I finally watched the (Oscar-winning) documentary Inside Job, “the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008” (that continues today). The film’s conclusion (spoiler alert!): we have a “Wall Street government,” and have since the 1980s, which disproportionately serves the beneficiaries of the financial sector, often at the (very literal) expense of everyone else.
While I had been meaning to watch Inside Job for a while, something always delayed me from doing so. Now that I’ve watched it, I realize what it is: the disturbing reality of our embedded “financial-industrial complex,” which, unfortunately, has not changed at all under the Obama Administration.
As the film’s writer, director and producer Craig Ferguson notes, Continue reading
“What were the results of a world dominated by large, inept, but powerful failures whose influence could not be avoided?” – Richard White
This question appears to concern the recent Wall Street debacle, bail out, recession, and so on. But it’s actually the central theme behind a new study of the Gilded Age, Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, which was reviewed (“Too Big to Fail”) by Buzzy Jackson in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe (why don’t I read the Sunday paper more often?).
“Richard White,” writes Buzzy Jackson, “has written a book that will entertain and outrage readers with scenes of corporate greed and mismanagement and the federal bailouts that enabled them.”
White, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and professor of the American West at Stanford University, has chosen a subject matter that, unfortunately, far-too-closely resembles our current socio-economic state, to show how corrupt businesses often succeeded not because of their avoidance of failure, but because of it.
“This is a story of the dark arts of accounting,” notes Jackson, “and the seemingly paradoxical fact that the transcontinental railroads were simultaneously” powerful and unsuccessful. Continue reading