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Economic Crimes

Monday, June 04, 2012

When he won the Oscar for the documentary "Inside Job," director Charles Ferguson asked why no one responsible for the financial crisis went to jail.  He looks for answers in his new book Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America.

Guests:

Charles Ferguson

Comments [15]

If Ed from WH aka PHH can repeat his hoary old chestnut about Obama and Rev Wright, I feel more than justified in pointing out that the Great Recession was a case of Dubya's 'laissez faire' immolation of the economy. After 8 years of 'easy' money - that is, the Fed Gov't spent $6T more than it took in - Dubya allowed world oil prices go up to $140/bbl for six months without a challenge. Six months of $4/g gasoline put too many mortgage owners in a very tight spot as they had to choose between continued employment and this month's mortgage payment. And after Dubya had turned a bunker fire into a full conflagration, the GOP has the audacity to try and sell the theory that it was some action thirty years ago that caused the '08 Meltdown.

Sheesh!

Brian - You were right to try and get Dr. Krugman to lead a debate. Americans need a primer on serious economics. What can we do when we won't believe facts from anyone unless they already have the ideological 'seal of approval' from whomever...Are we doomed?

Jun. 04 2012 05:45 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Engineer from NY Metro,

Remember how Obama said that after spending 20 years in Rev. Wrights church that he never heard any anti-American sermons from Rev. Wright?

Obama never heard it personally, never heard about it from his wife, never heard about it from a fellow churchgoer, never read about it in the church newsletter...

Usually when a candidate lies to the public BEFORE the election, the candidate loses all credibility.

Jun. 04 2012 02:38 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, I am glad Mr. Ferguson wrote his book. I was one of those unfortunate borrowers caught in mortgage fraud and predatory lending in Atlanta, GA. I did not know what had happened until after it happened. Then, I smelled something very rotten. I am sure the people involved (loan officer, lender, etc) made a lot of money. I, on the other hand, got a foreclosure and I lost my excellent credit score plus my savings. Eugenia Renskoff

Jun. 04 2012 02:08 PM
Engineer from NY Metropolitan area

I decided to comment on this segment because I have recently purchased Charles Ferguson's book, "Predator Nation" and the DVD "Inside Job". More importantly the real reason for the comment is because I was in a position of technically working for many financial firms in the New York metropolitan area for most part of 1999 to the late 2000s. This position allowed me privy to many conversations in the financial halls of Wall Street as well as in more relaxed venues as to the possibility of financial illegalities that were taking place that was going to be, and has proven to be economically disastrous to the United States of America, as well as that of the whole global economy.

Knowing what I knew, I shared it with my management and I was directly told to keep quiet about it because these financial firms were giving the company a lot of business.

Charles Ferguson is correct when he said that the financial companies knew what they were doing would not be good for the world economy let alone that of the United States'.

It was also know that the political parties, mostly the Republican party was complicit in what was happening. Remember George W's speech about everyone should own a home even if they truly could not afford it?

Ferguson's close on the program where he states, "Education is most important!", I could not agree more. If people of the US were educated, they would not be so easily duped by the likes of George Romney and they would stop voting against their own best interest as well as the best interest of the country. The Democrats are in there too, but not anywhere close to the extent of the Republicans.

I truly worry that if people do not wake up and become educated as to what is going on and how we could become a nation that is ruled by an oligarchy, there will be blood in the streets hell to pay.

People of the United States of America, WAKE UP! The one percent having you voting yourselves to your own death through an economic demise. I knew this was going to happen when back in the 1970s I witnessed the rush to off shore so many jobs.

Do you remember when Ronald Reagan told an audience that ketchup was a vegetable? And don't forget... Romney said he does not worry about the unemployed and the poor. There is a safety net. However some Republicans are referring to the safety net as a hammock.

Be aware that after, "Let them eat cake!" comes the guillotine.

Jun. 04 2012 12:04 PM
Amy from Manhatta

Oops, sorry about posting that last comment to the wrong segment. Moderator, please feel free to remove it (& this one too).

Jun. 04 2012 11:47 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Does the success of films like Inside Job, books about the topic, etc. (and maybe even segments like these) also factor into why there have been so few consequences for the perpetrators? In allowing us to be outraged for a period time, are they satiating us enough so that we don't pursue further action? Does the steam thereby blow off?

Jun. 04 2012 11:22 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Maybe a more direct comparison for the high & then crash of trading would be gambling addiction. And speaking of addictive things, I'd guess there was at least as much alcohol as pot being consumed.

Jun. 04 2012 11:21 AM

To fuva from harlemworld:

Glenn Hubbard is also Dean of Columbia Business School — a glaring indictment of the gross corruption that oozes out of Wall Street and into business school education in the US. Harvard Business School is hands down the worst of the lot. (Both Mitt Romney and war criminal George W. Bush went to HBS.)

Jun. 04 2012 11:18 AM

Charles Ferguson highlights a point that has been made for some 30 years now:

1. Corporate managers, including Wall Street banksters, have worked very hard to render management independent of owners (namely, stockholders), and

2. Having made themselves largely immune to the will of stockholders, those same managers have proceeded to make their own compensation absolutely independent of the performance of their own businesses. This is glaringly confirmed by the whining of criminals like Lloyd Blankfein who have insisted on increasing their compensation, especially bonuses, even while their firms have performed more poorly.

Is is genuinely astonishing to hear the endless bleating about "meritocracy" from Wall Street and other industry heads (like the vile Michael Bloomberg) while they worked so assiduously to line their own pockets while performing so poorly.

Jun. 04 2012 11:16 AM
Michelle from NYC

All these top level dudes knew what they were doing. Including Greenspan. They were all in on it, and they didn't care. All they'd have to say when the bubble popped was we were wrong, we make a mistake. They knew there'd be no real repercussions for them personally.

Jun. 04 2012 11:16 AM

whats wrong with pot?

Jun. 04 2012 11:14 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I totally support Mr. Ferguson's charges, but I found the applause of the audience in the audio clip of Mr. Ferguson's acceptance speech to be at least a bit ironic.

Because in the overall discussion of the inequality of incomes in our society, one group that is often overlooked is the entertainment industry, who seem to live quite high on the hog. They seem not to have any problem asking for and receiving millions whilst lecturing the rest of us about morality.

Not that that behavior is on par with Wall Street or other businessmen/women whose behavior helped bring down the economy. Still, it rankles.

Jun. 04 2012 11:12 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Because Obama and his administration are a bunch of "leftist, socialist, post-colonial radicals" - that's why non of his rich banker friends and backers haven't gone to jail right? Makes sense to me.

Jun. 04 2012 11:07 AM
John from NYC

What does Mr. Ferguson have planned for the future? Is a new documentary under consideration? Is Mr. Ferguson speaking at any upcoming book signings?

Jun. 04 2012 10:41 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Glenn Hubbard -- Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business -- who, in Inside Job, was shocked, SHOCKED that Charles Ferguson dare ask about the conflicts of interest affecting his economic analysis, IS MITT ROMNEY'S MAIN ECONOMIC ADVISOR.

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/01/hubbard-romney-a-practical-problem-solver/

Jun. 04 2012 10:31 AM

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