Whose Housing Recovery? etc.

Whose Housing Recovery?

(1) Whose Housing Recovery?  We’ve posted our March/April cover story–another great piece by Darwin BondGraham (his third cover story for us).  Find it here.  See my last blog post for the background behind Masheka Wood’s cover illustration.  (Darwin pointed out the resemblance–accidental I’m assuming–between the moustachioed guy in the pile of cash on the left and PIMCO chair Mohamed El-Erian. He doesn’t seem like a bad guy, for a Master of the Universe.)

(2) Capital Controls: Our January/February 2013 issue had a feature article by Armagan Gezici, “The Return of Capital Controls: In the midst of economic crisis, developing countries cope with huge inflows of capital.” (It’s not posted online; to get a copy, order back-issues here.)  Paul Krugman’s column the other day, Hot Money Blues, covered some of the same ground, in connection with Cyprus’s woes.

(3) Speaking of Cyprus:  On Cyprus, Naked Capitalism’s coverage has been great.  Especially interesting is that they have challenged   (here) the notion that Cyprus is a tax haven, but rather a low-tax jurisdiction, much less shadowy than e.g. the Caymans;  today there is a great post by Yves Smith, in connection with Russian oligarchs parking their money in Cyprus, Why Does No One Speak of America’s Oligarchs?

(4) A Philosopher Bashes the CRA:  The New York Times‘s philosophy blog The Stone is usually really thoughtful (some of my old pals post there), but the most recent post, When Hope Tramples Truth, is really obnoxious in multiple ways, managing to propound right-wing views about Arab Spring, the possibility of democracy in places outside the West, “homosexual” marriage (the phrasing always tips you off about the underlying homophobia), and a bunch of other issues seemingly calculated to offend.  This supposed lover of truth made an outright error when he offers this supposed example of optimism trumping truth: “We can trace the subprime mortgage crisis to President Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which required lenders to override all considerations of prudence and fiscal rectitude in the pursuit of an impossible goal.”  This is of course nonsense (and is a key myth supporting the racist narrative underlying the recent Businessweek cover), as we’ve amply demonstrated in D&S, especially in this piece by Jim Campen.  I was going to lambaste him in the comments section (once I realized that turning off my javascript blocker enabled comments), but I noticed that so many people trounced him for that error and a lot of his other nonsense.

That’s it for now.

–Chris Sturr


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