Paul Volcker says privately Obama appointed him as “window dressing”

By Lucy Komisar
December 14, 2009

The man who isn’t there:   whatever happened to Paul Volcker?


President Obama appointed him Chairman of the new Economic Recovery Advisory Board which is supposed to advise the president on jump-starting the economy and stabilizing financial markets. But the former Federal Reserve Chairman has been cut out of key discussions, including one taking place today with officials of a dozen big banks.

At this morning’s Council on Foreign Relations breakfast to hear Barclays President Robert E. Diamond, Jr, one of my table-mates related what Volcker thinks about his exclusion. The ex-Morgan Stanley banker said Volcker is telling friends that President Obama appointed him just for window dressing.

Or else why isn’t Volcker at the meeting Obama is holding today with members of the financial services industry to discuss economic recovery, the Administration’s plans for financial reform and the banks’ lending practices?

Maybe Obama doesn’t want to hear the points Volcker might raise. Volcker told the House Financial Services Committee that he is for a stricter separation between banks that hold deposits and investment banks. And he says that by designating some companies as too big to fail, they get an implicit guarantee that they will be sheltered by access to a federal safety net.

According to the White House press release, staff people expected to attend are Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement Valerie Jarrett, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Dr. Christina Romer, Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Where is Paul?

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2 Responses to "Paul Volcker says privately Obama appointed him as “window dressing”"

  1. katy kay   Dec 14, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Volcker is absolutely correct, Obama is a sham, and his other appointees and his recovery package should be saying to all who supported him, “we made a big mistake…this guy is in the pocket of Wall Street, Insurance, other Corporate Interests, lock, stock and barrel, just as are the Bushes, Reaganites, Clintons, 
Feinsteins, Pelosi, and on, and on…..going way, way back” and all through Congress.

    All of us should have known it if we hadn’t missed the big point, GOLDMAN SACHS was top contributor to not only John McCain, but more $$$ to OBAMA…..duh…For those of us who missed that, It was as plain as day the minute he finished naming his cabinet and key appointees to other critical agencies, etc… surprises there, unless people are still infatuated with his speaking skills. A friend of mine said the other day, “Katy give him a chance, he will change all that soon, he had to do it initially. I told her “she should have stopped drinking that Kool-Aid”…….

    I am as thrilled as the next person that we (WE, THE PEOPLE, whom Barack Obama has forgotten) elected a black to Presidency, but that‘s it. He doesn‘t get a free ride any more than Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, etc. Let us move on to a black woman, Cynthia McKinney, a real progressive, give her a chance……katy kay

  2. paul   Jan 24, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    According to the book “Secrets of the Temple,” Volcker became Fed Reserve Chairman appointed by President Carter in Aug 79 succeeding George William Miller who stepped down as Fed Chairman to replace Michael Blumenthal as Secretary of Treasury.

    Inflation was very high. To tame inflation, Volcker raised interest rates to the sky and put millions of people around the world jobless. In the first months of 1980, the Prime Rate was 20%. Carter eventually lost his Presidential re-election.

    I guess there’s a reason why Obama doesn’t want to hear Volcker’s hard-line views as it may cost him his re-election as it did Carter’s. It’s very easy to criticize. Please do your homework. If Obama accepted Volcker’s hard-line views to tame the economy and put millions of Americans out of work, would you accept that? It’s a dilemma, isn’t it?


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