Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the IMF, lays out the political case for “Trust Busting” in the 21st Century — it is a political argument that Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt would have understood and probably approved of.
Simon Johnson Baseline Scenario January 19, 2010
At this stage in the electoral cycle, Democrats should be running hard against big banks and their consequences. Some roots of our current economic difficulties lie in the Clinton 1990s, but the real origins can be traced to the financial deregulation at the heart of the Reagan Revolution – and all the underlying problems became much worse in eight years of George W. Bush’s unique brand of excess and neglect.
The theme for the November midterms should be: Which part of the 8 million jobs lost [since December 2007] do you not understand? The big banks must be reined in and forced to break themselves up, or we’ll head directly for another such crisis.
Instead, the Democrats have fallen into a legislative and electoral trap that – amazingly – they built for themselves.
Phi Beta Iota: The flaw in the above argument, which is intellectually sound, is is failure to realize that the Democratic “leaders” have been bought and paid for, just as the Republican “leaders” were before them, and the President in partcular appears fearful of biting the hand that elected him ($300 million unaccounted for, never mind all the foreign and other bundling that went on). This is an Administration that would prefer to step over the cliff rather than accept the hand of the Independents, the Tea Party Express, and all those who now recognize that absent Electoral Reform, the USA is headed for collapse–paradoxically, all it would take to restore the Republic to full health, fiscal and otherwise, is Electoral Reform (integrity comes with it). Take our hand, Mr. President–we offer it freely.