Hunter Lewis, co-founder of global investment firm Cambridge Associates, Circle Bastiat blogger, and co-founder of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org, has two new books out this week: Free Prices Now! and Crony Capitalism in America, 2008-2012.
According to the press kit:
Free Prices Now! begins by asking why the human race is still so poor. How can it be that billions still lack even enough to eat? It then provides the answer. A prosperous society is a cooperative society. Cooperation in turn depends on trust. And trust requires honesty.
The most reliable barometer of economic honesty is to be found in prices. Honest prices, neither manipulated nor controlled, provide both investors and consumers with reliable economic signals. They are the foundation for a successful economy.
A corrupt economic system does not want honest prices, honest information, or honest results. The truth may be unprofitable for powerful government leaders, private interests allied with them, or economic “experts” whose careers have been devoted to price manipulations and controls.
The US Federal Reserve and other central banks have created a system of “liar loans” and false prices. Other parts of government have contributed as well. In effect, the regulators on whom we depend have become dis-regulators.
Can it really be this simple, that economic prosperity and job growth depend on allowing economic prices to tell the truth, free from the self-dealing and self-interested theories of powerful special interests?
And on Crony Capitalism in America:
When private interests need a political favor, they know whom to call. When politicians need money, they also know whom to call. The people involved try to keep most of it concealed behind closed doors.
This is the system that prevails in Russia after the fall of Communism. But increasingly it is America’s system as well.
Many people regard Wall Street as the epicenter of American capitalism. In reality it is the epicenter of American crony capitalism. Where Wall Street stops and Washington begins is impossible to say. This situation was not caused, as many suppose, by the Crash of 2008. Rather the Crash was caused by the longstanding Wall Street-Washington partnership. But the problem extends far beyond Wall Street to every corner of America.
If we are going to do anything about our present economic problems, and also give the poor a chance at a better life, we will need to eliminate crony capitalism and restore an honest economy.
Although full of hair-raising stories, this book is also about solutions. It tells us in clear and simple terms what is wrong and what needs to be done about it.