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7 Ways to Really Take the Ax to Wall Street

As we’ve learned the hard way, the core of our modern capitalist economy is finance, and finance is run entirely by a few large Wall Street firms. But here’s the ultimate irony: while modern capitalism depends on Wall Street, Wall Street no longer depends on capitalist principles. In finance a new system has emerged that […]

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Why the Idiocy About Unemployment?

This originally appeared on The Huffington Post. My wife, a labor economist, is upset with NPR’s “The Take Away” (and many other news programs) for reinforcing the myth that somehow the unemployed are to blame for not having a job. We all should be angry as well because the jobs just aren’t there. In fact, […]

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Les Leopold: Why the Wall Street – BP Double Standard?

This originally appeared on The Huffington Post. “In reality, credit pollutants pose the same kind of threat to our economy as chemical toxins do to our environment. Like their chemical counterparts, they tend to concentrate in the weakest and most vulnerable parts of the financial system, and that’s where the toxic effects show up first: […]

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The Tea Party Dumps Economic Populism: Where are the Progressives?

The Tea Party sprang to life in response to the financial crash that sent our economy into a tailspin. Until recently, it balanced two tendencies: hatred of big government and hatred of Wall Street. The combination (in the form of the bailouts and stimulus programs) provided a perfect target as economic hardship hit millions on Main Street.

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150 Billion Reasons Why Wall Street Loves Political Gridlock

No, it’s not a conspiracy. Goldman Sachs and its minions are not plotting to cripple the government. But it is remarkable how our political system freezes shut just when we need to make serious changes to our economic system.

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The Tea Party: Economic Populists or Wall Street Toadies?

Commentators like David Brooks also are wrong to assume that populism is a movement of the less educated against the educated elites. Of course there are those in the Tea Party who discount the science of evolution and global warming, who think Obama is a foreign-born Muslim agent, and who are racist, sexist and anti-Semitic to boot. But to equate the entire notion of populism with retrograde ignorance is to fall into a dangerous stereotype. Populism is not about education: whether expressed by the left, right, or middle, it’s a revolt against concentrated power and economic injustice.

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Why are we donating $2,000 per family to Wall Street Bonuses?

President Obama won’t tell us in his State of the Union address. The deficit hawks won’t crow about it. Don’t expect the Tea Party or Rush and Beck to highlight our generosity either. But the sad fact is this: During the worst year since the Great Depression, with 30 million people out of work or […]

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Wall Street Bonuses Can Create One Million Green Jobs

President Obama may be joining the populist crusade against Wall Street. In the span of one week he opened up a three front war: a tax on big banks, full support for a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and the embrace of Paul Volcker’s plan to break up the big banks.

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Drinking the Financial Innovation Kool-Aid: Day 2 at the Financial Crisis Inquiry Hearings

You can smell it on their breath — the tell-tale fumes of “financial innovation.”

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GeithnerGate: Follow the Money…and Take it Back

Cover-up revelations keep coming about Timothy Geithner’s secret assistance to AIG. The latest show that he urged AIG not to disclose how it would be shoveling money to Goldman Sachs and other large financial institutions by paying off its credit default swaps at par value instead of much less.

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