Saturday, October 20, 2012

Why Obama didn't respond to gas prices

In the last debate, when asked why the price of gas was so high during his tenure, Obama hemmed and hawed and never answered the question. And now Robert Reich is suggesting that the President should resurrect Glass-Steagall and break up the big banks. Reich is right of course, that the repeal of the Act allowed for the conditions to let greed run wild and create the near collapse of the economy. And that Obama should in fact recommend such legislation, as did others like the Dallas Federal Reserve and Sanford Weill, the creator of Citigroup. But this is exactly why Obama didn't give the real reason for gas prices, and why he'll never suggest such legislation. Gas prices are not due to supply and demand or anything the President can do: They are a direct result of Wall Street speculation. There have been countless articles on this: 1, 2, 3, 4 and many more.

Wall Street is hedging their bets, as they always do, and pouring money into Obama's campaign. Granted it is not as much as they give to Romney, as they'd prefer even less regulation. But just as they bet on both sides in the financial debacle they are doing here as well, and without Wall Street's money Obama would have virtually no chance at all of winning reelection. He simply cannot specifically criticize Wall Street that hard and still hope to win. Sure he'll generalize about "the rich" but note he is not going hard on Wall Street's financial manipulations. He had a perfect opportunity to rail on them over gas prices and instead went off into general rhetoric. It's also why his Justice Department has had not one criminal prosecution in the crises. And why reinstituting Glass-Steagall is never going to happen if he's reelected.

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