Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Mar 28th 2009 at 10:14am UTC

America’s Financial Oligarchs

The ever-growing financial bailouts have produced a growing sense of outrage in America. Simon Johnson, professor of economics at MIT and former chief economist at MIT, writes in The Atlantic that America’s financial elite are putting their won interests ahead of their country and essentially looting it to enrich themselves and enhance their power.

Johnson compares America’s new financial oligarchs to their Russian counterparts, and says that their considerable political clout amounts to a “silent coup” which paralyzes the country from undertaking much needed sweeping reform of its banks and financial institutions.

The solution is obvious to anyone who has been part of the IMF or understands the financial crises that have affected other countries. Johnson writes, nationalize the banks and limit the power of the financial elite. But he fears this cannot happen because of their unvarnished power.

Johnson seems convinced that if the financial roots of the the current crisis are not dealt with it will end up worse then the Great Depression.

Sobering stuff. Read it closely.

6 Responses to “America’s Financial Oligarchs”

  1. sirius.inkheart Says:

    Okay, shut them down, take them over. Now what? If history is guild, the politicians will use these newly acquired banks as front and ease up the credit market a “little” bit. Fannie and Freddie are now just puppets doing what they were doing before the collapse. Does that improve anything? No, it just lower the mortgage rate, even lower than the high of the asset bubble. There is no smart economist, if they are smart, they wouldn’t choose economist as a carrier.

  2. GJeff Says:

    For the Atlantic article go to

  3. Robert Says:

    Based on what I have read there is a strong chance of a dollar collapse some time this summer to fall 2009. The credit markets are still not working correctly and since 70% of the American economy is based on consumer spending this is definitely a problem.

    6-9 months from the Leahman Brothers collapse in Sept 2009 would be March – June 2009. In March the Fed has just started massive quantitative easing which is printing money in large amounts. China has called for the dollars replacement as the worlds reserve currency as have Russia, Brazil and India with the SDR. America is one crisis away from having the dollar being replaced as the world’s reserve currency. After that happens the world will not need dollars for day to day international transactions substantially lessening the demand for dollars and causing hyperinflation in America.

  4. Richard Florida Says:

    Linked now fixed. RF

  5. Nikolai Kondratieff Says:

    Johnson is right. Fantastic article. Those who are so arrogant to think the U.S. cannot fail obviously failed history.

  6. Mike L. Says:

    In summary, a critical mass of those with the financial power must be forced to relinguish that power. Yes, it looks like something approximating a nuclear explosion will be needed ….