nytimes.com — Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts. As worries over Greece rattle world markets, records and interviews show that with Wall Street’s help, the nation engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels. Even as the crisis was nearing the flashpoint, banks were searching for ways to help Greece forestall the day of reckoning.
Mattel makes a toy called the "Magic 8-Ball." It looks like a pool ball with a little window in it. You ask it a question, then shake it and an answer pops up in the glass. They were a craze in the corporate world a few years back, and you still see lots of them holding down papers on desks across America. more »
guardian.co.uk — Last week, when President Obama was asked about the $9 million dollar bonus for Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, he described Blankfein as a savvy businessman, adding that Americans don't begrudge people being rewarded for success. While the White House later qualified Obama's comment about Blankfein and his fellow bank executives, it's worth examining more closely some of the ways in which Blankfein and the Goldman gang were "savvy".
Like an cat burglar, Goldman Sachs leaves its fingerprints in the most unusual places. The news of Goldman's role in the Greek financial crisis isn't just a black eye for Wall Street. It's also a diplomatic disaster for the United States, whose government has become so intertwined with Goldman that this incident could endanger our relationship with the European Union. more »
robertreich.org — Free market system? As I remember it, American taxpayers forked out hundreds of billions to keep JPMorgan, Goldman, and other big Wall Street banks afloat through most of 2009. Had we not done so, Dimon, Blankfein, and most other top executives on Wall Street would not have earned a dime last year. In fact, some would be out on the street, rather than sitting pretty on the Street. The free market system has been unleashed instead on average Americans.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor today reiterated the claim that "uncertainty" created by the work Democratic congressional leaders are doing to clean up the mess left by conservative economic policies is responsible for the anemic state of the economic recovery and lack of job creation more »
Let's have a frank talk about an uncomfortable subject: Progressives need to raise campaign money in order to get elected and stay in office. Sometimes that money has to come from places that progressives aren't comfortable talking about. This gritty reality has too often led to the conclusion that the Left needs to bow down to Wall Street in order to succeed. more »
Never underestimate Sarah Palin. She did a better job articulating anti-banker sentiment at last week's Tea Party Convention than Obama's done. Its followers don't realize it, but the Tea Party movement is really a Trojan Horse filled with bankers and lobbyists. It's a brilliantly designed mechanism for channeling anti-bank rage to the banks' own benefit, with Palin et al. in the forefront.
It should be, as the President once called it, a "no-brainer": Overhaul our broken system for distributing federal student loans. Stop giving banks undeserved profits for administering these loans (an estimated $80 billion over ten years), since they take no risk and have managed the program poorly. Make sure our money goes directly to the young people that need them the most. Who could be against that? In fact, the student loan reform bill has already passed the House. more »