BTS 1/5/09: Economic Crisis 2008

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Today's edition of Beneath the Surface features some of Suzi's best interviews on the crippling economic crisis that swept the country - and the world - in 2008, and is poised to bring more pain in 2009.

We start with a comprehensive and in-depth look at the origins of the current crisis. Acclaimed economic historian and UCLA professor Robert Brenner takes a look beneath the surface at the long-term trajectory of the economic downturn and says that in this period of financialization, "what's good for Goldman Sachs is good for America."

Then, we revisit the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Economist Michael Hudson sheds light on the nature of the capitalist nationalization of the banking industry, a process funded by US taxpayers.

Finally, Professor James K. Galbraith talks with Suzi about what an Obama New Deal could look like, and he suggests some radical policy proposals that he believes are possible strategies to find a way out of the crisis, and toward recovery.

1. Robert Brenner is a professor of history at UCLA, and runs the Center for Comparative Theory and History. He is the author of The Economics of Global Turbulence and The Boom and the Bubble. He is currently writing a forthcoming book and article for New Left Review on the current economic crisis.

2. Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Arthur Andersen, and later at the Hudson Institute (no relation). In 1990 he helped established the world's first sovereign debt fund for Scudder Stevens & Clark. Dr. Hudson was Dennis Kucinich's Chief Economic Advisor in the recent Democratic primary presidential campaign, and has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002)

3. James K. Galbraith teaches at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin. He has co-authored two textbooks, The Economic Problem with the late Robert L. Heilbroner and Macroeconomics with William Darity, Jr. He is the author of Balancing Acts: Technology, Finance and the American Future (1989), Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay (1998), Inequality and Industrial Change: A Global View , Unbearable Cost: Bush, Greenspan and the Economics of Empire (Palgrave-MacMillan), and his latest book, The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too.