The Escape Artists

Friday, March 09, 2012

Senior editor of The New Republic Noam Scheiber looks at President Obama's handling of the economy in his new book The Escape Artists: How Obama's Team Fumbled the Recovery.


Noam Scheiber

Comments [24]

glork from Glen Ridge, NJ

A stumble? Was there anything else the government could have done to enrich the wealthy and alienate the poor that was more telling than this?
It looks like a carefully crafted plan not a "pitfall".

Mar. 09 2012 01:18 PM

This is a candy-assed summery of what these criminals perpetrated!

Mar. 09 2012 12:41 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


I see the Pagans are out in force today, spreading their Big Bang theory of We are all just random flotsam and jetsam, and nothing has meaning and all is just random collisions. There is no God, there is no Intelligent Design, but only the Big Bang and Dark Energy and Dark Matter and 11 dimensions. Why? Mathematics tells me so.

Mar. 09 2012 12:40 PM

Amen, HughSansom.

Mar. 09 2012 12:39 PM

The word "fumbled" removes the liability from the INSIDIOUS destruction of the WORLD economy.

Mar. 09 2012 12:38 PM

Amen, HughSansom.

Mar. 09 2012 12:38 PM

Amen, HughSansom!

Mar. 09 2012 12:36 PM

The usual "faith-based" dribble from ol' jaggerbuttz

Mar. 09 2012 12:35 PM
Anthony Drago from Jackson Heights, NYC

Exceptionally good job of interviewing, Lenny. Every question was "right on." You and your staff really did their homework.

Mar. 09 2012 12:34 PM

Wall Street recovered more quickly because the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and subsequent efforts by the President, Congress, and the Federal Reserve guaranteed the largest redistribution of wealth in human history. Trillions of dollars were redistributed from the poor and middle classes to Wall Street. It is completely unprecedented.

And as Simon Johnson and others have noted, Obama & Co. have guaranteed that it _will_ happen again. Soon.

Mar. 09 2012 12:32 PM

When you get tired of this boring propaganda,
wrap your ears around a narrative with a beat. :-)

Mar. 09 2012 12:32 PM


Mar. 09 2012 12:32 PM

Noam seems to be in denial that the banks got a break unlike Detroit because the Obama admin is owned BY THE BANKS. the wealthy of finance get a break the working class don't.

Mar. 09 2012 12:29 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Recessions and depressions come and go. We had plenty of them in the 19th century, and some in the 20th, including the BIG ONE, the Great Depression, but we always make a big deal out of them, and then we forget, borrow lots of money again, go on spending sprees, until the next bubble bursts. Always a lot of blah blah blah, but human nature is what it is. People see other people making "easy" money and so they hop on the bandwagon, until the wagon goes over the cliff. We can analyze all we want, but nothing will change, because Human nature will never change. It is what it is.

Mar. 09 2012 12:27 PM

Obama, et al continued the Bush/Paulson strategy of a total bailout for the financiers at the expense of the general welfare of the nation's citizens.

Mar. 09 2012 12:25 PM

Summers and Geithner and, the fact that Obama brought them on and allows them to remain are the MAJOR reasons that make this progressive voter to REALLY reconsider my support.

Not that the GOP Cirkus Klowns™ offer any kind of relief.

Mar. 09 2012 12:24 PM


Mar. 09 2012 12:21 PM

Labor force participation rate for 16 years old and over is 63.9% up from 63.7% which is lowest percentage in three decades so how can low unemployment numbers mean anything about jobs?

Mar. 09 2012 12:21 PM
Henry from Katonah

The public DID not understand the severity of the recession in 2009? It STILL does not! No matter how many times administration officials say "the worst downturn since the 1930s," I am just as likely to hear news commentators ( even on NPR ) comparing our current situation to 1991 or 1982 or 2002. Everyone should look at the GDP figures; there is a huge difference in magnitude.

Mar. 09 2012 12:21 PM
Ken from UWS

Didn't Obama make a tactical error by not at least asking Congress for much more stimulus than he would ultimately be able to get? At least he could say, "I tried."

Mar. 09 2012 12:16 PM
Hugh Sansom

A recently released pair of memos proves conclusively how Christina Romer's proposal was gutted before it was even shown to Obama. Summers, Orszag, Geithner and company were squarely in the proven-false neolib deregulation school.

The guest utterly, grossly mistates things when he says that "nobody estimated the crisis" properly. In fact, we know -- conclusively -- that Romer did estimate very well. So, too, did Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Dean Baker and many other modern Keynesians. The strangle-hold of Clinton style Friedmanites cannot be overstated.

Worse, Obama personally and arrogantly dismissed the concerns of people like Stiglitz and Romer.

That Noam Scheiber can't state this accurately casts doubt upon the body of his claims.

Mar. 09 2012 12:16 PM

I'm expecting that one of the "stumbles" that will be mentioned will be Secretary Geitner's encouragement to Senator Dodd to make sure that the financial legislation to be passed in the early days of the Obama Administration included express authorization for the giant bonuses that the financial masters of the universe were accustomed to. Related to this was Obama's February appearance on the White House Lawn, with Geitner, to announce that he was shocked that "bonuses were being given out."

Mar. 09 2012 12:14 PM
Antonio from bayside

So Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs, Robert Reich were not asked? Don't all admin folks start out in an academic setting? We got folks that were part of the problem. I don't get it. PLEASE EXPLAIN!

Mar. 09 2012 12:13 PM

Summers and Geithner are insider criminals.

Part of the problem.

SHould be fired and then arrested.

Mar. 09 2012 12:12 PM

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