Quoting the Crisis

Mar 31

Class War with a Smiley Face -

When we hear about wage theft, we usually think of cases involving low-wage-earning retail or fast-food workers. But middle-class professionals have also frequently been victims of the practice. For example, like the Silicon Valley workers, nurses have had their earnings artificially depressed by wage-fixing cartels of their own.

More broadly, middle class wages have declined or stagnated for years now (depending on which income group you look at), with economic gains being siphoned off by those at the top. It’s not just poor people or blue- and pink-collar types who are hurting . As the Silicon Valley wage-fixing case demonstrates, even upper middle class professionals have become victims of the one percenters’ class warfare.

Two of the inequality-themed books I’ve read in the past couple of years, Chris Hayes’s Twilight of the Elites and Göran Therborn‎’s The Killing Fields of Inequality made similar arguments about how the masses can take back the world from the one percent. Since both are men of the left, I had expected them to argue, as Adolph Reed recently has, that the answer is to bring back the labor movement. But instead, they both concluded that the key to the fight is the middle class.

Therborn’s analysis is that, due to the decline of the industrial working class, labor unions are no longer well positioned to take a central role in these struggles. Hayes’s argument is that, while it is often very difficult to persuade poor and working class people that they are entitled to anything better, “[T]here are few forces more powerful in politics than downward mobility, the dispossession of the formerly privileged.”

(Source: azspot)

“Few topics in American society have more myths and stereotypes surrounding them than poverty, misconceptions that distort both our politics and our domestic policy making. They include the notion that poverty affects a relatively small number of Americans, that the poor are impoverished for years at a time, that most of those in poverty live in inner cities, that too much welfare assistance is provided and that poverty is ultimately a result of not working hard enough. Although pervasive, each assumption is flat-out wrong.” — Mark R. Rank (via azspot)

(via azspot)

“The wealthy 0.01% minority who rule over the 90% majority understands that the future of their system depends on convincing or paying off 9.99% of the population who become the opinion leaders, the managers, the foremen, the supervisors, the small businessmen and the other shock troops of the system. The rich are like the pathetic men who frequent red-light districts — they must pay for it — and the right wing columnists/celebrities/media hacks/researchers do it for money, often working in the political equivalent of brothels, called think tanks. The choices offered young writers, journalists and academics who aspire to earn a decent living at their craft are not great today. There are many more opportunities to voice opinions supporting the system than to criticize it.” — Capitalism’s Intellectual Prostitutes (via azspot)

(via azspot)

Mar 08

New Co-op storm as board awards bosses huge pay and bonus deals
Jamie Doward, theguardian.com
Secret board documents revealed as battle looms with Co-operative membersThe embattled Co-operative Group, still reeling from a banking scandal and preparing to lay off up to 5,000 employees, faces a new storm over plans to pay its chief execut…

New Co-op storm as board awards bosses huge pay and bonus deals
Jamie Doward, theguardian.com

Secret board documents revealed as battle looms with Co-operative members

The embattled Co-operative Group, still reeling from a banking scandal and preparing to lay off up to 5,000 employees, faces a new storm over plans to pay its chief execut…

Feb 16

This Is Janet Yellen’s Biggest Challenge
Matthew O’Brien, theatlantic.com
Forward guidance might only be as good as the data is bad.The Fed is try­ing to put back with the right hand what it’s tak­ing away with the left. But it might need to use both togeth­er if it’s going to speed up the recov­ery.Ever since…

This Is Janet Yellen’s Biggest Challenge
Matthew O’Brien, theatlantic.com

Forward guidance might only be as good as the data is bad.

The Fed is try­ing to put back with the right hand what it’s tak­ing away with the left. But it might need to use both togeth­er if it’s going to speed up the recov­ery.

Ever since…

The UK Gold: riveting documentary on the deep, ingrained corruption of the UK's banking centre, the City of London -

Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net

Jeff writes, “Fea­tur­ing a brand new sound­track from Radio­head’s Thom Yorke, Mas­sive Attack and Elbow, and nar­rat­ed by Dominic West (The Wire), jour­nal­ist Marke Donne has put togeth­er a riv­et­ing doc­u­men­tary expos­ing the tax avoid­an…

Feb 12

Scary 1929 market chart gains traction
By Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch, marketwatch.com
Opinion: If market follows the same script, trouble lies directly aheadCHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Mar­ket­Watch) — There are eerie par­al­lels between the stock mar­ket’s recent behav­ior and how it behaved right before the 1929 crash.That at least …

Scary 1929 market chart gains traction
By Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch, marketwatch.com

Opinion: If market follows the same script, trouble lies directly ahead

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Mar­ket­Watch) — There are eerie par­al­lels between the stock mar­ket’s recent behav­ior and how it behaved right before the 1929 crash.

That at least …

Top Barclays bankers to be on the chopping block in planned layoffs
Mark DeCambre, qz.com
That Bar­clays simul­ta­ne­ous­ly announced a huge prof­it hit while rais­ing its bonus pool today ruf­fled investors’ feath­ers. But the bank’s planned 10,000 to 12,000 lay­offs, also announced today, show that in some areas Bar­clays is join­ing…

Top Barclays bankers to be on the chopping block in planned layoffs
Mark DeCambre, qz.com

That Bar­clays simul­ta­ne­ous­ly announced a huge prof­it hit while rais­ing its bonus pool today ruf­fled investors’ feath­ers. But the bank’s planned 10,000 to 12,000 lay­offs, also announced today, show that in some areas Bar­clays is join­ing…

Feb 11

Goldman partner pay ain’t what it used to be
Mark DeCambre, qz.com
In the bank­ing world, they’re con­sid­ered the mas­ters of the uni­verse, the mem­bers of the most exclu­sive club on Wall Street. But for all the trap­pings, being a part­ner at Gold­man Sachs may no longer be as lucra­tive for some, while the…

Goldman partner pay ain’t what it used to be
Mark DeCambre, qz.com

In the bank­ing world, they’re con­sid­ered the mas­ters of the uni­verse, the mem­bers of the most exclu­sive club on Wall Street. But for all the trap­pings, being a part­ner at Gold­man Sachs may no longer be as lucra­tive for some, while the…

Feb 07

Barclays predicted to pay more in bonuses than last year
Jill Treanor, theguardian.com
Bank expected to give bigger bonuses to some employees in bid to prevent them heading to higher-paying rival firmsBarclays will begin to hand out bonuses on Friday to its 140,000 staff around the world from a bonus pool expected to be bigger th…

Barclays predicted to pay more in bonuses than last year
Jill Treanor, theguardian.com

Bank expected to give bigger bonuses to some employees in bid to prevent them heading to higher-paying rival firms

Barclays will begin to hand out bonuses on Friday to its 140,000 staff around the world from a bonus pool expected to be bigger th…

The Shame of America’s Long-Term Unemployment Crisis
Derek Thompson, theatlantic.com
Washington is failing the long-term unemployed. And it’s mostly the GOP’s fault.Pol­i­tics is com­pli­cat­ed until it isn’t. Like today, when a Repub­li­can fil­i­buster blocked a vote to extend job­less ben­e­fits for mil­lions of Amer­i­cans …

The Shame of America’s Long-Term Unemployment Crisis
Derek Thompson, theatlantic.com

Washington is failing the long-term unemployed. And it’s mostly the GOP’s fault.

Pol­i­tics is com­pli­cat­ed until it isn’t. Like today, when a Repub­li­can fil­i­buster blocked a vote to extend job­less ben­e­fits for mil­lions of Amer­i­cans …

Feb 04

Jamie Dimon’s Pay Raise Sends Mixed Signals on Culture and Accountability -

Ben W. Heineman, Jr., hbr.org

The JP Morgan Chase board of directors has vexed the world with its terse announcement in a recent 8-K filing that CEO Jamie Dimon would receive a big pay raise — $20 million in total pay for 2013, up from $11.5 million for 2012, a 74 percent…

Writer Naomi Novik explains copyright to Congress
Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net
Naomi Novik isn’t just a tal­ent­ed author (she won the John W Camp­bell Award for best new writer in 2007 on the strength of her fab­u­lous Temeraire nov­els, which retell the Napoleon­ic wars with drag­ons pro­vid­ing air-support!), she’s also a…

Writer Naomi Novik explains copyright to Congress
Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net

Naomi Novik isn’t just a tal­ent­ed author (she won the John W Camp­bell Award for best new writer in 2007 on the strength of her fab­u­lous Temeraire nov­els, which retell the Napoleon­ic wars with drag­ons pro­vid­ing air-support!), she’s also a…

Feb 02

Investment Manager Explains Why 99.5% Of Americans Can Never Winbusinessinsider.com
Beyond the charts and warn­ings from econ­o­mists and investors, per­haps the most dis­turb­ing com­men­tary on income inequal­i­ty in Amer­i­ca was writ­ten by an invest­ment man­ag­er in 2011."In my view, the Amer­i­can dream of…

Investment Manager Explains Why 99.5% Of Americans Can Never Win
businessinsider.com

Beyond the charts and warn­ings from econ­o­mists and investors, per­haps the most dis­turb­ing com­men­tary on income inequal­i­ty in Amer­i­ca was writ­ten by an invest­ment man­ag­er in 2011.

"In my view, the Amer­i­can dream of…

Jan 31

HSBC settlement approved: no criminal charges, 5 weeks’ profit in fines, deferred bonuses for laundering billions for narco-terrorists - Boing Boing
Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net
Remem­ber when HSBC got caught laun­der­ing bil­lions for Mex­i­can narco-terror car­tels? Remem­ber how they offered to pay five weeks’ prof­its in fines and to defer their exec­u­tive bonus­es to escape crim­i­nal charges?The crime-fighting…

HSBC settlement approved: no criminal charges, 5 weeks’ profit in fines, deferred bonuses for laundering billions for narco-terrorists - Boing Boing
Cory Doctorow, boingboing.net

Remem­ber when HSBC got caught laun­der­ing bil­lions for Mex­i­can narco-terror car­tels? Remem­ber how they offered to pay five weeks’ prof­its in fines and to defer their exec­u­tive bonus­es to escape crim­i­nal charges?

The crime-fighting…