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.
THE PICTURE: Displacements
March 03, 2010
When I was growing up, we often visited my grandparents in Brooklyn in the summer, and my earliest memories of New York’s museums will forever be associated with some extraordinarily hot, muggy afternoons. I cannot pinpoint the summer when I first saw, or at least was first conscious of, the Picassos and Matisses at the Museum of Modern Art. And I’m uncertain when I first visited the Morgan Library.
A Trap of Their Own Design
January 20, 2010
At this stage in the electoral cycle, Democrats should be running hard against big banks and their consequences. Some roots of our current economic difficulties lie in the Clinton 1990s, but the real origins can be traced to the financial deregulation at the heart of the Reagan Revolution--and all the underlying problems became much worse in eight years of George W.
How Should We Feel About the Citigroup Payback?
December 14, 2009
Maybe the way to think about it is from the perspective of a large shareholder.
UPDATED, 12.12: Wall St. Reform Bill Passes the House
December 11, 2009
Looks like it passed with almost everything intact--consumer protection agency, resolution authority, systemic risk provisions, etc. The only thing that looks slightly ominous to my eyes is the derivatives piece.
December 11, 2009
Of all the different industry groups scrambling to shape climate policy in Washington--from electric utilities to Detroit automakers--one stands out as a bit unexpected: Wall Street. Financial giants like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have enlisted, all told, more than 100 lobbyists to roam the Capitol and influence the debate over how to curb greenhouse gases. There’s a reason for that: Any cap-and-trade bill that puts a limit on emissions and allows polluters to buy and sell permits will create a vast carbon market.
The Wall St.-Main St. Divide ... on Wall St.
October 16, 2009
One thing you can't help noticing when you read about third-quarter bank earnings is the huge divide between banks whose revenue depends heavily on trading and investment banking (underwriting, M&A, etc.) and banks whose revenue depends heavily on consumer lending. To put it simply: The banks in the former category--Goldman, JP Morgan*--are doing very well. The banks in the latter category--Citigroup, Bank of America--are performing abysmally. I don't have a ton to say about this, other than that it highlights the limits to what can be accomplished with a "top down" bank bailout.
Tim Geithner's Small Circle of Friends
October 08, 2009
Over the past 30 years Wall Street captured the thinking of official Washington, persuading policymakers on both sides of the aisle not to regulate (derivatives), to deregulate (Gramm-Leach-Bliley), to not enforce existing safety and soundness regulations (VaR), and to stand idly by while millions of consumers were misled into life-ruining financial decisions (Alan Greenspan). This was pervasive cultural capture or, to be blunter, mind control. But when the crisis broke it was not enough. Having powerful people generally on your side is not what you need when all hell breaks loose in financia
September 14, 2009
Jonathan Chait: Ayn Rand and the invincible cult of selfishness on the American right
September 14, 2009
Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right By Jennifer Burns (Oxford University Press, 459 pp., $27.95) Ayn Rand and the World She Made By Anne C. Heller (Doubleday, 559 pp., $35) I. The current era of Democratic governance has provoked a florid response on the right, ranging from the prosaic (routine denunciations of big spending and debt) to the overheated (fears of socialism) to the lunatic (the belief that Democrats plan to put the elderly to death).