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October 10, 2012

Money, Power and the Rule of Law

“Economic policy is always torn between helping the broader social interest – lots of ordinary people – and favoring particular special interests. Unfortunately, special interests typically win out in the kind of situation we have in America in 2012, when it’s all about spending money to win friends and influence people.

The most effective way to push back against powerful special interests is to have the same rules for everyone – and to enforce those rules fairly, even when they are broken by the richest and most politically connected people in the land. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of New York took a major step toward restoring the rule of law this week, by bringing a case against JPMorgan Chase. But it will be an uphill battle; the forces against him are incredibly strong, including some within the Obama administration.”

“As Brian Kettenring of the Campaign for a Fair SettlementDennis Kelleher of Better Markets and others pointed out this week, this should be the first case of many to be brought by Mr. Schneiderman and presumably the relevant federal authorities. By all accounts, Bear Stearns behaved badly, and so did many other companies engaged in the business of issuing residential mortgages and turning them into securities that could be sold to investors.”

Read Simon Johnson’s full article here

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