The Next Big Bail Outs: State, Local and Private Pensions

By No tags Permalink

Counterpunch Early on the morning of July 30, President Bush signed the act that the Senate had passed at a special session the previous Saturday. The new “housing act” (a more honest title would have been the “Financial Bailout Act of 2008”) authorizes the Treasury and Federal Reserve Board to provide unlimited credit to the mortgage packagers and insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and infuse $300 billion of new lending power to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and localities to support the “real estate market.” This is a euphemism for saving mortgage lenders from the traditional response to falling property prices – defaults and walk-aways. The act’s press release claims that its purpose is “to provide mortgage relief for 400,000 struggling ...

A Black Agenda Report: The Fictitious Economy, Part 2

By No tags Permalink

Transcript of a A Guns And Butter Interview by Bonnie Faulkner originally broadcast on KPFA radio. In the second half of an hour long interview with economist Dr. Michael Hudson broadcast on Guns And Butter June 25, 2008, Dr. Hudson explains some of the factors in the price of oil that are seldom discussed in the mass media, and details why the price of a gallon of gas may double again before year's end. He also predicts a long, slow and inevitable economic depression in the US and in other nations which do not decouple themselves from the US dollar, and talks a little about what to expect from a new US administration next year. The Fictitious Economy, Part ...

Rewarding the Bubble's Enablers: Why the Bail Out of Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae is Bad Economic Policy

By No tags Permalink

A Counterpunch Special Report I am writing this article about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while sitting in the Queens Botanical Garden. This was not my plan today. The central air conditioning in my apartment broke down six weeks ago and still has not been fixed. (It’s a nice condominium building, but accidents happen.) It is over 90 degrees outside, and nearly 100 as a result of the greenhouse effect in my apartment. Yesterday I took refuge in the Forest Hills Public Library, but it is closed on Sunday. One of the few libraries near public transport that normally is open on Sunday is in Flushing. So I went there to write the final draft describing the past week’s financial turmoil. Unfortunately, ...

Getting to the Heart of America's Economic Crisis

By No tags Permalink

A Counterpunch interview by Mike Whitney Mike Whitney: Before John Kennedy took office, anyone making an income of over $200,000 was taxed at a rate of 93 per cent. Corporations also paid a much higher percentage of the total tax burden than they do today. The higher tax rates on the wealthy never hurt Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was consistently over 4% during these years, and the middle class flourished in a way that was unprecedented in world history. Why don't we return to the "redistributive" policies which worked so well in the past? Do you think "progressive taxation" is crucial for maintaining democracy and establishing greater equity among the people? Michael Hudson: I think you¹re framing the tax problem too ...