This guy, Simon Johnson. He really is everywhere now, huh? Former IMF economists turned MIT professor-bloggers aren't supposed to competing with Lindsay Lohan for Internet space, but in the world of econoblogging, Simon Johnson apparently is Lindsay Lohan. At this rate, he'll be guest-judging the last episode of American Idol and holding down the cover story in the next Men's Health entitled "The Diet Coup."
Johnson's big idea is that 1) America has ceded too much power to Wall Street oligarchs and 2) we need to nationalize our banks and then break them up. These are two really important points. But I also think they raise two logical objections.
1) If America ceded too much power to Wall Street oligarchs, then how do we have episodes like Megan reported where the federal government essentially forced Bank of America to buy Merrill Lynch? If we're a oligarchical nation, BoA CEO Ken Lewis should be a cross between John Pierpont Morgan and the dalai lama. Instead he's being forced to eat Merrill's crap sandwich of assets. That probably doesn't fill Johnson with self-confidence, since he doesn't think that "too big" banks should exist, in the first place (a good point). But under Johnson's theory of American oligarchy, this strikes me as quite the poodle-bites-owner story.