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Archives by Tag 'Banks'
The Finance Bomb
ROB URIE
A sort of joke making the rounds a few years back had (billionaire) Bill Gates walking into a working class bar. The joke was that the moment he did everyone in the bar on average became a billionaire. Understand—he didn’t give away any money or, other than possibly o...
Why Cheaters Prosper
MIKE WHITNEY
Now there’s something you don’t see every day. If I told you that the Wall Street Journal ran no less than 3 articles in the last week promoting more regulations, you’d think I was crazy. But it’s true. And, for once, the WSJ...
Fast-Tracking Evictions in Spain
TOM GILL
The Spanish government has come up with draft legislation that it claims will jumpstart the country’s t...
The Housing Double-Whammy
MIKE WHITNEY
The nation’s biggest lenders are doing everything they can to reverse the slide in housing prices and put the market back on solid footing. And they’ve had some success, too. In Maricopa County, for example, where prices on some homes dropped more than 60 perc...
Ransoming Children and Other Hip Debt Collection Strategies
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
[I]dealism in our time has been shoved aside, and we are paying the penalty for it. Alfred North Whitehead, Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead, Prologue It’s time for an update on activities occurring in the world of high...
Give Bernanke a Pink Slip
MIKE WHITNEY
  You don’t need to comb the pages of the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times to know what’s going on with the economy. Just take a look at Bloomberg Bonds and skip-down to the price/yield section on 10-year US Treasuries. ...
How to Save the Postal Service
ELLEN BROWN
On July 27, 2012, the National Association of Letter Carriers adopted a resolution at their National Convention in Minneapolis to investigate establishing a postal banking system.  The resolution noted that expanding postal services and developing new sources of revenue ...
Along the Border of the Surreal
PAUL IMISON
San Diego. If the Mexico-US border is the most surreal international boundary in the western hemisphere – often described as the only place where the so-called “First World” meets the Third, with all the envy, prejudice and distrust that implies – ...
The UN and the Financial Crisis
ROBERT H. WADE
Among those who care about the fate of the United Nations it is widely assumed — and regretted — that the UN stood on the sidelines at the start of the global financial crisis, and let the G20, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank take the lead in an int...
The Dark Heart of the Libor Scandal
MARK VORPAHL
Though, for most, the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate (Libor) interest rate fixing scandal appears to be distant and far too complex to understand, its potential consequences may be as economically devastating as a world war. The Libor is used to set payments on $800 ...
The New Transnational Elite
ROBERT HUNZIKER
The world’s epicenter of capitalism is the United States, and its reach/power/influence circumnavigates the globe. The elites of the capitalist class are no longer tied to territoriality or driven by national competition. “U.S. capitalism has expanded its reach by mor...
The Mystery of Rising Housing Prices
MIKE WHITNEY
“What we are seeing is a bottoming out of home prices. This is a good thing overall for everyone. It means we no longer have that vicious cycle between declining home prices and buyers and sellers remaining on the sidelines.” –Gregory ...
The Trouble With Bubbles
DEAN BAKER
The United States has more than 20 million people unemployed, underemployed or out of the workforce altogether because of a burst housing bubble. We also have more than 10 million homeowners who are underwater in their mortgages. And, we have tens of millions of people ap...
Shrinking Wall Street
MOSHE ADLER
If you want to make Adam Smith, the founder of economics, and George Stigler, the Nobel Prize winning economist, spin in their graves, say the words “LIBOR scandal.”  LIBOR — London Interbank Offered Rate — is, as everyone learned this past week...
The Meaning of Libor-gate
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The price of Treasury bonds is supported by the Federal Reserve’s large purchases. The Federal Reserve’s purchases are often misread as demand arising from a “flight to quality” due to concern about the EU sovereign debt problem and possible failure of the euro....
How Banks Cheat
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
I think a lie with a purpose is wan iv the’ worst kind an’ the mos’ profitable. — Finley Peter Dunne On Lying There was something refreshing about Bernie Madoff.  He robbed Peters to pay Pauls and it worked well...
Titanic Banks Hit Libor Iceberg
ELLEN BROWN
At one time, calling the large multinational banks a “cartel” branded you as a conspiracy theorist.   Today the banking giants are being called that and worse, not just in the major media but in court documents intended to prove the allegations as facts.  ...
What’s Really Driving Income Inequality?
DAVID ROSNICK
Over the last several decades, inequalities in both incomes and wealth have grown substantially within the United States and in other high-income nations. In the United States, for example, the income share of just the top one half of the top 1 percent grew from 5.39 perc...
A Market in Ruins
MIKE WHITNEY
According to a recent report by Clear Capital, “The nation’s home prices rebounded with quarterly and yearly gains of 1.7%.” The Home Data Index (HDI) report, which was released on July 10, shows that “Regional performance improved across the boardR...
News Digested
LINH DINH
7/1/12—Citing Iran’s nuclear ambition, America and her hushed puppies impose oil embargo on Islamic republic. Going on four years now, the global economic depression has kept oil price in check, so this embargo is meant to stop it from dropping furthe...
Banksters Take Us to the Brink
BILL MOYERS and MICHAEL WINSHIP
Every day brings more reminders of the terrible unfairness that besets our country, the tragic reversal of fortune experienced by millions who once had good lives and steady jobs, now gone. An article in the current issue of Rolling Stone chronicles “The...
System Failure
ROB URIE
Bankers are losing their jobs and the financial press is up in arms over the manipulation of a key interest rate, LIBOR (London Inter Bank Offer Rate). The manipulation is a big deal because of how large of an effect LIBOR has– $750 trillion of Swaps (notional) is o...
Banking on Zeros
LINH DINH
I was just on Press TV with Gabriel Talmain, professor of economics, and Shabbir Razvi, economist. Both men are based in London, a fact that explains a linguistic mishap I had that was baffling, infuriating, then finally amusing. We’ll get to it. Asked about the ...
Gaming the System
MIKE WHITNEY
“If there is any message of the last few years, it’s that banks and bankers simply cannot be trusted.” — Tim Price, Asset Manager at PFP Group LLP More than a dozen of the world’s top banks are currently being inves...
Housing Market Smackdown
MIKE WHITNEY
There’s no question that Canada’s gigantic housing bubble is going to burst. It’s just a matter of when. Housing prices in Canada have more than doubled in the last 10 years, and in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, prices are up more than 140 pe...
The Bailout of Spain
MIKE WHITNEY
“The burden of recapitalizing insolvent banks or loss-making acquisitions of solvent banks will fall on Spanish citizens.” — Karl Whelan, economist at University College, Dublin. Before EU finance ministers approve ...
Bilderburgers Beware!
PATRICK BOND
Near the Dulles International Airport west of Washington last weekend, I found myself a couple of dozen meters away from a formidable gathering of 150 powerbrokers – the Bilderberg Group – whose capacity to move money and influence events rivals even the upcoming G20 ...
Getting Dazed and Confused With Paul Krugman
ROB URIE
Paul Krugman is at it again, pushing his economic patch-jobs at the plutocrat state instead of imagining the social struggle needed to resolve ongoing economic and financial crises. The offending passage from his New York Times piece (...
How Democrats Exploit Occupy
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
There has been much talk about attempts by various organizations such as the Democratic Party and some top officials in organized labor to co-opt Occupy in order to steer this movement in directions beneficial to themselves. Such attempts can hardly be surprising, g...
The Waltz of the Zombie Banks
MIKE WHITNEY
It’s the same everywhere. The banks are keeping houses off the market to trick people into believing that prices have hit bottom. But prices haven’t hit bottom, in fact, they still have a long way to go. So, what’s  going on here; what do the banks hope...
Organizing Against Bank of America
LAURA GOTTESDIENER
This week, thousands are descending on North Carolina for the Bank of America shareholders’ meeting. The protest comes on the heels of the successful Wells Fargo shareholder event in San Francisco, where thousands of protesters shut down the conference, and the U....
Michael Lewis Advises Occupy
MISSY BEATTIE
The concept is somewhat egotistical.  But if you believe that what you have to offer is valuable, the published self-interview is an attention getter. Recently, Michael Lewis, author of ...
Reinflating a New Housing Bubble?
MIKE WHITNEY
Have housing prices hit bottom? Many analysts are saying, “Yes”. Economist Bill McBride is one of the yea-sayers. Bill runs Calculated Risk, the Number 1 economics’s blog on the Internet. Here’s what McBride said in a post on Febr...
Cashing In on Foreclosures
JOHN CAVANAGH and SCOTT KLINGER
Inside and outside of Wells Fargo’s annual meeting in San Francisco yesterday, thousands of angry protesters decried the bank’s leading role in the loss of millions of American homes to foreclosure. If you want to know why the protesters are so angry, consider ...
Son of the Housing Bubble
DEAN BAKER
It’s often said that the difference between the powerful and the powerless is that the powerful get to walk away from their mistakes while the powerless suffer the consequences. The first-time homebuyers’ tax credit provides an excellent example of the privile...
The Bottomless Pit
MIKE WHITNEY
“There are many good reasons to believe that the 5.5 million foreclosures we have seen are barely halfway through their full course. The United States may end up with a total of 8-10 million foreclosures before we are finished.” — Barr...
Freedom Reoccupied
MISSY BEATTIE
“Bankers – pillars of society who are going to hell if there is a God and He has been accurately quoted.” ~John Ralston Saul First, I’d like to thank reader R who provided a Saul quote so relevant to our predicament that ...
The Foreclosure-to-Rental Boondoggle
MIKE WHITNEY
“The national housing market took a hit in the latter half of 2011, falling to new lows not seen since the housing crisis began six years ago, according to data out Tuesday by S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices……The index is down 33.6 pe...
Huey Long and the Burden of History
KATHLEEN PEINE
Every individual is a blend of struggling motivations, except perhaps for the garden variety sociopaths that seem to occupy many places of power these days. Most of us, however endeavor to exhibit the noble of our character as we try to calm the howls of ego that so often...
Foreclosure Settlement: Just Another Link In a Long Chain of Corruption
PAM MARTENS
Yesterday the Department of Justice and 49 state attorneys general announced the long anticipated $25 billion deal with 5 large Wall Street firms — Bank of America Corporation,  JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, Citigrou...
Foreclosure Crisis Goes Global
MIKE WHITNEY
Even though housing is in terrible shape in the US, it’s not nearly as bad as Ireland. Irish real estate is in freefall. Prices have plunged 60 percent across the country and 65 percent in Dublin. Austerity measures have sent unemployment soaring (18 percent) and ho...
Ireland and Greece: Blackjacked by the Banks
PATRICK COCKBURN
An American took his phlegmatic English friend to see the Niagara Falls. “Isn’t that amazing?” said the enthusiastic American. “Look at that vast mass of water dashing over that enormous cliff!” “But what,” replied the unimpressed Englishman, a...
Talking With Matt Taibbi
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
As a kid, Matt Taibbi’s favorite writer was Nikolai Gogol. So, straight out of college, Taibbi headed to Russia, where he spent ten years playing baseball in th...
Don’t Tax the Banks, Break Them Up
ROB URIE
A number of “tax the banks” measures are being pushed by liberal pundits to pay to maintain social spending or to pay for future bank bailouts. These efforts ignore that taxpayers are still subsidizing the banks and that the banks continue to engage in socially destru...
Mind the Gap
VIJAY PRASHAD
Between the sentiment at the Occupy encampments and the liberal wing of the Democratic establishment lies a moat unbridgeable even by the tallest trees. Between Occupy and the Republicans lies a universe. What seems reasonable to the Democratic leadership in Washin...
Banks on the Brink
ANDREW COCKBURN
“If the Occupiers start chanting ‘Mark to Market,’” an attorney highly conversant with the darker workings of the Wall Street-Washington complex told me, “we’ll know they’re serious.”   Such a call would quickly presage the collapse of our “too big to ...
Is Bank of America Headed for the Glue Factory?
MIKE WHITNEY
Why is Bank of America moving derivatives from Merrill Lynch to an insured subsidiary? Is it because the derivatives could blow up at any time leaving Merrill with gigantic, unsustainable losses? If that’s the case, then it would make perfect sense to shift them i...
Banker Boyz Blues
ALAN FARAGO
In Miami it is not considered polite or politic to criticize resident and former governor Jeb Bush, whose entire career was fueled by the mad housing boom and its campaign money that is now crashed to cinders. Bush spoke in Chicago last week  to the Mortgage Bankers Asso...
Don’t Be Suckered Into Buying a House Now
MIKE WHITNEY
Don’t even think about buying a house for the next year or so. Not unless you can afford to flush tens of thousands of dollars down the toilet, because that’s what you’ll be doing. Here’s what’s happening. As everyone knows,  housing...
Hey NYPD, Give Morgan Its Money Back!
JEFFREY SOMMERS
The “Occupy Wall Street” protests reveal that American democracy still has life in it.  The protests this winter in Wisconsin led by teachers who forced their unions to follow them, showed the way. Among the heroes in Madison were the cops.  Not only did they fail t...