Tag Archives: banks

Economy slumps, Wall Street booms

Economy slumps, Wall Street booms
Alongside the massive diversion of social wealth to the financial elite, the IMF, World Bank and Fed continue to demand the gutting of past social reforms and protections for workers, in the name of “job creation” and “competitiveness.” Calling for cuts in government subsidies that hold down food and energy costs and privatization of state-owned industries, the World Bank in its June 10 Global Economic Prospects report stated: “In a world ... Read more

Creditocracy or Democracy?

Creditocracy or Democracy?
The formula used to trap personal debtors today is much the same as the International Monetary Fund’s formerly controversial lending arrangements to poor countries — loan installments are made so that borrowers can service existing debts, while the principal is rolled over. With average incomes stagnant or falling, households have no alternative but to follow the same path. The likely consequence is that they end up performing a lifetime of ... Read more

Enron-Style Price Gouging Is Making a Comeback

Enron-Style Price Gouging Is Making a Comeback
The price of electricity would soar under the latest scheme by Wall Street financial engineers to game the electricity markets. If regulators side with Wall Street — and indications are that they will — expect the cost of electricity to rise from Maine to California as others duplicate this scheme to manipulate the markets, as Enron did on the West Coast 14 years ago, before the electricity-trading company collapsed under allegations of ... Read more

Looting the Pension Funds

Looting the Pension Funds
In the final months of 2011, almost two years before the city of Detroit would shock America by declaring bankruptcy in the face of what it claimed were insurmountable pension costs, the state of Rhode Island took bold action to avert what it called its own looming pension crisis. Led by its newly elected treasurer, Gina Raimondo – an ostentatiously ambitious 42-year-old Rhodes scholar and former venture capitalist – the state declared war ... Read more

The Silver Lining of Speed-Driven Finance

The Silver Lining of Speed-Driven Finance
The technical architecture of high-frequency trading is right out of a sci-fi movie—the schemes rely on algorithms that seem artificially intelligent, and the velocity of transaction signals approach light speed. As Lewis recounts, all that technological wizardry is marshaled to let insiders know information before everyone else, which consequently lets those insiders extract wealth from the market. The good news is that a financial ... Read more

When Predatory Equity Hit the Big Apple – And What It Tells Us About the Future

When Predatory Equity Hit the Big Apple – And What It Tells Us About the Future
Things are heating up inside Wall Street’s new rental empire. Over the last few years, giant private equity firms have bet big on the housing market, buying up more than 200,000 cheap homes across the country. Their plan is to rent the houses back to families -- sometimes the very same people who were displaced during the foreclosure crisis -- while waiting for the home values to rise. But it wouldn’t be Wall Street not to have a short-term ... Read more

The Global Banking Game Is Rigged and the FDIC Is Suing

The Global Banking Game Is Rigged and the FDIC Is Suing
Taxpayers are paying billions of dollars for a swindle pulled off by the world’s biggest banks, using a form of derivative called interest-rate swaps; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has now joined a chorus of litigants suing over it. It is not just that local governments, universities and pension funds made a bad bet on these swaps. The game itself was rigged, as explained below. The FDIC is now suing in civil court for ... Read more

The Era of Financialization, An Interview with Costas Lapavitsas: Parts 1 and 2

The Era of Financialization, An Interview with Costas Lapavitsas: Parts 1 and 2
These are the first two parts of a four-part interview with Costas Lapavitsas focusing on the Era of Financialization and the transformations at the “molecular” level of capitalism that are driving changes in economic performance and policy in both high-income and developing countries. Lapavitsas is a professor of economics at SOAS, University of London, and the author of Financialised Capitalism: Expansion and Crisis (Maia Ediciones, 2009) ... Read more

All the Presidents’ Bankers: Nomi Prins on the Secret History of Washington-Wall Street Collusion

All the Presidents’ Bankers: Nomi Prins on the Secret History of Washington-Wall Street Collusion
With U.S. inequality at its highest point since 1928 and Wall Street bonuses hitting pre-2008 levels, we look at the 100-year history of secret collusion between Washington and the financial industry. In her new book, "All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power," financial journalist Nomi Prins explores how a small number of bankers have played critical roles in shaping a century’s worth of financial, foreign ... Read more

Three Ways to Cut Wall Street Out of the ‘Housing Recovery’

Three Ways to Cut Wall Street Out of the ‘Housing Recovery’
Is the U.S. housing market really recovering? That depends on who you ask. Housing prices are on the rise again, but that gain is being driven chiefly by Wall Street investors, who in the past two years have purchased 200,000 homes nationwide at bargain-basement prices, with plans to rent them out. Meanwhile, the pain of the housing crisis endures for the estimated 10 million people who have lost their homes to foreclosure since 2007, as ... Read more