Plunder


Danny Schechter, popularly dubbed “The News Dissector,” died earlier this year. He had an illustrious career in journalism and went on to become one of New York’s higher profile political activists. A…




John Crudele is one of the curmudgeons of financial reporting and in his regular column for the New York Post he confirms what many regular Joes have been thinking: The stock market…












When the odds are stacked this heavily against whistleblowers, there’s not much incentive to rat out wrongdoers. Matt Taibbi looks at how even the courts are in on it, for Rolling Stone:

A great many people around the county were rightfully shocked and horrified by the recent excellent and hard-hitting PBS documentary, The Untouchables, which looked at the problem of high-ranking Wall Street crooks going unpunished in the wake of the financial crisis. The PBS piece certainly rattled some cages, particularly in Washington, in a way that few media efforts succeed in doing.

Now, two very interesting and upsetting footnotes to that groundbreaking documentary have emerged in the last weeks.

The first involves one of the people interviewed for the story, a former high-ranking executive from Countrywide financial who turned whistleblower named Michael Winston…


Long live the middle class now that it has survived the fiscal cliff and been “saved.”

President Obama is basking in the glory of having averted the deepening of a crisis that is more structural than political and hardly resolved.

The markets are cheering, it is said, because markets love stability, unless there is money to be made off of volatility of their own making.

Forget the working class. The term is passé, as is the so-called and usually undefined great mushy middle class moves into its rightful place at the center of everyone’s concerns.

(When asked what class they are in—or aspire to be in—workers, and even the poor say Middle Class. Unless survey questions include the choice of working class that they usually don’t.)

Analysts who looked closely at the big deal so hysterically pushed through Congress as the dramatic end-piece of a year of political warfare, say that there will be very little gain for the middle class with income taxes down but payroll taxes up, insuring that it will be more, at best, of a wash than a redistribution of wealth on any level. Many Americans, not just the rich, will be shelling out more, not less.

Economist Lambert Strether calls it the “fecal cliff,” noting, “cuts and tax increases (especially on the rich) are not commensurate. A “sacrifice” where some give up luxuries and others give up necessities is in no way “shared. A marginal sacrifice for the rich is not commensurate to core sacrifices for the rest…





The erudite James Surowiecki brings his journalistic skills to the problem of a banking system that has subsumed the its own watchdogs, in The New Yorker: In order to work well, markets…