“The Next Financial Crisis Lurks Underground”: Bethany McLean, author of famous book on Enron

Writing in the New York Times: “These companies have survived because, despite the skeptics, plenty of people on Wall Street are willing to keep feeding them capital and taking their fees. …fracking could not have taken off so dramatically were it not for record low interest rates after the 2008 financial crisis. In other words, the Federal Reserve is responsible for the fracking boom.

….Private equity titans have made fortunes, but not necessarily because the companies they fund have produced profits. Private equity firms have generated some of their returns by selling one company to another, or taking a company they’ve funded public.

…It’s all a bit reminiscent of the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, when internet companies were valued on the number of eyeballs they attracted, not on the profits they were likely to make. As long as investors were willing to believe that profits were coming, it all worked — until it didn’t.”

The article gives a good summary of many of the arguments summarised in this chronology, albeit from lesser known writers.

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