BILL MOYERS: This week on Moyers and Company.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Money dominates politics. And as a result we have neither capitalism or democracy. We have some kind of -- we have crony capitalism.


GRETCHEN MORGENSON: The big powered, moneyed institutions are in control in Washington, there's no doubt about it. You and I don't have a lobbyist and so we are not represented.


BILL MOYERS: Welcome. This week we’re continuing our exploration of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned its Back on the Middle Class. If you missed our first installment, you’ll find it at our website,

Now this is only the second broadcast of our new series, yet we’ve already made our choice for the best headline of the month. Here it is:

"Citigroup Replaces JPMorgan as White House Chief of Staff."

Behind that headline is a tangled web.

The new chief of staff is Jack Lew. He used to work for the giant banking conglomerate Citigroup. His predecessor as chief of staff is Bill Daley, who used to work at the giant banking conglomerate JPMorgan Chase. Daley was maestro of the bank’s global lobbying and the chief liaison to the White House.

Bill Daley replaced Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who once worked for a Wall Street firm where he was paid a reported $18.5 million in less than three years.

The new chief of staff, Jack Lew, comes from Obama’s Office of Management and Budget, where he replaced Peter Orszag, who now works as vice chairman for global banking at the giant conglomerate Citigroup. Still following me?

It’s startling the number of high-ranking Obama officials who have spun through the revolving door between the White House and the sacred halls of investment banking.

But remember, it was Bush and Cheney’s cronies in big business who helped walk us right into the blast furnace of financial meltdown. Then they rushed to save the banks with taxpayer money.

But of course, Bush and Cheney aren’t the only ones to have a soft spot for financiers. Bankers seem to come and go pretty frequently at the White House. President Obama may call them "fat cats" and stir the rabble against them with populist rhetoric when it serves his purpose, but after the fiscal fiasco, he allowed the culprits to escape virtually scot-free. And when he’s here in New York, he dines with them frequently and eagerly accepts their big contributions.

Like his predecessors, Obama’s administration has also provided the banks with billions of low-cost dollars they used for high-yielding investments to make big profits.

It's a fact. The largest banks are actually bigger than they were when he took office. And earned more in the first two-and-a-half years of his term than they did during the entire eight years of the Bush administration.

And get this: President Obama’s new best friend, according to The New York Times, is Robert Wolf. They play golf, basketball, and they talk economics when Wolf is not raising money for the President’s re-election campaign. Now, just who is Robert Wolf? Well, he's top dog at the U.S. branch of the giant Swiss bank UBS, the very bank that helped rich Americans evade taxes. Here, Senator Carl Levin describes some of the tricks used by UBS:

SENATOR LEVIN: Here, Swiss bankers aided and abetted violations of U.S. tax law by traveling to this country with client code names, encrypted computers, counter-surveillance training, and all the rest of it, to enable U.S. residents to hide assets and money in Swiss accounts.

BILL MOYERS: Quite a tangled web. One man who has strong views on all these cozy ties between Wall Street and Washington is David Stockman.

In the 1970s, he was a young Republican congressman from Michigan and an early proponent of supply-side economics -- some call it trickle down.

You know the theory; if you cut taxes on the wealthy, while cutting government, the economy will take off, money trickling down and creating millions of jobs.

It was the centerpiece of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign for president.

RONALD REAGAN: There is enough fat in the government in Washington that if it was rendered and made into soap, it would wash the world.

BILL MOYERS: Once in the Oval Office, President Reagan made David Stockman his budget director.

DAVID STOCKMAN: When President Reagan gave me this job he pointed to that budget which is some thousands and thousands of pages long, and he said go through it from top to bottom with a fine tooth comb and unless you can find a persuasive demonstration why funds must be spent, cut those budgets.

BILL MOYERS: Stockman helped Reagan usher in the largest tax cut in U.S. history, a cut that mainly favored the rich. But things didn’t go exactly as they planned them. The economy sagged, and in 1982 and ’84, Reagan and Stockman agreed to tax increases.

In 1985 Stockman left government and wrote a book critical of his own years in power: The Triumph of Politics: The Inside Story of the Reagan Revolution. He then took his economic expertise to Wall Street and became an investment banker. Thirty years later, he’s writing a new book, with the working title The Triumph of Crony Capitalism.

I sat down with him to talk about how politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club for members only.

What do you mean by crony capitalism?

DAVID STOCKMAN: Crony capitalism is about the aggressive and proactive use of political resources, lobbying, campaign contributions, influence-peddling of one type or another to gain something from the governmental process that wouldn't otherwise be achievable in the market. And as the time has progressed over the last two or three decades, I think it's gotten much worse. Money dominates politics.

And as a result, we have neither capitalism or democracy. We have some kind of --

BILL MOYERS: What do we have?

DAVID STOCKMAN: We have crony capitalism, which is the worst. It's not a free market. There isn't risk taking in the sense that if you succeed, you keep your rewards, if you fail, you accept the consequences. Look what the bailout was in 2008.

There was clearly reckless, speculative behavior going on for years on Wall Street. And then when the consequence finally came, the Treasury stepped in and the Fed stepped in. Everything was bailed out and the game was restarted. And I think that was a huge mistake.

BILL MOYERS: You write, quote, "During a few weeks in September and October 2008, American political democracy was fatally corrupted by a resounding display of expediency and raw power. Henceforth, the door would be wide open for the entire legion of Washington's K Street lobbies, reinforced by the campaign libations prodigiously dispensed by their affiliated political action committees, to relentlessly plunder the public purse." That's a pretty strong indictment.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Yeah and, but on the other hand, I think you would have to say it was fair. When you look at what came out of 2008, the only thing that came out of 2008 was a stabilization of these giant Wall Street banks. Nothing came out of 2008 that really helped Main Street. Nothing came out of 2008 that addressed our fundamental problems, that we've lost a huge swath of our middle class jobs. Nothing came out of 2008 that made financial discipline or fiscal discipline possible.

It was justified as sort of expediency. We need to do this. We need to stop the contagion. But it wasn't thought through as to what the long-term implications of this would be.

BILL MOYERS: How did you see it playing out?

DAVID STOCKMAN: I think there was a lot of panic going on in the Treasury Department. I call it "The Blackberry Panic." They were all looking at their Blackberries, and could see the price of Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley dropping by the hour. And somehow they thought that was thermostat telling them that the economy was coming unraveled.

I don’t believe that was right. I think what was going on was simply a huge correction that was overdue on Wall Street. The big leverage hedge funds on Wall Street that called themselves investment banks weren't really investment banks. They were just big trading operations using 30, 40 to one leverage. And it was that that was being corrected.

But they used the occasion of the Wall Street banking crisis to create the impression that this was the beginning of a kind of black hole the whole economy was going to drop into. I think that was wrong.

And it was that fear that led Congress to do anything they wanted. You know, the Congress gave them a blank check.

BILL MOYERS: Not at first, don’t you remember, Congress first refused to approve the bailout, right?

DAVID STOCKMAN: And then, the stock market dropped 600 points because all of the speculators on Wall Street all of a sudden began to think, "Hey, they might let capitalism work. They might let the rules of the free market function."

BILL MOYERS: You mean by letting them fail.


BILL MOYERS: If they let them fail?

DAVID STOCKMAN: I think if they let them fail it wouldn't have spread to the rest of the economy. There wouldn't have been another version of the Great Depression. There weren't going to be runs on the bank. We weren't going to have consumers lined up in St. Louis and Des Moines and elsewhere worried about their bank. That's why we have deposit insurance, the FDIC. But it would have been a big lesson to the speculators that you're not going to be propped up and bailed out,

You're not going to have the Fed as your friend. You're not going to have the Treasury with a lifeline. You're going to have to answer to the marketplace. And until we get that discipline back into our financial system, the banks are just going to continue to grow, continue to speculate and find new ways to make easy money at the expense of the system.

BILL MOYERS: President Bush, he was still in office then.


BILL MOYERS: He said, I have to suspend the rules of the free market in order to save the free market.

DAVID STOCKMAN: You can't save free enterprise by suspending the rules just at the hour they're needed. The rules are needed when it comes time to take losses. Gains are easy for people to realize. They're easy for people to capture. It's the rules of the game are most necessary when the losses have to occur because mistakes have been made, errors have been made, speculation has gone too far. The history has always been -- and this is why we had Glass-Steagall and a lot of the legislation in the 1930s.

BILL MOYERS: Glass-Steagall was the provision --

DAVID STOCKMAN: The division of banks between the commercial banking and investment banking and insurance and other --

BILL MOYERS: So that you, the banker, could not take my deposits and gamble with them, right?

DAVID STOCKMAN: That's exactly right. And we need not only a reinstitution of Glass-Steagall, but even a more serious limitation on banks. And what I mean by that is, that if we want to have a way for, you know, average Americans to save money without taking big risks and not be worried about the failure of their banking institution, then there can be some narrow banks who do nothing except take deposits, make long-term loans or short-term loans of a standard, business variety without trading anything, without getting into all of these exotic derivative instruments, without putting huge leverage on their balance sheet.

And we need to say simply, that if you're a bank and you want to have deposit insurance, which ultimately, you know, is backed up by the taxpayer -- if you're a bank and you want to have access to the so-called "discount window" of the Fed, the emergency lending, then you can't be in trading at all.

Now, on the other hand, if they want to be a hedge fund, then they’ve got to raise risk capital and they have to take the consequences of their risks, both to the good side and the bad side. And until we really approach that issue, and dismantle these giant, multi-trillion dollar balance sheet banks, and separate retail and deposit insured banking from just financial companies, we're going to have recurring bouts of what we had in 2008.

And they haven't even begun to address that, and it's so disappointing to see that the Obama administration, which in theory should've had more perspective on this than a Republican administration under Bush, to see that one, they appointed in the key positions the same people who brought the problem in: Geithner and Summers and all of those, and secondly, that Obama did nothing about it.

It could have easily -- they could have begun to dismantle a couple of these lame duck institutions, Citibank would have been a good place to start. But they did nothing. They passed Dodd-Frank, which said, now we're going to have everybody write regulations -- tens of thousands of pages that you know, it was a full employment act for accountants and lawyers and consultants and lobbyists. But they didn't go to the heart of the problem. If they're too big to fail, they're too big to exist. And let's start right with that proposition.

BILL MOYERS: You've described what other people have called the financialization of the American economy, the growth in the size and the power of the financial industry. What does that term mean to you, financialization? And why should we care that it's happened?

DAVID STOCKMAN: Because what it means is that a massive amount of resources are being devoted, being allocated or being channeled into pure financial speculation that has no gain to society as a whole, has no real economic contribution to the process by which GNP is created, GDP is created and growth occurs.

By 2007 40 percent of all the profits in the American economy were coming from finance companies. 40 percent. Historically it was 15 percent.

So the financialization means that as we attracted more and more resources and capital, and we made speculation easier and easier, and we funded it with almost free overnight money, managed and manipulated by the Fed, that's how the economy got financialized. But that is a casino. Casinos -- they're, you know, places for people to go if they want to speculate and wager. But they're not part of a healthy, constructive economy.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean by the free money that banks are using overnight?

DAVID STOCKMAN: Well, by that we mean when the Fed, the Federal Reserve sets the so-called federal funds rate at ten basis points, where it is today, that more or less guarantees banks can go into the Fed window, the discount window, and borrow at ten basis points.

And then you take that money and you buy a government bond that is yielding two percent or three percent. Or buy some corporate bonds that are yielding five percent. Or if you want to really get aggressive, buy some Australian dollars that have been going up. Or buy some cotton futures. And this is really what has been going on in our markets.

The cheap funding, which is guaranteed by the Fed, the investment of that cheap funding into speculative assets and then pocketing the spread. And you can make huge amounts of money as long as the music doesn't stop. And when the music stops then all of a sudden, the cheap, overnight money dries up. This is what's happening in Europe today. This is what happened in 2008.

And then people are stuck with all these risky assets, and they can't fund them. They owe cash to the people they borrowed overnight from or on a weekly basis. That's what creates the so-called contagion. That's what creates the downward spiral. Now, unless we let those burn out, it'll be done over and over. In other words, if, you know, if a lesson isn't learned, then the error will be repeated over and over.

BILL MOYERS: Stockman says the modern bailout culture took off under President Bill Clinton. It was engineered with the help of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and top economic advisors at the Treasury, Larry Summers and Robert Rubin.

BILL CLINTON: The American people either didn’t agree or didn’t understand what in the world I’m up to in Mexico.

DAVID STOCKMAN: I think it started with the bailout of the banks in 1994 during the Mexican Peso Crisis.

REPORTER: For investors it was a sight for sore eyes. Mexico’s stock market actually soaring instead of plummeting for the first time in weeks. All this, an immediate reaction to news of a major international aid package – nearly half of it from Washington.

DAVID STOCKMAN: That was allegedly designed to help Mexico. It was $20 billion with no approval from Congress that was used, I think inappropriately out of a Treasury fund. And why were we doing this? It's because the big banks were too exposed to some bad loans that they had written in Mexico and elsewhere.

BILL MOYERS: Wall Street banks. U.S. banks.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Wall Street banks. Wall Street banks. The banks of the day, Citibank, Bankers Trust, the others that existed at that time. And so the idea got started that Washington would be there with a prop, with a bailout, with a helping hand. And then the balls start rolling down the hill.

DAN RATHER: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has taken highly unusual action to head off what could have been a severe blow to world economies.

BILL MOYERS: When the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management blew up in 1998, it was big news.

REPORTER: Dan, the Long Term Capital fund lost billions in the recent market turmoil and last night, stood on the brink of collapse.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Long Term Capital was an economic train wreck waiting to happen. It was leveraged 100 to one. It was in every kind of speculative investment known to man. In Russian equities, in Thailand bonds, and everything in between. And it was enabled by Wall Street.

REPORTER: An emergency meeting was organized by the Federal Reserve last night, here at its New York office. At the table, more than a dozen of Wall Street’s biggest bankers and brokers including David Komansky, Chairman of Merrill Lynch, Sandy Weill of Travelers and Sandy Warner of JP Morgan. One by one the firms each agreed to kick in more than $250 million to bail out Long Term Capital before its troubles sent shockwaves through the banking system.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Why did the Fed step in, organize all the Wall Street banks, and kind of sponsor this bailout? Because all of the Wall Street banks that enabled Long Term Capital to grow to this giant size, to have 100 to one leverage, by loaning them money. So when the Treasury and the Fed stepped in and bailed out, effectively, Long Term Capital and their lenders, their enablers, it was another big sign that the rules of the game had changed and that institutions were becoming too big to fail.

Fast forward. We go through one percent interest rates at the Fed in the early 2000s, we go through the housing bubble and collapse.

BILL MOYERS: Following the 2008 economic meltdown came the mother of all bailouts.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Good morning. Secretary Paulson, Chairman Bernanke and Chairman Cox have briefed leaders on Capitol Hill on the urgent need for Congress to pass legislation approving the Federal government’s purchase of illiquid assets such as troubled mortgages from banks and other financial institutions.

BILL MOYERS: The Bush administration came to the rescue of some of the county’s largest financial institutions, to the tune of 700 billion tax-payer dollars.

DAVID STOCKMAN: We elect a new government because the public said, you know, "We're scared. We want a change." And who did we get? We got Larry Summers. We got the same guy who had been one of the original architects of the policy in the 1990s, the financialization policy, the too big to fail policy.

Who else did we get? We got Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. He had been at the Fed in New York in October 2008 bailing out everybody in sight. General Electric got bailed out. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, all of the banks got bailed out, and the architect of that bailout then becomes the Secretary of the Treasury. So it's another signal to the financial markets that nothing ever changes. The cronies of capitalism are in charge of policy.

BILL MOYERS: You name names in your writing. You identify several people as the embodiment of crony capitalism. Tell me about Jeffrey Immelt.

DAVID STOCKMAN: He is the poster boy for crony capitalism. Here is GE, one of the six triple-A companies left in the United Sates, a massive, half-trillion dollar company, massive market capitalization. I'm talking about the eve of the crisis now, in September, 2008.

Suddenly, when the commercial paper market starts to destabilize and short-term rates went up. He calls up the Treasury secretary with an S.O.S., "I'm in trouble here. I need a lifeline." He had recklessly funded a lot of assets at General Electric Capital in the overnight commercial paper market. And suddenly needed a bailout from the Treasury. Within days, that bailout was granted.

And therefore, General Electric was able to avoid the consequence of its foolish lend long and borrow short policy. What they should have been required to do when the commercial paper market dried up -- that was the excuse. They should've been required to offer equity, sell stock at a highly discounted rate, dilute their shareholders, and raise the cash they need to pay off their commercial paper.

That would've been the capitalist way. That would've been the free market way of doing things. And in the future they would've been less likely to go back into this speculative mode of borrowing short and lending long. But when we get to the point where the one triple-A, a multi-hundred billion dollar company gets to call up the secretary, issue the S.O.S. sign and get $60 billion worth of guaranteed Federal Reserve and Treasury backup lines, then we are, you know, our system has been totally transformed. It is not a free market system. It is a system run by powerful, political and corporate forces.

BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you.

BILL MOYERS: So when you saw that President Obama had appointed Jeffrey Immelt, as the head of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, what went through your mind?

DAVID STOCKMAN: Well, I was in the middle of being very disgusted with what my own Republican Party had done and what Bush had done and the Paulson Treasury. And then when I saw this, I got the title for my book, “The Triumph of Crony Capitalism.”

BARACK OBAMA: And I am so proud and pleased that Jeff has agreed to chair this panel, my Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, because we think GE has something to teach businesses all across America.

DAVID STOCKMAN: If you have a former community organizer who was trained in the Saul Alinsky school of direct democracy, appointing the worst abuser, the worst abuser of crony capitalism, GE, who came in and begged for this bailout, to head his Jobs Council, when obviously GE's international corporation, they've been shifting jobs offshore for decades, then it becomes so obvious that we have a new kind of system, and that we have a real crisis.

BILL MOYERS: Where is the shame? Shouldn't these people have been at least a little ashamed of running the economy and the financial system into the ditch and then saying, "Come lift me out?"

DAVID STOCKMAN: Yes. You know, I think that's part of the problem. I started on Capitol Hill in 1970s. And as I can vividly recall, corporate leaders then at least were consistent. They might've complained about big government, or they might've complained about the tax system.

But there wasn't an entitlement expectation that if financial turmoil or upheaval came along, that the Treasury, or the Federal Reserve, or the FDIC or someone would be there to back them up. That would've been considered, you know, it would've been considered, as you say, shameful. And somehow, over the last 30 years, the corporate leadership of America has gotten so addicted to their stock price by the hour, by the day, by the week, that they're willing to support anything that might keep the game going and help the system in the short run avoid a hit to their stock price and to the value of their options. That's the real problem today. And as a result, there is no real political doctrine ideology left in the corporate community. They are simply pragmatists who will take anything they can find, and run with it.

BILL MOYERS: So this is what you mean, when you say free markets are not free. They've been bought and paid for by large financial institutions.

DAVID STOCKMAN: Right. I don't think it's entirely a corruption of human nature. People have always been inconsistent and greedy.

But I think it's been the evolution of the political culture in which there have been so many bailouts, there has been so much abuse and misuse of government power for private ends and private gains, that now we have an entitled class in this country that is far worse than you know, remember the welfare queens that Ronald Reagan used to talk about?

We now have an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do what is ever necessary if it involves tax relief, tax incentives, tax cuts, loan guarantees, Federal Reserve market intervention and stabilization. Whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward. That's where they are.

BILL MOYERS: You were disaffected with the party of your youth, the Republican Party, because it has because -- it’s become dogmatic on so many of these issues and no longer listens to evidence and facts. I’m disaffected with the party of my youth because that Democratic Party served the interest of the working people in this country like Ruby and Henry Moyers. And so many people feel the same way. How do we overcome this pessimism about the American future? “The Wall Street Journal” had a headline on an op-ed piece that said, "The End of American Optimism." A recent survey said only 15 percent of the people were satisfied about the direction of the American people. I mean, this is a serious situation, is it not?

DAVID STOCKMAN: I think it is. And -- but we also have to recognize the pessimism that the public reflects in the surveys and polls is warranted. In other words the public isn't being unduly pessimistic. It's not been overcome with some kind of a false wave of emotion. No. I think the American public sees very clearly the current system isn't working, that the Federal Reserve is basically working on behalf of Wall Street, not Main Street.

The Congress is owned lock, stock and barrel by one after another, after another special interest. And they logically say how can we expect, you know, anything good to come out of this kind of process that seems to be getting worse. So how do we turn that around? I think it's going to take, unfortunately a real crisis before maybe the decks can be cleared.

BILL MOYERS: What would that look like?

DAVID STOCKMAN: It will take something even more traumatic than we had in September 2008.

BILL MOYERS: But on the basis of the record, the lessons of the past. The experience you have just recounted and are writing about. Do you see any early signs that we might turn the ship from the iceberg?

DAVID STOCKMAN: No. I think we've learned no lessons. We really have not restructured our financial system. The big banks that existed then that were too big to fail are even bigger now. The top six banks then had seven trillion of assets, now they have nine or ten trillion.

Rather than go to the fundamentals which have been totally neglected-- we've simply kind of papered over the current system and continued the game of having the Federal Reserve and the Treasury if necessary prop up all of this leverage and speculation, which isn't helping the economy.

And when we talk about zero interest rates. That’s not helping Main Street. Our problem in this economy is not our interest rates are too high. The zero interest rates are just more fuel for leverage speculation for what’s called the carry trade and that is causing windfall benefits to the few but it’s leaving the fundamental problems of our economy in worse shape than they’ve ever been.

BILL MOYERS: No one I know has a better understanding of the see-saw tension in our history between democracy and capitalism.

Capitalism, you accumulate wealth and make it available. Democracy being a brake, B-R-A-K-E, on the unbridled greed of capitalists. It seems to me that democracy has lost and that capitalism is triumphant -- crony capitalism in this case.

DAVID STOCKMAN: And I think it's important to put the word crony capitalism on there. Because free-market capitalism is a different thing. True free-market capitalists never go to Washington with their hand out. True free-market capitalists running a bank do not expect that every time they make a foolish mistake or they get themselves too leveraged or they end up with too many risky assets that don't work out, they don't expect to go to the Federal Reserve and get some cheap or free money and go on as before.

They expect consequences, maybe even failure of their firm, certainly loss of their bonuses, maybe the loss of their jobs. So we don't have free-market capitalism left in this country anymore. We have everyone believing that if they can hire the right lobbyist, raise enough political action committee money, spend enough time prowling the halls of the Senate and the House and the office buildings, arguing for their parochial narrow interest -- that that is the way that will work out. And that is crony capitalism. It’s very dangerous and it seems to be becoming more embedded in our system.

BILL MOYERS: So many people say, “We've got to get money out of politics.” Or as you said, “Money dominates government today.”

DAVID STOCKMAN: Well look, I think the financial industry, over the two or three year run up to 2010 spent something like $600 million. Just the financial industry, the banks, the Wall Street houses and some hedge funds and others. Insurance companies. $600 million in campaign contributions or lobbying.

That is so disproportionate, because the average American today is struggling to make ends meet. Probably working extra hours in order, just to keep up with the cost of living, which is being driven up unfortunately by the Fed.

They don't have time to weigh into the political equation against the daily, hourly lobbying and pressuring and you know, influencing of the process. So it's asymmetrical. And how do we solve that? I think we can only solve it by -- and it'll take a constitutional amendment, so I don't say this lightly. But I think we have eliminate all contributions above $100 and get corporations out of politics entirely.

Ban corporations from campaign contributions or attempting to influence elections. Now, I know that runs into current free speech. So the only way around it is a constitutional amendment to cleanse our political system on a one-time basis from this enormously corrupting influence that has built up. And I think nothing is really going to change until we get money out of politics and do some radical things to change the way elections are financed and the way the process is influenced by organized money. If we don’t address that, then crony capitalism is here for the duration.

BILL MOYERS: David Stockman, thank you very much for sharing this time with us.

One of journalism's premier business reporters is with me now. Gretchen Morgenson won the Pulitzer Prize for her fearless exposés of Wall Street's dirty secrets and reckless behavior. In her “Fair Game” column for The New York Times she digs into some of the most disturbing and complex scandals of our time. Her recent book with Joshua Rosner on crony capitalism at Fannie Mae is called Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. Welcome.


BILL MOYERS: You just heard David Stockman say it could happen again. Do you think it could happen again?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: It will happen again and the unfortunate fact is we did not fix the problem. The Dodd-Frank legislation which was supposed to be the fix-it for the enormous crisis that erupted in 2008 failed in so many ways to really address the major issues, the most important being too-big-to-fail, did virtually nothing to cut these big and impossible to manage banks down to size.

But there are other elements to the Dodd-Frank law that I think are also problematic. Now we have hundreds of rules being written by the regulators and although it might make sense that they know what they're doing a little bit more than maybe your, you know, average lawmaker, what it did was it gave the financial services industry two bites at the apple. They can lobby their lawmaker when Dodd-Frank is being written and now they are lobbying strenuously the regulators to make sure that the rules are written in a not too, you know, onerous fashion.

I mean, I think that you see this in the length of time, Bill, that it's taking to write these rules, tremendous jockeying back and forth by the financial services industry which of course has billions of dollars to spend on lobbyists to go and influence the outcome.

And so when you see, you know, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission trying to write rules about derivatives that would bring them into the open, that would make a failure like that almost brought AIG to its knees, make that a thing of the past you see a lot of the big Wall Street banks lobbying heavily to keep these things in the shadows.

BILL MOYERS: Listening to both David Stockman and you, it. After what we've been through since 2008, the millions of lost jobs, the millions of foreclosed homes, the people whose pensions have been shrunk, you both are saying not only can it happen again, but it will happen again. I mean, I have to tell you it boggles my mind.

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: When I was living through it, watching it in terror literally at my desk at The New York Times because it really was on the precipice, there we were, I thought to myself, "We will address this because this is so frightening and so scary and so damaging to this country." And I thought we will address it because this is the big one.

This is the big crisis that we've been leading up to. Long-Term Capital Management didn't really destabilize the system, the internet bubble didn't really destabilize the system, this was the big one. And yet the response was so lame and so ineffectual that it absolutely will happen again.

BILL MOYERS: What's the answer? Why don't we have the reform we want?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Well, a big part of it is the money problem, that money -- the big powered, moneyed institutions are in control in Washington, there's no doubt about it. You and I don't have a lobbyist and so we are not represented in this melee, call it what you will, that happens, you know, when laws are created.

There is no balance here. There's a drastic imbalance between the people who created the problem and the people who had to pay the problem and it has not been addressed.

What David Stockman pointed out which is extremely important to remember in this whole thing is the rise of the financial institutions as a percentage of GDP in this country, as a percentage of as he said the resources that are put into this business. They have become all powerful.

These people have gotten themselves in such a position of power because they are financial intermediaries, because they are -- they affect every American with their business, they are able to much more than say the steel industry or the coal industry or the car industry manipulate the dialog. They can persuade the treasury secretary that, if you don't bail me out Armageddon is going to happen and everyday people will lose access to their money and the world will come to an end.

BILL MOYERS: Right now we're hearing a lot about how Dodd-Frank is actually costing the banking industry. I think losing about $3 billion in the third quarter. Was Dodd-Frank responsible for that?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: I think that the small banks might have a point in that, in making that argument. The small banks that, by the way, did not create the problem, they're being penalized just like the Main Street people are because they have to now step up and do these new regulations that are quite costly for a small to midsize institution.

The big banks really don't have increased costs to that degree because they already have a huge compliance effort. They have a huge regulatory effort already. So it might be additional cost, but for them it's not as large as it would be for a small institution.

Again, this is the same imbalance, the same unfairness where a small institution that did nothing wrong now has to pay the price just like the taxpayers who did nothing wrong now have to pay the price while the big boys, you know, can complain about it, hire their lobbyists to do try to do something about it. I really discount a lot of the talk about how expensive Dodd-Frank is, particularly from these big institutions because they should really sit down and shut up.

BILL MOYERS: Yes, I don't think they're going to but I think that's good advice. You do think as I do that Dodd-Frank is just too complex for effective enforcement, right?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Yes, you know that Glass-Steagall was 34 pages long.

BILL MOYERS: 34 pages?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: The act that protected Americans from rapacious bankers for almost 70 years was about 34 pages long.

BILL MOYERS: And Dodd-Frank is 2,300 pages --

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Way too complicated, all kinds of loopholes, right? You know, the more complex a law is the more you can probably finagle around it.

BILL MOYERS: Why should middle class people on Main Street care about how banks are regulated? What difference does it make to them?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: It makes a tremendous difference, Bill, because it affects every part of their lives. When they have to pay higher fees to get access to their money that's a cost they can ill afford. When banks are luring them into loans that are poisonous and toxic, that are designed to make the bank money and designed not to help the borrower, that is a real concern.

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: It could not be more important to rein these institutions in because they affect every piece of your life. They affect your retirement, they affect your everyday expenses, whether you can put food on the table for your family.

They permeate your life, and so the degree to which they are making it more onerous to borrow is a huge -- has huge consequences.

BILL MOYERS: Since you've been covering capitalism, business and finance what's been the biggest change you've seen?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Previously I believed that bankers that presided over this kind of a train wreck would have wandered away from the scene, tail between their legs, ashamed, or the regulators would have cleaned house, fired the management, clawed back their compensation.

We've seen none of that in 2008. Did the U.S. government replace any of these managements? No. Did the U.S. government claw back any of the money that these people made when the boom was going on which we now all know was a phony boom and so therefore that was phony money that they earned during those years.

We also didn't have a penalty, there were no penalties paid except by the innocent taxpayers. There were no penalties paid by the people who created the crisis.

BILL MOYERS: Yeah, I read in one of your columns not too long ago that if a CEO is indicted, the penalties he may have to pay or even the cost of his lawyer -- he doesn't pay.

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: The director's and officer's insurance often pays for these costs. The company many, many times pays for these costs. Angelo Mozilo is a perfect example, the former chief executive, co-founder of Countrywide, one of the most toxic lenders out there, really has created huge problems for especially minorities in this country.

He was charged with insider trading by the SEC, they settled the case. He didn't admit or deny guilt. All he paid was $22.5 million to civil penalties in the case. He sold stock worth more than $500 million over a period of years at the end of the boom. We are talking about a cost of doing business, something that he has no trouble paying. He happily wrote that check.

BILL MOYERS: What do you think about the SEC's, the Securities and Exchange Commission's, performance since the meltdown?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: I think they have not been aggressive enough in going after compensation of these executives. I do think that they're understaffed, undermanned. They're always fighting for money.

They have gone after some very large insider trading cases, but again nothing to do with the crisis. There has been a resounding silence, Bill, from the prosecutorial function in this country to this crisis. There has been no one gone to jail from, that was really involved at a high level at one of these big mortgage companies.

BILL MOYERS: What did you learn about crony capitalism in doing “Reckless Endangerment” based upon the mortgage industry business?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: What I learned was going back in time and examining Fannie Mae and as you know that's the company that doesn't make mortgages, but it buys mortgages and it guarantees them. So it is a huge player in this business.

That was really the quintessential crony capitalism, that company. They learned how to manipulate their regulator, to neutralize their regulator, to manipulate Congress, throw money around. They really told, almost showed Wall Street how to do it, they gave them a playbook. And what they did was they wrapped themselves in the American flag of home ownership so that they were impervious for many critics.

Fannie Mae, who used its implicit government guarantee for its own purposes, it was able to borrow money at a far cheaper rate than in any other financial company. And that subsidy, it took one third of that, billions of dollars every year, for itself.

So it really taught Wall Street how to be the quintessential, you know, crony capitalist. How to use your influence, how to use your money to buy protection for yourself on Capitol Hill and to manipulate the dialog so that there were no critics, no criticism of what you do, this whole idea of this financial services industry having to be protected.

Now, of course we know that Fannie and Freddie are into the taxpayer for $150 billion and no end in sight. So we know how that movie ends. And yet that is the practice and it continues.

BILL MOYERS: The question is to me why don't we put those toxic twins, as you call them, out of business, close them down?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Well, because they're the only game in town right now for people who need to get a mortgage. And people need to get mortgages. They move, they get a new job. There does need to be the opportunity for movement in mortgage world and that’s -- they're the only game in town because banks are loathe to lend.

BILL MOYERS: Without -- they’re loathe to lend our money back to us, right?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Correct. Absolutely.

BILL MOYERS: Yeah, we bailed them out and they won’t put capital where it should go, to small businesses, to individuals who need it.

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Absolutely, that's again here we are back at the same question. These people who drove us into the ditch, got our money to save themselves are now not lending to the degree that they ought to.

BILL MOYERS: Which brings me to what you described in your column at the end of last year, the ugliest paradox of the financial crisis which you say became clear in 2011.

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Well, as you know, Bill, we're only really starting to learn the full extent of what went on during the mortgage boom. But one element of it that I find especially troubling is the degree to which minority borrowers, first time borrowers, first time homeowners, immigrants, the least sophisticated people in this country, the very people that the government said they wanted to help become homeowners, to get their piece of the American dream -- those people were targeted by these banks because they knew they were unsophisticated.

They were targeted with the most expensive, the most punitive and the most toxic loans bar none. And to me that is such a failure of this country. If we are going to encourage home ownership, let's not do it on the backs of the very people that we are supposedly trying to help, the most vulnerable people in this country have been hurt the worst by this crisis, families wrecked, homes lost. They were abused in this entire mania and people profited from that abuse and I think that's wrong.

BILL MOYERS: Well, as you know the pushback is, well, they shouldn't have been encouraged to buy a home, but they should have had the common sense not to buy a home without knowing more about what they were getting into.

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: That's a good argument. But when you talk to people who English is their second language and when you talk to people who have never, you know, had an investment account, who really don't even maybe have a bank account and you've got some slick mortgage broker saying, "Oh, just sign here on the dotted line, everything's going to be fine," you can see how that goes awry. I mean, I’m a sophisticated person and, you know, I have to ask multiple questions if I’m looking at one of these mortgage documents.

BILL MOYERS: What makes you angry about this?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: Well, it makes me angry because there has been no penalty. There has been no price for the people who created the mess. I thought there would be some sort of solution, some addressing of the problem, some punishment, penalty. Whatever you want to call it.

Now with the benefit of hindsight, you know, three, four years later nothing was done and so I am angry that nothing was done because that was one hell of a crisis and that was big enough for me, thank you very much, to learn the lesson of what we must do going forward to prevent another such thing.

And yet we didn't and that makes me angry because I have a son and he is going to live through this and he is going to pay the price for this. Not to mention, you know, everyday people who are going to live through it maybe within ten years. I don't think it's so far off that we're going to have another crisis.

It's really interesting, that we're still archeologists. I'm a journalist but I feel like I'm an archeologist digging in this crisis and still coming up with shards of pottery that I dust off and then I can fit into the puzzle. Because nobody wanted anyone to understand what really happened.

And there has been a tremendous, you know, attempt by the powers that be and I'm talking about the United States government, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, banks, private institutions, as well, to prevent us from really learning the full extent of this. And so here we are, we're still uncovering things that we didn't know back in 2008, 2007. So no, I don't think anything significant has changed.

BILL MOYERS: Is there anything you see that makes you a little optimistic?

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: What makes me optimistic is that people are understanding this now, that Main Street gets it, you know, the thing that I found compelling about the Occupy Wall Street movement was that it seemed to be tapping into this anger. Previous to that there was just this kind of silence, you know, people were maybe too flabbergasted by what had gone on.

This is a very complex crisis that was built over a long period of time. You have to connect the dots to understand it. And so we're writing history and helping people to understand what happened to them.

But we still don't know it all and until we do we can't really protect ourselves going forward. But I do get a sense that there is anger, that there is rage and that maybe, maybe, just maybe somebody in Washington might pay attention to that.

BILL MOYERS: The book is Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson with her colleague, Joshua Rosner. Thank you, Gretchen, for being with us.

GRETCHEN MORGENSON: It is my pleasure, Bill.

BILL MOYERS: That’s it for this week. When we continue our investigation of politically engineered inequality next week, you’ll meet John Reed, the bankers’ banker who was there when Washington closed its eyes to the Wall Street follies.

JOHN REED: It wasn't that there was one or two or institutions that, you know, got carried away and did stupid things. It was, we all did. And then the whole system came down.

BILL MOYERS: And former Senator Byron Dorgan, who saw it all coming.

BYRON DORGAN: (Speaking on the Senate Floor) And we are deliberately and certainly with this legislation moving towards inheriting much greater risk in our financial services industries.

BYRON DORGAN: If you were to rank big mistakes in the history of this country, that was one of the bigger ones.

BILL MOYERS: And check out our new website, And read there an interview with Ellen Miller of the watchdog group the Sunlight Foundation.

See you online at, and see you here, next time.

Watch By Segment

  • Gretchen Morgenson on Corporate Clout in Washington

    Bill Moyers and former White House budget director David Stockman on how politics and high finance have turned our economy into a members-only private club.

    Air Date: March 9, 2012
    Gretchen Morgenson on Corporate Clout in Washington
  • David Stockman on Crony Capitalism

    Bill Moyers and former White House budget director David Stockman on how politics and high finance have turned our economy into a members-only private club.

    Air Date: March 9, 2012
    Photo Credit: Andrew Fredericks
    David Stockman on Crony Capitalism

Full Show: Crony Capitalism

January 20, 2012

This weekend, continuing its sharp multi-episode focus on the intersection of money and politics, Moyers & Company explores the tight connection between Wall Street and the White House with David Stockman – yes, that David Stockman — former budget director for President Reagan.

Now a businessman who says he was “taken to the woodshed” for telling the truth about the administration’s tax policies, Stockman speaks candidly with Bill Moyers about how money dominates politics, distorting free markets and endangering democracy. “As a result,” Stockman says, “we have neither capitalism nor democracy. We have crony capitalism.”

Stockman shares details on how the courtship of politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club that rewards the super-rich and corporations, leaving average Americans wondering how it could happen and who’s really in charge.

“We now have an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do… whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward,” Stockman tells Moyers.

Also on the show, Moyers talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter and columnist Gretchen Morgenson on how money and political clout enable industries to escape regulation and enrich executives at the top.


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  • Pegathome6

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers!!!

  • Cheftdp

    It is such a wonderful treat to have you back :) 

  • Dl Mccoy

    Finally!! This program lays it all out once and for all so the average person can understand how our economy and our financial integrity have been hijacked by the bankers and politicians. Thank you, Mr. Moyers. So grateful to have you back!!

  • Tamilapp

    We really, really need programs like this and I sincerely hope that many millions of Americans can see this. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face, both in fear for the future of this country,not to mention that of my children and grandchildren, and just in plain anger at what these crony capitalists are doing to the lives of all Americans both present and future. What to do….I’m about ready to don sackcloth and ashes and run screaming down the street, bell in hand, “Our country is being run by a bunch of lying, thieving, narcissistic vultures, wake up before it IS too late”!!!

  • Brianz39

    Always great topics and knowledge, but now that we have it, what do we do with it???  Like David Stockman said “…the average person has no time to voice their interests”.  If these segments could be followed by endorsement of organizations/websites that are trying to spearhead these changes…a place we could funnel this energy these segments always infuse your viewers with.  Welcome Back!   

  • fulllmain

    Bill, you are your usual wonderful self. And I think David Stockman should be the next Obama Treasury secretary. I just hope it’s not too late.

  • George Potratz

    Stockman is terrifically naive to believe that capitalism ever operated by the “free market” principles he espouses, or that those guiding what he calls crony capitalism would ever allow the major capital institutions to go under and drag the counytry into a Depression (of course he blithely claims that wouldn’t happen in any case).  His laissez faire solution is a noxious pipe dream.  But this show is invaluable in revealing the yawning gulf between Reaganite ideology and how capitalism actually functions.  Thank you!

  • Greg Wetzel

    It is good to have you back Mr. Moyers.   Sometime the truth is very painful to hear.  We clearly have crony capitalism.  I would call our system more like a fascism system because the big banks and corporations are setting the rules.  The is no forgiveness for my student loan and the only way I can remove my loan is the old fashion way.  I never was all that excited about President Obama.  I voted for Ralph Nader ’08 and one did not need to hear him speak more than one time to figure out that the Democrats were not going to make the changes we needed.   

  • Marion

    Excellent work Mr. Moyers. Thank you for taking a complex subject and breaking it down to where I am beginning to understand. I think that is the plan – to keep “little” people like me ignorant. At the very least I am smart enough to watch this show!

  • John A Randolph

    This topic is so very important to our country.  At least this time we have been warned that another melt down will happen again if we don’t act.

    I will stand strong with the Occupy Movement.  Obama has already shown us which side of the fence he is on. 

    Where are the David Stockman’s and Gretchen Morgenson’s on Obama’s financial team? 

    Where are the Ralph Nader’s and Elizabeth Warren’s running for the top posts at the White House?

     Thank you Mr. Moyers!

  • Indira S Makwana

    Eye opening and educational. This information needs to reach ordinary citizens and College students to make a difference in this country that has gone disarray.  Thank you Mr. Moyers for bringing truth in our homes.  Thank you for making a difference.

  • Niall

    Bill, you have the best guests! Glad
    your back.

    Crony capitalism, too big to fail, bail
    outs, corporate welfare & entitlement. We are there. Oligarchy.
    It sickens me to see the revolving door of finance and government.
    So obvious but the majority don’t call it out! Summers, Geithner,
    GE, all the big banks and in the news…Reuters: U.S. Attorney
    General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice
    Department’s criminal division, were partners for years at a
    Washington law firm that represented a Who’s Who of big banks and
    other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud. THERE
    WILL BE NO PROSECUTIONS because you DON’T attack your own

  • still waiting

    Could you please use Flashplayer or put your videos on you tube or something.

    Whenever I try to watch something on Vimeo it always stops loading before it is finished.

    For example, tonight, I wait over 30 minutes to get the first 17 minutes, then it stops altogether, and if I want to watch, I have to start over from the beginning

  • AnneLBS

    Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. Keep trying, but know we upload some videos directly to YouTube. You can find them here:

  • Radiolabzz

    Welcome back Bill, and THANKS! for coming back….. I know I speak for many when I say, “We missed you!”

  • Radiolabzz

    I use DirecTV and live in the deep south.  I have been unable to find Moyers & Co. in my local listings.  The station has been contacted and asked about broadcasting Bill.  Can I do anything else to make sure its available to me and more importantly, to the uninformed?

  • Sandy Leblanc

    An interesting site where they trace people serving in various positions and boards and outlines their connections to one another, and the connections of companies one to another.

  • Steve Woodward

    The information one needs to be an effective citizen or voter seems overwhelming at times, but work like this, work that you do so well, Mr Moyers, helps make it understandable. People often overlook the role journalism — real journalism — plays in our lives, but as long as folks like you, and Amy Goodman, and Greg Palast, keep this fine tradition alive, there’s hope. Thank you, sir.

  • AnneLBS

    Your best option is probably watching here on the site — but know you’ll be watching as early or earlier than anyone watching on TV. We make it available on Friday evenings. Good luck!

  • khayyam

    it is almost incredible that someone ( in_fact almost everyone i know ) sitting in a third world country ( in this case being Pakistan ) understood about the US crony capitalism all along ( and in_spite of  what Stockman says Reagan was one of the main supporters of it ) while educated people from US did not understand what was happening in that country… THAT is the problem with the US… and where were the Bill Moyer’s of the media during the last 3 decades! in a similar analogy the rest of the world knew that there were no wmd’s in Iraq…the true problem is not that the US gov does things that it does but that the citizens let it do as it pleases then later avow ignorance

  • Jffryjones

    This interview defines why jobs are harder to create now.
    …. and he reinforces many things I have written to you in the past:
    1) Fire Tim Giethner
    2) Close the Fed Window to investment  banks (not deposit only bank)
    3) Break up the big banks

    This is THE KEY question for the economy and the Presidential Debate”
    Should the FED window be open to JP morgan and GOLDMAN SACHs
     to MAKE MONEY?  Is this a truly free market  economy?
    Have we lost our free market to the FED?

     JJ O’ Denver

  • Michelle Rogers

    so very disappointed to hear how Obama is so deeply involved with big banks …in his own words he will find himself on the wrong side of history

  • AnonCat

    Another thing to try, if you’re using mobile Safari in iOS 5 like I am: make sure you’re not trying to watch Vimeo videos while in private browsing mode. Once I figured that out (I guess Vimeo requires cookies to work properly) I’ve had no problems accessing this or Mark Fiore’s editorial cartoons at all.

  • Lburgindianjones

    In part, exceptionalism went to their heads. That is the religion, the creed, of the US and is policy.

    So, when this recognition is absent, one can assume that it does not pay to be recognized. But the universal question is, are the elite to be trusted with governance? Even when educated, there is immense inhibition to publicly recognize what is self-condemnatory.

    Education should be universal, if only to relieve the elite of their self-consciousness.

  • 2 cents worth

    It brought pain to my stomach to listen to Stockman. He started this slippery sloop and pretends to be above it all.

  • bystander

    Right on, Mr. Stockman, but how deeply ironic to see you making this case.  I’ll easily concede Bill Clinton’s contribution which was modeled forward.  I’d offer you a bit more intellectual honesty if you’d concede Reagan’s (and, perhaps your own) contribution as well.  Personal incomes that have fallen behind for over thirty years, which prompted the average individual to rely increasingly on borrowed funds, with an expectation that their chief asset – their home – would continue to appreciate, in order to fund their lifestyles and obligations, can be traced directly back to Reagan’s trickle down economics.  I “Laffer Curve” in response.

    Okay, Ms. Morgenson.  Fannie and Freddie made a contribution.  And, maybe we ought to encourage a cultural shift away from individual home ownership as some mark of having achieved the American Dream.  But, Fannie and Freddie are the major mechanism by which the average individual acquires a home.  And, Fannie and Freddie weren’t the first into this mortgage securities game.  And, once the fully private players established the game, Fannie and Freddie – in order to compete – were “obliged” to get in the game with them.  If we want to speak of NIJA loans, no doc loans, and the full panoply of horrors leashed on unsuspecting mortgage seekers, Fannie and Freddie aren’t the guilty parties.

    Solid discussion, Mr. Moyers.  So good to see you back in the saddle.  We need you more than ever.  But, I’m a little disappointed in these guests.  Career wise, both have directly, and indirectly contributed to our “winner take all” economy.  They’ve each chosen some interesting – may I say, self-serving – places on the timeline from which to begin their discussions.  Clearly they illuminate pieces of the meltdown puzzle, but they’ve each chosen some convenient targets for their outrage and concern.  Convenient in that their own individual contributions are cropped out of the picture.

  • Indian Jones

    The diagnosis is always wrong because the doctors have been improperly trained.

  • Laura Diane

    Thank you so much Mr. Moyers for coming back to educate those who have ears to hear. Knowledge is power and we the people need clear concise knowledge more than ever. You inspire us to make a difference one person at a time.

  • Kathy Moyer

    Bill, so nice to see you back on the air.  I know you couldn’t stay away for long.  Your segment with David Stockman was an eyeopener.  We are owned lock, stock and barrel by corporate america and until we get legislation pasted which prohibits the extent of their control, things will not get better for main stream americans.  We want our country back as it was originally set out to function!

  • Lburgindianjones

    There will be no truth. When some elite realize that the jig is up, they must extend criticism. Of course, it cannot be the criticism by the people; it must be criticism that the accruing power is being mishandled. And this fits perfectly with the rise of a fascistic party who will be their model of unaccountability.

    The demons internal will be projected into reality as scapegoat. Supremacism and chosen-people ideology can be veiled by meritocracy and token presidents but “true evil” is still necessary.

    Bill is a true believer in a rational and humane liberalism. Why would he host conservatives who reiterate the fascinations which have crushed liberalism?

    Because they have joined the loyal opposition to an inhumane system of which they are part.

    Bill will never be able to say what needs be said.

  • Patriot

    Start protesting out loud, write, walk, petition, start a peaceful movement for change to take our government back to the people/taxpayers of the USA…wake up and speak up America…NOW!!!..or we have only ourselves to blame!

  • Lombardimsuedu

    Great to discover Bill Moyers is back on the air.  Thanks for an amazing assessment of the
    financial world and the possible coming collapse.  Everything we already knew
    frighteningly summed up.  But in my opinion, though both Stockman and Morgenson
    are on target about crony capitalism, they still spout the social lie of capitalism in practice (the inversion of Adam Smith’s
    ideal) that permeates the mental reality of contemporary society.  The
    social lie: virtue on which capitalism in theory is based (rooted in Locke’s
    theory of private property in a state of nature) has trans-morphed in practice
    into crude selfishness and envy.  The social lie well ingrained in the
    American psyche is that there is such a thing as a free market.  You’ll
    note in Stockman’s and Morgenson’s analysis of capitalism (as opposed to crony
    capitalism) that they are calling for massive regulations against the
    out-of-control and uncontrollable financial institutions which have the power
    to control the minds of citizens and elected officials.  There is no such thing—nor can there ever be—as free, self-adjusting markets.
     If it were free and self-adjusting
    according to the virtues (in Adam Smith’s theory) of wisdom (knowledge of the good), courage (the capacity to control one’s
    selfishness), temperance (each self working in self-submission to
    the good) and justice (everyone sharing in the work and
    product each doing his or her job as servants communally).  Smith believed that one’s self-interest in a
    market system would ultimately result in enlightened self-interest: egoism and
    altruism brought into a complementary relationship.


    Adam Smith sums up free-enterprise capitalism in his Wealth
    of Nations, Book IV: 

    The wise and virtuous man is at all times willing that his own private
    interests should be sacrificed to the public interest of his own particular
    order of society [i.e., his class]–that the interest of this order of society
    be sacrificed to the greater interest of the state.  He should therefore
    be equally willing that all those inferior interests should be sacrificed to
    the greater interests of the universe, to the interests of that great society
    of all sensible and intelligent beings, of which God himself is the immediate
    administrator and director.
      Vince Lombardi

  • F4rio

    Gretchen spoke of the inequity of toxic loans to low income and immigrant borrowers.  Perhaps we need to explore who was behind the mandates to the financial institutions to find find ways to fund these borrowers in the first place.  This does not mean the institutions are without culpability, however many of them were told to fund borrowers who could not qualify for conventional loans.  Pressure came from many special interest groups as well as the government.  The problem is more complex than simply saying the institutions concocted new ways to scam poor innocent people.  And no, I am in no way connected to the financial industry.

  • Midori Futabatei

    Bill, as usual great show.  I was wondering if you plan any future shows on Fukushima Japan? Our MSM has failed completely on reporting the ramifications of the STILL very critical Daiichi Reactors. Still spewing Radiation, poisoning the planet.  Hope you are paying attention to that! 
    Thank for all you do.

  • CalvinLeman

    Will you talk with William K Black, who has many answers?

  • josie

    He’s right about Stockman ignoring Reagan’s role and his Party’s complicity in all this. Reagan’s income tax “reform” law also was unduly complicated with many loopholes for the rich, and was universally dubbed his presidential contribution to the Accountants industry.

  • steveo77

    Bill, please consider covering Fukushima, a tragedy, a cover up, still spewing radiation.   A rancher would not treat his cattle so poorly.

  • josie

    Yes indeed–when Moyers had his TV program I was often startled and disgusted by the conservatives he got on the program, who avoided talk of any necessary and deep political reforms. Even Stockman in this vimeo doesn’t say anything about voting out the Congressionals who contributed to these fiascos. He calls for a constitutional
    amendment instead, to end personhood for corporations aka money is speech. However, constitutional amendments are notoriously difficult to get passed and take too long if successful. Instead we need to get Congress to pass a new law about campaign finance. Let it go thru the courts. Eventually it will force the Supremes to reverse their utterly destructive ruling in the citizens united case. If they don’t reverse it, then pass new laws andkeep passing them until they get the point!

  • B. G.

    So glad your back. PBS just wasn’t the same without you.
    The question is: what kind of choice do we have in electing a president?  We need a George Bailey in the White House.

  • Hells Kitchen

    I second this request. Nuclear power is so dangerous to all life forms. The mutating radiations they spew out is triggering a New Genesis experiment on the planet.

  • Hell’s Kitchen

    VOTE for Ron Paul if you think like that…

  • josie

    Next election the Dems must TAKE BACK the House of Reps. even if we are all mad and disappointed with Obama-scams. Only that will enable the passing of new laws on campaign finance–new laws that take corporate money OUT of politics. If the courts don’t like it, do it again, and again and again–until they get the point!

  • josie

    Sorry–there have been journalists and writers and economists all along since Ray-gun who knew what was going on. As the program points out, Congress was bought and paid for by the elites and rich corporations. In the case of the phony Iraq war, it was the weapons and war industries–check out Halliburton??? Dick Cheney???– that made billions: go figure.
    The same elite military honcho types by the way are running your country, behind the scenes of the lame Zardari govt.

  • josie

    Where are the David Stockman’s and Gretchen Morgenson’s on Obama’s financial team? Where are the Ralph Nader’s and Elizabeth Warren’s running for the top posts at the White House?
    Qite so—where ARE they indeed?

  • josie

    Right! He’s smart and understands the game but he could have admitted his role in it all.

  • Midori Futabatei

    Did you see this Hells Kitchen? Study: 90% higher incidence of childhood leukemia around nuclear plants — Authors call for investigation -International Journal of Cancer

  • Radiolabzz

    I suppose what I meant was, … Is there anything I can do to encourage the PBS affiliates to air this fine program.  I think its as good as anything on tv and should be seen to help enlighten the masses.

  • Leolady2

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers.  We need your program desparately. I see what has happened but I am one of the pessimistic ones…I don’t think Americans have the gumption to correct what’s going on. We do not raise our voices loud enough or in unified ways. There are many progressive organizations out there:  Common Cause, Public Citizen (both excellent organizations but too quiet) Move On.Com, True Majority, Act Blue etc.etc. etc.,  each with their hand out for funds to continue their work. They don’t get together often enough to push change, about all they do is have us sign petitions (and while you’re at it “Chip in”  one more time to support the effort). I’m all chipped out. Maybe if some of these organizations JOINED TOGETHER to promote a third party or a tax payer revolution (Thoreau writ large)  something would happen.  I’D LIKE TO SEE SOME BIG ACTIONS,  BILLBOARDS EVERYWHERE, COPIES OF THE CONSTITUTION PASSED OUT ON EVERY CORNER, WITH RALLIES TO EXPLAIN IT.  I’d be happy to “chip in” lots more money if I saw some real organization, effective, smart,  communication, LEADERSHIP!, true harnessing of the people’s power while we have some left (before organizing and questioning our government becomes “terrorism”).

    With the last two programs, we’ve had a look at how financial institutions and corporations influence politics with lobbying and campaign contributions, but how about having a good look at the politicians who are on the receiving end of those lobbying efforts and contributions? Yes, I mean those congressmen and senators that we elected to represent US but who are doing such a poor job of doing so? How many minutes does it take to coopt a freshman congressperson, I wonder?  Who are the ones who are fighting the uphill battle for us…other than Barny Sanders?  There are many websites one can go to to try and connect the dotted lines from money to lawmakers, but it’s a tedious and time consuming process and many folks have no idea how to do this.

    I have already informed the Democratic Party (each time they call and call) that I will no longer support the party or Obama  but will only give money to specific congressmen or candidates that I see representing the interests of main street and the people. But my one person rebellion doesn’t count for much against those corporate millions. Yes, I’m darned pessimistic.

  • Oblio

    The show once again pointed out that not much has been done in the field of law enforcement to jail the criminals who pillaged our nation.  Of course not.  And they wonder why?  Look at this Headline:

    U.S. AG Eric Holder, DoJ Head Lanny Breuer Linked To Banks Accused Of Foreclosure Fraud

    The reason nothing was done is because the crooks are in the White House, in the Congress. in the Courts, and in the Justice Dept. 

    The Capitalists have won.  Now when will we turn our backs on their failed system and build an America our forefathers fought for?  A nation OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE, not of, by and for the corporations, leaving the people in the position of bondage.

  • Rick

    This program as with the previous program about the economy should go viral. Everyone needs to watch this.

  • Rick

    Mr Moyers, thank you for talking about these very important issues on our economy.

  • Leolady2

    The Dems are on the take like everyone else. Why throw good money after bad? Did they pass tough laws on campaign finance when they had the house? Noooo We need to throw all the rascals out and start afresh.

  • Gort220

    OH MAN I am glad to see you back Bill. ANd all the rest of the Company too.

  • David

    Welcome Back – now more than ever!

  • Andersom211

    Your program on PBS is the only one that even mentions the Wall Street protest.  Thanks for coming back and showing the world what the 99% are thinking and feeling!

  • Proseadvocate

    Dear Bill
    We are happy to see you back on “the air”, even though your guests pitching books about Crony Capitalism certainly made us all very sad. Though you asked, I heard no real solution, since they both agree the problem is corporate thieves in cahoots with government. Logic dictates the folks in government are accessories to such crime and thereby equally culpable. There is no shame or honor among them, yet they call themselves “honorables”, as if a new class of nobility expressly outlawed by our Constitution [there is your next show and I am available to speak]. When Mr. Stockman says take money out of politics; it sounds good but why would legislators vote for an amendment that would put them out of a job, since [once elected] they never have to leave (with power to payback supporters and let those same friends keep them in office)?  Today, the titled bosses have all the middle-managers on the white-collar-welfare dole, so that the only ones to suffer are those at the bottom, who must fight among themselves. Anybody who can manage their own retirement today [with zero interest on their savings] is now a de facto hedge fund operator, without any government to bail them out of their mistakes, which are soon to become the next wave of the decline that is inevitable. All the while, the trailer park unemployed believe that if only free enterprise was at play, then they would miraculously move into a corner office [apparently because they are white and therefore, likewise entitled unlike their scapegoat, Obama’cares’]. While the bosses keep them stupid, is it any wonder that their idea of reform is a 2300 page law that is meaningless? Finally, one extra “honorable” on the Supreme Court dictates that corporations [mentioned nowhere in our Constitution] have mouths, so it should be obvious that the ‘new kings’ are the judges who say black is white, as we “commoners” take our lumps. At least during the time of our Revolution, and certainly the French solution to “nobility”, it was easy for intellectuals and bourgeoisie to know who was keeping them down. A benevolent despot has to be better than what this 230 year-old experiment in egalitarianism has corruptly become. Sadly, we are in for another multi-decade decline that will end in another world war and a real final judgment.  I will be in Heaven by then, since any hope for human kind today is sorely hard to find.

  • Lburgindianjones

    “A benevolent despot has to be better than what this 230 year-old experiment in egalitarianism has corruptly become.”

    No doubt. In fact, the lie of the  enlightenment has brought forth it’s fruit, a system so rotten that benevolent despots are sweet in comparison. What lie you ask? That the aristocracy of the merchants protected us from the whims of mad dictators. When the burgeoning industry of capital fails, however, the merchants are more irresponsible than the king who could be dethroned. Now, madness permeates the entire society.

  • Lburgindianjones

    You must  be mad. Free enterprise capitalism promotes the sacrifice of private interests to God and country? Worship of men leads to worship of idiotic ideas, this being a prime example.

    Did you miss the lecture on Smith as hired apologist? The discipline of the market, to harness your ego to the interests of faceless customers, is recapitulated in the abusive and discredited verdict that success rewards industry. His story was a sham in it’s day as the bankers’ is today.

    His intellectual crime does not now inspire, as the country born coincident to his magnum opus now dies. Can you hear yourself, man?

  • steve

    Thank you Mr. Moyer for taking on this critical subject in a very direct manner. Welcome back.

  • Realdealagent

    Can’t stand the back and forth forum discussions with people trying to show how smart they are.
    We need action… now!
    Whatever it takes.
    No such thing a s peaceful revolution!!!

  • Realdealagent

    Tonight was my first time watching the Bill Moyers show.
    Best commentary I have seen in years. Finally people like David & Gretchen are telling it like it is.
    It’s about time we all woke up and understand exactly what they have told this audience.
    Now we need to do something about it.

  • Bruce

    While I applaud Mr. Stockman for the defense of true capitalism, it is ironic that the father of the proven wrong theory of trickle-down economics would be the one wailing about its consequences. It reminds me of Robert McNamara, who shortly before his death admitted that the Vietnam war was a mistake!

    But that’s better than the people who’d never admit they were wrong, even when they’re proven wrong. We have too many of such people these days.

  • Henry

    Mr. Bill Moyers,

    I am glad for your return to TV.  I’m watching the second installment of
    Moyers and Company now.  The details David Stockman has provided from
    the last decades are freighting.  I nearly fell off my seat cheering
    when, on your show, he suggested amending the constitution.

    Could I suggest a guest for your show. 

    Gary Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico unable to find a voice
    in the GOP, has moved to the Libertarian Party to continue his run for
    the Presidency in 2012.  Making his run all the more significant, the
    Libertarian Party this year seems likely to make it onto the ballot in
    all 50 states–cracking into the two party system. 

    As an independent voter disappointed in the state of politics and our
    government I am drawn to Gary Johnson’s perspective as a real
    alternative to the crony capitalist machine, relief from the crushing of
    our civil liberties and a return to federal fiscal solvency.

    I hope you will agree Gov. Johnson would make an interesting and relevant guest.


  • Guest

    “During detoxification, the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with discontinuation of money use are safely treated. This alone is rarely sufficient to help people with greed in the long term, but for some individuals, it is a precursor to effective money-addiction treatment.”  –derived from eHealth

    They’re all drunk. Last call was back in ’08. Bring in the bouncers.

  • Marcraker

    The Dems at least are sometimes on the side of the 99%. The Republicans are myopically combative, nevewr compromise and the 99% could burn in hell as far as they are concerned but they still need us to do all the work thry cannot and will not.

  • NCourey

    Welcome back Mr Moyers;
    You have done more to inform the American public over the years than the members of the US Congress. I say this as a former staunch Republican.  I hope you never completely retire from PBS, and I wish you many more years in TV journalism.


  • Woody6265

    If thing don’t piviot to us middle americans, there will be a revolution.  and the republicians say corporations are PEOPLE, Please!!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Mr Moyers. It’s good to have you back. I thought this edition was excellent and am sure that there are many more to come. In this case, we could say, past performance IS indicative of future performance. God speed to you.

  • RG

    Excellent journalism!!! This is gives me hope because we
    know what the problem is, but it also saddens me because nothing has been done
    to solve the problem… Another financial meltdown will occur, and I’m afraid
    that its repercussion might be worse than the last one, who know what it might
    do to our Nation Sovereignty and security…

  • Pjinkc

    The real entitlement program we need to eliminate

  • East Texas Guest

    Welcome back, Sir….. it’s been too long since our last Bill Moyers fix.  I suggest a good way to regain our democratic system is to join the effort that Dylan Ratigan started last fall.  A Constitutional Amendment is a must.

  • Alan


  • Rich

    Thanks Bill for bringing this information to the general public. We need more of this: I worship the ground you walk on!

  • Jlakehome1

    Your program on Crony Capitalism with David Stockman and G. Morgenson should be viewed by every member of Congress.  The infomation shared was so revealing and informative that I will be getting off my couch.  I don’t know what I will be doing….. but I will be doing  something!!  We cannot continue to let money be the dominant factor in our political and democratic system.  David in Minnesota

  • Andrinogalan

    I would like to have seen the two interviews topped off with an interview with Ron Paul. He has been saying this for the last 30 years. Wake up, people. This is our last chance to save the country as well as the world economy. Ron Paul is a true American patriot.  Vote for Ron Paul for president of the United States.

  • Jonathan Miller

    Excellent program, and quite alarming – when Bill Moyers spits out the kool-aid and blames Obama for doing nothing ,  the situation is far worse than anyone could imagine.

  • Barry Lockard

    What Mr. Stockman calls crony capitalism I think would better be termed as predatory capitalism.  These capitalists are little better than pirates. They need to be swept from the financial seas.

  • Undiesinabunch

    Crony Capitalism was discussed by your guest  as though it wasn’t understood by the media as it was happening and the story didn’t get out. Your second guest on your show referred to herself as an archaeologist to the facts 0f 2008. Ralph Nader and Ron Paul and Alex Jones were all sounding the alarm bells with their hair on fire in real time before, during and after the fact. Please explain on one of your programs how these canaries in the coal mine are so easily dismissed by corporate media.

  • August Treu

    No that will not do it. We the people need to take back our Government. We must do it thru a Constitutional Revolution. Constitutional Amendments.

  • August Treu

    We need to start working for Constitutional Reform. This is the great task facing the American people. The wealthy and powerful are not going to hand this to us. We must take it back and it will be a lifelong battle. We must start now

  • TomHChicago

    Too bad the Occupy folks didn’t wave this flag. Brings reason, fear AND optimism to the front and center. Thanks. TV has never felt so relevant.

  • Wellsvaughan

    I think we all know what the problem is. What are we gonna do – what CAN we, the powerless do, to stop it?

    Will the petitions help?  Can we get those who are owned by the corporation to vote against corporate ownership of our former democratic process? 

    Does the president have the power to do anything about this – to end corporate controlled elections — now?

    Here’s one petition. Maybe Sanders has the answer, but how to we get an amendment passed by corrupted lawmakers?

  • Edie

    What a great show David Stockman and GretchenMorgenson discussing the ongoing problem of crony capitalism and money in politics. Change will only come if we demand it from the President and Congress and all candidates in this election.

  • Jdhazelett

    Gosh I’m glad you’re  back…we need you.  What can we do?Help us understand what we can do to make a difference.  Please put a program together that will guide the common person on how we can help.  I’m looking closely at Ron Paul, wondering if he might be someone who can’t be bought and would be an example to others.  

  • Anonymous

     I was THRILLED when I saw Bill Moyers on Bill Maher and he mentioned he was back with Moyers & Co.  I felt like a Christian when he first found out Jesus was alleged to have returned!!  I LOVE Bill Moyers and now have the series taped.  I am an ardent life long FDR loving Democrat but honestly Stockman made a lot of sense.  Why oh why does someone not clue in our president to do what I have been saying for YEARS fire Geither, Bernanke, Imelt and those like them and tell Summers or Rubin if they step one foot near the White House through NDAA someone will scoop them off, take them to jail, no trial and throw away the key.  These humanoids should be ASHAMED at how many lives they ruined and how many actually DIED yes died through suicide, loss of wealth, earning capacity and job loss as they took our economy and dropped it into the sea!  Shame on them they and their cronies deserve nothing less than a cell beside Madoff FOREVER!

  • Twlly

    Great show. Even though I thought I understood how the financial disaster unfolded, this show coalesced the history into a comprehensive package. The Oligarchy that now runs the country needs to be exorcised and sent back to the place it came from . The Oligarchs are attacking all their enemies with legislation and funding cuts.  The only lobby working class people had was the unions that was our lobby, voter registration and registration drives are under attack, the AARP under attack for backing the healthcare bill, by cutting their tax exempt status, and even funding for public television because they are a bunch of left wing commies. How about a show on how the right is attacking any opposition and descenting voices  to their rule.

  • Concerned2

    Fantastic!  We do need what is happening to our money – and who’s doing – out in the open.
    Democracy depends on education – you gave us all a great amount of education. 
    It made me want to explore more. 
    Until you know the cause of the problem – you can’t change it!  You can’t stop it!
    I found a site today put together by an Industrial Engineer (PhD from Texas Aand M), worked in the Petroleum Industry: Ross Internation Enterprise, Robert Gaylon Ross, Sr.
    He has all sorts of credentials…and has been researching:  what is actually the cause of our disaster with our banks, Wall Street,  Why is Congress and our money so out of hand?  It is worth looking at:
    Please do look at it:  we need to look at all sides….to make wise decisions.  Education – to help America!
    Thank you, Thank you so very much Mr. Moyer.
    Keep on going – we need you to keep us thinking!

  • Concerned2

    He will:  Take off the “Jffry” and add an “A” to it.  We have to vote for Ron Paul>
    We just can never, ever – not now -Not EVER have anyone who is a member of the TRC (TC), CFR or directed by the BB.  They are really pushing hard.
    They say that they are “Not part of a conspiracy”, their members list is open to the public.
    Check them out:  Republican members of the CFR…Democrat members of the CFR, Conservatives of the CFR,…etc
    America and the “Republic for which it stands”, and our fantastic government – the way our founding father’s set it up IS FANTASTIC!  We must go and stay on as  GREAT SOVEREIGN NATION!
    WOW!  America is too great. 
    Vote out the bad ones.  Boycott the bad corporations. 
     Hit them in the pocket book.

    Go in PEACE…make a difference:  but we can’t harm America and our beautiful land doing it!   Also:  some really rotten Executive Orders to think about (and get off the books!)

  • Marc Bouron

    David Stockman should be president and clean out government of all the crooks.


  • Anonymous

    Great political/economic journalism and What a website!

    The ‘dirty thirty’ link at the bottom of your ‘Licking their Chops’ page on your website  is jaw dropping!
    It says in 2010 lobbyists spent 3.51 billion dollars on congress, which I reckon is eleven hundred dollars apiece per American.     And the dirty thirty corporations that  made $1163 billion in profit, paid no taxes.     Great charts. Go see who.  

  • xenophrenia

    Thank you for making this available for all to see … 😉

  • J B

    Ron Paul is the man, he is not corupt

  • VCGris

    I had an upset stomach when I started watching this.  It only got worse as I watched the interviews.  Are we too far gone ?  Is there any hope to rid the our system of these dream killers and scalawags ?
    Thank you, Bill, for coming back on the air and telling it like it should be; down and dirty. 

  • John Kessler

    I’m not sure if the Dems would have done the right thing without Republicans obstructing them with the filibuster, but with the Republicans filibustering everything we could only get terribly watered down legislation through.

    The only solution is to get some good Dems in the congress and senate, than push them to do the right thing. We should start by demanding Dodd Frank be replaced by the reinstatement of Glass-Steagle.

  • Wcoady

    Crony Capitalism in our political system only when “WE” stop supporting and voting for  a system that empowers the top 1%. 
    The system must change , lobbying by all groups must come to an end . The cost to run in elections has been made so high , it prevents the honest citizens from becoming involved, political party’s are controlled by WallStreet . 

    When we support these political party candidates by voting we bring about our own demise. Trust me, avoid the ballot box and this will send a message to Capital Hill.

    They will either change or they will be responsible for killing the democratic process.

  • Wcoady

    He might not be corrupt now, but if he were President , he would be no different than Bush or Obama. 
    He will be turned into another sheep of WallStreet.

  • RFFisher

    Mr. Moyers, 

    THANKS FOR COMING BACK!  We missed you and are so glad that you have found another forum to bring the TRUTH, back into the forefront of the American public’s thinking!!!

    Hang on as things are not going to change because as of right now, there is to much Money to be made by our Politicians, for them to vote for any changes that would threaten their current windfalls from the Oligarchy that are paying for their elections and promising them future employment once they leave office.
    Hell, what about the ‘insider trading’ money they make in Congress at the direction of their benefactors?   Why can’t you and I do that??
    Just ask yourself, why would a Millionaire like Romney run for President, a job  that pays LESS then what he would make in the privet sector, for up to 8 years?   We are to believe he’s making some sort of sacrifice to take that job??   Not hardly!  Obama will walk away 100 times richer then when he took office and it won’t be from his yearly 430K income from the government! 
    He, like the Majority in Congress are being BOUGHT by these big banks and corporations to ‘Hold the Line’ on any changes that would jeopardize any Corporate profits and let the general public take the hit just like Bush did in 2008 for any mistakes they might make from risky or illegal investments/acts.

    Regrettably,  the only change that will have any lasting impact is to have a full blown Revolution, in the streets!  The Occupy movements protest is as far as it will go and that’s not enough to make a difference! 
    We should demand REAL Change starting with Election Finance Reform! Then changing the players in the White House and in Congress until we have a group in Washington that is willing to fight for the 99% of us and not fear an electoral back lash from their Pay-Masters! 

  • Sabrina Golmassian

    EVERYONE must watch this — I hope Capitol Hill is buzzing right now and Stockman’s name is one everyone’s lips!!!

  • Jaxxbo

    terrific point of view by David Stockman

  • Pkirshner2

    Dear Mr. Moyers,
    Thank you so much for bringing truthful reporting to us.  The information I have received from your interviews is alarming and leaves one with the question of what is the best way to change our current system to work for most Americans.  I’m not sure what course to take, but I will definitely get involved to make a change.  
    Again, thank you so much for providing the necessary information to be an informed voter!

  • Nlouise88

    your right, he’s not corupt.
    but is he sane ?
    How many more people would be out-of-a-job
    if a trillion was cut in one year ?

  • Diane Lindsay

    Thank you for another week of insightful,  compelling, timely, and important information. So very glad you are there-telling the truth and naming and challenging the dreadful drama we are in. Can not wait for next week’s show.

  • TomHChicago

    To say nothing of his head-in-the-sand approach to foreign relations … somewhere there’s a middle ground that accepts, from an empathetic standpoint, our less than objective view of the world’s “evil-doers.”

    Ironically, Obama’s stance on the bankers could not be more Republican … and at least he’s got a strategic plan that takes into account the remarkably complicated situation that Clinton AND Bush legislated us into.

  • Fargojames80

    A very informative program!  Stunning in its disclosures!  Sadly, any President will be prey for these same forces.  Either you were already a member in the Tribe, or you have to join it to get anything at all accomplished in Washington.  We are watching the demise of  another Civilization in progress, the same as the ancient Greeks and Romans watched their civilizations implode, wither, corrupt and reform under other controls.  Outside forces are not destroying us. We are destroying ourselves. One thing is certain, the Old Guard and the Tea Party hoaxsters cannot solve these cronism issues. One group created them, and one group is too naive to to perceive reality.

  • Adsfas

    When will the podcast feed be updated? How much delay from air should we expect?

  • Mark Braly

    Your first two shows were stunning.  I never thought (I lived through the Reagan Administration) David Stockman could be a hero of mine.

  • Balesfr

    Thank you!
    Please continue your work seeking the truth.
    Unfortunately our government is not serving the public good from the Supreme Court, which has foisted upon us decisions which make us an oligarchy, our Congress which is simply a corrupt and bought group and the Executive Branch which seems also to have been bought by the wealthy.
    Please continue “calling out” this widespread corruption and pollution of our public space.
    Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    So pleased you are out there, Mr. Moyers! Thank you for all you do – and are!
    Patricia Strong, MSW

  • Tommy

    It was Bill Clinton, a Democrat who killed Glass Stegal. Stockman has it right, amend the constitution to remove corp money from elections.

  • Tommy

    Mr Moyers, Thank you for your return to PBS. I fear the day you leave us again. Please continue to speak truth to power/money.

  • Wcoady

    Cutting taxes and public infrastructure funds is not the answer. But cutting spending to the military (WARS) and foolishness such as going to MARS just might help. 

    Then toss in cutting off the financing of BANKERS AND BIG OIL just might help too. 

    No as long as political party’s are used as vehicles to hijack what should be our governing system , things will never change. 

    Ron Paul will be run by those who control the party..(WALLSTREET) !  He is just another sheep , from the WALLSTREET FLOCK.   Do not support any candidate that belongs to one of these political GANGS

  • Yvonne Hall

    how can we get this point of view across to normal american citizens?  It is a definite starting point for this year’s election.  We need to pay attention and follow the money.  It’s not about voting democrat or republican, it’s about voting as an informed citizen!

  • Wcoady

    How informed does one have to be , when both political party’s are dancing to the fiddle masters from WallStreet. 

    I am so informed now that , I see no use in voting , just to uphold a political system that taxes me to death , so the political sheep can use my taxes to finance wars, prop up big bankers and big oil.

    So as an informed citizen , why waste my time in voting in a corrupt system.

  • Sue M. Silva

    Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for coming back into the public eye when we (the public) need all the help we can get.

    I’m so glad you brought up the question of “shame”.  At least during the 1929 Crash, some bankers and brokers still had enough conscience left to jump out of windows when they shenanigans were uncovered.  

    Our current capitalist cronies just keep looking for coverups and bailouts and new ways to keep the cash cow going.  They never seem to even consider they have done/are doing is something morally repugnant.  

    I agree that amending the Constitution to remove corporations entirely from elections is necessary.  Take money out of politics  and offer limited candidate debates on PBS as the only TV/radio material to voters.  

    Maybe corporations can take all the money they save from election spending to keep their investors happy AND provide new jobs in R&D, manufacturing and the service industries.


  • Anonymous

    It’s past time that this nation wake up and realize that both our political parties are essentially one and the same. Their leadership and policies are indistinguishable from one another. Neither can be trusted and worse, neither deserves to be trusted by the vast majority of the American people.

    Corporate power has their greedy, filthy hands securely around the throats of this nation—our nation—the nation of the 99 percent.

    The controlling 1 percent has bought off this government and enjoys a “heads they win; tails we lose” position in virtually all policy making matters. Bush and his theiving cronies have been “replaced?” by Obama and his theiving cronies—some ” replacement”—some “change”! It becomes more evident that with every passing day their grip draws tighter around the necks of the “outsiders”
    who are the vast majority of the people that attempt to make this nation work under the destructive policies dictated by our masters, the 1 percent.

    We still hold the true power in our voting power if we use it wisely; not an easy thing to do with the conscious manipulation of the masses by the tremendous power of the masters’ millions.

    If a strong third party led by a statesman (or stateswoman) with an honest platform; financed by small donations from the millions of thinking, concerned Americans that realize that this nation cannot continue as it has over the last  30 plus years, we could effect change that will save America from itself.

    Re-electing Obama or the likes of any Republican nominee
    will never change this nation for the greater good of the true owners of America which has been stolen from us ,the 99 percenters.

    Ralp Nader suggested that you, Bill Moyers, would be such a third party candidate. Are you willing to accept that challenge?  

  • Wcoady

     And the best way to get teir hands off the throat of the nation …is to stop supporting by voting in ” THEIR” system. It makes no matter who runs in this long as that candidate belongs to a party…they will belong to WALLSTREET. 

  • Justintime

    Recently Larry Summers was touted a amybe replacement for
    Ben ” Bugsy”  Bernake

  • Justintime

    This was a solid show and clearly sending this ruth signal out there.
    You can see this with Max Keiser weekly on RT TV

  • Annie

    “We also didn’t have a penalty, there were no penalties paid except by the innocent taxpayers. There were no penalties paid by the people who created the crisis.”
    And Senators like Orrin Hatch who believe that *poor* people can afford to pay more in taxes.

    They’re skinning us alive.

  • RFFisher

    A personal view;
    Hang on as things are NOT going to change in our American Political
    System because as of right now, there is to much Money to be made by our
    Politicians, for them to vote for any
    changes that would threaten their
    current windfalls from the Oligarchy that are paying for their
    elections and promising them future employment once they leave office.
    Hell, what about the ‘insider trading’ money they make in Congress at
    the direction of their benefactors? (Millions, just ask Nancy Pelosi)
    Why can’t you and I do that?? Just ask yourself, why would a
    Millionaire like Romney run for President, a job that pays LESS then
    what he would make in the privet sector, for up to 8 years? We are
    to believe he’s making some sort of sacrifice to take that job?? Not
    hardly! Obama will walk away 100 times richer then when he took office
    and it won’t be from his yearly 430K income from the government! He,
    like the Majority in Congress are being BOUGHT and Paid For by these
    Big Banks and Corporations to ‘Hold the Line’ on any changes that would
    jeopardize any Corporate profits and let the general public take the hit
    just like Bush did in 2008 for any mistakes they might make from risky
    or illegal investments/acts. Regrettably, the only change that
    will have any lasting impact is to have a full blown Revolution, in the
    streets! Sadly, the Occupy movements protest is as far as it will go and
    that’s not enough to make a real difference! We should demand REAL
    Change starting with Election Finance Reform by overturning the Citizens
    United Decision by the Supreme Court! Then we must change the players
    in the White House and in Congress until we have a group in Washington
    that is willing to fight for the 99% of us and not fear an electoral
    back lash from their Pay-Masters!

  • Sue Barnhart

    No the president does not have the power to do anything about it but he does appoint the supreme court justices as they leave.  It was a 5/4 decision & every justice supporting citizen untied was appointed by a Republcian President & every one opposing was appointed by a Democratic President.  So you know inspite of all the know it alls claiming Democrats & Republicans are “the same” or “just as bad” the facts are they aren’t the same.

  • Barb Shillinger

    So glad you are back, Bill Moyers!!!! We missed you and we need you now!! Barb Shillinger

  • Jim Manning

    It’s time to create a
    “Trickle-Up economy” where the 99% will have the opportunity to
    earn an adequate and a reliable income (up to $10,000.00 per
    month.) At the present time it looks like the 1% are not going to
    change so let’s create an economy where people can choose their
    own destiny.

  • Bracknelldc

    Corruption amuck!

  • Eduardo

    absolutely! it’s not enough to exchange ideas  or debate on the internet, we have to  get out there  and create real change, constitutional amendments banning all corp.  donations, limits for personal donations, taking the money out of politics and electing statesmen instead of politicians.

  • Eduardo

    Actually i came on this  site looking for Bill’s “must reads”, couldn’t find a list any where, any help out there?

  • Dogwud

    Ms Morgensen is a child. She has no idea of how people who should not have gotten mortgages exploited the system. My neighborhod was overrun by people who recieved 103% financing had no investment in the community and screwed the govt and the communities they live in. Having no knowlege of the middle class or reality is why she is a POS–large diamond ring included.

  • Rmis32

    When the likes of David Stockman starts sounding like an OWS spokesman, you know the system is corrupt.

  • Jack Smith

    Like the rest who are running R and D, none of them is adequate to be President, including the incumbent. The 2-party System freezes out the worthy possibilities.

  • Jack Smith

    But Stockman admits it. Present elected officials act like they did nothing wrong and point the fickle finger of blame at someone else. Your criticism of Stockman is in realty a a criticism of Bill Moyers because he selected the interview for his 2nd Show. Tread softly 2 cents when you shoot at Bill Moyers. You are way off base.

  • Bflora58

    by the wealthy for the wealthy

  • Ralph N. Wharton, MD

    Bill Moyers is at the top of his game!! NEVER RETIRE!!!
    WE NEED MORE OF THIS-how about getting Angelo Morvillo for an interview by Gretchen Morgenstern??
    RNWharton–a devoted fan of Bill.

  • AnneLBS
  • Nhansen854

    Oh, I’ve been waiting a long time for all of this to come to life or rather the majority of Americans (some) are ready to hear it.

  • AnneLBS

    Hi Adsfas,

    The podcast is updated every Friday, here’s the link:

  • Tmac

    I think your reporting on this matter is great but only touches the surface.  Why don’t you call out the individuals who signed loan docs knowing full well that they could not afford those loans, and why don’t you call out the public employees with fat pension benefits who have also created this mess?  Your reporting  seems like no more than an infomercial for the Left. 

  • Y Turtell

    might be of interest to the younger members of the audience.

  • Mwebfoot

    Read more deeply about Ron Paul, he would have
    no federally supported  social programs such as
    social security, medicare, education, military – it would all be privitized.  Read the latest Nation
    article which details his proposals.   Remember
    who he named his son after – a very dark figure.

  • Brenda

    OMG! Where have you been Bill Moyers and wow we really do need you now!  You are the best answer so far to putting a precise voice to the frustration we feel towards, the Democrats, Republicans and Corrupt Corporations!

  • Anonymous

    I applaud your return and althrough your described as a broadcast journalist Mr Moyer, you sir are in my view a lone statesman expressing and viewing a defense for our Republic.  The interview with Mr. Stockman and Gretchen Morgenson was both telling and alarming. I would love to see our president and the GOP candidates for president debate the topic and issues layed out in this compelling interview.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Moyers:

    I appreciate your voice, which was sorely missed of late. Thank you for your insight, your decency, and your wisdom.

    The time has come for people to mobilize and require that our institutions cease to maintain the current kleptocracy. If the people do not make strong, sustained demands, nothing will change.

  • Mike

    I totally DISAGREE!!  It’s been shown many times over that the courts will always side with the corporations.  as long as corporations have the ‘rights of people’. The courts hands are bound in this matter.  They must interpret the laws as written.  The First amendment  constitutionally allows for these corporate donations to happen.  We DO NEED an amendment to the constitution that denies corporations the right to participate in any and all elections.  Only $100 (2012 dollars))/person should be allowed.  This means explicitly removing corporate person hoof from the constitution.

  • Kathi G

    There are plenty of  citizens in the USA that have understood  the “Crony Capitalism” over the last 40 years, knew Iraq didn’t have w.m.d., etc. Real journalism is outside the main media….by gov design…. How well do you tell your gov what to do and they listen…in Pakistan? Well the 1 % of USA wealth run this country…..not because people are too ignorant……to understand

  • Anonymous

    has anybody seen INSIDE JOB,A CRIME STORY LIKE NO OTHER. byCharles Ferguson. orCAPITALISM:A LOVE STORY by Michael Moore Thats why the protests

  • Randy Hyle

    Why? Didn’t you see the beginning when they were showing who Obama appointed to his financial team? Geithner, Bernanke, the head of GE, Etc.? Obama and the Democrats feed at the same corporate trough as the Republicans, while pretending to be “populists”. Crony Capitalism isn’t restricted to one party or the other, the corporations are covering all their bets. What we need is a 3rd party, made up of Democrats and Republicans like Stockman and Morgenson, who have been there, and understand how badly we are being screwed. More Senators and Congressmen like Bernie Sanders, and Al Franken, and a few others. There are many who try, but they are being drowned out by the money. Until this country, and the people DEMAND a 3rd party that will stand up to those entrenched in power, nothing will change. Do you really think that those profiting from the corruption in government are going to do anything of substance or importance to change it? What have they changed that has done anything about those who caused this meltdown? How many of those responsible have been prosecuted by the government? Unless there is a radical change brought on by a 3rd party that is TRULY Populist and Progressive, that can channel that anger of the 99%, and is ACTUALLY “of the People, by the People, and for the People”, nothing will change in the 2 Corporate Parties. Unless they are challenged, where is the incentive to bring about the changes needed?

  • Randy Hyle

    Unless movements like Occupy Wall St. can attract true progressive, populist, reformist LEADERS, nothing will change. The only alternative to the 2 party Corporate government is a THIRD PARTY, made up of politicians who are truly fed up with how Washington does business. Ralph Nader, Russ Feingold, Bernie Sanders, and Al Franken, just to name a few. I hope there are more. A party that can attract people like David Stockman and Gretchen Morgenson, who understand what is really going on, and are fed up with it. The Green Party is a start. Ralph Nader has been fighting this fight since the 60’s. He has warned us time and again about the cronyism and corruption in Washington and the two corporate parties have ostracized and marginalized him as some sort of Quixote like dreamer or crazy. It is time for all those in the political world who truly want change to unite behind one banner and challenge the powers that be. The People are finally waking up to what has been going on and what the 2 party corporate system has done to this country. They are waiting for a leader or leaders, and a party, that speaks for them! Until a truly Populist, Progressive movement is mounted to challenge the entrenched corporate machine in Washington they have NO incentive to change a system that makes them wealthy and rewards their cronyism.

  • Bwbklyn55

    Welcome back, Bill. You, Jon Stewart and Stephen Cobert keep me sane in these trying times.

  • Bonyfngrs

    THANK YOU!  I need to know the truth, and Bill Moyers shows it best.

  • Bonyfngrs

    Bernie Sanders of Vermont has petition for constitutional amendment.  Being independent, and senator helps. go to his website to sign

  • Davevelo1

    Dear Bill,
    It’s good to see you and hear your words of wisdom, logic and most of all, honesty once again. It is my hope that more people that think the way you, and the rest of us (your posters) do, will step forward and merge their voices with yours

  • Lorne

    SO glad Bill is back on the air!  Excellent programs!

    Or at least what I’ve been able t watch.  PLEASE get the programs OFF vimeo!  The lack of random-access means every time the player hangs or I need to resume later, it has to start all over from the start.  I just don;t have the time to wait for the first half-hour to buffer for the third time.

    But THANK YOU BILL MOYERS for still fighting the good fight!

  • fedupwithpoliticians

    The only problem that we now have is that David Stockman’s and Gretchen Morgenson’s Jan 20, 2012 testimony on the Bill Moyer’s show are in direct conflict with the President’s state of the union speech last night.

  • FullMoonVideo

    Actually, Kith Oberman and The Young Turks news shows on
    current Tv talk about the OWS protests all the time.

  • Jeff Saxton

    Our political system is broken. As a people, Americans now identify
    themselves with some label rather than as Americans. Significant political
    discourse has largely broken down, not just in Congress, but between many in
    our country. My belief is that for significant change to occur, the citizenry must
    take back our government!

    Unfortunately, the Wall St
    protest is “pigeon-holed” as a leftist movement. Analysts say that
    most in this movement blame the bankers while most in the TEA Party blame the
    politicians. But the ultimate responsibility (& blame, if you want to play
    that game), originates with American citizenry! What all sides want are
    accountability, transparency & fair representation. The Wall
    St protesters should be declaring they WANT the
    TEA Party present, since their ultimate goal is the same thing, to have fair
    representation! Unfortunately, much of the impetus of the TEA Party was
    hijacked by political & monied interests. The Wall
    St protest wasn’t against business, it was against
    a political system that allowed the banking & financial corporate institutions
    to have more political rights than American citizens. I think adjudication of
    this corrupt system is something most citizens, regardless where they stand on
    the political spectrum, would support. And by passing the two amendments I
    suggest below (or some improved variation), makes our system more accountable
    to its citizens & less accountable to money.

    1: A Constitutional Amendment needs to be passed to make all lobbying
    illegal as it is in the UK
    which has a vibrant democracy. This will prevent so many in Congress, from
    various administrations & members of the military from getting a
    “gravy train” job following their tenure in government, such as Billy
    Tobin did after driving through G.W. Bush’s Medicare Part D through Congress. Jim
    Cooper (D-TN), has stated that Congress had become a “Farm League for K
    Street” in the sense that congresspersons
    were focused on lucrative lobbying careers after Congress rather than on
    serving the public interest while serving. Also, the “uber-lobbyist”, Jack Abramoff
    has stated that staff members of members of Congress, once promised a position
    at a lobbying firm, will change the course of upcoming legislation to benefit
    their prospective employers. This will not eliminate some “gravy
    train” corruption since some government employees can be compensated for
    “selling out” the best interests of American citizens when they take
    private sector jobs, but at least their won’t be hoards of K Street lobbyists
    representing the monied interests. If SCOTUS wants corporations to have a
    voice, they can do so directly, not with paid hacks.

    2: Another Constitutional Amendment outlawing all political ads by political
    parties & anyone else, on all media (TV, cable, radio, etc), with the exception
    being the internet & maybe print media, like newspapers. In the UK,
    there are NO TV & radio political ads! This will be extremely difficult to
    pass, considering the amount of money involved, but think of the benefits! No
    longer will money represent the ability to buy politicians (even the
    “honest” ones must be influenced by this payola), and to get their
    message across, politicians will have to rely on town meetings, flyers, the
    internet & perhaps newspapers (who could use an infusion of need cash). In “Republic
    Lost”, Lawrence Lessig has stated that 30-70% of a politician’s time is spent
    raising money for their next election. This would free up races to those
    without huge “war chests” & would make politicians more
    accountable to the people they serve. And remember, Amendments trump
    everything, including SCOTUS! They can only interpret the Constitution, they
    can’t declare any part of it unconstitutional. And for those who worry about
    their loss of First Amendment rights of free speech, please notice that presently
    money buys access to politicians and the ability to disseminate political ideas
    and opinions.

    We need to take back our political system. Failure to do so will most
    certainly result in the chaos of a violent revolution or the imposition of a
    military/police state. Even now, the recent passage of the National Defense
    Authorization Act contains articles which will facilitate the indefinite holding
    of political prisoners without access to legal representation. President Obama’s
    reinsurance that this would not happen in his administration is hollow
    considering that if Newt Gingrich is somehow elected as President, he would
    have the power to lock up political prisoners. Even if Obama is reelected, his
    term is over in four years and our freedom is uncertain.

  • Don Q. Public


    Bill Moyers, in several PBS iterations, has always been
    ahead of the stories and issues that matter to Americans. However, in the case
    of the first two installments of his newest venture, Moyers & Company, I am
    left with the impression that he and his producers are — like much of the
    mainstream media — still playing catch-up.


    Notwithstanding the contributions of Stockman and
    Morgenson (in Moyers & Co. episode 102), there are several blogs on the
    Internet that cover most — if not all of the aspects — of issues related to
    the multiple, post Ronald Reagan financial crises. Yes, our current crisis has
    its roots as far back as 1980 — even further back, according to some experts
    (once NPR fixtures) like Kevin Phillips.


    NakedCapitalism.Com, for example, is among the best of a
    few dozen well researched, written and sourced non-traditional media outlets
    that receives money (donations) from me that I (not too long ago) gave to
    public radio and television. What separates these other non-traditional news sources,
    which are too many to name in their entirety here, is that they are not afraid
    to use words like “fraud, fraudulent inducement, influence peddling,
    racketeering, treason, etc.” to describe the so-called “bad behavior,
    unethical-but-not-illegal actions, immoral-but-not-illegal business, etc.”


    In other words, The New York Times, The Wall Street
    Journal, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, NPR, and yes – PBS – are just
    too gutless to risk offending powerful DC and NYC criminals. If this situation
    is as dire as Stockman, Morgenson, and Moyers & Company think it is (and I believe
    they are right) then they (as media figures) need to stop pulling their punches
    for the sake of being polite to their, mostly white, mostly educated, mostly
    affluent audiences – inclusive of the crony banksters and their corrupt
    political partners (accessories before, during and after-the-fact).


    Public broadcasting has always prided itself on providing
    “breadth and depth” and “more light, less heat” during its reportage. As a veteran
    of public broadcasting, I have heard both of those tire bromides more times
    than I can count. So, I have a new challenge for the producers of Moyers &
    Company. In the process of doing “breadth and depth,” how about “MORE LIGHT AND
    MORE HEAT!” If the situation is this dire, then for the love of God, turn up
    the volume!

  • Don Q. Public

    Bill Moyers, in several PBS iterations, has always been
    ahead of the stories and issues that matter to Americans. However, in the case
    of the first two installments of his newest venture, Moyers & Company, I am
    left with the impression that he and his producers are — like much of the
    mainstream media — still playing catch-up.


    Notwithstanding the contributions of Stockman and
    Morgenson (in Moyers & Co. episode 102), there are several blogs on the
    Internet that cover most — if not all of the aspects — of issues related to
    the multiple, post Ronald Reagan financial crises. Yes, our current crisis has
    its roots as far back as 1980 — even further back, according to some experts
    (once NPR fixtures) like Kevin Phillips.


    NakedCapitalism.Com, for example, is among the best of a
    few dozen well researched, written and sourced non-traditional media outlets
    that receives money (donations) from me that I (not too long ago) gave to
    public radio and television. What separates these other non-traditional news sources,
    which are too many to name in their entirety here, is that they are not afraid
    to use words like “fraud, fraudulent inducement, influence peddling,
    racketeering, treason, etc.” to describe the so-called “bad behavior,
    unethical-but-not-illegal actions, immoral-but-not-illegal business, etc.”


    In other words, The New York Times, The Wall Street
    Journal, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, NPR, and yes – PBS – are just
    too gutless to risk offending powerful DC and NYC criminals. If this situation
    is as dire as Stockman, Morgenson, and Moyers & Company think it is (and I believe
    they are right) then they (as media figures) need to stop pulling their punches
    for the sake of being polite to their, mostly white, mostly educated, mostly
    affluent audiences – inclusive of the crony banksters and their corrupt
    political partners (accessories before, during and after-the-fact).


    Public broadcasting has always prided itself on providing
    “breadth and depth” and “more light, less heat” during its reportage. As a veteran
    of public broadcasting, I have heard both of those tire bromides more times
    than I can count. So, I have a new challenge for the producers of Moyers &
    Company. In the process of doing “breadth and depth,” how about “MORE LIGHT AND
    MORE HEAT!” If the situation is this dire, then for the love of God, turn up
    the volume!

  • Anonymous

    How about an Amendment to the  Constitution limiting U S Representatives to Two 4 yr terms and U S Senators to Two 6 yr Terms ???

     Also, both would have a Pension of no more than 33.3% of their annual  pay while in office, and their “Retiree Medical package” would be the same as a Military Officer’s.

    Perhaps we should outlaw, somehow, “Baseline Budgeting.” You know – where each budget for the next Year is increased by 8% automatically !
    As I recall, the Rule of 7 states that “Compounded daily,at 7%, you double your money every 7 years.”
    ——Is it any wonder the U S Budget is Out of Control with 8% increases every year ???

  • Anonymous

    How about an Amendment to the  Constitution limiting U S Representatives to Two 4 yr terms and U S Senators to Two 6 yr Terms ???

     Also, both would have a Pension of no more than 33.3% of their annual  pay while in office, and their “Retiree Medical package” would be the same as a Military Officer’s.

    Perhaps we should outlaw, somehow, “Baseline Budgeting.” You know – where each budget for the next Year is increased by 8% automatically !
    As I recall, the Rule of 7 states that “Compounded daily,at 7%, you double your money every 7 years.”
    ——Is it any wonder the U S Budget is Out of Control with 8% increases every year ???

  • Joshua

    Take it back from who? They are as corrupt, in so many different ways, that only  a fool would actually place any hope in them.

  • Pappydanny53

     all hope is lost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pappydanny53

    This is what happens when you replace GOD with money.. We read all about in the bible way before it happened !!

  • bluefishlady

    This is fantastic and educational–we have missed you so much Bill.  Thank you for coming back in this time of our need.  Your service to the people is phenomenal!

  • JBab

    Bill – A fantastic discussion with Stockton and Morgenson, many thanks.  One thing I’d like to point out.  Yes, the banks are at fault for making it too easy and perhaps preying on unqualified people to take mortgages.  However, the Federal Gov’t shares the blame, as they had in place a regulation about low and middle class mortgages being a percentage of the overall amount of mortgages a bank made.  To meet the requirements, and avoid penalties, the banks went to all types of marketing extremes to write mortgages; fairs, expos, one-on-one marketing.  Anything to meet the quotas.

  • JBab

    I’d add that POTUS should be 1 six year term.

  • Ed hass

    Benito Mussolini–who COINED the term Fascism–defined it as “the marriage of business and government.” I know people throw around the term Fascism to mean just about everything, but I’ll use the definition given to the term by the man who coined it, and doesn’t Citizens United fit that definition so neatly?

  • Robert


    Unfortunately cronyism has run rampant in America forever;
    if you are a teacher, you need a connection with the school board; if you want to be a MD, it sure helps if someone in the family has a practice:if you want to be a celebrity, it sure helps if your aunt is a star;even being a ballplayer, a connection to a scout is essential; like you mentioned on your show:” the system is not broke , the system is fixed.”

    Equal opportunity has never existed; perhaps for a poet or a saint; but, at least while watching your show, we can dream of that fair chance we beleived in as kids . Your exceptional show
    allows us to ask  and perhaps answer questions in our dreams, and I guess that is a start.

  • steinsvold2

    An Alternative to Capitalism (if the people knew about it, they would demand it)

    Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”. She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

    I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

    John Steinsvold

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
    ~ Albert Einstein

  • lyrita59

    Welcome back, Mr. Moyers!
    In the spirit of dialogue and referral, I would like to recommend Naomi Klein’s 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”.   Alongside Mr. Stockman’s revealing interview, it will go a long way to filling in the blanks concerning U.S. (and global) financial activities, both past, present, and – perhaps? future.

    “…Just gimme some truth!…”  -John Lennon

  • KevinJ

    Thank You for the “Enlightenment” on the dangers we will have ahead.  It’s time for the masses to say no to the big corporations and their influence with our politicians.  The supreme court did wrong with there ruling on the contributions to the political candidates.  It is appalling how this gov’t we have now is a bought gov’t for the rich and not “FOR THE PEOPLE”.  
    Thank You for the show.

  • Charles Haynes

    This show is like water after a long thirst. I was so sorry when Mr. Moyers left and so grateful he’s back.

    That being said… it seems that a programming flaw has crept into television, at first network TV and slowly into public TV as well. In the midst of a particularly important moment in a discussion or drama a little graphic pops up to give an option of doing something else than concentrating on what you’re watching. Sometimes it’s a more benign, but nevertheless distracting, identifier. Why is that needed? Why, when the matters which are discussed are really important to us all would the producer deliberately distract the viewer.

    Somebody sold somebody a bill of goods on that one. This is a strong statement that you don’t respect your own programming. Just can’t be the case… can it?

    More power to you Mr. Moyers. I’ll be there for every word regardless of what I have to ignore to get to it.

  • Wcoady

    Sometimes learning about just how corrupt politics is , can hurt. But nevertheless we have only ourselves to blame, because we are the ones who empower the powerful to put the screws to us using the umbrella of government to hide behind.

    The sooner we wake up to the fact, political party’s are nothing more than legalized gangs, which are used by the top 1% to abuse us…the better off we all will be. 

    Suggestion: Stay away from the ballot box and prevent assisting in your own demise.

  • Wcoady

    Treasury Department has approved payouts exceeding $5 million for 49 executives at firms that most benefited from the Wall Street bailout. The executives’ pay came despite the $500,000 salary cap established under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). 

  • Robert

    Hi Josie,
    It is so difficult to vote for President Obama
    when he selects Timothy Geithner as his Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Geithner is the same person who bailed out AIG; unless the President believes in keeping his enemies close to him, I don’t get it.

    You are so right about today’s conservative Republicans: they make President Nixon look like Ralph Nader. Bill Moyers – How about a last hurrah?

  • Wcoady

    Both the Dems and Reps always appoint people from the top 1/10 of the top 1% to positions of control. I mean why else do you think people like Geithner and the head of GE who got a  60 Billion Dollars of our taxes to the head of Jobs .

    Think back to the appointments the Bush family made when they were in the White House protecting the same top 1% ! 

    We are being had people …both party’s look out for the top 1% who leach off the taxpayers, because they know they can…because we empowered them to do so.  WAKE UP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. 

  • Lzena2

    Thanks for being back! Sanity needs your program.

  • Skydiver1961

    Thank you!
    Bill you have been a mentor since introducing me to Joseph Campbell. 
    I really appreciate the information you provide.
    I am a high school teacher and relay information to the next generation.  Much of that information is from you.
    Again, thank you for fighting for America, democracy, liberty and truth!!

  • Ladeira9

    Mr. Moyers, I’ve admired you for decades, still do.
    But I must remind you that at the end of Jimmy
    Carter’s presidency, the prime rate was 21% and
    unemployment in Peoria, IL was 18%. The recession
    of 1979-1983 was a very bad one domestically, even if
    (-thankfully!) not on an international scale.

    The only “Trickle Down” theory that would work is to
    summarily, simultaneously vote all the big bank accommodating legislators out of office. Then sense, sensibility and justice would trickle down to the rest of us,
    a nourishing rain.

  • Ladeira9

    Good ol’ southern boys Phil Gramm and Bill Clinton stuck together to bring down Glass-Steagall, an important set of mid ’30s banking acts that have yet to be improved upon. –Bring Glass-Steagall back from the grave!

  • Ladeira9

    Hear, Hear! 

  • Anonymous

    Quite frankly, I don’t see what any of this has to do with Israel.

  • Bestirling

    Maybe Micheal Moore has is right.   The American system is rotten.  Republicans are rotten and now the democrats are almost as bad.   We live in a Plutocracy and socialism may be the best way out.
    As in Canada we need perhaps 5 or 6 parties – equally funded, and not by corporations.

  • gary soboleski

    congress writes constitutional amendments, and both parties are dirty on the take . elections mean nothing toward change. we need an honest man and mr.smith[jimmy stewart] also teddy roosevelt are dead.        bully! bust those banks.

  • Tom

    Yes, Stockman has it right—remove corporate money from elections—let’s publicly finance elections.

  • Connie Bowes and Thomas Platt

    Just viewed your show with David Stockman and Gretchen Morgenson  on Crony Capitalism.  This is shocking and disgusting and just what we have known, and feared, anyway.  We are now angrier than ever.  At least Occupy Wall Street protesters had the guts to protest openly.  We the silent middle class doesn’t know what to do with its anger.  And it looks like Obama is right in the middle of the cronies. We feel more powerless than ever. It’s depressing and feels very hopeless.  Now you can see why Congress and the Senate don’t do anything….they are all controlled by the financial institutions.  Thanks for putting this show on and keep up the good work exposing the crooks who really run this country! Help us to take some action that could really get changes, as the group that runs this country certainly won’t.  


  • FranG

    Aaaeeeeeehhhhh! Wrong answer. You lose by default.

  • Michael Pettengill

    One thing that bugs me is the failure to tell us who in Wall Street was bailed out.

    Let me tell you who was bailed out: the investors.  And who are the investors, the 100 million people and businesses with money in money market funds, 401Ks, IRAs, pension funds.

    Let the banks go down and the stock become worthless and the bonds get big hair cuts, and all of a sudden a 100 million people with their retirement savings in Wall Street see a bigger and permanent hit.  Yep, stock prices crashed in 2008 and early 2009, but most of the stock prices were recovered by the end of 2009.

    Stockman can talk about making the 100 million reckless speculators suffer the consequences because he has a better insight into Wall Street and can put his assets into US Treasuries while as a Wall Street banker he put in place the system to have pensions and money market funds put other peoples money into high risk bonds.

    We have been sold on the high returns from Wall Street’s financial innovations since Reagan took office with the Federal government working really hard to get every worker to put their retirement savings in Wall Street.  And Stockman was a leading advocate of doing this because government regulated and backed savings were too low return and involved too much government.

    Now every worker’s future depends on Wall Street being bailed out when the system Stockman helped create innovates itself into a bubble that only ends in doom.

  • Michael Pettengill

    And he has called for all of us workers who he did everything possible to put all our savings in Wall Street to take responsibility for our reckless investments in Wall Street speculation and take a 50% loss on our saving because we workers need to suffer for creating the bubble and then crashing the economy with our pensions and IRAs and 401Ks.

  • George

    I would take issue with the starting date of the bail out economy.  Mr. Stockman dates it to the Mexican crisis of 1994.  I would put it ten years earlier when Continental Illinois Bank failed.  The term “too big to fail” was popularized by Congressman Stewart McKinney (R-CT) during hearings on the failure of Continental.

  • Michael Ball

    Mr. Moyer,

    This is the second time that I have watched your 3 part series about Crony Capitalism and the banking community.  It is an outstanding commentary and reflects a degree of objective journalism that is sorely missed today.  As a society we are in such a bitter battle about one political party versus the other that we are blinded by the real issue that your broadcast discusses.  It is so unfortunate that your broadcast (or one similar) does not reach the broader portion of our society to provide the truth about the problems that we as Americans collectively face and are so blind about. The voicemail that you mentioned as you closed is simply one example of our inability to move past the political rhetoric that blinds us from the truth.  If more people understood the facts presented as part of your broadcast it would allow us to have a bigger impact on who we elect to represent us.

  • Chuck

    Elizabeth Warren is running for the Senate in Massachusetts to take Ted Kennedy’s old seat back from the Republicans. Whether her victory will signal any change in the Senate remains to be seen.

  • Chuck

    Don Q.,

    Moyers is playing catch-up, but I thinks it”s more because he hasn’t been a regular fixture on TV for a while than from any complicity with the rest of the corporate-controlled media. (The “right wing” corporatists who own the media outlets hide their complicity by missing no opportunity to decry the media as “liberal” and “biased” except, of course, for the “balanced and fair” network.)

    Don’t forget Jim Hightower (former Texas Ag Commissioner and early Bush opponent) and his Hightower Lowdown web site in your list of those shining light on the shenanigans of Wall Street. As for PBS,  sadly, I see the Koch name more and more on PBS. When Bush the Elder killed government support for PBS and they had to go searching for corporate sponsors, the political bent of PBS was significantly altered.

    With the Republican presidential field to a man wailing over the Obama administration’s “assault on free trade”, it’s encouraging to see a Republican like David Stockman standing up and speaking truth to the rest of his party. At least he didn’t wait to make a death-bed confession.


  • David M Gerard

    Thank You Bill, Thank You So Very Much for returning!
    Without you, Jon Stewart was left out there all alone,and
    allthough Jon is very good, he’s not that good!Thank You

  • Wendy Alison Nora

    Gretchen Morgenson does not appear to “get it,” even as she is optimistic that Main Street “gets it.”  She appears to believe that the Federal Reserve Bank is part of the government.   The Federal Reserve Bank is a private corporation and is not a part of the “government.”  A mortgage loan is a simple process consisting of a promissory note and mortgage or deed of trust.  It does not have to be complicated.  The process was deliberately complicated to commit fraud on the homeowners, investors and taxpayers and to ultimately crash our economy and the US dollar.
    David Stockman does “get it” and describes in shocking detail how the private banks profit from access to what is now virtually free counterfeit money from the private federal reserve. 

  • NanSee

    I’m so glad you’re back on the air … I’m hoping that perhaps you’d do a show or two on the “Federal Reserve” and the removal of the gold standard.  i.e. when dollars became “debt notes” and how this has influenced the current financial situation we’re in.

  • Rkapoun

    Your show is quite an eye opener – Great Show!! – how do we educate more Americans as to what’s really happening in our government instead of subscribing to the Fox News propoganda?  Your program should be aired on prime time TV.

    Rose Kapoun

  • Gary Grant

    Yes, true democracy is about choice. This current ” duocracy ”
    has created a chock hold and has polarized the process to the detriment of ” We the People ”
    More polital parties would encourage and spur greater debate and reenergize this great nation.

  • Johnson Smith

    Please send copies of the three shows aired so far to the White house ASAP.



    As they say, “The system is not just broken, it’s fixed.”

  • Eliot W. Collins

    As they say, “The system is not just broken; it’s fixed.”

  • Helen O'connor

    Keith Olbermann and Cenk Ugar are no Bill Moyers

  • Helen O'connor

    Get over it.  That is a ridiculous position especially seeing what the Repukes have in store for us.

  • Alaksa

    Thank you, excellent program topic, style and I am hopefull that it will wake up people and only then our system will chnage. 

  • MB

    A big thank you!

  • Don Q. Public

    Points well taken, Chuck.

    However, so-called “liberal” objectivity (political spectrum balance, economic, point-of-view balance, and he said/she said objectivity — those liberal media obsessions) don’t necessarily arrive at a better “truth” than obvious conservative bias, in my opinion. There is a logical reason that right- and left-leaning organizations and causes both buy media time on NPR and PBS. These outlets both appear sound and sage, staunchly inoffensive. They are perceived with legitimacy based in methodical, long-form delivery — whether balanced, narrative reportage or investigative, conversational chat. In other words, the medium is the message. And, I’m not sure that they are helping the public much more than CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews or much of the popular print media.

    Thanks for the critique. I appreciate your candor.

  • Glenn U. Flecked

    David Stockman found religion and expresses his dismay on public broadcasting? Ironic, since it was his cuts which led to the eventual corporatization of public broadcasting. Please forgive us our sins! However, we will never forget.

  • Glenn U. Flecked

    Yeah, thank God! KO and CU are much better!

  • Glenn U. Flecked

    PBS and NPR were pretty slow on the OWS uptake, but they certainly are NOT the only news source (major or minor) that covers OWS. In fact, OWS has their own press. It’s called the “Occupied Wall Street Journal.”

  • Guest

    At last, a real voice in the wilderness. PBS news has gotten so bland and compromised I can’t watch it anymore. If they show balanced news, then I am the pope’s son. Frankly, all they need to do is add some drug company advertising and they would look and sound just like NBC or CBS.

  • Odalisque

    I  was wondering if there was a change in law which allowed corporate boards to hire CEOs and offer them stock options as as part of their benefit package. At some point, this started happening back in the ’80s which is when upper incomes began to soar as middle income earners found their income stagnating. Perhaps it was not a law, but some sort of change in the philosophy of corporate boards. I attribute a lot of the corporate bad acting to this change.

    This in itself has created a corporate philosophy in which short-term gain is more important than the long-term stability of companies. Vulture capitalism and the unconscionable behavior of financial institutions became possible as a result of this change. It has also created an entire class of people who receive special tax consideration as a result of this type of payment. Witness presidential candidate Romney whose says his current income is solely in the form of carried interest which is taxed at a much lower rate than income earned through actual work. Even the  $100 million he gave to his sons was given as carried interest so that they do not have to pay into the higher tax rate that their gardeners, maids, and other servants do.

    Perhaps, a law saying that the CEO of a company cannot receive any stock options in payment should be instituted.

  • Praksys_consulting

    I saw this show last week.  It really sums up the state of the union in a different way.

  • Jyfree

    Yes, we have missed you.

  • Neilhenriques123

    Just fantastic, Please show more of  David Stockman and Crony capitalism.  Also please show more financial exposure  by David Stockman.   He should have warned Alan Greenspoon, (the man who tailored made the economy ) I have lost my family, my fully paid up house, and job because of this. I am an immigrant, and worked so hard, only for it to slip away. 

  • Mckim39

    I could not watch  MSNBC , CNN and Fox. These media all feed to
    both party of  1%.  

  • localguy

    corporations make it sound like unions brought this country down.this 7% of the workforce is really hurting this country.

  • A. K.

    Thank you Mr. Moyers,
    People like you are the hope of this great country.
    Thank you for caring, thank you for making it understandable
    for lay people, and thank you for coming back.
    We need more people like that to come forward and help to return this country to it’s greatness again.

  • Bestirling

    Listen.   There is too much wealth at the top of the corporate ladders.  This takes money away from the middle classes and poorer.  This is exactly why the ecomomy tanked.  Too much money in the hands of a few is dangerous and NOT democratic.  The middle class ( 75%-80% )  of people  need a decent salary.  The average American has not had a raise since 1979, in relation to inflation.  Most of the money has gone to the fat cats at the top of the corporate ladder. ( top 15-20% )  Money is concentrated and therefore the majority of people do not have enough income to stimulate the ecomomy.  It won’t get much better until the wealth is spread.   Income disparity has never been greater between the rich and the working classes in the middle, who need a big bump in salaries, and benefits..

  • Bestirling

    You are correct.  When will the masses rise up
    in revolt ?  What will it take to wake up the majority of hard working people in this country
    that are getting shafted by the top corporate fat cats ?   Income Disparity has never been so wide and so apparent.  This is NOT a democracy. We live in a Plutocracy.  People get your head out of the sand and awaken ! 

  • Mikna

    History is eveything.  When someone tells you, “history isn’t important”, you know they are trying to scam you.

  • Thomas

    Mr. Moyers,

    Thanks for giving John Reed a forum for expressing his perspective.

    I am posting the internet link to an article written by Tom Armistead in which I believe he provides a very important and somewhat nuanced perspective that differentiates between what he calls “jungle-ethics financialism” and “free-market capitalism.”

    It is fairly long but I believe you will find it to be well worth the time that it takes to read it.…

  • Hecgeor1

    Thank you Bill. It’s great to see you bring out the  hard topics that many of us want to keep sleeping through but know that eventually we are going to wake up and face.

  • Hheikel

    For some good sounding solutions to the problem of crony capitalism, see Jon Stewart’s interview with Lawrence Lessig.  Make sure you watch part 2 also.—lawrence-lessig-extended-interview-pt–1 

  • uncle george

    First things first. Campaign finance reform.
    Next the lobby preople..We have to keep the wolves away from the front door or the poor reps will never be able to do their job objectfully.The congressman have to be insulated.If   and this is a big IF  America can get this done then maybe a person can run for office without the cost of millions herad and read some that I believe would make excellant congressman Far better than some that we have  today. They have office people hat take care of the details. All that they would need would be honesty,a sense of duty the the office and the people and their country. As far as their opinions It seems that if they have a love of counntry and the rest of the attribures as well as a sense of the future, all will be well.OBama did not have a lot of experievce but I believe that he has done very well. If they followed the Constitution and the oath of office that should help them take care of the people they represents and ther countryas well. 

  • Frank Luke

    It’s astounding how shockingly right on telling things as they are, what we all figured was going on but the series confirmed it and more! Good job, Bill and Co!

    Mr Haidt’s show about Conservative thoughts and perspectives and how they see the world was also very useful. It shows that we really should pay attn to our “enemies” and to demonize them is to do what they do to more liberal thinkers. It shows why we’re in the contentious predicament we find our politics and country now embroiled in.

    TY, Bill and Co! Good job well done. Keep up the great work!

  • Greg Bays

    Search “Making Friends Through Ron Paul” on Facebook Groups and join the American R[ƎVO˩]UTION! Ron Paul 2012! 

  • disgusted

    The Reverend Moyers has enriched himself off of government funds and his party is  a major believer in crony capitalism and enriching small groups of elite while leaving the regular guy out in the cold.  If Rev. Moyers paid any attention to his God Joseph Campbell he might open his eyes to myth of the little guy and the narrative that Democrats are for the little guy and the Republicans are the party of the rich.

  • Curious

    Moyers openly said he no longer associates himself as a ‘Democrat’ because the Democratic party is no longer for the middle class people, just as his first guest no longer adheres to the Republican party because of lost and broken values it used to stand for when he was younger. I appreciate you sharing that information, can you post some evidence to our claim of him enriching himself off of Government funding? I don’t know anything about Moyers.
    Or, if you are just talking, take your hate elsewhere.

  • Ejaudette

    If ayone’s still following this Stockman interview, note my concern as a retired person who has most of his retirement in the very instruments that Stockman decries.  When Wall St. stocks tumble, my portfolio takes a beating.  When I need funds and the market’s valuation looks like it did in March, 2009, for example, what am I to do?  I’ve been coopted by “the system.”  I’d like to let, e.g. GE take it’s lumps as Stockman says the real free market system is supposed to work, but then I, too pay the terrible price.  GE can recover, but my timeline is not as long as theirs.  Sigh.

  • Anonymous

     This ‘Money Connection’ is really at the Heart of most of our problems. ‘Wall Street’ is just a channel, conduit.
       The lack of Integrity colors EVERTHING. How about a Focus Show on ‘Lying and Cover-Up’? Nothing personal, but a focus on how pervasive, accepted, and ultimately destructive this has become. Here is where ‘The Money Went’ (wholesale) and continues to go, to this day. 
          Lies serve no-one but those with ulterior Motive. It is not about ‘National Security’, which is only an excuse to lie still further, but about a giant scam (yes Military/Industrial/FINANCIAL complex) involving the purchase of The People’s Representatives (all branches) to Further the Scam, and keep the Public in the dark.
      Who are the ‘Real Terrorists’? A bunch of (justifiably) angry ragtags in the Middle East (scapegoats and Patsies) or ….
    our own Government?

  • Mohrdesign

    Why isn’t David Stockman running for high office??

  • Wm Visocky

    Man over man is a homosexual act. What the banks did to the middle class is worse than child molestation. Shame on them.

  • Anonymous

    Recently I saw a column by Nicholas Kristof reprinted
    in a local newspaper. Here is what caught my attention.

    In it Kristof says, “Greece truly was a mess. For example, if you’re a business owner, taxation often works like this: Instead of paying a tax bill of, say, $100,000, you pay $40,000 to the state, hand a $20,000 bribe to the tax collector, and keep 40,000. ….. Rather, it was corruption, inefficiency and a ystem in which laws are optional. ”

    He moved me to write to him and ask if he saw a US parallel in which the ‘bribe’ here is smaller (a relative token campaign contribution and/or lobbying expense) and the amount of taxes paid vs taxes owed is much less than the 40% he suggests in corrupt Greece. Our difference is that our Supreme Court has blessed the bribes in Citizen’s United, and “Winner Take All Capitalism” and/or “Crony Capitalism” so favors the richest of our richest that we no longer see ‘bribes’ as bribes, but rather as support for lobbyists and campaign contributions to candidates.  In the cold light of day, the real difference between the USA and Greece is indistinguishable (or we come off worse because we fail to acknowledge the corruption.)

    It is really important to realize that just reforming campaign contributions does not fully address Crony Capitalism. It is important, but if we do not design a straightforward, constitutional provision that reforms lobbying, we still remain prey to those who today are only too glad to provide the ‘experts’ who will write the details of laws that the legislators they have paid for via campaign contributions. If campaign finance reform is thorny, lobbying appears to be an impenetrable thicket. How do we distinguish the difference between my right to petition the legislator who represents me and the right of the corporate or inordinately wealthy individuals to all the access they can afford. This is the very nub of Mr. Franklin’s “a republic if you can keep it.”

  • Diane

    Mr. Moyers,

    Please consider a program with Professor Sir David King regarding his recent UVA lecture on A Scientific Analysis of 21st Century Environmental and Economic Changes. 

    We must include issues of the environment during this election year.

  • Terry

    You’re making plenty of claims how about some documentation.

  • Don Heady

    Thank you for adding Mark Fiore!

  • Anonymous

    Crony capitalism cannot help but lead to Crony democracy. common sense to everyone except the Supreme Court, all of whom obtained their jobs from Presidential appointment and political lobbying. so why not Citizen’s United? It benefited each of them.