Weekend Mysteries, Scandals, and Speculations

Donny Hathaway

The nation’s unemployment rate is at 10.2 percent, a 26-year high. These people will be waiting to hear Obama explain how adding to the $10 billion monthly price tag for Iraq and Afghanistan will help them find work. African American men, 17.1 percent of whom are unemployed, want a word from Obama on this,” wrote Columnist Colbert King in the Washington Post last week.

The Surge We Need At Home

Warhorse

America is a mess. Unemployment is over 10 percent, while the effective unemployment rate—which also includes the underemployed—is more like 19.2 percent.

Worrisome Thoughts on the Way to the Jobs Summit

Jobs-Flight-1a

But the reality that no one wants to talk about is a structural change in the economy that’s been going on for years but which the Great Recession has dramatically accelerated.

The Housing Crisis and Wall Street Shame

Housing Crisis

The $75 billion federal program designed to bribe banks to modify mortgages has been a bust. No one knows the exact number of mortgages that have been modified (that will be reported next month) but housing experts I’ve talked with say it’s a tiny fraction of the number of homeowners in trouble. Seems that the big banks can’t be bothered.

Retail Wars, Urban Sores: A New Jobs Project

CCC workers constructing road, 1933.

If we can defend democracy overseas we can rebuild our decaying Main Streets. This could be a building stimulus project both political parties could respect if we see it as a restoration after a retail business war.

Goldman Sachs’ $500 Million Mea Culpa

Cannibal-Capitalism

This institution deserves the full force of anti-trust law deployed against it. Maybe in open court we’ll get a glimpse into the real workings of this unworthy amalgam of greed and arrogance.

Once Again on the President, the Congress, and the Jobless

Jobless

As we note, the heightened attention to the crisis, and hopefully proposals for Congressional action, the alarming jobless figures will be repeated over and over. The employment situation is dire and from all indications it is going to get worse.

Seeing Red: The Budget Deficit – Past, Present and Future

Budget-balloon

The dangers of a foreign retreat from Treasury securities are slight in the short-term but increase over time as the public debt continues to grow. Americans would do well to realize that things which cannot go on forever tend not to.

New York Times: “American Workers Are Overpaid”

Maze

If recent resistance by IBEW and UNITE HERE members are any indication, the Times’ BreakingNews folks and corporate America have a long way to go before convincing workers that it is they, rather than their high-paid, amply-bonused bosses, whose compensation should be downsized.

The Great Disconnect Between Stocks and Jobs

Unemployment

In the Great Recession of 2008-2009, companies are going a step further. They’re using this sharp downturn to cut payrolls even below where they were when times were good. Outsourcing abroad, setting up shop in China and elsewhere, contracting out, replacing people with software and automated machines – they’re doing whatever it takes to get payrolls down so earnings bounce up.

Obama, China, and Wishful Thinking About American Jobs

China-budget

The dirty little secret on both sides of the Pacific is that both America and China are capable of producing far more than their own consumers are capable of buying. In the U.S., the root of the problem is a growing share of total income going to the richest Americans, leaving the middle class with relatively less purchasing power unless they go deep into debt.

Think First About the Unemployed, Not the Politicians … and Act

unemployed

What’s happening to the lives of the legions out of work – particularly the young men and women – has to take second place to the fortune of the President and his party. The human crisis would be real regardless of who is in the Oval Office and is what should move the President and the Congress to do the right thing.

How Obama Can Convince Congress to Enact a Larger Stimulus, and Why He Must

jobs-underwater

The Administration’s biggest economic mistake so far was to badly underestimate last January how bad the employment situation would become by Fall. As a result, it low-balled the stimulus — settling for a plan that, while avoiding even worse job losses, didn’t go nearly far enough.

Wall Street and Goldman Sachs Party On

Goldman

It’s ironic that all we hear on FOX News and right-wing talk radio is how “socialistic” the Obama Administration is when in reality the way the administration has handled the Wall Street crisis is anything but “socialistic.”

Health Care Reform Is Critically Important, But Getting Americans Back to Work Is More So

Urinal-cake

If Obama and the Democrats lose one or both houses of Congress in the midterms, it will be because the president learned only the most superficial lesson of the Clinton years. Health-care reform is critically important. But when one out of six Americans is unemployed or underemployed, getting the nation back to work is more so.

Too Big to Fail: Why the White House and Congress Won’t Break up the Big Banks

Wizard

The right idea is to break up the giant banks. I don’t often agree with Alan Greenspan but he was right when he said last week that “[i]f they’re too big to fail, they’re too big.”

Drinking Motivational KoolAid: How It All Works Financially

get-motivated

Even the soberest fiscal conservatives cannot avoid the power of this pitch and will jump out of his or her seat with wallet wide open! You may get in for $19, but more than half of you will spend many hundreds if indeed not thousands more.

Small Farmers Fight Land Theft in Colombia

Honduras

Much of what has happened in Colombia in the past 20 years is the violent theft of land, a major reason why Colombia has the second highest number of internally displaced people in the world.

Why Wall Street Reform Is Stuck in Reverse

Geithner

Executives and traders on the Street have become the single biggest sources of money for Democrats as well as Republicans. And with mid-term elections looming next year, you can bet every member of Congress has a glint in his or her eye directed at the Street.

Wall Street Is More of a Threat to Obama’s Domestic Agenda than Afghanistan

Wish-I-could-find-a-job

The Congress, always in hock to Wall Street, is dragging its feet in passing anything near the sweeping regulatory restructuring that is needed if we are to prevent Goldman Sachs and the rest of the gang from exploiting their “moral hazard” by using the federal treasury as the mother of all “credit default swaps.”

The Despair of Childcare

Beautiful Black Family-Reading

Organizations like Moms Rising are fighting to raise awareness about a number of issues that make the industrialized United States seem like an anachronism compared to its counterparts. Excellence in childcare is on the agenda

Will Obama Save America from Capitalism

Barack Obama Cartoon - Wall Street Pigs

If the Obama administration wants to be a truly transformational force in American history, rather than a slightly-better-than-average, one-term presidency with good intentions, it will give America the new New Deal.

Why the Dow Broke 10,000, and Why You Should Still Watch Your Wallet

Fat CEO Cartoon Living in A Cardboard Box - The Recession is Over

Anyone who hasn’t learned by now that there’s almost no relationship between the Dow and the real economy deserves to lose his or her shirt in the Wall Street casino.

To “Americans For Prosperity,” Capitalism Already Is a Love Story

Newt Gingrich cartoon

It’s amazing that even after the entire Wall Street house of cards collapsed a year ago requiring the public sector to rescue the private sector these fierce advocates of free-market fundamentalism can still show their faces in public, let alone gather to rail against the evils of the government that saved their asses.

Specifically, What Should Be Done for Jobs?

Alan Greenspan cartoon

It would be hard to get a new stimulus package through Congress, but no member who’s up for reelection next year when unemployment is likely to be in double digits wants to be accused by rivals of voting against steps to help small businesses, public schools, childrens’ health, and average working people who need a tax cut.

The Truth About Jobs That No One Wants to Tell You

Job-loss

In other words, ten percent unemployment really means twenty percent underemployment or anxious employment. All of which translates directly into late payments on mortgages, credit cards, auto and student loans, and loss of health insurance.

Why the Dow is Hitting 10,000 Even When Consumers Can’t Buy And Business Cries “Socialism”

Greed

The Dow is up despite the biggest consumer retreat from the market since the Great Depression because of the very thing so many executives are complaining about, which is government’s expansion.

Full Disclosure of Congressional Stock Portfolios

There is a movement underway to require members of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court to provide full disclosure of their stock portfolios.

The Continuing Disaster of Wall Street, One Year Later

Zombie-Bankers

Let’s be clear: Wall Street today is up to the same tricks it was playing before its near-death experience: Derivatives, derivatives of derivatives, fancy-dance trading schemes, high-risk bets. “Our model really never changed, we’ve said very consistently that our business model remained the same,” says Goldman Sach’s chief financial officer.

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