Posts tagged “simon johnson”
“The people of this country are no longer making the rules by which they wish to live”: Talbott/Johnson, Part III
July 24, 2009From Part III of the Talbott/Johnston exchange at Salon.com on the following topic: The economic crisis: Who caused it? Was it preventable? Was criminal activity involved in bringing it about? And is it over? John Talbott: I don't think the current challenge is figuring out exactly what caused the crisis. Focusing on what caused this episode will lead to narrow regulatory reform that reminds me that we all now take off our shoes at airports because one crazy fellow had the idea of putting a bomb in his heel. So while reform is needed in subprime mortgages, securitization, derivatives, and even in the magnitude of our financial institutions, none of these get at the fundamental problem: The people of this country are no longer making the rules by which they wish to live.
July 23, 2009From Part II of the John Talbott/Simon Johnson exchange at Salon.com: People today seem to think that just because two people want to trade something, it must be good. Because the CDS market is big, it must be useful, goes the argument. It gets at the belief system that you suggested people have adopted: that markets are inherently good. Maybe always efficient, but not always good. There are some things like company default risk that shouldn't be traded. In the past people wanted to buy and sell slaves, child pornography, women's bodies. . . Just because a market can develop does not mean the functioning of that market is good for society. Markets cannot self-reflect. That is what humans do. Only we can decide if a particular market is doing more harm than good.
July 22, 2009From June to July, John R. Talbott, author of The 86 Biggest Lies on Wall Street and Obamanomics, sat down at his keyboard with Simon Johnson, the Ronald A. Kurtz professor of entrepreneurship at MIT, former chief economist of the IMF and current BaselineScenario.com blogger and cofounder, for an exchange of emails and ideas. The topic of conversation: The economic crisis: Who caused it? Was it preventable? Was criminal activity involved in bringing it about? And is it over?