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Bailouts, Banks and Pyramids

Program #PRIN001. Recorded in Seattle, WA on December 03, 2009.

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist comments on the fiscal crisis: "The incentive structures in the financial sector encouraged excessive risk taking. So many of our banks became too big to fail. When you're too big to fail, life is a one-way bet. When you gamble and win, you walk off with the profits. When you gamble and lose, the taxpayer picks up the tab. That's what you've been experiencing. They lost, and we picked up the tab," Stiglitz says. Indeed. The banks were covered and the people were left exposed. And now there is talk about regulatory reform. Excuse the cynicism but it's likely to be a dog and pony show. Why? The foxes are designing the hen house. Wall Street wizards will quickly game the system. Maybe when elks learn to play piano real reform will be possible.


Nomi Prins

Nomi Prins is a former investment banker turned journalist. She worked at Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns. Her articles appear in major newspapers and magazines. She is the author of It Takes a Pillage and All the Presidents' Bankers.

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