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Tag: Finance

Could a New Equity Empire Spark the Next Housing Crisis?

Laura Gottesdiener talks with “Democracy Now!” about her TomDispatch article on the team-up of big banks and private equity firms to bundle rental property mortgages into a new financial product called “rental-backed securities.”

Posted on Apr 10, 2014 READ MORE


A Century of Collusion Between Washington and Finance

Former Wall Street executive, financial journalist and Truthdig contributor Nomi Prins tells “Democracy Now!” how a small number of bankers have played critical roles in shaping a century’s worth of financial, foreign and domestic policy in the United States, a series of events that she documents in her new book, “All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power.”

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 READ MORE



‘The Dick Joke Is Not Always Your Friend’

The recently deceased Harold Ramis’ beloved anti-authoritarian comedies of the late ’70s and the ’80s (including “Animal House” starring John Belushi, pictured) were pop trojan horses of then-emerging right-wing cultural values, former Harper’s Magazine columnist Thomas Frank writes at Salon.

Posted on Mar 6, 2014 READ MORE



Thatcher Cook/PopTech (CC-BY-SA)

Former Regulator Sheila Bair Works for a Bank Now, but It’s Not What You Think

As head of the FDIC, Sheila Bair was one of the best known critics of banks. Now she works for one. So when is a revolving door not a revolving door?

Posted on Feb 5, 2014 READ MORE



Fourth Banker Dies of Apparent Suicide in a Week

Russell Investments chief economist Mike Dueker’s apparent suicide death, discovered Thursday after the 50-year-old former St. Louis Federal Reserve officer had been reported missing from his home in Tacoma, Washington, became the fourth such loss in the financial community in the span of a week.

Posted on Feb 5, 2014 READ MORE


American Oligarchs Will Never Cancel the Debts Owed to Them

University of Missouri economist Michael Hudson explains one of the best-kept and most pernicious secrets of contemporary capitalism: Unless the financial scheme underpinning society is restructured, the bulk of debts owed by working and poor Americans can’t and won’t be repaid.

Posted on Nov 30, 2013 READ MORE



Flickr/Thomas Hawk

How Payday Lenders Bounce Back When States Crack Down

In 2008, payday lenders suffered a major defeat when the Ohio legislature banned high-cost loans. That same year, they lost again when they dumped more than $20 million into an effort to roll back the law: The public voted against it by nearly two-to-one. But five years later, hundreds of payday loan stores still operate in Ohio, charging annual rates that can approach 700 percent.

Posted on Aug 6, 2013 READ MORE



Shutterstock photo of a man holding money.

Americans Suffer While Finance Tax Waits for Congress’ Attention

The Financial Transaction Tax, or Robin Hood Tax, would generate more than $300 billion a year in revenue, thereby doing away with the need for the sequester currently forcing across-the-board budget cuts.

Posted on Apr 24, 2013 READ MORE



HowardLake (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Barclays to Ax Thousands of Jobs

The new chief executive of the British bank is aiming to clean up his scam-ridden operation by dropping 3,700 employees from its structured capital markets unit and other offices.

Posted on Feb 12, 2013 READ MORE



Verso Books

The Making of Global Capitalism

Although Karl Marx discerned in the middle of the 19th century that a new class of capitalists was creating “a world after its own image,” it took until the beginning of the 21st century before “a constantly expanding market” could be said to have fully spread capitalist social relations “over the entire surface of the globe,” write Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin in their new book, “The Making of Global Capitalism.”

Posted on Jan 31, 2013 READ MORE


Jobless Elf

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Posted on Dec 17, 2012 READ MORE


Financial Assistance

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Posted on Dec 17, 2012 READ MORE



aresauburn™ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Mountain of Corporate Cash Sits Idle (Video)

Figures from the Internal Revenue Service suggest that nonfinance companies based in the United States are holding more than $5 trillion in cash, triple what the Federal Reserve reports—idle money that Reuters columnist David Cay Johnston suggests would be better spent creating jobs, paying dividends and sharing the burden of taxes.

Posted on Jul 20, 2012 READ MORE



Elliott Brown (CC-BY)

Bailout, Tune Out

The BBC reports that while the United States and the U.K. have made a habit of buying too-big-to-fail banks and then looking the other way, the safest banks in the world aren’t just owned but operated by civil governments.

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 READ MORE



Dennis Skley (CC-BY-ND)

Fiction, Fantasy and the Euro

The extent to which the economic policy of nations is made on the basis of misinformation or wishful thinking is not generally recognized.

Posted on Dec 6, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Study: Nearly Half of Congress Members Are Millionaires

The shiny ideal of representative democracy starts dimming a bit when one considers factors and figures like those charted in a new study about U.S. Congress members’ personal finances. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 249 current members are millionaires—that’s about 47 percent. (more)

Posted on Nov 15, 2011 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

Wall Street Is Still Trying to Buy Obama’s Love

President Obama and the Democratic National Committee have raised more from the financial industry than all the Republican candidates combined. However, without the DNC, Mitt Romney has raised almost twice as much as the president from that sector, according to analysis by The Washington Post. (more)

Posted on Oct 19, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Julie Jacobson

The American Scream: Going Hoarse Without Speaking

It is clear that nowhere in American commercial life, save perhaps the graveyard, is there a space not polluted by electronic voices.

Posted on Jul 24, 2011 READ MORE


Euro symbol
AP / Daniel Roland

EU Moves to Shore Up Bailout Fund

European Union financial officials meeting in Brussels have agreed on the setting up of a permanent bailout fund, even as Portugal reportedly teeters on the precipice of financial collapse.

Posted on Mar 25, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

No TARP in Iceland

Iceland’s President Olafur Grimsson, surveying the global financial mess, including the pending $112 billion bailout of Ireland’s shaky banking sector, can gloat a bit. His country, he says, is in better shape because it let private banks fail two years ago.

Posted on Nov 26, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Chamber Fills Its Pot o’ Gold

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a bastion of pro-business, anti-environment and anti-labor ideology since its founding in 1912. And so it is unsurprising that modern-day corporations have donated millions upon millions to the Chamber to fight such perilous things as, say, security requirements on chemical facilities.

Posted on Oct 22, 2010 READ MORE



cityofbell.org

Audit Time for Bell

The city of Bell, Calif., drew quite a bit of unwanted attention to itself last summer with the revelation that several top officials were pocketing ridiculously high salaries at the expense of its citizens. Now it’s looking like payback time, as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is on the case.

Posted on Oct 19, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / International Monetary Fund

IMF to Scrutinize the Rich

While the International Monetary Fund has historically been an organization used by wealthy countries to assert economic dominance over the rest of the world, developing nations won a small battle Saturday as the IMF moved to increase scrutiny over its rich members, including the United States.

Posted on Oct 10, 2010 READ MORE


And Now, a Giggly Swiss Minister’s Take on Cured Meats (Update: Explained)

Here we see the now-viral footage of Swiss finance minister Hans-Rudolf Merz, 67, who is on the brink of retirement and quite able to appreciate the lighter side of some of his bureaucratic duties, such as discussing the apparently amusing matter of cured meat imports.

Posted on Sep 27, 2010 READ MORE


Paul Volcker
AP / Wong Maye-E

Volcker Unloads on Nation’s Finance System

In a spare-no-one, off-the-cuff critique, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker delivered a blistering analysis of the nation’s financial system Thursday, criticizing banks, regulators, business schools, the Fed and money-market funds in a “plea for structural changes in markets and market regulation.”

Posted on Sep 24, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / soathevy

New Credit Card Rules Go Into Effect

New rules curbing credit card company shenanigans took effect Sunday, as restrictions on “unreasonable late payment and other penalty fees” will now block the companies from charging excessive levies if users, to cite just one choice example, do not use their cards.

Posted on Aug 22, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / edEx

The Job Market Continues to Struggle

In news that reflects the weakening pulse of the economy, the Labor Department reported that initial claims for jobless benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted level of half a million, the highest since last November.

Posted on Aug 19, 2010 READ MORE


school scene
AP / Carlos Osorio

$26 Billion for States and Schools

A $26 billion aid package was passed by the Senate on Thursday that aims to ensure that school districts and states do not have to can tens of thousands of teachers and government workers. Just two Republicans crossed the ideological aisle to support the bill, which now heads to the House.

Posted on Aug 6, 2010 READ MORE



Troy Jollimore on Markets and Morality

Debra Satz’s new book, “Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale,” raises timely and morally difficult questions about capitalism and free choice and collective and individual rights.

Posted on Jul 22, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Richard Drew

Wall Street Reform Bill Nailed Down

After a marathon final negotiating session, Congress has cobbled together a historic overhaul of financial regulations for Wall Street. The bill is expected to win final approval next week and land on President Obama’s desk.

Posted on Jun 25, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / U.S. Treasury Department

Don’t Count on Us

In the face of the stereotypical image of Americans as free-spending consumers, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told his international finance colleagues that G20 countries should not rely on American buyers for their products as they travel the road to economy recovery.

Posted on Jun 5, 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



Live Chat: Robert Scheer on the Goldman Hearings

Will the Goldman Sachs hearings really accomplish anything? Are the Democrats just showboating? What are the prospects for real financial reform? Robert Scheer answers these reader questions and more.

Posted on Apr 29, 2010 READ MORE


How Wall Street Creates Socialists

No leftist polemicist could come up with as damning a description of contemporary capitalism as the contents of an e-mail that Goldman’s Fabrice “Fabulous Fab” Tourre sent to his girlfriend.

Posted on Apr 28, 2010 READ MORE


It Takes Power to Control Power

Discredited as the financial powers are, their wealth alone continues to provide them with wildly disproportionate influence over the political process.

Posted on Apr 28, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

SEC’s Dirty Little Secret

One wonders if there is a smutty equivalent to Nero’s fiddling while Rome burns. If there is, it might be applicable to the senior staffers at the SEC who spent hours watching pornography on government computers instead of policing the nation’s financial system.

Posted on Apr 23, 2010 READ MORE



youtube.com

‘You Shall Not Pass’

It seems the GOP’s “make sure nothing happens in government” approach is still going strong, with Senate Republicans blocking an effort by Democrats to begin debate on widely popular legislation to regulate the nation’s financial system.

Posted on Apr 23, 2010 READ MORE


Why Financial Reform Will Be Easier Than Health Care

For the first time in Obama’s presidency, Republicans are uncertain as to whether resolute opposition to a Democratic idea is in their political interest.

Posted on Apr 21, 2010 READ MORE


Goldman’s Shell Game

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Posted on Apr 19, 2010 READ MORE


Bernanke
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



United States Treasury

China Flexes Financial Muscle

News that China sold $34 billion in U.S. government bonds at the end of last year has raised the fears of analysts, some of whom think that the move—which involved less than 5 percent of the overall amount of bonds held by China—is meant to signal a loss of confidence in U.S. economic policy.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE


Blankfein
AP / Mark Lennihan

Goldman’s Hand in AIG’s Collapse

Recently disclosed internal documents and an audio recording regarding a 2008 securities standoff between Goldman Sachs and insurance giant AIG appear to be the smoking guns necessary to pinpoint Goldman’s culpability in the mortgage meltdown and the collapse of AIG.

Posted on Feb 6, 2010 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org / Ramy Majouji

Obama Wants a Wall Street Recovery Tax

President Barack Obama wants to slap a new tax on the country’s largest financial institutions in an ostensible attempt to “recover every single dime” given away in 2008’s Wall Street bailout. The tax was met with predictable fat-cat jeers, despite the fact that the industry has largely recovered from the crisis. 

Posted on Jan 14, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The End of Wall Street Liberalism

If you held a contest to pick the worst thing a politician could be called at this moment, my nominee would be Wall Street Liberal—which is why President Obama’s new fees on the biggest banks comes just in time.

Posted on Jan 13, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / edEx

Unemployment Woes Persist

After a smidgen of good economic news in November, the U.S. economy unexpectedly shed 85,000 more jobs in December, continuing a nearly two-year trend and keeping the unemployment rate at 10 percent.

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

TARP on Steroids

The former financial executives inside the Obama administration have labeled their bill the “Financial Stability Improvement Act,” but it’s more like the 9/11 of bailouts.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Playing Monopoly With America’s Health

Anyone infuriated by the grossly inflated compensation of the masters of finance should check out the incredible earnings of the top executives in the health insurance business.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE



gawker.com

Wall Street Bonuses ‘Offensive’

The Obama administration, perhaps getting wise to public opinion, is lashing out at Wall Street firms. White House senior adviser David Axelrod called the huge bonuses executives received this year “offensive” in light of the fact that the rest of us are struggling through an economic crisis.

Posted on Oct 18, 2009 READ MORE


Economy
southwestga.com

In the Jobless Numbers, a Glimmer

Woe is still the economy, but several numbers are indicating that the recession might, just might, be easing up. The pace of U.S. job losses has gradually slowed, and the unemployment rate actually dropped in July for the first time in over a year.

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 READ MORE


Benedict XVI
highvolumemedia.com

Pope Says Capitalism Is Failing

In the spirit of the poignant critiques of capitalism made popular by Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI has written a scathing letter just in time for the capitalist G-8 economic summit in Italy that demands we find a “profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise.”

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE


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