This week "Frontline" did an interesting report on Brooksley Born (left photo), probably someone you haven't heard of because her tenure in government was abruptly truncated when she failed to act like one of the boys. She was Clinton's original choice as head of the Commodities Future Trading Commission. A Stanford law graduate, a very seasoned securities litigator with Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., she took her rather obscure job seriously and immediately became concerned about the immense volume of unregulated derivatives traded over the counter with no federal oversight at all. So she proposed regulations to force this off-site gambling into the open, where it would be subject to normal capital requirements, disclosure and reporting.
October 22, 2009
October 21, 2009
I've remarked a few times on a phenomenon which has become the norm in American politics over the last decade or so, namely, the Nonsensical Slogan as official policy. As a prime example, there was Bush/Cheney's deathless repetition of the real reason for the war in Iraq: "We're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here." In my naivete, I was prone to thinking this moronic incantation only demonstrated that Bush & Cheney were foolish. How wrong can a person be? They were way ahead of me, in actuality, because the slogan worked.
October 20, 2009
For those curious about the fate of the world, I recommend Dmitry Orlov's cluborlov.blogspot for the first of a three-part series on global temperature increase, and particularly the estimates on sea level rise. A business as usual approach to carbon emissions will result, according to the Hadley Centre in Britain, by the year 2055, in a 7.2 F temperature increase, with catastrophic implications for the two largest repositories of land-based fresh water, Greenland (10%) and Antarctica (90%). I suppose the usual divergence of opinion in this country remains: those who say there's no problem, like Sen. James Inhofe (R,-Hades), and those in the scientific community who claim there will be a 7.2 F global average temperature rise in the next 45 years if we don't take drastic action.