Here is the incomparable Mark Ames discussing the nature of the bankster ethos on the second anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Oh, and when Ratigan asks what else could have been done with the $4.7 trillion it cost to bail out the banksters, just remember that is TWICE what it would cost to bring our infrastructure up to standards.
And yes indeed, there are voices calling for a major overhaul of the IMF.
Economists, Activists Call for Major IMF Overhaul
WASHINGTON, 28 Sep (IPS) - Thirteen leading international economists and development specialists called here Tuesday for a major reform of the governing body of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the way it does business.
The appeal, in the form of an open letter to the IMF's board of governors, echoes in part a call by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama for Western European countries to reduce their share of spots on the Fund's executive board in order to ensure greater representation for emerging powers, such as China and India, as well as for poor countries from Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions.
But the letter goes beyond the Obama administration's demands, which are likely to dominate next month's annual meeting here of the IMF's board of governors, by urging the adoption of additional reforms that, among other things, would eliminate Washington's veto power over major IMF policy decisions and ensure greater transparency in the agency's often-opaque procedures.
"We are saying that Europe is not doing enough to push ahead with IMF reforms regarding the reconstitution of the board," said Domenico Lombardi, an expert at the Washington-based Brookings Institution and the Oxford Institute for Economic Policy, and one of the letter's signatories.
Other signatories include Nancy Birdsall, president of the influential Center for Global Development (CGD) here; Paola Subacchi of London's Chatham House; Pamela Gomez of Oxfam International; Jo Marie Griesgraber of the non-governmental coalition, New Rules for Global Finance; Bessma Momani of the Centre for International Governance Innovation; and several of Lombardi's colleagues at Brookings, which has made a number of far-reaching proposals for reforms of global institutions since Obama's election. moreAnd here are six proposals for how to think about the real economy from Robert Borosage.
Uncommon Common Sense About the Economy
Robert L. BorosagePresident, Institute for America's FuturePosted: September 16, 2010 12:56 PM
More than 300 economists and policy analysts just released a statement warning Congress and the administration that bold action is needed to put people to work and get the economy going. The statement -- "Don't Kill Jobs and Growth in the Name of Deficit Reduction" -- was released by the Institute for America's Future (which I co-direct) and is available here.
In the partisan election debate, with Tea Partiers ginning up hysteria about incipient socialism and out of control spending, the statement offers a series of common sense propositions.
1. It is time for bold steps to put people to work
We have an economy marked by faltering growth and mass unemployment. 30 million people are looking for full-time work. Poverty is rising. Companies are sitting on cash, unwilling to hire with no customers in sight. Families are still reeling from the loss of trillions in retirement savings and value in their homes. Rising trade deficits sap job growth. There are only four sources of demand in the economy -- consumers, business, exports and government. With the first three nearly comatose, the fourth must act.
2. Grab this moment to rebuild America
Everyone agrees we have a decrepit and aging infrastructure. Collapsing gas mains, leaking sewers, falling bridges, shorted train switches, schools dangerous to the health of the children -- we suffer it all around us. Much was built in the 30s-50s or earlier and has simply worn out. There will never be a better opportunity to rebuild. Construction workers are idled and in need of work. Government can borrow at near record-low interest rates. Anyone with a whit of business sense would see this is an extraordinary opportunity to rebuild America. four more