Our financial markets have an important role to play. They’re supposed to allocate capital and manage risk, but they’ve misallocated capital and created risk. We are bearing the cost of their misdeeds. There’s a system where we’ve socialized losses and privatized gains. That’s not capitalism! That’s not a market economy. That’s a distorted economy, and if we continue with that, we won’t succeed in growing, and we won’t succeed in creating a just society.” - Stiglitz Speaks at Occupy Wall Street – Bwog
Interesting statistics: about 44% of people that receive Social Security and about 40% of those receiving Medicare believe that they “Have Not Used a Government Social Program”.
oh hell yeah...
But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”
“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
Kel and I were talking tonight, when I remembered a New York Times article from 1999 I had seen linked to recently:
The article is about the passing of Gramm-Leach-Bliley. The legislation passed in the Senate 90-8, and in the House 362-57. Generally speaking GLB deregulated the way banks, securities, and insurers could interact. Some choice quotes from the article:
"I think we will look back in 10 years' time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930's is true in 2010," said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota. "I wasn't around during the 1930's or the debate over Glass-Steagall. But I was here in the early 1980's when it was decided to allow the expansion of savings and loans. We have now decided in the name of modernization to forget the lessons of the past, of safety and of soundness.
Senator Paul Wellstone, Democrat of Minnesota, said that Congress had "seemed determined to unlearn the lessons from our past mistakes."
"Scores of banks failed in the Great Depression as a result of unsound banking practices, and their failure only deepened the crisis," Mr. Wellstone said. "Glass-Steagall was intended to protect our financial system by insulating commercial banking from other forms of risk. It was one of several stabilizers designed to keep a similar tragedy from recurring. Now Congress is about to repeal that economic stabilizer without putting any comparable safeguard in its place."
I'm very happy to see Feingold on the list that voted against.