Banks, Fraud & Looting + Ideology Over Reality
First Program: William Black - Banks, Fraud & Looting
Bankers brought the world's economy to the brink of collapse and then as the Occupy slogan says, “We got sold out, they got bailed out.” In many ways Goldman Sachs, one of the largest and most important investment banks, epitomizes all that is wrong with the economic system. Its CEO modestly announced that they were doing “God's work.” There was a big brouhaha when Greg Smith, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, quit the firm with a blistering New York Times op-ed. Smith, said it had become “morally bankrupt” and he decried the "toxic and destructive" environment at the bank that put profits ahead of ethics. "It makes me ill,” he said, how callously people [at the bank] talk about ripping their clients off. I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as muppets."Second Program: Thomas Frank - Ideology Over Reality
Ideology is a set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political and economic system. It can evolve in strange ways to the point where evidence and facts are not only irrelevant but are treated with scorn and derision. In its distorted form, its followers adopt rigid fundamentalist positions. Anyone who challenges the groupthink is a heretic, a non-believer. In the United States for example, the dominant narrative is that its foreign policy is altruistic and based on good intentions. When things go wrong, it's the people we are trying to help, like those ungrateful Afghans, who mess things up. Domestically the so-called free market takes on near theological trappings. Reality is replaced by fantasies. In parts of U.S. political culture one can see these tendencies on display. It's weird and dangerous.
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Bailouts, Greece & Capitalism
Lousy job prospects got you down? Deep in debt? Welcome to 21st century capitalism. The dominant ruling class has one mantra: More for Me, Less for You. That has certainly...
Banks, Fraud & Looting
Bankers brought the world's economy to the brink of collapse and then as the Occupy slogan says, “We got sold out, they got bailed out.” In many ways Goldman Sachs,...
F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby, his signature novel about the Roaring Twenties, wrote, "They were careless people. They smashed up things and creatures. Then they retreated back into...
The Wall Street/White House Axis
When the financial history of this era is written it will scarcely be believed. Never have so many been ripped off by so few. There is an insidious alliance between...
Megabanks: Too Big to Save
It was an unusual moment at the 2011 Oscars. Charles Ferguson, director of the award-winning documentary "Inside Job," told the audience, "Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that...
Bailouts, Banks and Pyramids
Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist comments on the fiscal crisis: "The incentive structures in the financial sector encouraged excessive risk taking. So many of our banks became too big...
"We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand," declares the president. But it seems that's what going on. Obama's treasury secretary says, "We have a financial system...
2 CDs First program: Nomi Prins - The Wall Street/White House Axis When the financial history of this era is written it will scarcely be believed. Never have so many...
Breaking the Chains of Debt: Jubilee 2000
Third World countries are reeling under staggering debt. The World Bank and the IMF impose punitive austerity programs which result in massive cuts in vital social services like education and...