Politics

Obama to Banks "Say You're Sorry. And Say It Like You Mean It."

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During an interview with PBS on Monday, President Barack Obama discussed the status of the economy, while taking a shot at unrepentant banks:

Well, here's what happened. You had a Wall Street that took excessive risks, acted irresponsibly and almost dragged the entire economy into a depression…The problem that I've seen, at least, is you don't get a sense that folks on Wall Street feel any remorse for taking all these risks. You don't get a sense that there's been a change of culture and behavior as a consequence of what has happened. And that's why the financial regulatory reform proposals that we put forward are so important.

So the real reason behind TARP is revealed: Wall Street needed an attitude adjustment. And until bankers are sufficiently sorry, the sentence is "regulatory reforms."

Read the whole thing.

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  1. SAY you’re sorry?

  2. fuck obama

  3. The problem that I’ve seen, at least, is you don’t get a sense that folks on Wall Street feel any remorse for taking all these risks. You don’t get a sense that there’s been a change of culture and behavior as a consequence of what has happened.

    Replace “Wall Street” with “Capitol Hill” and he might be on to something. Or, he could just recite that into a mirror. That works, too.

  4. “Wall Street feel any remorse for taking all these risks.”

    What the FUCK?

    Of course there’s no remorse you stupid shit. They never had to pay for taking those risk because you motherfuckers in Washington gave them MY FUCKING MONEY!

  5. Was it PJ O’Rourke who, when talking about Saddam’s statues all over Iraq, wondered why being feared wasn’t enough and every strongman also wanted to be loved?

  6. “We expect all banks to invest with the care and prudence exhibited by our thoroughly regulated, government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which… oh, wait….”

  7. JL, a beloved politician, IMO, can get away with a hell of alot more for a much longer time than a feared one.

  8. Probably Obama figures that at least he’s more popular than Wall Street. And he hopes that the mere fact that he helped bail out Wall Street won’t be taken as an indication that he’s somehow connected to them.

  9. Well, here’s what happened.

    ::checks for wallet::

  10. Yeah, those wall-street assholes, always screwing over the little guy!… let’s give them a trillion dollars.

  11. Far be it from me to defend the President (you can say that again), but as I read the quote, it’s not ‘saying sorry’ that he’s looking for, but different behavior and rules (that’s what ‘culture’ means here). Obama’s said some pretty outrageous things (just read down the page today), but this probably isn’t one of them.

    Now, of course, there’s no reason for behavior to change if the banks are going to be bailed out every time they screw up (if they screw up badly enough, of course).

  12. What a fucking god complex.

  13. You don’t get a sense that there’s been a change of culture and behavior as a consequence of what has happened. And that’s why the financial regulatory reform proposals that we put forward are so important.

    You know what might change the culture and behavior on Wall Street? If the people behaving badly had been allowed to suffer the consequences of their actions and go out of business. Then the next people who came along would start out by thinking abut how to avoid the mistakes of their predecessors.

  14. I know a few guys at Lehman and Bear who “learned their lesson.”

  15. Wow, impressive finger-wagging from a bought-and-paid-for political whore.

    How much did he get from Goldman Sachs in his campaign, again?

    -jcr

  16. You don’t get a sense that there’s been a change of culture and behavior as a consequence of what has happened.

    Wow… wow…… WOW! Was he winking and laughing when he said this? Was this one of those raw feeds that gets out in the wild when he’s officially not on air?

    He’s kidding, right? Tell me he was just kidding. Bush, and then Obama can’t hand Wall Street enough billions fast enough as a reward for their actions, and he wonders why the culture hasn’t changed? Because on Wall Street, nothing succeeds like…success. If the goal on Wall Street was to make a profit, the government made doubly sure they would, even if they had to drag the rest of the economy down with them and run up trillions in debt.

    Open letter to Obama:

    When a business fails and you bail them out, there’s no incentive for them to change their culture.

  17. TARP as vehicle for financial reform is probably the third craziest conspiracy theory I’ve heard in the past 10 years.

    Yes, of course, President Bush loved regulating Wall Street. He just had to think of a properly insidious way to do it. Because that guy is all about carefully crafted, flawless strategy.

    Of course, the proponents of this conspiracy aren’t bothered by that in the slightest because Obama created TARP, just like Obama created the debt and the financial crisis. Ironically, these same people deride Obama’s supporters for thinking he’s a god. I’m an Obama supporter, but I’ve never deluded myself into believing he can travel through time.

  18. “You had a Wall Street that took excessive risks, acted irresponsibly and almost dragged the entire economy into a depression…The problem that I’ve seen, at least, is you don’t get a sense that folks on Wall Street feel any remorse for taking all these risks.”

    What is an excessive risk? Wall St makes money on risk, if there is no risk there is no profit. All sectors of the economy did not assess the housing market correctly, Wall St, consumers, state and federal government, all giving each other reinforcing feedback. It pretty much defines a bubble. To cast aspersions on Wall St lack of remorse by a government official is pots and kettles.

  19. Well, Obama, after you’re done screwing up the economy, will you feel remorse? I didn’t think so.

  20. I’m an Obama supporter, but I’ve never deluded myself into believing he can travel through time.

    What a cleverly snarky way of blaming your predecessor! Hey, if the Congress wanted to strangle TARP in its sleep, it has the power of the pursestrings, and the President could suggest such a course.

    Note that he has not done that; he’s actually “doubled down on Bush” (Thanks Matt and Nick!)

  21. Of course Obama, as a TARP supporter, shares responsibility for TARP. However, he didn’t create it. And thus this:

    So the real reason behind TARP is revealed: Wall Street needed an attitude adjustment. And until bankers are sufficiently sorry, the sentence is “regulatory reforms.”

    Is fucking stupid. Yes, it’s obviously snark. But even snark has to make some sense. And besides that, I’ve seen numerous people on this board and elsewhere espouse that view in total seriousness.

  22. However, he didn’t create it.

    Actually, as a member of congress when TARP passed, he was a “lawmaker”, hence he did create it.

  23. Semantics, good old semantics. Nothing beats semantics.

  24. Obama should realize that the dozen or so regulars who post here are watching his every move and analyzing his every word, and he isn’t faring very well in the conclusions being reached. A word to the wise…

  25. If you watched that segment of the NewsHour, you would have witnessed an incredible rhetorical trick the interviewer, Jim Lehrer, pulled in his questioning of the president. He would frame his questions in such a way that it put the president’s opponents on the offensive. Obama would then answer in a tisk, tisk, above the fray, blameless tone that God knows will never be challenged by these lackeys.

  26. I don’t see Barney Frenk, Chris Dodd, Alan Greenspan or Obama himself exhibiting any remorse for the all the government meddling that they were involved in and/or endorsed that was the primary cause of the whole thing to begin with.

  27. “you would have witnessed an incredible rhetorical trick the interviewer, Jim Lehrer, pulled in his questioning of the president. He would frame his questions in such a way that it put the president’s opponents on the offensive.”

    That’s not really much of a surprise, now is it?

  28. ‘To cast aspersions on Wall St lack of remorse by a government official is pots and kettles.’

    Again with the racism!

    Kidding, kidding. I’m not offended, except by the reference to ‘pot,’ of course.

  29. I note that he’s gone back to his “doing nothing is not an option” rhetoric, but doing nothing is a whole lot better than doing destructive things.

    As for “folks on Wall Street feel[ing] remorse for taking all these risks,” risk is part of business and the higher the risks the higher the reward, but free markets also impose painful penalties for those who risk too much and lose. Regulations only invite more efforts on the part of those being regulated to steer the regulations in their own favor.

    His remarks have a built in assumption that he and his advisers and all the bright light in Congress and the bureaucracy have the wisdom to run this industry better. I roll my eyes.

  30. For people like Obama, the culture that needs changes is the stubborn refusal of people in the free-market to produce unlimited good as Obama defines it without any negative tradeoffs whatsoever.

    From the perspective of people like Obama, the market “failed” to provide enough residential mortgages. This “failure” occurred because the free-market judged to many mortgages as to risky. The government stepped in to correct this “failure” by loan guarantees and by buying up mortgages and bundling by securities. All programs combined affected 60%-75% of all residential mortgages issued. By design, the programs were intended to induce the issuing of mortgages that the free-market would not issue owing to the risk they poised. They fixed the “problem.”

    Now we face a problem caused by the issuing of to many risky mortgages so who does Obama blame? The free-market.

    Face it, for Obama and other leftists, any pockets of freedom in the system are always to blame. Not enough high-risk mortgages? Free-market failure. Free-market responds as intended to massive government intervention? Free-market failure.

    The solution, the only solution they ever offer for any problem whatsoever? Less freedom.

    You’ve got to admire the elegance of the scam. Cause a problem and then gain even more power by claiming to fix it. It’s like and arsonist owning a fire brigade.

  31. That’s not really much of a surprise, now is it?

    Of course, I meant ‘defensive’ there 😉

    Shared some hooch a little while ago with my sister, her B-Day and all.

  32. You’ve got to admire the elegance of the scam. Cause a problem and then gain even more power by claiming to fix it. It’s like and arsonist owning a fire brigade.

    Or like the Mob running a protection racket.

  33. If your goal is to change behavior and culture wouldn’t it make more sense to use every other form of operant conditioning other than positive reinforcement by rewarding the behavior with a bailout?

  34. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  35. What a cockbag!

    Did Obama say he was sorry for helping to inflate the housing bubble and his support for the shitholes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

    Fuck that piece of shit.

  36. William | July 21, 2009, 9:16pm | #

    Obama should realize that the dozen or so regulars who post here are watching his every move

    Oooh, he’s shaking in his boots!
    How many crackpots does it take to change a culture?

  37. “Shared some hooch a little while ago with my sister, her B-Day and all.”

    SugarFree is your sister?

  38. Citibank paid Obama $1,000,000 in the 90’s to get him to quit suing them for not making enough risky loans. Now he tells them they made too many of them. Goldilocks the Community Organizer.

  39. William makes a good point. The regulars here need to take some of their time and energy to write letters to the editor of their local paper regarding health care issues, spending, etc. etc. We need libertarian views exposed to the wider public than what we get posting to each other here: I had one printed Monday that was seen by thousands.

  40. Asking nicely to be a little more like normal human beings with empathy and morals isn’t as bad as putting all their heads on pikes, which is what some of them deserve. Why can’t we get a good old fashioned class war going in this country? It’s not natural for the rich to be worshiped rather than be objects of scorn.

  41. Yes, Tony, more class hatred! That’s always good for a society!

  42. Why can’t we get a good old fashioned class war going in this country?

    Because the media doesn’t allow it Tony. Class warfare is verboten on the public airwaves and in most major newspapers.

    Yes, Tony, more class hatred! That’s always good for a society!

    It is. It keeps the most powerful (the richest) in check. It also helps prevent shit like bailouts.

    ANd last I checked, the rich are already waging war on the poor. The rich demand bailouts and get them and yet oppose social programs (welfare, food stamps etc) for the poor/middle class.

    So spare us your bullshit. There is already class warfare going on. Except only one side (the rich) gets to attack.

  43. ChicagoTom, not all the rich are asking or taking bailouts. To those that are, I say fuck them whores.

  44. Next time my niece fails a class I’m going to give her a $1,000. She’ll be posting straight A’s next semester, I’m sure of it. Lesson learned.

    Bleh, this is so fucking stupid I can’t even believe I’m commenting on it.

  45. spare us your bullshit. There is already class warfare going on. Except only one side (the rich) gets to attack.

    This obviously explains why they pay the highest tax rates.

  46. Asking nicely to be a little more like normal human beings with empathy and morals isn’t as bad as putting all their heads on pikes, which is what some of them deserve.

    You’re right Tony, society should be driven by emotions like empathy and anger, instead of reason. Fuck that rational deliberation crap. Who the fuck cares how real economies actually function? Children are starving! Waaa!

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