We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Never Even a Whisper" at Fed's Open Market Committee Meetings [FOMC]

from Washington's Blog. The title refers to a statement by William White, a chief economist at BIS who "As far back as 2003, ... implored central bankers to rethink their strategies, noting that instability in the financial markets had triggered inflation, the "villain" in the global economy...." The 18:43m video in the article features a talk by White where he tries to figure out why the warnings were ignored.

As the author writes:
These comments show that the central bankers knew exactly what was going on, a full two-and-a-half years before the big bang. All the ingredients of the looming disaster had been neatly laid out on the table in front of them: defective rating agencies, loans repackaged to the point of being unrecognizable, dubious practices of American mortgage lenders, the risks of low-interest policies. But no action was taken. Meanwhile, the Fed continued to raise interest rates in nothing more than tiny increments....
IMO (and I just heard White on the video say essentially the same thing!), they ignored the warnings because capitalists are sociopaths who are motivated by private short term gain and there were huge gains to be had. The system inevitably filters out normal people who have a social conscience and care about future generations and a healthy earth.