Excerpts from a Fast Company interview with Charles Ferguson of Inside Job. The movie looks to be hard-hitting but we need to understand that the fix is in at a very high level indeed.
You’re pretty hard on Clinton in this film. What happened under his watch that paved the way for the collapse?
Clinton’s economic team, led by Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, helped repeal the Glass-Steagall Act. That led to the banning of the regulation of derivatives. Plus, the dotcom bubble was going on under their noses and they did nothing about it. Same with Enron. They were lucky that Enron blew up a year after they left office.
Clinton is a smart guy. Why do you think he allowed this to happen?
I think part of the reason is that Larry Summers and Laura Tyson and these respectable academics were telling him that it was fine.
A better answer is that Clinton was deeply complicit. He wasn’t hoodwinked or deceived by bad advisers. Rather, he was part and parcel of the deliberate destruction of a major part of bank regulation.
I always wondered if they [the banksters] were criminal, incompetent, or clueless. What do you think?
I think many crimes were committed.
Why haven’t they gone to jail?
I hope that some still do. The fact that there have been zero prosecutions of senior Wall Street executives as a result of the crisis is, I think, one of the most disturbing things about all this. It is, perhaps, the single most damning statement of the Obama administration—that they haven’t gotten serious about all this. I don’t have an explanation of why that is.
Charles Gasparino’s upcoming book provides the answer to that, It’s titled “Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street”
Overall, this is a pretty grim picture. Are you hopeful or despairing?
President Obama had a really historically special opportunity which he blew, and now it will be a much more difficult, longer process. But I’m hopeful in the long term.
He didn’t blow it. It was quite deliberate.