November 03, 2009

The Warning.

I caught the documentary "The Warning" on PBS a couple weeks ago.

It is the story of lone regulator Brookley Born as she tried to sound the alarm in the mid 90s that the derivatives market was a ticking time bomb. In 1998 the system nearly collapsed, but was bailed out by the bankers in that instance. Despite the evidence congress, republicans and democrats, along with the Fed refused to reign in Wall Street.

The players, particularly Clinton's Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Obama's economic advisor Larry Summers who fought against regulations went on to make millions in the market that they were charged with overseeing. Also fighting to discredit Born was Alan Greenspan. When Greenspan recently announced that, "Gee, I didn't see this coming" he is a liar in the first degree, he knew the systemic risks but elected to defend Wall Street.

I am beginning to believe that we are living in an oligarchy. I'm not sure what other conclusion to make after seeing this program. If you feel that your level of disgust at your elected officials, the Fed, or Wall Street just isn't high enough then this is the documentary for you.

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