The Justice Department's budget documents prominently quote Thomas Jefferson: "The most sacred of the duties of government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens." The attorney general just told Congress and the country that this principle no longer applies to very large financial institution.
Recognition by corporations of their fair tax contribution could go a long way toward shoring up the social fabric, political climate and the financial health of our country, all currently sorely frayed.
It's time for the Federal Reserve Banks to replace the old boy networks with computer networks. Their boards are supposed to have representatives of the public and specifically of consumers and labor but they complain they can't find many. Crowd-sourcing can address this problem.
Angela Merkel's increasing isolation among European leaders should increase the chances that the austerity mongers may yet relent. But Merkel, thus far, shows no sign of moderating her stance.
In every economic crisis there comes a moment of clarity. In Europe soon, millions of people will wake up to realize that the euro-as-we-know-it is gone. Economic chaos awaits them -- and the world.
To have Jamie Dimon involved in overseeing the management of the New York Fed, an organization that oversees his activities, decisions, and potential losses, is no longer acceptable. We do not accept such conflicts of interest in other parts of American society.
In the diplomatic language of Treasury communications, Mr. Geithner has just told Jamie Dimon to resign from the New York Fed board. It looks bad -- and it is bad -- to have him on the board of this key part of the Federal Reserve System at a time when his bank is under investigation with regard to its large trading losses and the apparent failure of its risk management system. If Mr. Dimon resigns, that is a major humiliation and recognition -- at the highest levels of government -- that even the country's best connected banker has overstepped his limits. If, as seems more likely, Mr. Dimon stays in place, that would be a great victory for the big banks -- and a reminder of who is really in charge of the country.
It seems as if the Republicans are trying to turn the national debt back into a major political issue. Despite their abysmal record when it comes to fiscal responsibility, it could still turn out to be smart politics, for a few reasons.
Just in case you had been suffering delusions that Republicans have improved on basic arithmetic or responsible governance, House Speaker John Boehner and presidential aspirant Mitt Romney on Tuesday made sure to disabuse you of that notion. As both men pandered to the base on deficit reduction while foreswearing tax increases, they reinforced the central Republican narrative of our age: Somebody else can pay for the mess we made.
The performance of anyone doing anything will exhibit regression to the mean. If you do well at something, it's because of some combination of skill and luck. If JPMorgan came through the financial crisis well, it was some combination of skill and luck.
Republican tax cut plans fall into two categories: the ones that don't bother pretending that they're going to be revenue neutral and the ones that do. But the latter can never make the numbers add up because you can't have massive rate cuts and be revenue neutral unless you're willing to eliminate popular tax expenditures for the middle class, the preference for investment income, or both. This applies to Mitt Romney's plan. And this is the guy who's supposed to be the hard-headed businessman?
James Stewart at the New York Times has doubled down on his infatuation with Paul Ryan. Ryan's budget, he says, is a viable centrist starting point for budget negotiations, and attacks from "left and right" are mere "partisan rhetoric."
Like Social Security, it's almost impossible to cut any actual defense spending. Apparently politicians don't realize that a whole is equal to the sum of its parts. Or they do realize it, and they hope that we don't.
Much of the 1930s-era Securities legislation, which served us well for more than 70 years, is about to be repealed in a moment of bipartisan madness.
The current privileged status of U.S. dollar debt is a recent phenomenon, and one that is by no means permanent. This is a major reason why it is important to begin reducing structural deficits during the next decade.
Overwhelmingly, members of the CFA Institute are against the "JOBs" bill as it currently stands. According to a survey released yesterday, and available through MarketWatch, 33 percent of CFA members in the U.S. think that the Senate should "not pass this bill."