“Democracy cannot survive too much ignorance.” -Ben Franklin
A deficiency in our democracy was revealed following the crisis, when people who were incapable of the analysis necessary to foresee the crisis were put in charge of guiding us through it. That, in itself, is evidence that our system is broken; any properly working – and sustainable – system removes the dead-weight as it is discovered. This applies equally to a productive business, a well-functioning ecosystem, and to an uncompromised political system.
Michael J. Burry is one of the few who saw the crisis coming in all its glory and bet heavily on that unmistakable eventuality. Bernanke and Geithner and Greenspan and Summers and Rubin did not see it coming. Yet, who has been in charge of guiding us out of this predictable and self-inflicted crisis? Greenspan’s prodigies: Bernanke, Geithner, Summers, Rubin and many other profoundly compromised parties.
Michael J. Burry, in the video below, delivers the keynote address at the 2012 UCLA Department of Economics Commencement. In it, he describes the process he undertook in determining that the credit bubble would pop, the housing sector would crash, and that the financial world’s blindness to the obvious would, if properly harnessed, vault him into the 1%. All of it was 100% foreseeable. There was no “black swan”. Yet, our most esteemed economic leaders were blind to it.
In 2010, Burry wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled, I Saw the Crisis Coming. Why Didn’t the Fed? No member of government ever reached out to Burry to discuss the issue – to see if there was any way to bring his focused wisdom and uncompromised analysis to a government that was tragically deficient. Instead, within 2 weeks of the publication of the op-ed, all 6 of his defunct funds were audited. Soon thereafter, the FBI initiated an investigation into his activities.
Greenspan’s prodigies are beyond compromised. That the IRS and the FBI were sent to create havoc for Burry is a form of abuse of process. Our democracy is failing us. Checks and balances have been subverted by money, people in leadership positions protecting their failed legacies, and absolute impunity for the power elite who are successfully marginalizing the truth-tellers. As Burry notes, they are rewriting history.
Cannot prosecute systemically dangerous institutions, sez Timmeh Shitener.