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The Quiet Coup

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 18:49:02 -0400 (CLT)

A long article by someone from the IMF (ex chief economist Simon Johnson).

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200905/imf-advice

It starts with some interesting insight into problems with emerging
markets.  While I can't help wonder if it's a bit too dismissive of the
differences between different crises, a lot of what is said about
oligarchs rings very true.  I suspect that most political unrest comes not
from "the roots", but from controlling interests.

Then it moves on to the USA.  Some is kind-of obvious, but it's a good
point anyway.  When he says

  "the American financial industry gained political power by
  amassing a kind of cultural capital—a belief system. Once,
  perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the
  country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that
  what was good for Wall Street was good for the country."

I don't think he takes it far enough.  It's not just the government.  It's
the populace mindset.  People *believe* with real conviction in stuff that
harms them.  Of course, this is easier to see in places like Chile which
have strange alliances between the very wealthy and the very poor.  But
it's not so clear when the very wealthy are behind a "system".

Anyway, that's just a hobby-horse of mine.  The article continues and
offers two possible outcomes.  I think it's pretty clear which one will
happen; I just don't see how to advantage from that knowledge.

Andrew

PS I wonder if we'll see increasing alliances between the financial sector
and the mass media.  In a sense that is one prediction of this article.

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