Obama Should Have Put Wall Street on Trial

But he didn't, and now GOP fat cats can somehow play populist
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2009 8:22 AM CDT
From left, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and White House staffer Dag Vega leave the White House, March 27, 2009, following a meeting with Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – How can rich fat cats like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh pretend to be populists, while tarring Barack Obama as the establishment? Because Barack Obama missed his chance to strike a blow for the little guy and prosecute Wall Street, writes communications professor Jon Taplin. Instead, he listened to Wall Street flunkies like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers.

When the S&L crisis hit, a whopping 1,852 bank officials were prosecuted, with 1,072 ultimately sent to prison. The fraudulent securities behind this crisis were far worse, but only Bernie Madoff’s done the perp walk. Obama could at the very least have sued to stop their bonuses, something Limbaugh called “class warfare.” But Taplin thinks a little class warfare would be just the thing to clarify who the real populists are.