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The Making of the Atomic Bomb

The Making of the Atomic Bomb

By Richard Rhodes

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Tag: Banking

Truthdigger of the Week: Joseph Stiglitz

This week we tip our hat to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who once helped calculate the true cost of the Iraq War, and more recently has been calling attention to the radical redistribution of wealth from middle- and working-class Americans to the richest among us.

Posted on Apr 8, 2011 READ MORE


Square, Category Page

AP / Jason DeCrow

The Peasants Need Pitchforks

The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy.

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr / Tracy O (CC-BY-SA)

Cash Bonuses Down, Compensation Up on Wall Street

Big banking execs on Wall Street might have noticed a slight pinch in their cash bonuses last year, but that doesn’t mean those clever business minds didn’t find a way to make up for it through other financial channels.

Posted on Feb 23, 2011 READ MORE

Madoff pleads guilty
AP / Louis Lanzano

JPMorgan Chase Execs Doubted Madoff Before the Fall

It appears that some higher-ups at JPMorgan Chase were on to fraudster Bernie Madoff nearly two years before the catastrophic implosion of his Ponzi scheme, but said execs didn’t take this knowledge as reason enough to stop doing business with him.

Posted on Feb 3, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr / kevindooley (CC-BY)

Banking Regulation Team Pitches New Payment Rules

An international panel of banking regulators from 27 nations is aiming to crack down on outlandish pay packages for industry executives by proposing a new set of rules that call for more transparency and, wonder of wonders, some correlation between ...

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Seth Wenig

Fail and Grow Rich on Wall Street

Welcome to the brave new world of post-bailout capitalism. The Commerce Department announced Tuesday that corporate profits are at their highest level in U.S. history, and the Fed released minutes of an early November meeting in which officials predicted a stagnant economy and continued high unemployment. 

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 READ MORE

Goldman Sachs’ Profit Takes a Major Plunge in Q2

Those of us who have stood aghast and watched as Goldman Sachs seemed to sail almost unscathed through the erupting economic catastrophe of the last two years (thank you, bailout!) might stop now for a moment of pure schadenfreude, as the megabank’s profits took a precipitous dive in the second quarter of this year.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Virginia Mayo

EU Moves to Cap Bank Bonuses

Looks like banking executives in EU member nations will have to settle for slightly less ginormous bonuses in the coming year, once the European Parliament puts its official stamp on an agreement to limit banking bonuses and severance packages.

Posted on Jun 30, 2010 READ MORE

Wall Street bull
Flickr / kdinuraj

Wall Street Reform Stalls in Senate

By day’s end Wednesday, our chums over at the U.S. Senate hadn’t moved much closer to the finish line in dealing with the financial regulation bill, to the chagrin of some senators and, no doubt, the satisfaction of others.

Posted on May 19, 2010 READ MORE

AIG sign

Senate Gives the Go-Ahead for Fed Lending Probe

When big financial institutions got themselves into a serious pickle in the fall of 2008, the Federal Reserve was there with beaucoup bucks in loans to prop them up. On Tuesday, the Senate voted unanimously to launch an inquiry into the Fed’s lending practices during the financial crisis.

Posted on May 11, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN

Hedges Talks Capitalism in Michael Moore Interview

In a newly available interview, Truthdig’s Chris Hedges sits down with filmmaker Michael Moore and poignantly argues that capitalism is driving humanity’s downfall. Moore conducted the interview for his latest movie, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” but eventually cut it from the documentary.

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 WATCH & LISTEN

Wikimedia Commons / United States Federal Reserve

Fed to Raise Interest Rate

The Federal Reserve announced Thursday it would increase the interest rate for temporary bank loans. The New York Times reports that many on Wall Street see this as signaling an end to big bank profits. But some economists say the move was purely technical, with no real effect on how much money is made.

Posted on Feb 19, 2010 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / Prolineserver

Krugman Says Obama Is ‘Clueless’ About Outrageous Bonuses

There are few things, we imagine, that could elicit a heartfelt OMG (make that O.M.G., rather) from certified economics whiz and evident adult Paul Krugman, but President Barack Obama’s latest take on the egregious and profane bonuses of Wall Street executives has clearly tripped that wire in Krugman’s mind.

Posted on Feb 10, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Gerald Herbert

Volcker Rules

Finally President Barack Obama has come to his senses on financial regulation. His endorsement of what he calls the “Volcker Rule” for once puts him squarely on the side of ordinary Americans as opposed to the banking bandits who have so thoroughly fleeced the public.

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 READ MORE

U.S.-China trade toast
AP / Eugene Hoshiko

Don’t Blame China

The Chinamen did it. In the great American tradition of finding foreign scapegoats for our problems, the hunt is on to somehow hold China responsible for the misery that Wall Street financiers inflicted upon the world.

Posted on Jan 12, 2010 READ MORE

Larry’s List: Jewish Mother Edition

Today on the list: Twitter for your Jewish mother, why the health care bill supporters are full of it, inheriting 9/11 and more.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Henny Ray Abrams

House Passes Major Financial Regulation Bill

In what is being hailed as the biggest bid to change financial regulation since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the House of Representatives on Friday passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. In a press conference after the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed, “We are sending a clear message to Wall Street: The party is over.”

Posted on Dec 11, 2009 READ MORE

EPA / Win McNamee

G-20 Muscles G-7 Aside

It looks like the G-20 is set to permanently replace the G-7 as the world’s dominant economic forum, an indirect admission that there was something unfair about the world’s seven wealthiest countries deciding economic policy for the entire globe.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Charles Dharapak

Obama’s Presidency Isn’t Too Big to Fail

A president has only so much capital to expend, both in tax dollars and public tolerance, and Barack Obama is dangerously overdrawn. He has tried to have it all on three fronts, and his administration is in serious danger of going bankrupt.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE


Swiss Bank to Hand Over Account Info

Swiss bank accounts aren’t what they used to be. Switzerland recently agreed to fork over information on 4,450 UBS AG bank accounts to the IRS as an investigation into suspected tax evasion threatens the good name that Swiss banking has provided to money launderers and tax evaders for centuries.

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 READ MORE

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: The Return of Big Government?

President Obama is gambling on America’s readiness to embrace a larger, more comprehensive form of government, but will it take? “Recovering Republican” Arianna Huffington argues that the system Obama favors is currently working best for oligarchs, not those losing their homes or worried about their health care, while Tony Blankley thinks Big Pharma is pitching camp in the White House.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

banking hearing
AP / Susan Walsh

Letting the Banking Rats Out of the Bag

“Was there some sort of ghost that performed these actions?” New York federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff demanded to know Monday in rejecting a deal that would let Bank of America off the hook in yet another banker bonus scandal.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Rich Pedroncelli

Stuff the Bankers, Starve the Kids

I expected a federal government that has spent trillions salvaging the banks that got us into this mess to find the relatively minor sums needed to bail out California and other states that have been the victims of Wall Street’s dangerous games. But I didn’t count on the tough-love steeliness of the Obama administration.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Bank Stress, Afghani-Paki-stan; Gay Marriage

Alert the media—banks need money! Who’s stressed, who’s reassured by the government’s test of the banks’ capitalization? Meanwhile, Pakistan is in serious danger, and Afghanistan is hardly a model of an emerging democracy. Their leaders are in Washington; what will America’s role be?

Posted on May 8, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Obama and Geithner
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Cashing In on ‘Government Sachs’

We are so inured to tales of business corruption that even a devastating exposé in The Wall Street Journal no longer shocks us. The fact that the chairman of the New York Federal Reserve Bank made millions off his secret purchase of Goldman Sachs stock has barely registered a blip of outrage. 

Posted on May 5, 2009 READ MORE

Wall Street

‘Wall Street’ Sequel in the Works

What would have happened to the likes of Gordon Gekko, the ultra-sharky villain of Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street,” in the current economic climate? We’re about to find out, as Stone and Michael Douglas, who first brought the unabashedly greedy Gekko to life in 1987, are gearing up to make a sequel to the classic financial cautionary tale.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE

TARP hearing
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Thievery Under the TARP

We are being robbed big-time, but you can’t say we haven’t been warned. Not after the release Tuesday of a scathing report by the Treasury Department’s special inspector general, who charged that the aptly named Troubled Asset Relief Program is rife with mismanagement and potential for fraud.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: A Glimmer of Hope for the Economy?

The economy’s not the only thing that “Left, Right & Center” co-conspirators Matt Miller, Tony Blankley and Robert Scheer are thinking about this week, but it’s a biggie again, as are the Obama administration’s announcement about defense spending and the changes under way in American foreign policy. Also: Somali pirates!

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Living Large and in Charge

Not surprisingly, Lawrence Summers is convinced that he deserved every penny of the $8 million that Wall Street firms paid him last year. And why shouldn’t he be cut in on the loot from the loopholes in the toxic derivatives market that he pushed into law when he was Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary?

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


Dodd Takes a Hit for AIG Bonus Blunder

When word got out that Sen. Chris Dodd was responsible for loosening the restrictions on executive bonuses while drafting the stimulus bill, his constituents were apparently listening, as the Democrat’s approval rating in his home state of Connecticut has hit an all-time low. Now he could be in danger of losing his Senate seat in 2010.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Obama’s Budget, Jindal’s Debut

Disagreement abounds on this week’s episode of “Left, Right & Center,” especially when it comes to President Obama’s budget plan and the origins of the economic crisis it’s intended to remedy. Who’s the moderator again? And is Bobby Jindal done for?

Posted on Feb 27, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: More Banking Shenanigans, Forestalling Foreclosure

This week’s episode of “Left, Right & Center” finds the full lineup of co-hosts—Matt Miller, Tony Blankley, Arianna Huffington and Robert Scheer—debating the latest developments in the unholy marriage between big banks and the U.S. government, speculating about what might be done about the American auto industry and doing a little on-the-fly analysis of comparative economic systems. Listen and learn.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Robber Barons

A Non-Rising Tide Lifts No Boats

The rationale of the TARP bailout’s “capital-injection program”—providing banks with capital that will increase loans to consumers and businesses—has apparently been forgotten by the 20 largest banks that received TARP money. A Treasury Department survey has found that lending in the last quarter of 2008 was stagnant, or even slightly declined, despite $250 billion in capital-injection funds.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE

Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: American Grandstand, Banking Episode

Was it too much to expect a show of contrition or sacrifice when CEOs from eight of the nation’s biggest banks turned up on Capitol Hill last week to dodge questions about how they used their respective chunks of bailout change? Probably.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


World Economic Growth Slowest Since WWII

The world economy this year is likely to grow at a rate of only 0.5 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund, which re-evaluated its figures after the U.K. officially entered into recession last week. The growth rate, as projected, is the lowest in more than 60 years.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE


Citigroup Does the Splits

After receiving $45 billion from U.S. taxpayers just two months ago, Citibank’s much-maligned parent Citigroup will be no longer, as the financial giant announced in Solomon-style manner Friday that it will split itself into two, dividing the company’s traditional banking business— becoming Citicorp—and its riskier investment department—Citi Holdings.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009 READ MORE


Fun With Bailout Hearings: Know Your Treasury Chumps

It’s clear from this monologue by Rep. Elijah Cummings that, when he wonders aloud if Neel Kashkari is a “chump” for enabling companies like AIG to hand out huge executive bonuses while seeking federal bailout money, Cummings already knows the answer.

Posted on Nov 15, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN

Paulson in negotiations
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

Surprise! Paulson Sneaked $150B Bank ‘Windfall’ Into Bailout

Perhaps we should be more surprised than we are by the news that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and his DOT crew managed to sneak a handful of sentences into the approved bailout bill that amounted to a $150-billion “quiet windfall” for American banks, as The Washington Post put it.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE


Otto Von Bailout

If you thought the United States’ $700-billion bailout would quell the global financial crisis, think again. The German parliament just approved a $675-billion bailout of Germany’s financial markets, a plan that is part of a coordinated European response to volatile global and regional markets.

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE

Timeline: The Global Credit Crisis

To help all those still reeling from sudden onset econo-tastrophe syndrome, the BBC has put together a handy timeline, which connects the dots between events over the last couple years but doesn’t quite take the long view, thus leaving out a few key moments and players from, say, the 1990s (paging Phil Gramm).

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Henny Ray Abrams

Boston Tea Party, 2008

How dare you throw that tea into Boston Harbor! Such is the anti-democratic arrogance of the fear-mongering pundits and politicians who tell us if we taxpayers don’t instantly give the Wall Street banking bandits a $700-billion bailout, we are destroying America.

Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

A Fox to Protect the Henhouse?

Does it really matter which party is in charge when it comes to bailing out the Wall Street hustlers whose shenanigans have bankrupted so many ordinary folks? Not if the Democrats roll over and cede power to the former head of Goldman Sachs, the investment bank at the center of our economic meltdown.

Posted on Sep 23, 2008 READ MORE

Frank and reporters
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Bailout Negotiations Inch Forward

It seems that some key officials involved in the negotiations with the Bush administration over the terms of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s $700-billion bailout proposal for Wall Street aren’t about to make a deal unless it includes specific plans for congressional oversight and help for homeowners on the brink of foreclosure.

Posted on Sep 22, 2008 READ MORE

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Wall Street on the Rocks

What to make of the bailouts and sellouts that dominated the past week’s financial headlines? Well, “Left, Right & Center” commentators Matt Miller, Robert Scheer and Tony Blankley (Arianna Huffington was away) have some ideas about what caused the nightmare on Wall Street and what the future holds.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN


McCain’s Prescription: Set Up Health Care Like Banking Industry

Whoops! As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pointed out Friday, presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain both have articles in the latest edition of Contingencies magazine about how they would reform America’s health care industry. In light of certain recent events in the banking world, McCain may want to reconsider his position.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE

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