Articles/News

Echoes of The ‘80s and The Collateral Damage of Fraud (focuses on Iceland) By Sigrún Davíðsdóttir

Recently, I talked to the CEO of a very successful Icelandic company that has grown steadily over the decade it’s been operating. Every year, the CEO would go through the annual report, lean back and think with great satisfaction that his company was indeed showing a healthily steady growth. Then the banks and their satellite companies would come out with their annual accounts – and the CEO’s heart would sink, questioning what on earth was he was doing: compared to these companies his company’s growth was pitiful. Now, anno 2010, his company is still doing well and even hiring people.

What Do Our Nation’s Biggest Banks Owe Us Now? By William K. Black

This week, ABC News World News with Diane Sawyer is airing a series about the struggling middle class. The show's producers posed the following question to a few of the nation's leading economic and financial analysts, including UMKC's own William K. Black.

Timmy-Gate Takes a Turn For The Worse: Did Geithner Help Lehman Hide Accounting Tricks? By L. Randall Wray

Just when you thought that nothing could stink more than Timothy Geithner's handling of the AIG bailout, a new report details how Geithner's New York Fed allowed Lehman Brothers to use an accounting gimmick to hide debt. The report, which runs to 2200 pages, was released by Anton Valukas, the court-appointed examiner. It actually makes the AIG bailout look tame by comparison. It is now crystal clear why Geithner's Treasury as well as Bernanke's Fed refuse to allow any light to shine on the massive cover-up underway.

Interview with L Randall Wray by the Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia about Greece's debt crisis. By Chronis Polychroniou

*This is an english translation of the greek publication.

Forget Greece: Italy derivatives bomb also ticking 12 Mar 2010, REUTERS

Readers, personally I would have entitled this article differently, more on the order of Don't Forget Greece, But Look At How This Derivative Collapse Is Spreading To Other Countries. In about a year the economic landscape is going to look much worse. Neo-Classical or as William Black likes to say, Theo-Classical Economics, is essentially as massive criminal conspiracy, some times also described as corporatism.

How Champions of Neoliberalism are Reversing New Deal Economics Back to Market Fundamentalism By ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH

Readers, Given the sharp contrast between the responses to corporate criminality in Greece as compared to what is not yet occurring in the US and the UK, this article describes the historical process of mobilization and change as it occurred in the US fairly well. Relative to the unfolding of the Great Depression in the US, we are at about 1931 during the so called Hoover bubble which was also described as a "recovery." It was more of a "dead cat bounce" as a pause to later and deeper collapse.

U.S. lawmakers launch push to repeal NAFTA by Doug Palmer WASHINGTON Reuters Mar 4, 2010

(Reuters) - A small group of U.S. lawmakers unveiled legislation on Thursday to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement in the latest sign of congressional disillusionment with free-trade deals.

The bill spearheaded by Rep. Gene Taylor, a Mississippi Democrat, would require President Barack Obama to give Mexico and Canada six months notice that the United States will no longer be part of the 16-year-old trade pact.

"At a time when 10 to 12 percent of the American people are unemployed, I think Congress has an obligation to put people back to work," Taylor said.

The state's role in economic recovery Michael Meacher guardian.co.uk, March 2nd, 2010

Public sector reflation is needed to revive the economy but narrow neoliberalism won't recognise this obvious truth. This is a funny old election. Both the main political parties are focusing on one central issue (how far and how fast the budget deficit should be cut) when that is the wrong policy and the right policy is being rejected out of hand. At the same time, what should clearly be the central focus of this election doesn't even get a serious mention.

Credit Default Swaps as Insider Trading Violation by livinglies (Garfield) March 2, 2010

“Yet on a wholesale basis, Goldman Sachs and others not only had the inside information, they had created it. That is why Goldman started trading against the the interests of its clients to whom it was selling mortgage backed securities that were designed to fail”

“Both the investor and the borrower would have understood that sometimes very little of the investors’ money was actually being used to fund mortgages, with the rest being sued to buy insurance, credit default swaps, pay fees, profits, kickbacks and commissions.”

Credit Default Swaps Defined and Explained by livinglies (Garfield) March 3, 2010

Comments: Everyone now has heard of credit default swaps but very few people understand what they mean and fewer still understand their importance in connection with the securitization of residential mortgage loans and other types of loans.The importance of understanding the operation of a CDS contract in the context of foreclosure defense cannot be understated.

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