A good start from Barry Ritholtz:
The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.
This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten rewards for the well-connected few. The rest of the population? Fuck ’em. This is not what Capitalism is, at least not as conceived by Adam Smith.
The peril gravely putting our nation at risk of failure is Crony Capitalism.
We can define this as the return on capital generated not by innovation and risk taking, but rather through the unholy alliance between the business and political classes. Instead of genuine competition, they use the states’ power to legislate, regulate, grant hand outs, permits, government licenses, special tax breaks, and other dispensations as favors to enrich each other.