by John Lounsbury
Les Leopold writes at the Huffington Post:
Before we’re completely overtaken by financial Alzheimer’s, let’s revisit Wall Street’s greatest fabrications for 2010. (For the full story, please see The Looting of America.)
Leopold discusses in some detail each of ten items he identifies as the big lies of 2010. Here is the list:
- “Honest, we didn’t do it!”
- “The overall costs will be incredibly small in comparison to almost any experience we can look at in the United States or around the world.”
- “It’s a war. It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”
- “The hard truth is that getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifice, and that sacrifice must be shared by employees of the federal government.”
- “25 hedge fund managers are worth 658,000 teachers.”
- “To bolster the economy we need …. an improvement in the relationship between business and government (the current antagonism, even if not the primary explanation for slow hiring and sluggish investment, does seem to be affecting hiring and other business behavior).”
- “Lengthened availability of jobless benefits has raised the unemployment rate by 1.5 percentage points.”
- “Private employers, led by our revitalized financial sector, will create the jobs we need — that is, if the government would just stay out of the way.”
- “Tim Geithner extolled ‘the benefits of financial innovation’ to the American economy.” (Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2010)
- “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.”
Okay, the last “lie” is a quote from “Casablanca” in 1939, not from Wall Street 2010, but let’s give Leopold a little poetic license.
This Op Ed is a stimulating rant about Wall Street excesses in a time of widespread suffering on Main Street. It is written by Les Leopold, the author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street’s Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009. He is currently working on a new book, How to Earn $900,000 an Hour: The Rise of Wall Street Billionaires and the New Class War, (hopefully to be published in 2011).
This Op Ed is a good companion piece to the two related articles below. After reading Leopold’s rant and the related articles below may we suggest that perhaps the motto for 2011 should be: “Don’t worry, be happy”.
Happy New Year!
Underneath the Happy Talk, Is This as Bad as The Great Depression? by Washington’s Blog