The Renegade Economist Speaks with Ann Pettifor

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This is the sort of talk that makes Americans jealous of the British. Heterodox economist Ann Pettifor predicted a global debt deflation in 2003 (!) and critiques conventional thinking in the economics discipline. She also has a wonderfully theatrical manner of speaking.

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61 comments

  1. dan h

    She’s wonderfully eloquent, and ran through the banking business’ MO beautifully…that said, I disagree on a major point. I do not believe for a second that they are trapped/disoriented/blinded by their views. They are willfully engaging in activity that they understand is immoral, harmful, and fraudulent. It’s all just thousands upon thousands of levels of loopholes and rules and complexity built up to mask greed.

    1. dan h

      I’m also wary of her advice to read the FT and The Economist etc…and I’m wary because I dont share her optimism. Propaganda coupled with modern communication technology is terrifying.

      1. William C

        Dan

        Ann only recommended the FT (it was the interviewer who mentioned the Economist) which is a serious and pretty truthful newspaper (e.g.see Gillian Tett’s pieces before the crunch)whose main writers have repeatedly made clear they are unhappy with what is going on . The Economist by contrast is nowadays largely propaganda. This is a shame as it was once a fine magazine.

    2. YankeeFrank

      Agreed. Today NPR, which is almost total propaganda, had a piece on a guy who got all these people to commit fraud to help him save his business. NPR were asking why it was so easy for him to get people who wouldn’t benefit at all from the fraud to help him. The reason they came up with, aided by some psychologists, was that people want to help each other, and don’t see the acts as fraud when it is framed as aiding a fellow human. That makes sense. But it got me thinking — the fraud that NPR dare not name — the massive mortgage loan fraud committed by the banks — the banksters were not motivated by anything other than pure greed. They weren’t helping anybody. It could be argued that the mortgage originators and brokers were helping people purchase houses they wanted and so the fraud was less apparent to them. But in the case of the investment banks purchasing and packaging these garbage loans — they knew the loans were garbage, and knew they were selling trash to their clients. They just didn’t care. The fraud in the NPR story was about a guy trying to save his business from bankruptcy. The mortgage securitization fraud was nothing but greed on a massive scale. Just like the Enron traders that knew they were ripping off poor old people and actually relished the deed, the banksters on Wall Street knew what they were doing and who they were doing it to and not only didn’t they care, but they took pleasure in “ripping the faces off” their clients. Of course NPR would never focus on those frauds, but they are much more malignant and destructive than anything this guy did to save his business. In fact, the only real “victims” were the banks that he conned into giving him loans. And given that they manufacture that money out of thin air and take a tax break when a loan defaults (assuming they even kept the loans on their books) there was really no actual victim from a moral standpoint. I’m not saying he was right, but in the end his crime is much more understandable, and much less destructive, than the frauds NPR and their ilk continue to studiously ignore. I despise NPR. :)

      1. Ms G

        But YankeeFrank, consider the possibility that the bankers — though knowing they were selling toxic waste to vast swaths of America — believed they weren’t just “helping others,” but doing no less than . . . God’s Work!

        I am not being entirely facetious (only 99%) :)

      2. Greg R

        NPR loves to cover issues of great importance as long as they are at least a continent away. When OWS came to town, they sat at their desks urinating on themselves.

    3. Lil'D

      I disagree. There is enormous capacity for self-delusion & rationalization. Most of us them think they are not evil

      1. dan h

        I agree that as a species we will rationalize anything, but its then just a matter of degree eg evil. Im speaking of right or wrong in a binary sense. Its a simple, instinctual, fairly immediate call we all make. Its part of how our minds break down information to understand.

  2. chitown2020

    The FED is capitalizing on their unsustainable debt fraud by robbing the people. That is causing the economy to worsen. Their debt is massive. $1.2 QUADRILLION dollars in derivatives fraud that can never be repaid. Unless the FED are told to eat their losses, the bankrupting and fraudclosures upon the people will continue until we all wake up broke and homeless. Then what comes next will be intolerable. Boycott them and ABOLISH THE FED.

  3. lifeafterdebt

    Finding myself in the jaws of the banks where I have remained, on death row, for three and a half I have taken Ann’s advice and from a standing start got clued up on what has happen to cause this global financial crisis with a view to fighting for justice. My blog charts the impact the continued greed of the banks and cowardice of the politicians to get a grip on banking regulation has on the individual paralysised by their deny, deny deny culture. http://lifeafterdebts.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/unequal-shares.html

  4. K Ackermann

    Pettifor is fantastic. I remember being excited the first time I heard Liz Warren speak truth to power, but this lady is in another league entirely.

    What’s surprising is that she is very much a creature of the institutions. She has a degree in politics, and was a lobbiest, for crying out loud.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Yves’s predictions of the cooption of Elizabeth Warren if she took a position in the Bush 44 administration or as the Democratic candidate for the Senate have proven sadly on target.

      1. chitown2020

        They kill, pay off, or hire the naysayers. That’s what the do. It is up to all of us to infiltrate them.

  5. emptyfull

    Amazing teaching ability there. This economically- illiterate viewer followed almost everything she said. She should be brought out to the States for OWS efforts to educate the educated public, if such things are possible.

  6. indio007

    This is the first Economists I’ve ever heard tell the truth about the banking system and how they create money out of thin air on a ledger.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Banks don’t actually create money out of thin air. They borrow against their assets to do so. This is exactly the same as what you do when you take out a home mortgage. You borrow against your asset. This is a critical detail which most people do not understand, and this lack of understanding is why most people’s suggestions about what to do with the banks (and the Fed) are wrong.

      1. chitown2020

        Benedict…that is what they want you to believe…the FED creates money from your signature…..they lend you credit…that credit is created from your birth certificate bond. We are all bought, sold and traded on Wall Street…..the FED borrows the money from the U.S. TREASURY DEPT…at the ORIGINATION FRAUD… That is really the world of high finance. All of their wealth is created off of the backs of our labor and they don’t lend you any money…What collateral do you think we have…? They hijacked the land under Nixon. He allowed the U.N. to hold our land in fee simple in exchange for credit. We have been hijacked under the guise of money lending when in fact, they lend no money…they lend credit. Its all a sham and a fraud. We The People fund and pay for everything these crooks do with our signatures.

        1. chitown2020

          They acquire massive wealth with no skin in the game. They use all of us as their assets.

  7. rudolf

    brilliant, brilliant, Fantasttifor I’d dare to say!

    With the current system, Industrial Revolution would have not happened and we would still be moving in horses. And that’s probably how we will end without a Green Revolution.

  8. proximity1

    “That depression has now been with us twenty years.” — John Ralston Saul (writing in 1992 — from Voltaire’s Bastards)

    2. The Theology of Power

    Some twenty years ago the democratic, industrialized, developed world began a false but ferocious internal struggle which was said to be between the Left and the Right. It was, in fact, the death rattle of the Age of Reason. The slogans assigned to the two camps in this imaginary battle were remarkably familiar. Words such as reform, socialist, social democrat and government intervention were pitted against capitalist, conservative, individualism and established values.

    The struggle appears to have been set off by two successive, crises. First, the loss of the Vietnam War by the United States destroyed a whole set of assumptions based upon American infallibility and accepted until then by all of the democracies. These beliefs had been in place since 1945. Although few of the democracies had supported the American Vietnam effort, they followed the greatest nation in the world in most other matters. The U.S. defeat left them — to say nothing of the United States itself — milling about in confusion. As they turned, the second crisis struck, in the form of an international economic failure. That depression has now been with us twenty years.

    We have, however, become so accustomed to our political and business leaders addressing themselves only to limited manifestations of this crisis and always in a positive way — stimulating what they call a temporary recession or managing a Third World debt problem or waging a localized war against inflation or concentrating upon that portion of an economy which they have superficially stimulated to the point of explosion while the rest remains in profound decline — that we are never quite certain whether the depression is still with us or is on the point of disappearing. Nightly, it seems, we drop off to sleep with the vague expectation that all will be clear in the morning. Mysteriously, there is always a new explosion in the night and when we awake, the problem has been transformed into yet another limited manifestation.

    This depression, of proportions as great if not greater than that of the 1930s, still engulfs us. None of our governments appear to have any idea of how to end it. How could they? The essence of rational leadership is control justified by expertise. To admit failure is to admit loss of control. Officially, therefore, we haven’t had a depression since the 1930s. And since most experts — the economists, for example — are part of the system, instead of being commentators in any real, independent sense, they contribute to the denial of reality. In other words, there is a constant need in our civilization to prefer illusions over reality, a need to deny our perceptions.

    Indeed, we haven’t seen anything over the last twenty years which resembles the traditional profile of a depression. The reason is very simple. After the economic crisis of the 1930s, we created a multitude of control valves and safety nets in order to avoid any future general collapse — strict banking regulations, for example, social security programs and in some places national health care systems. These valves and nets have been remarkably successful, in spite of the strains and the mismanagement of the last two decades. However, because the rational system prevents anyone who accepts legal responsibility from taking enough distance to get a general view, many of our governments, desperate and misguided, have begun dismantling those valves and nets as a theoretical solution to the general crisis.

    Worse still, tinkering with these instruments has become a substitute for addressing the problem itself. Thus financial deregulation is used to simulate growth through paper speculation. When this produces inflation, controls are applied to the real economy, producing unemployment. When this job problem becomes so bad that it must be attacked, the result is the lowering of employment standards. When this unstable job creation leads to new inflation, the result is high interest rates. And on around again, guided by the professional economists, who are in effect pursuing, step by step, an internal argument without any reference to historic reality. For example, in a single decade the idea of using public debt as an economic tool has moved from the heroic to the villainous. In the same period private debt went in the opposite direction, from the villainous to the heroic. This was possible only because economists kept their noses as close to each specific argument as possible and thus avoided invoking any serious comparisons and any reference to the real lessons of the preceding period.

    In general terms all this means that management methods are being mistaken for solutions and so, as if in some sophisticated game, the problem is pushed on with a long rational stick from point to point around the field. As a result we are perpetually either on the edge of a recession (never in it, let alone in a depression, whatever the indicators say) or we are artificially flush and then manage to convince ourselves that we are flying high.

    The accompanying political argument had been going on for a few years before it became clear that its vocabulary didn’t apply to the problem. For example, during the 1970s and 1980s, economic policies said to be of the Left in the United States, Canada, England and Germany led to the defeat of existing governments and to the election of new governments said to be of the Right. At the same time, identical policies in France, Spain, Australia and Italy were said to be of the Right and led to the replacement of their governments by those said to be of the Left.

    This general confusion further clouded the public’s linear memory. For example, the American Right has been in power for twenty of the last twenty-four years. One of its central themes is law and order. The argument is that the American Left — the liberals, whatever that word means — is incapable of maintaining law and order. And yet for twenty years the levels of armed robbery, violent crime and murder have continued annually to grow to record highs — records both for the United States and in comparison to other Western countries. Still, the American Right persists in thinking of itself, and is thought of by its opponents on the Left, as the voice of law and order.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Great book, Voltair’s Bastards. Thanks for the prod reminding me to take a look at again.

      Saul also wrote a dark novel entitled The Paradise Eater, from which I captured this in my Memorable Quotes file:

      The fact is, I never understood that business about life being short. I’d say it’s long. Very long. …. And most of it doesn’t matter. I’d say only a few seconds of it matter – the big moment, the big choice. But those seconds are never marked out, so you can charge right on through them without even noticing. Then there you are. You’ve had your big chance, your final, determining test. You didn’t even recognize it, let alone seize it. You probably won’t notice for years. But you have failed. Irrevocably failed. And after that, all the rest is an interminable wait for the end. Waiting for nothing.

      1. nonclassical

        ..of course you-Saul have summarized “Waiting for Godot”…

        it might be more interesting to consider James Baldwin’s preoccupation with
        “BEcoming”…..to question when-how “BEing” invents itself. This is not any given point in time, which is the fallacy of Saul’s intention. And, perhaps “BEing” can only be determined in retrospect…

    2. chitown2020

      It is their globalist ideology. That we were put on earth to be their slaves. A BIG IDEA…as George H.W. Bush called it in his speech on 9/11/1990. Their ideology and their theory has infiltrated both parties and has hijacked the U.S. Government. Obama nor any President calls the shots. Lincoln and J.F.K tried and failed. One thing they really hate is for the 99% to have freedom and indepence. They despise our Constitution and our right to bear arms. The only thing keeping them from totalitarian domination is our right to bear arms. They have hijacked everything else by lies they sneak in and make us believe. Like they ever borrowed us any money…the don’t.

  9. Susan the other

    Pettifor will never be asked to interview on CNBC. I assumed her viewpoint is based on the fact that interest rates reached lift-off and were headed for Mars; that the only solution now is to cancel the zombie-debt based on insane growth, and control interest rates at a permanently low level. In order to do this we must control capital flows like FDR did. And in order to control capital flows we must control credit creation – no more shadow banking. Why isn’t anyone here saying this? She’s so right that it is all politics.

    When she worried about the emergence of nationalism in France and referred to it as fascism she lost me a little. I think we all need a measure of nationalism now as opposed to the dysfunctional “globalism” we are trapped in.

    And her explanation of how and why debt took off in 1971 was fascinating. I only was aware of Nixon finally getting us off the gold standard and the subsequent inflation. But I never put it all together. She was so matter-of-fact about Nixon opening the capital floodgates, which in turn created the crush of debt by profiteering. Like Nixon and Connally got together and decided the policy would be to be to buy high, sell low, and make it up in volume – knowing full well it would be a ransacking of America and the taxpayer would eventually have to step up and change the system. How crazy it was – an act of desperation by a totally bankrupt country, and how crazy we don’t admit to it now, like calm adults.

    1. nonclassical

      “control capitol flows like FDR”….STO hits the nail on the head again…

    2. JurisV

      The “fascist” reference that she discussed briefly with regard to Le Pen getting nearly 20% of the French vote was very important in terms of historical possibilities.

      Pettifor said that Hitler had got only 18% of the vote in Germany just before the Great depression hit the fan in Germany. Things were already desperate in Germany at that time but when the effects of the worldwide depression hit, that’s when the Nazi party took off. Please remember that the German people never voted for Hitler, personally; the vote was for the Nazi party. IIRC the Nazi party — at their voting peak — in 1933 (?) got only around 30%. At the next election (the last before the putsch) they got less votes.

      Why is this important? During times of financial crises people get scared and are susceptible to charismatic crazies. And it does not take a majority of the population to put them in power. That was what Anne Pettifor said she was afraid of. History, after all does, rhyme on occasion!

      Everything that I see right now makes me agree with Yves last paragraph of today’s Wells Fargo post:

      “”This has the smell of something that will end badly, but it may take a couple of years to play out.””

      1. proximity1

        I find myself divided in how to respond to your comments because I’ve long argued (usually in vain) in ways that much agree with your views–or at least some of them. At the same time, I think you are misinterpreting the real significance of the Le Pen FN vote last month.

        In 2002 there was a presidential election and many voters, assuming that the outcome of the first-round (there are two rounds to the voting) would be such a foregone conclusion that they didn’t bother to go to the polls. As a result, the public was stunned when Jean-Marie Le Pen (FN) came in second to Jacques Chirac (RPR), the incumbent. How many votes did Mr. Le Pen get in round one in the 2002 election? He got 16.86 % . (See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_presidential_election,_2002)

        In the second-round vote, facing Jacques Chirac alone in 2002, Le Pen got 17.79% of the vote–that is just slightly less than his daughter, Marine Le Pen, polled in the recent first-round of last April.

        As bad as things are in France–and from over ten years of personal experience and obsevation living there, I regard things as quite seriously bad and likely to worsen as they continue to go in the wrong direction (i.e. the mania of globalization and unfettered laissez-faire capitalism—“naked capitalism”) there is neither a Hitler-like figure anywhere in french national politics nor one in the wings. Nor is there deep and widespread hatred of any racial or ethnic minority. Rather, there’s the commonly-found spectrum of racial and ethnic tension, prejudice, antipathy, etc. which are found in just about every comparable nation with a comparable history.

        That doesn’t mean that I discount the possibility of future cases of Hitler-like demagogues appearing –and for a variety of reasons and motives, not simply “anti-Jewish” sentiments. Far right, fascist fevors are not only going to recurr, they’re going to be more and more likely and more virulent–but the main reason, as I see it, is that technology is going to present ever-greater opportunities for totalitarian rulers (whether of the right or the left) to gain and hold power. Technology’s tendencies are authoritarian, or worse, totalitarian, and inimical to any and all open, free, democratic society (READ Karl Popper’s “The Open Society and Its Enemies”, C. Wright Mills’ “The Power Elite” or “White Collar” for example).

        The circumstances which provoke far-right extremism are common. The rise of far-right authoritarian or totalitarian rulers is only slightly less common. But the scenario with which the world since 1939 has been insanely obsessed–a fresh case of a Hitler-like regime bent on world-wide conquest and the annihilation of the Jews as a central objective (when in fact, it was one of Hitler’s objectives but not the first among them) is a wild exaggeration of an even which was due to circumstances which are not likely to ever recurr with anything like similar consequences.

        Instead, while we’re obsessed with preventing another Hitler, something just as bad but quite different in form and foundation will come about and do tremendous harm to freedom of thought and action in the world. That is happening now and Obama isn’t doing a damn thing to oppose it. He’s more often found lending aid and support to such trends and conditions.

        The french FN typically garners around 8% to 11% of the vote in a national election. They’ll probably continue to see this result. In the provinces, depending on the area, they can do much much worse or much much better than that. But the nation as a whole is no more inherently fascist or fascist leaning than any other modern industrial nation in similar circumstances.

        I have deep concerns for the resent and future of civil liberties in France–but those concerns are little or no different under François Hollande’s rule than under Nicolas Sarkozy’s. France is undre the sway of the same neo-laissez-faire insanity that has captured Britain and the U.S., Germany, Italy and Spain, Poland and other eastern European nations.

        1. chitown2020

          Lots of rhetoric…bottom line..the FED are the debtors. They owe the American people Gagillions. We were all duped into believing their lies and they all amassed great wealth off of the robbery of our SS, MEDICARE, pension funds and our birth certificates..our hard labor made them uber wealthy. They achieved this by secrets, lies and mass deception in order to defraud us. The psychos have hijacked the country and are holding our wealth and freedom hostage under the color of law. It is all a fraud. RT NEWS reported last week they are trying to pass another fascist law that if you owe the IRS money you wont be allowed to leave the country.

        2. JurisV

          Thanks proximity1 for the intelligent reponse.

          I was trying to respond to susan-the-other’s statement:

          “When she worried about the emergence of nationalism in France and referred to it as fascism she lost me a little.”

          And I didn’t do a very good job in my attempt. I wasn’t making any attempt at direct links between the situation now and Germany’s circa 1930’s. The only similarities I see are that there is a worldwide financial crisis/recession/depression that’s threatening to get worse than it is currently. The looming difficulties that I see would be exacerbated by what you called “the commonly-found spectrum of racial and ethnic tension, prejudice, antipathy, etc. which are found in just about every comparable nation with a comparable history.”

          As Uri Avnery(Israeli peace activist who lived through the beginnings of fascism in Germany before his family left) said about fascism (and I paraphrase) ‘we are fortunate the the rise of a diabolical regime led by a criminal monster like Hitler is very rare and only happens under extremely rare circumstances.’ I don’t see those rare circumstances happening, but I do have a nagging, amorphous fear about it.

          I believe that social turmoil aggravated by economic depression only provides some of the fertile ground to transform nationalism into authoritarian regimes, but not necessarily malignant fascism. But of course, fascism isn’t the only possible outcome if the weary peasants do happen to arm with pitchforks/torches and revolt. Revolutions are usually quite unpredictable, messy, bloody and mindless. A better course of action is to follow Ann Pettifor’s advice and pressure our politicians.

          I will read Popper as you suggested — and again, thanks for the depth of your comments.

    3. JurisV

      I forgot to say — STO that was a fantastic comment to a great post. Especially cogent was your emphasizing “Capital Flows” and “credit creation.” I think that it needs to be emphasized that it’s PRIVATE Credit Creation that needs to be regulated as well as Capital Flows across borders.

      You asked: “”Why isn’t anyone here saying this?””

      I second that! All we hear is Government Debt, Government deficits !! That’s not the problem. It’s pretty much all about the Private banks going crazy with credit for the last 40 years — aided by our wonderful politicians.

      I agree with you — “”She’s so right that it is all politics.””

  10. F. Beard

    “We need permanently low interest rates” Ann Pettifor

    Common stock as private money does not even require borrowing, much less interest. Why is its use as money not strongly encouraged?

    And a ban on further credit creation plus a universal bailout till all credit debt is paid off would provide non-debtors with plenty of new fiat to honestly lend at low interest rates since inflation risk would be very low.

    Credit creation is the wrong route. It is basically theft of purchasing power whether the private sector or government does it. It is not necessary. A combination of a universal bailout, genuine private currencies and a government that freely spends its fiat into circulation should provide a near optimum amount of money for our society.

  11. H Moltke

    “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but…”

    Why does everyone feel the need to preface a conspiracy theory with this remark?

    1. chitown2020

      I agree…no need to tell most people that we are not the crazy ones… Many Americans are waking up to the fact that we are in the midst of a monsterous conspiracy.

      1. psychoanalystus

        “Many Americans are waking up to the fact that we are in the midst of a monsterous conspiracy.”

        Indeed, indeed. On last count, there were at least 5. :)

  12. Marko

    Technology can save us – specifically , biotechnology.

    We need to institute a crash program to clone thousands of copies of Ms. Pettifor ( and while we’re at it , Yves Smith ).

    Change the physical appearance , accents , mannerisms , etc. , of each clone to provide some novelty and cross-cultural acceptance , but don’t mess with the brains – you can’t improve on perfection.

  13. Fiver

    While I am all for reducing banks to the status of public utilities, I cannot support “permanent low interest rates”.

    In the middle of this interview, between minutes 14-18, she is arguing that businesses won’t borrow to invest if rates are too high. Fair enough. But when was the last time rates were too high? And, aside from the fact companies can make more money from financial games than from real investment for real “growth”, how to explain companies sitting on mountains of money with interest rates at ZIRP levels if it’s all about interest rates? And of course larger companies don’t need banks to borrow from in the first place. She might’ve said what she believes should be done with the debt that must be somehow cleared from the system, which immediately becomes a question of who gets impaled and who does not.

    Of greater concern though, in my view, is her claim in that same slice of the interview that it is high interest rates, or high rates of return, that is driving the planetary ecocide unfolding in front of our eyes. That’s ridiculous. The only thing that just might keep us from consuming everything we touch is higher costs.

    Keyensian perpetual growth aimed at “lifting all boats” so that the rich can still get richer while the poor improve marginally, rather than a more equitable distribution of finite resources, has already inflicted untold damage. Rather than “leading edge”, I find her thinking entirely the old-style “liberal” or “left” that unfortunately has not even begun to think about the truly precarious position we are in with respect to ecologically sustainable practices in a world with 7 billion and 2 more on the way over the next 25 years.

    1. Tye Van Buren

      Thanks so much for an insightful and human macro view. I am no economist or expert, just an average guy who is trying very hard to understand the financial crisis and what to do now. It seems a critical piece of the puzzle is that bankers “create” money out of thin air. I know the US Fed does that–they can “print” money as a central bank which is then used to buy treasury bonds (QE). But doesn’t that money then go to the Treasury? I have tried in vain to get a clear explanation of how a private bank can create money by a “ledger entry”. If that is possible, why does Goldman Sachs need depositors/investors? they can just create their own ledger entries. I know this sounds stupid. But this is critical information if there is to be a mass response, and hence a political response. Is there a simple explanation please?

  14. Paul

    She’ll talk to bankers, but the FN wears a square mustache. I’m a long ways from France. Could someone explain it to me?

  15. krb

    Wow! Thanks for providing Yves!

    I read 6 sites and two papers daily, equally split between left and right, and have since the crisis began in ’07, trying to get my head around the causes. I have never come across so clear and succinct an explanation in so short a time as this. I’m more hopeful than I was 30 minutes ago!

    Thanks again Yves (and of course Ann P and Renegade Economist!), krb

  16. Glenn Condell

    ‘the banksters were not motivated by anything other than pure greed.’

    Not just greed – fear. Fear of missing out, fear of being left behind. Cheat or die. Gresham’s Law, bad money chasing out good. While the music plays you gotta dance, etc. Hey, everyone else was doing it!

    Having said that, the creation of this dynamic, the clearing of the ground so that this perversion of banking could (or had to) occur, was very carefully planned and lobbied for. And that was down to pure greed. It was a class of people acting in concert rather than a tin-hat conspiracy but you can’t tell me people like Greenspan or Rubin did what they did in a spirit of honest delusion. Cui bono. Greenspan must be having huge fun playing the repentant fool on TV and in print for the last few years, no doubt exulting in private with cronies like John Paulson. Rand would be proud of him.

    Very good interview. Ann joins Yves, Hudson, Keen, Graeber and co on the A-team we send in to organise things once we run the varmints out of town.

    1. chitown2020

      Glenn Condell..the owners of the World Bank are greedy for CONTROL…They are control freaks…Their perps are greedy for money.

    1. Ms G

      Yves,

      Thank you for bringing us Ann Pettifor and this Renegade Economist interview (the interviewer was articulate, smart and generally excellent too).

      Right. So we have no excuse. As we learn from Ms. Pettifor’s incredibly illuminating, charming and down to earth presentation: (1) it’s been done before (Keynes/Roosevelt), (2) it can be done again, (1a, 2a) circumstances in the 1930s were no less “complex” (international, etc.) than they are now, and (3) we have to “get our hands dirty” and aim straight for the politicians once we have educated ourselves and our fellow citizens.

      Let us rise from gloom to optimism through diligent action!

  17. Strategist

    “This is the sort of talk that makes Americans jealous of the British.”

    But surely Ann is a South African? (That cut glass accent!) There are few better radicals in the world than a South African who’s worked out what’s happening.

  18. psychoanalystus

    Yes, but measures such as forgiving debt are not the solution. We really need to have people like her openly start promoting alternative systems to capitalism.

    I think we also need to pay more attention to what is happening now in South America, rather than what happened in Europe and America in the 1930s.

  19. Strategist

    Ann joins Yves, Hudson, Keen, Graeber and co on the A-team we send in to organise things once we run the varmints out of town.

    …she can come back and work for London Mayor Ken Livingstone again, depending on what happens in tomorrow’s London election…….there’s a lot at stake tomorrow….once more unto the breach, dear friends!

  20. pelham

    I like the emphasis toward the end of the conversation on what people should be doing. We have plenty of solutions; what’s needed is some method or instrument to bring them about.

    But I don’t think electoral democracy is the answer. Trying to nudge government in a constructive direction through elections is like trying to steer a supertanker with a swizzle stick.

    To switch metaphors, we need some means by which the public at large can hold their supposed representatives’ feet to the fire every day of the week. We need a way to keep an eye on them, to know what lobbyists are telling them, to know what the pols are doing in their closed-door committee meetings and, finally, to tell them in no uncertain terms how to legislate so that we achieve real representation and a government of, by and for the people as we were promised.

    This needs to happen every day of every week, not once every two years. These malefactors of great sleaze work for us, and we need a way — right now — to absolutely jackhammer that message into their thick skulls.

      1. Carla

        Occupy Wall Street. Join the Occupy in your town. Sign the Move to Amend petition at http://www.movetoamend.org, then get it on the ballot in your municipality so the voters can express their support for: 1. Corporations are not people entitled to constitutional rights; and 2. Money is not speech and can be regulated. Tell your Democratic and Republican politicians that you won’t buy their partisan bullshit anymore. Start a monetary study group and investigate starting a municipal, county or state PUBLIC BANK.

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