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The Case for Big Government

The Case for Big Government

By Jeff Madrick
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Tag: Wall Street

Finders Weepers: Early Bain Disputes Cast New Light on Its Business

Most accounts of Bain Capital characterize the firm as full of hardworking young men who sought to find troubled companies, invest in them and turn them around. But as some disputes illuminate, the reality of Bain’s business in the early years is more complicated.

Posted on Sep 10, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Charles Dharapak

The Great Deregulator

Bill Clinton bears as much responsibility as any politician for the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and the wild applause for his disingenuous speech at the Democratic National Convention last week is a sure sign of the poverty of what passes for progressive politics.

Posted on Sep 10, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by TaxFix.co.uk (CC-BY)

The Root of Europe’s Problem

Most of the damage to the European economy was done by innocent submission of credulous policymakers to the conventional wisdom of the international marketplace.

Posted on Sep 4, 2012 READ MORE



(CC-BY-SA)

N.Y. Probes Bain Capital’s Tax Strategy

Questions about Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital are not likely to go away any time soon, especially now that it’s been revealed that Bain is among a number of major private equity firms under investigation by the New York state attorney general’s office for tax-related reasons.

Posted on Sep 3, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

How Romney Keeps Lying Through His Big White Teeth

The Republican Party has developed three means of bypassing the mainstream media and its fact-checkers.

Posted on Aug 28, 2012 READ MORE



Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, National Archives and Records Administration

Stockman Redux

As he became president in 1981, Ronald Reagan called in a 34-year-old congressman from Michigan named David Stockman, considered by many to be the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment.

Posted on Aug 26, 2012 READ MORE


Who Is Paul Ryan?

Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan admires Ayn Rand, and if you believe Republican Party mythology, Ryan is a messianic John Galt who will save America from a secret socialist conspiracy.

Posted on Aug 17, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by CTJ71081 (CC-BY)

Criminalizing Dissent

The very name of the law itself—the Homeland Battlefield Bill—suggests the totalitarian credo of endless war waged against enemies within “the homeland” as well as those abroad.

Posted on Aug 13, 2012 READ MORE


Romney Fundraiser

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Posted on Aug 8, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras (CC-BY-SA)

Anti-Obama Animus on the Left Reaches Hysterical Proportions

While going through my weekly ration of hate comments from my ultra-left readers, I wondered what they expect to achieve by their actions—or inaction.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 READ MORE



GOP Rakes in Wall Street Cash, ‘Muppets’ Done With Chick-fil-A, and More

A look at the day’s political happenings, including why strip clubs (yes, strip clubs!) in Tampa, Fla., are preparing for the RNC next month, plus Stephen Colbert’s campaign advice to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Posted on Jul 24, 2012 READ MORE



jpellgen

Fallout From the Bungled Bank Bailout

The financial meltdown and subsequent bailout have dampened Americans’ faith in government and stirred widespread outrage. Neil Barofsky, who once served as special inspector general in charge of oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, says that anger may point the way toward reform.

Posted on Jul 23, 2012 READ MORE



Tao Ruspoli

Goodbye, Old Friend

He could be infuriating in his lust for truth and social justice, but no serious student of our time can deny Alexander Cockburn’s importance as one of the most principled and insightful political journalists of the past half-century.

Posted on Jul 21, 2012 READ MORE



kullez (CC BY 2.0)

To Catch a Bankster

Traditional investigations by regulators of all the suspect hanky-panky in the banking industry have produced nothing in the way of fundamental reform and protected the worst repeat offenders. So why not bribe big bankers to turn one another in?

Posted on Jul 21, 2012 READ MORE


Stalemate in Siena

The European Union is at risk of being destroyed by the euro. The credit crisis founded upon the swindle by Wall Street that was retailed to Europe’s banks has created divisions in Europe which are undermining what was supposed to be mutual confidence and solidarity among the 17 members of the euro zone.

Posted on Jul 17, 2012 READ MORE


A Challenge to Conservatives

It’s good that conservatives are finally taking seriously the problems of inequality and declining upward mobility. It’s unfortunate that they often evade the ways in which structural changes in the economy, combined with conservative policies, have made matters worse.

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 READ MORE



NASA GSFC/Jacques Descloitres and Ana Pinheiro

The Pain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain (Folk)

As Spain’s prime minister announced deep austerity cuts Wednesday in order to secure funds from the European Union to bail out Spain’s failing banks, the people of Spain have taken to the streets once again for what they call “Real Democracy Now.”

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 READ MORE


NPR: Crony Capitalism and America’s ‘Berlusconi Spiral’

Is the United States on a course toward crony capitalism? Italian-American economist Luigi Zingales and NPR examine similarities between the politics and economics of Italy under Silvio Berlusconi and of the U.S.

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by U.S. Navy/MC2 Mark Logico

Defining American Exceptionalism

The Founders did not regard their weak new republic as intrinsically superior or chosen by God to rule the world—but argued instead that the ideals of popular sovereignty and constitutional freedom represented the natural rights and the future of humanity everywhere.

Posted on Jul 8, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Mark Lennihan

Crime of the Century

Forget Bernie Madoff and Enron’s Ken Lay—they were mere amateurs in financial crime.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 READ MORE



YouTube/darkscyon

The Dollars Fly Against Citizens United (Video)

Occupy protesters in Seattle tossed $5,000 out of a top window of downtown Seattle’s Roosevelt hotel on the Fourth of July. The action was against the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which removed a federal ban on corporate spending in political campaigns.

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by WEF/Remy Steinegger (CC-BY-SA)

Europe Bails Itself Out, for Now

The latest, and 20th, European “summit” meeting, held last week in Brussels, was symbolically a defeat for Germany’s Angela Merkel, who agreed that Europe’s permanent bailout fund could directly recapitalize certain troubled eurozone banks.

Posted on Jul 3, 2012 READ MORE



Illustration by Mr. Fish

Time to Get Crazy

There are few resistance figures in American history as noble as Crazy Horse.

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Charles Dharapak

Health Care: Give the People What They Want

Most Americans want pretty much the same outcome from health care reform, and it’s not what either major-party candidate is offering.

Posted on Jun 20, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by Paul Weiksel, Rights reserved

Occupy Will Be Back

In every conflict, insurgency, uprising and revolution I have covered as a foreign correspondent, the power elite used periods of dormancy, lulls and setbacks to write off the opposition.

Posted on Jun 18, 2012 READ MORE



Photo illustration from an image by Colin Grey (CC-BY)

Big Enough to Fail

Last week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: an indie look at the downfall of Washington Mutual, political surrogacy on the campaign trail, filmmaker Amy Ziering on rape in the military, and youth voter outreach at the world’s largest dance party.

Posted on Jun 17, 2012 READ MORE


Big Enough to Fail

Last week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: an indie look at the downfall of Washington Mutual, political surrogacy on the campaign trail, filmmaker Amy Ziering on rape in the military, and youth voter outreach at the world’s largest dance party.

Posted on Jun 17, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Barry Thumma

See You at the Club: Fed Fat Cats Dip Into the Till

American families have lost 20 years of growth while at least 18 bankers and tycoons sat on Fed boards that coincidentally bailed out their institutions.

Posted on Jun 14, 2012 READ MORE


Billionaires Against Billionaires

For those who believe money already has too much power in American politics, 2012 will be a miserable year.

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 READ MORE


Robert Scheer and KPFA’s Philip Maldari: A Spirited Debate

Robert Scheer and KPFA’s Philip Maldari chat about issues including state politics, Rambo Obama’s use of executive power, the facade of the two-party system and the unresolved economic crisis.

Posted on Jun 12, 2012 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Soup Having Sex With Soup

“If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes,” Picasso said, naming the distinct advantage that artists have always had over pundits and polemicists when it came to perceiving the world as it is; pundits and polemicists being much more likely to insist that the world is whatever a person wants it to be.

Posted on Jun 9, 2012 READ MORE    



AP/Morry Gash

Democrats Failed in Wisconsin Because They Failed Wisconsin

Voters in Wisconsin bought the tea party line because the president and his party have not been able to provide a believable alternative.

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 READ MORE



‘Sesame Street’ Songs Used to Torture Inmates

To make inmates in Guantanamo Bay divulge information, guards play “Sesame Street” songs; studies are attempting to show that people can suffer from a clinical addiction to Facebook; meanwhile, the Catholic Church is looking into the Girl Scouts for their ties to organizations that promote safe sex. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 READ MORE



ToonariPost

GOP Criticizes Obama After Weak Jobs Report Spurs Stock Market Sell-Off

Jittery investors now have even more to worry about after a disappointing May jobs report slammed Wall Street on Friday, wiping out the entire gains for the stock market this year. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 275 points, or 2.2 percent. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 were also down, dropping 2.8 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 READ MORE


Why Cory Booker Got Bain Capital So Wrong

Cory Booker’s emotional televised plea to “stop attacking private equity” may have been the single greatest service he could perform for the Romney campaign.

Posted on May 30, 2012 READ MORE


President Enough

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Posted on May 27, 2012 READ MORE


Why Bain Questions Matter

Who are the dastardly enemies of free enterprise who decided to make an issue of Mitt Romney’s tenure at the private-equity firm Bain Capital? Er, those would be his fellow Republicans.

Posted on May 25, 2012 READ MORE


A Rare Admission That Money Trumps Everything Else

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is using his power to undermine a popular proposal to increase the minimum wage.

Posted on May 25, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by jpellgen

What We Learned About Wall Street and Big Business From Facebook’s IPO

In the span of less than a week, Facebook’s much-maligned initial public offering has led to billions in losses, multiple investigations and even lawsuits. The mess created from all this chaos, however, has led to some lessons about how Wall Street and big businesses play the system for their own economic advantages.

Posted on May 24, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Jae C. Hong

Do the Bain Hustle

President Obama is to be applauded for questioning Mitt Romney’s legacy, although his motives seem to be as opportunistic as those of Romney’s opponents in the Republican primaries who took the same tack.

Posted on May 23, 2012 READ MORE



Wired Photostream (creative commons)

Facebook Sued by Investors Over IPO

Facebook faced more bad news Wednesday in the wake of its botched initial public offering. Shareholders filed a lawsuit against the social networking company, lead underwriter Morgan Stanley and several other Wall Street banks, alleging that they misled them about Facebook’s revenue projections ahead of the IPO.

Posted on May 23, 2012 READ MORE



birgerking

Facebook’s Fumbled IPO Under Scrutiny

The fallout over Facebook’s botched IPO continued on Tuesday with a lawsuit filed against NASDAQ over mishandled orders and word that regulators may investigate Morgan Stanley, which helped set the price of the stock, and other underwriting banks.

Posted on May 22, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by (CC-BY-ND)

A Choice of Capitalisms

In this election, we’re not having an argument that pits capitalism against socialism. We are trying to decide what kind of capitalism we want.

Posted on May 20, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Mark Lennihan

Obama Can’t Knock the Hustle

How did we end up with such smart scoundrels? Even after it was known that Jamie Dimon’s bank blew more than $2 billion, Barack Obama still had praise for the intellect of his political backer.

Posted on May 17, 2012 READ MORE



smoothdude (CC BY 2.0)

1 in 10 Wall Streeters Is a Psychopath: Unconfirmed

Monday we linked readers to an opinion piece in The New York Times by former Yale professor and literary critic William Deresiewicz. Deresiewicz’s essay and our post led with the claim that 10 percent of Wall Street employees are clinical psychopaths. It looks like that claim is unsubstantiated.

Posted on May 15, 2012 READ MORE



smoothdude (CC BY 2.0)

Psychopaths Are Loose on Wall Street (Updated)

One percent of the adult human population qualifies as clinically psychopathic, exhibiting a lack of empathy and a knack for telling lies and getting away with it. That compares with 10 percent of wheeler-dealers on Wall Street, according to a recent study. American critic William Deresiewicz is not surprised. Update: The 1-in-10 figure is unsupported. See here.

Posted on May 14, 2012 READ MORE



Illustration by Mr. Fish

Colonized by Corporations

We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized.

Posted on May 14, 2012 READ MORE


Coal, Foreclosures and Bank of America’s ‘Extraordinary Event’

Shareholder meetings can be routine, unless you are Bank of America, in which case it may be declared an “extraordinary event.”

Posted on May 10, 2012 READ MORE



Photo by (CC-BY-SA)

Elections Could Shift EU Away From Austerity, but Should They?

The weekend elections in France and Greece seem widely to have been taken, at least on the European and American left, as a solution to the great European economic crisis.

Posted on May 8, 2012 READ MORE



nosha (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Plutonomy and the Precariat: On the History of the U.S. Economy in Decline

After the first few years of the Great Depression there was a sense that “we’re gonna get out of it.” It’s quite different now. For many people in the United States, there’s a pervasive sense of hopelessness, sometimes despair. I think it’s quite new in American history. And it has an objective basis.

Posted on May 8, 2012 READ MORE


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