Ratigan Grills Propaganda Queen Christina Romer, Demands Windfall Profit Tax Clarity, Gets Blank Stare Response

Tyler Durden's picture

Ratigan cuts to the chase, bypassing the hollow rhetoric by Administration propaganda queen Christina Romer, who can't beat enough drums on today's pathologically ludicrous BLS numbers, yet is completely unwilling to discuss how the White House will proceed to recoup any of the taxpayer-subsidized windfalls at Wall Street firms. Any considerations of windfall tax, be they in the form of a Tobin tax, now openly supported by such people as Warren Buffett and John Bogle, or directly imposed, seems to not be on the White House's agenda currently or any time in the future. How is it so difficult for Obama to understand that Main Street is demanding some quid-pro-quo of firms like Goldman, whose employees are covertly purchasing Ferraris even as excess bank reserves hit another all time record yesterday, and instead of lending money out the banks continue to collect a risk-free 0.25% on these excess reserves, thereby once again picking taxpayers' pockets.

Yes, we all know they need the cash as they are well aware their balance sheets are in much more deplorable conditions than loose FASB regulations force them to disclose. However, the animosity is growing, and more and more the anger directed at Wall Street is becoming anchored at Obama and his Robert Rubin (i.e., Goldman Sachs) cronies, who despite their assumed ideological adherence, are seeminly much more pro-Wall Street than even previous Republican administrations. This will be a heated issue for the President, especially once details of individual Wall Street record bonuses become all too public.


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Cursive's picture

The American people are starting to win a few battles with the banksters, i.e. yesterday's bitch slapping of "Not Obvious" Bernanke.  Thank you, ZH, for being a huge part of that effort.

El Hosel's picture

Nice to see Ratigan asking real questions, Christina reminds me of Gabby.


deadhead's picture

I agree with Cursive on both counts.

Time to step the pressure up.  Continue to hammer your congress critters.

Cursive's picture

Thanks, DH.  Yes, step up the pressure.  I will be calling Sen. Vitter and Sen. Landrieu as many times as necessary.  Let's all do our part to return sanity to our great country.  A phone call is much easier and less costly than blood.

Anonymous's picture

Raise your expectations.

The wardens mentioning the possibility of an extra scoop of gruel for dinner (because they're afraid of a riot) is not winning a battle.

Don't expect that congress' words and actions will be congruent.

FoolMeTwice's picture

Even a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.

Kudos ZH keep on marching.

Anonymous's picture

Obviously Christina Romer has trimmed her wardrobe expenses during this economic downturn. Wearing the same clothes for Ratigans interviews.

curbyourrisk's picture

That is so funny!!!

Anonymous's picture

If only Lloyd Blankcheque's Mrs would follow Christinas good example

ED's picture

If only Lloyd Blankcheque's Mrs would follow Christinas good example

Anonymous's picture

Maybe green is the official color of the White House now? Kinda like the Emerald City in the Land of Oz.....

Anonymous's picture

Thowing a Participation Fee on the general public for buying & selling stocks IS NOT a way to get back at Wall Street Investment Banks. Tax those banks directly if you want to exact money from them. Why slam the general public with a transaction tax because of what the investment banks did?

Anonymous's picture

Thowing a Participation Fee on the general public for buying & selling stocks IS NOT a way to get back at Wall Street Investment Banks. Tax those banks directly if you want to exact money from them. Why slam the general public with a transaction tax because of what the investment banks did?

Careless Whisper's picture

Tax those banks directly if you want to exact money from them.

Who said anything about exacting money from the banks? That won't happen. GoniffSachs pays an effective income tax rate of about 1%.

Anonymous's picture

The primary purpose is to lessen the "rake," if you are familiar with that poker term. Or in Bogle's words, the intermediaries. The more the traders suck out of the system, the lower the less money going to real businesses or real investors.

Careless Whisper's picture

Your analysis makes no sense. Traders don't take money from real businessess or real investors; they narrow the spreads which helps investors. There is no benefit to a transactions tax except the politicians will have more loot to waste.

Anonymous's picture

The idea of narrow spreads is a faux god. It means nothing regarding long-term investments. Only those who trade frequently care, and because those are the people we want OUT of the market, a transaction tax is the perfect solution.

Locks on doors are a very minor inconvenience compared to the benefit.

Careless Whisper's picture

just curious; why do we want frequent traders out of the market ???

Anonymous's picture

Like I said above, the "rake" takes money from the company and the financial backers of the company. Read Bogle's "Battle for the Soul of Capitalism."

stoverny's picture

Is Rohmer smart?  Because I've seen her on TV a bunch of times now, and she comes across rather empty-headed.

AngryVoter's picture

Apparently for many decades the most important skill in Washington is the ability to not answer a question no matter how many times it is asked.  Ax em all.  Let the file for unemployment.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Rohmer is either a smart cheerleader or an average financial mind. She wasn't hired for her looks or her financial mind as much as her willingness to subvert her average financial mind for cheerleading duties. In other words, a tool.

Give me a O, give me a B, give...well, you know the rest.

Brian Griffin's picture

give me a E, give me a S, give me a E, what's that spell?  Obese! 

FoolMeTwice's picture

Ha ha ha ha ha.

You should have left the answer out and let people figure it out.

ChanceIs's picture

I can assure you that Rohmer's looks most likely figured a strong positive in the decision to give her that position.  In this time of plotical correctness, stunning looks are a disadvantage.  Lets show how egalitarian we can be.

Having siad that, I have found the concept of considering looks over capabilities to be completely offensive, as I hope everybody here does.  RoboTrader leads the way on that.

Having said all of that, she is clearly an empty headed cherleader.  She understood Ratigan's question after 10 seconds and tried to blow smoke up his a&% for the next few minutes.  Hey!!!  But speaking of looks, making the boss look good is what Washington is all about.

Somebody (Rubin, Paulson, etc) sold the White House (the last five of them) the maxim that the big banks are vital to the economy.  They never bothered to question that or otherwise prove it to themselves.  Gotta give the big banks free money or we will all starve.  Never mind the fact tht there is a host of small to mid size banks that would be happy to take the big banks' horrid loans off their hands for $0.50 on the buck - which is about what they are worth.

THis is all about keeping the banks' bondholders and executives from the harm they deserve.  The stockholders are in there somewhere but not significantly.


faustian bargain's picture

Ugly *and* incompetent. Fits right in at Berkeley.

Anonymous's picture

Agree, another professor from UC Berkeley.

Anonymous's picture

My exact thought, staying on a script and not answering the substantive questions, sickening!

ShankyS's picture

Have you not read the requirements manual to be a government employee? They can be found in the children's section of most libraries and book stores. Lord knows we don't want anyone "over qualified". She reminds me of Aunt Bee a little, don't you think?

Big Red's picture

You denigrate "Aunt Bee" beyond repair with that comparison. Maybe more like an aunt from "Arsenic and Old  Lace?" Nah

Anonymous's picture

Nah shes just a heavy gal who smiles when being called a moron.

I am Anonymous

Thomas's picture

Romer is a complete idiot. I have never seen her acting to the contrary.

P Rankmug's picture

Who provides the lobotomy when you enter government service?

AngryVoter's picture

Dylan for president.  Go Green Recycle Washington.  We are all sick of there crap being dumped on us. 

CharlesBronson's picture

With less than 10% of Obama's hand picked savants having ANY private sector service....she is a perfect counterbalance.

rayen36's picture

In terms of experience? or in terms of body mass?

Anonymous's picture

She's an academic who has never run a business or created a job in her life. Egghead with no street smarts, and doesn't understand how things operate in the "real" world. Perfect complement to Obama's team of bureaucrats and academics who have lived their lives in an institutional bubble.

Anonymous's picture

From her education background, she lives in ivory tower all her life.

Anonymous's picture

An academic? She reminds me of a cafeteria monitor in elementary school. That kind of academic.

Winisk's picture

Loved the way Dylan had to dumb it down by using a hamburger analogy.

Anonymous's picture

The mistake was asking her a question concerning economics. The example Dylan used of the hamburger though had her full attention.

Sqworl's picture

Tyler: find clip of his Q&A today...emphasis on his economic mettle...

Brian Griffin's picture

Mmmmm, Christina is looking fine this morning.  Whoof. 

Daedal's picture

I think the only windfall taxes Romer is familiar with are those charged to her at all-you-can-eat buffets.

Anonymous's picture

All right, let me be the devil's advocate here. What if she is right? What if Fed does exit out quietly off MBS market?


Anonymous's picture

I dunno. Maybe it's time to admit that the nation isn't headed to hell in a handbasket. Or, if it is, it isn't going to happen overnight but will play out over decades with many periods of improvement. We've got to avoid the trap of cheering for our predictions so much that we dismiss all contrary data.

I'm not surprised to see the gold hit. There seemed to be way too many "rah rah yea gold" comments lately. Gold is up 400% in seven years, and way too many people are getting jumping on the bandwagon. I'm still long gold, but the mindset has gotten so "dotcom 99," I'm cautious. CNBC now talks about gold constantly. A better time to buy was when they literally did not even cover it, did not even report its price.

SWRichmond's picture

As she continued to smile and deflect I could not help but think: "A thing, once seen, cannot be unseen."