Banking Concern

Friday, April 02, 2010


NPR’s economics correspondent Adam Davidson has spent the last two years breaking down the financial crisis with clear, simple language. But Davidson is stymied by regulation, which he says has proven resistant to even his brand of explanatory journalism.

Comments [4]

Arley Lewis from San Carlos, CA, USA

I share Adam's frustration at how hard it is to explain the need for and impact of financial regulation. Check out Mike Konczal ( ). He's one of the few who can do it. Adam and Mike should do some shows together.

Apr. 05 2010 05:50 PM
Peter Crowley from salem, ma

Brooke, you were far too deferential to Adam Davidson. His financial coverage has always led to befuddlement and confusion for listeners. In his world, everything is always too complicated and boring for regular people. How can we possibly assign blame?
Obviously, this serves the interests of the rats who thrive on public befuddlement. Adam says "Democrats are from big Northeastern cities! You can't trust them!". So, Adam helps the monolithic GOP to obtain a free pass to obstruct every effort to police the rats' nest. And Brooke lets it slide.
Brooke, why didn't you ask Adam how many GOP senators support any effort to police the rats' nest? It's a partisan issue, and it's irresponsible to let Davidson pretend that everyone's equally at fault. The Democrats have plenty to explain, but the current reform effort is struggling against massive Republican opposition. Listeners to your conversation with Davidson would have no way to learn this.

Apr. 03 2010 10:49 PM
Chris Thomas from Cincinnati

This piece so outraged me (I'm sure you never hear that). I am a huge fan of Adam Davidson and his wonderful coverage of the financial mess of the last couple years, but for him to suggest that this is not a morality play is not only absurd but a terrible abdication of his responsibility as a journalist. Brook rightfully called him on the statement and he replied that the situation was nuanced. I take this point, but it misses the larger issue (which he partially cops to) that there ARE individual players and institutions who did wrong by their customers both morally and perhaps legally, and further, the players who were in aggregate most responsible for the financial collapse (Goldman, B of A, et al) are the most intentionally involved (one of a million examples: Goldman convinces AIG to buy crap knowing that AIG doesn't know what its getting into). So my point is, it's Davidson's responsibility as a journalist to make it clear for people who are the most important players in the collapse, where did the money go, and exactly who is legally (if not morally) culpable. Don't tell me it's complicated, these are human created institutions and regulations that can be remade with the proper will from the public. And the public will never have the will unless the press gets on a drumbeat of sniffing out which of these private institutions and individuals are most responsible (yes, that's a judgment call-make it) and then as the brilliant journalist that you are MAKE THE CASE to the American people. Please, for Jebus sake, do it now before the whole house of cards truly comes crashing down.

I fault Davidson and Michael Lewis will the same kind of omission, but I take them both at their word. We are in for a world of shit if new regulation (with teeth) doesn't materialize. I just hope they chomp down on the bit and kick some powerful moneyed interests in the... assets before it happens.

Apr. 03 2010 09:09 AM
Clopha Deshotel from Bridgeport CT

David, can I give you a helpful "visualization" for ethics and morality that could help in your efforts? Think about the planet earth and its rotation on its own axis - then access a picture in your mind of all of the other planets in our solar system revolving around the sun. Morality is like the earth rotating on its own axis, and Ethics is like all of the planets revolving around the sun. The ambiguity created by using "moral and ethical" as if they are synonyms is where the fog starts to rise up and cloud your "windshield."

Apr. 03 2010 06:28 AM

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