The Daily Kos graciously gave us a front-page review, written by Devilstower, this morning. Actually, it’s less a review of the book itself than a serious, accurate synopsis of and reflection on the economic and political situation we describe in the book.
I think that Devilstower and we share a common assessment of the situation. Some other reviewers have focused on the specific proposal we make in the last chapter to break up big banks. Here’s what Devilstower has to say:
“The trouble with that solution is that, thirty years on from ‘morning in America,’ America has forgotten what reasonable regulation looks like. Reagan-Rand-Greenspan-Gramm economics defines our limits. . . . Even though we can directly point at the deregulations that allowed this cancer to grow, suggesting that we need to put those regulations back is now viewed as a shockingly radical idea by bankers, economists, and politicians who’ve somehow become convinced that ‘unregulated free markets’ are somehow engraved in our constitution. The regulations being put forth by Senator Dodd have as much chance of stopping the next round of speculation and collapse as a Dixie cup does of holding Niagara.
“Preventing another massive meltdown doesn’t just demand that we roll back deregulation. It demands that we roll back the kind of thinking that led to deregulation.”
While I believe in the merits of breaking up big banks, I agree that it will be politically impossible until we break up the ideology of financial deregulation. Even if the administration were to agree with us all of a sudden, which I don’t expect to happen, it would still have to contend with 41 Republican senators (and a fair number of “moderate” Democrats). And so while I want people to read that last chapter, it’s really less important than the story of the political shift that happened over the past three decades.
Filed under: book reviews