Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bob Pollin on Clintonomics

At The Nation. Few important points. As Bob notes Hillary does invoke the mantle of Clintonomics. In his words:
"In trying to burnish her credentials as a can-do populist and to portray Bernie Sanders as a purveyor of naive socialist fantasies, Hillary Clinton has increasingly invoked Bill Clinton’s presidency as her economic policy lodestar."
 And Bill Clinton's program was not really progressive. Again:
"The starting point for understanding Bill Clinton’s economic program is to recognize that it was thoroughly beholden to Wall Street, as Clinton himself acknowledged almost immediately after he was elected."
 His Treasury Secretary, one of them, was Robert Rubin, ex-chairman of Goldman Sachs. And financial deregulation, which is at the heart of two bubbles, and two recessions, continued in this period. Bob says:
"A major driver here was Wall Street’s craze for Internet start-ups... Throughout the bubble years, Clinton’s policy advisers, led by Rubin and his then protégé Larry Summers, maintained that regulating Wall Street was an outmoded relic from the 1930s. They used this argument to push through the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall financial regulatory system that had been operating since the New Deal. The Clinton team thus set the stage for the collapse of the bubble and ensuing recession in March 2001, only two months after Clinton left office. They also created the conditions that enabled the even more severe bubble that produced the 2008 global financial crisis and Great Recession."
A good analysis of the limitations of Clinton's economic policies is in Bob's old paper Anatomy of Clintonomics.

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