23 November 2009

Has the American Model of Capitalism Failed?

This video is well worth watching to provoke thought and provide a perspective which you may not obtain from the mainstream media, particularly in the States

Naomi Klein, Howard DeSoto, and Joe Stiglitz on Economic Power and the Financial Crisis in the US

Has the American system failed? What is the American system of markets?

Is the US becoming a 'banana republic' and if so how has this happened?

What are the roots of the financial crisis?

Howard DeSoto is interesting, but takes a decent macro concept and then flogs it to death without taking it to the next step towards relevancy. Naomi Klein is more of a popularizer but makes some interesting points and explains them exceptionally well. Stiglitz is his usual brilliant self, and one must only regret that he and Volcker have no voice or real place in the Obama Administration.

But at the end of the day, one still suspects that all this talks around the basis for this financial crisis, which is a determined, if loosely organized campaign to undermine of the rule of law and to 'fix the game' in a way that has numerous historical examples.

It is best epitomized by the well-funded campaign led by Sandy Weill to capture the regulatory and political process in the US, and to overturn Glass-Steagall and the restraints on markets and leverage and oversight for the Wall Street banks. It was more sophisticated in its own way than Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme and certainly on a grander scale than Enron, but is of the same general species of financial fraud.

As the book title says, It Takes a Pillage...