Joseph Palermo: Even before we’ve had a chance to recover from the Great Recession caused by their earlier malfeasance, the usual suspects among Wall Street’s “too big to fail” banks continue to plunder our society by artificially driving up commodity prices.
Robert Reich: If Washington knew what was good for it and the nation, it would sever its financial connections with the Street. Better yet, it would enact legislation seeking to limit the impact of private and corporate money in politics. That goal is made more difficult to achieve by the grotesque recent Supreme Court decision (Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission) holding that corporations, including financial firms, have the right to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns. But there are ways around this, such as more generous public funding for candidates that choose not to take private contributions. Hopefully as well, the president will nominate Supreme Court justices who understand the importance of public trust in democratic institutions, and the difference between companies and people.
Rachel Maddow’s example on MSNBC was a simple enough explanation of how $21 billion dollars in annual tax revenue disappears from US coffers through legal loopholes that create tax shell corporations. Mr. Bill Hypothetical, based in Texas, earns $50,000 annually and pays a 25% tax rate. KBR’s profits, also based in Texas (a military contractor [...]
Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said last October that the taxpayers shouldn’t fret about putting $250 billion in the nation’s banks: “This is an investment, not an expenditure, and there is no reason to expect this program will cost taxpayers anything.” But a draft report from the Congressional Oversight Panel for the TARP says Paulson [...]
by Charley James – A few nights ago, Rachel Maddow was discussing the Wall St. bailout on her MSNBC show with guest Dr. Laura Tyson. Tyson, a former economics advisor to Pres. Clinton and now a professor at UC-Berkeley, was defending the banks who received bailout money for their total lack of disclosure or transparency [...]