Sunday, January 15, 2012

FDL Book Salon: Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry

Source: FireDogLake:

 Dylan Ratigan is well positioned to author a book, designed to be an enjoyable and informative read by normal humans, on the ongoing financial crisis. He is the wunderkind who became Global Managing Editor for Corporate Finance of Bloomberg, the premier news service that specializes in finance, at an exceptionally young age. He was at CNBC while that network was hyping the housing bubble as a non-bubble offering fantastic investment opportunities.

Now an anchor for MSNBC, Ratigan is a fierce critic of prominent politicians in both parties for what he views as their destructive policies and slavish efforts to aid the wealthiest and most politically powerful at the expense of the best interests of America and its people. He is passionate about these subjects and far less predictable than many of his peers because he is not a political partisan.

In finance, the most important question is why we suffer recurrent, intensifying financial crises. That question is really two questions. Answering it requires that we determine what causes our crises and why we fail to learn from these crises, but instead make the incentive structure ever more perverse after each crisis. Anyone from a finance background is likely to conclude that perverse incentives cause financial crises, so I was surprised by Ratigan’s choice of book title (“Greedy Bastards”). I think that greed is unlikely to have changed greatly over the last quarter century in which the U.S. has suffered three recurrent, intensifying financial crises.

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