Bank of America

Wiki Rehab
January 07, 2011

American diplomacy seems to have survived Wikileaks’s “attack on the international community,” as Hillary Clinton so dramatically characterized it, unscathed. Save for a few diplomatic reshuffles, Foggy Bottom doesn’t seem to be deeply affected by what happened. Certainly, the U.S. government at large has not been paralyzed by the leaks—contrary to what Julian Assange had envisioned in one of his cryptic-cum-visionary essays, penned in 2006.

Elizabeth Warren's Enemies List
August 01, 2010

If President Obama appoints Elizabeth Warren to run the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, at least some parts of the financial industry are likely to fight her nomination. But which ones? One way to answer that question is to go through the 2005 book, All Your Worth, she co-wrote with her daughter. It’s a financial advice book, but it also singles out three groups for particular scorn. And it’s not hard to imagine those groups would be among those most opposed to her nomination. Here they are: 1. Credit Card Companies: Warren advised her readers to stay away from credit cards.

Why Brandeis Matters
June 29, 2010

Louis D. Brandeis: A Life By Melvin I. Urofsky (Pantheon, 955 pp., $40) I. In 1916, Herbert Croly, the founder and editor of The New Republic, wrote to Willard Straight, the owner of the magazine, about the Supreme Court nomination of Louis Brandeis. Croly enclosed a draft editorial called “The Motive of Class Consciousness,” and also a chart prepared by a lawyer in Brandeis’s office showing the overlapping financial interests, social and business connections, and directorships of fifty-two prominent Bostonians who had signed a petition opposing Brandeis’s nomination.

The Breakup
June 17, 2010

Did Obama just dump his best friend on Wall Street?

The Florida Circus
April 23, 2010

The first thing you need to understand about Florida's political climate is that its seemingly endless summer of Boom Times seems to be coming to a close. The vast migration to the state that caused its population to increase over 16 percent since the 2000 census seems to be winding down, and last year, shockingly enough, it actually lost population. The state's economy is suffering from problems that are deeper than any business cycle: Its 2.7 percent drop in per capita personal income has pushed the state near the bottom of rankings by percent change of personal income data.

Blanche Lincoln Turns On Her Corporate Masters
April 14, 2010

I've expressed some skepticism that Blanche Lincoln is the sort of Democrat who should face a liberal primary challenge, given that she represents an overwhelmingly conservative state and votes for health care reform. But the primary challenge sure seems to be paying dividends. After initially favoring derivatives, Lincoln has gone full populist: The proposal by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, is sending shudders through Wall Street. For nearly two decades, five U.S. banks -- J.P.

Shooting Banks
February 24, 2010

Simon Johnson and Peter Boone: Obama's impotent assault on Wall Street.

UnHAMPered
February 24, 2010

The government response to the financial crisis has been a spectacular success for the financial industry. Big banks are now solvent—on paper at least—and have returned to paying bonuses that strike most Americans as, well, vulgar. Their recovery stands in sharp contrast to the millions still trapped in mortgages that they cannot afford. (Click here to read Peter Boone and Simon Johnson rail against Obama's impotent assault on Wall Street.) It’s not that the Obama Administration hasn’t tried to address the plight of the homeowner.

Stress Reliever
December 30, 2009

In a year when the government enacted one of its largest-ever stimulus bills, guaranteed hundreds of billions of dollars in bank debt, bought hundreds of billions more in mortgage-backed securities, took 60 percent ownership of one car company and put up billions in financing for another, it’s not obvious why you’d dwell on an initiative that basically cost nothing.

Bernanke Comments on the "Doom Loop." But Does He Get It?
December 22, 2009

Senator David Vitter submitted one of my questions to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, as part of his reconfirmation hearings, and received the following reply in writing (as already published in the WSJ online): Q. Simon Johnson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and blogger: Andrew Haldane, head of financial stability at the Bank of England, argues that the relationship between the banking system and the government (in the U.K.

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