Episode #15

Joseph Stiglitz

« previous episode | next episode »

Monday, May 07, 2012

Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, shows no restraint when unleashing criticism of presidential policies—on both sides. Of President Barack Obama’s financial-industry rescue plan, Stiglitz gives scathing remarks, saying that whomever designed it was "either in the pocket of the banks or … incompetent."

Considered one of the most influential people in the world by TIME 100, Stiglitz grew up in Gary, Indiana and he talked to Alec about how that impacted his decision to become an economist.

Hosted by:

Alec Baldwin

Produced by:

Emily Botein and Kathie Russo

Comments [26]

Max from Northern NJ

Alec, I agree with "Tim from NYC/LA". This was the first of your podcasts I heard, and, frankly, it drove me crazy. I was talking back at the radio in an elevated voice. I strongly suggest that you please stop putting words in your guests mouths. Please talk much, much less, and please talk much, much slower when you do.

It will bruise your ego to learn this: listeners aren't playing your podcasts to hear you, we want to learn about your guests.

WNYC is playing a day of your podcasts today, Thanksgiving Day. I listened for about ten minutes and then moved on. You kept stepping on your guests thoughts, directing their conversation, putting words into their mouths.

Please, bite your tongue and let your guests share their own thoughts, ideas, fears, and desires without interference.

Thank you.

Nov. 27 2014 02:12 PM
Bruce Tasch

Recently discovered the show via Stitcher. Was able to go back into older shows to catch up and really enjoy the show. Learning new things about people who are already well known is the best part.

Sep. 29 2012 01:18 PM
ayanna from Philadelphia, PA

Alec, I love it! It's fresh, fun, hilarious and at times, endearingly sweet and deep. I enjoy your watching growth and maturity as an actor and human. I am appreciative. Take care...

Jul. 16 2012 01:59 PM
Tom from Houston Tx

A follow up economic show. What would happen if we wrote off the total national and personal debt and started over? I've never heard anyone in the MSM (including this show) ask that question. Why? Please don't say it's not "politically feasible" before the election.

Jul. 07 2012 11:51 PM
RK_usaf from McChord AFB, WA

This man isn't related to a Hugo Stiglitz right? You know, the Tarantino legend from Inglourious Basterds. TEAM AMERICA... something something... YEAH!!! (twitter: @RK_usaf)

Jun. 26 2012 07:36 AM
Tim from NYC/LA

ALEC, LET THE MAN SPEAK! You keep inviting people on this show I want to hear from and I hear from you before they get to finish what they're saying. I find myself instead of being able to enjoy LISTENING to your guests, instead worrying about the exact second-- which is never far away-- that you will NEEDLESSLY INTERRUPT YOUR GUEST!

Keep the intensity. Pick your spots.

Jun. 18 2012 09:32 AM
Mark Castle from Birmingham, AL

Two intelligent people talking about something worth listening to. What a refreshing change.

Jun. 09 2012 01:10 PM
Niles from Warwick, NY

This show would improve greatly if Mr Baldwin would give the interviewee a chance to complete his or her line of thought instead of being constantly interrupted.

Jun. 04 2012 04:37 PM

Fascinating interview, just too short! When are you having Dr. Stiglitz back on??

The show could have been improved only if Alec could rein in his fervor enough to let Dr. Stiglitz fully answer each question. However, I am as entertained by Alec's enthusiasm as much as I enjoy the intellectual stimulation myself.

Ditto mitchw's comment -- these shows absorb my consciousness. I look forward to every podcast.

May. 31 2012 02:12 AM

good interview. I have to say, Alec, and I mean this in no way to patronise, you're style of interviewing has grown considerably since you started this show. You've obviously got some excellent mentors there at WNYC.

May. 28 2012 04:41 AM
Jennie from Vancouver Baby

Brilliant podcast. Thank you! Mr. Stiglitz breaks down the financial crisis and economics simply and get his point across perfectly. Mr Baldwin, you're a great interviewer. Keep up the great work. Would absolutely LOVE it if you could interview Noam Chomsky?? I could listen to him for hours..

May. 18 2012 02:50 PM
Shari from Minnesota

I really enjoy these interviews and Mr. Badlwin's high level of passion and engagement. Although it is fun to eavesdrop into Mr. Baldwin's rarified life via conversations with neighbors, people he's worked with, etc., I'd love to also hear Mr. Baldwin interview people who are outside of the realm of wealthy, white, Manhattanites. Chris Rock is a start. Thanks for your work!

May. 17 2012 09:04 AM
Luis E. Boada from Terrassa, Spain

Great Radio!
Very different than regular shows.
Alec puts a personal touch on the conversation.
Well choosen guests. always on top.

May. 17 2012 04:53 AM
Robert from Sag Harbor, NY

Alec, please consider doing an interview of Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times. The listeners could get a good perspective on Fannie Mae's role in the financial crisis. (I am troubled by your attempt to rehabilitate Fannie Mae and Barney Frank through the Stiglitz interview.)

Ms. Morgenson's book, Reckless Endangerment, demonstrates that the crisis was caused by actions of people form both sides of the political spectrum. You, and others, obscure the problem, and, necessarily, its solution, when you make it partisan.

Ms. Morgenson's book will be released in paperback next month; so such an interview would be timely.

May. 16 2012 06:47 AM
BudGeoLy from SC. USA

Thank you both for the clear conversation about the "Financial Crisis". While the FC was a great injusttice in this unjust world affecting countless lives globally and which politicians and bankers alike are still squirminig, the much broader view is that people are generally becoming more lawless themselves: not only because of the examples of their leaders but also because of the day-to-day pressures of living in a world that is becoming generally more lawless. Shouldn't we point the finger at the true culprit? Who or what really is responsible for instilling a sense morality in humanity and why is it failing?

May. 15 2012 12:18 PM
Iliyan Petrov from Sofia-Moscow

True Moment - NO illusions about limits of so called "free markets"!

May. 13 2012 01:28 PM
mitchw from eastchester ny

I have to agree with another commenter, Alec, please don't interrupt the Nobel Prize winner while he's speaking. That said, that was the fastest thirty minutes of my life.

May. 11 2012 09:08 PM
Michael from New Zealand

Thank you Alec and Joseph. The right conversation, presented in the right way.

A pleasure to listen to.

May. 11 2012 04:31 PM
jack schoenholtz md from Rye, NY

Good Stiglitz on Stiglitz. But Alec get him to agree that imperfections in the market can determine a market failure. My book: "The Managed Healthcare Industry --A Market Failure: how healthcare turned into wealthcare for big insurers and managed care companies."

May. 09 2012 08:10 PM
Robert from Sag Harbor, NY

I was hugely disappointed with this interview. I like Dr. Stiglitz and wanted to hear him talk more, but Alec kept interrupting him. Repeatedly, sometimes like a cheerleader.

Indeed, Alec's bias showed through. For example, no mention was made that it was Mr. Clinton who repealed, or let lapse, the important Glass Steagell Act, or that deregulation really began with Mr. Carter. Of course, Mr. Reagan took it to new heights. But, many economists of both sids of the spectrum thought the economy was over regulated in the late 1970s. Does anyone remember double digit inflation AND unemployment? The national malaise speech by Mr. Carter?

It seems like there was a plan to rehabilitate Barney Frank. Perhaps Franks' involvement with Fannie and Freddie has been miscast by the Right, but what about the Financial Reform Act which carries his name? The bank lobbyists wrote that bill and many things (e.g., the un-regulation of derivatives) went uncorrected such that a repeat of 2007/08 will surely come.

May. 09 2012 07:24 AM

At end of the HBO docudrama based on Sorkin's "Too Big to Fail", it ends with Hank Paulson saying to his people about the banks, "they will lend the money, won't they?" (or something like that). I would like to know whether Stiglitz thinks the oversight of failing to require lending, pay restrictions, etc., was intentional (which he seems to imply) or just the result of policy makers (Paulson, Bernacke, Geitner) going into a negotiation to make an offer but not really knowing how far they would be backed up by the politicians who could override what they did. I believe that the Federal negotiators were too unsure of their negotiating position.
This is not a criticism of the Stiglitz interview; I would just like to hear his thoughts on the topic. I would also like to hear his analysis of why the British got it right on this banking issue and we got it wrong. I suspect our problem is the power of the lobbyists and the unbridled belief of many politicians in the inherent rightness of "free markets".

May. 08 2012 11:00 PM
Nick from Texas

Talk about "Serendipity"! ... I was just having this exact conversation with some "bonehead" Republicans two days ago ... They kept trying to blame the Obama Administration for the current economic crisis ... blaming Barney Frank & Nancy Pelosi  for the mortgage mess ... I kept insisting the problem started much earlier than the bailouts etc... I gave the example of my home mortgage changing hands every couple of years ... My girlfriend is a real estate agent ... I relayed a conversation that I had wih her in 2006 ... about her stating that it was "common for the industry" to give out home loans with NO MONEY down ... I told her then, "that didn't seem right" ... I told them "deregulation" is what brought on this mess (the cornerstone of Redumblican philosophy) ... It seems my "intuition" is exactly in line with a Nobel Prize winning economist  ... And, of course, I didn't persuade them one bit! ... "However", This "podcast" just gave me the "ammunition" that I so desperately needed ... "Thank You!!!" .... just like the goofy economists don't believe in "economic bubbles" ... Goofy Republicans don't understand they are "living" in a "reality bubble" ... It's "time" to burst that "bubble" with the truth!

May. 08 2012 02:52 PM
Annie from Syracuse, NY

Well if people did what was best for the country - the world would be a better place- unfortunately everyone wants to get ahead. If this means giving false information or giving out loans that you know someone cannot afford in the long run but boosts your owns sales ( which could give you a bonus or raise) you do it because your bank says to do it because they figure the government with their big helping hand will bail them out if something goes wrong. And they did. Everyone seems to live for the moment not the long run. If you plan a long life - invest wisely and think about the source where you get your information. Someone could purposely telling you lies for their own benefit. Shame on them.

May. 08 2012 02:39 PM
Dan Scott from Boston, Chicago

Joe S. is too important for just 30min. The next 30 min. would have been: Well if young people are disillusioned and shouldn't be, if we're all disillusioned what can we do. What should the Pres. do in the next 4 years, etc. It's time for HTT to be a Weekly HOUR. Baldwin can handle it. Thanks.

May. 08 2012 09:18 AM
Jessie Henshaw from way uptown

It's unfortunate that the best of our economic explorers, like Joe, simply refuse, decade after decade, to talk to the physical scientists who study how economies work as natural systems.

Natural systems start with inward feedbacks, and then become whole by turning to outward feedbacks.

Not so with economics, with fixed rules defining growth as only self expansion in a limitless environment. It prevents "becoming whole" within a finite environment from ever being defined, even as a question. It also prevents it from being defined as a problem, something our economy is failing to accomplish as any growing thing must to survive.

May. 08 2012 07:05 AM
Joannie from L.I., N.Y.

Very interesting! Great conversation with Joseph Stiglitz. Thank you for the podcast.

May. 07 2012 03:08 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.