[OPE] Krugman and the lessons of the financial crisis

From: Jurriaan Bendien <jurriaanbendien@online.nl>
Date: Fri Dec 17 2010 - 19:23:30 EST

Paul Krugman concludes ("Wall Street Whitewash", NYT 16 December 2010) about
the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

"In the end, those of us who expected the crisis to provide a teachable
moment were right, but not in the way we expected. Never mind relearning the
case for bank regulation; what we learned, instead, is what happens when an
ideology backed by vast wealth and immense power confronts inconvenient
facts. And the answer is, the facts lose."

The final report of the Commission is due to be officially released in
January 2011. One might well ask, if even official government reports, by
paid officials supposed to serve the public who paid their taxes, can no
longer tell the truth, warts and all, because they are at loggerheads with
each other and with what will wash in public opinion, what hope is there for
economic science and the apparatus of government information on which it
depends a great deal? One assumes that if it is a "whitewash", this in fact
helps undermine the legitimacy of state power - a democracy despite the
people, without the people... and against the people?!

Well anyway it's probably vain to look to politicians and officials for a
frank admission that they were mistaken. But that makes it even more
difficult for people to believe in the political endeavour.

Huffington Post (Dan Froomkin, "New Obama scientific integrity memo is late
and vague", 17 December 2010) states "Nearly a year and a half after
President Obama promised to issue guidelines to assure scientific integrity
in the federal government, the White House on Friday sent out a skimpy
four-page memo that lacks details, deadlines and enforcement mechanisms."
"One of the central tensions in the Obama administration is a rhetorical
commitment to transparency and a fanatical devotion to message control. And
the two don't go together," suggested Jeff Ruch, executive director of
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a whistleblower group."

Mr Bush's "faith-based science" seems to be only the tip of the iceberg -
the larger the information streams, the more there is an attempt to control
them with all kinds of filters.


ope mailing list
Received on Fri Dec 17 19:25:15 2010

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Dec 31 2010 - 00:00:02 EST