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Wall Street/White House Axis + Banks, Fraud & Looting

Program #PRIN002-BLAW001.

2 CDs

First program: Nomi Prins - The Wall Street/White House Axis

When the financial history of this era is written it will scarcely be believed. Never have so many been ripped off by so few. There is an insidious alliance between Wall Street and the White House. It is a pernicious development in the annals of power. That partnership shapes and controls the economy. And should the big banks get into trouble, Washington comes to the rescue. The axis enables access. A salient feature of really existing capitalism is welfare for the financial Goliaths. Taxpayers cover their losses. It is bailouts for already rich speculators, high rollers and CEOs. The political response to placate the public after every financial crisis or scandal is the same: reforms. They’re good by definition, right? Well, not when the reformers often have their hands in the cookie jar. What needs to be done? Systemic change.

Second program: William Black - Banks, Fraud & Looting

Bankers brought the world's economy to the brink of collapse and then as the Occupy slogan says, “We got sold out, they got bailed out.” In many ways Goldman Sachs, one of the largest and most important investment banks, epitomizes all that is wrong with the economic system. Its CEO modestly announced that they were doing “God's work.” There was a big brouhaha when Greg Smith, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, quit the firm with a blistering New York Times op-ed. Smith, said it had become “morally bankrupt” and he decried the "toxic and destructive" environment at the bank that put profits ahead of ethics. "It makes me ill,” he said, how callously people [at the bank] talk about ripping their clients off. I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as muppets."

Speaker(s):

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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