Sunday, April 5, 2009

Oligarchs II

Not long ago I wrote here about the oligarchy the financial industry has become, concentrating wealth and political power in the hands of a few "Masters of the Universe" whose opinions about bailouts, regulations, and the wisdom of our financial system have all but become dogma for policymakers and the rest of us. Let me add to that this bit of information: the director of the Obama Administration's National Economic Council, Lawrence Summers receive more than $6 million as a managing director of New York Based hedge fund D.E. Shaw and Co. over the past 16 month, according to Bloomberg.

Now Larry advises Barry, and Barry (being the newest decider) makes the policy. But Barry's adviser Larry got $6 extra large from a big Wall Street player quite recently.

When Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia seized up economically speaking a bit over ten years ago, word got out here in the US that a large part of their problem had to do with crony capitalism -- a distorted credit market arising from an unholy comingling of finance and governmental power. Reading news reports at the time, we were led to feel superior to such undeveloped nations. America isn't like that.

Are we?

No comments: