Absent Pig-herd Admits Mistake

Some credit is due, I suppose, to former US Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, for admitting that the economic ideology that defined his tenure and produced a financial crisis of monumental proportions, was flawed. ‘I made a mistake,’ Mr. Greenspan said, ‘in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms.’

Some credit… but it does remind me of the guy who thought his herd of pigs would behave themselves while left to their own devices in the buffet room of the Waldorf Astoria. Who would have thunk?

Surveying the wreckage, Greenspan advised he was in ‘a state of shocked disbelief,’  because ‘I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.’ Given they only began dismantling the post-depression financial regulations in the late nineties, that’s hard to fathom, but perhaps Greenspan shouldn’t be quite so hard on himself. In the rarefied atmosphere of New York’s financial sector, he was surrounded by folks for whom an absent pig-herd was working very well indeed. Even the recipients of NINJA loans thought it was working well – for a minute or two. The American dream, once the province of hard-working entrepreneurs, seemed accessible to every Joe, even the ‘six-pack’ ones.

Welcome to the American nightmare. After affluenza comes what? If America sneezes and the world catches cold, what happens when the US acquires uncontrollable diarrhea? Trickle down theory indeed. What is certain is that the warriors of religious free-market fundamentalism are free to follow Greenspan’s example and fall gently, befuddled, on their swords.

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