Why Nations Fail and Robber Barons Succeed with Dr. James Robinson!


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Welcome to Capital Account. It has been more than 10 years since Argentina defaulted on its debt, but the saga continues with creditors to this day. Last week a New York court ruled harshly against Argentina and the decision could erode the ability of countries to spurn creditors in the future, according to the FT. But what has influenced the economic development of Latin American countries, like Argentina, versus their northern neighbors? James Robinson, the author of Why Nations Fail, tells us why economic prosperity as primarily a function of political institutions is crucial for a nation's health and survival.

Also today US President Obama spoke with business CEOs, including Douglas Oberhelman of Caterpillar and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, about Fiscal Cliff solutions. Earlier today he told reporters "I'll go anywhere, and I'll do whatever it takes to get this done. It's too important for Washington to screw this up." Now, once again, the nation's economic fate may be held hostage by negotiations at the highest levels of government. Where does this path lead? We talk to James Robinson, researcher of comparative economic and political development at Harvard University, about America's future as a super power.

Plus according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, manufacturing is slowing and businesses are worried about the Fiscal Cliff. But what exactly is the Beige Book? We tell you why it matters in Word of the Day.

And Botox is expected to become a 2.9 billion dollar industry by 2018, according to Botox Market Research. Now some poker players are investing in "poker-tox," a way for players to keep their poker faces without giving away their hand. Lauren and Demetri show off their "pokertox" face in "Loose Change."