The Federal Reserve is a hundred years old this year. There’s not a whole lot to celebrate in its century long history–the intention might have been good, but the execution has kind of been disastrous. In tonight’s film, Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve, our guest filmmaker Jim Bruce takes us through the history of the Federal Reserve System and into the current mess.
|By: Lisa Derrick Monday September 23, 2013 4:59 pm|
|By: Les Leopold Saturday September 14, 2013 1:59 pm|
Here’s the core of her argument. Because banks create most of our money, they control the very essence of the economy. To regain control of our economic well-being we need public banks that make investments in the public goods, services and jobs that we all need. Public banks can do all that without running up the national debt or raising taxes. Public banks, like private banks, fund investments. But, as Ellen writes:
“The difference is that a publicly-owned bank returns the interest to the government and the community, while a privately-owned bank siphons it into private accounts, progressively drawing money out of the productive economy.”
|By: DSWright Tuesday January 1, 2013 11:16 am|
In what borders on performance art, AIG is launching a condescendingpublic relations campaign to thank American taxpayers for letting them extort bailout money from Congress.
|By: William Black Sunday October 21, 2012 1:59 pm|
Jeff Connaughton has authored a powerful, and chilling insider’s perspective on the financial crisis and the pathetic governmental response to it. The second part of his title sums up the result and the first half explains why Wall Street always wins. Many, perhaps most Americans are likely to agree with both parts of Connaughton’s title so this book will not transform the public’s view of the issues. The public largely has this set of issues correct. Connaughton gives the readers unique access to the facts because he had a front row seat to many of the key discussions and he has the analytical abilities and expertise to explain the significance of those facts.
|By: David Dayen Thursday October 18, 2012 9:00 am|
The way in which the hedge fund syndicate secured these taxpayers dollars for Delphi sounds pretty much like blackmail. For example, according to Steven Rattner, the auto czar, Delphi demanded an immediate cash infusion of $350 million or they would stop supplying to GM. Oh, and Delphi promptly fired all the unionized workers at Delphi, cut health care for all their nonunion pensioners, and took the production jobs to China. Delphi employs less then 5,000 US workers, from a high of 25,000.
How do the Romneys figure into this? They have at least $1 million invested in Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, per their 2011 and 2012 financial disclosure. Based on that investment, they made at least $15.3 million on the deal, which involved ripping off the US taxpayer, shedding US jobs in favor of China, and using leverage created by the auto bailout to do it. Most of these profits have been kept offshore to avoid US taxes, of course. The Romneys protest that these investments are all held in a blind trust, but the executor of their blind trust is Romney’s personal lawyer.
Just another day in the life of a vulture capitalist, I guess.
|By: David Dayen Sunday September 30, 2012 6:00 pm|
Spain announced the results of a stress test of its banks, finding a €60 billion shortfall, in line with estimates.
It’s important to understand that there are two bailouts as it pertains to Spain. The bank bailout, meant to cover this €60 billion shortfall, has already been requested and approved. Europe has reserved around €100 billion for this purpose. The other bailout, a bailout for Spain’s sovereign debt, has not yet been requested, much to the consternation of top European officials.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 26, 2012 7:30 am|
I have not read Sheila Bair’s upcoming book, “Bull by the Horns,” but it’s on a growing list (I hear former Senate staffer Jeff Connaughton’s book is excellent as well). Arthur Delaney notes that she had harsh words for HAMP, the Administration’s failed program to rescue homeowners facing foreclosure. And she didn’t shy away from accurately describing the program as one that fostered predatory lending.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday September 25, 2012 6:00 pm|
There was never any desire to protect homeowners or save their homes, which Sheila Bair says flat out: “HAMP was a program designed to look good in a press release, not to fix the housing market… I don’t think helping home owners was ever a priority for them,” she says, referring to Tim Geithner and Larry Summers.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday September 25, 2012 12:45 pm|
We have a little schizophrenia happening in Germany. On the one hand, they lead Europe in demanding that Spain ask for their bailout already. Michael Meister, a top aide to Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union party, said that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy “must spell out what the situation is,” and he warned that any bailout will come with strict conditions, or else the German parliament would reject it. Meister warned of a domino effect, with other troubled countries asking for bailouts without conditionality if Spain gets one.
At the same time, however, Germany wants to slow down the rush to bail out countries like Spain, for domestic political reasons.
|By: David Dayen Friday September 21, 2012 1:00 pm|
The House Ethics Committee has cleared Maxine Waters of wrongdoing in a celebrated but thin case over whether she improperly set up a meeting between the Treasury Department and a troubled bank in which her husband had a stake. Her chief of staff (and grandson), Mikael Moore, still faces scrutiny. But Waters “went above and beyond what was required of her,” according to one Republican on the committee.