Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Inside Job, the Movie: How Much Lower Can U.S. Greed & Corruption Sink?
This is a film well worth your time. Powerfully clear, probing, to the point.
You have already heard that the scoundrels who got us into the mess (there's two, maybe three of them up there) were retained by two administrations (sorry but corruption crosses party lines) to save the day, the country, the world. Mostly, to save themselves and their millions.
Now you can view up closer many of these shameless con artists on parade (but not yet on parole) in action. This film's spot-on commentary is cool and patient in its pursuit of the few players who agreed to talk (not one of the principals cooperated). It nonetheless places the crooks at the scene of the crimes before each was recruited to clean up the mess by selling more lies to shake down the Fed for bailout money. Most of it they doled out to their Wall St. cronies, to the lobbyists and high-priced whores who gilded their monumental misdeeds with perks aplenty.
Americans may not realize the money earned by well-placed economic professors serving on Wall Street boards. Conflicts of interest? Not as they see it. Nor do some of them feel that their consulting services need be a matter of public record. This give Inside Job additional reporting brilliance. Harvard University's Larry Summers, until recently director of the White House economic council, was a key obstructionist in preserving the deregulated norm, a norm that remains largely intact. Examples here of the whoring that goes on between the banking industry and academia are breath taking.
Kudos to writer- directed by Charles Ferguson, who manages to make less obtuse, if not totally understandable, those mysteriously complex "derivatives."
A few months back, I decided to watch ABC-TV's version of a Sunday morning news program, and to give George S., not one of my favorites, another chance. And who in the world did he have on that Sunday to offer expert financial analysis and insight on the ongoing economic crisis?
Alan Greenspan, a chief architect of deregulation.
It just never ends, the loathsome spectacle of naked incestuous greed from Wall Street to the halls of congress to the nightly news. Virtually all of corporate America participates, prolongs, rearranges shell game settings on the U.S.S. Titanic. We were told that those toxic banks were "too big to fail," and had to be broken up so that such a horrible thing would never visit us again. Right! Well, the bailed-out banks are now not smaller but bigger than ever.
Next time, I suppose, they will tell us, "The United States is just too big to fail." Good luck on that one.
I feel sorry for the young people who will inherit the sins of their selfish parents -- that is, if there is a country left to inherit.