The End of Capitalism?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Zachary Karabell, president of independent consulting firm River Twice Research, discusses whether the current fiscal crisis is a sign of the end of capitalism as we know it.


Zachary Karabell

Comments [34]



Thanks for the Heraclitus reference:

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."

There's a bunch of stuff before that sentence, but that pretty much sums it up.

I'm sure it sounded better in ancient Greek, esp. with its screwy tonal delivery.

I get his point, altho I know a bunch of us who've stepped in the same river twice, and not to our credit, we simply didn't learn the first 400 times.

Oct. 07 2008 01:01 PM
vernon douglas from new jersey

lower interest rates on credit cards.bring back usary laws. don't allow credit card companies to own collection agencies. lower ATM fees. This would be real money in peoples pockets.

Oct. 07 2008 12:20 PM
hjs from 11211

wall st is blackmail us, but there is no thing we can do. we are not up to this battle in the class war.

Oct. 07 2008 11:03 AM
hjs from 11211

[23] karen from Hartsdale

at times BL has even read my comments on the air...

Oct. 07 2008 11:00 AM
doctor david from manhattan

America should simply BUY ALL the houses. 40 million homes. Then "we" own real estate and we RENT to the existing owners for say 500 dollars a month. So people STAY in their homes. Rent to eventually own. Leave the banks out of it.

Oct. 07 2008 10:44 AM
doctor david from manhattan

There are over 5000 Richards like at Lehman. I hear estimates of 15 trillion dollars socked away by the super wealthy wall street theives. over the last 8 years. They murdered America. 15 Trillion!!! For a few men!

Oct. 07 2008 10:42 AM

Why assume Fuld's puncher is an innocent? None of the Enron sales people who laughingly stole "granny's life savings" went to jail. They made a lot of money, and moved on. To Lehman?

Until jail is an actual threat, this sort of thing will go on. Accountability goes from top to bottom.

Oct. 07 2008 10:39 AM
John from Brooklyn, NY

The Taxpayers are being FORCED to pay up for the bailout. Executives (those more directly involved and responsible) should be held to a higher standard. Let them keep their already high salaries but force them (by law) to return their bonuses for questionable and corrupt behavior to cover the bailout. These are hard times and require tough measures to protect our economy, right?

BTW, if this were happening in China, I believe we would have already seen executions with more to come...

Oct. 07 2008 10:39 AM
andrea valeria from 10th street, manhattan

He should be given a job washing cars, (he probably would do a very bad job at it) and the money should be put in a lottery for those who are losing their homes...

Oct. 07 2008 10:38 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Forget Fuld - the chief enabler was Phil Gramm and his corporate paymasters. Someone needs to pay him a visit with a baseball bat. He's a criminal.

Oct. 07 2008 10:38 AM
KC from NYC

If you really want an informed, educated take on this, interview the economist John Gray. He helped usher modern neo-liberalism onto the world stage, and he's got plenty of interesting things to say about it now. This guest is just a spokesman for an "adjusted" status quo. Who cares?

Oct. 07 2008 10:35 AM
karen from Hartsdale

Does Brian read our comments?
Or are we just talking to ourselves?

Oct. 07 2008 10:31 AM
John from NYC

Bloomberg is trying to over turn the will of the people by using the shock doctrine!

The fact that he believes that he is the savior of NYC is outrages.

Oct. 07 2008 10:31 AM
Alex from bk

It's absurd to blame capitalism and the free market. This is culmination of of many other sordid affairs. And people still want to vote for either of these candidates. A Paul/Kucinich (or vice-versa)ticket would be ideal, especially considering both of them did say that they'd choose one another as a running mate if they were chosen to run. Ah, we can all keep dreaming can't we.

Oct. 07 2008 10:28 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

JA, why do we care how china views the situation there!
we can't dictate to china? sht sherlock...but we dictate to everyone while we kill the middle class here...i googled u, u look exactly like your voice...stay away from treadmills someone may punch u out...

Oct. 07 2008 10:28 AM
hjs from 11211

seems like we only like the free market when it suits our need other wise we all line up for the government check (in what ever form)

Oct. 07 2008 10:27 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

This guy minimizes China’s deep internal problems such as mass unemployment, a hug underclass,environmental destruction, and ethnic tensions. No thanks, China is not a great model.

Oct. 07 2008 10:27 AM
Steve Viederman from NY 10028

About 5 years ago the FT placed a full page ad in the WSJ: Communism (Crossed)--didn't work; Socialism (nah, too much sharing involved); Fascism--too many small moustaches; capitalism--seems to be working. Well at this time it isn't, and what capitalism are we talking about? US, Scandanavia....? Perhaps capialism should also be crossed--too little concern for equity and justice.

Zacharay Karabell is an ideologue. He basically is saying that we will return to normal, the usual response to an economic crisis. We hear now of a new normal, undefined. The system has been broke for some time. Communities know that, especially people of color, but the elites roll on.

Oct. 07 2008 10:27 AM
hjs from 11211

i'm not sure but wasn't nazi germany authoritarian & capitalist

Oct. 07 2008 10:24 AM
j from manhattan

The only guest your interns can think to get for a show about "the end of capitalism as we know it" is a schlub financial consultant who writes for the WSJ? Kucinich, Sanders, et al weren't available? Even though they're being ignored by most outlets? Karabell is responding with simple talking points that he's probably also been giving CNBC and others all week. And now B.L. is being forced to argue Kucinich's point. Hopefully you'll vet your next interns better than you're vetting your guests.

Oct. 07 2008 10:22 AM
AWM from UWS

This can't be the end of capitalism, it is the system that appeals most to human nature.

This is the end of capitalism with poor regulation, oversight and transparency.

Oct. 07 2008 10:21 AM
KC from NYC

And most of the "emerging" Persian Gulf states are authoritarian capitalists!

Explain again why Russia is an anomaly, and why capitalism must inevitably lead toward democracy?

Oct. 07 2008 10:21 AM
Amy from Manhattan

"Chimerica"? Sounds chimerical to me. (Did the author do that intentionally? I tuned in a little late, so if he said so, I missed it.)

Oct. 07 2008 10:21 AM
KC from NYC

And most of the "emerging" Persian Gulf states are authoritarian capitalists!

Explain again why Russia is an anomaly?

Oct. 07 2008 10:21 AM
Hugh Sansom from Crown Heights

"For a few quarters"

"for a month or for a year"

Zachary Karabell sounds like Amity Schlaes or any of a number of pseudo-experts on the economy and economics.

The downturn has already been going for a year -- check the unemployment figures. (Unless you denigrate straightforward work.)

More notably, we are now seeing signs of _deflation_. That will crush the living daylights even out of the billionaires.

Clearly, Karabell's "River Twice" takes its name from Heraclitus ("You cannot step into the same river twice"). Fine. How about stepping into the river of truth just once?

Oct. 07 2008 10:20 AM

Way to go Sarko!

Oct. 07 2008 10:18 AM
KC from NYC

Those Russia remarks don't make much sense to me. You seem to automatically equate capitalism and democracy. Why? Why can't countries be authoritarian AND capitalist? Is that not, in fact, between China and Russia, quite possibly where the world is heading?

Oct. 07 2008 10:17 AM

Oh stop - work not denigrated? Ask a doctor or a professor if work is denigrated!!!

I think everybody needs to start looking really deeply underneath all these words capitalsm, fascism etc. get under it all to basics liek earth and food - read The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved by Sandor Ellix Katz, who has an interesting take and histories we don't read in school on commodification of everything vital. But he talks about it through the food supply. And he's loads of fun.

easy money ios not good for anybody because it isn't real! these gamblers render no service to anyone - remember the stock exchange was once a nonprofit!!! Fashion houses were not traded on stock markets till teh 80s - we live in a nut-house with no relationship to anything real!

Oct. 07 2008 10:16 AM

As a Kucinich supporter, I am still furious that he was shut out of the primaries (by excluding him from most of the debates). Everyone I know who I actually got to look at his positions agreed with him, but most of the electorate never got that chance. His was far and away the best speech at the convention. Unlike Obama and McCain, he is not corrupt--both of them are in debt to the financial aristocracy that got us into this mess. Thankfully, Nader is on the ballot.

Oct. 07 2008 10:15 AM
Hugh Sansom from Crown Heights

Whatever Kucinich's rhetoric, one thing is clear:

The first and principal beneficiaries of the "bailout" are most emphatically _not_ We the People. It is exactly the billionaires who manufactured this crisis. Whether regular folks will benefit at some point remains to be seen.

To pretend, as Mr. Karabell does, that there is little different now than in previous crises is absurd.

Work certainly is denigrated. The great virtues of modern America are Fortune and Fame.

Oct. 07 2008 10:12 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

So this 18 old kid talking knows when impending doom is real and when it isn' matter what happens we have added another trillion to the debt on the TAX PAYERS BACK!!!!!!

Oct. 07 2008 10:11 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

If anyone wants to virtually punch someone in the face try this....

Oct. 07 2008 10:07 AM
PJBeee from Ridgewood NJ

Good Morning. I haven't heard this mentioned (and excuse me if you think this is off-topic), but perhaps you could touch on the so-far mostly-hidden cost of the Iraq (and Afghanistan) war, and what role the war may have had in this economic meltdown.

Oct. 07 2008 10:06 AM
Lance from Manhattan

Many commentators have been laying a lot of the blame for the current crisis at the feet of financial institutions that lent money to people who by traditional standards would have been considered poor credit risks (eg see Steve Kroft's segment on 60 Minutes from this past Sunday).
I wonder what Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, who has criticized the bias against the poor in the traditional lending paradigm, would say about this. Why has the microlending approach of his Grameen Bank been so successful?

Oct. 07 2008 09:49 AM

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