(7 comments) SHARE Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Forget What We Know Now: We Knew Then the Iraq War Was a Joke
Over the course of four or five very painful days Jeb pushed his Iraq position all over the board. First he said yes, he would have done the same thing as his brother (and so would have Hillary Clinton, he pointed out). Then he said he misunderstood the question. Then he said that even answering the question would dishonor the troops.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, February 23, 2014 Thank You, Rolling Stone
As excited as I am about the new opportunity, I'm sad to be leaving this company. It was my first real job and it changed my life. Had Rolling Stone not given me a chance that year, God knows where I'd be -- one of the ideas I was considering most seriously at the time was going to Ukraine to enroll in medical school, of all things.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 13, 2014 The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet
Banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They exert direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, January 31, 2014 Jamie Dimon's Raise Proves U.S. Regulatory Strategy is a Joke
If you punish a firm, and its executives come out of the episode convinced their only problem was an irrational PR issue, your enforcement strategy probably needs tweaking. It doesn't exactly send much of a message when, mere months after you've imposed record enforcement penalties, the CEO of your target company is being led down Wall Street on a donkey, board members showering him with cash.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 31, 2013 On Christmas, Republicans Quietly Declare War on Themselves
In a fitting homage to past holiday-season embarrassments like the Iran-Contra pardons or Bill Clinton's signing of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, the Republican Party last week quietly declared war on itself, in the process essentially confessing to a generation of failed governance and dumbed-down politics.
(6 comments) SHARE Saturday, December 21, 2013 Sarah Palin's Impressively Incoherent "Duck Dynasty" Comments
It's fun when Palin injects herself into the news. She's done so this week by jumping to the defense of Duck Dynasty's patriarch Phil Robertson, who remarkably got himself suspended from his own smash-hit reality TV show by extolling the virtues of the vagina over the anus in the pages of GQ. Robertson was professing, one might even say over-professing, his ignorance as to the appeal of gay sex.
SHARE Friday, December 13, 2013 Lurid Subprime Scams Unveiled in Long-Running Fraud Trial
Lost amid the hoopla over JP Morgan Chase's record-setting $13 billion settlement this fall was news of another monster court resolution -- a $2.46 billion judgment, the largest ever awarded after trial in a securities fraud class action case, handed down in October against a HSBC acquisition called Household International.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 5, 2013 Another Batch of Wall Street Villains Freed on Technicality
Few of the bad guys in this world ever even get interviewed by the authorities, much less indicted, so trials are comically rare. As one antitrust lawyer put it: "Apparently, the government can't seem to get criminal trials involving financial executives (as opposed to, well, drug dealers) right. Go figure."
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, November 16, 2013 Chase's Twitter Gambit Devolves into All-Time PR Fiasco
Only on Wall Street would a bank that's about to pay out the biggest settlement in the history of settlements un-ironically engage the public, expecting ordinary people to sincerely ask one of their top-decision makers for career advice. It was doomed to be hilarious, and it turned out to be that and more.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 26, 2013 Nobody Should Shed a Tear for JP Morgan Chase
he key to this whole thing is that the punishment is just money, and not a crippling amount, and not from any individual's pocket. In fact, the deal that has just been completed between Chase and the state represents the end, or near the end, of a long process by which people who committed essentially the same crimes as Bernie Madoff will walk away without paying any individual penalty.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, October 12, 2013 Democrats Must Stop Ted Cruz's Hollywood Ending
The modern Democrats may be morally suspect cynics who have failed the country on issue after issue, from the NSA to torture abroad to their refusal to fight corruption in the financial markets. But politically, they are not stupid. They surely see that there is no immediate political downside to letting Cruz play this out.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, September 27, 2013 Looting the Pension Funds
The bottom line is the "unfunded liability" crisis is, if not exactly fictional, certainly exaggerated to an outrageous degree. Yes, we live in a new economy and, yes, it may be time to have a discussion about whether certain kinds of public employees should be receiving sizable benefit checks until death. But the idea that these benefit packages are causing the fiscal crises in our states is almost entirely a fabrication.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, September 21, 2013 Forbes Calls Goldman CEO Holier Than Mother Teresa
Five whole years have passed since the crash, and there are still huge pockets of these Fountainhead junkies who genuinely believe that the Blankfeins of the world are reviled because they're bankers and they're rich, and not because they're the heads of unprosecutable organized crime syndicates who make their money through mass fraud, manipulation and the shameless burgling of public treasure.
(7 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 17, 2013 Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal
While it's not commonly discussed on the Hill, the government actually stands to make an enormous profit on the president's new federal student-loan system, an estimated $184 billion over 10 years, a boondoggle paid for by hyperinflated tuition costs and fueled by a government-sponsored predatory-lending program.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 14, 2013 DOJ Compounds Stat Screwup by Whitewashing Old Eric Holder Speech
Barack Obama's Justice Department, in the person of Attorney General Holder, didn't just grossly overstate the success of its Mortgage Fraud Task Force. In what at best is a bonehead mistake, the Department channeled 1984 and whitewashed a web page, re-transcribing an old speech of Holders to better reflect the "updated" version of the mortgage facts.
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, August 10, 2013 New Bank Investigations: Real Action, or More of the Same?
This isn't about throwing bankers in jail for the sake of it. It's about making things fair. If we're going to keep throwing people in jail for food stamp fraud, then bankers who commit systematic securities fraud also have to go to jail. Either that, or we have to come up with alternative punishments for both types of nonviolent criminal.
(7 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 27, 2013 Electing Anthony Weiner Isn't As Funny As It Sounds
I don't mean to sound like a prude, but what the hell do you have to do to be disqualified from high-level politics in this country? When someone told me a while back that Weiner was running for Mayor, I thought it was a joke. This married politician sent unsolicited pictures of his penis to female strangers on the Internet!