We've all heard the term crony capitalism, but what does it mean exactly? We know it involves using government to enrich certain interests, through contracts, lobbying, and rent-seeking. But, crony capitalism is far more: it is a systematic distortion of real capitalism, from local restaurants and real estate all the way up to global commodities and FOREX markets. Here to consider all the angles is our guest Nick Sorrentino, proprietor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org.
Nick and Jeff Deist discuss how huge public companies—think defense giants like Lockheed Martin and Boeing—engage in an obvious form of fiscal cronyism, while Wall Street funds and investment banks engage in what we might call monetary cronyism. And we also discuss how average people reap undue benefits in a million small ways, from selling their homes in artificially overheated markets to making money from small businesses made possible only by bubbles. Is that tech startup really "worth" a $50 million payout to the founders? Thanks to the endless distortions of crony capitalism, we may never know.