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Entries by Robert Kuttner from 10/2011

Wall Street: From Protest to Politics

| Posted 10.02.2011 | Politics

The Wall Street protests are heartening -- but also a measure of the utter failure of the usual machinery of democracy to remedy the worst pillaging of regular Americans by financial elites since the 1920s.

Obama, Geithner, and the Next Financial Crisis

| Posted 10.09.2011 | Business

Populist rhetoric when angry people are in the streets demanding accountability for bankers is a start, but talk is cheap. If the banking mess turns critical again, we will see what this president has learned, and what he is made of.

Simplify Banks and Bank Regulation

| Posted 10.16.2011 | Business

Let's face it: There will never be enough regulations and regulators to police all of the gray areas in a system this complicated. The best remedy is drastic simplification.

Europe on the Brink

| Posted 10.23.2011 | World

The deepening European financial crisis is the direct result of the failure of Western leaders to fix the banking system during the first crisis that began in 2007. Barring a miracle of statesmanship, we are in for Financial Crisis II, and it will look more like a depression than a recession.

Abolish Credit Default Swaps

| Posted 10.31.2011 | Business

It's time to abolish credit default swaps and similar exotic, impenetrable, essentially unregulated securities. They add nothing to economic efficiency, they line bankers' pockets, and they add massively to global financial risks. Swaps were only invented in the 1990s. Before swaps, investors were perfectly capable of evaluating risks -- and there was less systemic risk to evaluate. The entire banking system is overdue for a drastic simplification that puts banks back in their legitimate business of evaluating risks and then holding onto them, rather than passing the hot potato to someone else. This will require a revolutionary power shift, and it is one the Occupy Wall Street protests are already promoting.