Obama Panders To Conservatives — Nominates Deregulator to lead the Office of Management and Budget

by Ben Hoffman

A former top executive at Citigroup who participated in the deregulation of Wall Street during the Clinton administration and recently was tapped by President Barack Obama for [to lead the Office of Management and Budget] told a Senate panel last week that deregulation didn’t lead to the recent financial crisis.

[…]

Lew, a former OMB chief for President Bill Clinton, told the panel that “the problems in the financial industry preceded deregulation,” and after discussing those issues, added that he didn’t “personally know the extent to which deregulation drove it, but I don’t believe that deregulation was the proximate cause.”

Experts and policymakers, including U.S. Senators, commissioners at the Securities and Exchange Commission, top leaders in Congress, former financial regulators and even Obama himself have pointed to the deregulatory zeal of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations as a major cause of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Lew, however, doesn’t appear to agree, putting him at odds with an administration and a party that tout their efforts at re-regulating Wall Street in pitches to voters and cast blame for the crisis in part on the deregulatory policies pursued by Bush and his fellow Republicans in Congress.

Read more…

That’s not exactly the way to get democrats to vote in the mid-term elections. Of course, if Obama nominated someone who favored regulation, Republicans would have filibustered the nomination, but nominating conservatives just so they get confirmed is not the answer, unless the question is: “how do you make democratic voters more apathetic?”

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