Monday, November 3, 2008
The Predator State: Shady Operators & Card Sharks
One of the many nuggets I enjoy reading in The New York Times on Sunday are the interviews by Deborah Solomon in The New York Times Magazine. Yesterday, November 2, 2008, Deborah interviewed the economist James K. Galbraith. John Kenneth Galbraith, his father, was a well known economist who advised several presidents and wrote a number of books on economics. I even bought and read one of his books years ago when I was trying to get my arms around the fields of economics, finance and investment securities. I liked John Kenneth Galbraith’s style and the way he viewed economics. Let me just say John Kenneth Galbraith was vastly different from the likes of an Alan Greenspan.
James K. Gralbraith has written a new book titled “The Predator State”. In his interview, he has the following exchange.
Q. “You’re referring to the Washington-based conservative philosophy that rejects government regulation in favor of free-market worship?”
A. “Reagan’s economists worshipped the market, but Bush didn’t worship the market. Bush simply turned over regulatory authority to his friends. It enabled all the shady operators and card sharks in the system to come to dominate how we finance.
Shady operators? Card sharks? James K. Galbraith sounds like an old man in Cincinnati who has been writing about people being treated as “marks” by the securities market. I am happy to see someone has even gone to the trouble to write a book about the predatory state of our present politico-economic administration.
The problem now, much like sharks feeding in a frenzy, is that a lot of the sharks got eaten along with everyone else. When this happens in banking, who is left with any confidence that they are not going to be the next shark to be eaten? The $700 billion band-aid is now suppose to get everyone in the water to trust each other? Trust takes time to develop and can be destroyed in seconds. Secretary Paulson, if he has ever created anything with his hands, other than money, will find this out.
This is not a story of Republicans vs Democrats. This is a story about a level playing field for all players in the market. Those that can open their eyes and their mind and understand just what has happened to our economy will understand the need for regulation, oversight, transparency and direction from our leaders that enforcement be the order of the day. Such a small number of individuals have benefitted from the feeding frenzy and so many many have suffered from this lack of regulation and leadership.
Tomorrow the people have a choice. Do they want to continue down the road of an economic philosophy that takes care of a very narrow few, or do they want to elect a president and vice-president that will bring regulation, oversight and transparency to the financial markets. I think this country has seen enough suffering at the hands of the “shady operators and card sharks”.
I strongly recommend that if you feel you have seen enough of the philosophy of deregulation then you should vote for OBAMA-BIDEN.