Jobs Numbers Reflect Crisis for Young and Old

jobs crisis

RJ Eskow: There was a time in the not-so-distant past when working people were able to consider retirement at the age of 60 or 62. But households that saw their net worth gutted by the financial collapse can no longer consider that option.

Simpson-Bowles Austerity Gang: Go Home

simpson bowles

Richard Eskow: Simpson and Bowles, those two hired pitchmen for budget-cutting hysteria, are still hawking an economy-killing product called “austerity economics,” a product that’s designed to benefit their wealthy patrons at everybody else’s expense.

Why Big Banks Will Pay The Piper in 2013

patching panks

Bruce Reilly: 2013 is poised to become the most important year of the subprime aftermath. The five-year statute of repose, the window within which cases are arguably eligible under the Securities Act, will close.

Robin Hood Tax, Mark Ruffalo Supports It

Robin Hood

Mark Ruffalo: A Robin Hood Tax would raise revenue from Wall Street while reigning in their worst excesses — helping to rebalance the American economy.

Can Obama Stop Casino Capitalism?

obama biden

Shamus Cooke: The banking oligarchy is so intertwined with the political and economic establishment that real regulatory change cannot happen until the system itself is transformed from below, by a powerful social movement. Pleading to politicians to fix so-called Casino Capitalism is increasingly naive.

Foreclosure Crisis: Bankers and Forgiveness

bank behavior

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Why is the government so intent on pursuing a double standard when it comes to enforcing the law on the 1 percent and on the rest of us?

World Bank: Drastic Reformer Needed to Right a Failing Agenda

world bank

Matt Kavanaugh: The blogsophere and Washington rumor-mill are working overtime right now on the question of who might be the next president of the World Bank.

Occupy and Organized Labor: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win

minneapolis strike

Mark Naison: If I dare to dream, I can see where this collaboration between Occupy and Labor might lead—to the unionization of Wal-Mart, to the unionization of McDonalds, to the unionization of financial services workers in the nation’s largest banks.

Financial Crisis Prosecutions Too Hard?

wall street

Marian Wang: According to a now-departed Justice Department official who used to be in charge of investigating such matters, the Justice Department has decided that holding top Wall Street executives criminally accountable is too difficult a task.

S&P: So What!

mark-pash

Mark Pash: Ongoing investigations by the SEC and Justice Department, Congress and federal regulators who are looking at ways to implement the Dodd-Frank Act, which contains provisions aimed at reducing the raters’ role in the financial system.

Jobs: A Grand Bargain

obama phoning

Brent Budowsky: Great presidents know the difference between empty public gimmicks and game-changing public policy. They demand creative ideas, not mediocrity or defeatism, from those who advise them.

Nevada Wallops Bank of America With Sweeping Suit

BankOfAmerica-wide

Paul Kiel: Nevada’s action signals that the banks’ problems with home mortgages—the main cause of the financial crisis—continue to burden them and rattle investors.

How Not To Talk About Financial Panics: New Rules For Pundits

economy-sinking

James Livingston: Never act like you know what will happen next. You don’t, and nobody else does either. In fact, nobody knows what just happened.

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Stock Market Crash: What are the Politics Behind It?

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Robert Brent Toplin: Conservatives often tout the benefits of “free” markets, but in practice, market fundamentalism has produced a troubled history.

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Lost Decade?

blink-first-wide

John Peeler: One of the most striking features of our current global economic morass is that many Third World economies are weathering the crisis rather well, while the supposed leaders of the world economy (the United States, the European Union, the Japanese) are in deep trouble that looks to get deeper.

From Casey Anthony to Wall Street: Crime Pays

casey-anthony-wide

Brent Budowsky: One of the great sources of outrage in our age is that again and again, crime pays. The victims, from young girls who die while vermin eat their corpse to embezzled investors who lose their money, from tortured prisoners to jobless workers to homeless victims of mortgage fraud, pay the price.

Can Krugmanomics Be Saved?

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Steven Hill: So according to Krugmanomics, taking on too much debt is not the problem – it’s not being able to pay the debt that is the problem. And Krugman’s solution, apparently, is to be able to depreciate your currency and/or default on your debts, leaving the creditors holding the bag.

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An American Nightmare

antisemitism

Steve Hochstadt: What does matter in 2011 is that mainstream libertarians and conservatives think a film that portrays Jews as evil monsters bent on world domination is worth showing, praising, and promoting. After decades of retreat, the antisemitism of Ford and Coughlin, and of the Nazis, is back, on a screen near you.

Seven Reasons Why Capitalism Can’t Recover Anytime Soon

economy

Shamus Cooke: To deal with working people more ruthlessly, the radical right is being unleashed. In normal times these bigots yell furiously but no one listens. But in times of economic crisis they’re given endless airtime on all major media outlets.

Reconsidering Japan…Reconsidering Paul Krugman

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Steven Hill: No one has been more influential in defining this narrative than New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

The Duh Factor, or Biz School Brilliance

fat cat

Jim Fuller: I confess to major reservations about those who work in and for the business schools that now take up far too much otherwise valuable space on most major college and university campuses.

Elizabeth Warren You Rock

The New Sheriffs Of Wall Street

Wendy Block: I don’t know if the world would improve if women ran it. Our decision-making and problem-solving brain centers are proportionally larger than men’s. Same with emotions, perhaps a mixed blessing. And anxiety tends to lead women to reach out to others, often at their own expense, whereas men generally get all “fight or flight.”

Financial Reform Too Small to Succeed

wall street reform

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.

Downsizing the Prison-Industrial Complex

Barry Krisberg (Peg Skorpinksi photo)

Cathy Cockrell: California’s obsession with incarceration — at $50K a year per adult, $250K per juvenile — is unsustainable, says criminologist Barry Krisberg

Break Up the Banks

Stimulus

Robert Reich: As long as the big banks are allowed to remain big, their political leverage over Washington will remain big. And as long as their political leverage remains big, the taxpayer and economic tab for the next mess they create will be big. By all means, give regulators resolution authority and also impose the tightest regulations possible. But Congress and the White House shouldn’t stop there. Limits should be placed on how big big banks can become.

9/11, Financial Crisis, Church Sex Scandal? Imagine That!

Paranoia

Michael Sigman: Isn’t it precisely the job of political, financial and religious leaders to imagine disasters and then prepare for them? (Plausible ones, that is, as opposed to, say, anti-asteroid Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s crusade for funds to combat “objects coming from space that could cause colossal loss of lives on our planet.”) And if their imaginations fail them, and us, shouldn’t they be held accountable — morally and, when appropriate, criminally?

Greenspan, Summers, and Why the Economy Is So Out of Whack

Alan Greenspan

Robert Reich: If any three people are most responsible for the failure of financial regulation, they are Greenspan, Larry Summers, and my former colleague, Bob Rubin. In 1999 they advised Congress to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, which since 1933 had separated commercial from investment banking. By 1999, Wall Street was salivating over such a repeal because it wanted to create financial supermarkets that could use commercial deposits to place bets in the financial casino. That would yield the Street trillions.

Fraud on the Street

Wall Street Bears

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.

Bernanke Recommends Congress Take Up Immigration

ben bernanke

Andrea Christina Nill: In his testimony before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee late last week, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke listed immigration reform as one of the issues Congress can and should take up to advance the nation’s economy

Obama Finally Gets Tough on Wall Street

Wall Street Bailout

Robert Reich: But suddenly the winds are blowing in a different direction over the Potomac. The 2010 midterms are getting closer, and the Dems are scared. Their polls are plummeting. The upsurge in mad-as-hell populism requires that Democrats become indignant on behalf of Americans, and indignation is meaningless without a target. They can’t target big government because Republicans do that one better, especially when they’re out of power. So what’s the alternative? Wall Street.

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