By Lynn Parramore, Media Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Cross posted from New Deal 2.0.
Busting unions gave Calvin Coolidge the White House, but it gave America the Great Depression.
For years, American workers’ wages have stagnated even as they produced more. Since 2008, they have been socked with staggering new bills for bank bailouts and hammered by a Great Recession brought on by the very same banks. Now public sector workers are confronted by a new crop of Republican governors who want to put an end to unions. Union workers in Wisconsin have already conceded all of Governor Walker’s draconian demands. But they want to hold on to their right to bargain so that they won’t be at the mercy of the whims of political appointees or rogue school boards. Tens of thousands have swarmed Madison to show their support for the working people of Wisconsin.
Conservatives are tasked with coming up with a narrative that makes villains out of these working folks and heroes out of the powerful people who aim to squeeze them for what’s left of their economic security.
This is not easy. And you have to admire their ingenuity.
… And the American press …
Amur tigers in population crisis BBC ;-(
After a Record Haul in Maine, Try the Lobster Mac and Cheese New York Times
Two planets found sharing one orbit New Scientist
‘Anonymous’ targets the brothers Koch, claiming attempts ‘to usurp American Democracy’ Raw Story. OK, if they are really smart, they will wipe the records of their derivatives positions and cause them to implode financially. MIght even be a systemic event, so embarrassing the officialdom about their “Mission Accomplished” posturing and getting another go at the banks would be an added bennie.
By Richard Smith, a recovering capital markets IT specialist Economics of Contempt took issue with a post I had written about a Financial Times op-ed by the Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane (and Robert May). He also attributed it to Yves…I really must get the byline habit. To be candid, I find his piece a […]
There has been evidence here and there of a marked fall in new foreclosure filings. Lender Processing Services, which handles more than half of the loans serviced in the US, said its revenues in its Default Services Group were down in the final quarter of the year. Why? Its revenues are tied to initial foreclosure filings, and its were off 33%, no doubt in large measure due to the robo signing scandal. Recall that it led many banks to halt foreclosures (some all over the US, others in judicial foreclosure states only) while they inspected the state of play and scrambled to revamp procedures. Banks piously claimed that they found no problems in the correctness of foreclosure actions and that ex making the changes needed to assure affidavits were proper, they were going to be back to business as usual post haste.
Now we already know that that isn’t the case. Since the robosigning scandal broke, foreclosure activity has been down. RealtyTrac reported that foreclosures in January were up only 1% over December levels, which was down 17% from the year prior.
But RealtyTrac captures every foreclosure filing in that particular report, so it is a mix of new foreclosure filings plus additional filings for foreclosures already underway….
Given how many commentators believe that Greece is destined to default on its bonds (particularly since they are subordinate to any new money from the IMF and EU), you’d think they’d be putting their money where their mouth is.
But the old saw in the US is “don’t fight the Fed”. And the same logic appears to apply with the ECB. John Dizard of the Financial Times reports that perilous little in the way of CDS contracts is being written on everyone’s favorite sovereign default candidate (although the leader of Fine Gael, which will be leading the new coalition in Ireland, fired a shot of sorts across the bow of the eurozone officialdom).
By Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. His Twitter feed is http://www.twitter.com/matthewstoller
Obama had a brief appearance on the Oscars, and received no applause from an audience that surely would have treated him differently two years ago. The politics of the night belonged to Charles Ferguson, who won the Oscar for Best Documentary for Inside Job. He said at the end of his acceptance speech:
Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that’s wrong.”
Ferguson has a very mild manner, but he is utterly fearless.
‘ve gotten messages but don’t see any news items yet (you can apparently find confirmation on Twitter, @AndrewKroll, @ddayen, and PRNewswatch for instance) that the police in Wisconsin have announced they will begin arrests to clear the capitol building. It’s to start at 4:00 PM Central, so it is now in process.
Hundreds have said they are willing to be arrested. Human chains were formed around the capitol.
Wonder what happens when they run out of local jail space.
Yves here. As we noted in January,
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is trying to duck the assignment given the Financial Stability Oversight Council under the Dodd Frank legislation, namely, that of identifying “systemically important” financial institutions….The Treasury devised a list of banks it subjected to stress tests; conceptually, how is this process any different?
I’m pleased to see four professors from New York University’s Stern School take up this task. And they end their analysis with a rebuke:
This is the easy part for the Financial Security Oversight Council. The tough part is to then design efficient regulation that discourages the build up of excessive risk.
By Viral Acharya, Thomas F. Cooley, Robert Engle, and Matthew Richardson. Cross posted from VoxEU.
As part of the US policy response to the global crisis, the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act calls for regulators to identify systemically risky financial firms – the sort that took the US financial crisis global. But how to identify these firms remains unclear. Some claim the task is impossible. This column begs to differ and names the 10 most systemically risky financial firms in the US.
By Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. His Twitter feed is http://www.twitter.com/matthewstoller. Cross posted from New Deal 2.0
If NFL fans are demanding negotiations be opened up, why are homeowners kept in the dark?
Zach Carter wrote a good piece on homeowners’ demands of the big banks. National People’s Action has coordinated thousands of homeowners in asking for an aggressive settlement with the banks on their handling of foreclosures. Iowa Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller, who is heading the 50-state investigation, is one of their prime targets.
But it’s this video that makes it interesting.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph voices his concern that central banks are going to misread the impact of rising oil prices and therefore make the wrong interest rate decision. Bear in mind that Evans-Pritchard called the 2008 oil spike correctly, deeming it to be a bubble, and was also in the minority then in arguing that deflation was a bigger risk to the economy than inflation.
One leg of his argument is that oil price increases slow economic growth. That’s hardly startling; indeed, this concern has been echoed widely in the last few days. For instance, as David Rosenberg notes, courtesy Pragmatic Capitalism:
Aargh, it is frustrating to see how quickly establishment-serving shallow arguments become conventional wisdom. We get a big dose of this line of thinking from the New York Times’ Joe Nocera in an article titled, “Biggest Fish Face Little Risk of Being Caught.”
Now you can’t disagree with the conclusion: no major banking industry figure is going to be brought to justice. But the explanation he offers is incomplete and misleading, and serves to misdirect the public from more fundamental and more troubling causes.
he Colbert Report did a fine job of recapping the issues in a smear campaign that was being planned by the so-called cyber security firm HB Gary (along with Palantir and Berico Technologies) against journalists who defended WikiLeaks, in particular Salon’s Glenn Greenwald.