A Push-Pull Model for Cooperative Markets Financed by Sovereign Spending

By J.D. Alt

I recently outlined a sovereign spending structure for making “free” pre-school care and instruction available to every American child (Opportunities of a Millennium, Part 1). After further consideration, I realize the proposal glosses over a fundamental issue posed by sovereign spending itself: Should it “push” or should it “pull” at resources to achieve a given goal?

Here is what I mean: In the case of pre-school care and instruction, it would be possible to direct the sovereign spending in basically three ways. The first way is the classic “government program” model where the federal government establishes and staffs a public bureaucracy to provide the pre-school care. This model was ruled out in deference to the Boomer-GenX generation’s legitimate objections to “big government”—and especially big government programs which waste money and fail to accomplish their goals. This leaves two options for directing the sovereign spending.

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When Will the Congressional Progressive Caucus Ever Learn About Sector Financial Balances?

In addition to the House Budget Committee and OMB budget plans and 2016 – 2025 projections fiscal policy followers have also recently been graced with the effort of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) proposing their budget plan and 2016 – 2025 projections. The CPC budget proposal is interesting because it is definitely not intended to be an austerity budget. Instead, its authors consciously try both to achieve the goals of “fiscally responsible” low deficit budgets while turning away from austerity and towards achieving full employment, renewed economic growth, economic stability, a strengthened social safety net, greater economic equality, an improved infrastructure, and transportation system, improving the health insurance system beyond the Affordable Care Act, a greener economy, improved education and other progressive goals.

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Whining about Indiana’s Retreat from Bigotry

By William K. Black
Quito: April 4, 2015

I’m dealing with the temporary expiration of our subscription to the Wall Street Journal and my resultant inability to read columns behind its paywall.  This caused me to search whether others had made the full text of the WSJ editorial “Liberal Intolerance, Round II” available on line.  I put the first sentence of the editorial in my search engine.

“The political delirium over Indiana’s law protecting minority religious beliefs doesn’t seem to be abating, and the irony is that it may be illustrating why such statutes are necessary.”

It spit out the exact same sentence – but in what appears to be (the world’s worst) web site of U.S. News and World Report in a (maybe) news article attributed to “us,” but starting with an AP credit.  The only change is that the first sentence in the WSJ has become the second sentence in the USNWR.  As the third sentence in the quotation below shows, it is in some ways a personal take on a straight news story sourced to AP, but the USNWR’s web site refers to as being authored by “us.”  I trust you are as confused as I am.  The two pieces differ, but seem clearly to have been written by the same person about the same subject.

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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.

The Wall Street Journal Applauds Homophobia

By William K. Black
Quito: April Fools’ Day 2015 

April Fools’ Day continues to bring it delights, including a trifecta of homophobia I found on the website of the Wall Street Journal and other papers today.  The WSJ news staff first reported on Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration” Act in a March 27, 2015 story in which CFOs reported their fear that the Act was “Hampering Hiring Ability.”  The WSJ news sections recently cited the strong majority of Americans supporting marriage equality and the fact that support is growing quickly among conservatives.

The WSJ’s infamous editorial team was cranking up to send the opposite message.  They support the oxymoronic “Defense of Marriage Act” (defending marriage from marriage) and oppose any constitutional rights protecting gay Americans from discrimination.  The business community overwhelmingly opposes the new state hate acts adopted by the Indiana and Arkansas legislatures.  The CEOs of America’s leading business thought leaders oppose the new state hate acts.  The WSJ, on issues of hate, does not serve the interests of the business community.  The title of the opinion piece is “The New Intolerance: Indiana isn’t targeting gays. Liberals are targeting religion.”  The opinion piece doesn’t even try to support the claim that “liberals are targeting religion.”  But the use of the word “liberals” shows how out of step the editorial zanies have become with American businesspeople on the issue of discrimination against gays.  A majority of conservatives oppose discrimination against gays.  Young conservatives are even more strongly opposed to discrimination against gays.

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HSBC Violates its Sweetheart Deal and Lynch Praises It

By William K. Black
Quito: April Fools’ Day 2015

HSBC got a sweetheart deal from the Obama administration.  It laundered vast amounts of money for Mexico’s murderous Sinaloa cartel, helped bust sanctions for terrorists and mass murderers, and did not cooperate with the investigation.  The U.S. Attorney in charge of the case, Loretta Lynch, refused to prosecute any of the HSBC bankers or even sue them individually.  Instead, there was a pathetic non-prosecution agreement limited to HSBC.  Lynch is accused of not contacting either of the primary whistleblowers in the case.  The failure to contact one of the whistleblowers has already blown up in Lynch’s face as it became public a few months ago that the governments of the U.S. and Europe were provided many years ago with data on HSBC’s Swiss affiliate that show it was helping terrorists, genocidal leaders, the most violent drug gangs, and tens of thousands of wealthy people evade taxes.  Lynch failed to bring that case or use any of the invaluable data provided by the whistleblower who copied the files from the Swiss bank.

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We Send Teachers to Prison for Rigging the Numbers, Why Not Bankers?

By William K. Black
Quito: April Fools’ Day 2015

The New York Times ran the story on April Fools’ Day of a jury convicting educators of gaming the test numbers and lying about their actions to investigators.

“ATLANTA — In a dramatic conclusion to what has been described as the largest cheating scandal in the nation’s history, a jury here on Wednesday convicted 11 educators for their roles in a standardized test cheating scandal that tarnished a major school district’s reputation and raised broader questions about the role of high-stakes testing in American schools.

On their eighth day of deliberations, the jurors convicted 11 of the 12 defendants of racketeering, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. Many of the defendants — a mixture of Atlanta public school teachers, testing coordinators and administrators — were also convicted of other charges, such as making false statements, that could add years to their sentences.”

This was complicated trial that took six months to present and required eight days of jury deliberations.  It was a major commitment of investigative and prosecutorial resources.  But it was not investigated and prosecuted by the FBI and AUSAs, but by state and local officials.  In addition to the trial success, the prosecutors secured 21 guilty pleas.

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DealBook’s Willful Blindness Exemplified in the Whistleblowing Article’s First Sentence

By William K. Black
Quito: April Fools’ Day 2015

The odious New York Times “brand” (DealBook) managed in its lead sentence to show that how complete its pro-CEO banker bias is and how that bias prevents it from getting even the most basic aspects of our recurrent crises correct.  The April Fools’ Day article is entitled “S.E.C. Fires Warning Shot About Confidentiality Agreements.”

“A sound that delights regulators and strikes fear in corporations — employees’ blowing the whistle on wrongdoing — is poised to become louder.”

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Modern Monetary Theory

Pavlina R. Tcherneva

Pondering here from my academic station
Why has never before such a simple observation
Caused more confusion and consternation
Amongst the general population

That the government is the currency-issuing monopolist
Is not a radical idea, nor a hypothesis
It is a simple, nay, elementary fact
That is often so fervently attacked

IT conjures fears of hyperinflation
The dread of every civilized nation
A crippling phobia that stunts our facilities
To rationally think about the economic possibilities

Pundits, economists, and the average bloke
Firmly believe that the U.S. government is broke
And defend this dreadful and deadly mythology
“There Is NO Alternative,” they say, without an apology

Inequality, retirement insecurity, mass unemployment
Environmental blight, pay gap, and other disappointments
Are no longer problems intractable, alarming and eerie
With a brief introduction to Modern Monetary Theory

©March 31, 2015