The Economy and Transition

For Immediate Release

Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Contact: 

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

The Economy and Transition

WASHINGTON - CRAIG HOLMAN
Holman is government ethics lobbyist for Public Citizen. He said today: "Bolstered with enthusiastic public support, Obama has a great opportunity for breaking the grip of special interests over Washington. But his transition to the White House -- marked with the appointment of several lobbyists and big-money bundlers -- is cause for concern. Public Citizen will be monitoring his appointments on a web site and uncovering any links that may exist between special interests and the new Obama administration."

MARK WEISBROT
Lawrence Summers and Timothy F. Geithner were named to Obama's economic team today.

Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Weisbrot said today: "Geithner and Summers are credited with expertise in crisis management, but we better hope they don't manage the current crisis like they did in East Asia, Russia, Argentina or any of the other countries that Treasury was involved in during the 1990s with their help. They helped bring on the East Asian crisis in 1997 by pressuring the governments in the region to de-regulate international financial flows, which was the main cause of the crisis. Then they insisted that all bailout money go through the IMF, and delayed aid until most of the damage was done. Then they attached damaging conditions ... to the aid, leading Jeffrey Sachs to call the IMF under their watch 'the typhoid Mary of emerging markets, spreading recessions in country after country.'"

MAX FRAAD WOLFF
Wolff, an instructor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School University, is a frequent contributor to Huffington Post, Asia Times and The Indypendent. He said today: "The economic team taking shape alongside Obama represents the return of enterprise moderate Clinton era folks selected by other Clinton-era folks. Lawrence Summers and Timothy F. Geithner are Robert Rubin mentees and are emerging as the leading lights of yore as well as of tomorrow. Ivy League backgrounds, stints at Bretton Woods institutions IMF and World Bank and activity in or on the cusp of private sector banking define the group taking shape. All are friends, all have worked together and all have been actively involved in shaping the global financial architecture with which the world grapples today. Geithner comes over from the IMF, Council on Foreign Relations and the New York Fed. He has been more involved in charting the course for financial markets of late than either Rubin or Summers. His work in the Bear Stearns, Lehman, AIG and TARP activities/inactivities is well established and has attracted much and well-deserved controversy."
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