Crony Capitalism

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Dr. Robert A. Johnson currently serves on the United Nations Commission of Experts on International Monetary Reform under the Chairmanship of Joseph Stiglitz. He is also the Director of Economic Policy for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI) in New York. Dr. Johnson was previously a managing director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to that time, Dr. Johnson was a managing director of Bankers Trust Company managing a global currency fund. He also served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire (D. Wisconsin) and before that, he was Senior Economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici (R. New Mexico).

Here Johnson talks with Paul Jay of The Real News about how we got into the current and continuing economic mess, and makes some suggestions for banking and financial reform and a way out of the mess.



Real News Network – December 29, 2009

Crony capitalism unchanged

Robert Johnson: Only public money pushed the economy back from the cliff; it can all happen again

30 comments

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    • Edger on December 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm
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    looking too good. The foundation appears to be made of air…

  1. your blog — I didn’t hit any keys by mistake or anything — but when I went to preview my other comment, the whole thing was a mess.

    Dunno what happened.  Sorry.  Left a comment in ek’s “technical problems” open thread.

    Weird.  Anyway, here’s what I hate about computers: the software.  It’s always f*cked up.

  2. reminds me of something Paul Krugman wrote in 2003:

    But at a certain point we’ll have a Wile E. Coyote moment. For those not familiar with the Road Runner cartoons, Mr. Coyote had a habit of running off cliffs and taking several steps on thin air before noticing that there was nothing underneath his feet. Only then would he plunge.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10

    • banger on December 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    to anyone who has followed the financial crisis. The telling quote is the Upton Sinclair quote.

    I have been agonizing over the fact that the American people, the left, and public intellectuals have neglected the underlying theme of our age. This is not about the financial crisis or the dominance of the military or anything like that. What our age is about is the deliberate stampede away from reason and logic.

    All of a sudden, as quickly as old taboos collapsed new ones sprang up. Any talk of a cabal or a secret government is squashed. Any talk that there could be an alternate explanation for 9/11 is squashed. The explanation for 9/11 is totally ludicrous. It has no evidence, no logic it is sheer mytmaking out of whole cloth. The claims about the GWT (“we are at war”) are never questioned. Here’s the truth: we are not at war. There is no war. There are something we call “enemy combatants” whatever that is.

    Everything is so obvious. Of course there is crony capitalism unless there is some countervailing force. Of course there is perpetual war unless there is a real opposition (there is not). These events we are watching (and all we can do is watch) have one chief source: the dismemberment and castration of the left in America. The oligarchy didn’t even have to do anything. The left listens to NPR and thinks it is progressive; it writes diaries on GOS and thinks that it is a community of progressives; it tears up at “our” men and women in the military and how difficult life is for them (never mind about the people they murder) and so on and so on.

    The FIRE sector has no reason to do anything other than business as usual because there is no effective opposition. Even though, within their ranks, there is opposition like from Soros and others. Why is that? Because the vast majority of the American people are willing to go down with the ship rather than face the truth. The national religion of American Exceptionalism and the myths surrounding that notion have ensorcelled everyone. We have to break the spell somehow starting with ourselves.

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