Author Archives: Devin Smith

America Is a Horror Show

This is from earlier this year. If you have not yet viewed this episode, it is worth taking the time to do so. (Description provided by Bill Moyers’ site).

David Simon, journalist and creator of the TV series The Wire and Treme, talks with Bill about the crisis of capitalism in America. After President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union address, it’s a reality check from someone who artfully uses television drama to report on the state of America from an entirely different perspective — the bottom up.

“The horror show is we are going to be slaves to profit. Some of us are going to be higher on the pyramid and we’ll count ourselves lucky and many many more will be marginalized and destroyed,” Simon tells Moyers. He blames a “purchased” Congress for failing America’s citizens, leading many of them to give up on politics altogether.

Watch the episode here.

NEP’s Randy Wray’s interview in el Diario

For our Spanish speaking friends… Randy has an interview in the Spanish publication el Diario where he is talking about employment guarantee programs. You can view it here.

 

Herr Schauble’s Foibles: The eurozone Rebalancing Conundrum

By Rob Parenteau

That Germany has pursued something of a neo-mercantilist growth strategy is no great secret. Even newly minted econoblogger Ben Bernanke (apparently, Fed Chair pensions are not what they used to be) has duly noted Germany’s ascension to the throne of the Chief Instigator of Global Imbalances (CIGI) in his post dated April 3, 2015 (see here). At 7% of GDP, Germany’s trade surplus has clearly unseated China’s prior well-vaunted position as CIGI. Clearly, Frankfurt, not Shanghai, has become the new capital city of Global Saving Glutistan, in the nation of West Secular Stagnationa.

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Draghi’s Doom Loop(s): More than just the euthanasia of the rentiers

By Rob Parenteau

The recently adopted QE approach by the ECB, in concert with the negative deposit policy rate (NDPR) introduced last summer, has set off a number of nested disequilibrium dynamics that may unwittingly introduce a material increase in systemic risk for the eurozone, and perhaps beyond. Lord Keynes anticipated what he termed ”euthanasia of the rentiers”, as he expected active monetary policy would be successful in reducing long-term interest rates, and the share of the population living off of bond coupons would eventually just wither away. By way of contrast, if the following assessment is correct, Draghi may have signed a mutually assisted suicide pact with finanzkapital in the eurozone.

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William Black Tells the Ugly Truth!

Crossposted from www.richardmbowen.com

William K. Black, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry, is a lawyer, academic, and a former bank regulator. He was formerly the litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC), senior vice president and general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and senior deputy chief counsel of the Office of Thrift Supervision. Black was also deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement.

Black was a central figure in exposing Congressional corruption during the Savings and Loan Crisis. He took the notes during the Keating Five meeting that were later published in the press, and brought the event to national attention and a congressional investigation. Looks as if he had a hit put out on him for his pains!

According to Bill Moyers, “The former Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention now teaches Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. During the savings and loan crisis, it was Black who accused then-house speaker Jim Wright and five US Senators, including John Glenn and John McCain, of doing favors for the S&L’s in exchange for contributions and other perks. The senators got off with a slap on the wrist, but so enraged was one of those bankers, Charles Keating — after whom the senate’s so-called “Keating Five” were named — he sent a memo that read, in part, ‘get Black — kill him dead.’ Metaphorically, of course. Of course.” Continue reading

Archaic Laws Revived with Homophobic Intent in Indiana and Arkansas

The latest episode of the Bill Black report on The Real News Network. Bill talks with Sharmini about the religious freedom bills in Indiana and Arkansas. “Its a bill where they dare not speak its purpose or state its goal.” Transcript if available at therealnews.com.

Opportunities of a Millennium (Part 1)

By J.D. Alt

Viewed through the ideology of money-scarcity, the major challenges facing society appear to represent “costs” that people must be penalized to pay by taking dollars out of their personal pockets. At one level, politics is the endless and bitter argument of one party proposing to do X, Y, or Z in order to accomplish some collective benefit, and the other party saying: Yes, but how are you going to pay for it?—which is the “gotcha” question because everyone certainly “knows” that in order to actually do X, Y, or Z, the federal government will have to increase taxes or borrow dollars from the Private Sector pot. Understanding modern fiat money (and how to manage it as a collective tool) creates, as we now understand, a remarkably different and more useful perspective. With this new perspective, as we’re about to see, many of the biggest challenges we face as a collective society can be viewed not as a “cost”—a penalty to be paid—but instead as an enormous opportunity to make our lives, both collectively and individually, more effective and prosperous. Confronting these challenges, in other words, will not take dollars out of our personal pockets, it will—in addition to hopefully overcoming the challenge addressed—put dollars into our pockets. This, in essence, is the uniquely empowering perspective that modern fiat money makes possible.

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Entrevista a Randall Wray

The full interview with NEP’s Randy Wray by EKO de Público TV in Spain. This is the complete interview. Questions from the interviewer are in spanish. Randy’s responses are subtitled in spanish. This was recorded on March 6, 2015 as part of his introduction of the spanish version of the Modern Money Primer.

 

What Does it Take to Get Fired at the SEC?

By William K. Black
Quito: Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2015

“Yves Smith” has a distressingly wonderful column in her blog, NakedCapitalism, on the SEC’s Andrew Bowden.  The SEC Chair, Mary Jo White, needs to read it and walk to Bowden’s office and tell him she needs his resignation letter on her desk by noon or she will terminate his employment.  When the SEC appointed Bowden as its lead examiner it put out a press release that purported that his unit was hiring folks from the industry like Bowden, which was going to make it a competent, kick-ass regulator.

“The SEC’s National Exam Program conducts inspections and examinations of SEC-registered investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, self-regulatory organizations, clearing agencies, and transfer agents. OCIE has adopted a risk-focused examination program, hired industry experts, leveraged technology to increase efficiency, and launched a training program focused on quality and consistency. These initiatives have enabled OCIE to more effectively fulfill its mission to promote compliance with U.S. securities laws, prevent fraud, monitor risk, and inform SEC policy.”

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State of Thieves

By Deirdre N.  McCloskey
University of Illinois at Chicago

Nearly as published, Wall Street Journal, Saturday, Feb 28, 2015

The theme of Sarah Chayes’s “Thieves of State” is that corruption can’t be ignored as a source of international instability.  The injustice of it enrages people.  Corruption thus becomes “an important driver of conflict worldwide,” as Ms. Chayes puts it.  “Abusive government corruption prompts extreme responses and thus represents a mortal threat to security.”  Ms. Chayes, who in her seven years in Afghanistan worked as a reporter for National Public Radio, as an NGO administrator and as an advisor to Gen.  Stanley McChrystal, witnessed programs against corruption initiated by the NGOs, NATO, and the U.S.  Army fail and fail again, co-opted by the Karzai brothers and worse.  She tells the story of what happened in Afghanistan brilliantly, and compares her experience there with the current corruption in Egypt, Russia and the dismal rest.  In all of these places, the officials extract money from the system, the citizens cheat the system, and the business interests co-opt the system.  It’s an old story, from the corrupt judges the prophet Amos blasted to the love-besotted governor in squeaky-clean Oregon.

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