Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz said the Fed was "corrupt ," Elizabeth Warren said she wanted to fight for the CFPA until there were "blood and teeth" on the floor, and Robert Rubin said "virtually nobody " saw the crash coming.
Which of these three things is not like the others?
Stiglitz made the "corrupt" comment while addressing a Roosevelt Institute conference on financial reform. He observed that any country that came to the World Bank for help and offered an oversight plan like ours would be turned down:
"If we had seen a governance structure that corresponds to our Federal Reserve system, we would have been yelling and screaming and saying that country does not deserve any assistance, this is a corrupt governing structure. It's time for us to reflect on our own structure today, and to say there are parts that can be improved."
He allowed afterward that there might have been a little "hyperbole" in his use of the word "corrupt," but stood by his pointed observation about the unsoundness of our regulatory system. His comments are worth reviewing at length.
Elizabeth Warren expressed her support for an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency  in the strongest imaginable terms:
"My first choice is a strong consumer agency. My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor."
If those remarks were a video game, Senators would be crying out for it to be rated "graphic" and "violent." She added: ""My 99th choice is some mouthful of mush that doesn't get the job done." To paraphrase Jay-Z, she's got 99 options and a compromise ain't one. EW is definitely bad ... in the good way.
So two leading economic figures spoke strongly and forcefully in favor of a reality-based worldview. Then there's Robert Rubin ...
Rubin was quoted as saying that "virtually nobody " saw the crash coming. If you expand the word "virtually" until it's wide enough to exclude a wide array of economists and finance experts, including at least two Nobel Prize winners, than maybe he's right. Otherwise it would be necessary to conclude that Rubin's living in an alternate reality where unpleasant facts never intrude, even when the world is burning all around him. Like Nero, but without the violin.
Which would be nothing more than a sad sidenote to history - one that involves a man getting everything wrong and earning billions of dollars for his trouble - except that the people running our economy today are his disciples.