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On rule of law by by James K. Galbraith to Congress
Joined: Jan 01, 1970
|Post subject: On rule of law by by James K. Galbraith to Congress
Posted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:15 am
"An older strand of institutional economics understood that a security is a contract in law. It can only be as good as the legal system that stands behind it. Some fraud is inevitable, but in a functioning system it must be rare. It must be considered â€“ and rightly â€“ a minor problem. If fraud â€“ or even the perception of fraud â€“ comes to dominate the system, then there is no foundation for a market in the securities. They become trash. And more deeply, so do the institutions responsible for creating, rating and selling them. Including, so long as it fails to respond with appropriate force, the legal system itself.
Control frauds always fail in the end. But the failure of the firm does not mean the fraud fails: the perpetrators often walk away rich. At some point, this requires subverting, suborning or defeating the law. This is where crime and politics intersect. At its heart, therefore, the financial crisis was a breakdown in the rule of law in America.
In this situation, let me suggest, the country faces an existential threat. Either the legal system must do its work. Or the market system cannot be restored. There must be a thorough, transparent, effective, radical cleaning of the financial sector and also of those public officials who failed the public trust. The financiers must be made to feel, in their bones, the power of the law. And the public, which lives by the law, must see very clearly and unambiguously that this is the case. Thank you."
Statement by James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen, jr. Chair in Government/BusinessRelations, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, before the Subcommittee on Crime, Senate Judiciary Committee, May 4, 2010
"Fourth Turning - Crisis
A CRISIS arises in response to sudden threats that previously would have been ignored or deferred, but which are now perceived as dire. Great worldly perils boil off the clutter and complexity of life, leaving behind one simple imperative: The society must prevail. This requires a solid public consensus, aggressive institutions, and personal sacrifice.
People support new efforts to wield public authority, whose perceived successes soon justify more of the same. Government governs, community obstacles are removed, and laws and customs that resisted change for decades are swiftly shunted aside. A grim preoccupation with civic peril causes spiritual curiosity to decline. A sense of public urgency contributes to a clampdown on â€œbadâ€ conduct or â€œanti-socialâ€ lifestyles. People begin feeling shameful about what they earlier did to absolve guilt. Public order tightens, private risk-taking abates, and crime and substance abuse decline. Wars are fought with fury and for maximum result."
William Strauss and Neil Howe, The Fourth Turning, predicted to begin around 2006.
I predict the Patriot Act and it's ilk will ultimately be turned and used against the financial industry and it's quislings, by a righteously enraged population. If I was a banker, I would be very concerned about my future right now.
"I swear to speak honestly and seek the truth when I use the No 1st Cost List public record."
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