Wednesday, March 14, 2012

our pseudo-capitalist ways

Even when it comes from within the institution or policy concerned, a countervailing persuasion finds few serious listeners. In this way, mediocrity and corruption flourish.

An executive with Goldman Sachs, sometimes thought of as the Yankees of investment banking, has excoriated the company for disregarding the welfare of its clients in preference to its own interests. The company dismissed Greg Smith's complaints in a New York Times oped piece as piffle and said its clients were at the heart of all it does. It did not say in what way those clients were at the heart of their policies.

On the Bill Moyers TV show, former Republican Budget Director David Stockman voices his dismay at the crony capitalism that badly needs revision at the roots and is unlikely to get it as long as greed is the guiding principle of democracy. He notes in passing that the American electorate is deeply pessimistic, with something less than 15% seeing a brighter tomorrow in store for the U.S. Stockman says he does not think the electorate is wrong. In fact, he thinks they have it approximately right and deserve to feel pessimistic. If the U.S. were a capitalist country, its institutions would have suffered the reverses in 2008 and thereafter that their speculations so richly deserved. Instead, their political cronies helped them out and ... it's back to the same old bubble building.

Stockman never does utter the word "revolution" in his analysis. But he comes pretty damned close.


  1. I read the article.

    Then I read this:

    I loved the first paragraph:

    There's a maxim I like to fall back on in situations where the members of the 1% speak as if they are breaking from the elite: It's easy to become a Buddhist after you've made your first million.

  2. Clyde -- I loved that first paragraph too. Thanks.