe. i know the john robb types and the 5gw dreamers and such love to sit around taking hits off a bong, imagining how cool and groovy an anarchic state of affairs would really be … kinda like when you were a kid you imagined how cool it would be to see blood on a battlefield… but this is real life folks. if you have some alternatives and explanations for why nationalization (rgiht now) is such a better option…. lets hear them. i’ve listened to roubini, and he’s made some assumptions about the transaction costs invovled in nationalization, and quite frankly, i think they are fantastically optimistic. just as opitmistic as those who say the PPIP is a silver bullet. what are you estimates? what are john robb’s? i haven’t once heard any of the screaming dreamers talk about what it would cost the economy if Citibank were nationalized. what sort of impact would that have on the toxic asset market? what about SWFs? how would they react? what sort of impact would that have in the pension fund market? what sort of impact would it have on the dollar? etc.

    and while you’re doing that… remember you need to have the authority to actually nationalize citi or b of a, tell me where that authority comes from. i’m not talking about the fdic acccounts, thats about 1/5 of each bank. where do you get the other 4/5s? then you need to tell us how you’ll handle the default of BoAs LTD… and citi’s for that matter, because the pension funds will need to know how that’s going to shake out. then you need to explain how all the credit derivatives that BoA and C are counter-parties too will be unwound without causing the holders to default and triggering a systemic collapse of the entire credit system.

    then, you need to explain what is going to happen to the executory contracts that C and BoA are beneficiaries of. will they be allowed to break them and claw back residual assets? if so, how is that going to impact the credit markets and how will you cure the domino effect of defaults resulting from the clawback? if not, then how on earth do you plan to pump enough capital into the bank to recover from those assets leaving the estate?

    basically, i think the whiners need to put up or shut up. any jack ass can kick down a door. “oh, that’s not a good decision. things will get worse.” (things are already getting worse!) unless you’re willing to show that you’re serious about tackling the wide range of problems associated with bank nationalization (don’t forget the political problems too), then constantly calling for “nationalization just like the swedes” is a bit silly.

  2. Fed X.,

    this is nonesense. the “oligarchy” (whoever they are at the time) has always run america – BY DESIGN.

    Your argument is that the Constitution was DESIGNED to be a method for politically powerful individuals to harvest profits for the Treasury?

    I can think of about ten purposes of the Constitution more important and legitimate than that.

    they buy influence. and sometimes that influence is for good, and other times for ill, and when ill, the politician loses

    This is striking naive.

    First, it conflates ill effects with low voter approval. Successful politicians, wherever they are, collect power while diffusing responsibility.

    as for the “special entities” etc. geithner is clearly trying to create a pre-11 process for the orderly liquidation and winding down of major financial institutions…

    I hope so.

    i know the john robb types and the 5gw dreamers and such love to sit around taking hits off a bong, imagining how cool and groovy an anarchic state of affairs would really be … kinda like when you were a kid you imagined how cool it would be to see blood on a battlefield…

    What does John Robb have to do with 5GW?

    What does 5GW have to do with anarchy?

    Reading your comment is like being in a coffee bar, and watching someone come in condemning, “Stalin, the Jews, and all the rest of the Australians along with them.”

    but this is real life folks. if you have some alternatives and explanations for why nationalization (rgiht now) is such a better option…. lets hear them.

    If your requesting why nationalization is better than an oligarchy, I have presented such an argument. [1]

    If your requesting why now instead of in six months — then that’s largely a technical matter. You appear to have special insight into Tim Geithner’s brain that few other have. I hope you’re right. I’ve seen a lot of people deluded into supporting foolish decisions because they believe they have picked up secret signals inaccessible to others. But again, I hope you’re right

    and while you’re doing that… remember you need to have the authority to actually nationalize citi or b of a, tell me where that authority comes from. i’m not talking about the fdic acccounts, thats about 1/5 of each bank. where do you get the other 4/5s?

    The original bailout bill, approved by Congress and signed by President Bush, allows the Treasury to purchase equity in financial institutions.

    After that, the rest is simple bargaining.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2009/03/22/the-90-tax.html

  3. Fed X.,

    Don’t sweat it. The tdaxp experience is often overwhelming! 😉

    Michael,

    The CEO’s pay is currently being subsidized by the taxpayer [1], so he has to be politically careful for the moment.

    There should be a discussion of what the marginal value of such an analyst is, as opposed to another analyst, and attempt to recapture most of the speculation-generated income after that. Something along the line for a 90% marginal tax after $200k, or somesuch.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2009/03/29/welfare-queens.html

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