Agoracom Blog

How Obama Blew A Golden Opportunity To Kick Wall Street Ass And Inspire People

Posted by AGORACOM at 12:13 AM on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Man, We Really Had High Hopes For You

I was about to hit the sack when I took one last look at my news stream and found this great post by my friend Barry Ritholtz.

The Tragedy of the Obama Administration

It is a must read.  I am no Obama basher – and neither is Barry Ritholtz.  In fact, we’re both entrepreneurs that believe in the right to compete and earn as much money as your ability (and luck) allow you to.  Not exactly the mantra of the Democratic party.  Nonetheless, if you are like us, you hate any sense of unfair play.  You want to win, or lose, fair and square.  You want your competitors to abide by the same rules.  Wall Street hasn’t played by those rules in over 30 years – and they are now threatening the entire global financial system.

Obama had a chance to change all that – and he failed.  Barry best summarizes this opportunity and failure in the following excerpt:

The opportunity existed to get the renegade banks under control — to reduce their leverage, their recklessness, and to get their hands out of the taxpayers pockets. That opportunity was squandered, and Obama ended up as a defender of the banking status quo. It is where his presidency could have achieved lasting greatness, and instead was turned into just another elected official, who over promised and under delivered . . .


Watching Obama lose the house tonight was painful from a hope point of view.  I personally can’t stand politicians and don’t believe either U.S. party will ever make a difference. But I did believe Obama – the person – was capable of making the changes he campaigned on.  I could write for an hour but it would be futile and I’m tired.  As such, I’ll summarize my view in these 8 bullet points:

  • Americans haven’t been happy with the health care system for decades.
  • BUT they were really mad about Wall Street / Bank fleecing right now.
  • He should have tackled Wall St first and hard.
  • It would have inspired citizens that desperately needed a hero.
  • He could have then ridden that wave into any reasonable legislation he wanted.
  • Obama blew it. I didn’t want him to. I’m a Conservative from Canada – but hoped that someone would stop the Wall Street train wreck.
  • It would have been nice to watch a President act Presidential.
  • Le Sigh.


6 Responses to “How Obama Blew A Golden Opportunity To Kick Wall Street Ass And Inspire People”

  1. Stochatzo says:

    Hi George

    Was surprised to see how similar your letter was to mine in response to a dem sentor who emailed me this week about an idiotic bill with barney frank et al to impose some kind of limits on oils speculation- wow i had to give him a lecture on Keynesian stuff- hope he didnt take it so hard i shot his idea full of holes but then i will be happy if he quits emailing me

    I told him the same thing as you did above Obama had his chance to attack wall st/banking corruption and avoided it but then as an after thought I figured this guy was in their pockets as well.

    I also told him i wasnt a conservative but a student of free markets.

  2. Thomas says:

    George, regarding the game I’d rather not discuss it.

    I am a conservative Independent and voted Republican most of the time. In 2008, I voted overwhelmingly for Obama because I believed that change is what we needed. He turned out to be another Washington insider.

    No, he is not a stupit men, by far. No, we are not more inteligent, by far. He has a briliant mind and he should be admired for his achievements even before he became a President.

    All I am saying that it’s possible (maybe even probable) that it is a “rigged” game. They come in with the bigger part of their agenda handed down to them by their sponsors after proper “grooming”.

    Yes, I would have loved him to death had he drawn and lost the gun fight and would have continued to vote for him overwhelmingly -even though would rather have him shoot the sheriff and the ….. deputy too-

    Now we both loose. At least, the Republicans draw their gun -even from the hip-. I may not agree in most of the issues with them but I can’t help admiring them for that. They, at least, have the balls to draw. Obama has the brains; it is other parts of the body he is missing (metaphorically of course).

    What a waste of brains, political opportunity, political capital, not to mention our hopes.



  3. AGORACOM says:

    Thomas, thanks for chiming in. Always good to meet a fellow Greek. Ironically enough, I was in Dallas just last week – unfortunately to watch the Cowboys funeral.

    With respect to your post, I neither believe Obama is a stupid man, nor do I believe us “regular” guys are more intelligent than he is.

    This is clearly and simply a case of over promise and under perform.

    Like the old spaghetti westerns, us town folk have suffered years of abuse at the hands of the Sheriff and his men. We didn’t have the courage or the tools to fight back – but we sure wish someone would.

    In comes Obama. He’s talking a big game and bringing big guns with him to back it up. Unfortunately, he failed to draw. In fact, he didn’t even challenge anyone to a gunfight.

    I would have preferred he challenged the Sheriff to a gunfight and lost. How about you?


  4. Thomas says:

    Right on George,

    Obama blew it for all the reasons you are refering to. There is no doubt about it, had he done what you indicated so briliantly, today we would have had a land-slide.

    The interesting thing is the following:

    a) You, (a “regular” George) hit the nail on the head.

    b) Me, (a “regular” Thomas) knew and was fuming of the mistakes BO was making -HC, FinReg, lack of backbone, whimp, etc.)and had no doubt of the outcome. …….Where, when, how, and why he would fail.

    Hence, here is the question.

    Are we George smarter than BO? Even if we are (not probable) we can not collectively be smarter factoring in the resources a President has at his disposal. We do not stand a chance even with a stupid, yet, disciplined President.

    On the other hand, I always believed that stupidity can only go a certain distance, beyond which…there is ….something else going on.

    I will never believe that a “Lieberman” and a “Blanch Lincoln” brought down his HC bill and maybe his legacy. A President has infinite resources of “persuasion”.

    I will never believe that the CEO of a major -bailed out- bank would not attend a WH meeting due to “other engagements” and not be fired by his boss (The President) by fax.

    Maybe he’s not a whimp. Probably there is a pre-selection process, years in the making and then they are decked and pimped out at the right time. We just feel that we cast our democratic vote and We The People decide on our free will.

    Just a stupid thought.

    a Greek from Texas

  5. AGORACOM says:

    Bill, thanks for the reply. As I said in my post, I am not an Obama basher. Search this blog and you will see I’ve had nothing but great things to say about him.

    My disappointment doesn’t come from any fantasy that he could cure all of America’s problems. Rather, when he had control of both houses, he didn’t ram solutions down Wall Street’s crooked throats.

    If money is the root of all evil, Wall Street is the root of all money. If he was to begin to solve America’s problems, that is where he should have started.

    The masses may not understand the complexities of Wall Street derivatives – but they do know they were rooked by the financial elite. The impact on mass psychology has been tremendous.

    As such, my argument is that people needed hope far more than legislation. He should have started with Wall Street and THEN ride the wave right into healthcare.

    I don’t believe for a second that Palin and the GOP will do a thing for the people – and that’s what pisses me off about this lost Obama opportunity.

    He should have been thinking about justice before his legacy.


  6. Bill Young says:

    Yeah, ALL Obama’s fault.

    Hey George, just what IS the man supposed to do to magically reverse the irreversibly Snafu’d situation the Americans put themselves in? Maybe Sarah Palin can nail it on the head given the chance, eh George? Obama didn’t blow anything- as it was, there was enough whining from Wall Street, the Repubs and the Fox networkesque media with the minor reform he was allowed to implement. Trouble is George, the American ‘dream’ (nightmare is closer to the truth) is busted into electron-microscopic bits and Obama was their last best chance to try to pull it back together. Now, did he get much in the way of co-peration? Not from where I stand. Wall Street & the Repubs were playing tug-of-war from the word go. The U.S. is toast if this Racist/Libertarian/Survivalist Tea Party thing gets any more momentum.

    Sarah Palin….lol……will look good on them. If you want an example of what Sarah Palin stands for look up “The bridge to nowhere” in Wikipedia and see what type of politics she practiced in her bid to gain votes to become governor of Alaska. She couldn’t even finish her term as gov.

    Better yet, run for President yourself…you seem to have all the answers.