Category Archives: Politics

Don Quijones: Spain Cranks Up Political Repression

Yves here. In contrast with the way that political repression is gradually becoming the new normal in America, Don Quijones chronicles how rapidly it is being put in place in Spain to curb protests against austerity and bank-favoring policies. The extreme form of shredding democracy to protect commercial interests was Chile, where as a writer put it, “People died so markets could be free.”

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Quelle Surprise! SEC Goes Easy on Big Political Donors

David Sirota at the International Business Times wrote up a study by Maria Correira of the London Business School that examined how often firms that corrected their financial statements from 1996 to 2006 were subject to SEC enforcement actions. It should come as no surprise that big political donors get off easy. From Sirota’s account: […]

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Climate Movement Agenda: One Million (Frequent) Electric Buses Plus Protected Bikeways, “Everywhere”

Yves here. Hoexter makes an important point, that many climate activists’ proposals have focused on energy sources, as in promoting more use of solar or wind energy, and haven’t focused on how consumers use energy, as in the related infrastructure. Whether or not you agree with his proposals for electric busses and bicycles, they do make for a point of departure in getting to pragmatic reforms.

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Hillary Clinton: The Goldwater Girl Reveals Herself in an Atlantic Interview

As much as I was dutifully chugging along on a normal-NC-fare type of post, the fisticuffs that broke out in comments yesterday over America’s hypocritical and destructive foreign policies (320 comments, an unheard-of level for Links, particularly on a summer weekend), indicates that US war-mongering is the top concern of many readers.

It thus seemed more fitting to highlight a truly disconcerting interview of Hillary Clinton by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Altlantic, in which he came off as more temperate that Hillary. Here is why that alone is striking.

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Summer Rerun: Attack of the Blob – How Professional Democrats and Professional Republicans Ran America Into the Ground

During the fight over the reform bill itself, Connaughton encountered what he called “The Blob”, a network of bank regulators, staffers, lobbyists, think tank denizens, and corporate officers who worked together to undermine efforts at reform [using a cover of partisanship].

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“A Financial Casino Would Be a Step Up From What We Have”

This is a terrific and very accessible interview with Boston College professor Ed Kane, who is a long-standing critic of the failure to rein in financial firms that feed at the taxpayer trough. At one point in the talk, Kane and his interviewer Marshall Auerback discuss how casinos are well aware of the fact that the house can lose and they monitor gamblers intensively to make sure that no one is engaging is sleight of hand. Thus if we treated our banking system like the financial casino that it has become, we’d be much better off than we are now.

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Ilargi: Follow The Money All The Way To The Next War

The prospect of unnecessary war has focused Ilargi’s mind. He starts with an important article in Handlesblatt that a record number of NC readers flagged, then turns to an issue we’ve focused on: what is the evidence behind US claims of Russian responsibility for the downing of MH17? After Colin Powell’s Iraq WMD canard, it’s remarkable that anyone accepts “trust me” from American officials, but remarkably, that’s where things stand.

One excuse offered for the failure of the US to support its claims is that the military apparatus does not want to expose its information-gathering capabilities. But there’s another, more obvious reason.

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Access Journalism, Agnotology, and Breeding for Elite Incompetence

There’s nothing quite like watching systems deliberately made worse, all in the name of better propaganda.

One rapidly escalating trend among officials and government agencies is making more and more information, including decades-old material, either impossible to obtain or accessible only to journalists who are “trusted,” meaning they are deferential to authority and will put the best possible spin on what they are fed.

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Ilargi: Europe Teeters On The Edge

Yves here. Ilargi is more amped up that usual on the topic of Europe’s self-inflicted wounds resulting from joining the US in imposing so-called Tier Three sanctions against Russia. This own goal results from Europe offering itself as as economic shield, since by virtue of having its nations far more engaged in commerce with Russia than the US, it stood first in line in the event Russia decided to respond in kind. And that’s before you throw in that Europe’e economy and its banking system are in far more fragile shape than America’s.

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Only Now Does Influential Bank Group Complain That Low Volatility is Producing Too Much Risk-Taking

The spectacle of banks wring their hands about how low volatility is leading them as well as investors to take on too much risk bears an awfully strong resemblance to a child who has killed his parents asking for sympathy for being an orphan.

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Krugman v. Morgenson on Too Big to Fail

Paul Krugman has a thing where you know what his column will look like on Monday based on what goes on his blog that Friday. Sure enough, he transformed this blog post on the Government Accountability Office’s report on too big to fail into this column yesterday with the humble title “Dodd-Frank Financial Reform is Working.”

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Michael Hudson: The Fracking/World Bank/IMF/Hunter Biden Dismantling Plan for Ukraine

Richard Smith was early to take a dim view of R. Hunter Biden becoming a director of a Ukraine’s biggest private gas producer, Burisma Holdings:

This has to be a hoax, right?

It’s so bizarre that you almost have to assume it’s a hoax. It sounds more like a cliched movie plot — a shady foreign oil company co-opts the vice president’s son in order to capture lucrative foreign investment contracts — than something that would actually happen in real life. But the indications as of this afternoon are that the board appointments actually happened, and that a Ukrainian energy company has retained the counsel of the vice president’s son and the Secretary of State’s close family friend and top campaign bundler.

Michael Hudson reports in a Real News Network interview that the commercial and geopolitical logic behind the Biden role, and the bigger US and World Bank/IMF program, is to push fracking onto a decidedly unreceptive population in eastern Ukraine.

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Hillary Clinton and Trade Deals: That “Giant Sucking Sound”

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. In the 1992 Presidential campaign, Ross Perot famously said in debate: We have got to stop sending jobs overseas. It’s pretty simple: If you’re paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor,…have […]

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