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Tilting at Windmills

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September 15, 2008

MCCAIN STILL SEES THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ECONOMY AS STRONG.... The Obama campaign routinely tweaks John McCain for having argued that the "fundamentals of our economy are strong." Last week, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman criticized Obama for using the line, insisting that the quote is "months old."

Except, it's not. This morning, in the midst of a genuine crisis on Wall Street, John McCain once again touted the underlying strength of the economy.

For those who can't watch clips from their work computers, McCain, in a speech in Jacksonville, Florida, this morning, said, "You know that there's been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall St. And it is -- people are frightened by these events. Our economy, I think still -- the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But these are very, very difficult times."

Watching the video, this wasn't an instance in which McCain repeated a line out of habit -- he read the quote from a prepared text. While he was reading the speech, the markets here and around the globe were tanking.

As Sam Stein explained, "[W]ith financial and job markets in disarray, and with Lehman Brothers, the troubled investment bank, filing for bankruptcy, it may not be the wisest political message to tell voters that the fundamentals are a-okay."

There's being politically tone-deaf, and then there's being this politically tone-deaf. It's almost as if McCain wants to make it easy for Obama to call him out of touch.

Steve Benen 10:37 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (68)

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And again, Americans would rather hear that the Economy is strong, rather than truth. But then again, most Americans are so far removed fromt eh hustle and bustle of Manhattan and the types of people that make Wall Street shake and move that it's a complete abstract to them. They can take comfort in the fact that McCain thinks the Economy is sound and strong...

Posted by: Mick on September 15, 2008 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Sarah Palin shopped for her family (5 kids!) so that makes her a financial expert! So in no time at all she'll have this thing figured out.

Posted by: Speed on September 15, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Let's say it together, kids:

This is EXCELLENT NEWS!!!! for McCain!!!!

McMENNTUM!!!!!

Posted by: Jeff S. on September 15, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

McInsane also strongly implied that the answer to the disaster caused by deregulation is- wait for it- even more deregulation. What a maroon. Truly a Herbert Hoover for our times (only not nearly as smart as Hoover.)

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on September 15, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

DO NOT PANIC, ALL IS WELL
DO NOT PANIC, ALL IS WELL
DO NOT PANIC, ALL IS WELL

Posted by: Ed on September 15, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

They can take comfort in the fact that McCain thinks the Economy is sound and strong...

...except that the average American today has at least some stake in the stock market, whether it's an IRA, 401k or other savings/investments. People can watch the shitty economy kick their ass, updated by the minute. McCain really should repeat this line day in and day out; I think it will finally sink in with a lot of people how out of touch he is.

Posted by: jonas on September 15, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

As a former POW, McCain knows that things could be worse, so cheer up.

Posted by: AJB on September 15, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

That would make a good line -- let's not elect Herbert Hoover *before* a system collapse....

Posted by: Z. Mulls on September 15, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Are you still updating your John McCain flip flop list? How does one get to it?

Posted by: Patty F. on September 15, 2008 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't this be the first question a reporter would ask as follow-up: "What fundamentals are basically sound? If they are sound, why would you shake up the system?"

Posted by: tomj on September 15, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Those of you who have read John Kenneth Galbraith's great book: The Great Crash, will recall that the author builds the early chapters around the phrase "fundamentally sound." It becomes a powerful leitmotif.

To utter it today is akin to whistling a jig in 6/4 time in a graveyard:

Madder music.
Stronger kool-aid...

Posted by: koreyel on September 15, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I was watching the coverage and heard McCain say something about his home state of Arizona is doing well. So off to google I went. Here is just one of the articles I found:

http://triangle.bizjournals.com/triangle/othercities/denver/stories/2008/09/15/daily1.html

Monday, September 15, 2008 - 8:49 AM MDT
Economy slamming Western cities
Denver Business Journal

"The fiscal health of local governments in the West has been hardest hit by rising home foreclosures, falling home values, and spiraling costs of items including health insurance, according to an annual report released Monday by the National League of Cities.

Seventy-four percent of finance officers in Western cities said that their municipalities are worse off in 2008 than they were in 2007, according to the latest City Fiscal Conditions report by the Washington, D.C.-based National League of Cities (NLC). The West region includes cities in Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California with populations greater than 10,000."....

Posted by: Annole on September 15, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

He has it 180 degrees backwards: the superficials of the economy are doing ok; it is precisely the fundamentals that are in crisis right now.

Posted by: lampwick on September 15, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Come on people! He's not talking about YOUR America. He's talking about HIS America.

Translation: "Cindy's still rich so I'm okay."

Posted by: Former Dan on September 15, 2008 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

The important thing to remember as the financial system is on the verge of collapse is that core inflation appears to be under control.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko on September 15, 2008 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Since McCain can see the crumbling fundamentals of the economy as "strong," someone should ask him if he's seen the Twin Towers, the island of Atlantis, and Captain Nemo's Nautilus recently....

Posted by: Steve on September 15, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

maybe he meant the "fundamentalists of our economy are strong."

Posted by: cha cha cha on September 15, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Clearly, John "I don't know much about economy" McInsane is taking his cues from financial "expert" Phil Gramm, who never met a round of deregulation that he didn't like. I'm sure Gramm thinks investors expressing concern over the most dire financial markets in 80 years are just whiners.

If America elects this moron, we get what we deserve.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 15, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

It may be tone deaf, but who can honestly deny that the US economy, when viewed in the long run (say over the next 5-10 years), is fundamentally strong? Who honestly believes that output will shrink, and home prices will continue to fall, and unemployment rolls will skyrocket over the next 5-10 years?

I suppose it's possible that Government could screw things up pretty dramatically, say by imposing large tariffs on imports or restrictions on capital flows and cutting the US off from the global economy, but short of the Government doing something that stupid, it's hard to see how the economy won't start growing again once the current mess of real-estate related assets are cleared at market prices.

Of course that will cause some pain, as the former employees of Lehman Brothers are learning. But trying to avoid that pain just leads to a longer slump and more severe pain in the end (see, e.g., Japan).

Notice, too, that there is no shortage of capital around waiting for the opportunity to buy distressed mortgage assets at cheap prices. That's why Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley didn't lift a finger to bail out Lehman; they are both waiting to buy Lehman's assets at pennies on the dollar. There are plenty of other people out there waiting to do the same thing. That's capitalism, folks, markets moving assets out of the hands of failures into the hands of more efficient firms. Creative destruction, Schumpter called it.

Posted by: DBL on September 15, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

We need ads running now on all the news networks anywhere there is reporting about this financial meltdown.

"John McCain supported putting your Social Security funds into the hands of the people who ran Bear Stearns and Lehman brothers. If that had happened, do you know what you'd have right now? Nothing. Meanwhile, the CEO's are walking away from the mess they created with huge bonuses. John McCain, dangerous to Social Security, dangerous to your security."

Or something similar.

Posted by: Gorobei on September 15, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

I would like to suggest turning control of our economy over to Woody Allen. After all, from his house, he can SEE Wall Street.

Posted by: Green Eagle on September 15, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Reading Roubini, who has been remarkably prescient during this prolonged crisis, makes the cynic in me wonder if the fed is hanging the broker/dealers out to dry, so that banks can swoop them up for pennies on the dollar, with taxpayers on the hook for what Atrios calls "the big shitpile".

Nah, could never happen! The fed with ulterior motives?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on September 15, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

What's more, he blamed the situation on 'regulation' (OK, "patchwork regulation") -- the problem has, in fact, been lack of regulation.

This intertwined crisis is directly tied to lax regulation that allowed far too many entities to overvalue securities and configure balance sheets based the maxim "we'll get out before reality sets in". The GOP has successfully translated its own free-wheeling borrow like there's no tomorrow plan to deal with the federal budget down to the street.

And now we're all going to pay for it.

The fed is tapped, there's no more help on the way. Let that be a lesson - when you're one of the players responsible for this disaster, best be the first one to go belly up.

At this point, I don't see how anyone can argue with stronger oversight and stricter regulation. Hell, we - the American taxpayer - are apparently the backers of big shitpile, as Atrios calls it, so I don't think it's too much to expect that our regulatory agencies be given the teeth necessary to protect ourselves.

Posted by: zonk on September 15, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Just when you thought it couldn't get any more ridiculous? He going the way of HW.

Posted by: John Henry on September 15, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

McCain is from the economic camp that believes based on ideology that government shouldn't intervene in a regulatory way.

But this camp believes government should be a cheering section for getting rubes to pour their money into bailing out the big investors. It doesn't matter much if the rubes invest money individually or through their government.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on September 15, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

As for Government screwing things up, let me nominate as Exhibit A the insistence of the Congressional Democrats that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must continue to finance no-money down mortgages. No-money down mortgages are the heart of the problem we have today. If all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financed were 30-year fixed rate mortgages with 20% down payments, we would not be having a financial crisis today. So if you are looking for someone to blame, start with Rep. Barney Frank and Sens. Dodd and Schumer.

Posted by: DBL on September 15, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

"It may be tone deaf, but who can honestly deny that the US economy, when viewed in the long run (say over the next 5-10 years), is fundamentally strong?"

China.

Posted by: cha cha cha on September 15, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin may not be the queen of pork, but why is the private email address she uses (to get around state public records laws)
"misspiggy@gmail.com" ?

Posted by: catclub on September 15, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

If they start jumping out of buildings on Wall Street, I hope I get there in time to see it.

Posted by: Madame Defarge on September 15, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

"That's capitalism, folks, markets moving assets out of the hands of failures into the hands of more efficient firms. Creative destruction, Schumpter called it."

Except when the government steps in to stop the bleeding, say, by taking control of Freddie/Fannie.

It is capitalism on the way up, and socialism on the way down.

Posted by: inthewoods on September 15, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

"Cheer up. At least you're not having bamboo shoved under your fingernails." -- John McPOW

Posted by: David Eoll on September 15, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Earlier this year, Moyers (transcript on-line) asked author John Grisham (who practiced law in his early years) about the poor and marginalized and why it is many of them tend to vote in Republicans.

"They live poor and vote rich" he replied.

He went on to discuss the Right Wing strategy to get them all under one tent: The wealthy Republicans, the corporate Republicans, the NASCAR-types, the the Country-Club Republicans and then the good 'ol Christians--all under one tent-- to vote in a singular way that continues to protect the most wealthy.
-----------------------------------------------
I only hope that Obama/Biden can somehow make a dent in this, can connect and convey that it's the Democratic Ticket that stands for

*protection
*strength
*integrity
*inspiration
*innovation and ingenuity
*negotiation/diplomacy

Essential ingredients for our ailing economy and our planet in peril!

Posted by: on September 15, 2008 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

"I would like to suggest turning control of our economy over to Woody Allen. After all, from his house, he can SEE Wall Street."

comment of the day.

Posted by: cha cha cha on September 15, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

He's probably talking about the fact that beer sales in the greater Phoenix area remain very strong, and are expected to go up, up, up as imported products become more and more expensive, and water gets scarcer and scarcer.

Posted by: evil twin on September 15, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

The hurricane may have blown the roof off, but the foundation of your house is strong.

Posted by: OriGuy on September 15, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

DO NOT PANIC, ALL IS WELL
DO NOT PANIC, ALL IS WELL
DO NOT PANIC, ALL IS WELL

Posted by: Wilson46201 on September 15, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

"If all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financed were 30-year fixed rate mortgages with 20% down payments, we would not be having a financial crisis today. So if you are looking for someone to blame, start with Rep. Barney Frank and Sens. Dodd and Schumer."

Given that they've been in charge for a short amount of time, this is a weak argument. I think The Big Picture (http://bigpicture.typepad.com) has the right people who should be taken out and flogged:

"The proximate cause of current Housing situation (and eventual Credit crunch) stem primarily from 3 significant errors of the 2000:

1) Grenspan's FOMC: Took Interest Rates taken to 1%, and kept their for over a year;

2) Banks and Mortgage Underwriters: Abdication traditional lending standards, and ignored the traditional principle that loans should only be made to those who can reasonably repay them;

3) Federal Reserve: Failed to adequately supervise banks; I consider this to be Greenspan's Nonfeasance."

We've had approximately 7 years of Republicans making the deregulation argument - and this is where it got us. By not regulating the mortgage industry in any way (which was suggested to Greenspan by fellow fed governors), he let the market do as it would.

There are others that need to be added to the list, but these are the primary offenders.

Posted by: inthewoods on September 15, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

.....core inflation appears to be under control.

I believe this was snark.
Rather than the local village McCaniac decanting the kool-aid...

Nevertheless:

Core inflation up 3.6% in the past twelve months, the fastest unadjusted annual pace since May 1991.
Overall inflation rose 9.6% in the past year. In July, prices had risen 9.8% for the year, which was the largest annual gain since June 1981.

http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2008/09/12/afx5417057.html

Posted by: koreyel on September 15, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

So if you are looking for someone to blame, start with Rep. Barney Frank and Sens. Dodd and Schumer.

Nice try. GOP deregulation and Phil Gramm are to blame. You know, McCain's former economic adviser.

Posted by: ckelly on September 15, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK
It may be tone deaf, but who can honestly deny that the US economy, when viewed in the long run (say over the next 5-10 years), is fundamentally strong? Who honestly believes that output will shrink, and home prices will continue to fall, and unemployment rolls will skyrocket over the next 5-10 years?

Since the fundamental core of this mess - the hot potato mortgage-based securities - has just been guaranteed by the fed to the tune of 5 trillion dollars, let us hope so.

Who believes we can keep comforting ourselves that core inflation -- which isn't reflecting the the food and energy prices hitting American consumers the hardest (those whom, coincidentally, are the first dominoes in that 5 trillion IOU we just signed off on) -- remains low?

I suppose it's possible that Government could screw things up pretty dramatically, say by imposing large tariffs on imports or restrictions on capital flows and cutting the US off from the global economy, but short of the Government doing something that stupid, it's hard to see how the economy won't start growing again once the current mess of real-estate related assets are cleared at market prices.

The reason we got here was the complete lack of restrictions on capital flows. Reckless over-valuation has been allowed to create illusory capital - that's directly tied to a lack of regulatory oversight and stricter lending and borrowing rules. The problem is that no one can yet guess what those "market prices" will end up being. Are we going to see a small correction or a generational correction? We already know who's going to get stuck with the bill - we just don't yet know what the bill will be.

This collapse isn't ending in the banking sector - it's just starting... just wait until the already distressed PBGC needs to start shoring up pension funds who just watched large portions of their portfolios go up in smoke.

That's why Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley didn't lift a finger to bail out Lehman; they are both waiting to buy Lehman's assets at pennies on the dollar.

If only... both Goldman and Stanley have their own problems - they're not waiting to buy Lehman's assets, they're worried about their own share of the mess.

That's capitalism, folks, markets moving assets out of the hands of failures into the hands of more efficient firms.

Except that's not how it's working. The fed is getting involved to an extent beyond anything we've seen in the past. It would be one thing if the free market was correcting itself - but it's not.

Posted by: what? on September 15, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

"McCain's former economic adviser."

Isn't he actually McCain's former former economic adviser?

Posted by: cha cha cha on September 15, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

"What's more, he blamed the situation on 'regulation' (OK, "patchwork regulation") -- the problem has, in fact, been lack of regulation."

Right! According to Sarah there are even more "efficiencies" in the agencies.

Wait until she gets to the lesson about there being no huge budget surpluses fueled by high oil prices and taxes on Big Oil at the federal level.

Posted by: John Henry on September 15, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

What we have seen the past six months is government intervention on an absolutely unprecedented scale. The government has essentially nationalized mortgages in this country. Whether its for the short term or not - I am thinking not, but it remains to be seen - it's government intervention. The idea that someone like DLB can walk around and spout fact free horse crap about free markets and the government can screw this up by regulating and intervening is just amazing to me. Now, I have lived through the past 7.5 years so it should not be, but it is.

Posted by: JF on September 15, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK
What we have seen the past six months is government intervention on an absolutely unprecedented scale. The government has essentially nationalized mortgages in this country. Whether its for the short term or not - I am thinking not, but it remains to be seen - it's government intervention. The idea that someone like DLB can walk around and spout fact free horse crap about free markets and the government can screw this up by regulating and intervening is just amazing to me. Now, I have lived through the past 7.5 years so it should not be, but it is.

That's the modern GOP philosophy:

Stay out of the way of the golden calf, the free market, when it's running blindly off a cliff -- but do make sure you're at the bottom of the cliff to break the fall.

It's madness.

We've already paid for the right to regulate - we need an administration that will provide that for which we've already paid.

Posted by: zonk on September 15, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

A couple possible explanations:

1) McCain he doesn't know how weak the economy is.
2) McCain is just making stuff up because it sounds good on the stump
3) McCain's not really talking about the "fundamentals" or performance of our capitalistic free-market economy. He's talking about the CONCEPT of a capitalistic free-market economy itself, which is admittedly a strong idea.

I think C is the most plausible.

Posted by: Herb on September 15, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

US GDP was up 3.3% on an annual basis in the second quarter of 2008. It is true that some sectors (particularly finance) are struggling, but it is hard to argue the economy is not fundamentally strong.

Posted by: Brainster on September 15, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

MCCAIN STILL SEES THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ECONOMY AS STRONG


Well, you do know he lies a lot don't you?

Posted by: Ed on September 15, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

"US GDP was up 3.3% on an annual basis in the second quarter of 2008. It is true that some sectors (particularly finance) are struggling, but it is hard to argue the economy is not fundamentally strong."

Waiter, I'll have whatever he's having. It's clearly making him happier than he should be.

Posted by: inthewoods on September 15, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Will someone please ask McCain to define what "the fundamentals of our economy" are. Also, what "strong" is. When investment firm after investment firm is crashing, along with Fanny and Freddie, what's "strong" about that?

Posted by: ringrid on September 15, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK
"US GDP was up 3.3% on an annual basis in the second quarter of 2008. It is true that some sectors (particularly finance) are struggling, but it is hard to argue the economy is not fundamentally strong."

Right. Fortunately, the finance sector plays no role in the rise and fall of GDP since, you know, it's not involved in financing expansion.

Posted by: zonk on September 15, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not frightened of those events, I'm frightened of you and Caribou Barbie!

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on September 15, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the fundamentals are strong:

3.3% GDP
95% of all mortgages on time.
Productivity at record highs.
6.1% unemployment historically good.
Inflation good.

The idiot Democrats would have you believe that everyone is on the streets, everyone lost their jobs and no one has food to eat.

They only gain power by creating a nation of victims with the MSM as their willing partners.

Posted by: Bill Mitchell on September 15, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

You think the economy is weak now? Let's elect Obama and raise the income tax rates for 75% of America's Small Business onwers to 56%.

I almost hope it happens just so we can watch the Democrats explain how it is Bush's fault even though they control every branch of government.

Posted by: Bill Mitchell on September 15, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK
You think the economy is weak now? Let's elect Obama and raise the income tax rates for 75% of America's Small Business onwers to 56%.

As John McCain would say,

"Make it a hundred!"

The worm has turned...

Posted by: Warren Street on September 15, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

"3.3% GDP
95% of all mortgages on time.
Productivity at record highs.
6.1% unemployment historically good.
Inflation good."

Very selective stats - inflation number is not good, 3.3% GDP was a blip - prior months are a better indicator.

"You think the economy is weak now? Let's elect Obama and raise the income tax rates for 75% of America's Small Business onwers to 56%."

And you base this number, 56%, on what?

Posted by: inthewoods on September 15, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Somewhat lame line of attack, given that McCain points out that we are in a crisis. Is this the politics of Hope?

Joe (champion of the working class) Biden was the key Democrat in support of that awful bankruptcy bill

Show me the money: Obama raised more money from Lehman than McCain.

Posted by: dean on September 15, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK
95% of all mortgages on time.

Ummm.... No - it's actually about 93.5%. The percent of mortgages in delinquency has zoomed past the previous record from the mid 80s from a full point.... and it's still rising.

Productivity at record highs.
That's great... Unless you're actually one of those folks responsibility for those productivity gains - because you're not seeing any benefit from it. You're actually seeing your wages remain stagnant... unless you adjust for inflation - in which case, you're actually seeing your wages fall.

Adjusted - real wages fell by about 1%


6.1% unemployment historically good.

Right - and the trend is... ohhh... never mind.

Inflation good.

Except it's not -- the 3.6% jump in the core rate over the last year is the biggest jump since 1991.

Not to mention - the core rate is quite detached from the reality of the American consumer since it ignores food and energy prices.... add those in - and we're staring at the biggest jump since 1981


Pay no attention to the reality, when you can spin year-old BS, I guess... right?

Posted by: zonk on September 15, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK
There's being politically tone-deaf, and then there's being this politically tone-deaf. It's almost as if McCain wants to make it easy for Obama to call him out of touch.

So, if McCain is this politically tone-deaf, what does that make Obama? After all, Obama has received almost $400,000 in individual contributions from Lehman Brothers associates, the people who work for the company going bankrupt? I mean, he's number 2 on the list of politicians who have gotten campaign money from these people over the last 20 years, and Obama hasn't even been in the Senate four years (McCain, by comparison, has averaged $7000/year in contributions from Lehman Bros. employees over the last 20 years). How much of our tax money did Obama promise to Lehman managing directors and majority stockholders in a federal bailout in return for their investment into his campaign? In fact, how much campaign money from other high-ranking banking directors and executives is going into Obama's coffers in return for Obama making sure these people get their cash while the rest of us pay for these bank failures?

Posted by: SteveIL on September 15, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK
So, if McCain is this politically tone-deaf, what does that make Obama? After all, Obama has received almost $400,000 in individual contributions from Lehman Brothers associates, the people who work for the company going bankrupt? I mean, he's number 2 on the list of politicians who have gotten campaign money from these people over the last 20 years, and Obama hasn't even been in the Senate four years (McCain, by comparison, has averaged $7000/year in contributions from Lehman Bros. employees over the last 20 years)

When you have 2.5 million individual donors - I suspect many of them will come from a company with more than 26,000 employees.

Notice he got nothing from Lehman's PAC.

The fact is - you have no idea who this money came from.... did it comes the janitors? The first years straight out of college?

Obfuscation.

Posted by: zonk on September 15, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Fools for criticizing McCain on saying the economy is fundamentally strong.

You would rather have Obama create a PANIC just to win the election.

FOOLS - you are messing with a run on the banks and a total collapse of the economy stirring up panic. STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!

Obama's campaign is all about fear, not hope. He trys to stir up fear over Roe vs Wade. He stirred up fear on Iraq, and now he comes out and stirs up fear on the economy.

I don't want a President who speaks to the nation and says we are weak doomed and failing. Sorry, I personally don't think that is what we need right now.

STOP posting this stuff - this is critical

Posted by: jlp on September 15, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Now that's funny...

Hey - we've had such good luck wearing the rose-colored Bush glasses on everything from Iraq to the 'ownership society' to heckuva job Brownie....

That's what we need... more pollyannas telling us how wonderful everything is.

Posted by: zonk on September 15, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

"FOOLS - you are messing with a run on the banks and a total collapse of the economy stirring up panic. STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!"

Shut the f*ck up and go sell crazy someplace else.

Posted by: inthewoods on September 15, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

How much of our tax money did Obama promise to Lehman managing directors and majority stockholders in a federal bailout in return for their investment into his campaign?

Lehman is fucking bankrupt dude. The Federal government didn't bail them out.

This whole "Obama got $400K from Lehman employees" thing is a nonstarter, so you clowns should just stop trying. Last I checked, employees of Lehman (and every other company) can donate to whichever employee they wish. Obama's entire fundraising strategy has been about collecting individual contributions, is it really a scandal that he got... a lot of individual contributions?

Posted by: Joshua on September 15, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Sir Bubbles Greenspan learned to be careful with his words early on to avoid spooking the mkt. Yet today, he's saying this is the wrst financial crisis in his life... and they haven't fixed the underlying problems yet.

It doesn't get any more blunt than that. And as I told some folks last week, by Fri/Mon, we should see some panic trading happening and the plunge protectionm team will step in.

Low interest rates (done to soften the tech bubble collapse) and deregulation enabled it, but the ultimate problem is the corporate culture that requires ballooning profit to be considered a success. Lack of oversight just lets them claim profits in excess of what's really there.

We could use a Teddy Roosevelt about now. And McCain falls well short of that.

Posted by: Kevin Hayden on September 15, 2008 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK
The fact is - you have no idea who this money came from.... did it comes the janitors? The first years straight out of college?

See, I gave you a link, and you are supposed to go look at it. And then go look at other stuff on that website, such as campaign contributions from managing directors and the former president of the company. Unlike Obama, I won't treat you like a child and feed you from a bottle.

By the way; I wonder if Mr. Benen actually knows what the word fundamental means?

Posted by: SteveIL on September 15, 2008 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Mccain is grossly out of touch. I think this sums it up...

http://mccainpalinworld.com/

Posted by: Lux on September 15, 2008 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a good summary of finance company contributions:

http://harpers.org/archive/2008/09/hbc-90003555

What's interesting here is that while Obama has raise more money from Lehman, McCain has more as campaign staff.

Interesting to note that McCain has people mainly from Merrill, while Obama has more money from Lehman (though not through lobbists). Interesting then that Lehman did not receive a buyout by the Fed, while BofA bought Merrill. Now Merrill was in much better shape - Thain offloaded some weak assets - but it is interesting.

Posted by: inthewoods on September 15, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

JOHN MCCAIN FOR PRESIDENT!!!!

Get ready to lose your JOB, your HOME and STARVE.

Im John McCain and I approve this message.

The fundamentals of the economy are strong, what a joke!

Posted by: jwin on September 15, 2008 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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