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Yves Smith – More on the Economic Hardship of Young Adults

In the US, the cost of the aftermath of the crisis has fallen heavily on young people, mainly due to bad policy responses to the crisis that we’ve described at length as it was happening: the failure to restructure bad loans (particularly mortgages) and impose costs on banks and investors, not just homeowners; the refusal to engage in enough fiscal …

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Nadia Prupis – Trump Considering GOP Lawmaker Who Despises Consumer Watchdog To Head It

President-elect Donald Trump is getting closer to debilitating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the watchdog agency founded by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that many warned could be an early target for the incoming administration. Trump on Wednesday met with former Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), who the Huffington Post reports is a front-runner to take over the agency if the …

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Alternative Visions – Review of Political Events of 2016 and Political Predictions 2017 – 01.06.16

Complimenting last week show’s review of key economic events of 2016 and economic predictions for 2017, Rasmus provides a similar overview of key political events in 2016, their likely continuing impact into this year, and his political predictions for 2017. Discussion includes the Trump victory in 2016 and the Democratic Party’s corresponding implosion at national, state and local levels. Rasmus predicts Trump quick legislative successes passing multi-trillion dollar corporate-investor tax cuts, gutting Obamacare, and repealing Dodd-Frank. On foreign policy, Jack predicts a deal with Russia over Syria, a continuing Trump ‘hard pivot’ to China already underway, a shift in US policy to allow Japan to remilitarize, and new US initiatives toward Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines and Australia as Trump attempts to ‘soften up’ China before engaging in bilateral renegotiation of the US-China relationship. Europe and Latin America key events in 2016 are reviewed, including Brexit, the Italian Referendum, and US-assisted legal coup d-etats in Argentina, Brazil, and efforts to destabilize Venezuela. Jack predicts elections in France, Netherlands, and Italy next year, and a renewed Greek debt crisis, will further destabilize Europe politically. Anti-US and Europe sentiment in Turkey could result in resumption of mass immigration. A National Front party victory in France will ensure the unraveling of Europe. Jack further predicts Trump will go slow on NAFTA and TPP and shift to negotiating bilateral free trade deals, go slow on the Iran treaty and strike a ‘deal’ on east Europe (including Ukraine) with Russia. Immigration policy will begin deporting millions, and a crackdown on civil liberties will result in more intense police action against protestors like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. The feud between Trump and the US mainstream media (Times and Post) will continue, as the latter continue to build a case against Trump in the longer run.

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Pam Martens and Russ Martens – U.S. Quietly Drops Bombshell: Wall Street Banks Have $2 Trillion European Exposure

Just 17 days from today, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the nation’s 45th President and deliver his inaugural address. Trump is expected to announce priorities in the areas of education, infrastructure, border security, the economy and curtailing the outsourcing of jobs. But Trump’s agenda will be derailed on all fronts if the big Wall Street banks blow up …

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Annie Machon – The West’s Shift Toward Repression

Forgive my “infamously fluent French” but the phrase “pour encourager les autres” – a reference to executing one powerful person to send a message to others – seems to have lost its famously ironic quality. It seems that the U.S. government is globally paying big bucks to people to encourage them to expose the crimes of their employers, but only …

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John Kiriakou – Kathleen Kane: Another Whistleblower Goes to Prison in America

ormer Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane is likely headed to prison. She was found guilty recently of multiple counts of perjury and criminal conspiracy for leaking grand jury information to a reporter. But Kathleen Kane is also a whistleblower. And like most whistleblower cases, there is more than meets the eye in this one, more than what the press would have you …

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Shawn Aiken – New Jersey Divests from Payday Lending

When Phyllis Salowe-Kaye learned that the New Jersey State Investment Council (NJSIC) had invested 50 million state pension dollars with a private equity firm that used some of the funds to purchase a predatory payday lender, she went through the proverbial roof. The longtime executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) quickly assembled a powerful coalition of consumer protection …

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Lee Fang – Top Hillary Clinton Advisers and Fundraisers Lobbied Against Obamacare

Hillary Clinton is campaigning as a guardian of President Barack Obama’sprogressive policy accomplishments. In recent weeks, she has called the Affordable Care Act “one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, of the Democratic Party, and of our country,” and promised that she is “going to defend Dodd-Frank” and “defend President Obama for taking on Wall Street.” Meanwhile, however, Clinton’s campaign has been relying on a team of strategists and …

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Robert Reich – “The Big Short” and Bernie’s Plan to Bust Up Wall Street

If you haven’t yet seen “The Big Short” – directed and co-written by Adam McKay, based on the non-fiction prize-winning book by Michael Lewis about the housing and credit bubble that triggered the Great Recession — I recommend you do so. Not only is the movie an enjoyable (if that’s the right word) way to understand how the big banks screwed …

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Wall Street Vampires – Paul Krugman

Last year the vampires of finance bought themselves a Congress. I know it’s not nice to call them that, but I have my reasons, which I’ll explain in a bit. For now, however, let’s just note that these days Wall Street, which used to split its support between the parties, overwhelmingly favors the G.O.P. And the Republicans who came to power this …