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‘The Big Short’ and Bernie’s plan to bust up Wall Street

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 13, 2016

If you haven’t yet seen “The Big Short” – directed and co-written by Adam McKay, based on the non-fiction prize-winning book by Michael Lewis about the housing and credit bubble that triggered the Great Recession — I recommend you do so. Not only is the movie an enjoyable (if that’s the right word) way to understand … Continue reading »

Hillary, Bernie and the banks

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | October 16, 2015

Giant Wall Street banks continue to threaten the wellbeing of millions of Americans, but what to do? Bernie Sanders says break them up and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that once separated investment from commercial banking. Hillary Clinton says charge them a bit more and oversee them more carefully. Most Republicans say don’t worry. Clearly, there’s … Continue reading »

The two centers of unaccountable power in America, and their consequences

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | June 17, 2013

There are two great centers of unaccountable power in the American political-economic system today — places where decisions that significantly affect large numbers of Americans are made in secret, and are unchecked either by effective democratic oversight or by market competition. One goes by the name of the “intelligence community” and its epicenter is the … Continue reading »

The man who invented ‘too big to fail’ banks finally recants. Will Obama or Romney follow?

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | July 27, 2012

I’m in Alaska, amid moose and bear, trying to steal some time away from the absurdities of American politics and economics. But even at this remote distance I caught wind of Sanford Weill’s proposal this morning (July 25) on CNBC that big banks be broken up in order to shield taxpayers from the consequences of … Continue reading »

The most important economic speech of his presidency

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | December 7, 2011

The President’s speech today in Osawatomie, Kansas — where Teddy Roosevelt gave his “New Nationalism” speech in 1910 — is the most important economic speech of his presidency in terms of connecting the dots, laying out the reasons behind our economic and political crises, and asserting a willingness to take on the powerful and the privileged … Continue reading »

What to do about the debt ceiling

Brad DeLong, Brad DeLong | July 27, 2011

I vote for Calculated Risk‘s Option #1: The Treasury’s lawyers should simply announce at 9 am Monday morning that (a) since the Constitution prohibits questioning the validity of the national debt, and (b) since the continuing resolution that mandates spending through September 30 was passed later in time than the restriction on borrowing, that (c) … Continue reading »

Why Governor LePage can’t erase history, and why we need a fighter in the White House

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | March 24, 2011

Maine Governor Paul LePage has ordered state workers to remove from the state labor department a 36-foot mural depicting the state’s labor history. Among other things the mural illustrates the 1937 shoe mill strike in Auburn and Lewiston. It also features the iconic “Rosie the Riveter,” who in real life worked at the Bath Iron … Continue reading »