Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Screwing Up And Never Paying The Price

From The Washington Post:
Consider it a mea culpa submerged in a deep pool of calculus and regression analysis: The International Monetary Fund’s top economist today acknowledged that the fund blew its forecasts for Greece and other European economies because it did not fully understand how government austerity efforts would undermine economic growth.
Yeah, the top economist for the IMF got it wrong. Of course, he still gets to keep his job, his house, his benefits package and the respect of his peers.Unlike, say, the Greeks, the Spanish, and the other members of the 99% that got done over by his policy demands.
These are the people who really are the Masters of the Universe--at least of the economic universe. And their decisions have real-world consequences--consequences they never have to face. So it becomes very easy for them to do incredibly stupid stuff and not think twice about it. Like Edward Greenspan, acknowledging that he was utterly wrong on so many things before the 2008 smash. These are generally people who come from privilege and will be certain to pass that privilege on to their kids, and its no damn wonder they keep getting it wrong--they don't live in the same world as the rest of us poor buggers. They are just as prone to mistakes and misjudgements as the rest of us, but, as a rule, they don't have to pay any price for being wrong--as long as the  wrong only affects us.
It won't do us any good to keep this system in place; it is chockablock with perverse incentives and the rich protecting the wealthy. All that's happened since 2008 is to re-establish a system that will crack up even bigger next time, until it either fails completely or is brought under significant regulation.

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