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Tomgram: Glenn Greenwald, How the Rich Subverted the Legal System | TomDispatch - 0 views

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    As intense protests spawned by Occupy Wall Street continue to grow, it is worth asking: Why now? The answer is not obvious. After all, severe income and wealth inequality have long plagued the United States. In fact, it could reasonably be claimed that this form of inequality is part of the design of the American founding -- indeed, an integral part of it.

Giorgio Bertini

It Became Necessary to Destroy the Periphery in Order to Save the Core's Bank... - 0 views

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    The EU is not lending money to Ireland, Greece, and Portugal to help those nations' citizens. The EU is lending those nations money because if they don't those nations and their citizens and corporations will be unable to repay their debts to banks in the core. That will make public the fact that the core banks are actually insolvent. When the Germans and French realize that their banks are insolvent the result will be "severe banking crises and a return to recession in the core of the eurozone." The core, not simply the periphery, will be in crisis. The ECB and the EU's leadership would be happy to throw the periphery under the bus, but the EU core's largest banks are chained to the periphery by their imprudent loans.
Giorgio Bertini

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the ... - 0 views

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    A vividly told history of how greed bred America's economic ills over the last forty years, and of the men most responsible for them. As Jeff Madrick makes clear in a narrative at once sweeping, fast-paced, and incisive, the single-minded pursuit of huge personal wealth has been on the rise in the United States since the 1970s, led by a few individuals who have argued that self-interest guides society more effectively than community concerns. These stewards of American capitalism have insisted on the central and essential place of accumulated wealth through the booms, busts, and recessions of the last half century, giving rise to our current woes.

    In telling the stories of these politicians, economists, and financiers who declared a moral battle for freedom but instead gave rise to an age of greed, Madrick traces the lineage of some of our nation's most pressing economic problems. He begins with Walter Wriston, head of what would become Citicorp, who led the battle against government regulation. He examines the ideas of economist Milton Friedman, who created the plan for an anti-Rooseveltian America; the politically expedient decisions of Richard Nixon that fueled inflation; the philosophy of Alan Greenspan, on whose libertarian ideology a house of cards was built on Wall Street.

    Intense economic inequity and instability is the story of our age, and Jeff Madrick tells it with style, clarity, and an unerring command of his subject.
Giorgio Bertini

Derivatives Cloud the Possible Fallout From a Greek Default « Learning Politi... - 0 views

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    In years past, when financial crises in Argentina and Russia left those countries unable to make good on their government debts, they simply defaulted. But this time around, swaps and other sorts of contracts have become so common and so intertwined in the financial markets that there are fears among regulators and financial players about how a Greek default would play out among derivatives holders.

    No one seems to be sure, in large part because the world of derivatives is so murky. But the possibility that some company out there may have insured billions of dollars of European debt has added a new tension to the sovereign default debate.
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