昨日に続きスティグリッツねた。ポリティコ論説スティグリッツが、オバマ政権が実施した銀行救済策に対する怒りを露わにしている(H/T Economist's View)。「The Myth of America’s Golden Age」と題されたその論説で彼は、自らの体験やピケティ本を引きつつ、トリクルダウン理論は破綻した、と述べている。

Ironically enough, the final proof debunking this very Republican idea of trickle-down economics has come from a Democratic administration. President Barack Obama’s banks-first approach to saving the nation from another Great Depression held that by giving money to the banks (rather than to homeowners who had been preyed upon by the banks), the economy would be saved. The administration poured billions into the banks that had brought the country to the brink of ruin, without setting conditions in return.


...Geithner clearly worried excessively about the “moral hazard” of helping underwater homeowners—in other words, encouraging lax borrowing habits—while seeming to care far less about the moral hazard of helping banks, or the culpability of the banks in encouraging excessive indebtedness and in marketing mortgages that put unbearable risks on the poor and middle classes.
In fact, Geithner’s attempts to justify what the administration did only reinforce my belief that the system is rigged. If those who are in charge of making the critical decisions are so “cognitively captured” by the 1 percent, by the bankers, that they see that the only alternative is to give those who caused the crisis hundreds of billions of dollars while leaving workers and homeowners in the lurch, the system is unfair.


The Obamians seem bewildered that the country is not more thankful to its government for having prevented another Great Depression. They saved the banks, and in doing so, they saved the economy from a once-in-a-hundred-year storm. And they proudly point out that all the money given to the financial sector has been more than repaid. But in making such claims, they ignore some critical realities: It was not something that just happened. It was the result of reckless behavior, the predictable and predicted consequences of deregulation and the inadequate enforcement of the regulations that remained, of buying into the mind-set of the 1 percent and the bankers—for which Geithner and his mentor, former White House economic adviser Larry Summers, had more than a little culpability. It was as if, after an accident caused by drunk driving, in which the last drink was served by the police officer on duty, the drunk driver was put back into the driver’s seat, his car rushed to the repair shop, while the victim was left to languish at the scene of the crime.


The repayment itself is, at least in part, the result of a game that would do any con man proud. The government, under the auspices of the Federal Reserve, lends money to the bank at a near-zero interest rate. The bank then lends it back to the government at 2 or 3 percent, and the “profit” is paid back to the government in repayment of the “investment” the government made. Bank officials, meanwhile, get a bonus for the hefty returns they have “earned” for the bank—something a 12-year-old could have done. This is capitalism? In a true rule-of-law world, a drunk driver would have to pay for not only his own repair costs but also the damage he has inflicted—in this case, the cumulative loss of GDP, which now amounts to more than $8 trillion, and which is mounting at the rate of $2 trillion a year. The banks recover, while the typical American’s income plummets to levels not seen in two decades. It is understandable why there might be some anger in the body politic.
返済そのものも、少なくとも部分的には、どんな詐欺師でも誇りに思うようなゲームの帰結だ。政府は、FRBの支援の下、銀行にほぼゼロ金利で資金を貸し付けた。銀行はその資金を政府に2〜3%の金利で貸し付け、そこから得られた「利益」が、政府の行った「投資」に対する返済として支払われた。その間に銀行員は、彼らが「稼いだ」――それは12歳の子供でもできるようなことだったのだが――莫大なリターンのお蔭で賞与を手にした。これが資本主義だろうか? 真の法治世界では、飲酒事故を起こした運転者は、自分の車の修理代だけではなく、彼がもたらした損害についても支払義務が生じる。今回の場合、それは、8兆ドルに上り、今も年率2兆ドルのペースで増えつつあるGDPの累積損失だ。銀行が回復した一方、普通の米国人の所得は20年以来の水準にまで激減した。国民の間に怒りがあるのも理解できる。