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Brad Miller

Entries by Brad Miller

Pragmatism in Pursuit of What? On Financial Reform, Differences in Goals

(6) Comments | Posted January 28, 2016 | 4:29 PM

Of course we need hardheaded, pragmatic political leaders. But we also need to know the object of their pragmatism, the ends that they hope to achieve.

Pragmatism can be a legitimate reason to compromise, to accept incremental progress that falls short of an unachievable ideal. It can also be a...

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Wall Street's Choice: Antonio Weiss Nomination Is What's Wrong With Economic Policy

(4) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 11:37 AM

The opposition to the nomination of another investment banker, Antonio Weiss, to a top position in the U.S. Treasury is not just a demagogic appeal to anti-Wall Street prejudices, as his supporters argue.

Weiss's actual experience appears to be a poor match for the specific duties of the...

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A Plan B on the Debt Ceiling

(10) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 11:13 AM

The Obama administration's strategy to force Congress to raise the debt ceiling worked this time.

The strategy was based on lessons from the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, which went less well for the administration. This time, President Obama's resolute refusal to make concessions, the prospect of apocalyptic economic consequences and...

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Wall Street Re-Deregulation? Already?

(9) Comments | Posted June 5, 2013 | 2:03 PM

Has public opinion about Wall Street really changed so dramatically so quickly?

American voters made abundantly clear last year that they did not want their country run by Wall Street for Wall Street.

"As infuriating as it was for all of us," President Obama said, "we rescued...

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Ain't Nobody Here But Us Honest Bankers

(27) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 10:22 AM

There was a hit song in the forties (made popular more recently by the Muppets) called "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens."

One night a farmer hears noises from his henhouse and investigates with gun in hand.

"When he shouted, 'Who's There?'
This is what he heard
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Too Big to Jail: We Should Take Our Own Advice

(57) Comments | Posted December 16, 2012 | 10:46 AM

Like most members of Congress, I've traveled to far-flung parts of the earth on congressional delegations -- "CODELs" in the lingo.

Usually our visit to a country begins with a "country brief" by our embassy staff to prepare us for meetings with government officials. Our embassy staff will tell us...

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Ryan's One True Claim Isn't

(40) Comments | Posted August 31, 2012 | 1:37 PM

Paul Ryan's acceptance speech is not getting good reviews for strict adherence to the narrowest version of the truth. Dave Weigel offered a "listicle" of Ryan's "whoppers." Think Progress listed the "6 Worst Lies in Paul Ryan's Speech."

But somehow Ryan's attack on the Obama Administration's...

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If We Can't Understand Them, We Should Just Break Them Up

(61) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 12:36 PM

I've skimmed some informed discussions at economics blogs about how JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) lost $2 billion and counting on their "synthetic credit portfolio." But educated guesses are still guesses, the next big problem in the financial system will be entirely different, and to be honest, it all gives me a...

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The Rhyme of History: Wall Street Edition

(7) Comments | Posted May 2, 2012 | 2:29 PM

Wall Street bankers dislike President Obama. A lot.

Or so says Brad DeLong.

Wall Street bankers' money is massively important in politics, but their votes are pretty inconsequential. Still, instead of getting the 40 percent of Wall Street votes that he got against McCain, President Obama is now...

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Against More Bailouts? Watch the Backdoor.

(36) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 4:34 PM

Sometimes bailouts walk in through the front door and sometimes bailouts sneak in through the backdoor. Backdoor bailouts are always far worse for taxpayers.

And backdoor bailouts are much worse for democracy.

In late December, Bank of America agreed to pay $2.87 billion to settle claims that the bank sold...

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Republican Amnesia on the Financial Crisis

(15) Comments | Posted January 31, 2011 | 2:24 PM

Sometimes party loyalty asks too much, even among today's rigidly unforgiving Republicans.

In December, the four Republicans on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) appeared to accept the Republican agitprop explanation, or "narrative," of the financial crisis: government regulators, under pressure from liberal Democrats like Barney Frank and...

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Does Social Security Have WMD?

(334) Comments | Posted November 12, 2010 | 11:37 AM

The PowerPoint released by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform ("The Deficit Commission"), said we should "Reform Social Security for its own sake, not for deficit reduction."

No kidding. Social Security has nothing to do with the...

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Taxing 'Too Big to Fail' and Republican Hypocrisy

(78) Comments | Posted January 14, 2010 | 3:29 PM

President Obama is proposing a tax on "too big to fail" banks to pay back the $120 billion in taxpayer money that we expect to lose from the Troubled Asset Recovery Program ("TARP") -- the bank bailout.

The proposed tax would also exact a payment for the...

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Remembering Mark Pittman

(0) Comments | Posted November 30, 2009 | 4:09 PM

I was never much of a source for Mark Pittman. I'm not sure I ever told him anything that he didn't already know.

But some time last year he figured out that I was willing to criticize the financial services industry, or at least more willing than most members of...

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