Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lew's destructive past

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Peninsula readers' letters: January 12

From Daily News Group readers mercurynews.com

Posted:   01/11/2013 06:50:33 PM PST

Lew's destructive past

Dear Editor: President Barack Obama's treasury secretary nominee, Jacob "Jack" Lew, was an executive at Citigroup from 2006 to 2008 at the time of the financial crisis. He backed financial deregulation efforts while he headed the Office of Management and Budget under President Bill Clinton. During that time, Clinton enacted two key laws to deregulate Wall Street: the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.

On Thursday, independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont criticized Lew's nomination, saying, "We don't need a treasury secretary who thinks that Wall Street deregulation was not responsible for the financial crisis." The most destructive deregulation happened under President Clinton by statute, but Lew was also there for much of the deregulation by rule. The unit that he was heading would have not been permissible but for getting rid of the Glass-Steagall Act under Clinton. I think we can just expect more of the same overt and covert support of these too-big-to-fail institutions that Lew worked for, with Citigroup being the worst and most disastrous example of that kind of company.

Lew also got a huge bonus for helping to destroy Citicorp, and he got it through the bailout by the U.S. government. So he produces disaster, profits from the disaster, we pay him bonuses for causing the disaster, and then we have the absurdity of the president of the United States saying that this is a man with a track record of unmitigated success.

Ted Rudow III,

Palo Alto

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