Economic imperialism

Flashpoints on 04/02/09

Program: 
Flashpoints
Air date: 
Thu, 04/02/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am

A report on protests at the G-20 Summit in London, financial consultant Catherine Austin Fitts on the economic crisis, and a report on the new right wing government of Israel.

The History of Mexican - U.S. Relations

program date: 
Mon, 03/30/2009

 Host Joe Uris discusses the history of the relationship between Mexico and the U.S. in celebration of the birthday of the late leader Cesar Chavez.  Joe will talk about the Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the "Zoot Sui

56:03 minutes (25.66 MB)

Political Perspectives on 04/02/09

Air date: 
Thu, 04/02/2009 - 9:30am - 10:00am

Host Per Fagereng interviews Ellen Hodgson Brown, author of "The Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth about Our Money System and How We Can Break Free." Ellen Brown says the banking system has been contrived so that big banks always get bailed out by the taxpayers from their risky ventures, but the scheme has reached its mathematical limits. There isn't enough money in the entire global economy to bail out the banks from a massive derivatives default today. When the investors realize that the "insurance" against catastrophe that they have purchased in the form of derivatives is worthless, they are liable to jump ship and bring the whole shaky edifice crashing down.

Flashpoints on 03/26/09

Program: 
Flashpoints
Air date: 
Thu, 03/26/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am

Journalist John Ross on the hype about the drug trade in Mexico and Malik Rahim, founder of Common Ground Relief on the violence of poverty in the U.S.

Political Perspectives

Air date: 
Thu, 03/26/2009 - 9:30am - 10:00am

Host Per Fagereng speaks with Ravi Batra, professor of economics at Southern Methodist University and author of The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos. Batra predicted the financial meltdown way in advance, offering his latest forecast in February last year to Texas Monthly: “When the American bubble starts to burst around mid 2007, and beyond, foreign investors will head for the exits…” Now that the American housing bubble is bursting at the seems, Batra’s biggest fear is that foreign investors will indeed head for the exits, and the already feeble dollar will collapse. Then we will see a rapid unraveling of our debt based economy, rising unemployment, bulging poverty, and big stock market crashes.

Flashpoints on 03/25/09

Program: 
Flashpoints
Air date: 
Wed, 03/25/2009 - 10:15am - 11:00am

Financial adviser Catherine Austin Fitts analyzes the Treasury Department's plan for the economy and Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada gives a postmortem on Gaza and looks at possibilities for justice and freedom for Palestinians.

Bail OUT!!! Socialism for the Rich, Democracy for the Not-So-Rich...

program date: 
Mon, 03/23/2009

 Abe and Joe dive into Tim Geithner's bank bailout plan, the ongoing looting of the Treasury, and the perks of membership in the ruling class.  

56:58 minutes (26.08 MB)

KBOO Community Calendar for Wednesday, March 25, 2009

program date: 
Tue, 03/24/2009

Greetings Cascadia! My name is Steve, and this is the KBOO Community Calendar for Wednesday, March 25th, 2009.

2:02 minutes (1.86 MB)

Krugman lays it down

The bank bailout plan is a stinker, sez Paul Krugman:

 

Over the weekend The Times and other newspapers reported leaked details about the Obama administration’s bank rescue plan, which is to be officially released this week. If the reports are correct, Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the “cash for trash” plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair.

After all, we’ve just been through the firestorm over the A.I.G. bonuses, during which administration officials claimed that they knew nothing, couldn’t do anything, and anyway it was someone else’s fault. Meanwhile, the administration has failed to quell the public’s doubts about what banks are doing with taxpayer money.

And now Mr. Obama has apparently settled on a financial plan that, in essence, assumes that banks are fundamentally sound and that bankers know what they’re doing.

It’s as if the president were determined to confirm the growing perception that he and his economic team are out of touch, that their economic vision is clouded by excessively close ties to Wall Street. And by the time Mr. Obama realizes that he needs to change course, his political capital may be gone.

I think the operative phrase is "clouded by excessively close ties to Wall Street." Both Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke are creatures of the massive entitlement culture that spawned the erstwhile Masters of the Universe. Basically, instead of following the "nationalization" plan of seizing the banks and placing them in receivership until their assets are rehabilitated -- a model that served us well during the last Bush-era financial brouhaha, the savings and loan scandal of the late 1980s, and a model that rescued the Swedish economy -- Geithner wants to purchase the "toxic" mortgage-derivative assets held by the banks at a far higher price than that at which the allegedly infallible free market values them. And he's willing to give them subsidies in order to do so.

Once again -- privatizing the profits, socializing the losses. Damn it feels good to be a banksta.

-A

 

 

Meet the new boss

 Part of the problem inherent in the many-armed bailout of the financial sector is that it hasn't been clear exactly who's in charge. Prior to and during last fall's financial meltdown, it was clear that the money men were calling the shots -- and the grim aftermath of that orgy is apparent to everyone.

President Obama was catapulted into office largely on the hope that it would be he -- and, by extension, us -- who was now in charge. But it seems that the bankers are still calling the tune. Obama's apparent impotence in the face of the AIG bonus scandal, for example, seems to speak to the pervasive influence that the financial sector still weilds over the legislative process.

And now, as the next stage in Obama's bank rescue plan goes forward, the banksters are still acting as if they didn't torpedo the whole economy, as if they are still somehow entitled to the largesse they took for granted. From the NY Times:

 

But some executives at private equity firms and hedge funds, who were briefed on the plan Sunday afternoon, are anxious about the recent uproar over millions of dollars in bonus payments made to executives of the American International Group.

 

Some of them have told administration officials that they would participate only if the government guaranteed that it would not set compensation limits on the firms, according to people briefed on the conversations. The executives also expressed worries about whether disclosure and governance rules could be added retroactively to the program by Congress, these people said.

I went into the wrong line of work. Shoulda been a banksta.

-A

H/T Atrios

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