Yesterday I posted Andrew Cockburn's withering review of the farce of financial reform that is being played out in the theater of Versailles on the Potomac. Included in Cockburn's portrayal was the free ride given to the self-serving testimony of Mssrs Greenspan, Rubin, and Prince before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Committee. The FCIC is Congress's faint shadow of the 1930s Pecora Commission, which ran the legendary inquiry into the causes of the 1930s economic meltdown.
Of course, the farcical testimony of today's Meltdown Men was entirely predictable. Indeed, farce is now a central part of the political culture in Versailles the Potomac. Much like the bloody spectacles in the Roman Colosseum, political theater and soundbytes, abetted by a compliant mass media, both entertain and dumb down the masses, while enriching the very charlatans who are leading them into ruin.
A neat bookend to Cockburn's piece was written a few days before the hearing by my friend Jeff Madrick (below). Jeff proves that the self-serving performance of the Meltdown Men was an entirely predictable reflection of the inner workings of our broken government. Madrick also provides a clear albeit brief history of how unbridled greed unwound the regulations that evolved out of the Pecora Hearings to create our current condition.
The Meltdown Men: Greenspan, Rubin, & Prince to Testify before Financial Crisis Commission
Jeff Madrick, New Deal 2.0, Monday, 04/5/2010
The men who stoked the financial meltdown will testify before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Don’t expect any mea culpas.
This week, Robert Rubin, Chuck Prince and Alan Greenspan will testify before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. We know that they will duck blame and likely slip past the courteous questions of their inquisitors. ... more