Tag Archives: banks

Eric Schneiderman: The Right Man, the Right Moment | The Nation

1 Feb

In covering (and working as an editor with) Schneiderman over the years, I’ve grown to admire him as someone who fights for what he calls “transformational politics,” which he described in the pages of The Nation in 2008 this way: “Transformational politics is the work we do today to ensure that the deal we can get on gun control or immigration reform in a year—or five years, or twenty years—will be better than the deal we can get today. Transformational politics requires us to challenge the way people think about issues, opening their minds to better possibilities.… History teaches that the overwhelming majority of elected officials follow movement builders outside government when it comes to the new and risky.”

via Eric Schneiderman: The Right Man, the Right Moment | The Nation.

Michael Hudson: Banks Weren’t Meant to Be Like This « naked capitalism

28 Jan

Yet the banks now browbeat governments – not by having ready cash but by threatening to go bust and drag the economy down with them if they are not given control of public tax policy, spending and planning. The process has gone furthest in the United States. Joseph Stiglitz characterizes the Obama administration’s vast transfer of money and pubic debt to the banks as a “privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses. It is a ‘partnership’ in which one partner robs the other.” Prof. Bill Black describes banks as becoming criminogenic and innovating “control fraud.” High finance has corrupted regulatory agencies, falsified account-keeping by “mark to model” trickery, and financed the campaigns of its supporters to disable public oversight. The effect is to leave banks in control of how the economy’s allocates its credit and resources. …

Banking has moved so far away from funding industrial growth and economic development that it now benefits primarily at the economy’s expense in a predator and extractive way, not by making productive loans. This is now the great problem confronting our time. Banks now lend mainly to other financial institutions, hedge funds, corporate raiders, insurance companies and real estate, and engage in their own speculation in foreign currency, interest-rate arbitrage, and computer-driven trading programs. Industrial firms bypass the banking system by financing new capital investment out of their own retained earnings, and meet their liquidity needs by issuing their own commercial paper directly. Yet to keep the bank casino winning, global bankers now want governments not only to bail them out but to enable them to renew their failed business plan – and to keep the present debts in place so that creditors will not have to take a loss.

via Michael Hudson: Banks Weren’t Meant to Be Like This « naked capitalism.

On Wall Street, a Protest Matures – NYTimes.com

4 Oct

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, who gets phone calls from Wall Street CEOs went down to Zuccotti Park to check out the protest.

“Is this Occupy Wall Street thing a big deal?” the C.E.O. asked me. I didn’t have an answer. “We’re trying to figure out how much we should be worried about all of this,” he continued, clearly concerned. “Is this going to turn into a personal safety problem?”

A personal safety issue? No. But . . .

… the underlying message of Occupy Wall Street — which spread to Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles on Monday — is something the big banks and corporate America may finally have to grapple with before it actually does become dangerous.

What’s the message?

At times it can be hard to discern, but, at least to me, the message was clear: the demonstrators are seeking accountability for Wall Street and corporate America for the financial crisis and the growing economic inequality gap.

And that message is a warning shot about the kind of civil unrest that may emerge — as we’ve seen in some European countries — if our economy continues to struggle.

via On Wall Street, a Protest Matures – NYTimes.com.

The Good Banker – NYTimes.com

2 Jun

Wilmers, it turns out, is that rarest of birds: a banker willing to tell harsh truths about banking. That, for instance, much of the money the big banks earn comes from trading profits “rather than the prudent extension of credit that furthers commerce.” That derivatives had helped bring about the crisis and needed to be regulated. That bank executives were wildly overpaid. That the biggest banks — the Too Big to Fail Banks — were operating, as he put it, an “unsafe business model.”

via The Good Banker – NYTimes.com.