While there’s some shuffling of desks close to President Obama, the most important factor isn’t changing ¬– the 1 percent is retaining a tight grip on the administration.
Exit Bill Daley (income from J.P. Morgan in 2010 = $8.7 million). Enter Jacob Lew (income from Citigroup in 2010 = $1.1 million). Lew was CEO of the Citigroup division that invested in credit default swaps, among other risky investments that sank the economy. But the bank, which survived only thanks to taxpayer generosity, paid Lew a $900,000 bonus.
Were they really paying him for overseeing the investments that nearly sank the bank – or were they compensating him for the work he did for the bank while he served in the Clinton administration, betting that Lew would serve again?
And who can forget Daley’s predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, who got paid $16.2 million during a 2 1/2/ year as an investment banker, and remained a hedge fund favorite?
Meanwhile, still firmly in place near President Obama’s ear as his closest outside adviser on creating jobs is Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric. The Center for Public Integrity’s i-watch news is out with a devastating investigation into how GE under Immelt lost more than $1 billion getting into the subprime loan business, ignoring its own whistleblowers who were trying to tell their bosses how the irresponsible pursuit of profits led to widespread fraud.
This is more than just inside baseball – with these people in charge of the Democrats and the Republicans as well, there’s little hope that the administration will come to grips with the foreclosure crisis – or hold bankers accountable for looting and tanking the economy. Only a huge public outcry, much larger than the Occupy has mustered so far, can hope to change that.