Where’s the outrage? A free market for financial criminals

July 25, 2008

(Published at Counterpunch.com)  On the Wall Street Journal OPED page, James Grant– of the outstanding Grant’s Interest Rate Observer– writes, “Through history, outrageous financial behavior has been met with outrage. But today Wall Street’s damaging recklessness has been met with near-silence, from a too-tolerant populace.” (“Why No Outrage”, WSJ, July 19, 2008)

Grant is right, notwithstanding the near constant drumbeat from Counterpunch. If you live in Florida and have a sentient molecule in your brain, outrage can’t be buried too deep. Few, for instance, could have been surprised by the devastating critique in the recent Time Magazine cover story, “Florida, The Sunset State?” (Time, July 10, 2008).

Why no outrage? I suppose the best answer is that Americans have become resigned to passivity, allowing themselves to be dominated by elites in ways both subtle and dramatic. Read the rest of this entry »


Will Miami’s Cubans vote blue?

July 14, 2008

(Published at Counterpunch.com)  Every presidential cycle, the mainstream media turns to the question of Cuba and the vote of Miami Cuban Americans, respected for the constituency’s influence on the State of Florida and national politics.and national politics. And every presidential cycle the mainstream media dutifully reports US foreign policies toward Castro as the determinant factor.

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The crash of the King of Liquidity: Hello from Aspen, wish you were here

July 12, 2008

(Published at Counterpunch.com)  Key Biscayne’s high-flying hedge fund operator, John Devaney, once called “The King of Liquidity,” has crashed and burned.

I’ve been gawking at the Devaney hedge fund wreck for a long time. The festive charitable giving to needy causes (inoculation from scrutiny by the mainstream press). The entertaining of then Senate majority leader Bill Frist and other luminaries. The mysteries of making a few hundred million trading asset backed securities formed from junk aka “the ownership society.” Read the rest of this entry »

Coral Reef Meltdown

July 10, 2008

(Published at Counterpunch.com)  The past few days I’ve been thinking about Dr. James Speth’s call for “civic unreasonableness” and NASA’s Dr. James Hansen’s appeal for scientists to drop “objectivity” from muting their involvement, communicating to the public the impacts of global warming.

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