Les Leopold  @  ChelseaGreen

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Big Finance Is a Monster That's Consuming Our Economic Security

April 22nd, 2011 by Les Leopold

This horror story starts in the 1970s when the economic policy establishment, led by Milton Friedman, thought they were a whole lot smarter than the New Dealers who had put a lid on the financial sector and forced high taxes on the super-rich – all designed to prevent the gamblers from again wrecking our economy [...]

Why Is Obama's Treasury Dept. Perversely Siding With Big Banks Against Elizabeth Warren and the State AGs?

April 4th, 2011 by Les Leopold

American families are fortunate to have Elizabeth Warren on their side, along with the 50 state attorney generals who are demanding reparations from the nation’s largest banks.
Warren, who is the temporary head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (a quasi independent agency housed in the not-so-friendly Treasury Department) and these AGs [...]

The Real Story of Our Economy: Why Our Standard of Living Has Stalled Out

March 29th, 2011 by Les Leopold

Do public sector workers earn more than private sector workers? Who cares? This boneheaded question has us fighting over the crumbs. (And the answer is no - all credible studies show that when you account for educational levels, the total compensation packages are about the same.)
The real question is: Why have [...]

Is Corruption on Wall Street All in the Eyes of the Beholder?

March 18th, 2011 by Les Leopold

Japan's Nikkei share average plunged 10.6 percent on Tuesday, posting the worst two-day rout since 1987, as hedge funds bailed out after reports of rising radiation near Tokyo. ~ Reuters, March 15, 2011
While it's far too early to assess the full impact of the Japanese disaster on markets around the globe — [...]

Main Street Goes to War Against Itself as Job Crisis Persists

March 4th, 2011 by Les Leopold

The February unemployment rate is 8.9 percent. The broader Bureau of Labor Statistics U6 jobless rate is 15.9 percent. The report shows a net increase of 192,000 jobs. However, we need 127,000 new jobs every month to keep up with population growth. At this rate it will take 11.2 years to [...]

When Will We Face Up to the Enormity of the Jobs Crisis?

November 12th, 2010 by Les Leopold

"If future job creation reaches about 208,000 jobs per month, the average monthly job creation for the best year for job creation in the 2000s, it will take almost 140 months (about 11.5 years) to reach pre-recession employment levels. In a more optimistic scenario with 321,000 jobs created per month, the [...]

How To Earn $900,000 an Hour while Unemployment Soars

October 15th, 2010 by Les Leopold

Let's be honest. Wouldn't you like to rake in a cool $900,000 for one hour's work? No? Still have hippie ideals, perhaps? You could work for just 10 minutes and walk off with $150 k. Push yourself to work one entire day and we're talking $7.2 million. Hang in there for a [...]

Why the Idiocy About Unemployment?

July 14th, 2010 by Les Leopold

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. [...]

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

June 25th, 2010 by Les Leopold

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 [...]

Are the Unemployed Causing Unemployment?

June 4th, 2010 by Les Leopold

Is it good news that the hiring of 411,000 temporary census workers finally made a small dent in our enormous jobs crisis… at least temporarily? Shouldn't we now listen more carefully to Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire who wants to cut off extended unemployment benefits?