Why Do Political Elites All Hate Democracy?

political magic

Heather Gautney: We need to start pressing for things that our politicians did NOT discuss at the conventions. Real solutions–like universal education, debt forgiveness, wealth redistribution, and participatory political structures—that would empower us to decide together what’s best. Not who’s best.

The Terrible Economy and the Anti-Election of 2012

obama phone

Robert Reich: The worst economy since the Great Depression and you might think at least one of the candidates would come up with a few big ideas for how to get us out of it. But you’d be wrong.

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.

The Dog That Didn’t Bark: Obama on JP Morgan

obama black children

Robert Reich: Obama can can take on Romney and the system that allows private-equity managers to continue to make huge profits at the expense of average Americans.

JP Morgan’s $2 Billion Case for Breaking Up Big Banks

jp morgan samurai

Robert Reich: Let’s also stop hoping Wall Street will mend itself. What just happened at J.P. Morgan reveals how fragile and opaque the banking system continues to be.

An Offer to the President

Photo: White House Photographer Pete Souza

Robert Reich: So here’s the deal: We’ll reelect you. We’ll stand behind you. We’ll give you a mandate to do all this – and more – in your second term. As long as you stand behind us.

Why Obama Should Break Up Big Banks

obama staff gardem

Robert Reich: What better way for Obama to distinguish himself from Romney than to condemn Wall Street’s antics since the bailout, and call for real reform?

Willful Deafness to Occupy Wall Street

occupy wall street arrest

Tina Dupuy: Politicians won’t take personal responsibility for the crisis – and so Occupy Wall Street has no choice but to be nonpartisan. Or just bipartisan in their frustration.

Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, and Herbert Hoover

herbert hoover

Robert Reich: Both Greenspan and Rubin are deficit hawks. So was Herbert Hoover and so was Hoover’s Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. And look what Hoover and Mellon got us into. When we least need him, Hoover is being exhumed.

Obama’s Regulatory Brain

banking regulations

Robert Reich: The most important thing to know about the 1,500 page financial reform bill passed by the Senate last week — now on the way to being reconciled with the House bill — is that it’s regulatory. It does nothing to change the structure of Wall Street.

Lincoln to the Rescue

Paul Volcker, Blanche Lincoln

Robert Reich: Blanche Lincoln wants to force the banks to put their derivatives into separate entities that aren’t subsidized by you and me. This is just common sense. Her move would also end the big banks’ monopoly over derivatives, thereby reducing their risk to the financial system. It would also cut dramatically into the big banks’ profits.

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.

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.

Why the President’s Next Big Thing Should Be Jobs

Unemployed

Robert Reich: Including all those who have entered the job market since the bottom fell out, the nation is about 11 million jobs short. The President ought to use his second honeymoon to get a jobs bill that will make a difference.

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.

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.”

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