Posts Tagged ‘Simon Johnson’

INFLYTANDE: Den finansiella sektorn i USA spenderade 475 miljoner dollar på att påverka politiker under senaste valperioden 2008.

20 år tidigare var summan 60 miljoner.

Siffrorna för försvarsindustrin var 24 miljoner dollar. Hälso- och sjukvårdsindustrin satsade 167 miljoner dollar. För jordbrukssektorn var siffran 65 miljoner.

Pengarna gick till enskilda politiker och organisationer bildade för att stödja en viss lagstiftning, enskilda sakfrågor eller politiska kampanjer (Political Action Committee).

Kevin Drum, som bloggar för Mother Jones, skriver att detta inflytande bidrog starkt till att finanskrisen blev så omfattande.

[F]or three decades [finacial lobby] had us convinced that the success of the financial sector should be measured not by how well it provides financial services to actual consumers and corporations, but by how effectively financial firms make money for themselves. It sounds crazy when you put it that way, but stripped to its bones, that’s what they pulled off. […]

Now if the aerospace lobby had told us after the 1986 Challenger disaster that the key to better performance was to turbocharge the engines and quit performing preflight inspections, everyone would have agreed that they were crazy. Yet that’s essentially what the finance lobby has done over the past decade, and in some weird way we were too mesmerized to recognize it. Within months of a near catastrophe caused by one of the industry’s brightest stars, the lobbyists were busily making certain that it would happen again—and that when it did happen, it would be bigger and more disastrous than ever. […]

It was, depending on your perspective, either a vicious circle or a virtuous one. Deregulation produced vast profits, and those profits in turn provided the money to lobby for further deregulation. It was this ocean of money that allowed the financial industry to spend nearly $500 million on political contributions in just a single election cycle, and it was those contributions that helped keep so many flagrantly abusive—but profitable—practices alive and well. […]

Unlike most industries, which everyone recognizes are merely lobbying in their own self-interest, the finance industry successfully convinced everyone that deregulating finance was not only safe, but self-evidently good for the entire economy, Wall Street and Main Street alike. It’s what Simon Johnson, an MIT economics professor and former chief economist for the IMF, calls ”intellectual capture.” Considering what’s happened over the past couple of years, we might better call it Stockholm syndrome. […]

By October 2008, even former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, one of the country’s biggest cheerleaders for self-regulation, was admitting the obvious: There was a ”flaw” in the free-market worldview. ”Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity, myself especially, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he said […]

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