ECONned: Yves Smith's Book of Books

Review of ECONned, by Yves Smith

Out the gate, I was fully prepared to dislike this book (ECONNED: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism). While I occasionally peruse Ms. Smith’s excellent econ/finance site, Naked Capitalism, I have often considered some of her comments to be soft pedaling the economic crises of our times.

But, I have to admit her attitudes have been evolving to my way of thinking, and her masterful book is a stunner and a real joy to behold!

Madam Smith’s treatment of the Brooksley Born saga is the best I’ve read yet, and I humbly believe I have read them all. Ms. Born, a top notch derivatives attorney from the Washington, D.C. powerhouse law firm of Arnold Porter, was appointed to chair the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Clinton Administration.

How Ms. Born was halted from performing her rightful function in that position by the likes of Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan and Arthur Levitt (the true villains and criminals, and make no mistake about that) is well worth the price of the book (and at $30 a pop, it ain’t cheap in these times we economically struggle to survive in).

And the recent mea culpa by Levitt in ignoring and circumventing Brooksley Born’s warnings of the coming debacle, is akin to the bank robber who murders a teller during his crime remonstrating that he had a bad day!