Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Real News Network

All five parts of my long interview with The Real News Network’s Paul Jay are now online:

Part One: “Understanding the Imperialist System Changed My Life” (video & transcript)

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A preview of my conversation with Peter Buffett

Peter BuffettThe following segment is an excerpt and preview of a conversation that took place between myself and Peter Buffett: composer, chairman of the NOVO Foundation, and son of investor Warren Buffett. Peter’s op-ed last year in the New York Times on the “charitable industrial complex”—retweeted over 8000 times and liked and shared by over a hundred thousand people on Facebook—was not only a stunning and unexpected indictment of the philanthropic status quo, but a bold call to imagine a new economy. This latter aspect—Peter’s demand for, as he put it, “concepts that shatter current structures and systems that have turned much of the world into one vast market”—led to the conversation excerpted here, when I sat down with Peter at the close of 2013 for a discussion of systemic crisis and the possibility of hope. The full conversation will appear soon.

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Debating public ownership of too big to regulate banks in the New York Times

The New York Times’ Room For Debate recently featured an exchange around the question Are Big Banks Out of Control?  My contribution to the debate follows (originally posted here):

Nationalize Banks That Overwhelm Regulation

The announcement of a settlement with JPMorgan Chase in connection with the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme brings into focus one of the most important, if unexpected, strategic ideas of the early, highly conservative Chicago School of Economics. The key judgment: Contrary to the conventional wisdom calling for stronger regulation, a number of early conservative economists held that some institutions were simply too big and too powerful to regulate. They would always find a way around government efforts to keep them in line in connection with certain critical economic issues. George Stigler, for one, received a Nobel Prize for illuminating the institutional power relations involved in what is commonly referred to as “regulatory capture” — the informal way in which regulations always get watered down sufficiently so that somehow things tend to slip through the cracks.

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