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Economic Articles from 2018

The Public Banking Revolution

[Community]
The Public Banking Revolution
by Ben Hauck
Posted November 3, 2018

Who should get the benefits of local resources?Public banking is not a new concept. Countries across the world have used public banking to finance and power their economies for years. Economic powerhouses like Germany continue to feature public banking as a cornerstone of their society. Public banking even exists here in the United States with the nearly 100 year-old Bank of North Dakota, a bank more profitable than Goldman Sachs and with a better credit rating than JPMorgan Chase.

Historically, the public banking movement has expanded significantly during times of financial crisis, including a massive surge in popularity after the economic destruction from the Great Recession. However the idea of public banking is still relatively unknown by the general populace, especially outside of financial and political circles. That is changing. More…

The Three Tribes of Austerity

[Economic]
The Three Tribes of Austerity
by Yanis Varoufakis
Posted October 26, 2018

austerity, distributing economic risk to the poorNo policy is as self-defeating during recessionary times as the pursuit of a budget surplus for the purpose of containing public debt – austerity, for short. So, as the world approaches the tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, it is appropriate to ask why austerity proved so popular with Western political elites following the financial sector’s implosion in 2008.

The economic case against austerity is cut and dried: An economic downturn, by definition, implies shrinking private-sector expenditure. A government that cuts public spending in response to falling tax revenues inadvertently depresses national income (which is the sum of private and public spending) and, inevitably, its own revenues. It thus defeats the original purpose of cutting the deficit. More…

Yes, James Freeman, We Do Know How Bad the Federal Reserve Is

[Economic]
Yes, James Freeman, We Do Know How Bad the Federal Reserve Is
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Posted October 25, 2018

Unbelievable, the Fed actually has its own trading floorEarlier this week, James Freeman, the Assistant Editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, wrote an opinion piece headlined as “We’ll Never Know How Bad the Federal Reserve Is.” Freeman is also a Fox News contributor so one might be prone to suspect there is that typical right-wing bias to bash the Fed.

Most people, even those paying close attention to the Fed’s bailouts of Wall Street, think that the big banks were fine until the 2008 crash. But the public will never really know because Wall Street got another secret bailout from the Fed after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. (Read our previous report here.) There is the forgotten history that Wall Street was already heading for a crash before the planes struck on 9/11. In fact, on the day before 9/11, the Nasdaq stock market had lost 66 percent of its market value over the preceding months and had evaporated $4 trillion in wealth. The economy had contracted for two consecutive quarters and was facing another quarter of negative growth. More…

The China Threat – Global Crisis Hot Spots & Pressure Points

[Economic]
The China Threat – Global Crisis Hot Spots & Pressure Points
By Jim_Willie_CB
Posted October 21, 2018

the economic reset has alredy begunThe global financial reset has begun.

Let it be known that the resolution of the financial crisis in Turkey can be regarded as the first critical step in the Global Financial RESET, which has already begun. This is according to consensus among the Jackass colleagues. The introduction to critical steps has been the ongoing Deutsche Bank rescue and Italian banking system life support, in the West. The introduction to critical steps has been the creation of the Gold-Oil-Yuan futures contracts in the East.

THE GLOBAL RESET BEGAN A FEW MONTHS AGO, WITH NO MARQUEE SIGNS, NO FLASHING LIGHTS, NO BANDS, NO HOOPLA. The banker cabal prefers that the public is ill-prepared, since the elites among them are busily preparing their positions for tremendous profits in the $trillions, equal to the losses expected by the clueless public. More…

Of course the tax cuts are good for the banks

[Economic]
Of course the tax cuts are good for the banks
By Emily Stewart
Posted October 18, 2018

tax cuts helped the big banks, bigEven without the Republican tax cuts, United States banks would have made $49.4 billion in the first three months of 2018 alone. But thanks to their reduced tax bill, they got an extra $6.6 billion, bringing in $56 billion in total. And there are plenty of signs the banking industry’s tax-bill boom is on track to continue — take Bank of America, which saw its tax bill fall to $1.7 billion in the second quarter of this year from $3 billion last year, a 43 percent drop.

It’s not a bad time to be in the banking industry, and the GOP tax bill has made it even better. More…

What Keeps Them Up At Night?

[Economic]
What Keeps Them Up At Night?
by Jim Quinn
Posted October 18, 2018

what keeps them up at night?The tenth anniversary of the Wall Street created financial catastrophe brought back some bittersweet memories this week. I wrote my first articles during the summer/fall of 2008 for Seeking Alpha. I was full of piss and vinegar. I was outraged by the actions taken by Paulson, Bernanke and Bush in bailing out criminal bankers with our money. This ensemble of accurate and acerbic articles led to requests for appearances on Glenn Beck’s CNN show, Neil Cavuto’s show, and several others. My need for my day job led me to turning down the invitations. I did several radio interviews, but kept a relatively low profile.

Ten years later, I’m running low on piss and vinegar. Irrationality reigns. Abnormal is the new normal. Delusions and new paradigms rule the day. During manias it is virtually useless to try and use facts and rational arguments against propaganda, misinformation and hype. The delusional will have to be clubbed like a baby seal once again to regain some sense of reality. More…

The Bailouts for the Rich Are Why America Is So Screwed Right Now

[Economic]
The Bailouts for the Rich Are Why America Is So Screwed Right Now
by Matt Stoller
Posted October 16, 2018

bankers getting their bailoutsDid they prevent a full-scale collapse? Yes. Was it necessary to do it the way we did? Not at all.

It’s worth reflecting on this quote on the ten-year anniversary of the financial crisis, because it speaks to how the architects of the bailouts shaped our culture. Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, and Hank Paulson, the three key men in charge, basically argue that the bailouts they executed between 2007 and 2009 were unfair, but necessary to preserve stability. It’s time to ask, though: just what stability did they preserve?

These three men paint the financial crisis largely as a technical one. But let’s not get lost in the fancy terms they use, like “normalization of credit flows,” in discussing what happened and why. The excessively wonky tone is intentional—it’s intended to hide the politics of what happened. So let’s look at what the bailouts actually were, in normal human language. More..

Why Public Banks Are Suddenly Popular

[Community]
Why Public Banks Are Suddenly Popular
By Sarah Jones
Posted October 11, 2018

alternatives to too big to failLater this year, on the midterm ballot, voters in Los Angeles, California, will be asked an uncommon question: Should the city be to allowed to create a public bank?

L.A.’s referendum, which would not itself create a public bank, has attracted the support of left-wing figures like New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and filmmaker Michael Moore, in addition to advocates for legalized cannabis. And the idea is gaining traction to other blue cities and states. New Jersey’s Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, campaigned on the creation of a public bank. City officials in Washington, D.C., held a public meeting last month to discuss the possibility. The movement has also spread to New York City and Oakland.

The appeal of public banks extends beyond consumer protection to sound fiscal policy. The argument, as articulated by Demos in a 2011 report, says banks can offer lower debt costs to city and state governments, fund public infrastructure projects, and encourage entrepreneurship by providing loans to small businesses at lower interest rates and with lower fees. More…

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