David Dayen interviews former IMF director Simon Johnson on the administration’s work to tie up a 50-state agreement to settle mortgage fraud:
DD: I am reminded in seeing this settlement of your Atlantic article The Quiet Coup, where you talked about a financial oligarchy ruling in America. Does this really reinforce that?
SJ: You know, when I wrote that a couple years ago, people were skeptical of my characterization. Now I get more people coming up to me saying, “You know you had a point.” I mean, just look at how the new White House Chief of Staff is a former Citigroup executive, and he’s replacing a fomer JPMorgan Chase executive, and he replaced a former Fannie Mae executive. The dominance and power of the financial sector is just out of control. They are treated like no other sector in the country. And it has to stop.
I feel like the Administration is arrogant on these issues. We’ll see if it catches up with them in the election. A lot of these swing states have major housing issues. I think the Obama campaign should think about that.