Fans of Jon Sanders’ efforts to document Carolina Cronyism might be interested in a new book from investment consultant Hunter Lewis titled Crony Capitalism in America: 2008-2012. Jeremy Hammond reviews the book in the latest issue of Barron’s.
If you think you know what a corrupt place Washington is, think again. Author and investment consultant Hunter Lewis shows that no matter how bad you thought it was, the nation’s capital is much, much worse.
It can be misleading, Lewis suggests, to refer to the public versus the private sector, since it is so often heard to tell where one begins and the other ends. The label “government-sponsored enterprises” rightfully applies not only to companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but also to a long list of other businesses — and even entire industries, such as defense, health care, and law.
The corruption has numerous manifestations apart from the familiar one of politicians showering their private benefactors with special privileges. There is also the revolving door of Washington, where the public servants “regulating” corporate behavior are drawn from the very same corporate world they are charged with overseeing. The, after passing regulations favorable to their own industry, they go right back to work in the “private” sector, making profits from the policies they helped enact.
Whatever the means, the purpose is to circumvent or eliminate the free market.