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Tag: Capitalism

Saying ‘No Deal’ to This New Deal

The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair—stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding. But during the debate over a Wall Street bailout this week, we watched that matrimonial knot unwind into a tangled tale of terror.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Making the Bailout Less Toxic

The initial failure to pass bailout legislation reflected a political system as bereft of confidence as the financial markets.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Machado at the UN
AP photo / Seth Wenig

Latin Leaders Blast Bailout

The most explicit anti-capitalist analysis of the U.S.‘s proposed bailout of major finance firms is not domestic, but rather international. A cadre of left-leaning leaders in Latin America is ramping up criticism of Bush’s crony capitalism, arguing that the U.S. economic crisis was caused by the driving logic of American imperialism: fast money at the expense of the poor.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


BBT
finfacts.ie

Hustling Toward a Bailout Compromise

Following days of hype-work by the Bush administration to scare taxpayers into paying for Wall Street’s failures, support for the $700-billion bailout seems to be gaining steam. Analysts believe the final bailout plan, expected in a day or two, may look eerily similar to Bush’s initial proposal, with some slight changes.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE


Brokers and Bankers First

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Posted on Sep 23, 2008 READ MORE


Getting the Bailout Right

Unless something very strange happens, Congress will pass a massive bailout of the financial system by the end of this week simply because every other option is worse. But the content of the bailout package matters enormously.

Posted on Sep 22, 2008 READ MORE


So Much for the ‘Masters of the Universe’

Let’s be clear about why we’re facing a crisis that could pull down the global financial system. The irresponsibility of individuals who bought houses they couldn’t quite afford pales in comparison to the irresponsibility of the financial wizards who built on those shaky mortgages a towering edifice of irrational faith.

Posted on Sep 22, 2008 READ MORE


Paulson Congress
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

Paulson Bailout Plan Could Reach $1 Trillion

If you thought the Iraq war was expensive, the Bush administration is also throwing an estimated $1-trillion bailout of major finance firms to prevent a meltdown of the U.S. economy. President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson outlined such a “bold approach” Friday morning, yet detailed plans still remain forthcoming.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org / Manfred Brückels

Reality Catches Up to the Free Market

Karl Marx, were he still about, would surely be interested in the report that unregulated free-market capitalism has died in a flash, by its own hand; whereas it took 70 years and a Cold War to bring down the Marxist economy established in the Soviet Union following the Bolshevik Revolution.

Posted on Sep 18, 2008 READ MORE


Zell Chair
richsamuels.com

‘Class Act’-ion at the L.A. Times

Former reporters from the L.A. Times and at least one current star columnist have filed a class-action suit against Sam Zell. The billionaire’s reign over the paper beginning in late 2007 has not been pretty, and the lawsuit contends that recent violations of federal financial rules have “diminished the value of the employee-owned company to benefit himself and his fellow board members.”

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE


Markets Respond to Fannie, Freddie Takeover

Investors have been throwing money at stock markets the world over following the news that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been placed under federal conservatorship. Some analysts are confident that the move will stabilize the mortgage giants and, in turn, a tanking housing market. With hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on the line, let’s hope they’re right.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Making Goliath Walk

In the imminent confrontation over the Employee Free Choice Act, an almost embarrassingly modest proposal, corporations are actually billing themselves as the underdog—the poor, overmatched peasant David against the Philistine monster Goliath.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
wikimedia.org

China Gets the (Sooty) Gold in Power Emissions

China’s unceasing economic growth has always worried environmentalists, and a new report by the Center for Global Development may put those concerns on a new level. After increasing power-plant emissions by a third this year, China’s coal-based power sector is poised to be the most polluting in the world ... even worse than that of the United States.

Posted on Aug 27, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wiki Commons/Andy Miah

Beijing 2008: Are You Ready for McCommunism?

Naomi Klein points out that while repression in China is nothing new, Police State 2.0 has nothing to do with Communist ideological purity and everything to do with creating “the ultimate consumer cocoon for Visa cards, Adidas sneakers, China Mobile cell phones, McDonald’s happy meals, Tsingtao beer, and UPS delivery—to name just a few of the official Olympic sponsors. But the hottest new market of all is the surveillance itself ... an entirely for-profit affair that is the latest frontier for the global Disaster Capitalism Complex.”

Posted on Aug 7, 2008 READ MORE


Mauritana Military and Police
javno.com

Bloodless Coup Leaders Arrest Mauritania’s President

The government of President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdellah came to an end Wednesday in the West African state of Mauritania, as military officers arrested both Abdellah and the prime minister in a coup against a government denounced for its “corruption and ineptitude in handling rising food prices and oil revenues.” Sound familiar at all?

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


South Africa Strike
guardian.co.uk

2 Million South Africans on Strike

A national strike left South Africa’s streets largely deserted Wednesday as 2 million people refused to work in protest of soaring food and fuel prices. The action, led by a coalition of trade unions, was symbolic and precautionary, suggesting additional strikes if the government and business remained inept at managing the national economy.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE


China’s Quest for Olympic Glory

The Chinese authorities’ anxiety that the Olympic Games will be a success reflects their need to find international confirmation of their general political and economic policies of the past 20 years.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A War of Self-Destruction

An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the United States.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Elaine Chao
flickr.com

Unemployment at a Four-Year High

A government report released Friday signals worsening economic tides as the U.S. tries to navigate through its highest level of unemployment in four years. The seven-month-long trend of net job losses is likely to persist, with few signs of a turnaround on the horizon.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


Pascal Quiet
boston.com

New World Trade Treaty Plowed Under

The World Trade Organization talks in Geneva finally imploded Wednesday, as negotiations over farm subsidies and labor standards collapsed into an immovable standstill between wealthy and poorer countries. The talks, defended heavily by the “developed world,” are seen by critics as an instrument to serve corporate interests.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


Detroit Homeless Shelter
Detroit News / Ankur Dholakia

Chronically Homeless Numbers Down 30%, U.S. Claims

In the face of a U.S. housing crisis and a troubled economy, Bush administration officials claim that the past two years have seen a 30 percent drop in the levels of chronically homeless people, crediting the decrease to a strategy of finding permanent shelter for the long-ignored disabled and addicted.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


Hong Kong Protest WTO
flickr.com

Second Wind for WTO Talks?

While supporters of the much troubled Doha Round of the World Trade Organization believe talks may have found their second wind, only the world’s largest economies seem to be breathing. The form of capitalism supported by these countries is resisted by poorer nations, which rightly fear WTO deregulations would disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


Nam Theun 2 Dam
namtheun2.com

World Bank Finds Itself Wanting

The World Bank is being criticized for a persistent lack of environmental focus in an internal review of its lending activities. The new report rails against the environmental degradation caused by many bank-funded projects in poor countries that harm local communities in the name of “development.”

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

William Pfaff on General Motors

Are workers to blame for the fix that General Motors (along with many other corporations) is in? A new book by Roger Lowenstein argues that they are. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


gas prices
AP photo / Lisa Poole

Inflation Runs at a 26-Year High

The once-mighty U.S. dollar is full of hot air, or at least the rate of inflation is at a 26-year high due to the recent economic toils and astronomical energy prices. Prices U.S. consumers pay shot up 1.1 percent in June—or more directly, your paycheck just got 1.1 percent smaller.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


Wall Street Socialism Meets Disaster Capitalism

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were always more foul than fish, says Robert Borosage, and the bailout announced by the Treasury secretary over the weekend will mean “private speculators, having driven the stock down, will clean up on the upside.”

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


Furriners Buy Bud!

For $52 billion, Belgian beer giant InBev will gain control of Anheuser-Busch, the mighty producer of Bud Light and Budweiser, America’s #1- and #2-selling beers, respectively. In one swoop, the Euro brewery secures half the U.S. market.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE


Mexico Food Protest
treehugger.com

Biofuels Blamed in Global Food Crisis

While environmentalists and opponents of foreign oil may have found common cause in the use of biofuels, a new, confidential World Bank report estimates that the recent increase in plant-based fuel production has actually contributed to a 75 percent rise in global food prices, sparking riots across the world and pushing millions beneath the poverty line.

Posted on Jul 4, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Ruth Rosen on ‘The Populist Vision’

Do the socially progressive ideals that jump-started 20th-century reform movements have lessons relevant to the concerns of 21st-century America? A new book makes a strong case that they do.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater guard
Salon.com

Private Contractors in Iraq to Lose Immunity

The folks at Blackwater and other private security outfits in Iraq encountered a dramatic setback Wednesday after an Iraqi minister announced that private guards will no longer be given immunity from U.S military and Iraqi law, ending more than five years of unregulated mercenary violence in the country.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Wal-Mart
cnbc.com

Wal-Mart Employees Are Restless

Wal-Mart may be fined by a Minnesota judge for violating the state’s employment laws. The fines are for ‘‘contractual violations,” a fancy way of saying that Wal-Mart denied rest breaks to workers at least 1.5 million times.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Googlehand
businessweek.com

Inquiry on Search Partnership

A recent advertising partnership between search giant Google and competitor Yahoo has antitrust authorities worried. Not only does a Google-Yahoo deal look ridiculous in name, but critics (such as Microsoft) say the partnership would consolidate Google’s control of Internet search ad revenue to a whopping 90 percent of U.S. market share.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE


Haitian Children At Well
picasaweb / gohaitimission

U.S. Withholds Loans in Water-Starved Haiti

The U.S. is under heavy criticism by human rights groups for withholding funds for clean water projects in Haiti as leverage for U.S.-led political reform in the country. A total of $54 million in loans to Haitians—70 percent of whom already lack daily access to potable water—is being delayed.

Posted on Jun 25, 2008 READ MORE


Band Aid Tins
urbanprarie.net

Wounds Heal in Red Cross Dispute

After coming to its public relations senses, medical firm Johnson & Johnson has decided it wouldn’t be wise to proceed with a lawsuit against the Red Cross charity over a trademark agreement made in 1895. The initial case was brought by the firm after the Red Cross began to sell safety kits to fundraise for its many disaster-relief campaigns.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008 READ MORE


Fiat Chief on the Global Finance Crisis

The Italian-Canadian chief executive of Fiat, the leading Italian industrial enterprise, Sergio Marchionne, speaking about the present economic crisis last weekend, mentioned the well-known argument first made by the Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter about the function of “creative destruction” in modern capitalism.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


Halliburton Sign
pjvoice.com

Private Contractors ‘Mismanaged’ $23 Billion in Iraq

A BBC investigation on U.S. war profiteering estimates that $23 billion of taxpayer funds has been “lost, stolen, or not properly accounted for in Iraq.”

Posted on Jun 11, 2008 READ MORE


Iowa Farm Autumn
flickr.com

Bush Vetoes Farm Bill

Without batting an ironic eye, President Bush has vetoed a $289-billion farm bill, claiming the legislation gives too much money to wealthy farmers. The bill includes steps to spur biofuel use and would expand nutrition programs to help poor Americans buy food. The Democratic Congress is expected to override the veto.

Posted on May 21, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / azrainman

$10.9 Billion Ain’t What it Used to Be

Exxon Mobil made $10.9 billion last quarter, but investors were disappointed that the world’s biggest oil company had only its second-biggest quarter ever. With a product that is harder and harder to find, shareholders who demand even bigger windfalls and consumers who are about ready to revolt, you almost have to feel sorry for the oil companies. No, you really don’t.

Posted on May 1, 2008 READ MORE


Thomas Friedman Smells
detestablephrases.wordpress.com

World Is Flat and Full of Meringue

Thomas Friedman, global capitalist and semantically inept columnist for The New York Times, was gastronomically assaulted by pie-throwers at Brown University on Earth Day this week. At issue was Friedman’s laissez-faire attitude toward solving global environmental issues, which protesters felt was structurally inadequate and ultimately regressive.

Posted on Apr 25, 2008 READ MORE


Mexico Food Protest
treehugger.com

G-7, IMF and World Bank Leaders to Meet

Following the string of economic crises across the globe, financial elites are planning to meet in Washington this weekend to address how to resolve the problems of global capitalism. Notably missing from the proceedings is any representative from the developing world.

Posted on Apr 11, 2008 READ MORE


The Long, Sorrowful Ludlow Legacy

A straight line can be drawn between the 1914 labor massacre in Colorado and today’s killing fields in Colombia. And one of the villains in both cases is the U.S. government.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE


The USS Economy

Share
Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE



AP photos / left: Gautam Singh / right: Uwe Lein

On Secular Fundamentalism

The battle under way in America is not a battle between religion and science. It is a battle between religious and secular fundamentalists. It is a battle between two groups intoxicated with the utopian and magical belief that humankind can perfect itself and master its destiny.

Posted on Apr 7, 2008 READ MORE


Slap Down ‘Free Market’ Pirates

For years, District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has warned that the nexus of capitalism and criminality poses a serious threat to America.  With Bear Stearns now in ruins, maybe we will listen to him.

Posted on Mar 26, 2008 READ MORE


Greed Is Not Good

The housing crisis brings to mind Gordon Gekko, that fictitious ambassador of Wall Street whose words, then and now, remind us why uninhibited capitalism just doesn’t work.

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 READ MORE


New Crisis, Old Isms

The Federal Reserve Bank’s decision last week to address the housing crisis by extending $200 billion of taxpayer-financed credit to Wall Street banks was met with a stunned reaction typical of surprising events. But really, the move was the expression of longstanding isms that routinely package corruption as sound public policy.

Posted on Mar 21, 2008 READ MORE


Too Big to Fail

The government spread out a nice, soft net to catch the collapsing financial firm Bear Stearns. But if you’re a little guy who gets in trouble, expect to meet up with a somewhat harder surface.

Posted on Mar 20, 2008 READ MORE


Kevin Martin
blogspot.com

FCC Cashes In on Spectrum Auction

After two months and 261 rounds of bidding, the FCC announced Tuesday that it has raised a total of $19.6 billion from the sale of the U.S. wireless spectrum. The revenue, slated to fund “public safety and digital television transition initiatives,” is nearly double what Congress had previously estimated for the publicly owned spectrum.

Posted on Mar 19, 2008 READ MORE


Be Careful What You Wish For

Never do I want to hear again from my conservative friends about how brilliant capitalists are, how much they deserve their seven-figure salaries, and how government should keep its hands off the private economy.

Posted on Mar 18, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Mark Arax on California’s Capitalist Founders

It is said that behind every great fortune there is a crime. Here’s a true-life drama of self-invention, greed and ambition involving four larger-than-life men who singly, and together, helped create California. A book to be read after you’ve watched “There Will Be Blood.”

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


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