Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Play-by-play of the collapse of capitalism

During the last for months of financial disaster, I've gotten totally hooked on Yahoo's Tech Ticker. The financial news these days reminds me of when I was a kid and I used to take old TVs and radios apart. Except, it's the global financial system that has its pieces strewn all over the floor. Ripping something apart is a great way to start figuring out how it works.

Reregulation of the financial sector?

Bloomberg has a peice out called, Rubin Failure on Swaps Dims Odds Obama Will Rein In Wall Street that speculates about incoming President Obama's possible response to the ongoing financial crisis. Obama's association with Clinton administration veterans and deregulation advocates like Larry Summers and Robert Rubin along with large donations from the financial section may signal a less sweeping reform of financial regulation than is justified by the situation.

As the president-elect faces a once-in-a-century opportunity to remake the regulatory apparatus governing Wall Street, some of Obama’s fellow Democrats and investor groups are urging him to bring sweeping changes to banks, hedge funds and executive pay. His closest economic advisers, men like Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers and Paul Volcker, may recommend otherwise: go slow. If Obama takes their counsel, the 44th president, who succeeds Bush on Jan. 20, may not clamp down all that hard on a financial industry whose excesses have pushed the nation -- and much of the world -- into a recession.

A lot of the blame for the financial crisis lies with deregulation that started under Reagan and continued unabated through the Clinton and Bush years. Glass-Steagall Act was repealed by Gramm-Leach-Bliley under Clinton. Let's hope that one of the results of this crisis is a more secure firewall between risky financial experiments and the day-to-day banking that the whole economy depends on.

This blog SUCKS!

I have a blog called "Political Economy" and I let the most historic election in my lifetime and the collapse of Western capitalism go by without a comment? I've been busy?? All I can say is, "Sorry, but this blog sucks."

A political economy

A recent piece in the Economist ( A new anthology of essays reconsiders Thomas Piketty’s “Capital” , May 20, 2107) ends with these words: &q...