Pecora Inspired Trials Offer Perspective on Bank Regulation

In this podcast, Bill Moyers speaks with economist Simon Johnson and Ferdinand Pecora biographer and legal scholar Michael Perino. Johnson is a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, and Perino is a professor of law at St. John’s University and has been an advisor to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This interview offers a deep historical perspective on the conditions within the banking industry that led to its failure in 1929 and the subsequent regulations which ensued. Many of the regulations have been dismantled over the last decade, leading to the economic meltdown.

Transcription:

Like thunderheads roiling on the horizon, the clamor has been building as more and more Americans want to know exactly what, and who, brought on the worst economic crisis since the great depression. What happened and how do we keep it from happening again?

Congress has finally acknowledged the outcry and is supporting some 21st century version of the “Pecora hearings.”

“Pecora hearings?” That’s right, as in Ferdinand Pecora, the savvy immigrant from Sicily who became a Manhattan prosecutor with a memory for facts and figures that proved the undoing of a Wall Street banking world gone berserk with greed and fraud.

Click for more transcript.

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