Apr 7, 2013

The great foreclosure folly

Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism has released an ebook based on testimony from whistleblowers at Bank of America and PNC on the whitewash more formally known as the Independent Foreclosure Reviews. You can download the pdf here.

Read more about the book here.

Mar 30, 2013

Straight talk about the next American revolution

Advance praise for What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution (Chelsea Green, April 2013), by Econ4’s Gar Alperovitz:

“Gar Alperovitz’s new book is so plain-spoken and accessible that it takes a moment to appreciate the magnitude of his accomplishment. After examining new patterns of positive change emerging in America today—including many undernoticed changes that involve democratizing the ownership of wealth—he develops a brilliant strategy for the type of transformative change that can lead America from decline to rebirth. In giving a sense of strategic direction and honest possibility to the call for a new economy, Alperovitz has made an enormous contribution exactly where it is most needed.”
James Gustave Speth, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy

“In this important new book, Gar Alperovitz is telling us there’s something happening here in corporate-driven America, be it social enterprise, community land trusts, worker-owned businesses, or employee stock ownership plans. We all know that the free-market economic system no longer works for the vast majority of citizens and Alperovitz is showing us that there is a better, equally American way, to spread the wealth and put more people to work, while making the nation a safer and healthier place to live. This is not an utopian fantasy or a call for social engineering, but a plain-spoken and easy-to-absorb analysis by one of our leading economists of what’s gone wrong and how to make it better.”
Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker

 

Mar 28, 2013

Redefining the problem: the corporate predator state

Katrina van den Heuvel writes in The Washington Post:

True conservatives are — or should be — offended by corporate welfare as well. Conservative economists Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales argue that it is time to “save capitalism from the capitalists,” urging conservatives to support strong measures to break up monopolies, cartels and the predatory use of political power to distort competition.

Here is where left and right meet, not in a bipartisan big-money fix, but in an odd bedfellows campaign to clean out Washington.

Read her piece here.

Mar 25, 2013

Defend Social Security, or else

Check it out, kids:

Source: http://www.justscrapthecap.com/

Mar 4, 2013

Wealth inequality in America: seeing reality

Check out the differences between (i) what 9 out of 10 Americans think is the ideal degree of wealth inequality; (ii) what they think wealth inequality really is; and (iii) what it really is.

Source: New Economics Institute.

Feb 18, 2013

The tilted playing field

For many Americans, Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz writes, the dream of upward mobility is being subverted by the reality of unequal opportunity:

Probably the most important reason for lack of equality of opportunity is education: both its quantity and quality. After World War II, Europe made a major effort to democratize its education systems. We did, too, with the G.I. Bill, which extended higher education to Americans across the economic spectrum. But then we changed, in several ways. While racial segregation decreased, economic segregation increased. After 1980, the poor grew poorer, the middle stagnated, and the top did better and better. Disparities widened between those living in poor localities and those living in rich suburbs — or rich enough to send their kids to private schools. A result was a widening gap in educational performance…

In some cases it seems as if policy has actually been designed to reduce opportunity: government support for many state schools has been steadily gutted over the last few decades — and especially in the last few years. Meanwhile, students are crushed by giant student loan debts that are almost impossible to discharge, even in bankruptcy. This is happening at the same time that a college education is more important than ever for getting a good job.

A level playing field is a key element of Econ4’s vision of how an economy that works for people, the planet and the future.

Feb 18, 2013

Family values?

Stephanie Coontz writes in the Times on family-unfriendly work-life policies:

We must stop seeing work-family policy as a women’s issue and start seeing it as a human rights issue.

Read more here.

Feb 14, 2013

Capitalism Unmasked

Capitalism Unmasked, a new eBook edited by Lynn Parramore, was produced in a partnership between AlterNet and Econ4 to expose the myths of unbridled capitalism and show the way to a better future. You can download the PDF here.

Feb 10, 2013

Benefits without responsibilities: the American way?

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind- VT) on corporate takers:

In 2010, Bank of America set up more than 200 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands (which has a corporate tax rate of 0.0 percent) to avoid paying U.S. taxes. It worked. Not only did Bank of America pay nothing in federal income taxes, but it received a rebate from the IRS worth $1.9 billion that year. They are not alone. In 2010, JP Morgan Chase operated 83 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens to avoid paying some $4.9 billion in U.S. taxes. That same year Goldman Sachs operated 39 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to avoid an estimated $3.3 billion in U.S. taxes. Citigroup has paid no federal income taxes for the last four years after receiving a total of $2.5 trillion in financial assistance from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis.

On and on it goes. Wall Street banks and large companies love America when they need corporate welfare. But when it comes to paying American taxes or American wages, they want nothing to do with this country.

Read more here.

Feb 3, 2013

Rescuing banks, not borrowers

Gretchen Morgenson recounts Tim Geithner’s accomplishments as Treasury Secretary for Obama 1.0:

How did Treasury favor the banks? Consider its answer to the foreclosure mess. After promising to help four million borrowers, its Home Affordable Modification Program at last count had helped about one-quarter of that number.

One reason for this is that the program was flawed from the start.

First, the Treasury made the program voluntary, awarding funds to participating banks but failing to penalize those that did not. The program was all carrot, no stick.

Worse, the initial plan didn’t require the banks to write down second liens they may have held — like home equity lines — from borrowers whose original loans were modified. This let the banks put their interests ahead of both borrowers and those who held the first mortgages.

Read how HAMP was hampered here.

Pages:«1...33343536373839...50»