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Progressive Alert: Obama's Treasury Secretary Pick Could Go Badly Wrong

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By Ben Cohen

With the financial meltdown gathering speed, the need for serious reform is more important than ever. But Obama is surrounding himself with deregulators and supply siders, the very same people responsible for the mess in the first place. Robert Scheer of TruthDig points out:

This is not change we can believe in. Not

if Robert Rubin or his protégé, Lawrence Summers, get to call the shots

on the economy in President-elect Barack Obama’s incoming

administration. Both Clinton-era treasury secretaries deserve a great

deal of the blame for the radical deregulation of the financial

industry that has derailed the world economy. They both should, along

with former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan, perform rites of

contrition and be kept at a safe distance from the leadership of our


Yet Rubin and Summers are highly visible

in the Obama transition team, with Summers widely touted as Obama’s

pick for secretary of the treasury.

Progressives need to be extremely alert about this. Obama is driving close to the edge with his growing Clintonite team, and he needs to define himself as a different type of leader. Obama gained the support of progressives with his calls for regulation and critique of the Clinton era financial liberalisation, but if he chooses Summers, it will all be for nothing.