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JPMorgan Chase and BoA, etc.

Ok, I need to get a lot of links off my plate (to mix metaphors–unless we’re talking about sausages?)–some great stuff I want to pass on but haven’t had time to.

(1) JPMorgan Chase Settlement(s):  

  • Bill Moyers interviews Gretchen Morgenson in Why JPMorgan Chast May Be Getting off Easy. In his intro he shows the NY Post cover screaming “UNCLE SCAM: U.S. robs bank of $13B.” The article inside the Post is headlined, incredibly, “US ‘robs’ $13B from venerable bank.” (A mystery: who at the Post insisted that they include single quotes around “rob”?)
  • Jessie Eisenger of ProPublica (in the Times) explains in A Moot Effort to Burnish the Reputation of Goldman Sachs how Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein’s experience shows why JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon has nothing to worry about.
  • Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism discusses the “settlement” on Counterspin (Extra!‘s awesome radio show), and again on Democracy Now!.
  • CorpWatch explains how JPMorgan Chase could pass $4B of the costs of the settlement on to the public by claiming the settlement’s fines as tax-deductible business expenses.

(2) Bank of America Judgment

(3) (Charges of) McCarthyism in the Air:   Last week McCarthyism came up in my morning news reading in two unrelated contexts:

Yves Smith had this post at Naked Capitalism:  Ken Rogoff Loses It, Calls Criticism of Errors in Debt Paper a “Witch Hunt”. .Rogoff was talking to a German center-right German newspaper, “accusing those who criticized the discovery of errors in a widely cited austerity-supporting paper he wrote with Carmen Reinhart as being on a ‘witch hunt’ and engaging in an ‘orchestrated attack…as in the 1950s under McCarthy.’”  Yves gives a detailed take-down of this absurd claim (worth reading; for more background about the UMass economists’ take-down of Rogoff/Reinhardt’s debt paper, see our interview with one of the authors, Bob Pollin, here). Yves concludes: ”

What brought the end of McCarthy’s rein of terror was when the Wisconsin senator smeared a junior member of the legal team representing the Army on national television. The lead counsel Joseph Welch upbraided McCarthy, ending with the now-famous “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”The same question could just as well be posed to Rogoff.

Coincidentally, there was a Times op-ed that same day (last Tuesday, 10/22) that invoked McCarthyism in connection with the Tea Party Republicans. In The Cry of the True Republicans, John G. Taft talks about how the radical right-wing of the party betrays the tradition of his relations (William Howard Taft, Robert Taft, etc.) in which the Republicans were the party of “stewardship,” blah, blah, blah.  Then he compares the Tea Partiers to Joseph McCarthy, except astonishingly, he doesn’t mention their red-baiting.  I never got around to writing a letter to the Times to point this out. Luckily, Corey Robin has an excellent blog post at Jacobin about how John G. Taft’s grandfather, Robert Taft (who was governor of Ohio and was supposed to be one of those moderate, “stewardship” Republicans) was a McCarthyite himself.

(4) More on “Nobel” Prize:  I’d meant to post a few items about the prize that went to Shiller and Fama:

(5) Good Piece on Obamacare Roll-out Problems:  Hat-tip to T.M.:  From Salon: Here’s How GOP Obamacare Hypocrisy Backfires, which draws on Mike Konczal’s What Kind of Problem Is the ACA Rollout for Liberalism?


(6) Just for Fun:  Business Insider on Suzanne Somers on Obamacare: Wall Street Journal Enlists Noted Health-Policy Expert Suzanne Somers to Critique Obamacare.  The funniest line of the Business Insider report:  “Philip Bump and Jonathan Chait have both written takedowns noting, politely, that the piece does not provide the sort of airtight argument you might expect from the star of the first five seasons of ‘Three’s Company.'”  Alas, no mention of Somers’ book of poetry, Touch Me.

That’s it for today.

–Chris Sturr



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