You Wouldn't Be Eating Cat Food If We Had Listened To Brooksley Born

Meet the canary in the coal mine that no one wanted to listen to: Brooksley Born. As head of the obscure Commodity Futures Trading Commission she sounded the warning in the late 90’s about the need for more transparency and regulation of the derivatives market, but a coalition of Beltway insiders, including the then rock star Alan Greenspan, formed against her to shut her up and shut her out. After the economic collapse, it’s time for them to eat crow. Learn more in tonight’s FRONTLINE presentation of “The Warning” on PBS at 9pm eastern, or watch online.

In an interview with Stanford Magazine, Born recalls a lunch date she had with Greenspan:

Well, Brooksley, I guess you and I will never agree about fraud,” Born, in a recent interview, remembers Greenspan saying.

“What is there not to agree on?” Born says she replied.

“Well, you probably will always believe there should be laws against fraud, and I don’t think there is any need for a law against fraud,” she recalls. Greenspan, Born says, believed the market would take care of itself.

Prophet and Loss [Stanford Magazine]