Mannen bak «Inside Job» er tilbake med bok. Mer av det samme, men særlig skyts mot akademia.

Jeg likte Inside Job, selv om den ikke var uten feil. Intervjugrunnlaget var omtrent så bra som en slik film kunne få tilgang til. Vel, Charles Ferguson, regissøren, er ute med bok. Her er utdrag:

Academics on industry payrolls are now so numerous and powerful that they can often prevent universities, professional associations, and academic journals from adopting or enforcing strong conflict-of-interest policies. They also have a chilling, even dominant, effect on several areas of academic research and policy analysis.

The sale of academic «expertise» for the purpose of influencing government policy, the courts, and public opinion is now a multibillion-dollar business. Academic, legal, regulatory, and policy consulting in economics, finance, and regulation is dominated by a half dozen consulting firms, several speakers’ bureaus, and various industry lobbying groups that maintain large networks of academics for hire specifically for the purpose of advocating industry interests in policy and regulatory debates.

These consulting firms are not like McKinsey or the Boston Consulting Group. They do not exist to help companies make better products or operate efficiently. Their principal focus is on helping companies avoid or influence legislation, public debate, regulation, prosecution, class-action lawsuits, antitrust judgments, and taxes. The largest academic regulatory consulting firms are the Berkeley Research Group, the Analysis Group, the Brattle Group, Criterion, Compass Lexecon, and Charles River Associates. All have relationships with many prominent academics. Their combined academic roster is around one thousand, and their combined revenues are certainly well over $1 billion per year. (Most are private and don’t release revenue information.) In some cases, they include a majority of the prominent academics in important policy-related fields, such as antitrust policy and the economics of regulation.

Han skriver videre om rollene til to prominente akademikere, Hubbard og Summers.

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