Madoff, Stanford, Ponzi and the Media

questionable ethics

Few had heard the name Bernard (Bernie) Madoff, as recently as two months ago. An equally small group was familiar with the term “Ponzi Scheme” when the Madoff scandal broke. And now there is the Sir R. Allen Stanford scandal. Now, in this era of keen observance to rules of fiscal prudence where the public [...]

Obvious Solution to Global Banking Crisis

wall-street-bonuses

It’s been done before, an FDIC/Comptroller of the Currency (or similar insurance or governmental institution elsewhere) bank take-over. I witnessed my first in Miami in 1991 when a former employer in the mid 1980s, Southeast Banking Corporation of Miami, then Florida’s oldest bank, had a deep liquidity crisis. It was a swift, brutal, and painless [...]

Stimulus Bill Limits TARP Executive Pay

Karen Bleier (AFP/Getty): Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner

Top executives at banks that got money from the TARP will face stricter compensation limits thanks to the stimulus bill.  That’s because tucked into the 1,071-page bill is a twelve-page section that goes much further than any limits imposed by the Bush administration or even contemplated by the Obama administration. The limits, which limit bonuses [...]

Spending Money at Home Helps America!

debt

I watched all the Sunday stuff on the telly today. Who was that old guy on the show saying that we should not be spending money on American schools, American students in college, or on the rebuilding of the infrastructure of America? Why? Because, are you ready, he says it will not do any good [...]

Obama, Pelosi Must Rescue Damaged Stimulus Package

pelosi-obama

Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have produced a Senate stimulus bill that kills jobs, eliminates affordable housing, guts education and gives billions in new tax breaks for the rich. Their hypocrisy is shameful. As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman put it, the Senate measure will “lead to substantially lower employment and [...]

Why Republicans Won’t Support the Stimulus

sinkorswim

Why are Senate Republicans (all, that is, except the lonely moderates Collins, Snowe, and Specter) nixing the stimulus package, as House Republicans did? Not because Obama failed to compromise — he gave them the tax breaks they wanted, included a whopper for business. Not because Senate Democrats failed to bend — they agreed to trim [...]

A Book Review of Kim Bobo’s “Wage Theft in America”

factory-workers

Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is an Israelite or is a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, [...]

Senate Republicans and the Stimulus: Playing Politics When the Economy Burns

reichtable

Friday’s job report is likely to be awful. January’s job losses could easily top half a million. We’re deep into the most vicious of economic cycles: Consumers are slashing their spending because they’re perilously in debt and worried about keeping their jobs. But as a result, businesses are facing shrinking sales of goods and services, [...]

Watchdog: No, Hank, You Didn’t Get a Good Deal for the Taxpayer

Henry Paulson

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said last October that the taxpayers shouldn’t fret about putting $250 billion in the nation’s banks: “This is an investment, not an expenditure, and there is no reason to expect this program will cost taxpayers anything.” But a draft report from the Congressional Oversight Panel for the TARP says Paulson [...]

The Real Fight Starts After the Stimulus is Enacted

ark_on_the_peakcolor

he real stimulus debate hasn’t even started yet. Congress will pass President Obama’s stimulus package in the next two weeks, more or less as he wants it. The House has already done its part, and the Senate appears likely to follow suit. But when the economy starts to turn up again, perhaps as early as [...]

Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Governement Spending

“Men…think in herds; …go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses…one by one.” — Charles MackayRepublican Assemblyman Roger Niello‘s recent editorial “Performance Based Budgeting Deserves a Look,” is his bid to appear as a man who has recovered his senses. In it, he reminds us that California’s state budget process is imperfect. The [...]

President Obama’s Remarks Before the House Votes on Stimulus Bill

President Barack Obama spoke to a group of business executives and elected officials before the House voted on the highly anticipated Stimulus Bill which contains an $825 billion Stimulus Plan. The President noted that seven of the largest corporations in the United States announced, this week, that they are making job cuts. Earlier, in a [...]

How America Embraced Lemon Socialism

obama_black_hole

America has embraced Lemon Socialism. The federal government — that is, you and I and every other taxpayer — has taken ownership of giant home mortgagors Fannie and Freddie, which are by now basket cases. We’ve also put hundreds of millions into Wall Street banks, which are still flowing red ink and seem everyday to [...]

Dem Bones Connected to De Debt Bone

rich-government

It is an understatement to say we are experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis along with our worldwide environmental crisis. Neither crisis needs an Austrian economist to explain it. We live in a consumer society and consumers “use things up.” In recent history, this useless, toxic “stuff” comes from China, and this sad state of affairs [...]

Why Citi Turned Around on Mortgage “Cramdowns”

class-struggle

The latest data show one out of ten homeowners in the United States is either late in making a mortgage payment or in such serious arrears as to risk foreclosure. Last week, congressional Dems breathed a sigh of relief when Citigroup dropped its opposition to a proposed change in the bankruptcy laws allowing distressed homeowners [...]

What Will It Take for Californians to Flood the Streets?

sharon_toji

What will it take for the people of California to rise up and flood into the streets to protest what the Republican legislators and Governor Schwarzenegger are doing to our state? When the first envelopes are opened — envelopes that should contain checks with state tax refunds, but have IOUs stuffed into them instead — [...]

The Stimulus: How to Create Jobs Without Them All Going to Skilled Professionals and White Male Construction Workers

construction_workers

The stimulus plan will create jobs repairing and upgrading the nation’s roads, bridges, ports, levees, water and sewage system, public-transit systems, electricity grid, and schools. And it will kick-start alternative, non-fossil based sources of energy (wind, solar, geothermal, and so on); new health-care information systems; and universal broadband Internet access. It’s a two-fer: lots of [...]

Momma, Let Your Kids Grow Up to Be…Accountants!

accountants

Times are not tough everywhere. Indeed, The Big Four accounting firms: Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers reported annual combined 2008 global earnings in excess of $102 (US) billion and a blended growth rate of almost 16%. $102,775,000,000. Shall we let that sink in whilst you catch your breath? The 581,423 people [...]

Stimulus Plan: The Need and the Size

sinkingeconomy

The core problem we face is not access to capital. The Treasury has already flooded Wall Street and the banking system with money, committing nearly $350 billion; the Federal Reserve Board has exchanged Treasury bills for some $2.2 trillion of troubled assets; other agencies, such as the FDIC, have guaranteed trillions more. But there has [...]

Thoughts on the End of a Hell of a Year

2009

The biggest thing to happen to me this year was the birth of my first grandchild, a little girl named Ella. I know this kind of thing happens all the time and frankly I get bored with people who go all gushy about the birth of kids or grandkids.

A New New Deal Must Be For ALL

rosieweb

by Eileen Boris, Lisa Levenstein, and Sonya Michel President-elect Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan has provoked comparisons with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Like Roosevelt, Obama is promising to pull the country out of a depression with massive job creation through infrastructure spending. But, like FDR before him, it looks as if Obama is on [...]

Economics 101: Who’s Up, Who’s Down

bailouts

by Robert Brent Toplin – Customers at my local Barnes & Noble store are likely to get the impression that books about Franklin D. Roosevelt are all the rage these days. When they stand in line to pay the cashier, they come upon a large display of volumes dealing with FDR and the Great Depression. [...]

The Housing Bubble Continues to Burst

waiting_for_santa

by Robert Reich – The National Association of Realtors said today that home prices have now dropped to the point where they’ve wiped out all the gains in housing prices since 2004. 2004, not incidentally, was when interest rates last hit bottom, and the Feds looked the other way while mortgage bankers began shoving money [...]

Why I Love Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow and Laura Tyson

by Charley James – A few nights ago, Rachel Maddow was discussing the Wall St. bailout on her MSNBC show with guest Dr. Laura Tyson. Tyson, a former economics advisor to Pres. Clinton and now a professor at UC-Berkeley, was defending the banks who received bailout money for their total lack of disclosure or transparency [...]

Raising Taxes Is Good for the Economy

santa-in-crisis

by Adam Eran – The Census Bureau reports that California ranks 10th among states in income, but only 22nd in tax burden. Nevertheless, the Republican mantra has been that higher taxes are so damaging that government should avoid them at all costs — especially in downturns like the current one. This sentiment is so pervasive [...]

The Economy: Do We Have Any Idea What We’re Doing?

lightning-stock-market

by John Peeler – It is a commonplace these days to argue that the Bush administration helped to bring on the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by clinging blindly to the dogma of the free, unregulated market as the solution to every problem. That is certainly an accurate accusation. At virtually every opportunity [...]

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