The Great Debt Scare: Why Has It Returned?

broken economy

It’s the kind of thing I expect to hear from deficit hawks and chicken littles — from the self-described “fiscally responsible” right, from the scolds Ross Perot and Pete Peterson, from my former cabinet colleague Bob Rubin. But yesterday I was shown slides developed by the putatively liberal Center for American Progress intended to make [...]

Is Fox’s Glenn Beck Today’s Version of Father Charles Coughlin?

coughlin_beck

Is Fox News host Glenn Beck our own Father Charles Coughlin, the “radio priest” who railed against Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s? That’s become a common refrain among liberals, who hear echoes of Coughlin in Beck’s attacks on President Obama. Conservatives recoil at the charge, of course, noting that Coughlin vilified Jews. No matter [...]

The Auto Bailout Is Going Off the Road

chrysler

GM just announced it was laying of 21,000 more of its workers, as a means of assuring the Treasury Department the company is worthy of more bailout money. A Treasury official was quoted as saying approvingly that the goal is a “slimmed-down” GM. What? Having General Motors or Chrysler cut tens of thousands of jobs [...]

The Great Credit Card Battle To Come

credit-card-sharks

The next front in the banking wars will be over credit cards. Some of the nation’s biggest bankers — including representatives of Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and other recipients of billions of taxpayer dollars — are meeting today with the President to ask him back off his move to reform credit-card lending practices. What’s happening [...]

Stimulus Mania: Is It The 21st Century Soup Line?

soupline

The efforts to jump start the economy in the United States, in hopes of causing a global ripple, have taken on an entirely new meaning as people and industry alike wait for the $787 billion dollar economic stimulus package to drop. It’s like a “mania” as so many cities, states, industries, school districts, homeowners, small [...]

We Need More Stimulus, Not More Bailout

patching panks

With only $110 billion remaining in the TARP bailout fund, all signs are that Tim Geithner is preparing to return to Congress seeking more bailout money. He’ll bring along the results of his bank “stress tests,” which will probably show many that big banks are still technically insolvent, along with bankruptcy scenarios for General Motors [...]

Nationalizing Banks and Industry: Why Capitalists Hate Socialism

worse-depression

The United States has always been a political economy, requiring government regulation of its finance and money markets, and using government stimulation on its labor force. “Free Market” enterprise is based on the notion that open markets and the competition derived from competing ideas for consumer patronage will create a market balance (equilibrium) that will [...]

It Is As Bad As The 1930s

mute-poverty

So much for the Republican chant of “stimulus is bad” and “we need a balanced budget.” Nobel Prize winning columnist Paul Krugman points out on his New York Times blog yesterday that the world economy right now is more or less at the point John Maynard Keynes described in his essay The Great Slump of [...]

Blame It All on Unintended Consequences

poverty-dinner

Why do economic downturns catch experts unawares? Even more intriguingly, why do they defy analysis after they’ve happened? Neither economists nor financiers can agree on why the world’s economies are in free fall today. More than 70 years later, there’s still no agreement on what caused the Great Depression. Not even in hindsight does consensus [...]

Why You Should Work for a Hedge Fund

jacuzzi

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 [...]

Goodness, An Adult Really Is In Charge!

President Barack Obama greets President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva  of Brazil, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

While much of the mainsteam media was huffing and puffing about “Hug Gate” – the supposed gaffe where Michelle Obama was seen with her arm around Queen Elizabeth, which Buckingham Palace dismissed as a “spontaneous show of mutual affection” – Barack Obama was actually busy doing what a global leader is supposed to do: Leading [...]

An Odd, Totally Otherworldly, Experience

marilyn

I had one of those weird, otherworldly experiences this morning. I’ve been sick for much of the last week but finally felt well enough to drag myself out of bed to plop in front of the television. I switched on Bravo! and was sort of half-dozing when, through my fevered haze, I saw something that [...]

Arnold, Finish What Maria Started

soviet-chart-20310-20081220-4

I am recommending California State Senator Fran Pavley, Member Senate Food & Agriculture committee, to head a new commission formed to promote urban farming in California. Please contact her District Office (310) 314-5214 so she can meet with to discuss the details of its implementation.

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

cuban-revolution1

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 [...]

Friday Feedback: Oligarchs Will Not Play Fair

Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Carole Lutness, writing in response to Anthony Asadullah Samad’s Economic Recovery Will Be More than Trusting President Obama’s Stimulus Plan.” Carole  writes: The oligarchs will not play fair. They are not built that way. [...]

AIG and the Undeserving Rich

dry-bones

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”

crisis8

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 [...]

Obama Rescuing Capitalism: That’s a Lot of Weight for One Brother

obama_congress

Back in December, when it was obvious that the economy was in bad shape and before we knew how precarious it could get, Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, wrote, “For Obama to be remembered as a great president, he has to do nothing less than rescue [...]

Guess What? The New Deal Worked!

wpa

Since the economic crisis we’re now in is being compared to the Great Depression, the solutions being offered are being routinely compared to the New Deal. Republicans in particular have been quick to pronounce the New Deal a failure as a way of justifying their opposition to the new stimulus package and any other federal [...]

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 [...]

February Is a Poignant Month

mothers-day

February is a poignant month for it marks my parent’s wedding anniversary and mother’s birthday and both come a few weeks after the 10th commemoration of her death. Probably because Barack Obama’s inauguration is still fresh in my mind, and she was a lifelong progressive Democrat, I’ve been thinking a lot about Joyce lately: More [...]

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