"Progressive" Cabinet "nominee"
- We asked that contributors weigh ideological and political considerations, with an eye toward recommending people who have both progressive credentials and at least an arguable chance at being appointed in an Obama White House.
- This group of people would represent at once the most progressive, aggressive and practical Cabinet in contemporary history. Of course, it is by no means a definitive list. It is merely one proposal aimed at starting a longer discussion about the very concept of a progressive Cabinet—and why it will be important to a new administration, especially if that administration is serious about change.
- Firing up the printing press at the U.S. Mint and handing over billions in cash to Wall Street con artists isn’t a serious monetary policy — but that’s been Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s response to the housing and credit crisis. When Bernanke’s term expires in 2010, either Marion or Herbert Sandler would be a welcome replacement.
- Over four decades, the husband-and-wife team built Golden West Financial into one of the most stable and successful mortgage companies — and they did it through the kind of responsible lending practices that the greed-is-good crowd mocked.
- As the Wall Street Journal reported in 2007, “Golden West historically had very low levels of bad loans, which Mr. Sandler has attributed to his bank’s careful vetting of borrowers and their credit.” Indeed, the Journal noted that the Sandlers were “frequent critic[s] of competitors who required no down payment, set interest rates that reset quickly at high rates and sold bundled loans to far-off investors.” They also spoke out against “the lax lending practices that pervaded the industry for the past few years — even writing a letter to federal regulators last year in support of tighter standards.” That’s precisely the kind of foresight America’s bank of banks desperately needs.
- What’s more, the Sandlers are about as progressive as bankers come — and they put their money where their politics are. Their foundation underwrites, among others, the Center for Responsible Lending and the National Women’s Law Center.
- A Federal Reserve chairperson with a vague familiarity with — much less a connection to — such groups would inject a populist perspective into an institution whose secrecy and insularity has made it one of the elite’s most reliable weapons in the class war.