Crimes against the state: the Florida Mortgage Crisis

August 13, 2008


The Miami Herald investigative series, highlighting massive mortgage fraud and regulatory breakdown, triggered the resignation yesterday of the state’s top regulator for the financial industry, Don Saxton. (“Borrowers Betrayed: Florida’s top mortgage regulator steps down”, August 13, 2008) Read the rest of this entry »


The Olympic Spectacle and the New China

August 11, 2008

(Published at  Hitler’s spin machine used the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games to show off his nation’s muscular ambition. We all know what happened next. In its opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China’s leaders seemed to say to the world: never mind what has come before, ours is a new nation based on China’s own unique achievements. They did not need to say that the $40 billion invested in the Games was a rounding error from the most rapid transfer of national wealth in history; from consumer nations to China’s national treasury.

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The politics of the housing crisis: When Miami goes bust

August 8, 2008

(Published at  Miami-Dade is the most populous county in Florida, a state that has proven its electoral importance in presidential races. So, what happens in Miami bears scrutiny, in particular in respect to how voters assess responsibility for the nation’s economic ills.

Both presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, are attempting to focus the electorate’s inchoate anger through high gasoline prices. In Florida, the issue is manifesting in a decidedly desultory and misdirected way: proposals for offshore oil drilling.

For its part, Wall Street would be perfectly happy to keep the nation’s attention on gasoline prices, but the real affliction of the United States economy is debt and insolvency. Both have their roots in a housing bust draining the wealth of the nation. (“Florida’s real estate bust cost: $153 billion”, Miami Herald, August 5, 2008). Read the rest of this entry »