Banks and their allies have been using every opportunity possible to blame regulations for changes in their business models after the crisis, particular if they can make it sound like the broader public, as opposed to their bottom lines, is what is suffering. Normally this messaging effort stays at the background noise level, but sometimes the lobbyists succeed in getting their message treated as a story in its own right.
A recent example is a Financial Times story early this week…
The Loyola Consumer Law Review has just released an important paper by Peter Holland of the University of Maryland Francis School of Law. It’s a large scale statistical study, the first of its kind. Its conclusions are not pretty.
Occasionally, we’ve commented on the shoddy state of US credit card payment infrastructure. One of the noteworthy aspects of the fiasco of recent US retailer security breaches is that the media has more or less ignored the question of what could have been done to forestall these incidents, which in the case of Target involved as many as 70 million customers, and Neiman Marcus, under (but presumably not much under) 1 million.
With media and technology becoming faster and more pervasive at a rapid clip, it shouldn’t perhaps be a big surprise to see the ease with which war-mongering news flashes come to dominate the story of the day. But maybe this should be received with an increasing dose of skepticism…
I was at the Atlantic Economy conference the week before last, and Michael Hudson got in one of the best quips: “Helicopter Ben has taken off and has been dropping money all over Wall Street. But he hasn’t dropped any on Main Street.” He has an informative talk with Paul Jay of Real News Network on why the fixation on public debt is wrongheaded, and we should worry about private debt instead.
Yves here. Our post today on Cyprus provides some broad background, including the political dynamics and the not-terribly-defensible reasons the Eurozone went that route, and a short discussion of the large risk that this inept move precipitates a wider crisis. This article by Charles Wyplosz serves as a companion, since it discusses the “tax,” um, expropriation option versus other alternatives. Even more important, it sketches out why this scheme, even if it manages not to kick off a crisis, is still inadequate to rescue Cyprus. It is thus a toxic variant of the Eurozone “kick the can down the road” strategy.
The debate around Obama’s proposed minimum wage increase (when he had promised to deliver an even bigger wage rise in his first term) focuses mainly around how much economic stimulus it will provide and whether it will simply lead employers to cut worker hours (given how obscene corporate profits are, most companies have plenty of room to pay their employees more, even if their kvetching would lead you to believe otherwise. Remember, companies used to share the benefits of productivity gains with workers; it was in the later 1990s they started keeping the upside all for themselves). But a look at that question reveals what low wage workers do when they get pay increases.
A ruling by the Washington, DC federal appeals court in Noel Canning v. NLRB pretty much ends the ability of presidents to make recess appointments, a measure that has been used since 1867. The suit successfully challenged a NLRB rulemaking on the grounds that three of the five directors were recess appointments which meant the NLRB lacked a quorum to give it authority to act.
I know, we don’t generally do optimism here at Naked Capitalism. And truth be told, I’m having trouble accepting the Financial Times’ John Dizard’s argument that things are going to get better in the Eurozone. Admittedly, John has a taste for investing on the wild side: he’s typically recommending exotic trades in his weekly column. But his argument isn’t based on catching a near-term trading bounce; it’s based on…..fundamentals.
By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, and author of “The Bubble and Beyond,” which is available on Amazon.
The pace of Wall Street’s war against the 99% is quickening in preparation for the kill.
By Delusional Economics, who is horrified at the state of economic commentary in Australia and is determined to cleanse the daily flow of vested interests propaganda to produce a balanced counterpoint. Cross posted from MacroBusiness
As I wrote early last week Antonis Samaras was to spend much of the weekend in talks with Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande about the future of his nation. As the Telegraph pointed out yesterday the results were, as expected, unconvincing: