Ron Suskind's Confidence Men
I have been reading Ron Suskinds' Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President and I can't recommend it enough. It is as much about the crash of 2008 as it is about Obama. It starts in 2007 and most of the early chapters are about Wall Street, not Obama. Obama enters the story when a fellow at UBS starts to raise money for Obama. One day in the summer of 2007 he calls Obama and tells him that there is a huge meltdown coming in the financial sector, this is the first time Obama has an inkling that all is not well, and it is clear that the seriousness of it does not sink in.
When Obama won his senate race in 2004 he decided to take Tom Daschle's Senate staff entirely. This meant that NOBODY from Southside Chicago came to the Senate with him. Whatever you can say about Daschle's staff, they had no feel for urban issues. After Obama got the nomination and the general election was going his was he met with Podesta and some other Versailles courtiers who advised him to leave his Chicago buddies home, that they were not up to snuff and he should pick his staff from experienced Washington hands. In other words Podesta et al told Obama hire us, and Obama was fool enough to believe them. Clearly Obama regards supporters as stepping stones.
I have just gotten to Tim Geither's confirmation hearing. During the preparation for his hearing Geither asked are they really going to ask me questions like that? His confirmation hearing did not go well, although he did get confirmed, much to our cost. Geither and Summers get a terrible press in this book.