The shutdown is the story of the moment. But there are also other real things going on in the real world that have huge consequences for, yes, real people -- and the media shouldn't ignore those other stories.
The Obama Administration is transporting Wall Street logic into higher education by proposing to measure the value of a college by the earnings of its graduates. This conceptual coup may be the best news for Wall Street since the abolition of Glass-Steagall.
As if one were needed, the news that JP Morgan Chase & Co. has been embroiled in yet another banking scandal is a reminder that the world of finance long ago hocked its cracked and dented moral compass to the pawnbroker.
Why are we not surprised that Obama has done nothing to break up the too-big-to-fail banks, the biggest now being Dimon's? Don't be fooled by the occasional fines; the banks have used the interest-free money to grow ever larger and more unaccountable in their behavior.
Fairness demands that we say it again: It may very well be that leadership team at JPMorgan Chase is shocked -- shocked! -- at all this criminality, and may simply lack the basic managerial skills needed to end it.
Community and smaller-to-mid-sized regional banks serve a variety of interests. They tend to favor the needs of local and mid-sized businesses or specific socio-economic communities who want a more personalized approach to banking.
Goldman Sachs is doing to aluminum exactly what Enron did to energy in the late 1990s and early 2000s: create phony bottlenecks to restrict supply to rip off consumers and skew markets in their favor for things society vitally needs.
Breaking up the biggest banks because they are perceived as "too big to fail" is unrealistic. What is needed, however, are improvements in the transparency and the accountability of governance in these institutions.
If this deadly dynamic isn't solved -- if the biggest banks aren't broken up, if the Department of Justice doesn't start prosecuting crime in the financial sector -- our country will in the not too distant future see a financial crisis far worse than in 2008.