Pity The Rich Man’s Man

Poor Larry. Now he’ll just have to go home and cry into his GIANT PILE OF MONEY. I get that it sucks you don’t get a job you want, no matter how rich you are, but can we please start differentiating between people with real problems and people whose resumés are just a line short of their desires? Not everything is just like Hitler and slavery.

And this Michael Wolff columnisn’t THE most offensive thing in USA Today, but that’s just because it’s USA Today and we grade on a curve around here:

The public bake-off between the economists Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen for the job of chairman of the Federal Reserve has boiled down, practically speaking, to discriminatory hiring practices

Janet Yellen’s stand-out credential is that she is a woman.

A) Being a woman is so totally a major advantage in a world that lets a dudebro columnist characterize the FUCKING FED CHAIR APPOINTMENT as a “bake-off” and reduce a woman whose CV looks like this:

She led the San Francisco Federal Reserve from 2004 to 2010 and has been Vice Chair of the Fed since then. So she’s served across multiple chairmen, in multiple positions, during good economic times and during the depths of the financial crisis.

to just some affirmative-action-hire chickadee.

Larry Summers’ main drawback — or, certainly, among his most conspicuous characteristics — is that he is not.

Larry Summers’ main drawback is that he was wrong about everything important in the past decade economically. But yeah, let’s focus on his penis. It must be really awful in some way, to scuttle his Fed appointment all by itself. Yikes.

Gender begins to distinguish a political point of view, too. That Summers might be more partial to banks than Yellen is pretty much billed as a gender result.

Summers, as a certain kind of dominant man, is aligned with Wall Street, and hence with money, and hence with the existing power structure. He embodies the inclinations that have gotten us into so much financial trouble.

Yellen, as an unshowy (read middle-aged) woman, is more academic and collegial in nature, and has done long and unheralded stints in government; she represents the collective self and hence a higher level of public selflessness and probity.

You hear that, dudes? You’re genetically unable to focus on the common good, because you’re a man. You came out of the womb predisposed to believe everything out of the mouth of anyone wearing a Goldman Sachs nametag. Must be nice, to not have to make any decisions on your own.

I expect this kind of “men are animals, they don’t have brains at all” thinking from my football halftime beer commercials. Not so much, from my major newspaper columnists.

And if women are unable to align themselves politically with the existing power structure, well, Mitt Romney will have to give a lot of red states back.

As it happens, both Summers and Yellen are mainstream Democrats whose relative points of view really do not seem to differ all that much.


If you go back to the Fed’s December 2007 transcripts — the most recent we have — you’ll find the Federal Reserve predicting that the economy would avoid recession. William Dudley, now the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said that “fear is diminishing, which implies less risk of a crisis developing from this source” — “this source” meaning the bad mortgages that would imperil Wall Street and the world a year later.

You’ll also find Yellen voicing a prescient note of pessimism. “The possibilities of a credit crunch developing and of the economy slipping into a recession seem all too real,” she warned. In ensuing years, Yellen pushed for the Federal Reserve to do more to combat an employment problem that she didn’t see abating — advice that Bernanke and the rest of the FOMC eventually followed, when their optimistic forecasts proved terribly wrong.


Recession Is Over, White House Adviser Says

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2009

Tell me more about how the only differences between them are between their legs, Mr. Wolff!

While it might have seemed very difficult to find, especially at such a pinnacle of professional accomplishment, a way back to some of the most vapid, dumbed-down and oppressive gender roles and descriptions, we have found it.

And the jokes start to write themselves.


7 thoughts on “Pity The Rich Man’s Man

  1. Actually, Yellen is much more qualified to head the Fed than Larry, baby. She’s an expert on monetary policy and that’s what the Fed does. Wolff is a schmuck.

  2. Well, at least the bake-off reference didn’t go on to make references to June Cleaver wearing pearls while doing housework and baking cookies.
    Wonder if Summers had been the nomination, if our Lib-rul press in concert with Faux News et al. would have been proclaiming that the reason Yellen wasn’t nominated was because of being a woman / glass ceiling / etc.
    Seriously though, looking at the links, maybe I’m reading too much into them. I admit I have a grudge against the idea that a good CEO can run anything because they have golden blood (per Plato). As well as the corollary that when a CEO-type fails it gets swept under the rug (as in the folks getting megabucks for running the too-big-to-fail banks today are the same folks trumpeting the glories of sub-prime mortgages and CDSs 5 years ago). Or the failure is regarded as some kind of mystical revelation of the divine which empowers the person to be promoted even higher.
    But after years of Bernanke touting deregulation (and even admitting that he was wrong) he is still the oracle to which we go to for financial advise. Likewise, on the cusp of the financial industry pulling the world into a recession which we are still struggling to come back from, where Yellen was right and Summers seemed to be caught by surprise, we still want to choose the guy that was wrong?

  3. Janet Yellen is exactly the right person for the Fed Job; Larry Summers is exactly the wrong person. I signed every petition to fight the Summers nomination that came my way. The guy has no people skills and shouldn’t be trusted in any administrative position. That Barack would even consider this guy doesn’t speak well for Barack.

  4. Need an edit button. To the 3rd paragraph want to add that these same gold-blooded CEOs who brought us to near ruin 5 or 6 years ago not only are the same financial wizards getting paid fortunes today (a kick in the behind to anyone who wants to go into science, farming, or any other field of work which actually produces something as opposed to getting a fraction of the value of things they simply trade back and forth.)
    But even worse, they are still using bundling and CDSs as a magical way to make money.

  5. Catherine D. If I could find a like button, I would have just pressed it several times.

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