economy

Krugman Asleep at the Wheel of History ….. the elite has not been interested for forty years…

The August 1st New York Times carries the latest Paul Krugman opinion piece, “Defining Prosperity Down“. He is depressed because it is dawning on him that the elite is in the process of redefining the level of structural unemployment that is normal to adjust to the significant likelihood that we --->> read more -->>
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free-market ideology

Free Markets – free? markets? – lessons not learned

“Free market” has always struck me as a rather strange phrase. Never more so than in this period of financial market disasters. The phrase ‘free market’ continues to be used reflexively. Just as commentators go right on speaking of Wall St. as a source of capital and innovation, few want to ask --->> read more -->>
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politics

Tea Party Nation – banned me for asking a few questions

Who and What Is Tea Party Nation? I generally don’t have that much interested in fringe weirdo politics. But, with the continuing eruptions on the right wing of the right wing Republican party, I thought that I might investigate. So, I became a member of the TeaPartyNation.com website. I spent --->> read more -->>
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economy

The Two Faces of Mortgage Debt – “Return to Creditor”

Return to Creditor There is an interesting headline in today’s (1/25/10) New York Times, “Huge Housing Complex in N.Y. Returned to Creditors”. This article reports that Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty defaulted (welched?) on their debt obligations of $3 billion for their 2006 purchase of the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper --->> read more -->>
economy

How Did We Come To Consider Corporations to Be Natural Persons? – What To Do Next?

This week’s decision by the US Supreme Court to allow corporations, including unions, to hold full rights to free speech and political action under the First Amendment to the Constitution once again reminds me of the strange practical and ethical relationship we have with corporations. In the 1886 ruling, Santa --->> read more -->>
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economy

Controlling Gambling by Wall St. and the Big Banks – Bad for Business?

Anti-Wall St Does Not Mean Anti-Business President Obama’s proposals to break up the “too large to fail” mega banks and otherwise reapply the Glass Steagall Act to the financial sector has predictably brought loud complaints that this is populist and anti-business. Even the rhetoric of the reporters and expert talking --->> read more -->>
empire

Remarks on President Obama’s Speech on Accepting The Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo 12/10/2009

President Obama’s speech on accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 2009 has generally been reviewed in the US with much glow about its rhetorical heights and appreciation of its depth of thought. I did not watch Obama give this speech. Instead, I turned to the text which I --->> read more -->>
Manias,Panics,and Crashes by Kindleberger
books

Book Review: Manias, Panics, and Crashes: a history of financial crises by Kindleberger

Manias, Panics, and Crashes: a history of financial crises, fourth edition by Charles P. Kindleberger (New York: Wiley 6th edition 2011) A recent Wall St Journal article described this book as a “must read” classic for anyone involved in financial markets. I have been involved directly in financial markets in two --->> read more -->>
Secret Sentry by Mathew Aid
books

Yottabytes and the National Security State

The current New York Review of Books has an article by James Bamford, “Who’s in Big Brother’s Database” that reviews the new book by Mathew M. Aid, The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency . I have gotten in line at my local library to read --->> read more -->>
empire

Whither the American Empire?

Americans do not like to use the word “empire” in reference to the country’s role in the world. Our Presidents uniformly role out rhetoric that sounds just like Obama’s. Here is a paragraph from his Inaugural speech: And so, to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, --->> read more -->>
free-market ideology

Just Another Cost of Doing Business? – Pfizer’s $2.3 billion penalty and fine

Is $2.3 billion really a lot of money? The Obama administration is touting the action taken this week against Pfizer for illegal promotion of several of its drugs. The $2.3 billion sounds like a lot of money to me, and I suspect most people. Is it really a lot of --->> read more -->>
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healthcare

More Blather about Healthcare from “Experts”

Acknowledge the basic facts about how the healthcare system is working today. Yesterday in a radio interview, “How to conquer health care challenges”, with Professor Glenn Melnick  from the Rand Corporation and USC, we were again offered up “expert” opinion that does not even acknowledge the basic facts about how the healthcare --->> read more -->>
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empire

A New Thought on Terrorism

An article in today’s NYTimes about cyber crime, malware, etc. suggests to me that another line of attack may be through the Internet against our utilities, telecoms, or financial institutions. There have already been massive attacks against whole countries with successful breakdowns that lasted for hours and days. Ukraine, Lithuania, --->> read more -->>