Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wither Wesley Mouch

Just a follow-up note to RealistTheorist’s post over at simply Capitalism on economic bureaucrat Larry Summers and the concern over what his influence on the Obama administration might mean. Yves Smith at naked capitalism has a great post on the consolidation of power by Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Paul Volker has already been marginalized in his role. Here’s Yves take:

For the record, we have never been happy about the prominent roles Geithner and Summers are playing. Both played significant roles in creating and maintaining the system that lead to our financial mess. They are simply unable to see beyond their ideological blinkers. And as proteges of Robert Rubin, they are epitomes of what Willem Buiter calls "cognitive regulatory capture".

It seems Realist’s concern expressed in his original post is founded. Here’s a quote from Wikipedia describing Wesley Mouch, the character in Atlas Shrugged who ends up becoming the nation’s economic Czar:

Eventually he becomes the most powerful Looter, and the country's economic dictator, thereby illustrating Rand's belief that a government-run economy places too much power in the hands of incompetent bureaucrats who would never have positions of similar influence in a private sector business.

Atlas is becoming more prophetic every day.

No comments: