April 3, 2009

Obama Missing the Mark


G-20 Summit: The jury is still out, I don't have all the info I'd like, but my initial reaction to the announcements about the trillion dollar commitment to the IMF is to ask, how much of that kitty are we ponying up for? The IMF dollars are going to prop up Central and Eastern European countries; in other words, this is big bailout bucks for European banks, a bailout that was proposed by European countries and blocked by Germany and now the EU look like they will get that paid for by US taxpayers. Meanwhile, Euro countries are still balking at helping the US with more boots on the ground in the AfPak theater. It remains to be seen if he comes home with some troop commitments to show for the big bucks we are forking over to the IMF.

Bowing to the Saudi's: Meaningless in the scheme of things, but an an epic fail on optics. The Queen didn't get a deep bow like that and the Saudi King didn't reciprocate either. I don't buy the overblown hyperbole to the right about Obama capitulating to the Arab world, but he provides rhetorical ammo for that deranged point of view with this back home PR disaster. It pains me to even post it.

Treasury's Plan to Save the Banks: The public private partnership setup that Geithner has rolled out has signficant, likely fatal flaws and is already being gamed by major banks. If we're lucky, despite Treasury's pushing it, and the substantial subsidies to investors, it may yet be so undersubscribed that they have to go some other route.

Michelle Obama Takes Europe: Michelle Obama is looking fabulous and exciting Europe with her visit. Its wonderful to watch this lovely, intelligent black woman be welcomed with honor and warmth around the globe by world leaders. I like the face that the Obamas present to the world.