Financial Crisis

Lessons from Portugal

  • By
  • Anne Vorce,
  • New America Foundation
May 24, 2010

Inspiration can come from the most surprising places.

Take Portugal, for instance. (Granted, there are major differences between the U.S. and Portuguese economic and fiscal situations.)

What’s Wrong (And Right)

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • Samuel Sherraden,
  • New America Foundation
May 24, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could the U.S. End Up Like Greece?

  • By
  • Anne Vorce,
  • New America Foundation
May 20, 2010 |

Over the past month, we've watched from distant shores as Greece has plunged into a debt crisis. Mounting pressure from global financial markets forced Greece to begin a drastic austerity program.

With a fiscal deficit of 8.1 percent of GDP and government debt of 115 percent of GDP expected this year, Greece has promised to turn itself around by 2013.

Long-term Consequences of Economic Fluctuations

  • By Jeffrey G. Madrick, Senior Fellow, The Schwartz Center and William T. Dickens, Distinguished Professor of Economics and Social Policy, Northeastern University
May 20, 2010

To read working papers from the Bernard Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, please click here.

A Strong Consumer Watchdog Remains in the Financial Reform Bill

May 19, 2010
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The financial reform debate continues to unfold in the Senate. As Justin mentioned, you can follow the daily developments before the final votes occurs as reported ably by Tim Fernholz and Brian Beutler.

While Majority Leader Reid wants to move things along, a vote scheduled for this afternoon to end the debate has been pushed back. This will allow more time for a number of outstanding issues to be addressed and allow Senators to get votes on their proposed amendments. These include the Merkley-Levin amendment which would impose a version of the Volcker rule to restrict proprietary trading by firms also operating as banks, the Cantwell-McCain amendment to bring back Glass-Steagall rules to segregate consumer and investment banking services, and the Dorgan amendment to restrict credit default swaps for purely speculative purposes. And there are more. In other words, there are still many policy issues to consider and political hurdles to surmount before this bill becomes a law.

But, for what it's worth, I believe it will become a law.

American Capitalism 6.0: The Search for a New Model

  • By
  • Michael Lind,
  • New America Foundation
May 18, 2010 |

What a difference a global economic collapse makes. Only a decade ago in the 1990s, many opinion leaders proclaimed the triumph of the American model of capitalism. The end of the Cold War replaced the battle of capitalism and communism with a battle of capitalism against capitalism.

Facing an American Retirement Security Crisis

  • By
  • Lauren Damme,
  • New America Foundation
May 17, 2010

There are three main sources of retirement security upon which Americans depend: pensions, non-financial assets (usually homes), and Social Security. Pensions are the least broadly distributed asset: only 34.2 percent of Americans 65 and over earn pension income, while 54 percent have income from assets and over 85 percent receive Social Security payments.[1]

Greek Crisis Leads to Positive Steps

  • By
  • Steven Hill,
  • New America Foundation
May 14, 2010 |

Contrary to what the doomsayers have been saying, Greece's debt crisis may turn out to be one of the best things to happen to the European Union.

While the situation has been messy, it also has signaled a badly needed wake-up call to Europe about a flaw at the heart of its monetary union. That in turn has resulted in a move toward reforms that have the potential to lead to sensible financial regulation and transparency, as well as to strengthen Europe's union. These reforms include:

What the Doomsayers Haven’t Been Telling You About Greece

  • By
  • Steven Hill,
  • New America Foundation
April 15, 2010 |

The recent battle over healthcare reform in the United States, in which the Obama administration was barely able to pass weak reform, is just further proof of how far the US has fallen behind Europe. Yet all the media has been able to obsess over for the last couple of months is – the Greek debt crisis!

Financial Reform Heads for Home

May 7, 2010

In following the tic toc daily developments of the financial reform debate, Brain Beutler makes that following observation over at Talking Points Memo:

Anti-Wall Street sentiment is so strong and Republicans have such a weak hand that Democrats in the Senate are suddenly finding themselves strengthening the financial reform bill with new amendments and beating back GOP attempts to weaken it.

He details the Sanders amendment which would open up the Federal Reserve to greater scrutiny. The Fed has been one of the least transparent institutions and calls for greater oversight have never gotten much traction. Until now. A vote is scheduled for Monday on this amendment and I think it will generate some weekend talk show discussion. It will be interesting to see what the party breakdown is here. Will it cut across party lines, break down the usual partisan divide, or become more of a landslide vote?

For me, one of the most consequential votes was taken yesterday where the Shelby alternative to the consumer financial protection bureau was voted down by a unified Democratic caucus and joined in by Republican Seantors Grassley and Snowe. The Shelby approach proposed a weaker oversight body and was seen as a step backward by most consumer advocates. This was a very telling vote, which indicated for me that the final vote on the whole package is headed for home. It may take a few more swerves along the way, and certainly continues to bear close watching, but there is momentum to get something done which avoid the President's veto pen.  

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