Gene Sperling to head up Obama’s economic advisers?

6th January 2011

I met Gene Sperling during the Jubilee 2000 campaign. He was a great supporter of our work, as was his boss, President Clinton ( “Now, this is a campaign with a broad base….And even though I am not a candidate for anything anymore, I can spot a big tent when I see it.” White House, Oct 22 1999). Sperling turned up at a Jubilee 2000 demonstration we organised in Washington that year; impressive, and of course Clinton, together with Gordon Brown, led the initiative for 100% sovereign debt relief for the poorest countries. But this note in the NYT does not inspire confidence that he is the man to help President Obama lift the US, and much of the global economy out of the mire of this Great Recession. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/gene-sperling-101/?ref=business. We shall see.

Or that he could help poor American escape the clutches of these bad guys: http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/2011/01/hot-pursuit-of-customers-the-real-reason-more-people-are-turning-to-payday-loans.html.

And while the UK and US stock markets are celebrating ‘recovery’ let’s remind ourselves of this small fact: In 2010, in the US, 157 banks with total assets of $US92 billion failed. That’s an awful lot of money lost, and banks destroyed. The regulatory authorities are vainly trying to retrieve some of those losses…http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/US-regulators-want-25-billion-from-bank-execs-CSUX3?OpenDocument

As someone who contributed to Apple’s profits over Christmas ( it was tough fighting my way into the Apple Store in London post Christmas – so much for the Great Recession!) I was interested in this piece of comparison:http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/01/apple-the-sovereign/http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/01/apple-the-sovereign/

Finally, David Pilling has a great piece in the FT today on Japan – and how, despite falls in GDP, the Japanese continue to enjoy an elevated quality of life. He also takes a jibe at World Bank/IMF ideology “that a successful economy is one in which foreign businesses find it easy to make money. By that yardstick Japan is a failure and post-war Iraq a glittering triumph.” http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6152b9ca-1904-11e0-9c12-00144feab49a.html#axzz1AGGcOnHN

Finally, finally: to soothe our souls after all that, this link to beautiful music and images. (hat tip: Larry Brownstein)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMbvcp480Y4

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