A newly released Standford paper is pure gold. It focuses on what CEOs say in investor conference calls and how they say it. How they say it provides psychological linguistic clues into whether they are lying or not.
A Bank of America call center offered Burger King Whoppers to workers as a reward for hitting a quota, while peddling Bank of America products. Somehow this incident sums up everything that is wrong in America.
The bank lobbyists, it turns out, missed one. They and their congressional allies were able to gut the Volcker Rule, the Lincoln Amendment, and almost everything else that could have had an effect on the industry.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln decided to Rambo Wall Street. As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, she put forward a stunning improvement to the Senate financial reform bill over the hysterical cries of big bank lobbyists.
In a big win for American farmers, consumers and even import-reliant African nations, the Wall Street reform bill winding its way though Congress has unique provisions that apply to food and energy speculation.
Big banks might win some of the regulation battles and figure out how to protect their fee revenue in the short-term, but they're losing the war for customers. Eventually, customer-attrition will force them to change or perish.
What Summers, Dodd, and apparently the president continue to not get is that massive concentrations of wealth and power do equally massive amounts of damage over time to both a democracy and to the markets.