NY Times: Don't Blink, or You'll Miss Another Bailout

-By Gretchen Morgenson

February 16, 2013- Many people became rightfully upset about bailouts given to big banks during the mortgage crisis. But it turns out that they are still going on, if more quietly, through the back door.

The existence of one such secret deal, struck in July between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Bank of America, came to light just last week in court filings.

That the New York Fed would shower favors on a big financial institution may not surprise. It has long shielded large banks from assertive regulation and increased capital requirements.

Still, last week’s details of the undisclosed settlement between the New York Fed and Bank of America are remarkable. Not only do the filings show the New York Fed helping to thwart another institution’s fraud case against the bank, they also reveal that the New York Fed agreed to give away what may be billions of dollars in potential legal claims.

Naked Capitalism: Yes, Virginia, the Rich Continue to Get Richer: the Top 1% Got 121% of Income Gains Since 2009

-by Yves Smith

February 13, 2013- Yes, sports fans, you read that headline correctly. The top 1% has captured all of the income gains since 2009 and then some, roaring ahead while the rest of the population slipped behind. A new paper by Emmanuel Saez (along with his frequent co-author Thomas Piketty, a long-standing cataloguer of income inequality) estimates that the income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%.

Huffington Post: Inequality Is Much Worse Than You Think

-By Les Leopold

February 7, 2013-

• In 2010, the top hedge fund manager earned as much in one HOUR as the average (median) family earned in 47 YEARS.

• The top 25 hedge fund managers in 2010 earned as much as 658,000 entry level teachers.

• In 1970 the top 100 CEOs made $40 for every dollar earned by the average worker. By 2006, the CEOs received $1,723 for every worker dollar.

As the administration and Congress argue over cuts in social programs, inequality in America grows more extreme each day. Even the great financial crash didn't derail this trend. The richest 400 Americans, for example, increased their wealth by 54 percent between 2005 and 2010, while the median middle-class family saw its wealth decline by 35 percent.

Obey

British filmmaker Temujin Doran has released a new movie that is based on the book "The Death of the Liberal Class" by Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. The film, titled "Obey," explores the rise of the corporate state and the future of obedience in a world filled with unfettered capitalism, worsening inequality and environmental changes.

Warning: Viewers may find some of the clips in the film disturbing.

The Contributor: Ending Corporate Tax Dodging Would Cut Deficit By Twice As Much As Hiking Medicare Age

-By Zaid Jilani

January 23, 2013- Some right-wing politicians want to raise the Medicare age to 67. This would reduce the deficit by $5.7 billion each year but pass on costs to seniors of $11.4 billion every year.

Rather than making health care more expensive for seniors, here’s a progressive deficit reduction idea. Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office said we could raise $114 billion over ten years — twice as much as raising the Medicare age — by limiting corporate tax deferrals.

The way to do this would be to subject all income earned by foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations to U.S. tax laws by limiting or eliminating deferrals for overseas profits. Right now, large corporations like Microsoft will shift their profits to overseas locations — such as remote islands in the Caribbean or Switzerland — to avoid paying taxes on them.

AlterNet: 4 Bogus Right-Wing Theories About Poverty, and the Real Reason Americans Can’t Make Ends Meet (Hard Times USA)

We have an economic crisis that is kept out of sight and out of mind.

-By Joshua Holland

January 22, 2013- When is a secret not at all secret? Consider the fact that one in three Americans are poor, if we define it as struggling to cover the basic necessities of life. That's according to a Census Bureau analysis, and it was reported in the New York Times, but I have yet to hear a politician or pundit make reference to this eye-opening reality of our vaunted “new economy.”

In 2011, the Census Bureau took a new look at the “near-poor” – Americans with incomes between 100 and 150 percent of the poverty line. They found that this group, most of whom earn paychecks and pay taxes, represented a whopping one in six U.S. households – a figure that was almost twice as high as had previously been thought.

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