By Kevin Phillips
In his acclaimed booklet American Theocracy, Kevin Phillips warned of the perilous interplay of debt, monetary recklessness, and the spiking rate (and starting to be shortage) of oil- warnings which are proving to be frighteningly actual. Now, in his most vital and well timed booklet but, Phillips takes the complete degree of this hindrance. they're a a part of what he calls "bad money"- not only the depreciated greenback, but in addition the damaging attitudes and the improper items of wayward mega-finance. His devastating end: In its hubris, the monetary quarter has hijacked the yankee economic system and positioned 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
First, that the nearly $15 trillion the financial sector borrowed during the last quarter century had a steroidslike effect. S. money supply. Small wonder the financial sector grew like Topsy. The Ascent of Exotic Finance: Derivatives and Securitization The fourth major expansion platform of our twenty-five year chronicle relied on the huge profits and ever expanding zoo of exotic financial flora and fauna—derivatives, securitization, and the like. This animal watch was more lighthearted back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when derivatives in circulation included the acronyms CATs (Certificates of Accrual on Treasury Certificates), LYNX (Liquid Yield Note Exchanges), OPPOSSMS (Options to Purchase or Sell Specific Mortgage-backed Securities), and LIONs (Lehman Investment Opportunity Notes), and in a different vein when wisecrackers had fun with SURFs (Step-Up Recovery Floaters) and SLOBs (Sale-Leaseback Obligation Bonds).
This is a shame. Had there been serious discussion, the abuses now so obvious and the effects now so harsh would almost certainly have been more limited. 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.
In societal terms, though, the balance must tip toward condemnation. S. economy was unforgivable. Letting the merger and acquisitions process run wild and create mega-firms beyond effective national regulation but disposed to experiment and speculate hither and yon was disastrous. Allowing the financial sector to metastasize using $15 trillion of borrowed money over a quarter of a century was calamitous. So was permitting the derivatives and securitization business to create its $11 trillion of this and $53 trillion of that with the most incestuous and uncontrolled webs of distribution and counter-party relationships.
Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism by Kevin Phillips