As beneficiaries of the government's TARP program, storied names such as Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) received more than $150 billion in government aid. And while many of those big banks have presented investors with some juicy opportunities in the wake of the meltdown, questions remain about the power of those financial institutions. MIT Professor and former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson goes so far as to say that the finance industry has "captured our government."

In the latest installment of our Motley Fool Conversations podcast, The Motley Fool's Chris Hill talks business with Johnson, the co-creator of the Baseline Scenario website. Among the questions we cover:

  • What's the biggest misconception about the current financial crisis?
  • What's the solution to "too big to fail"?
  • What's the next big shoe to drop?
  • Should "happiness" count as part of France's GDP?

New podcasts are published every Wednesday. Listen now at, or subscribe through iTunes.

Neither Mac Greer nor The Motley Fool owns any of the stocks discussed. And none of those stocks are active recommendations in any of our Motley Fool newsletters. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.