Tag Archives: financial

The Hard-Times Swindle

The Consensus Speaks

The achievement of the thing is even more remarkable when we remember the prevailing opinion

A solemn crowd gathers outside the Stock Excha...

A solemn crowd gathers outside the Stock Exchange after the crash. 1929. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

climate of 2008. After the disasters of the George W. Bush presidency had culminated in the catastrophe on Wall Street, the leading lights of the Beltway consensus had deemed that the nation was traveling in a new direction. They had seen this movie before, and they knew how it was supposed to go. The plates were shifting. Conservatism’s decades-long reign was at an end. An era of liberal ascendancy was at hand. This was the unambiguous mandate of history, as unmistakable as the gigantic crowds that gathered to hear Barack Obama speak as he traveled the campaign trail. You could no more defy this plotline than you could write checks on an empty bank account.

And so The Strange Death of Republican America, by the veteran journalist Sidney Blumenthal, appeared in April of 2008—even before the Wall Street crash—and announced that the “radical conservative” George W. Bush had made the GOP “into a minority party.”3 In November, Sean Wilentz, the erstwhile historian of the “Age of Reagan,” took to the pages of U.S. News & World Report to herald that age’s “collapse.” The conservative intellectual Francis Fukuyama had said pretty much the same thing in Newsweek the month before. That chronicler of the DC consensus, Politico, got specific and noted the demise of the word “deregulator,” a proud Reagan-era term that had been mortally wounded by the collapse of (much-deregulated) Wall Street.4 Continue reading

Pity the Billionaire

In 2008, the country’s financial system suffered an epic breakdown, largely the result–as nearly

Thomas Frank's inscription

Thomas Frank’s inscription (Photo credit: liberalmind1012)

every credible observer agrees—of the decades-long effort to roll back bank supervision and encourage financial experimentation. The banks’ stumbled quickly plunged the nation and the world into the worst recession since the thirties. This was no ordinary business downturn, Millions of American, and a large number of their banks, became insolvent in a matter of weeks.                             (Thomas Frank)

Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right: Thomas Frank: 9781250020352: Amazon.com: Books.

Where are the culprits, the swindlers and the criminals? Continue reading