Accountability in economics and finance

Imagine the possibilities.

I’ve been looking for the story behind the stories under the headlines of the economic crisis, and someone who understands it from the inside. Found both in Lydia Fisher, author of  Cinderella of Wall Street.

The day she was on my radio show, she posted this on HuffPo:

Meanwhile, in the real world of non-billionaires, we’re dealing with absolutely untenable U.S. joblessness — a 25% unemployment rate for the young (last I read). That’s robbing someone’s dreams, not to mention a deep hurt to the innate desire, we, as human beings feel, to be valued, to succeed, to care for ourselves and our families.

Stubborn joblessness is symptomatic, of the pernicious hollowing out of the US economy over decades through conglomeration, globalization and technological automation — the morphing into a services and consumption based economy, one increasingly driven by financial bubbles.

So, what’s the deal here.

Throughout the ages things don’t seem to change, they just play out through a different forum. Romans conquered, then taxed to get bigger and wealthier. In the process they took people into bondage, who toiled for the economic and military success of the empire. That’s what happens when person-to-person reciprocity is removed.

Debt is a form of bondage and servitude. Someone’s got to pay for it, in some way or another.

We’re paying now, but our children and their children will be paying heavily. This is so important right now. Again.

Listen up.

A leadership vacuum characterized the mid-third century, leaving Roman Army generals jousting for Imperial power, rather than governing. Ever increasing military conquests drained resources, created a need for money. Story has it that the silver coin currency was devalued through a metal dilution to meet the funding needs. The chain of events — runaway inflation, currency collapse, civil unrest…

Debt, if big enough, is a shackle. Being shackled brings fear and anguish, certainly not freedom.

One can’t move.

So, as I watch the headlines, the human crisis unfold worldwide — the job, foreclosure, and debt disaster here at home juxtaposed against the recent headline “Bank Chiefs Enjoy 36% Jump in Pay” — I scratch my head, in wonder, is there something deeply, deeply…?

Disordered? Yes, obvious on a global scale. We’ve moved away from community orientation and subsidiarity. But crisis provide opportunities. Right now, tough as they are, we have plenty of both.


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