Simon Johnson talks about corruption and the rule of law

Simon Johnson recently spoke about corruption and the Rule of Law with Art Buono of Lawyers.com:

Art Buono: Simon, thanks for taking part in the Rule of Law Interviews. So, just to start, could you tell us a little bit about what’s happening with financial reform? It’s been about a year since “13 Bankers” was published. And you’re a warrior right on the front lines there. What’s going on, on the battleground? And who’s winning?

Simon Johnson: Well you know it’s obviously – it’s going to be a long haul to change the relevant rules and power structure around these issues. But I’m fairly optimistic at this point, for a couple of reasons. First of all, the academic Read More »

Egypt: Collective Intelligence, Distributed Leadership

Events in Egypt offer a real time lesson in the continued trend of the global decline of the single leader and the emerging power of collective action taken in support of freedom.

The convergence of technology with political and economic factors has generated a formidable opposition with distributed leadership.  Opponents of the Mubarak regime used Facebook and Twitter to share and vent their frustrations with oppressive rule and increasingly desperate economic condition – resulting in the initial “day of rage” on January 25.

Yet, the organization and collective action of hundreds of thousands of Egyptians continued even after the government shut down the Internet.  Crowds still appeared, information was shared, food and medical care were provided and attempts at violent intimidation were resisted.

All this was accomplished without a single, unifying face for the opposition.  This is not Iran in 1979, with the Ayatollah Khomeini returning to lead the overthrow of the Shah.  There is no Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Prize winner kept under house arrest in Burma for the “crime” of winning an election. Read More »