A Conference On Finance For Everyone Else

By Simon Johnson

It is hard to move around in Washington these days without bumping into a conference on the future of finance. But most of these are either closed to the public, or run on behalf of large banks as part of their lobbying efforts.

Next week, there will be a conference open to everyone at George Washington University to discuss where we really are on financial reform, and what still needs to be done. You should register in advance through the web page (link given above), but there is no cost to attend.

Featured speakers include Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and Thomas Hoenig, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. We also have a wide range of other technical experts – on issues from resolution to “shadow banking” – who are willing to speak frankly and engage in honest discussion.

GW Center for Law, Economics and Finance (C-LEAF), Stanford Graduate School of Business, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, and Better Markets generously made this event possible.

If you want to understand what has really happened to finance, show up.

24 thoughts on “A Conference On Finance For Everyone Else

  1. With all due respect Mr Johnson, and applauding your and Mr Kwak’s great efforts in illucidating the many sordid machinations of the finance sector, the regulatory apparatus, and the socalled political leadership, and the “den of vipers and thieves”, – I mean mastersoftheuniverse – I mean executives supposedly managing and perpetuating this horrorshow, – we know and “understand what happened to finance”. The truth and facts are well known thanks largely to people like you who do the hard work of exposing and detailing flaws, failures, abuses, and (in my pedestrian mind systemic criminality). What we do not know or understand is how to right these horrible wrongs. Sadly unable to attend this conference for mainly economic reasons, – but would cherish the opportunity to pose a few questions. Our voices will never be heard or recognized in these kinds of admittedly important forums because we voiceless and powerless citizens do not have access, or the privilege of attending such lofty gatherings. But our questions and our positions are valid and deserve recognition and a hearing. There is no doubt little you can do to open this conference to the cries and plea’s of the voiceless, – but if there could be any avenue for allowing our voices to be heard and recognized and any small number of our questions addressed- you efforts in this regard would be greatly appreciated and offer a glimmer of hope in a world of seeming hopelessness, – that the voiceless, those suffering most by the workings of finance, could and would in some small way be heard and recognized.

    Appreciate the great work you do.

    Tony Foresta

  2. Will this conference be live-streamed? Will a video be made available later? If either of the above, at what link can it be found?

  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/01/state-poverty_n_6087282.html?utm_hp_ref=business

    I think you have it backwards, Mr. Graf. The elite and their sycophants are IGNORING the data all over the internet that they did not manufacture.

    The reality of the “economy” in those states is THIRD WORLD – and no one can answer how eliminating the Middle Class in the USA was of strategic importance to the future of the USA. What is the psychological profile of people who ENJOY seeing how well their math works:

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    “Urgent Care” being provided in the strip mall next to the supermarket consists of pushing steroids, Oxycontin, and Viagra to the “poor”. Even the pot growers want to legally compete in that market. Wonder why people KNOW that the NWO health care is incompetent to handle an Ebola outbreak….?

  4. Interesting panelists on financial reform. Would be nice if we could catch conferences on vital topics such as this online in this day and age. Still, thanks for post.

  5. Fringe investors still bullish on bitcoin (Faircoin). You can hear the discussion regarding the viability of virtual currency as a part of new finance, reclaiming the Commons back to the taxpayers, and more, in Ralph Nader’s discussion with the author of Think Like A Commoner (scroll down to the audio for Saturday, 11 am, November 1, 2014) http://archive.kpfk.org/ )


    In our age of predatory markets and make-believe democracy, our troubled political institutions have lost sight of real people and practical realities. But if you look to the edges, ordinary people are reinventing governance and provisioning on their own terms. The commons is arising as a serious, practical alternative to the corrupt Market/State.

  6. To Chinitong_simpatiko: Correction: In the event you’re a Filipino
    and you wish to travel to Turkey, you want visa.
    decades upfront as a result of information about it was gathered through DARPA’s secret
    time travel program unlocks several of the more enigmatic information in the Safahi sees the potential for bitcoin ATMs in international areas,
    similar to airports, train stations and different hotspots for travelers.

  7. http://rt.com/usa/202935-silk-road-busted-benthall/

    On a planet with 7 Billion people, only because of the bankster’s investment in their mental masturbation fetish – the internet as a tool for massive theft of ALL wealth EARNED by labor from the previous 10,00 years –

    are 480 people statistically significant.

    Too bad the stats used for cancer research are being done by the same math wizards….defining what is statistically significant….

    Which leads to the question – exactly HOW do they know that they are the smartest people on the planet…? WHere’s the data? How was it collected? Who validated the software doing the analysis that provides them with the oft-repeated factoid that they ARE smartest people on the planet – and therefore they are ALLOWED to mea culpa their spectacular FAILURES (derivatives et al)…..and sashay away from responsibility for the fall out?

    I guess it all happened at the same time as when torturers became the authorities who set the rules for human conduct.

    This is ALL beyond insane….

    Can we pay our skinned-alive IRS taxes with Silk Road earned Bitcoins?

    NEVER bending my knee tot he GLOBAL War Drug and Slave Lords – after all, they are NOT statistically significant :-)

  8. Congrats to reporter who dug up all that information, quite the task. I doubt that those “smart ones, or those smartest people in the world” would fork over any information just so you can refute it and and tell them how insane they are, webster was though to be insane, but he would have disagreed, someone who lives a 1000 years doesn’t need or want advice from you, they would want you to take more accountability and responsibility for your own actions and ask how was it that you only got 70 or 90 years out of life, and how and why was the latter half pure misery. And R U sure the # is 480, my people say it’s closer to 486.

  9. Hmmm, foreclosures have shrunk, only 3000 bullet catchers heading over to Iraq 2 days after the torturers won Congress….perpetual war until the oil runs out that runs the perpetual war….

  10. Yeast certainly has more in common with iniquity than it does with genius – a mathematical distribution problem…

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

  11. One should think policy substance matters more than having the optics of the first woman president of the United States. So no, I will not be getting behind her candidacy as the first woman president, nor will I be voting for her if she decides to run….. Sen Rand Paul’s FB poke-in-the-eye says it all:

    Today, voters sent a message to President Obama and Hillary Clinton, rejecting their policies and many of their candidates.

    Posted by Rand Paul on Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Although, losing not for the reasons Mr. Paul is suggesting, but again, it’s hard to imagine Dumbocrats admitting and agreeing to the post-election analysis of their party’s base for the true reasons. Their first mistake was when earlier this year, the DNC says it would not share monies from their national coffers to Democratic Senate and Congressional races because they’re saving it all for Ready for Hillary. The second and probably their bigger mistake, was in their Messaging. They should now fire Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and hire the marketing/public relations likes of Joni Ernst. But, because the party as a whole leans more Republican-lite, the Dumbocrats failed again, as usual, to capture the angry sentiment of voters – “Making the Corporate – Elitist – Power Structure Squeal like Real PIGS”.
    If Hillary Clinton is being described by Democratic pundits as “tough as nails”, could Hillary be as equally tenacious on such policy matters as Tax reform/Income Inequality, Transpacific Partnership; Keystone XL Pipeline, Gun Control, Immigration, Decriminalization of pot, Citizens United, the NSA, TBTF, Oil & Gas subsidies from the government – as to the kind of toughness she seems to project in her already stated views on foreign policy(?). Considering Hillary’s milquetoast response when asked to comment recently about Wall Street and income inequality, the answer would seem to be an obvious….no. She would NOT demonstrate nor act on those issues to the benefit of The Many, but rather to the benefit of A Few. For example: if the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) gets adopted, we can fairly say that our politicians from both sides of the aisle firstly outsourced our livelihood and now, what remains of our country’s sovereignty.

    Would Hillary Clinton be willing to change, learning from some of her past mistakes ……Again, the answer would be No. Like most pols, she’s in it mostly for herself to make history, reward her corporate donors, and make shallow, if not flippant remarks, to satisfy the Liberal side of her party’s base.

  12. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/les-leopold/as-bad-as-you-think-it-is_b_6133920.html

    And the answer is “NO!” to a Clinton vs Bush race for President – although that kind of line-up could be the straw that broke the camel’s back for the 92 million Americans COMPLETELY wiped out in order to feed the perpetual war machine in the Middle East…TRILLIONS sent to that part of the world by throwing people out of their jobs and homes – one person at a time.

    What was the STRATEGIC MILITARY IMPORTANCE for USA’s “interests” – domestic and foreign – in wiping out USA Middle Class at a time when the population of the planet is 7 Billion and counting…

    Wanna talk “policy”, answer THAT…strategic military importance in wiping out USA Middle Class….

  13. Hillary will not run but if she does, she will not win the White House because her advisors and the candidate herself, have already proven to be out of touch with most voters (refer to November 4, 2014 mid-term election).

    BTW, Obama may go rogue on the Republicans, calculating of the opinion that he can’t be blamed if the Republicans capture the WH in 2016, even if the Senate goes back to Democrat majority. Plus, he will want to focus on his presidential legacy in terms achievements rather than listing all the policy and political blunders him and party seem to experience with each election.

  14. The Goddess willing, – Obama should “go rogue”. He, the tattered remnants of the socalled democratic party, and the American people have nothing to loose. The fascists…I mean pathological liars…I mean predatorclass minions and spaniels…I mean bigoted, racists, wingnut fundamentalist religious freaks and warprofiteers…I mean the gop are salivating and delirious in anticipation of the quick and total evisceration and dismantling of that “goddamn piece of paper” we once called the Constitution, the dimsheeple in what remains of the American middleclass, the socalled ruleoflaw, – and also ruthlessly determined to advance the total control and entrenchment of the predatorclass shaitans they serve and worship.

    Sadly, neither Obama, nor the cowards, or psuedo republicans in the socalled democratic party, particularly Hillary will “go rogue”. The socalled republican party are ruled by blatant fascists, warprofiteers, biggots, fundamentalist religious maniacs, racists, pathological liars and predatorclass panderers. Democrats are ruled by either stealth republicans (see above, particularly Hillary), or rank cowards. All the ignorant idiots, imbeciles, socalled christianfundamentalists, and partisan bootlicker Amerikans (who are NOT predatorclass) will rue the day they voted against their own, and the nations interests for the fascists…I mean pathological liars…I mean predatorclass minions and spaniels…I mean bigoted, racists, wingnut fundamentalist religious freaks and warprofiteers in the socalled republican party.

    Amerika will get what we deserve!!!

    Bernie Sanders, and a truly independent party are the last hope for a peaceful resolution to the horrorshow socalled republicans (predatorclass fascists) have and will continue to heap upon what remains of our once more perfect union, and America’s poor and middleclass. . .

    We inhabit fascist Amerika. There is no ruleoflaw. There is no freedoms, protections, or privileges for the 99%. There is no equality or justice for all. Amerika is totally owned and controlled by the predatorclass, the 1%.

    The only other option is best articulated in this quote from the 2nd paragraph of that once esteemed and valued document known as The Declaration of Independence:

    “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    In a world where there are no laws, – there are no laws for anyone predatorclass biiiiaaatches!!!.

  15. Even that has it’s flaws and different interpretations Tony, it’s been proved that all people are not created equal, stemming from the sperm and egg. And then directly after that because of living environments. But we still cling to these old truths as if they were new and true. Now if there is a law that needs to be changed, and you can not change it, you must break it. But it is a law to someone somewhere for some strange reason, none the less.

  16. You FAIL to put in context the language and the times, Anonymouse, in which The Declaration of Independence came to be.

    The Constitution addresses the list of maladies and abuses of power and bat sh-t crazy fees and taxes list in the Declaration and puts in place a “more perfect union” in the colonies than what was being provided by the Brits.

    The “created equal” refers to GOD – acknowledging that we are ALL children of God, not who throws a baseball faster than another….sheesh.

    This is pure Nihilism, Anonymousy – thanks for sharing your “thinking” – Congolese savagery – wait until the harvest is picked, kill all the villagers and consume the fruits of their labor until there is nothing left then do it all over again to another “middle class” village.

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    Enough with the financial genocide revenge against the Holocaust…..

  17. BTW – the XL Pipeline has to be the stupidest idea, ever, in the history of math vs. man….and that’s all the recent election was about – putting down an artery of FINITE energy resource right next to the river that waters the middle of USA – the BREADBASKET.

    Stupidest idea ever…

    In contrast, this was a math accomplishment:


  18. Yea but the brits abandoned the gold standard in 1931, and for a reason, as for your version of God, for every interpretation, there is an equal and opposite interpretation, of ME ME ME. I know it’s hard, and by design too.

  19. If you think that you can know what another person’s “version of God” is with any accuracy, then you are not in the bounds of religion, you are conducting war. You have NO CLUE what “version” I am on.

    Without equal measures of SPIRITUAL beauty and goodness – you HAVE NO TRUTH. It’s all monkey brain STEALING – monkeys are the biggest thieves out there in the wild kingdom – watch a documentary….

    Biggest heist ever – conducted by merciless torturers embedded in “virtual” reality STEALING THE FRUITS OF CENTURIES OF LABOR – monkeys chattering about “god” – what an insult and JOKE.

    “Interpret” what??!! Filthy environment, degraded gene pool from genetic damage done by the pollution, and torturing people into believing some “version” of “god” – REALLY???!!!! WHat the h8ll where you interpreting to begin with…?!

    Torturers as the New World Order’s Miss Manners – setting the tone for a synthetic culture to accompany the “interpretation” of Global War, Drug and Slave Lords??!!



    Where are all those “fines” against the banks disappearing into…? WHERE IS THE CLAW BACK??!!

  20. Been to the Dr. have ya, good, did a couple lines, remembered the old ones, and came up with some new ones traveled, and now you want take my chickens at night, well that’s where it is.
    Don’t forget about the bending knees one either.

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