Excellent Frank Rich column

Rich’s column, “What Happened to Change We Can Believe In?” in the NY Times, Sunday 210.24.10, is well worth reading for its insight and information.

To wit:

“But the most relentless drag on a chief executive who promised change we can believe in is even more ominous. It’s the country’s fatalistic sense that the stacked economic order that gave us the Great Recession remains not just in place but more entrenched and powerful than ever.”

“so many have lost their jobs, their savings and their homes. It’s also because so many know that the loftiest perpetrators of this national devastation got get-out-of-jail-free cards, that too-big-to-fail banks have grown bigger and that the rich are still the only Americans getting richer.”

“This intractable status quo is being rubbed in our faces daily during the pre-election sprint by revelations of the latest banking industry outrage, its disregard for the rule of law as it cut every corner to process an avalanche of foreclosures.”

The column names the names of those policy makers and financial con men who have contributed, while enriching themselves, to the financial ruin of the country, among whom number Rubin, Summers, Angelo Mozilo former chief executive of Countrywide and the godfather of subprime mortgages who collected in compensation $521 million as he pursued his gambling spree from 2000 until 2008.

“As the star economist Nouriel Roubini tells the filmmaker, Charles Ferguson, the financial sector on Wall Street has “step by step captured the political system” on “the Democratic and the Republican side” alike. But it would be wrong to single out Summers or any individual official for the Obama administration’s image of being lax in pursuing finance’s bad actors. This tone is set at the top.

Asked in “Inside Job” why there’s been no systematic investigation of the 2008 crash, Roubini answers: “Because then you’d find the culprits.””

One last quote (it should be obvious that the column should be read if one is interested in understanding the situation in which the U.S. finds itself one week before the midterm 2010 elections:

“The real tragedy here, though, is not whatever happens in midterm elections. It’s the long-term prognosis for America. The obscene income inequality bequeathed by the three-decade rise of the financial industry has societal consequences graver than even the fundamental economic unfairness.”

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