Paul Craig Roberts Interview 3-27-2013
I interviewed Paul Craig Roberts on February 23 rd . This is part two of a two part interview.
Here's a link to the first part of the transcript.
And h ere's the link to the audio recording Podcast .
Thanks to Don Caldarazzo for doing the transcript.
Rob Kall: There is a growing discussion of the idea of Public Banking as a potential solution. Do you know much about it, have you paid attention to it, and what do you think about it?
Paul Craig Roberts: I don't know a lot about it, but is it North Dakota or South Dakota? One of them has a -
Rob Kall: North Dakota.
Paul Craig Roberts: Yeah. And that system works very good.
Rob Kall: Just for background, North Dakota has had a Public bank for over fifty years, and North Dakota is the only state that has not had major problems with maintaining their budget. I'll be speaking at a Public Banking conference that is going to be in California this summer. Boy. It would be neat to have you there, but -- I've got to get you looking at this, because Public Banking could really pull the rug out of the banking system that we have now. It does exist in other countries.
Paul Craig Roberts: I don't think it can happen here until the banking system collapses.
Rob Kall: What would that look like, a collapse of the banking system?
Paul Craig Roberts: Well, it'll be, I mean, who knows? (laughs) It'd be horrific. But you have to rebuild and re-create. And so, if people have learned their lessons, and there are any sensible people available to lead, you could rebuild it on public banks, or certainly you would want to modify dramatically the system that is in place now. It's a total failure. See, a lot of people -- Libertarians - keep taking issue with the title of my book. They say, "How can you call this Crony Capitalism we have now 'Laissez-faire?'" "I don't call it Laissez-faire," I said. "It was the failure of Laissez-faire." What is Laissez-faire is deregulation, and we've had twenty-five years of deregulation in the United States; and it's happened in England, and France, and Australia, New Zealand, and (to a lesser extent) Canada. They didn't deregulate the banks in Canada.
Rob Kall: And this is the model that Friedman and the Chicago school of economics talks about, really, isn't it?
Paul Craig Roberts: Well, I don't know. I think Friedman gets a lot of bum raps. As I've said earlier in our discussion, sometimes regulation goes too far, becomes counter-productive. I don't think Friedman ever advocated repealing Glass-Steagall. He was an expert on the Depression and the failure of the Fed. The Great Depression was caused by the Federal Reserve, it made policy mistakes and shrank the supply of money, and that's what caused the Great Depression.