“The cohort of professors who broke the back of the American dream”
Adbusters #99 Jan/Feb 2012 carries a hard-hitting article on “financial kickbacks” to big names in the economics profession. Here are some quotes.
US academic superstars played leading roles in the 2008 financial collapse. . . . Backing every policy decision leading to Lehman Brother’s bankruptcy in 2008 and the $700 billion public bailout was a team of prestigious Harvard and Columbia economists all on the payroll of corrupt financial institutions. None of these academic offenders ever disclosed to their universities, their students, their publishers or the press the financial gains they were making promoting deregulation. These wolves in sheep’s clothing subverted the ethical base of their discipline – and their own consciences – without moral pause because economic departments don’t require professors to come clean with conflicts of interest.
The article then specifies sums of money involved and board memberships for Frederic Mishkin, Martin Feldstein, Lawrence Summers and R. Glenn Hubbard. It then says:
The inability for American policy makers to clean their financial house or prosecute those behind the veil of the collapse has had a devastating effect on the American psyche.
And it notes:
Not a single academic has been held accountable for their role in the greatest transfer of public money into private hands in human history. The cohort of professors who broke the back of the American dream, funnelling ten million family homes into their lavish speaker fees, business appointments and papers for hire, haven’t even said so much as “I’m sorry” – let alone admit any wrong.
A culture of secrecy, anathema to the academic tradition of objective and honest enquiry, pervades the discipline.