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Politicians or bankers: Who’s to blame?

Last week MPR’s Midday program broadcast an entertaining Oxford-style debate of the proposition that Washington is more to blame than Wall Street for the financial collapse. Nouriel Roubini, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, and author John Steele Gordon argue the affirmative versus the team of NYT reporter Alex Berenson, short seller Jim Chanos, and Corporate Library editor Neil Minow. 

I won’t offer any spoilers, but I will say that the right side wins.

It’s an hour long, and very worthwhile. Listen here.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Glenn Mesaros on 03/30/2009 - 08:36 am.

    White Shoe Morgan banker and partner Russell Leffingwell sent a note to FDR in the summer of 1932, entitled, “Dear Frank: You and I know that we cannot cure the present deflation and depression by punishing the villians, real or imaginary, of the first post-war decade (1920s), and that when it comes down to the day of reckoning nobody gets very far with all this prohibition and regulation stuff.”

    When “Frank” responded that the bankers were responsible for “grave abuses”, and should support reforms, Leffingwell retorted, “The bankers were not responsible for 1927 – 1929 and the politicians were. Why then should the bankers make a false confession.”

  2. Submitted by Dwight baker on 03/30/2009 - 04:01 pm.

    Instead of blame let us consider the word guilt PART II

    1. The best measure as our President Commander and Chief to do now so that you would have many more ideas put on the table to think about would be —- To hold one if not more Strategic Planning and Development Stimulus Summits — with or without any of your staff and cabinet members or close confidants in the loop now—-then arrange for many other good Americans that are noteworthy with credentials in scholarship and proven track records in name honor and recognition to attend and allow them to have your ear for at least three consecutive days. That you might hear many others opinions and suggestion why and how to move forward then that might bring another perspective of what needs to be done now.

    2. Each passing day in America is filled with insidious, hideous and tenuous stuff as was the days when the BUSH BUNCH GANG was in power doing their THANGS. And because of that— things must change now you know that wholeheartedly, so please don’t wait —- to make the Strategic Planning and Development Stimulus Summit one of the matters most important on your agenda.

    3. Now my suspicions are like many — if a Strategic Planning and Development Stimulus Summit or one of like kind —– is not done soon by you —-then your men might with their faulted and failed plans prevail.

    4. The Bilderberg Group agendas are very clear they are out to protect the accumulation of wealth held by the old line and some new Barons [or benefactors of the spoils of war] to do what is best for them in exclusionary measures no matter what is best for the people affected. Because in their grand scheme of doing things all their goals are about exclusion for all reasons.

    One thing for sure all of us agree you have guts to want the job of being our President to lead us out of the espionage and sabotage done by some corrupting our Nation that has been going on for a long time. And one thing you can count on us for doing —-is watching your back day and night, best as we can.

    What ever you need us to do just tell us. Give us BIG JOBS to do —-there is a lot of folks that will work for free to help us get back on our feet—-WHY — They like me love this our home America —– think about holding a SUMMIT with the many others that have a good heartbeat from the grass roots of the American folks right now.

    As in all good things —- change comes little by little and we should not rush any longer to put out fires that might be needed to burn down the old failed ways of doing business as usual —– that has us in the fix we are in.

    Best regards

    Dwight Baker
    Co –Founder of the Bondservants of Christ Jesus Ministries
    Chairman of the Voices of We the Peoples Lobby now [Advocacy or WTPA] grass roots actions

  3. Submitted by Dwight baker on 03/30/2009 - 04:02 pm.

    Instead of blame let us consider the word guilt. When that word is used more is at stake for the lawless it is called doing time for a crime.

    March 24, 2009
    To the Honorable President Barack Obama
    Of the Untied States of America
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    OPEN LETTER — To whom it must concern

    Mr. President,

    I am but one voice in America today that has your interest at heart. My words are fashioned best as I can. So what I propose or say is never meant to bring any one or any thing into being called intent to deride or chide.

    Thanks for all the good work you are doing, and in keeping with your status as our President. We have prayed that you would not back down or cower to anyone.

    Many of WE THE PEOPLE are proud to be Americans and we are NOT inane of political science and the actions needed to protect and insure our equity in justice. And because of that we respect your work and for those high and lofty goals to be the centerpiece of your Administration. With you as our solicitous vanguard we do have HOPE once more. In you taking the lead with your strong and strident voice and will in words and deeds to overcome all the many things, people and matters facing our solvency and sovereignty in our rich and abundant America.

    One of the most vocal matters that is discussed daily in the televised media and printed News has been –— when and where is the real CHANGE going to come from as promised. Many good a moral folks and I too have been your devoted staunch and strong allies for each step you have taken. And seems now a new chilly wind from a bad direction has begun to blow. In my perception that is because many of your very close cabinet appointees and confidants have a proven track record that is not very good and that comes from their affiliations with groups and societies that have un-sound and un-reasonable long-term goals that have severe lacks of care and concern for our rights to life in our rich and abundant America that we have clung to in our communities and Constitution.

    The following list was furnished by WIKI about those active today in your administration that has been apart of the Bilderberg Group.

    Mr. President we elected you to set the stage for change and with those listed on your staff now — how can you do that? Obviously you have your work cut out for you to reform our government to integrity… and genuinely caring and working with the highest good of all in mind. You have a tall task you have taken on and we salute you and back you anyway we can.

    Their connectivity to others around the world that have a different strategy about the way we should go —- I think it is NOT as a sovereign solvent nation with our own self interest at the core of all we do —- if their plans are implemented that will simply lead us to change not but for more of the same. And to bypass that end game some things that you could do in the way things go for us—– would be:

    Richard N. Haass (1991, 2003, 2004[11]), president, Council on Foreign Relations
    Christian Herter[12] (1961, 1963, 1964, 1966), former Secretary of State
    Sam Nunn (1996, 1997[4]), former US Senator
    Kathleen Sebelius[15], Kansas governor and nominee for the the Health and Human Services secretary post
    Timothy Geithner[16], Treasury Secretary
    Lawrence Summers[17], Director of the National Economic Council
    Paul Volcker[18], Chair of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board

  4. Submitted by Jonathan Kovaciny on 03/31/2009 - 01:25 pm.

    The Federal Reserve is the greatest culprit among the guilty, but there are plenty of others. Read “Meltdown” by Thomas Woods for an excellent insight on the financial crisis:

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