Julie Driscoll: In the “real people” world (not the “corporations are people” world, but the people people world), running up debt prior to filing for bankruptcy would likely be considered fraud.
Adam Eran: Waiting for a race of cyborg/celebrity super-teachers distracts from the egregious income inequality and the childhood poverty that worsens educational outcomes in the U.S.
Joseph Palermo: The financial reform legislation currently winding its way through the Congress is a step in the right direction but it retains too much of the status quo that brought down the economy in the first place. The key problem, as many economists have been telling us, is that the top financial institutions remain “too big to fail.” Congress can enact all the regulations it wishes but even the best written rules won’t be enough to prevent another financial meltdown.
Tracy Emblem: California allows cities and counties to purchase electricity or develop it locally through an energy provider of their choice. Currently, 68 percent of California’s electricity is generated by investor-owned utilities. Proposition 16, on the June 8 primary ballot, would alter local government’s ability to develop electricity service and is bad for California’s residents and businesses.
Robert Reich: It’s now clear Lehman Brothers’ balance sheet was bogus before the bank collapsed in 2008, catapulting the Street and the world into the worst financial crisis since 1929. The Lehman bankruptcy examiner’s recent report details what just about everyone on the Street has known since the firm imploded – that Lehman defrauded its investors. Even Hank Paulson, in his recent memoir, referred to Lehman’s balance sheet as bogus.
Emily Spence: Years ago, the founder of central Massachusetts’ food bank told me of the obscenely high salaries that the directors of a major, well-known Massachusetts charity providing funds for hungry Americans received every year, an amount that was purposefully not readily made public. The reason is that all of the volunteers for this charity, that raises millions of dollars each year, would be greatly dismayed that around a fourth of them were, actually, working to enrich upper management.
According to a recent report, 1,484 CEOs left or were fired from their jobs in 2008. But many of these CEOs left with hefty severance packages. These severance packages or “Golden Parachutes” softened the fall for many of the executives responsible for the financial crisis. General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner stepped down under pressure from [...]