By Kevin Phillips
In his acclaimed e-book American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips warned of the perilous interplay of debt, monetary recklessness, and the spiking fee (and growing to be shortage) of oil- warnings which are proving to be frighteningly exact. Now, in his most vital and well timed booklet but, Phillips takes the entire degree of this trouble. they're a a part of what he calls "bad money"- not only the depreciated greenback, but in addition the harmful attitudes and the fallacious items of wayward mega-finance. His devastating end: In its hubris, the monetary zone has hijacked the yankee economic system and placed our very international destiny at risk-and it can be too overdue to forestall it.
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Additional info for Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism
By a deeper interpretation of “virtue,” however, the cycle is less benign. 5 on p. 45 shows, the late 1990s, in particular—but indeed, the entire 1983-2006 quarter century—were a heyday of financial borrowing and a triumph for leverage. True, the late 1990s stock averages initially rode alongside prosperity, but then the broader stock market and tech bubbles popped in 2000—the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 78 percent from its peak in 2000 to its 2002 nadir and the Dow-Jones Industrial Average slumped by some 40 percent.
News executives and journalists have arguably been as negligent as politicians and regulators. 1 However, for this postmortem of recent financial recklessness, we dissect only the economic corpus of the last quarter century. Late 1982, indeed, saw the Dow-Jones Industrial Average come off its August bottom (at 780) and begin the spectacular climb that would elevate it to 11,700 by early 2000 and 14,000 by 2007. S. 4, p. 1, p. 1, p. 1, p. 7). Hopefully, these pictures are jolting. For convenience, I call the quarter century ascent the Multi-bubble.
We cannot turn away from this fourth engine of financial sector expansion—the embrace and promotion of exotic products—without noting that in 2006 and 2007, confident Wall Streeters predicted that derivatives, securitization, and structured finance were becoming this country’s biggest and most profitable export, replacing yesteryear’s manufactures. For several years, the market seemed promising, but foreign sales tanked in late 2007 and 2008. “Securitization was based on the premise that a fool was born every minute,” Columbia University economics professor Joseph Stiglitz told a congressional committee in October 2008.