American taxpayers bailed out the big banks. Now many of those banks are returning the favor by extending credit to payday lenders who sucker consumers into a spiraling debt trap.
That is the claim in a new report published this week by National People’s Action (NPA) the Chicago-based community organization. The report, called Preditors’ Creditors, names Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase as some of the biggest lenders to the booming payday loan industry.
Guest Post by John Nichols, the Nation Magazine
President Obama has been looking a little more focused and functional of late, talking about the need to invest in infrastructure projects to create jobs and rejecting Republican calls for the extension of George W. Bush's tax cuts for the rich.
Guest post: Zack Carter, economics editor for Alternet
The Washington Post has published a very silly op-ed by Chrystia Freeland accusing President Barack Obama of unfairly “demonizing” Wall Street. Freeland wants to see Obama tone down his rhetoric and play nice with executives in pursuit of a harmonious economic recovery. The trouble is, Obama hasn’t actually deployed harsh words against Wall Street. What’s more, in order to avoid being characterized as “anti-business,” the Obama administration has refused to mete out serious punishment for outright financial fraud. Complaining about nouns and adjectives is a little ridiculous when handcuffs and prison sentences are in order.
Sometimes job cuts have a way of sneaking up on you -- a few teachers here, a police officer there and another fire department that is not open when you need them. But as every EMT knows, a thousand small cuts can still kill the patient.
One group is pushing back against the drip, drip, drip of disappearing jobs and relentless cutbacks in public services. Jobs with Justice (JwJ), the broad-based coalition of faith groups, labor unions, students and grassroots organizations located in 47 communities across the nation, says it simply will not accept a jobless recovery.
MILWAUKEE -- For many Americans Lavern and Shirley remain the enduring icons of the city of Milwaukee. Barack Obama was a teenager when the sitcom about two independent young women working in a beer factory was a popular hit in the late 1970s. But the sad truth about Milwaukee is that Lavern and Shirley don't work here any more.
After 30 years of deindustrialization, Milwaukee is a shell of its former self and the Great Recession has left the city reeling. Into this mix on Monday, steps President Obama, here to celebrate Labor Day in a city where labor is on the rack.
Look left and check out the amusing video produced by the Main Street Brigade to promote Elizabeth Warren's candidacy for the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you have not had time to sign our petition or leave a comment, do so today. We will be sending it on to the White House next week.
The Washington Post reports that Warren has been spotted meeting with bankers. No, I don't believe she has gone to the dark side, however I do believe that this indicates the administration is serious about her nomination and has asked her to build some bridges.
Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall when she meets with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein: "so Lloyd, are you still selling securities that are designed to fail?" Or with Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf: "have you stopped juggling customer late fees to maximize the pain for consumers?" These are just some of the big bank tricks featured in our last column.
Like mushrooms popping up in a damp basement, a slew of court settlements have been registered recently involving the big banks and their role in the financial crisis. An informal review of settlements over the last two years reveals about 16 multi-million dollar payouts from the big banks amounting to some $1.6 billion in fines and restitution and $13 billion in buybacks of auction-rate securities that were represented to be as safe as cash.
Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? But when fines are stacked up against an elite white-collar crime spree worth trillions, it is a little less impressive.
Elizabeth Warren is one of the most educated, clear thinking, ethical advocates for the consumer that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing and hearing. As a consumer, I would feel it was a true measure of this administrations faith in me, and my place in this country, if Elizabeth Warren were confirmed as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Judith Safley.
With news reports that Government Sachs is trying to prevent Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren from being nominated by President Obama to head to the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there is one crowd she clearly has in her camp, the American people.
On Monday, August 9th, MIT Professor Simon Johnson will be coming to Madison, Wisconsin to discuss "The Financial Crisis: Where We've Been and Where We Need to Go." Johnson is the editor of Baseline Scenario, the most respected blog on the financial crisis.
Guest blog by Zack Carter, Campaign for America's Future
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is the Republican Party's latest effort at putting forward a credible economic ideologist. His recent interview with Ezra Klein reveals this effort to be a complete failure. Ryan's views about the financial sector completely contradict his statements about the federal budget deficit, making his policy prescriptions as an incoherent mess of meaningless talking points.
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