robertogreco + recession   107

'Global Trumpism': Bailouts, Brexit and battling climate change | CBC Radio
[Also here:
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/global-trumpism-how-rogue-code-writers-became-the-authors-of-our-politics-1.5321199
https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-23-ideas/clip/15741291-global-trumpism-bailouts-brexit-and-battling-climate-change ]

“How did the middle class end up in perpetual debt? Why is there ‘no money’ for infrastructure or social programs, but there is for waging war? And what does all this have to do with Donald Trump, or Brexit, or climate change?

If you’re mystified about any of the above, then author and Brown University professor Mark Blyth can clarify things for you. He says it’s helpful to use a computer metaphor to describe the economy.

In his lecture at McMaster University as part of their Socrates Project, Blyth compared capitalist economies to laptops: different makes, but similar in appearance. He argues these computers run just fine for a while — say, about 30 years . But all the while, there are bugs in the software that eventually causes the system to crash. Then you rebuild the hardware, fix the software, and reboot.

System breakdown
That’s what happened in the 1970s and 1980s, when labour costs and inflation became a problem. The ‘system rebuild’ included less powerful unions, more global trade, and central bankers who were put in charge of setting interest rates.

But this new system generated bugs of its own, among them, a runaway culture of lending, and a lack of wage growth among the middle classes, who did a lot more borrowing than they could afford.

Mark Blyth says this borrowing wasn’t just driven by rampant consumerism.

“How do you get by when … everybody tells you there’s no inflation, yet the cost of everything that matters is actually going up? Education, health care, all that sort of stuff,” Blyth said in his lecture.

“And the only way you can fill in the gap is to borrow more money.”

Cue the 2008 financial crisis
However this time, Blyth says there was no rebuild. Instead, the United States Federal Reserve led a bailout of the big banks, domestically and internationally. The rich got much richer, the middle class got perpetual low interest rates to keep carrying their debts, and the poor had their social programs cut in the name of austerity.

Blyth contends this dynamic is what lit the fuse of global populism: the rise of leaders who appeal to public outrage, alienation, and lack of trust toward career politicians and traditional political parties.

“Your debts are too high…you can’t pay them off, but you can roll them over. They’re not going to be eaten away by inflation, and the people who brought you here have zero credibility,” said Blyth.

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGuaoARJYU0 ]

Blyth compares populist leaders to ‘rogue code-writers’, hacking into the software of a system that was never properly rebuilt after the crisis of 2008. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it strengthens democracies.

“[Populism] is now part of the furniture … It’s already changed, so just get used to it. And let’s remember historically that 100 years ago, the people who were the populists then, the people that everyone was afraid of, became the established parties in many cases,” Blyth told IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed.

“So every now and again you have to have a little revolution, and that’s what’s happening now.”

Populism is springing up on the right and the left, said Blyth. The difficult choices that need to be made about climate change could come from a left-wing populist movement, not unlike the so-called ‘Green New Deal’ proposed by younger American Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Looking at how things may unfold in the not-too-distant future, Blyth speculates “right populism wins round one.”

“But ultimately, left populism wins round two, because left populism is the only one that takes climate change seriously,” he concludes.”
2019  markblyth  economics  inequality  brexit  donaldtrump  trumpism  fragility  greatrecession  2007  2008  policy  democracy  personaldebt  debt  taxes  wealth  income  climatechange  bailouts  finance  recessions  recession  oligarchy  popularism  berniesanders  banking  global  financialcrisis  inflation  productivity  consumerism  stockmarket  ipos  wages  middleclass  capitalism  us  uk  canada  caymanislands  delaware  arizona  isleofman  austerity  nahlahayed  latecapitalism  federalreserve  priorities  centralbanks  monetarypolicy  politics  alangreenspan  economists  loans  creditcards  spending 
4 weeks ago by robertogreco
Brexit Stage Right: What Now? - @robfahey
"Fifth and finally, this isn’t just about the UK. Brexit has come about as a consequence not so much of the European Union or its policies, but as an expression of a general anger and dissatisfaction that has also reared its head across much of the developed world. It’s not unreasonable to compare the UK’s Leave campaign with Donald Trump in the USA, Le Pen in France or Wilders in Holland. Voting for Brexit was characterised by nationalist sentiment and a strong desire to “take back” Britain’s sovereignty from the ill-defined others who have appropriated it. It thrived in communities that have seen widening inequality and economic malaise even as they watched political leaders turn up on TV night after night to talk about economic recovery; communities that may have been delivered a mortal blow by the 2008 recession and the austerity policies which followed, but which had already been suffering from neglect and economic abuse for decades before that, as successive governments tore up more and more pages of the post-war social contract in favour of the shiny new religion of markets and efficiency. There was a time when those communities turned to left-wing movements for their salvation, to unions and to the Labour party; with much of the power of the unions broken and the Labour party pursuing aspirational middle class voters, opportunities have been opened for new and far less savoury political movements to take root. At their core is a deep dissatisfaction and anger not just with individual political actors but with the very institutions of democracy and representative government; a deep conviction that it is not merely that specific parties or policies that have caused people’s quality of life to decline, but that the whole system is stacked against them. Thus, anything that’s seen as part of the system – be it politicians, the media, or even academics and independent experts – is suspect. It is not an attitude that calls for political change, for a new party in power or a new prime minister; it is an attitude that calls for the tearing down of everything, and offers nothing with which to replace it. It is frightening precisely because, in its absolute conviction that the institutions of democracy themselves are a vast conspiracy against the common man, it ends up being insatiable; even if today’s Brexit leaders become Britain’s leaders, in doing so they will become part of “the system” and face the anger of the same people who now cheer them on. The cycle will continue until someone turns up with the capacity to tame the monster that has been conjured up by economic hardship, inequality and unthinking nationalism. Unfortunately, the lessons of the past tell us that such a person is unlikely to be benevolent.

None of this is unique to Britain, and none of it can be fixed by anything less than a fundamental rethink of how we have chosen to structure our society and our economies. Even as market capitalism and globalisation have done wonders at lifting the world’s poorest people out of poverty – an achievement for which capitalism does not get remotely enough credit – it has begun to run out of rope in the developed world. In nations from Japan to Western Europe to North America, inequality is growing and standards of living are slipping. Labour market reforms have turned whole generations into disposable people; I can’t blame British people for laughing off the notion that the EU has protected them in the workplace, when companies like Sports Direct have based their business model off exploiting every loophole, legal and otherwise, no matter how desperately cruel and inhumane, that might allow them to wring more money, more profitability out of their vulnerable, poorly paid staff. “If you leave the EU, you’ll lose your workers rights!” is no argument at all to someone whose zero-hours contract leaves them in desperate financial instability, or whose exploitation by an avaricious, unscrupulous employer has been rubber-stamped by the government itself in the form of a Workfare deal.

The Brexit vote wasn’t just a rejection of the EU; it was a rejection of the whole system, of the whole establishment, of the whole set of institutions and practices that make up the developed world. It was, in ways, a rejection of modernity – a demand to turn back the clock. Turning back the clock isn’t in anyone’s power to deliver. If we want to break this dangerous cycle of economic inequality, social cleavage and political extremism before it rolls out of control, though, it’s beholden upon our countries and institutions to start paying attention to inequality, to public services, to quality of life and to the huge swathe of the electorate for whom every mention of the phrase “economic recovery” in the past two decades has just been salt in the wound."
robfahey  2016  via:tealtan  brexit  elitism  government  policy  economics  europe  us  unions  labor  work  inequality  establishment  austerity  politics  eu  france  holland  netherlands  recession  2008  democracy  power  change  wealthinequality  incomeinequality  globalization  poverty  capitalism  japan  exploitation  organization  classism 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Americans Don’t Miss Manufacturing — They Miss Unions | FiveThirtyEight
"Why do factory workers make more in Michigan? In a word: unions. The Midwest was, at least until recently, a bastion of union strength. Southern states, by contrast, are mostly “right-to-work” states where unions never gained a strong foothold. Private-sector unions have been shrinking across the country for decades, but they are stronger in the Midwest than in most other parts of the country. In Michigan, 23 percent of manufacturing production workers were union members in 2015; in South Carolina, less than 2 percent were.2

Unions also help explain why the middle class is healthier in the Midwest than in the Southeast, where manufacturing jobs have been growing rapidly in recent decades. A new analysis from the Pew Research Center this week explored the state of the middle class in different parts of the country by looking at the share of households making between two-thirds and double the national median income, after controlling for the local cost of living. In many Midwestern cities, 60 percent or more of households are considered “middle-income” by this definition; in some Southern cities, even those with large manufacturing bases, middle-income households are now in the minority.

Even in the Midwest, however, unions are weakening and the middle class is shrinking. In the Indianapolis metro area, where the Carrier plant Trump talks about is located, the share of households in the middle tier of earners has shrunk to 54.8 percent in 2014 from 58.9 percent in 2000. And unlike in some parts of the country, the decline in the middle class there has been primarily driven by people falling into the lower tier of earners, not moving up. The Carrier plant, where workers make more than $20 an hour, is unionized.

Cause and effect here is complicated. Unions have been weakened by some of the same forces that are driving down wages overall, such as globalization and automation. And while unions benefit their members, economists disagree over whether they are good for the economy as a whole. Liberal economists note that overall wages tend to be higher in union-friendly states; conservative economists counter that unemployment tends to be higher in those states, too.

But this much is clear: For all of the glow that surrounds manufacturing jobs in political rhetoric, there is nothing inherently special about them. Some pay well; others don’t. They are not immune from the forces that have led to slow wage growth in other sectors of the economy. When politicians pledge to protect manufacturing jobs, they really mean a certain kind of job: well-paid, long-lasting, with opportunities for advancement. Those aren’t qualities associated with working on a factory floor; they’re qualities associated with being a member of a union."
us  unions  labor  manufacturing  2016  bencasselman  politics  organization  work  class  race  birthrate  economics  unemployment  employment  recession  federalreserve 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Robert Reich (The Political Roots of Widening Inequality)
"A deeper understanding of what has happened to American incomes over the last 25 years requires an examination of changes in the organization of the market. These changes stem from a dramatic increase in the political power of large corporations and Wall Street to change the rules of the market in ways that have enhanced their profitability, while reducing the share of economic gains going to the majority of Americans.

This transformation has amounted to a redistribution upward, but not as “redistribution” is normally defined. The government did not tax the middle class and poor and transfer a portion of their incomes to the rich. The government undertook the upward redistribution by altering the rules of the game.

Intellectual property rights—patents, trademarks, and copyrights—have been enlarged and extended, for example. This has created windfalls for pharmaceuticals, high tech, biotechnology, and many entertainment companies, which now preserve their monopolies longer than ever. It has also meant high prices for average consumers, including the highest pharmaceutical costs of any advanced nation.

At the same time, antitrust laws have been relaxed for corporations with significant market power. This has meant large profits for Monsanto, which sets the prices for most of the nation’s seed corn; for a handful of companies with significant market power over network portals and platforms (Amazon, Facebook, and Google); for cable companies facing little or no broadband competition (Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, Verizon); and for the largest Wall Street banks, among others. And as with intellectual property rights, this market power has simultaneously raised prices and reduced services available to average Americans. (Americans have the most expensive and slowest broadband of any industrialized nation, for example.)

Financial laws and regulations instituted in the wake of the Great Crash of 1929 and the consequential Great Depression have been abandoned—restrictions on interstate banking, on the intermingling of investment and commercial banking, and on banks becoming publicly held corporations, for example—thereby allowing the largest Wall Street banks to acquire unprecedented influence over the economy. The growth of the financial sector, in turn, spawned junk-bond financing, unfriendly takeovers, private equity and “activist” investing, and the notion that corporations exist solely to maximize shareholder value.

Bankruptcy laws have been loosened for large corporations—notably airlines and automobile manufacturers—allowing them to abrogate labor contracts, threaten closures unless they receive wage concessions, and leave workers and communities stranded. Notably, bankruptcy has not been extended to homeowners who are burdened by mortgage debt and owe more on their homes than the homes are worth, or to graduates laden with student debt. Meanwhile, the largest banks and auto manufacturers were bailed out in the downturn of 2008–2009. The result has been to shift the risks of economic failure onto the backs of average working people and taxpayers.

Contract laws have been altered to require mandatory arbitration before private judges selected by big corporations. Securities laws have been relaxed to allow insider trading of confidential information. CEOs have used stock buybacks to boost share prices when they cash in their own stock options. Tax laws have created loopholes for the partners of hedge funds and private-equity funds, special favors for the oil and gas industry, lower marginal income-tax rates on the highest incomes, and reduced estate taxes on great wealth.

All these instances represent distributions upward—toward big corporations and financial firms, and their executives and shareholders—and away from average working people."



"The underlying problem, then, is not that most Americans are “worth” less in the market than they had been, or that they have been living beyond their means. Nor is it that they lack enough education to be sufficiently productive. The more basic problem is that the market itself has become tilted ever more in the direction of moneyed interests that have exerted disproportionate influence over it, while average workers have steadily lost bargaining power—both economic and political—to receive as large a portion of the economy’s gains as they commanded in the first three decades after World War II. As a result, their means have not kept up with what the economy could otherwise provide them.

To attribute this to the impersonal workings of the “free market” is to disregard the power of large corporations and the financial sector, which have received a steadily larger share of economic gains as a result of that power. As their gains have continued to accumulate, so has their power to accumulate even more.

Under these circumstances, education is no panacea. Reversing the scourge of widening inequality requires reversing the upward distributions within the rules of the market, and giving workers the bargaining leverage they need to get a larger share of the gains from growth. Yet neither will be possible as long as large corporations and Wall Street have the power to prevent such a restructuring. And as they, and the executives and managers who run them, continue to collect the lion’s share of the income and wealth generated by the economy, their influence over the politicians, administrators, and judges who determine the rules of the game may be expected to grow.

The answer to this conundrum is not found in economics. It is found in politics. The changes in the organization of the economy have been reinforcing and cumulative: As more of the nation’s income flows to large corporations and Wall Street and to those whose earnings and wealth derive directly from them, the greater is their political influence over the rules of the market, which in turn enlarges their share of total income.

The more dependent politicians become on their financial favors, the greater is the willingness of such politicians and their appointees to reorganize the market to the benefit of these moneyed interests. The weaker unions and other traditional sources of countervailing power become economically, the less able they are to exert political influence over the rules of the market, which causes the playing field to tilt even further against average workers and the poor.

Ultimately, the trend toward widening inequality in America, as elsewhere, can be reversed only if the vast majority, whose incomes have stagnated and whose wealth has failed to increase, join together to demand fundamental change. The most important political competition over the next decades will not be between the right and left, or between Republicans and Democrats. It will be between a majority of Americans who have been losing ground, and an economic elite that refuses to recognize or respond to its growing distress."
robertreich  2015  economics  inequality  histoy  corporatism  politics  policy  wealth  productivity  globalization  markets  capitalism  labor  work  insecutiry  greatrecession  recession  unemployment  underemployment  finance  banks  banking  wallstreet  education  government  ideology 
may 2015 by robertogreco
10 (Not Entirely Crazy) Theories Explaining the Great Crime Decline | The Marshall Project
"Over the course of the 1990s, crime rates dropped, on average, by more than one-third. It was a historic anomaly; one that scholar Frank Zimring dubbed “the great American crime decline.” No one was sure how long the trend would last. Then, in 2010, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced that the homicide rate had reached a four-decade low. (Since then, overall crime rates have remained relatively flat.)While everyone agrees this is fantastic news, no one, least of all researchers and experts, can agree on exactly why it happened. Below are 10 popular theories for the decline, from abortion to lead to technology to the broken windows theory, with unvarnished views from three leading researchers—Zimring; Richard Rosenfeld, chairman of a National Academy of Sciences roundtable on crime trends; and John Roman of The Urban Institute—on which are the most plausible.

The “abortion filter” […]

The happy pill thesis […]

The lead hypothesis […]

Aging boomers […]

The tech thesis […]

Crack is whack […]

The roaring ’90s (and Obama-mania) […]

The prison boom […]

Police on the beat […]

Immigration and Gentrification […]"
crime  theories  theory  marshallproject  abortion  lead  prozac  ritalin  behavior  moods  babyboomers  population  demographics  technology  airconditioning  television  tv  cars  debitcards  currency  transactions  crack  drugs  economics  unemployment  greatrecession  recession  prison  incarceration  police  lawenforcement  gentrification  immigration  boomers 
november 2014 by robertogreco
Open Letter from a Millennial: Quit Telling Us We’re Not Special
"You have done our work for us, then called us lazy.
You have threatened our teachers, then told us “just an A” isn’t good enough.
You have gotten our jobs for us, and called us underachievers.
You have recorded everything we do, like researchers breeding a better mouse.
You have made us trophy-seekers, then mocked us for our walls of worthless awards.
You have pitted us against each other in a fight for success, which has become survival.
You have given us a world in which even our college degrees are meaningless because there are just too many of us.
You have made us depend on you. When we followed your instructions… we’ve ended up stuck in your basement because nobody in your generation is willing to pay us a living wage.
Then you called us the “boomerang” generation that refuses to grow up. When did we have the chance?"
upbringing  education  boomeranggeneration  work  jobs  recession  underachievement  laziness  specialness  self-esteem  gradeinflation  survival  parenting  babyboomers  boomers  generationy  generations  dependency  helicopterparenting  helicopterparents  2012  millennials  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Bought some US stocks
"What I am saying is that I believe in me, and I believe in you and I believe in elbow grease, objectivity and history. Did you see the recession coming? Did it announce itself and tell you the date it would arrive? No, it did not. Nor will recovery. So quit whining. Pessimism is for losers."<br />
<br />
[Don't really agree with much other than this line.]<br />
<br />
[via: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/08/07/delaney via http://www.danielmarkham.com/posts/bought-some-us-stocks ]
pessimism  optimism  belief  objectivity  history  ingenuity  workethic  hardwork  recession  finance  money  jobs  2011  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
EconoMonitor : Nouriel Roubini's Global EconoMonitor » Is Capitalism Doomed?
"The right balance today requires creating jobs partly through additional fiscal stimulus aimed at productive infrastructure investment. It also requires more progressive taxation; more short-term fiscal stimulus with medium- and long-term fiscal discipline; lender-of-last-resort support by monetary authorities to prevent ruinous runs on banks; reduction of the debt burden for insolvent households and other distressed economic agents; and stricter supervision and regulation of a financial system run amok; breaking up too-big-to-fail banks and oligopolistic trusts.<br />
<br />
Over time, advanced economies will need to invest in human capital, skills and social safety nets to increase productivity and enable workers to compete, be flexible and thrive in a globalized economy. The alternative is – like in the 1930s – unending stagnation, depression, currency and trade wars, capital controls, financial crisis, sovereign insolvencies, and massive social and political instability."
2011  nourielroubini  recession  greatdepression  greatrecession  politics  policy  economics  investment  infrastructure  stimulus  socialsafetynet  toobigtofail  globalization  stagnation  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
BBC News - In Steinbeck's footsteps: America's middle-class underclass
"In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck describes the harrowing journey of the Joad family - migrant workers forced to leave their home during the Great Depression - a story still relevant to those facing the realities of America's current economic crisis."<br />
<br />
"With the south-west in the grip of its worst drought for 60 years, old-timers here are beginning to talk about the Dust Bowl years, years Steinbeck chronicled in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book of migration, poverty and social injustice.<br />
<br />
I decided to retrace the route Steinbeck's fictional family took from Oklahoma City to Bakersfield, just north of Los Angeles. I hired a boaty old Mercury and put my foot down."
immigration  recession  unemployment  economy  johnsteinbeck  grapesofwrath  greatdepression  greatrecession  economics  2011  tentcities  poverty  oklahoma  newmexico  arizona  california  migration  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Ivory Towers of Debt | varnelis.net
"It's a giant ponzi scheme with little of value for students and, as Harper's described in a notorious graphic about the consequeneces of overbuilding in Brandeis (Brandeis has threatened a lawsuit and has accused Harper's of slander and libel over this piece), can collapse precipitously during times of economic crisis. But while bonds were hot, Wall Street couldn't have enough of them, so universities eagerly complied."
tcsnmy  fundraising  bonds  endowment  universities  highered  money  economics  recession  priorities  shortterm  longterm  kazysvarnelis  javierarbona  cities  architecture  buildings  finance  leadership  administration  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
How Finland emerged from recession with the best education system in Europe - The Irish Times - Tue, Mar 01, 2011
"FOLLOWING THE break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Finland experienced a severe recession, not dissimilar to current difficulties in Ireland.<br />
<br />
Unemployment climbed from 3 per cent to 18 per cent in two years. GDP dropped 13 per cent at the same time and Finnish public spending reached close to 70 per cent of the overall state budget.<br />
<br />
The Finnish Government of the day bravely decided that increased investment in education was the roadmap to recovery.<br />
<br />
Result? Finland emerged quickly from recession, built a highly-skilled workforce, and today boasts one of the finest education systems in the world.<br />
<br />
Interestingly, Finland has not employed any of the market-based educational reform ideas in the ways that they have been accepted within education policies of many other nations, United States and England among them.<br />
<br />
By contrast, a typical feature of teaching and learning in Finland is high confidence in teachers and principals as respected professionals…"
finland  recession  education  economics  poilicy  us  investment  history  learning  schools  publicschools  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
The Interventionist's Toolkit: Places: Design Observer
"Driven by local and community issues and intended as polemics that question conventional practice, these projects reflect an ad hoc way of working; they are motivated more by grassroots activism than by the kind of home-ec craft projects (think pickling, Ikea-hacking and knitting) sponsored by mainstream shelter media, usually under the Do-It-Yourself rubric. (Although they do slot nicely into the imperative-heavy pages of Good and Make magazines.) They are often produced by emerging architects, artists and urbanists working outside professional boundaries but nonetheless engaging questions of the built environment and architecture culture. And the works reference edge-condition practitioners of earlier generations who also faced shifts within the profession and recessionary outlooks: Gordon Matta Clark, Archigram, Ant Farm, the early Diller + Scofidio, among others."
politics  urban  social  urbanism  activism  interventioniststoolkit  designobserver  favelachic  diy  economics  crisis  greatrecession  recession  serendipitor  amphibiousarchitecture  architecture  design  urbanfarming  farming  make  making  mirkozardini  anarchism  anarchitects  anarchitecture  space  place  diyurbanism  culture  archigram  matta-clark  antfarm  dillerscofidio  agitpropproject  the2837university  ios  diller+scofidio  agriculture  gordonmatta-clark  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Next American City » Buzz » Richard Florida’s Monorail
"MacGillis quotes Florida: “We can confer subsidies on places to improve their infrastructure, universities, and core institutions, or quality of life, [but] at the end of the day, people—not industries or even places—should be our biggest concern. We can best help those who are hardest-hit by the crisis, by providing a generous social safety [net], investing in their skills, and when necessary helping them become more mobile and move to where the opportunities are.”

"What it reminded me of most, sadly, was the episode of The Simpsons, in which Springfield gets a monorail." [Explained.]

"Though he spends the rest of the book waxing philosophical on motorcycle repair, Crawford does touch on economics from time to time, and he raises some damning points. In essence, he points out that in the race to make our workforce more and more skilled in the “knowledge economy” we have forgotten entirely about the value, both economic and cognitive, of the skilled trades."

[via: http://twitter.com/agpublic/status/19607992852815872 ; see also: http://twitter.com/agpublic/status/19616177701523457 ]
adamgreenfield  richardflorida  urban  urbanism  creativeclass  socialsafetynet  mobility  education  reeducation  mindchanges  shopclassassoulcraft  crisis  recession  urbandecay  urbanplanning  socialprograms  policy  monorails  snakeoilsalesmen  alanbinder  matthewcrawford  thesimpsons  mindchanging  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Diary of an Unemployed Class of '10 Philosophy Major in New York City, Part 1 - The Awl
"I’m pretty sure "boutique" has become a business-world euphemism for "insignificant and unsuccessful"—the quivering in my friends’ voices when they describe the boutique hedge fund or boutique consulting firms they work for indicate as much. Would that make me a boutique recent college graduate? I just realized I’ve been in New York for a full week!"
unemployment  nyc  academics  botique  recession  2010  greatrecession 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy
"Perpetual economic growth is neither possible nor desirable. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves. Recession isn't sustainable or healthy either. The positive, sustainable alternative is a steady state economy."

[via: http://doblog.tumblr.com/post/640466040/enough ]
civilization  biodiversity  education  sustainability  environment  economics  economy  ecology  conservation  money  policy  politics  growth  green  bailout  recession  well-being 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The Dropout Economy -10 Ideas for the Next 10 Years- Printout - TIME
"Imagine a future in which millions of families live off grid, powering homes & vehicles w/ dirt-cheap portable fuel cells. As industrial agriculture sputters under strain of spiraling costs of water, gasoline & fertilizer, networks of farmers using sophisticated technique...build an alternative food-distribution system. Faced w/ burden of financing decades-long retirement of aging boomers, many of young embrace new underground economy, largely untaxed archipelago of communes, co-ops, & kibbutzim that passively resist power of granny state while building own little utopias.

Rather than warehouse their children in factory schools invented to instill obedience in future mill workers of America, bourgeois rebels will educate their kids in virtual schools tailored to different learning styles. Whereas only 1.5 million children were homeschooled in 2007, we can expect the number to explode in future years as distance education blows past the traditional variety in cost and quality."
libertarianism  unschooling  deschooling  glvo  cities  change  education  employment  freegans  resilience  government  economics  jobs  technology  culture  future  community  recession  politics  dropouts  homeschool  tcsnmy  individualism  gamechanging  nomads  neo-nomads  offgrid 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Political Rhetoric, In Graph Form - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
"One can think of these two charts as data displays that reveal different aspects of data, but also as graphical political rhetoric. The different aspects of data are the sharp reduction in the rate of job loss shown so well in the OfA chart and the terrible cumulative loss to employment in the country that has not yet started to rebound that is shown in my chart. Both of those are "true facts" about the jobs data. They use exactly the same data, so differences are entirely matters of perspective and perception rather than "apples to oranges" comparisons. But while both are true stories, their substantive interpretations are quite different-- one is a story of an administration's success is stemming the tide of recession, the other is the high water mark of that tide, which has yet to begin receding."
truth  statistics  politics  recession  2010  mathematics  math  rhetoric  visualization  charts  socialstudies  economics  policy 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Atlantic Online | March 2010 | How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America | Don Peck
"The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come."
economics  jobs  politics  psychology  sociology  recession  us  greatrecession  culture  work  character  generations 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Columnist - Chinese New Year - NYTimes.com
"The bottom line is that Chinese mercantilism is a growing problem, and the victims of that mercantilism have little to lose from a trade confrontation. So I’d urge China’s government to reconsider its stubbornness. Otherwise, the very mild protectionism it’s currently complaining about will be the start of something much bigger."
devaluation  unemployment  dollar  recession  china  policy  economics  depression  bailout  paulkrugman  politics  currency  trade 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Strategy - Faculty - The Case of the Vanishing Full-Time Professor - NYTimes.com
"In 1960, 75% of college instructors were full-time tenured or tenure-track professors; today only 27& are. The rest are graduate students or adjunct & contingent faculty — instructors employed on a per-course or yearly contract basis, usually without benefits & earning a third or less of what their tenured colleagues make. The recession means their numbers are growing. “When a tenure-track position is empty ... institutions are choosing to hire three part-timers to save money.” While many adjuncts are talented teachers with the same degrees as tenured professors, they’re treated as second-class citizens on most campuses, and that affects students. ...If you take a strict anti-adjunct stance, you may miss out on some star instructors — Barack Obama taught a seminar...[The good] Professoring part-time is a hobby for overachieving architects, graphic designers, lawyers and entrepreneurs, all of whom can share insights from real-world experiences that full-time academics haven’t had."
education  future  teaching  highered  academia  recession  us  colleges  universities  change  gamechanging  economics  freelancing  freelanceteaching  freelanceeducation 
january 2010 by robertogreco
The psychological effects of recession - Brainiac
"In each case, a recession during one's impressionable years had a significant effect on political and economic attitudes. People with such an experience were more committed to redistribution, more inclined to attribute success to luck, and less likely to trust public institutions. In each case, having been through a severe recession accounted for 4 percent of the variation in attitudes. For the sake of comparison, in the case of income redistribution, that's about one-third of the effect of possessing a high school education--as opposed to a B.A. or B.S, the authors said. (People with college degrees are less amenable to income redistribution.) ... The paper was intended partly as a contribution to the theoretical debate on how opinions are formed. But it doesn't seem a stretch to conclude that the current economic crisis may have long-lasting political effects--or that American attitudes toward inequality may become somewhat more "European" in years to come."
recession  greatdepression  psychology  policy  politics  economics  change  age  generations  income  redistribution  class  wealth  opinions  crisis  2009 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Contributors - Show Us the E-Mail - NYTimes.com
"The three of us, as experienced investigators and prosecutors of financial fraud, cannot answer these questions now. But we know where the answers are. They are in the trove of e-mail messages still backed up on A.I.G. servers, as well as in the key internal accounting documents and financial models generated by A.I.G. during the past decade. Before releasing its regulatory clutches, the government should insist that the company immediately make these materials public. By putting the evidence online, the government could establish a new form of “open source” investigation."
finance  law  recession  crime  corruption  bailout  aig  banks  subprime  economics  2009  eliotspitzer 
december 2009 by robertogreco
TED Blog: The best of times, the worst of times
"Historically, American happiness nose-dives in tandem with economic downturns. But despite the recession, current indicators paradoxically show that Americans are, right now, quite happy indeed. Although happiness spiked downward with last fall’s market drop, by this summer, it was at an all-time high. Americans are more optimistic about their health, well-being, and finances than a year ago, and plan to have a merrier Christmas this year, though they will spend less money. Why?
2009  ted  economics  health  happiness  consumption  us  crisis  recession  greatrecession 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Can These Parents Be Saved: The Growing Backlash Against Over-Parenting - TIME
"All great rebellions are born of private acts of civil disobedience that inspire rebel bands to plot together. And so there is now a new revolution under way, one aimed at rolling back the almost comical overprotectiveness and overinvestment of moms and dads. The insurgency goes by many names — slow parenting, simplicity parenting, free-range parenting — but the message is the same: Less is more; hovering is dangerous; failure is fruitful. You really want your children to succeed? Learn when to leave them alone. When you lighten up, they'll fly higher. We're often the ones who hold them down.

A backlash against overparenting had been building for years, but now it reflects a new reality. Since the onset of the Great Recession, according to a CBS News poll, a third of parents have cut their kids' extracurricular activities. They downsized, downshifted and simplified because they had to — and often found, much to their surprise, that they liked it."

[via: http://www.joannejacobs.com/2009/11/overparenting-is-so-over/ AND http://blog.coreknowledge.org/2009/11/20/infantilizing-our-kids-into-incompetence/ ]
education  society  culture  parenting  paranoia  us  recession  helicopterparents  learning  freerangekids  slow  simplicity  carlhonoré  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  overparenting  lcproject  helicopterparenting 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Columnist - In Defense of the ‘Balloon Boy’ Dad - NYTimes.com
"If Heene’s balloon was empty, so were the toxic financial instruments, inflated by the thin air of unsupported debt, that cratered the economy he inhabits. The press hyped both scams, and the public eagerly bought both. But between the bogus balloon and the banks’ bubble, there’s no contest as to which did the most damage to the country. The ultimate joke is that Heene, unlike the reckless gamblers at the top of Citigroup and A.I.G., may be the one with a serious shot at ending up behind bars."
via:javierarbona  celebrity  economics  recession  greatrecession  2009  hoax  fraud  inconsistency  finance  justice  frankrich  doublestandards  banking  citigroup  aig 
october 2009 by robertogreco
self-storage | neo-nomad
“Human laziness has always been a big friend of self-storage operators,” Derek Naylor, president of the consultant group Storage Marketing Solutions, told me. “Because once they’re in, nobody likes to spend all day moving their stuff out of storage. As long as they can afford it, and feel psychologically that they can afford it, they’ll leave that stuff in there forever.” Now, though, “there are people who are watching their credit-card bills closer than before,” he said. “They’re really paying attention to the stuff they’re storing and realizing that it’s probably not worth $100 a month to keep. So they just get rid of it.”
nomads  neo-nomads  possessions  self-storage  trends  economics  crisis  recession  2009  us 
october 2009 by robertogreco
The demise of the dollar - Business News, Business - The Independent
"In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar."
via:javierarbona  2009  china  middleeast  currency  japan  business  economics  politics  europe  recession  world  money  finance  iraq  crisis  energy  iran  russia  geopolitics  oil  gold  dollar  us 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Will California become America's first failed state? | World news | The Observer
"Los Angeles, 2009: California may be the eighth largest economy in the world, but its state government is issuing IOUs, unemployment is at its highest in 70 years, and teachers are on hunger strike. So what has gone so catastrophically wrong?"
california  creditcrunch  society  government  recession  healthcare  environment  economics  politics  future  crisis  finance  failedstate  financialcrisis  budget  2009  us  state  economy 
october 2009 by robertogreco
The States We’re In : The New Yorker
"The genius of Repair California’s approach is twofold. First, it steers clear of “social issues”: no gay marriage, no abortion, no affirmative action. Second, the delegates would be chosen randomly from the adult population. (Appointed delegates, Repair California reasons, would be beholden to whoever appointed them; and if the delegates were elected, the elections would inevitably be low-turnout affairs dominated by money and the organized clout of special interests.) The convention itself would be an exercise in what is called “deliberative democracy.” The delegates would spend months studying the issues, consulting experts, debating among themselves, and forging a consensus. The result would be put to a vote of the people, yes or no, in November of 2012."
education  politics  government  california  democracy  law  budget  recession  reform  constitution 
september 2009 by robertogreco
California's golden dream has turned sour. Only a great reform can revive it | Timothy Garton Ash | Comment is free | The Guardian
"A group called California Forward proposes piecemeal repairs; another, though called Repair California, aims to build a whole new bike. In the next fortnight, Repair California is due to announce the proposed wording of two initiatives: one to change the state's constitution to allow the people to call a constitutional convention, the other to have the people actually call that convention. According to its own polling, 71% of Californians support the idea. Once the attorney general has formally agreed the wording, it will have until next April to get 1.6 million signatures – which it aims to do by Obama-style volunteer organising.
california  constitution  economics  crisis  politics  recession  government  via:javierarbona 
september 2009 by robertogreco
How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? - NYTimes.com
"the economics profession went astray because economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth. Until the Great Depression, most economists clung to a vision of capitalism as a perfect or nearly perfect system. That vision wasn’t sustainable in the face of mass unemployment, but as memories of the Depression faded, economists fell back in love with the old, idealized vision of an economy in which rational individuals interact in perfect markets, this time gussied up with fancy equations. The renewed romance with the idealized market was, to be sure, partly a response to shifting political winds, partly a response to financial incentives. But while sabbaticals at the Hoover Institution and job opportunities on Wall Street are nothing to sneeze at, the central cause of the profession’s failure was the desire for an all-encompassing, intellectually elegant approach that also gave economists a chance to show off their mathematical prowess."
economics  history  policy  government  keynes  paulkrugman  macroeconomics  us  recession  money  finance  crisis 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Stimulus funds in California mostly go to routine projects, study says -- latimes.com
"Critics say the money is being used for projects that would have been built anyway, instead of on ways to change how Californians live. Case in point: Army latrines, not high-speed rail."
losangeles  via:cityofsound  california  infrastructure  politics  economics  recession  stimulus  2009  wastedopportunities  military  otaymesa  sandiego  borders 
august 2009 by robertogreco
The China Bubble's Coming -- But Not the One You Think | Foreign Policy
"All in all, this spells trouble -- a big, big Chinese bubble. Identifying such bubbles is a lot easier than timing their collapse. But as we've recently learned, you can defy the laws of financial gravity for only so long. Put simply, mean reversion is a bitch. And the longer excesses persist, the harder the financial gravity will bring China's economy back to Earth." [via: http://varnelis.net/microblog/reasons_to_be_wary]
china  economics  bubbles  finance  world  crisis  meltdown  recession 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Snarkmarket: I Got My BA In IS From the CC
"Community colleges have long been where the bodies are in higher education, but now it’s ridiculous. The economy’s collapse has sent college students’ enrollments rolling downhill - kids who would have gone to expensive private schools are enrolling in moderately priced public universities, the university kids are going to regional colleges, and the regional students to community colleges. If you want to get more students with college degrees, community colleges are a natural place to start...Think about it. Community college students (and teachers and IT departments) today often aren’t as tech-saavy as their university counterparts, but they can innovate in the use of digital technology. In fact, they have to. They don’t have the same physical plant and infrastructure as larger, more expensive schools. They’re unlikely to have folks on campus doing original research. They’re not mainframes. They’re terminals. But there’s a difference between smart and dumb terminals."
communitycolleges  colleges  universities  education  future  flexibility  lcproject  technology  change  reform  adaptive  adaptability  money  recession  learning  snarkmarket  economics  ccs 
july 2009 by robertogreco
FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Debt is capitalism’s dirty little secret
"Just why is there so much debt in the Anglo-Saxon world? Bankers and regulators know well that it is in nobody’s long-term interests to have allowed borrowing to escalate to a position where the US now owes far more, as a multiple of the economy, than at the start of the Great Depression.
society  economics  money  neoliberalism  meltdown  bubble  crisis  recession  capitalism  wealth  disparity  debt 
july 2009 by robertogreco
California v Texas: America's future | The Economist
"The truth is that both states could learn from each other. Texas still lacks California’s great universities and lags in terms of culture. California could adopt not just Texas’s leaner state, but also its more bipartisan approach to politics and its more welcoming attitude towards Mexico. There is no perfect model of government: it is America’s genius to have 50 public-policy laboratories competing to find out what works best—just as it is the relentless competition of clever new firms from Portland to Pittsburgh that will pull the country out of its current gloom. But, to give Texas some credit and serve as a warning to Mr Schwarzenegger’s heir, at this moment America’s two most futuristic states look a lot more like equals than ever before."
via:cityofsound  california  texas  government  policy  budget  politics  energy  mexico  innovation  economics  recession  2009  culture  us  arnoldschwarzenegger  crisis 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Tor.com / Science fiction and fantasy - Cory Doctorow's Makers
via: http://io9.com/5311990/how-to-survive-the-next-depression-with-cory-doctorow "it's a fun, smart thought experiment that basically asks the question: What if the people who read MAKE: magazine became activists who wanted to subvert more than licensing agreements? In a near future of economic collapse, unemployed hardware hackers start setting up guerrilla amusement park rides and making the good kind of trouble that earns people a little more freedom. And of course, sinister representatives from major entertainment corporations are hot on their tails . . ."
makers  corydoctorow  books  sciencefiction  tinkering  engineering  fiction  future  recession  greatdepression  diy 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Recession's toll: Most recent college grads working low-skill jobs | McClatchy [via: http://joannejacobs.com/2009/06/26/degrees-of-employment/]
"survey data...finds that during the first 4 months of 2009, less than half of the nation's 4 million college graduates age 25 & under were working in jobs that required a college degree...down from 54 percent for same period last year...less than 30 percent of Asian female grads, 32 percent of Hispanic male grads & just over 35 percent of young black male grads working in jobs that require a BA. Research has shown that college graduates who take jobs below their education level not only earn less, but also can take years to match the earnings of graduates who land career-track employment upon graduation. These..."mal-employed" workers also compound unemployment problem by taking jobs that non-college graduates & even high school students are often qualified to hold...has increased sharply for young college grads since the recession began...Asian males, at 58 percent & white females, at 55 percent, had highest employment rates for 25-and-under grads working in jobs that require a BA."
employment  2009  recession  youth  degrees  colleges  education  universities  malemployment 
june 2009 by robertogreco
On The Great Big Third World | varnelis.net
"So if we're seeing 9.4% unemployment this month, you should probably double that to get a real picture of how many people aren't being employed in traditional fashion. What if this continues for a few years? And what if we get the high interest [and inflation] rates that I predicted, eviscerating home values? I think the result is a country that approaches "Third World" status with a cheap labor force that will take on contract work without any guarantee of continuing employment for low wages. ... The Third World didn't vanish in the worldwide economic "boom," it spread everywhere. That's what the last two decades have brought us. I knew that the Bush administration was alternately too stupid and too evil to point this out, but Obama had the opportunity to force Americans to face up to the crisis, as FDR did when he took over in 1933, but he took an easy way out. Now we'll all pay the price. Welcome to the new, improved, much larger Third World."
kazysvarnelis  crisis  thirdworld  us  policy  economics  housingbubble  labor  unemployment  georgewbush  barackobama  inflation  devaluation  dollar  markets  boom  greatrepression  recession 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Firedoglake » The Reaganites Self-Inflicted Recession
"However, as even Republican strategists note, this exposes the real division in the Republican coalition, not between social and economic conservatives, but between exurbanites, and suburbanites. It is very easy to persuade exurbanites that they aren't socialists, even as they work on military bases, land leased at concessionary rates for mining, subsidized agriculture, waste facilities, and prisons. It is far harder to convince suburbanites of the evils of government, when they live in a place that is made safe by government, and whose value comes from subsidized education and transportation. The internal contradiction of Reaganism, then, has produced a vast self-inflicted wound on the very people who mobilized for it."
via:migurski  politics  economics  democrats  republicans  conservatism  california  cities  exurbs  suburbs  us  taxes  reagan  unemployment  recession 
june 2009 by robertogreco
MichaelMoore.com : Goodbye, GM ...by Michael Moore
"But you and I and the rest of America now own a car company! I know, I know -- who on earth wants to run a car company? Who among us wants $50 billion of our tax dollars thrown down the rat hole of still trying to save GM? Let's be clear about this: The only way to save GM is to kill GM. Saving our precious industrial infrastructure, though, is another matter and must be a top priority. If we allow the shutting down and tearing down of our auto plants, we will sorely wish we still had them when we realize that those factories could have built the alternative energy systems we now desperately need. And when we realize that the best way to transport ourselves is on light rail and bullet trains and cleaner buses, how will we do this if we've allowed our industrial capacity and its skilled workforce to disappear?"
gm  michaelmoore  detroit  economics  recession  bankruptcy  cleanenergy  retoolinggm  us  future  energy  oil  generalmotors  environment  transportation  trains  industry  transformation  gamechanging 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Artists vs. Blight - WSJ.com
"Artists have long been leaders of an urban vanguard that colonizes blighted areas. Now, the current housing crisis has created a new class of urban pioneer. Nationwide, home foreclosure proceedings increased 81% in 2008 from the previous year, rising to 2.3 million, according to California-based foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac. Homes in hard-hit cities such as Detroit and Cleveland are selling for as little as $1. Drawn by available spaces and cheap rents, artists are filling in some of the neighborhoods being emptied by foreclosures. City officials and community groups seeking ways to stop the rash of vacancies are offering them incentives to move in, from low rents and mortgages to creative control over renovation projects.
art  artists  recession  detroit  cleveland  housing  development  gentrification  redevelopment  buffalo  blight  realestate  urban  urbanism  economics  cities 
may 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - Worldwide Berlinification!
"Since it's a global recession, I also like to think Berlin has now become a sort of template for cities all over the world. Whereas we might once have looked like a museum of crusty subcultures past their sell-by date, this city now looks like the future of Tokyo, the future of London, and the future of New York. We're your best-case scenario, guys, your optimal recessionary outcome. Everything else is dystopia, Escape-From-New-York stuff.

If the major cities of the world all become "Berlins", though, I can't guarantee I'd stay in the actual Berlin, the black flagship, the Big Squat itself. If Tokyo, for instance, got as cheap and cheerfully creative as Berlin -- if it became the kind of city you could simply occupy without having to scuttle around pointlessly making rent -- I'd be there in a flash. Secretly, what I'm doing here in Berlin is waiting for Tokyo to Berlinify."
momus  berlin  squatting  recession  housing  economics  art  society 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world by By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
1. What is fragile should break early while it is still small. Nothing should ever become too big to fail. 2. No socialisation of losses & privatisation of gains. 3. People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (& crashed it) should never be given a new bus. 4. No incentives without disincentives: capitalism is about rewards and punishments, not just rewards. 5. Complexity from globalisation and highly networked economic life needs to be countered by simplicity in financial products. The complex economy is already a form of leverage: the leverage of efficiency. 6. Complex derivatives need to be banned because nobody understands them and few are rational enough to know it. 7. Governments should never need to “restore confidence”. 8. Using leverage to cure the problems of too much leverage is not homeopathy, it is denial. 9. Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement. 10. we will have to remake the system before it does so itself"

[also at: http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/tenprinciples.pdf ]
nassimtaleb  blackswans  2009  capitalism  bailout  corruption  economics  us  business  finance  crisis  simplicity  complexity  politics  banking  recession  regulation  bailouts  resilience 
april 2009 by robertogreco
The Big Nothing | varnelis.net
"As the economy tanks, there's no money for firms with questionable business models like Technorati and the server bills have to be paid before little things like functionality are addressed. ... In other words, I'm suggesting that what we are seeing is not so much the replacement of old media by new, but the annihilation of both. Marxists have long predicted that capital's contradictions would undo it and, although I'm hardly optimistic about the prospects of a Red future, it seems like we're getting a taste of this now."
kazysvarnelis  marxism  capitalism  recession  economics  technorati  business  internet  online  web  media  oldmedia  newmedia  collapse 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS - Interview with William K. Black, April 3, 2009
"The financial industry brought the economy to its knees, but how did they get away with it? With the nation wondering how to hold the bankers accountable, Bill Moyers sits down with William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. Black offers his analysis of what went wrong and his critique of the bailout."
billmoyers  williamblack  via:javierarbona  regulation  corruption  bailout  recession  meltdown  aig  banking  economics  politics  finance  crisis  2009  fraud  crime  law  timgeithner 
april 2009 by robertogreco
The Geithnerconomy and the New Cold War - Umair Haque - HarvardBusiness.org
"Welcome to Looting 2.0. What does that financial system look like? In it, everything is a hedge fund. The Geithner economy is Milton Friedman's revenge from beyond the grave: it is one that puts the allocation of public resources in a very small number of almost totally hidden private hands. The Geithnerconomy is a kind of financial Frankenstein: run by hedge funds, leveraged by the public, whose interests overlap by only 20%. The problem of toxic incentives hasn't gone away: in fact, the Geithner plan institutionalizes and explodes it, like a biological weapon infecting an entire country."
corruption  economics  umairhaque  meltdown  recession  banking  democracy  fraud  debt  goldmansachs  timgeithner  bailout  crisis  2009  feudalism  disincentives  moralhazard 
march 2009 by robertogreco
CONGRESS PASSES WIDE-RANGING BILL EASING BANK LAWS - The New York Times
"The decision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 provoked dire warnings from a handful of dissenters that the deregulation of Wall Street would someday wreak havoc on the nation's financial system. The original idea behind Glass-Steagall was that separation between bankers and brokers would reduce the potential conflicts of interest that were thought to have contributed to the speculative stock frenzy before the Depression. ... The opponents of the measure gloomily predicted that by unshackling banks and enabling them to move more freely into new kinds of financial activities, the new law could lead to an economic crisis down the road when the marketplace is no longer growing briskly."
1999  banking  glass-steagall  finance  recession  politics  economics  government  regulation  history 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The Big Takeover : Rolling Stone
"As complex as all the finances are, the politics aren't hard to follow. By creating an urgent crisis that can only be solved by those fluent in a language too complex for ordinary people to understand, the Wall Street crowd has turned the vast majority of Americans into non-participants in their own political future. There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: Literacy is power. In the age of the CDS and CDO, most of us are financial illiterates. By making an already too-complex economy even more complex, Wall Street has used the crisis to effect a historic, revolutionary change in our political system — transforming a democracy into a two-tiered state, one with plugged-in financial bureaucrats above and clueless customers below."
2009  crisis  banking  wallstreet  politics  economics  recession  corruption  aig  us  matttaibbi  money  finance  business  bailout  investing 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The Quiet Coup - The Atlantic (May 2009)
"In its depth & suddenness, the US economic & financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (& only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia & Argentina (time & again). In each ... global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. ... that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. ... But there’s a deeper & more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the US—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, & fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them."
via:preoccupations  2009  finance  banking  recession  depression  us  economics  imf  argentina  russia  korea  malaysia 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Simon Jenkins: As they did Ozymandias, the dunes will reclaim the soaring folly of Dubai | Comment is free | The Guardian
"Detroit is part of a great country that has shown itself capable of rescuing even its rustbelt municipalities...depends on finding people who will live in a place from which most have fled. Luckily, much of Detroit is of low-rise plot housing that could be transformed...No such option is available to Dubai. It is the ultimate Corbusian city, rigid in format and old-fashioned in conception, based on the grids and set squares of super-planners, and on grand symbolic buildings rather than intimate streets... If it is lucky Dubai will at least be a refuge from the political cataclysms that could engulf countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. But mostly the dunes will reclaim the place. In centuries to come, tourists will share with Ozymandias the message: "Look on my works ye mighty and despair." With Shelley they will see how, "round the decay /Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare /The lone and level sands stretch far away.""
dubai  recession  detroit  architecture  economics  cities  finance  crisis  ruins  decay 
march 2009 by robertogreco
LET IT DIE: Rushkoff on the economy | ARTHUR MAGAZINE - WE FOUND THE OTHERS
"With any luck, the economy will never recover...This is the sound of the other shoe dropping; it’s what happens when the chickens come home to roost; it’s justice, equilibrium reasserting itself & ultimately a good thing...The thing that is dying—the corporatized model of commerce—has not, nor has ever been, supportive of the real economy. It wasn’t meant to be...We do not live in an economy, we live in a Ponzi scheme...Using future tax dollars to give banks more money to lend out at interest is robbing from the poor to pay the rich to rob from the poor...Deprived of centralized banks & corporations, we’ll be forced to do things again...we’ll find out that these institutions were not our benefactors at all...never meant to be. They were invented to mediate transactions between people & extract the value that would have passed between us. Far from making commerce or industry more efficient, they served to turn the real world into a set of speculative assets & real people into debtors."
douglasrushkoff  economics  banking  capitalism  globalization  recession  collapse  crisis  finance  alternative  money  politics  credit  commerce  gamechanging  corporatism  corporations 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The Atlantic Online | March 2009 | How the Crash Will Reshape America | Richard Florida
"But another crucial aspect of the crisis has been largely overlooked, and it might ultimately prove more important. Because America's tendency to overconsume and under-save has been intimately intertwined with our postwar spatial fix -- that is, with housing and suburbanization -- the shape of the economy has been badly distorted, from where people live, to where investment flows, to what's produced. Unless we make fundamental policy changes to eliminate these distortions, the economy is likely to face worsening handicaps in the years ahead."
culture  future  richardflorida  realestate  meltdown  crisis  2009  finance  2008  recession  urbanism  urban  cities  change  globalization  trends  geography  demographics  politics  economics  history  us  business 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The Great Restructuring « BuzzMachine [via: http://blog.wired.com/sterling/2009/03/the-great-restr.html]
"I try to argue in my book that what we’re living through is instead a great restructuring of the economy and society, starting with a fundamental change in our relationships - how we are linked and intertwined and how we act, nothing less than that. ... entire swaths and even sectors of the economy will disappear or will change so much they might as well disappear: ... suto industry ... financial services ... newspapers ... magazines ... books ... broadcast ... advertising ... retail ... entertainment ... business travel ... energy ... real estate ... health care ... computers ... universities ... We should be so lucky that elementary and secondary education will also face such pressure. ... consumer products ... government ... There are opportunities here, of course. There always is in change if you’re willing to see and seek it. ... startups ... platforms ... networks ... Education is a growth opportunity but not in its current institutions. ..."
jeffjarvis  recession  umairhaque  innovation  businessmodels  transparency  economics  culture  sharing  2009  change  restructuring  sociology  markets  education  schools  society  realestate  business  community  strategy  startups  networks 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Idle Words - Cowpox, Smallpox
"We are facing an economic crisis that is within our capacity to solve, and an ecological crisis that we lack the political means to prevent. It's only by failing at the former that we might have a chance at surviving the latter."
change  crisis  2009  recession  climate  economics  forecasting  nonlinear  maciejceglowski  optimism  environment  sustainability  finance  globalwarming  environmentalism  climatechange  democracy  behavior  money  government  politics  maciejcegłowski  non-linear  alinear  linearity 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Wall Street on the Tundra | vanityfair.com
"Iceland’s de facto bankruptcy—its currency (the krona) is kaput, its debt is 850 percent of G.D.P., its people are hoarding food and cash and blowing up their new Range Rovers for the insurance—resulted from a stunning collective madness. What led a tiny fishing nation, population 300,000, to decide, around 2003, to re-invent itself as a global financial power? In Reykjavík, where men are men, and the women seem to have completely given up on them, the author follows the peculiarly Icelandic logic behind the meltdown. "
michaellewis  iceland  crisis  2009  employment  creditcrunch  banking  economics  recession  collapse  culture 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: Was recent productivity growth an illusion?
"Median wages were stagnant, the stock market was down, and health care costs were rising, without necessarily translating into better outcomes. Mandel argues that the current collapse in part stems from the revelation that productivity growth (and no, he doesn't trust the reported numbers) was low all those years. On top of all that perhaps productivity growth in finance was overstated as well."
economics  productivity  growth  tylercowen  michaelmandel  us  2009  crisis  recession  wages  markets  healthcare 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Don't try to dodge the recession with grad school | Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist
"1. Grad school pointlessly delays adulthood. 2. PhD programs are pyramid schemes 3. Business school is not going to help 90% of the people who go. 4. Law school is a factory for depressives. 5. The medical school model assumes that health care spending is not a mess. 6. Going to grad school is like going into the military. 7. Most jobs are better than they seem: You can learn from any job. 8. Graduate school forces you to overinvest: It’s too high risk."

[via: http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2009/03/was-recent-productivity-growth-an-illusion.html ]
gradschool  education  investment  money  finance  learning  economics  management  advice  medicine  mba  recession  crisis  2009  risk  penelopetrunk 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Colby Cosh: Watching boomers in turmoil is worth a recession - Full Comment
"For the children of the Baby Boomers, there is a special delight in watching the world economy shake itself to pieces like a two-dollar pram at this particular moment. Our elders, who bought prosperity and nice pensions at our expense and pulled the ripcords on their “Freedom 55” parachutes without leaving any behind in the passenger cabin, are getting it in the neck just when they thought a secure old age, with money for travel and expensive pastimes, was a safe bet. I’m willing to watch my meagre savings suffer from market turmoil in exchange for contemplating the dilemma of those who are now between 55 and 65."
babyboomers  generations  generationx  genx  crisis  collapse  frugality  spending  millennials  geny  generationy  canada  retirement  recession  culture  society  boomers 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Bohemian Sprawl Hits the Limits in Los Angeles - NYTimes.com
"The deep recession, with its lost jobs and falling home values nationwide, poses another kind of threat: to the character of neighborhoods settled by the young creative class, from the Lower East Side in Manhattan to Beacon Hill in Seattle. The tide of gentrification that transformed economically depressed enclaves is receding, leaving some communities high and dry.

For long-time residents, the return to pre-boom rents may be a blessing. But it also poses a rattling question of identity: What happens to bourgeois bohemia when the bourgeois part drops out?"
eaglerock  losangeles  gentrification  crisis  us  recession  neighborhoods  janejacobs  joelkotkin  bohemia 
february 2009 by robertogreco
David Galbraith’s Blog » What comes after lofts and the suburbs?
"With 147 dollar oil, the suburbs faced extinction. Six months later, without Wall Street, New York faces a possible return to the 70s. Somewhere between those twin threats of rising crime and squalor and expensive and lengthy daily commuting exists an alternative. The areas that comprise this alternative have sense of place since they have developed organically rather than in the hands of a developer, and they are cheaper than suburbs since they are too far for a daily commute by car. Tethered to the Internet, they offer a way of living balances the quality of life that space and access to nature provides coupled with contact with cities on either a daily, virtual basis (via the Internet) or occasional but real basis (via transportation mini hubs). Welcome to exurbania."
davidgalbraith  nyc  cities  exurbs  migration  finance  2009  future  internet  crisis  recession 
february 2009 by robertogreco
The Ruins of the Future - Strangeharvest :: Architecture / Design / Culture
"Tomorrows visitors to todays (or yesterdays) iconic buildings will feel the swoosh of volumes, the cranked out impossibility of structure, the lightheadedness of refection and translucencies. They will marvel at buildings that hardly touch the ground, which swoop into the air as though drawn up by the jet stream. They will feel stretched by elongated angles that seem sucked into vanishing points that confound perspective, and will be seduced by curves of such overblown sensuality. And in this litany of affects they will find the most permanent record of the heady liquid state of mind of millennial abstract-boom economics. We might rechristen these freakish sites as museums of late capitalist experience, monuments to a never to be repeated faith in the global market."
society  culture  architecture  recession  ruins  future  latecapitalism  boom  lostopportunities  design  collapse  economics  bubbles 
february 2009 by robertogreco
California: The Endangered Dream: November 18, 1991 Vol. 138 No. 20 [TIME Magazine: U.S. Edition]
"The classic formula says California, the richest and most populous state, is the future. California is America's bright, strange cultural outrider: whatever happens now in California, or to California, will be happening to America before long, and to the entire world a little while after that. If you want to know whether America still works, then ask whether California still works. Does the reckless American hospitality to immigrants still accomplish its transformations and synergies? Can America still absorb so many disparate values and traditions and form them into a successful society? Or will the nation vanish into an incoherent future? Consult California."

[I remember reading this issue shortly before or shortly after moving here.]
california  1991  1992  economics  immigration  population  migration  pollution  environment  losangeles  sanfrancisco  sandiego  history  crime  recession  crisis 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Gerald Bracey: The Great Big Engine That Didn't
"schools never recovered from Sputnik. Sputnik wounded their reputation & as the scab formed, something else always came along to re-open the lesion: In the 1960s schools were blamed for the urban riots (but not credited for putting a man on the moon). In the 1980s, " A Nation At Risk" blamed them for allowing the Germans, S Koreans, & Japanese to race ahead of us competitively (but not credited for the longest sustained economic expansion in the nation's history which followed). And today? Tough Choices or Tough Times warns of oncoming economic disaster. Leaders & Laggards, ditto. Eli Broad & Bill Gates have ponied up $60 million to "wake up the American people". So far, billionaire hedge fund investors are taking the heat for today's sub-prime mortgage debacle. But if by the time you read this, 2 months after it was written, the catastrophe has rippled through the economy & produced a true recession, don't be surprised to see it being laid at the feet of Horace Mann & John Dewey."

[via: http://education.change.org/blog/view/standardized_incoherence ]
sputnik  education  politics  policy  blame  recession  science  math  learning  schools  history  public  teaching  society  spacerace 
february 2009 by robertogreco
potlatch: 'post-speculative melancholia'
"But I keep feeling something similar in relation to retail and advertising. The efforts being taken to encourage spending are beginning to feel half-hearted and self-conscious. The VAT cut was issued in the way that a teacher threatens a class with punishment, long after they've lost control over them. Then there is the surreally banal advertising, that probably would have exuded confidence and brashness during the boom years." ... "post-speculative melancholia, in which a sweeping utilitarianism suddenly arises, in which technologies must do something or else get lost and the drugged up sense of nothing mattering is followed by a come-down in which the whole thing seems regrettable."
via:blackbeltjones  economics  crisis  2008  2009  consumerculture  consumerism  postmaterialism  melancholy  latecapitalism  bubbles  recession  advertising  critique  emotions  psychology 
january 2009 by robertogreco
The Biggest Ponzi Scheme of Them All - O'Reilly Radar
"it's increasingly looking like we're going to be stuck here with only one world's resources to draw on ... most reasonable people are aware that we're using up much of our children's inheritance, and handing them debt in exchange, I don't think as a society we've really come to grips with the consequence of that knowledge ... It's clear that getting to a steady-state economy will be hard, perhaps even impossible (although it's worth noting that living systems have accomplished that feat.) But what a challenge! How do we keep the dynamism of modern capitalist economies without borrowing from the future? What does it mean to keep the real costs of what we consume on the balance sheet? Will the economy of the future be built on aesthetic value exchange (the whuffie of Cory Doctorow's imagination), with renewable energy in harness and physical materials seamlessly recycled. Great questions, great opportunities for us to invent the answers!"
timoreilly  sustainability  green  environment  economics  future  bernardmadoff  growth  recession  consumption  2009  bailout  anxiety  capitalism  money  development  ponzischemes  resources  crisis  energy  finance  us  world  global  society  change  gamechanging 
january 2009 by robertogreco
FT.com / Weekend / Reportage - An imaginary retrospective of 2009
"It was the year when people finally gave up trying to predict the year ahead. It was the year when every forecast had to be revised – usually downwards – at least three times. It was the year when the paradox of globalisation was laid bare for all to see, if their eyes weren’t tightly shut." ... "With total debt above 350 per cent of US gross domestic product, the excesses of the age of leverage proved difficult to purge. Households reined in their consumption. Banks sought to restrict new lending. The recession deepened. Unemployment rose towards 10 per cent, and then higher. The economic downward spiral seemed unstoppable. No matter how hard they saved, Americans simply could not stabilise the ratio of their debts to their disposable incomes. The paradox of thrift meant that rising savings translated into falling consumer demand, which led to rising unemployment, falling incomes and so on, ever downwards."
2009  predictions  barackobama  markets  finance  recession  economics  globalization  future  greatrepression 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Small is beautiful in this age of austerity - News, Art - The Independent
"But now a leading director is urging galleries to rethink the way in which major shows are staged by offering up a single work of art rather than the usual rooms crammed full of gilt-framed Monets, Turners and Caravaggios.
art  small  simplicity  austerity  galleries  museums  exhibitions  via:regine  recession 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Archinect : Views : Victory Gardens, or the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Architecture
"It will stop soon since cities are about to have their turn. Get ready for the great urban collapse of 2009-2010. Cities are massively overbuilt and, with the financial collapse, just as massively underfunded. ... I wager that architects will expand the discipline again by using their incredible synthetic knowledge to go into other fields. The Eameses’ venture into media design is a great illustration of this. Charles and Ray turned to media because it allowed them to get their concepts across to people much more rapidly and efficiently than architecture could. Or take Archinect for example. It’s vastly more important than any of the buildings made in the last decade. That’s why it’s no accident that I teach at Columbia: Dean Wigley’s has set out Columbia’s program as being to create “the expanded architect.” That’s exactly what we should be doing."
kazysvarnelis  architecture  future  recession  meltdown  infrastructure  design  collapse  2009  predictions  urban  urbanism  everyware  adamgreenfield  archinect  eames  unbuilt 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Bits Of Destruction
"This downturn will be marked in history as the time where many of the business models built in the industrial era finally collapsed as a result of being undermined by the information age. Its creative destruction at work. It's painful and many jobs will be lost permanently. But let's also remember that its inevitable and we can't fight it. Technology and information forces are unstoppable and they will reshape the world as we know it regardless of whether or not we want them to."
culture  internet  crisis  finance  recession  2008  economics  business  change  disruption  gamechanging  mobile  phones  information  commerce  retail  destruction  future  autoindustry  us  capitalism  innovation  ecommerce 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Iceland: frozen assets - Times Online
"These testaments to excess are now the most tasteless things to be seen in. They call the puttering Range Rovers “Game-Overs”. ... "because they have so little foreign currency, imports are graded into three categories: essential, necessary and luxury. Exotic fruit is a luxury, but then in Iceland a tree is an oddity. If you want fruit, eat fish liver or a puffin." ... "Icelanders react to bad news the way they always...same way they react to good news: they get hammered. Properly Valhallaed." ... "A very direct woman in a bar said: “All that money, all the things and the stuff, it’s very un-Icelandic. The wanting, the conspicuous consumption, the avarice and ambition, the pathetic jealousy, that isn’t us. A great weight has been lifted now the money and the desires are gone. We can get back to being who we are.”" ... "There is something invigorating about Iceland at this moment — like being with people waking from a dream. It’s exciting and instructive."
iceland  collapse  crisis  finance  politics  recession  2008 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The Worst Is Yet To Come: Anonymous Banker Weighs In On The Coming Credit Card Debacle - Executive Suite Blog - NYTimes.com
"Today, we are bailing out the banks because of their greedy and deceptive lending practices in the mortgage industry. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. More is coming, I’m sorry to say. Layoffs are being announced nationwide in the tens of thousands. As people begin to lose their jobs, they will not be able to pay their credit card bills either. And the banks will be back for more handouts."
creditcrunch  credit  creditcards  bailout  banking  recession  crisis  2008  finance  economics  business  money  debt 
december 2008 by robertogreco
trendwatching.com's December 2008 Trend Briefing, covering half a dozen consumer trends for 2009
Nichetributs, Luxyoury, Feedback 3.0, Econcierge, Mapmania (see quote), and Happy Endings. "As the Googles, Nokias (who expect half of their handsets to be GPS enabled by 2010-2012), MapQuests, Navteqs, Openstreetmap.orgs, Apples and TomToms of this world continue to build the necessary infrastructure, devices and apps, any consumer-focused brand would be stupid not to be partnering or experimenting with map-based services. Why? Geography is about everything that is (literally) close to consumers, and it's a universally familiar method of organizing, finding and tracking relevant information on objects, events and people. And now that superior geographical information is accessible on-the-go, from in-car navigation to iPhones, the sky is the limit."
technology  branding  trendwatching  geoweb  maps  mapping  location  geography  trends  2009  mobile  marketing  participation  feedback  forums  luxury  consumers  consumption  recession  savings  green  ecology  simplicity  frugality  identity  transparency  reviews 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Lines at the ER, a television boom, emptying suburbs. A catastrophic economic downturn would feel nothing like the last one. - The Boston Globe
"Renting an apartment - perhaps in a city, where commuting costs are lower...doing their back-to-school shopping at Target or Wal-Mart...buying hand-me-downs, and with modern distribution networks - and a push from the reduce-reuse-recycle mind-set of environmentalism...New technology would grow less seductive, basic reliability more important...people low on cash and with more time on their hands will cook more rather than go out....Much of a modern depression would unfold in the domestic sphere: people driving less, shopping less, and eating in their houses more. They would watch television at home...parents would watch over their own kids instead of taking them to day care. With online banking, it would even be possible to have a bank run in which no one leaves the comfort of their home." All sounds familiar, not so bad.
money  2008  greatdepression  recession  housing  society  culture  future  politics  economics  finance  2009 
november 2008 by robertogreco
The Crisis & What to Do About It - The New York Review of Books
"The salient feature of the current financial crisis is that it was not caused by some external shock like OPEC raising the price of oil or a particular country or financial institution defaulting. The crisis was generated by the financial system itself...Excessive reliance on those mathematical models did untold harm....The new paradigm has far-reaching implications for the regulation of financial markets. Since they are prone to create asset bubbles, regulators such as the Fed, the Treasury, and the SEC must accept responsibility for preventing bubbles from growing too big. Until now financial authorities have explicitly rejected that responsibility."
georgesoros  finance  markets  2008  greatdepression  recession  corruption  creditcrunch  risk  investment  bubble  regulation  economics  capitalism  crisis  money 
november 2008 by robertogreco
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