Why We’re Not at the Beginning of the End, and Probably Not Even at the End of the Beginning

populist-rage

Are we at the beginning of the end? Mortgage interests are now so low (the average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages was 4.87% Thursday, slightly higher than the 4.78% last week, but still the lowest level since 1971) that President Obama has begun urging Americans to refinance their homes so they can save money and […]

CSI Bailout, with William K. Black — Bill Moyers Journal Interview

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William K. Black suspects that it was more than greed and incompetence that brought down the U.S. financial sector and plunged the economy in recession — it was fraud. And he would know. When it comes to financial shenanigans, William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and […]

Why You Should Work for a Hedge Fund

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Just because I lost a big chunk of my total retirement savings over the last year doesn’t mean I should be upset that 25 hedge-fund managers reaped a total of $11.6 billion during the same interval, according to Institutional Investor’s Alpha Magazine — including $2.5 billion for James Simons of Renaissance Technologies and $2 billion […]

The Administration’s Proposed Responsible Wall Streeter Tax Credit

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The Administration is about to launch a new plan designed both to stimulate the economy and clean up Wall Street at the same time, the “Responsible Wall Streeter Tax Credit”.

This Week in The LA Progressive: March 22 to March 28

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Avoiding the Greater Depression New York, City of the Poor. This city that never sleeps, and others, will experience economic and social death without a vibrant middle class and viable opportunities to earn a living. –David A. Love The Magical Mystery Majority Budget. The bills passed, the Republicans threatened to sue, the Governor announced he […]

AIG Bonuses: Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game

jasmyne cannick

I watched this week as the nation’s furor turned towards employees of insurance giant American International Group (A.I.G.) and the $200 million-plus in retention bonus payments recently doled out to executives. Executives, who, as we already know, are largely to blame for their role in A.I.G.’s financial crisis that led to the country’s economic meltdown […]

AIG and the Undeserving Rich

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Charles Blow, the “moderate” who seems to write a lot of words but never takes a clear stand on anything, recently lamented on the op-ed page of the New York Times about what a small matter the $165 million in bonuses really were compared to the $170 billion AIG received in government welfare. Sheryl Gay […]

The Rich Countries’ Faltering “United Front”

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By now we’ve heard “The worst economic crisis since the 1930s” – or words to that effect – so many times it’s become like a mantra. But as the days roll on it begins to appear that it might just be an understatement and that not only does the economic situation appear more like the […]

Economic Recovery Will Be More than Trusting President Obama’s Stimulus Plan

bottom-feeder

The Audacity Of Greed should be the title of President Obama’s next book. Never could he have imagined how tough getting out of an economic recession (borderline depression) when he signed up for the presidency. He knew the job was tough when he took it, he just didn’t know that greed would continue to trump […]

Blue Dogs and Citigroup Fight the Employee Free Choice Act

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Even the “Blue Dog” Democrats should be alarmed about bailed out banks taking billions in taxpayer funds only to lobby against this era’s Wagner Act. I don’t think so. Labor gaining ground was essential to putting the economy back together after the Great Depression and it is essential today. The activists working in favor of […]

Unreliable Immigration Data Is Out of Date and Context

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Newspaper and television are running a narrow story quoting out-of-date and out-of-context data prepared by the immigration restrictionist group, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), who is alleging that 300,000 “illegal immigrants” will benefit from jobs created by the recently-approved economic stimulus plan. Unfortunately, these stories provide no counter-analysis from other research groups or experts […]

Madoff, Stanford, Ponzi and the Media

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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 […]

Obama’s Opportunity to be a Transformational Leader

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The election of Barack Obama has generated speculation that he can—and will—emulate the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the manner in which he manages the problems that overwhelmed George W. Bush in his second term. In The Politics Presidents Make, Stephen Skoronek argues that presidents who come into office opposed to an existing vulnerable […]

Why Republicans Won’t Support the Stimulus

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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 […]

Guns and Butter (Again)

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When you stop to think about it, people measure how well their lives are going not by their absolute state of being but by their situation relative to their expectations. For example, a poor person in a developing country may be ecstatic about getting a pair of shoes for the first time; in contrast, a […]

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

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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

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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 […]

Uprising Updated

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When visionary journalist/author David Sirota published his book, The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington in June 2008, he traveled the country—including an appearance at Valley Dems United Democratic Club—making his case. But even before November 4, it was clear that Americans were living their own insurrections; some […]

w(me) the People: w’s Legacy Project

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President w, by way of a reporter, gave the nation a forewarning, regarding his awful, illegitimate, prevaricating, corrupt, woeful, horrible, horrendous, dreadful, terrible, appalling, deplorable, treasonous, frightful, ghastly, horrifying, revolting, hideous, despicable, monstrous, gruesome, (reader’s choice)–legacy, after his first presidential election coup. Very early into w’s presidency, a press party was held at the White […]

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.

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

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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 […]

Too Big To Fail: Unless It’s the Entire EEKonomy!

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by Gene Rothman – A new Goldilocks gauge has gripped the Guardians of Greed. Too Big to Fail (TBTF) used to be one size fits all. Big corporations would be bailed out only if they were Big Enough. But now, the fickle public has grown Leery of the Too Large. It may now be seen […]

The First Hundred Days or the Last Hundred Days?

BHO and FDR

by Ira Chernus – Looking back on Barack Obama’s first post-election interview with “60 Minutes,” no one should be surprised that he admitted he’s reading about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first hundred days in office. In fact, the president-elect — evidently taking no chances — is reportedly reading two books: Jonathan Alter’s The Defining Moment: FDR’s […]

Masters of the Universe No More

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By Denis Campbell – New York City suburb, Greenwich, Connecticut, has 55 houses for sale asking $9 million dollars or more. Staff at East Hampton Airport on Long Island, a scene of private Gulfstream jet gridlock, says traffic is down 35%. Bettridge Jewelers on Wall Street sees traffic mostly selling off jewels to make mortgage […]

So Long GM, See Ya’ Chrysler — Hope America Enjoys The Second Great Depression

by Charley James – In the 1950s, “Engine” Charley Wilson – then chairman of General Motors – said “What’s good for GM is good for America.” We’re about to find out that the reverse is also true.

Another Great Depression?

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The United States is in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The question is: How close are we to another Great Depression? The answer is: Very close. Here’s why. The Great Depression was the result of the combination of the 1929 financial crisis and serious structural problems in the American […]

Voters Are Rejecting Republican Ideology, Not Just Bush and McCain

With pundits finally predicting an Obama victory, some are already spinning the election as a referendum on President Bush and on John McCain’s weak campaign. This frame—which claims Bush was an “anchor” around John McCain’s neck from the outset—spins this election as a rejection of specific politicians, not the Republican Party. But John McCain publicly […]

This Year’s Equation: 1920 + 1932 = 2008

We often hear that the election that takes place next Tuesday will be one of the most important in American history. Such statements, however, are often little more than hyperbole. To make the case that an election is momentous, you need to compare it with previous critical ones. The most important elections are those in […]

Now Greenspan Tells Us!

Whoops! My bad. Sorry. In effect, this is what former Fed chair Alan Greenspan is telling members of the House Committee of Government Oversight and Reform today by admitting he was wrong about unfettered free markets regulating themselves.

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