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Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital | Politics News | Rolling Stone
"Romney, on the other hand, is a perfect representative of one side of the ominous cultural divide that will define the next generation, not just here in America but all over the world. Forget about the Southern strategy, blue versus red, swing states and swing voters – all of those political clichés are quaint relics of a less threatening era that is now part of our past, or soon will be. The next conflict defining us all is much more unnerving.

That conflict will be between people who live somewhere, and people who live nowhere. It will be between people who consider themselves citizens of actual countries, to which they have patriotic allegiance, and people to whom nations are meaningless, who live in a stateless global archipelago of privilege – a collection of private schools, tax havens and gated residential communities with little or no connection to the outside world."
politics  financial-engineering  wall-street  markets  debt  leverage  glocalism 
september 2012 by tsuomela
Ben Bernanke House Testimony - The Casino's Rigged. Don't Forget Because They Say It Ain't. - Esquire
People may have very little confidence in the government's competence, but they have absolutely none in the financial system's honesty. People may have very little hope that government can fix things to even out the losses, now that all the serious people agree that the national economy should be run as though at were one of Sheldon Adelson's casinos in Macao, but they have no hope at all that the financial system even has any intention at all of reforming itself. Even though it's been ignored by most of the U.S. mainstream press, LIBOR is a significant tell. The people who rigged it, and the people who profited from the big fix, did so while the entire world financial system was tottering on the verge of utter ruin. These crooks knew exactly what the other crooks had done, and they were very aware of the consequences of what they were doing, and they organized their criminal profiteering anyway. This is a level of amorality that is almost staggering. But, once you accept that corruption is the system, there is a kind of mad logic to it. After all, does Adelson care about the poor schmucks gambling themselves into a hole at the blackjack tables? Caveat emptor, bitches.
politics  corruption  wall-street  finance  banking 
july 2012 by tsuomela
The Spreading Scourge of Corporate Corruption -
"Just consider the scale of recent wrongdoing. Libor is one of the most important rates in the economy. It determines the return on the savings of millions of people, as well as the rate they pay on their mortgage and car loans. It is the benchmark for hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of financial contracts.

Bigger markets allow bigger frauds. Bigger companies, with more complex balance sheets, have more places to hide them. And banks, when they get big enough that no government will let them fail, have the biggest incentive of all. A 20-year-old study by the economists Paul Romer and George Akerlof pointed out that the most lucrative strategy for executives at too-big-to-fail banks would be to loot them to pay themselves vast rewards — knowing full well that the government would save them from bankruptcy. "
business  wall-street  finance  fraud  banking  corporate 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Why I Feel Bad for the Pepper-Spraying Policeman, Lt. John Pike - Alexis Madrigal - National - The Atlantic
Structures, in the sociological sense, constrain human agency. And for that reason, I see John Pike as a casualty of the system, too. Our police forces have enshrined a paradigm of protest policing that turns local cops into paramilitary forces. Let's not pretend that Pike is an independent bad actor. Too many incidents around the country attest to the widespread deployment of these tactics. If we vilify Pike, we let the institutions off way too easy.
wall-street  protests  activism  police  training  repression  college  university  school  school(UCDavis) 
november 2011 by tsuomela
How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests | Politics News | Rolling Stone
"People want out of this fiendish system, rigged to inexorably circumvent every hope we have for a more balanced world. They want major changes. I think I understand now that this is what the Occupy movement is all about. It's about dropping out, if only for a moment, and trying something new, the same way that the civil rights movement of the 1960s strived to create a "beloved community" free of racial segregation. Eventually the Occupy movement will need to be specific about how it wants to change the world. But for right now, it just needs to grow. And if it wants to sleep on the streets for a while and not structure itself into a traditional campaign of grassroots organizing, it should. It doesn't need to tell the world what it wants. It is succeeding, for now, just by being something different."
occupy  protest  utopia  economics  america  wall-street  2011  activism  politics  culture  protests 
november 2011 by tsuomela
How I Learned to Love the Goddamn Hippies - The Daily Beast
Andrew Sullivan on how he learned to love the ‘goddam hippies’—and why their protests aren’t going to end.
politics  wall-street  activism  hippies  protests  fairness  via:deusx 
november 2011 by tsuomela
Is Occupy Wall Street a Constituent Moment, And Not A Movement? | Underpaid Genius
"The elections of 2012 could be radically altered by the fallout from Occupy Wall Street, and the movements that are likely to be spun out of that constituency. I’m predicting widespread civil unrest in the summer of 2012, as the law and order forces of the right ratchet up their intolerance and the new movements seeth with impatience."
october 2011 by tsuomela
Why Occupy Wall Street is Not the Tea Party of the Left | Foreign Affairs
"Charles Tilly, the late Columbia sociologist, divided movements into three types, based on the policies they demand, the constituencies they claim to represent, and the identities they are trying to construct. Both the civil rights movement and the Tea Party combined the first and second goals. Occupy Wall Street is what we might call a "we are here" movement. Asking its activists what they want, as some pundits have demanded, is beside the point. Participants are neither disillusioned Obama supporters, nor or a "mob," as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor cynically described them. By their presence, they are saying only, "Recognize us!""
wall-street  protests  activism  social-movement 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Occupy Wall Street, Social Media, Gladwell and Risk - event mechanics - event mechanics
"I want to suggest that the dichotomy between high risk protest and low risk participation that Gladwell isolates as typifying most historical social mmovement protests versus most contemporary online social movement participation is actually spot on. What is remarkable about the Occupy Wall Street protests is not that the ‘internets’ have somehow produced an effective mode of protest, but that the risks involved in the esculation of protest from low-risk online participation (‘liking’ a social movement on Facebook, for example) into actual high-risk toe-to-toe in-the-street vaulting-the-barricades mobilisation have now become risks worth taking for the majority of participants. "
wall-street  protests  activism  risk  economics  class  incentives 
october 2011 by tsuomela
I cite: Wrong message: Dave Winer on #OccupyWallStreet
"Not everything is included. It's politically imperative not to let Occupy Wall Street become an omnibus container for any and all political sentiments. Not every position should be welcomed, encouraged, or tolerated. How this plays out in the General Assemblies is an effect of the local cultures, the activists involved, the patterns of interaction. In NY, the power dynamics are already reflected upon in discussions and working groups. I expect this is also the case already in the other sites. In the same way that racism, sexism, and homophobia have no place in the movement, it should also be the case that libertarian, capitalist, and financialist attempts to interpret and guide the movement are rejected"
wall-street  activism  protests  class  class-war  rhetoric  politics  social-movement  meaning 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Politics averted: thoughts on the 'Occupy X' movement | Workers Solidarity Movement
"One of the major victories of neoliberalism is the eradication of the working-class from the popular consciousness. One of the results of this is the prevalence of the idea among certain sections of the left that the working-class is no longer relevant to understanding power in the modern world - an outdated idea clung to by old-left dinosaurs. This is reflected in the idea of 'the 99%' which has become the slogan of the 'Occupy X' movement, which expresses a very crude understanding of class, where the ruling class are an arbitrarily defined proportion of the wealthiest people in society."
wall-street  activism  protests  class  marxism  capitalism  class-war  rhetoric 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Daily Kos: Open Letter to that 53% Guy
"Do you really want the bar set this high?  Do you really want to live in a society where just getting by requires a person to hold down two jobs and work 60 to 70 hours a week?  Is that your idea of the American Dream?"
wall-street  protests  activism  liberal  american-dream 
october 2011 by tsuomela
#OccupyWallStreet: There's Something Happening Here, Mr. Jones | techPresident
"But I think it's time to recognize that we're no longer in a what veteran activist Myles Horton would have called an organizational phase of political activity, where meetings have walls around them, messages have managers, advocacy is centrally paid for and done by professional lobbyists, marches have beginnings and endings, and the story line goes neatly gives from petition to legislation to reform.

Instead, in America we're now entering into a third wave of movement politics (the first being the rise of the "netroots" within the Democratic party after its leadership collapse between 2000-2003
politics  wall-street  protests  activism  future 
october 2011 by tsuomela
OCCUPY WALL STREET (the theory) - Global Guerrillas
"OCCUPY WALL STREET (the theory)

Really simple:

Occupy Wall Street is an open source protest.

This type of protest has been very effective over the last year in toppling regimes in north Africa. It's proving relatively successful in the US too.

Open source protest is an organizational technique. Probably the only organizational technique that can assemble a massive crowd in today's multiplexed environment. "
protests  activism  wall-street  capitalism  social-media  social-movement  media  technology  open-source 
october 2011 by tsuomela
#OWS: Have We Entered the Age of Protest? - Miller-McCune
"Sociologist David S. Meyer and political scientist Sidney Tarrow have called this the “social movement society.” In it, protest has moved from the fringe of American culture into the political mainstream. Over the last 30 years, it’s become easier to organize, and participation now comes with less of a cost. The number of people protesting has expanded, as have the causes they espouse. Protest has become ubiquitous, institutionalized even."
wall-street  protests  activism  sociology 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Is protest in America at a turning point?
"Many journalists, it seems, pay lip service to the First Amendment, but turn their backs or grow disdainful when people actually exercise these rights in the streets. In such a climate, idealistic activists such as those at the tar sands pipeline and Wall Street protests, obviously, can be safely ignored by the major news media or condescended to as not being rooted in the practical, real world. Real grown-ups don’t need to protest."
media  media-reform  journalism  failure  protests  activism  wall-street  progressive  fairness  first-amendment  american 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Robert Reich (The Wall Street Occupiers and the Democratic Party)
"But the modern Democratic Party is not likely to embrace left-wing populism the way the GOP has embraced – or, more accurately, been forced to embrace – right-wing populism. Just follow the money, and remember history."
wall-street  protests  activism  democrats  politics  liberal  history  populism 
october 2011 by tsuomela
When there's nobody really watching, when there's nothing to confront, when there's nothing to debate—this is what's left: How is it possible to create forms of life for ourselves, even if its in the shadow of tall buildings that cast long shadows?
wall-street  protests  activism  psychology 
october 2011 by tsuomela
OCCUPY WALL STREET (the theory) - Global Guerrillas
"Occupy Wall Street is an open source protest.

This type of protest has been very effective over the last year in toppling regimes in north Africa. It's proving relatively successful in the US too.

Open source protest is an organizational technique. Probably the only organizational technique that can assemble a massive crowd in today's multiplexed environment."
protests  activism  wall-street  capitalism  social-media  social-movement  media  technology  open-source 
october 2011 by tsuomela
McKenzie Wark on Occupy Wall Street: 'How to Occupy an Abstraction' -
"The taking of a tiny square in downtown New York hardly impinges on the power of the vector. It doesn't even inconvenience the minions who work in the surrounding offices, but the actual occupation is connected to a more abstract kind of occupation, and the slightest hint that it could spread disturbs the fragile constitutions of the rentier sensibility."
protests  activism  wall-street  capitalism  social-media  social-movement  media  technology 
october 2011 by tsuomela
TUMEKE!: Hacktivism meets Wall St
If you look at the mode of policing and arrest rates of different protests, it is clear that some ideas and movements are perceived as much more threatening than others. For example, the 2009 Taxpayer March composed mainly of Tea Party followers on Washington had no arrests, yet 700 of about 1500 protestors were arrested yesterday on Brooklyn Bridge.
protests  activism  internet  online  hacktivism  paranoia  law  ideology  capitalism  wall-street 
october 2011 by tsuomela
We Are the 99 Percent
We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.
unemployment  capitalism  america  protests  poverty  class  class-war  online  story  work  labor  recession  depression  crisis  wall-street 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Has finance gone too far? | vox - Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists
"Our results show that the marginal effect of financial development on output growth becomes negative when credit to the private sector surpasses 110% of GDP. This result is surprisingly consistent across different types of estimators (simple regressions and semi-parametric estimations) and data (country-level and industry-level). The threshold at which we find that financial development starts having a negative effect on growth is similar to the threshold at which Easterly et al. 2000 find that financial development starts increasing volatility."
economics  econometrics  finance  financial-engineering  wall-street  markets 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Larry Summers and the Subversion of Economics - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Over the past 30 years, the economics profession—in economics departments, and in business, public policy, and law schools—has become so compromised by conflicts of interest that it now functions almost as a support group for financial services and other industries whose profits depend heavily on government policy. The route to the 2008 financial crisis, and the economic problems that still plague us, runs straight through the economics discipline. And it's due not just to ideology; it's also about straightforward, old-fashioned money.

Prominent academic economists (and sometimes also professors of law and public policy) are paid by companies and interest groups to testify before Congress, to write papers, to give speeches, to participate in conferences, to serve on boards of directors, to write briefs in regulatory proceedings, to defend compan
economics  business  wall-street  corruption  conflict-of-interest  academia  government  revolving-door 
october 2010 by tsuomela
What Business is Wall Street In ? « blog maverick
The only people who know what business Wall Street is in are the traders. They know what business Wall Street is in better than everyone else. To traders, whether day traders or high frequency or somewhere in between, Wall Street has nothing to do with creating capital for businesses, its original goal. Wall Street is a platform. It’s a platform to be exploited by every technological and intellectual means possible.

The best analogy for traders. They are hackers.
wall-street  finance  financial-services  capitalism  purpose  business-model  traders 
may 2010 by tsuomela
Dangerous Trader Mentality and Financial Reform » New Deal 2.0
A former Goldman Sachs employee gives us a window into the mind of a typical trader. Things you won’t find: an interest in fairness, transparency, and social utility.
wall-street  finance  financial-services  derivatives  traders  capitalism  fairness  morality  money  politics 
may 2010 by tsuomela
Goldman: It's About What's Legal - Ezra Klein -
The problem for Tourre—and for Wall Street more broadly—is that they're so intent on proving that what they did was legal that they can't see that what they did was wrong. These are men (and they usually are men) of the market, and they played by the market's rules. And the market's rules are these: you make as much money as you can without actually going to jail. This is a world in which people are applauded for "blowing up the customer"—that is to say, offloading a crap product on a dim investor.

But it's not the world the rest of us live in. And if Wall Street doesn't realize that quick, financial regulation might turn out very badly for them.
wall-street  economics  recession  crisis  regulation  financial-services  behavior  morality  ethics  lawsuit  money 
may 2010 by tsuomela
The Elephant in the Room
“Too Big to Fail” Financial Institutions Must Be Addressed
banking  financial-services  reform  finance  wall-street 
march 2010 by tsuomela
Eyes on the Ties » a blog by LittleSis » Blog Archive » Scrutiny of Goldman’s Role in Greek Debt Crisis Intensifies in US
Goldman Sachs appears to be testing the limits of its special talent for avoiding all accountability following revelations of its role in exacerbating the Greek debt crisis.
business  finance  wall-street  country(Greece)  debt  crisis  recession  regulation  too-big-to-fail  regulatory-capture 
march 2010 by tsuomela
Rick Bookstaber: Does Financial Innovation promote Economic Growth?
Do innovative products promote growth by increasing market efficiency?

If we were in an Arrow-Debreu world, the answer would be yes, since these products will help span that space of the states of nature. But the incentives behind innovation move in the other direction. The objective in the design and marketing of innovative products is not market efficiency, but profitability for the banks. And market efficiency is the bane of profitability.
economics  wall-street  markets  innovation  growth  information-asymmetry  banking  financial-engineering 
november 2009 by tsuomela
Can Citigroup Carry Its Own Weight? - Series -
OVER the past 80 years, the United States government has engineered not one, not two, not three, but at least four rescues of the institution now known as Citigroup.
banking  government  bailout  regulation  wall-street  free-markets 
november 2009 by tsuomela
PIMCO - Midnight Candles Gross November
Let me start out by summarizing a long-standing PIMCO thesis: The U.S. and most other G-7 economies have been significantly and artificially influenced by asset price appreciation for decades. Stock and home prices went up – then consumers liquefied and spent the capital gains either by borrowing against them or selling outright. Growth, in other words, was influenced on the upside by leverage, securitization, and the belief that wealth creation was a function of asset appreciation as opposed to the production of goods and services.
economics  asset-prices  growth  price  history  wall-street 
october 2009 by tsuomela
The "Disaster Stage" of U.S. Financialization | TPMCafe
This could be a powerful framework. All of these critiques have merit, and ideally they might converge as earlier indictments of elite and governmental abuse did during the Progressive and New Deal eras. But I have to return to whether the public will ever be given full information on the fatal magnitude of financialization, who was responsible, and how it failed and crashed in 2007-2009. So far, political and media discussion has been so minimal that the early 21st century American electorate has much less readily available information on what took place than did the electorates of those earlier reform eras.
recession  information  media  journalism  economics  politics  finance  corruption  crisis  government  bailout  wall-street 
october 2009 by tsuomela
SSRN-Bailouts: An Essay on Conflicts of Interest and Ethics When Government Pays the Tab by Richard Painter
This essay, a precursor for a book project on the same topic, addresses ethics problems for government officials who orchestrate bailouts of private companies...This essay concludes that government ethics law in its current state is not up to the task and that the United States is not prepared to implement bailouts in a manner that will instill public confidence. Although these problems could be alleviated through stricter ethics rules or a more systematized approach to bailouts, most solutions would be more costly than the problems they attempt to solve. Bailouts thus impose a substantial burden on government ethics that may be impossible to remove, in addition to the economic cost bailouts impose on taxpayers. Designing a bailout free economy may be the only acceptable alternative.
ethics  government  bailout  wall-street  politics 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Op-Ed Contributor - Wall Street Smarts -
“You are either a lot younger than you look or you don’t have much of a memory,” he said. “One of the speakers at my 25th reunion said that, according to a survey he had done of those attending, income was now precisely in inverse proportion to academic standing in the class, and that was partly because everyone in the lower third of the class had become a Wall Street millionaire.”
wall-street  culture  class  recession  humor  economics 
october 2009 by tsuomela
The Limits of Arbitrage « The Baseline Scenario
...arbitrageurs, the very smart and talented traders at hedge funds who will take prices that are out of line and bring them back into line, making a good fee and making prices reflect all available information, the very building block necessary for EMH to work, can’t do their job if they are time or credit constrained. Specifically, if they are highly leveraged, and prices move against their position before they return to their fundamental value – if the market stays irrational longer than they can remain solvent – they’ll collapse before they can do their jo
finance  arbitrage  money  wall-street  banking  financial-engineering  limits  efficiency  markets  free-markets  debt  leverage 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Joe Bageant: The Entertainment Value of Snuffing Grandma
Consequently, they are incapable of asking themselves a simple question: If insurance corporation profits are one third of the cost of healthcare, and all insurance corporations do is deliver our money to healthcare providers for us (or actually, do everything in their power to keep the money for themselves), why do we need insurance companies at all? Answer: Because Wall Street gets a big piece of the action.
rant  health-care  gloom-and-doom  reform  illusion  american  class  wall-street 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Op-Ed Columnist - Rewarding Bad Actors -
It’s hard to imagine a better illustration than high-frequency trading. The stock market is supposed to allocate capital to its most productive uses, for example by helping companies with good ideas raise money. But it’s hard to see how traders who place their orders one-thirtieth of a second faster than anyone else do anything to improve that social function.
wall-street  banking  financial-services  high-frequency-trading  benefits  economics 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Michael Lewis on A.I.G. |
profile of AIG FP and speculations on why it failed, especially the personality of Joe Cassano.
economics  wall-street  crisis  banking  financial-engineering  finance  aig 
july 2009 by tsuomela
Lance Mannion: Millionaires and the millionaires who love them
One financier essentially tells Sherman that the going rate for any job which involves being woken up in the middle of the night should be roughly $2 million a year — which is not the kind of attitude guaranteed to make you friends among, say, the farming community.
wealth  money  attitude  finance  wall-street  income 
april 2009 by tsuomela
Human Sacrifice At The Altar Of The Cult Of Buoyancy | finem respice
So strong has been the indoctrination administered by what can only be called the "Cult of Buoyancy" that several of its most dangerous teachings slip by in broad daylight, totally unnoticed by even professionals who should know much better. The acolytes of Buoyancy, that is the unrelenting upward cultural pressure on equity prices and the marks of certain commodities (but not others), cannot be blamed entirely for the fervor of their belief. They have, after all, endured nearly three decades of constant and unwavering reinforcement until each of them has come to expect year after year of volatility-less gains, marching Madoff-like, ever upward without risk or variance.
banking  crisis  economics  asset-prices  wall-street 
april 2009 by tsuomela
Hussman Funds - Weekly Market Comment: Green Shoots over Thin Ice - April 13, 2009
Last year, I didn't think it was conceivable that policy-makers would attempt to address this problem by making lenders whole with public funds. This is an ethical abomination, putting the public in the position of absorbing the losses that should properly be borne by those who provided capital to these institutions. It is not sustainable. What it does is place the public in the position of losing first, but it will not, and cannot prevent the ultimate failure of the debt – for the simple reason that without restructuring, the debt can't be serviced.
economics  crisis  bailout  future  2009  wall-street  debt 
april 2009 by tsuomela
Bronte Capital: Watch those baskets: Why Citigroup should be allowed to merge with Wells Fargo
More bluntly I think the US should end this crisis with substantially fewer banks – which because they have a high degree of market power should be highly profitable. The high level of profitability will

(a). Reduce the incentive for banks to take excessive risks (if you have a goose that lays golden eggs it does not make sense to risk killing that goose), and

(b). Increases the chance that the banks can work through any problems that they do have (because the underlying franchise will generate enough profit to fill any holes).
banking  crisis  regulation  size  scale  profit  wall-street 
march 2009 by tsuomela
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