1. NY TIMES. 8/1/13 : Banks Find S&P more favorable Bond Ratings. Echoes of 2008 crisis; Agency denies conflict as it rebuilds share of the Market. Five years after inflated credit ratings helped launch the FINANCIAL CRISIS, STANDARD AND POOR’s is winning business again. Ignoring a pending lawsuit for these practices, S&P, is again offering inflated ratings to Mortgage Backed Securities and The Banks are ” buying” their services. The dance begins again, only the taxpayer is no longer available when the music stops. We have a choice.
2. Fareed Zakaria . GPS. 8/4/13 Is the American Dream fading. Previously, the NY TIMES stated , it was not possible for most to obtain The American Dream. Now, a new study, The Equality of Opportunity, shows where the Dream is still attainable. School quality helps along with good public transportation to jobs.
However, one place in the Country, because of it’s structure, does extremely well ; WASHINGTON, D.C. Congress has a continuous opportunity for upward mobility, as ” Congressmen” move into the Lobbyists’ community they helped create. In 2013 , 43% of the House Congressmen became Lobbyists. Fareed cites , the entire system creates Congressional incentives for venality. Taking money out of Congress may not be possible, but reforming the tax code, by removing unreasonable subsidies, would in fact limit power and inequality. We have choices.
3. NY TIMES 8/4/13 The Great Divide by Robert Putnam: Crumbling American Dreams is the author of “Bowling Alone, The collapse and revival of American Community”. Sadly, since the 1950’s American cities and towns have changed. When Boomer or pre Boomer parents were growing up in America, most had no college education, but there was upward mobility. Our hard working parents were ” poor but they didn’t know it”. In fact, Robert Putnam claims, in the breath and depth of the social support we enjoyed, we were rich and we didn’t know it. Unless we Re- claim our sense of Community and realize we have a “purple” problem, the American Dream will seem like cynical historical fiction.
For a more formalized historical, biographical analysis of the thinking that helped to destroy the American Dream, consider reading “The Age of Greed” by Jeff Madrick. I’m still reading and have found insights into Economic thinking not covered in other books on this subject, The financial crisis of 2008. We have choices.
4. LOL. NY TIMES 8/4/13 What the Nation got for $800 Billion. Anna Bernaser / Data Points : What did the Public get for quantitative easing ? It appears that QE3 disproportionately benefits those who are already well off by increasing the share price of stocks they already own. The Fed had other options. It could have put money into the hands of consumers directly. The Federal Reserve Act states that the Fed could print money and lend to any person or entity, without time limit , any amount deemed appropriate for repayment. For example, every homeowner could have been given a loan for $10,000 at near zero interest rates, pumping money directly into the economy? We have choices?!