February 13, 2009

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Amy Goodman: What's a zombie bank? Democracy Now! | Robert Kuttner and Michael Hudson on the Obama Administration's $789 Billion Economic Stimulus Package and $2.5 Trillion Bank Recovery Plans. AMY GOODMAN: What’s a zombie bank? MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, it’s very funny. A zombie bank is supposed to be a bank that has negative equity. And the word “zombie” comes basically from parasitology. Everybody—people often say the financial sector is a parasite extracting. But a parasite does more than that. It doesn’t just take nourishment from the host; it takes over the host’s brain, so the host thinks it’s actually part of the host’s body and, in fact, it’s its child, and it nurtures it. And the financial sector represents itself as being part of the economy. Mr. Geithner, two days ago, said that we can’t have a recovery of the economy without making the banks healthy and whole and profitable. And that’s just the wrong thing. We can’t have a recovery in the economy until we let the banks take the losses and we let the hedge funds essentially take their losses. There was no need to give $135 billion to AIG, which yesterday was raided by Britain’s office of serious crimes for financial fraud, when the US government refused to move against it for fraud. It’s paying the fraudsters instead of paying the victims, and then it’s blaming the victims as if somehow the bank’s a zombie instead of the bank turning the economy into a zombie economy run by insiders in Washington giving themselves...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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