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Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Laura Tyson talks back
Laura Tyson worked in the Clinton administration.
Laura Tyson a former National Economic Adviser in the Clinton administration has claimed there is "too much money in United States politics."


Dr Tyson who is now a Dean at the London Business School told Tim Sebastian in an interview for BBC HARDtalk that she would call this money "influence" rather than bribery.

Dr Tyson served in the Clinton Administration from January 1993 to December 1996. Between February 1995 and December 1996 she served as the President's National Economic Adviser and was the highest ranking woman in the Clinton White House.

"Contributory negligence"

In the interview, Dr Tyson went on to comment on the current spate of corporate scandals in the United States which have hit the headlines. In particular, the WorldCom and Enron affairs which she believes were the result of "contributory negligence".

The collapse of Enron was the largest bankruptcy in US corporate history
The collapse of Enron was the largest bankruptcy in US corporate history
Speaking in particular about the collapse of energy giant Enron, which has been plagued with accusations of artificially inflating profits and dubious accounting practices, Dr Tyson went on to explain why nobody noticed the warning signs.

"The blind eyes were many, many blind eyes," she said.

"The analysts, the lawyers, the accountants, the investors themselves. This was after all a classic boom and in a classic boom as we have seen many times before in history, investors simply close their eyes to warning signals."

"When it starts tumbling down everybody looks for a villain."

However she maintained that there are lessons to be learnt from these affairs.

"I would say we've learned about the need to have regular authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission".

"Less able to deliver"

Dr Tyson also spoke out about her time as a National Economic Adviser in the Clinton administration, including her opinion of the former president's successes during his terms in office.

"Clinton from the point of view of the American public remained quite a popular figure, " she said.

"From the point of view of the American punditry, he was someone who did not live up to expectations because the scandals which surrounded him made him much less able to deliver, particularly in the second term."

The interview can be watched in full on Wednesday 4 September on BBC World and BBC News 24 at the following times:

BBC News 24 (times shown in BST) 0430, repeated 2230

BBC World (times shown in GMT) 0330, repeated 0830, 1130, 1530, 1830, 2330



HARDtalk with Tim Sebastian is broadcast Mon - Friday on BBC World and BBC News 24
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