Wall Street Moves In for the Kill

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Wall Street’s War Against Main Street America Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson wrote an op-ed in The New York Times yesterday (Feb. 16) outlining how to put the U.S. economy on rations. Not in those words, of course. Just the opposite: If the government hadn’t bailed out Wall Street’s bad loans, he claims, “unemployment could have exceeded the 25 percent level of the Great Depression.” Without wealth at the top, there would be nothing to trickle down. The reality, of course, is that bailing out casino capitalist speculators on the winning side of A.I.G.’s debt swaps and CDO derivatives didn’t save a single job. It certainly hasn’t lowered the economy’s debt overhead. But matters will soon improve, if Congress will dispel the ...

Latvia’s Neoliberal Madness

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World Economic Crisis: Latvia’s Neoliberal Madness You Think Greece Has Problems? Latvia's Road to Serfdom By Prof. Michael Hudson and and Prof. Jeff Sommers While most of the world’s press focuses on Greece (and also Spain, Ireland and Portugal) as the most troubled euro-areas, the much more severe, more devastating and downright deadly crisis in the post-Soviet economies scheduled to join the Eurozone somehow has escaped widespread notice. No doubt that is because their experience is an indictment of the destructive horror of neoliberalism – and of Europe’s policy of treating these countries not as promised, not as helping them develop along Western European lines, but as areas to be colonized as export markets and bank markets, stripped of their economic surpluses, their skilled ...

The Bernanke Disaster: Be Afraid; Be Very Afraid

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Deepening Debt Crisis: The Road to Debt Peonage If the economy deteriorates in the L-shaped “hockey-stick” rut that many economists forecast, what political price will President Obama and the Democrats pay for having returned the financial keys to the Bush Republican appointees who gave away the store in the first place? Reappointing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may end up injuring not only the economy but also the Democratic Party for many years to come. Recognizing this, Republicans made populist points by opposing his reappointment during the Senate confirmation hearings last Thursday, January 27 – the day after Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address. While the Democrats seemed weak and vacillating – even those in opposition – the GOP had ...

Obama’s Junk Economics

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Democrats Say "Bye" to Populist Option In a dress rehearsal for this November’s mid-term election, Democrats and Republicans vied last week for who could denounce the banks and blame the other party the most for the giveaways to Wall Street that have swollen the public debt since September 2008, pushing the federal budget into deficit and the economy into a slump. The Republicans are winning the populist war. On the weekend before his State of the Union address on Wednesday, Mr. Obama strong-armed Democratic senators to re-appoint Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman. His Wednesday speech did not mention this act (happily applauded by Wall Street). The President sought to defuse voter opposition by acknowledging that nobody likes the banks. But he ...