It’s time to start taking another look at what happened in 2008 with a few years behind us and with enough time for some first class reporting to get done. It’s a very sorry episode. There was more than speculation run amok, a bubble bursting. There was deep complicity between high finance and Congress that boggles the mind and enrages the righteous indignation of even the most skeptical and hard-nosed capitalist. Everyone knows the game has always been rigged. There are certain people in power who are going to make sure they aren’t going to lose money no matter what happens to everyone else. But even this game can come to a point where criminality and conspiracy to defraud are beyond the pale and must be responded to.
A couple of books I will be reading are Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule The World by William Cohan and Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon by Gretchen Morgenson. In addition right now I am reading The Forgotten Man by The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes.
I am also reviewing the Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy. I have this on my list for the ethics class I teach.
By the way, Howie Carr just posted this piece about Barney Frank and the role he played in overseeing Fannie Mae while the place was actually burning down.
At some point someone will uncover the financial shenanigans that go on at major evangelical institutions – who are on the boards, how they got their wealth and how they use it, how many family members gain their living at the institutions these people lead, how the money is doled out, etc. I have seen some of this up close and personal. It isn’t pretty. With the New Era scam by John Bennett and company we have a personal revelation of how greedy many evangelical institutions are to “just get money” by whatever means. I was in the middle of it, saw it going on, was blessed of God to have the good sense to stay away from it and not drag my church through the ponzi scheme, but all around me couldn’t get enough of a good thing. And sure enough, you could see the vampires come out looking for easy money. I was close enough to get a sense of just how much money meant to some of these people.