Blog #3 Paul Mason, Meltdown. The End of the Age of Greed

Paul Mason describes his personal view on the financial crisis. He discusses what happens with “neoliberalism” ¬†and how it has become ¬†broken in society. He feels that as the financial crisis carries on, it is easier to put the pieces together. He makes a number of connections to literature and film. He actually has a very effective stage presence. The analogy he uses to describe the poison banks makes it extremely more real and easy to grasp. Although I am not familiar with the names he mentions, he is able to describe everything they believe in. He talks about global trade falling apart due to a decrease in the global distribution system. Once it hits the state, it becomes more real. Bailouts become more apparent and noticable. He refers to the London Conference of 2006 as a starting point of the crisis. States were not strong enough to handle this. Countries began depending on the American system. States went straight to American markets. Mason claims that this too helped cause the global financial crisis. He says that American politics are being torn apart because the global economy relied on America to help them, although we probably were not able to even help ourselves. Heavy taxes and the loss of homes began increasing worldwide. Mason constantly refers to the “acid” that caused the crisis in regards to poison from the alien he described earlier in his discussion. Due to this, globalization is being destroyed. Perhaps it is also because of neoliberalism. In my opinion I strongly believe that Paul Mason might want to go back in time and handle economics differently. “The Banks didnt act in their own interest”, this makes me think about whose interest they were acting in. Lehman Brothers blew their bank up. They sat back and let things happen. Whatever they were doing behind doors clearly ruined them. This reminds me of something; as soon as Lehman Brothers fell, the New York Hall of Science (where I work) removed them from their corporate list. This now makes sense to me. Lehman Brothers employees were storming in showing their I.D’s attempting to get in for me. Not anymore my friends. Simple because once the bank fell, they stopped giving money to the museum. I really enjoy listening to Paul Mason. His enthusiasm makes it enjoyable and he speaks with honesty. Perhaps after the financial crisis, the age of greed will come to an end. After the fall so many major players in the global elite, this is what they deserve. Paul Mason critiques neoliberalism towards the end of the phase. He clearly does not believe in it. The more banks offer bailouts, the more bigger the hole gets. All these banks seem to be making matters worse once they issue a bailout, due to insurance and rates. Regardless of the the big fancy words Paul Mason uses, his points are clear.

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One Response to “Blog #3 Paul Mason, Meltdown. The End of the Age of Greed”

  1. Prof. Hala says:

    Great presentation of Mason’s — rather complex — argument. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I too was impressed by Mason’s style, his intellectual intensity and expressiveness — it adds an element you can’t get from written text. I’ve become a news video junkie lately.

    On the banks and self-interest, he makes a point similar to Stiglitz (and Ferguson, director of Inside Job): the incentive structures that prevailed in the banks encouraged action in one’s *individual* self-interest, but not in the interest of the stockholders, the “owners” of the bank. Most of compensation came in fees and bonuses. This, plus the implicit subsidy that exists for Wall St in the form of (expected) bailouts, encouraged risky transactions that paid extremely well — if the bets were good, you personally made a lot of money and if the bets were bad, the government, i.e., the tax-payers would bail you out. And if you timed it right — if you had some inside connections — you’d sell your stock before the bank blew up. Of course, Lehman is the exception.

    Love your Lehman Bros. anecdote.