Last week it finally started to dawn on the slow-as-Stegosaurs media: Why is Ron Paul going so soft on frontrunner Mitt Romney, his natural ideological opposite? Dr. Paul has been flaying every other candidate, particularly when that candidate threatens Romney’s front-runner status—why is Ron Paul so protective over internationalist/neocon Rockefeller Republican, Mitt Romney? Does this point to some sort of alliance between the two? And if so, doesn’t that raise further disturbing questions about the supposed rock-solid-principles guiding Ron Paul’s campaign?
By Satyajit Das, derivatives expert and the author of Extreme Money: The Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives – Revised Edition (2006 and 2010)
In the old Soviet Union, Pravda, the official news agency, set the standard for “truth” in reporting. Discriminating readers needed to be adroit in sifting the words to discern the facts that lay beneath. Readers of The Economist’s “Special Report on Financial Innovation” (published on 23 February 2012) would do well to equip themselves with similar skills in disambiguation.
By Cathy O’Neil, a data scientist who lives in New York City and writes at mathbabe.org
A bit more than a week ago I went to a panel discussion at the Met about the global financial crisis. The panel consisted of Paul Krugman, Edmund Phelps, Jeffrey Sachs, and George Soros. They were each given 15 minutes to talk about what they thought about the Eurocrisis, especially Greece, the U.S., and whatever else they felt like.
It was well worth the $25 admission fee, but maybe not for the reason I would have thought when I went. I ended up deciding something I’ve suspected before. Namely, economists don’t understand the financial system, and moreover they don’t get that they don’t get it. Let me explain my reasoning.
It’s bad enough that we are being subjected to relentless propaganda about how housing is just about to turn the corner and the state-Federal mortgage settlement is such a great deal for homeowners. In fact, as we’ve stressed, and bond investors such as Pimco have reiterated, the deal is above all a back door bailout of the banks.
But to add insult to injury, the chump public will be given bread and circuses enforcement theater to distract it from the fact that the banks are getting a sweetheart deal.
As we’ve discussed the “where’s the note?” problem of mortgage securitizations, some readers who are old enough to have sold a home more than once have said that while they’d gotten a cancelled mortgage note back on their first sale, on a more recent one, they hadn’t. They were concerned, and as this post will show, they are right to be.
By Philip Pilkington, a journalist and writer living in Dublin, Ireland
Vote or die muth#%#^*#, muth#%#^*# vote or die,
Rock the vote or else I’m gonna stick a knife through your eye,
Democracy is founded on one simple rule,
Get out there and vote or I will muth#%#^*# kill you.
There has been so much news on the mortgage beat the last few weeks that I managed to neglect one of my missions, which is my personal Ben Stein watch on Adam Davidson, who operates as the Lord Haw Haw for the 1% in his column in the Sunday New York Times Magazine.
By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
I have just returned from Rimini, Italy, where I experienced one of the most amazing spectacles of my academic life. Four of us associated with the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) were invited to lecture for three days on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and explain why Europe is in such monetary trouble today – and to show that there is an alternative, that the enforced austerity for the 99% and vast wealth grab by the 1% is not a force of nature.
This is a real shame. Bloomberg reports that Bank of American and Bank of New York have prevailed in their effort to have the $8.5 billion Bank of America mortgage settlement returned to state court in New York.
By Chris Cook, former compliance and market supervision director of the International Petroleum Exchange. Cross posted from Asia Times
The end game is about to begin. On the one hand you have the noise and rhetoric. Greedy speculators gouging gasoline prices; mad mullahs preparing to wipe Israel off the map; bunker buster bombs and fleets being positioned; huge demand for oil from the BRIC countries; China’s insatiable thirst for oil; the oil price will head for $200 a barrel and will never again fall below $130 …
By Matt Stoller, the former Senior Policy Advisor to Rep. Alan Grayson and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. You can reach him at stoller (at) gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @matthewstoller. Cross posted from New Deal 2.0.
Sometimes finance executives let slip the way they really feel: that they hold the world in the palm of their hands.
It’s not often that the people in charge admit what is really going on: a global game for political dominance.