Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fannie and Freddie και κοινωνικοποιημένος καπιταλισμός

Πολλοί προοδευτικοί σχολιαστές στην Ελλάδα (και όχι μόνο) πανηγυρίζουν την "κρατικοποίηση" των δύο αυτών ιδιωτικών εταιριών στις ΗΠΑ ως ένδειξη της αποτυχίας της πλήρως ελεύθερης οικονομίας και της ανάγκης του κρατικού παρεμβατισμού.

Για όσους θέλουν να προβληματισθούν περισσότερο, παραθέτω την άποψη του προοδευτικού καθηγητή του Berkeley (και υπουργού Εργασίας του Κλίντον) Robert Reich που χαρακτηρίζει το εγχείρημα ως άλλη μια περίπτωση κοινωνικοποιημένου καπιταλισμού.

Apologists will say that Fannie and Freddie exist to make housing loans to low-income Americans, so it was inevitable that the two giants would get caught in the quagmire of the housing burst. But the fact is, Fannie and Freddie -- and the executives who ran them and still run them -- have been out to maximize profits. Period. Just the same as every other mortgage and investment bank. High-risk sub-prime loans offered a higher rate of return, so Fannie and Freddie went into them big time. And because of the implicit government guarantee, Fannie and Freddie could take on even more risks and make even more money. Until now.

It's another case of socialized capitalism, folks. The largest, yet. Along with making lots of money for investors and their executives, Fannie and Freddie corrupted our political process. They blocked any attempt to reign in the risks. Their lobbyists were and are the most sophisticated and among the most ubiquitous in Washington.

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