Dmitri Orlov: How to start a war and lose an empire

I somewhat infrequently read Dmitri Orlov. He’s Russian born, but moved to the US as a child, was educated here and wrote a book called Reinventing Collapse which I found illuminating. He recently penned a piece about our indelicate handling of the rest of the world, taken from his Russian perspective. I don’t necessarily share [...]

The audacity to ‘fart in the elevator’ and the lingering anger over the AIG bailout

The government gave AIG $180bn. The company’s former CEO is suing, claiming it robbed him of the value of his shares.

The Guardian, By Chris Arnade, October 9

The senior managing director – a top-ranking banker – walked onto the crowded elevator, focus fixed on her Blackberry, pressed the elevator button and farted loudly. As [...]

Fired financial regulator releases secret tapes of Goldman Sachs meetings

Carmen Segarra, 41, said she began recording meetings because she couldn’t believe how the regulators bowed and scraped to the behemoth investment bank. The tapes were released to ProPublica and This American Life.

New York Daily News, By Ginger Adams Otis, September 27

A fired financial regulator whose job was to oversee Goldman Sachs for [...]

The United Kingdom Nearly Died for Margaret Thatcher’s Sins

The Scots got sick and tired of Thatcherite policies imposed from London.

The American Prospect, By Robert Kuttner, September 23

Why on earth did the Scots, largely quiescent as part of Great Britain for three centuries, suddenly become the mouse that roared?

It wasn’t because they became besotted watching re-runs of Braveheart or Rob Roy, [...]

Obama Despair

It seems like so very long ago, many of us here at The Agonist gave up on Barack Obama. It was long ago – six years now – which is a long time considering the progress the United States could have made had Obama been the leader he promised to be. My disillusionment was almost [...]

If You Had Told Me This Appeared on The Federalist Website….

…I would have laughed in your face. But it did:

Why abandon K-Street, and acknowledge, then reject, the Big Business perception of the GOP? They’ve had the Republican Party’s back for some time, right? In the past, the largest companies favored one party over the other because they understood a pro-capitalist, low-regulation government benefits [...]

The nagging fear that QE itself may be causing deflation

The Telegraph, By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, June 4

The way we are going, the whole world will end up with zero interest rates or some variant of quantitative easing before long. Such is the overwhelming power of deflation in countries with burst credit bubbles. Such too is the implication of a global savings rate that has [...]

Our sad “Mad Men” revolution: How consumerism co-opted rebellion

Talking revolution with Lewis Lapham — and how capitalism manages to keep coming out on top.

Salon, By Thomas Frank, May 4

Aspiring writers of my generation regarded — still regard — Lewis Lapham as the greatest essayist of our time. We tried to emulate everything from his glittering sentences to his rugged skepticism to [...]

Piketty Fence

So I’m back from vacation and I keep seeing this name on my Tweeter and FacePlace feeds: Thomas Piketty.

Sounds vaguely Dickensian.

From what I gathered, Piketty wrote a book which proposes a new economic theory that would put paid to many of the basic notions that support capitalism.

[...]

Neoliberalism, the Revolution in Reverse

The Baffler, By Chris Lehmann, The Baffler No. 24, 2014

By any reasonable measure, the neoliberal dream lies in tatters.

In 2008 poorly regulated financial markets yielded a world-historic financial collapse. One generation, weaned on reveries of home ownership as the coveted badge of economic independence and old-fashioned American striving, has been plunged into foreclosure, [...]

One Last Bubble to Pop

Blowing Bubbles

It is becoming clearer what will be the likely cause of the next financial crisis. In a recent report to US banks issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (which regulates more banks than even the Fed does), the OCC has cautioned banks to limit their lending to highly-leveraged corporations. Further, the [...]

Will the Tumbrels Roll in 2014?

At an east coast cocktail party several weeks ago, a reporter asked a CEO what he feared most in regards to the global economy. The billionaire, who asked to remain anonymous, replied, “the guillotine”.

When even the hyper-wealthy are looking anxiously over their shoulder, something is badly wrong with the economic order. For several years [...]

Is war with China inevitable?

Some of the more troubling parts of this Alt-Market piece excerpted here:

[...]

Bad Economic News

This statistic is less of a surprise than it appears:

Thanksgiving night shopping looked like a new family tradition this year as stores opened earlier and consumers took advantage of the extra time to spread out their Black Friday shopping.

The Thursday-through-Sunday tally, though, was less buying overall, according to data from [...]

Pope Francis – Marxist in Disguise?

Pope Francis

It is not surprising that Rush Limbaugh, spiritual leader of the Republican Party – the man who determines Republican ideology and who enforces obedience to orthodoxy within the party – now finds Pope Francis a “Marxist”. Pope Francis, spiritual leader to over one billion Catholics, has issued a direct assault on the [...]

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