Posts filed under “Video”
On Friday Congress finally passed – and President Bush signed into law – a financial rescue package in which the taxpayers will buy up Wall Street’s bad investments.
The numbers are staggering, but they don’t begin to explain the greed and incompetence that created this mess.
It began with a terrible bet that was magnified by reckless borrowing, complex securities, and a vast, unregulated shadow market worth nearly $60 trillion that hid the risks until it was too late to do anything about them.
And as correspondent Steve Kroft reports, it’s far from being over.
A Look At Wall Street’s Shadow Market: How Some Arcane Wall Street Financial Instruments Magnified Economic Crisis
CBS 60 Minutes, Oct. 5, 2008
Georgetown University’s legal and finance scholar Emma Coleman Jordan, and Bill Moyers look at the noise machine, which seems to be operating at full tilt:
BILL MOYERS: There’ve been a lot of voices on cable channels recently blaming this bubble, this crisis, the cause of all of this catastrophe we’re in right now, on poor people who took out mortgages that they couldn’t afford to buy home they wanted. They shouldn’t have. Watch these clippings and tell me what you think about them.
LAURA INGRAHAM: 1995 when Bill Clinton decided to tell, you know, Robert Rubin to rewrite the rules that govern the Community Reinvestment Act and push all these institutions to lend to minority communities, many very risky loans, that was a noble idea, perhaps, but that certainly wasn’t following free-market principles.
NEIL CAVUTO: I don`t remember a clarion call that said, Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.
LARRY KUDLOW: It’s time for the Congress, Republicans and Democrats, to stop encouraging, exhorting, and forcing banks to make low income loans with no documentation. Stop that. The community reinvestment act which was passed in the mid nineties, which was extended in the early 2000s, literally pushed these lenders to make low income loans.
BILL MOYERS: Lending to minorities and risky people. Do you see this, are they seeing this as issues of race and class?
EMMA COLEMAN JORDAN: Absolutely. And it’s a cynical manipulation. It’s reprehensible. And, in the worse tradition of Lee Atwater and the Willie Horton ad, to use race as a wedge issue to make people who pay their mortgages believe that the people who are getting the benefit of the 700 billion dollars, that we’re being asked to pay, are poor, minority people who caused the crisis.
This is unconscionable. This problem is not a problem that was caused by the Community Reinvestment Act. The data is very clear that the Community Reinvestment Act loans were being offered in a way to people that were much more responsible and had none of the characteristics of default that are being attributed in this discussion. And what this does is to say, this problem is a problem that was caused by black people.
And it means that it gives an opportunity to bring up that old wedge. But I think the people in the country are smarter today. I just don’t think it’s going to fly. I think that people understand that the enemy is not a person who got a home loan and was tricked into getting that loan by a fast-talking broker who originated the loan but that the problem was the securitization process, the high leveraging that Wall Street was doing, the lack of regulation.
Emma Coleman Jordan
October 3, 2008
Amid the chaos and chatter about this week’s financial bailout, one clear theme emerged in some quarters: The era of free-market fundamentalism is over. But is it, really?
The End Of Free-Market Fundamentalism?
American News Project, Sep 25, 2008
In 1999 Congress passed the Financial Modernization Act, which allowed banks, insurance companies and investment houses to merge. Many experts point to it as one of the causes of our current financial crisis. At the time, Byron Dorgan was one of the few senators to speak out strongly against the legislation. Looking back, his predictions in 1999 seem prophetic and, looking forward, his views raise more questions about the $700 billion bailout plan.
Video after the jump
Byron Dorgan’s Crystal Ball
American News Project, Oct 01, 2008
I saw this over the weekend, and thought it was pretty good.
Princeton economists review recent events on Wall Street and assess the implications for the economy and public policy.
- Hyun Shin, Professor of Economics and associate chair of the Department of Economics;
- Markus Brunnermeier, Professor of Economics;
- Harrison Hong, Professor in Finance;
- Paul Krugman, professor of economics and international affairs;
- Alan Blinder, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs and co‐director of the Center for Economic Policy Studies.
Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for?
Moyers sits down with history and international relations expert and
former US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich who identifies three major
problems facing our democracy: the crises of economy, government and
militarism, and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life.