Dec 14, 2011, 4:58 pm EDT
I believe this story has gone too far under the radar and needs to be repeated because, as it turns out, academia has fallen to the same deplorable depths of asinine behavior as corporate America by rewarding failure. This past June, The University of Chicago rewarded Henry M. Paulson Jr.’s gross ethical failures by appointing him as a “distinguished senior fellow” at its Harris School of Public Policy Studies — which took effect July 1.
What makes this appointment by such a respectable institution even more ridiculous is that media reports from Bloomberg to Reuters now say that Paulson tipped off hedge funds about Fannie Mae’s rescue in 2008 while he was serving as the U.S. Treasury Secretary. By prostituting high-level inside information, Hank Paulson’s egregious behavior gives new meaning to the phrase “hanky-panky.”
According to legal experts, Paulson’s Fannie Mae tip was not illegal because, although he did share sensitive data, he didn’t personally profit from any trades. OK, but what about dereliction of duty by an acting U.S. Treasury Secretary? Aren’t there any laws against that? Apparently, it’s all right to be an inside traitor while at the same time it’s not alright to be an inside trader. Read
Dec 12, 2011, 3:22 pm EDT
During the past three years, the debate about what constitutes a rich household has shifted markedly from discussing the tax fate of those that make more than $250,000 annually to the much richer over-$1 million club. A new poll suggests many Americans might set the bar lower than both Republicans and Democrats.
Amid the deficit cutting hysteria that has engulfed Washington in the past year, legislators desperately have been trying to craft ways to pay for middle-class tax breaks and economic stimulus. While Republicans (until very recently) have been considering spending cuts only, Democrats have been quibbling about how to raise taxes on those at the top of the income chain. But determining the boundaries of the top income bracket has a political dynamic of its own.
President Barack Obama had been consistently drawing a line at $250,000 per year. He advocated raising taxes on households that make more than that amount during his campaign for president in 2007-08. He included a 3.8% extra tax on investment income for those making more than $250,000 in his healthcare legislation. This fall, he continued to advocate for a return to Clinton-era tax rates for this group to pay for his jobs bill and reduce the deficit. Read
Dec 12, 2011, 10:08 am EDT
Were you at Woodstock? It was a seminal event — some 500,000 strong. Although a little muddy and a little dopey, the energy delivered from the masses was like no other. People from all over the country showed up to peacefully protest Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam War while they enjoyed great music from the likes of Joe Cocker, among many others. Inevitably, Woodstock turned out to be unprecedented in scope and influence; a coming together of people from all walks of life with a single common goal.
I am convinced that the 2012 elections will require the same kind of mega-energy from the Tea Party in order to wipe Team Obama from the American landscape. The Tea Party ideally would have a candidate who can project its views — such as a Patrick Henry, Harry Browne, Nigel Farage or Chris Christie. But if it doesn’t, the Tea Party is going to have to suck it up and get behind the candidate who gets the nod. It’s that simple. Defeating the Obama crowd is the job at hand, and victory must be assured.
The Tea Party can balance the books by seeing to it that it locks down every House seat possible and promotes hardliners for the Senate. Controlling the House and Senate, while cleansing the House leadership of Mr. Boehner, would go a long way in forcing a new president to adopt policies constructive to the formation of a constitutionally strong federal republic. Read
Dec 9, 2011, 12:48 pm EDT
Question: A Greek, an Italian and a Spaniard walk into a bar. Who picks up the tab?
Answer: The Americans.
All financial eyes are once again trained on the European debt crisis, with investors worldwide wondering how it will play out. Not well, I’m afraid. Not well for the Europeans to be sure. And it will be costly for Americans, too. Read
Dec 8, 2011, 12:00 pm EDT
One of the biggest problems with Wall Street’s malfeasance is how the ruling elite view legal settlements — as little more than an acceptable cost of doing business.
Well, no more.
Thanks to Judge Jed Rakoff, we might see some real regulatory action leading to good old-fashioned investigations, perp walks and even jail for the guilty. I’m not talking just about the Bernie Madoffs or the Raj Rajaratnams, either. I’m talking about potentially CEOs and even entire corporate boards. Read