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Friday, July 20, 2018
Bruce Judson

Inequality, Capitalism And A Nation Of Men

John Adams famously sought to create “a government of laws and not of men.” Sadly, I suspect John Adams would be disappointed in the nation today. Increasingly, the application of the law reflects what Adams feared: It depends on who the men or women are rather than what they have, or have not, done. A […]

February 25, 2013

A Leadership Moment

Update: At 12:00 today the new 113th Congress was sworn in, so the leadership opportunity described in this article has now been lost President Obama campaigned on the promise that in his second term he would bring leadership to our polarized nation. The president’s first term was, in part, stymied by a polarized Congress. At […]

January 3, 2013

History Tells Us Why Mitt Must Release His Taxes

Presumably acting as a surrogate for her husband, Ann Romney is now announcing that no additional tax returns will be released to the public before the election. Lately the stakes of Romney’s refusal to disclose have risen tremendously. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asserts that Romney has effectively paid no taxes over the past ten […]

August 18, 2012

The Romney Stall: My $10,000 Bet

Here’s a $10,000 bet: Mitt Romney will stall and stall before opening his tax returns. His strategy is to open the returns after he is officially nominated at the Republican National Convention in August. Earlier in my career, I negotiated large, complex contracts. The first rule of every negotiator is to have a strategy. One […]

July 20, 2012

Today’s Banks Don’t Do What Banks Are Supposed To Do

Banks in a capitalist society are meant to create wealth and decrease risk. JPMorgan and its kind do the opposite. In his testimony before a congressional panel on the recent Swiss trading debacle, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said, “We’re doing what a bank is supposed to do.” Was Dimon correct? In a capitalist […]

June 27, 2012

The Coming Train Wreck

The U.S. housing market and any economic recovery are confronting a brick wall, and no one is discussing it. Like a speeding train, the housing market and our economy are heading over a cliff with no bridge. Yet, no one in Washington wants to discuss this very real and approaching danger. Recently, Salon ran an […]

June 22, 2012

Americans Can’t Afford A Tax On Mortgage Relief

Failure to renew legislation that prevents mortgage debt relief from being counted as taxable income could destroy the fragile recovery. The economic crisis began with the housing crisis, and it will only end when the housing crisis also ends. Unfortunately, the evidence of the past five years suggests that the Obama administration and Congress have […]

May 3, 2012

For Capitalism To Survive, Crime Must Not Pay

Unequal enforcement of the law will distort and destroy any capitalist society, and we may be witnessing just such a downward spiral in the financial sector. Capitalism is not an abstract idea. It is an economic system with a distinct set of underlying principles that must exist in order for the system to work. One […]

April 12, 2012

A Seven Day Plan To Finally Hold Wall Street Accountable

It’s now a near certainty that Wall Street executives committed felonies. The recently released audits of robo-mortgage activities by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) details shocking behavior at the five banks constituting the Federal Housing Administration’s largest mortgage servicers. At Wells Fargo, management quashed a […]

March 19, 2012

Bringing Justice to Felon Bankers, In Seven Easy Steps

New evidence points to illegal behavior. Prosecution is the only way to keep that behavior from continuing. It’s now a near certainty that Wall Street executives committed felonies. The recently released audits of robo-mortgage activities by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) details shocking behavior at the five banks constituting […]

March 19, 2012

Are Bankers Capitalists?

Jamie Dimon says banks are more successful than media companies, but which industry is actually following capitalist principles? The phrase “Wall Street” is evocative in American culture. For generations, it has referred to the showcase of American capitalism: our financial services system that ensured the efficient use of funds by channeling capital to its most […]

March 1, 2012

Why Inequality Matters: 3 Ways The Mortgage Crisis Has Undermined Our Legal System

Banks are demonstrating that if you have enough money and influence, you’re not expected to follow the same laws as everyone else. For several years, I have been writing that extreme economic inequality is among the most destructive forces in a society. As inequality grows, it undermines the effective functioning of the economy, the basic […]

February 17, 2012

The Mortgage Settlement's Missing Piece: Will Banks Now Follow The Law?

The country’s banks agreed to change their behavior as part of the robo-mortgage settlement announced earlier this week. The announcement, however, leaves open a central question: Does the settlement include new, pre-defined penalties for banks that fail to uphold their new promises? Since a change in bank behavior is a vital piece of the settlement, […]

February 10, 2012

Seven Questions That Must Be Answered Before A Foreclosure Settlement

Why the secrecy? Why the haste? Rushing into an ill-advised settlement with the banks may undo one of our last chances to avert another economic catastrophe. Tomorrow is the deadline for state attorneys general to sign on to a joint federal and multi-state $25 billion settlement of the robo-mortgage scandal. The settlement will involve Ally […]

February 2, 2012

Don't Tear Up The eBook Market!

Will antitrust laws of the past century threaten the capitalist incentives that encourage important ideas in ours? In early December, the Justice Department confirmed that it was investigating the pricing of e-books and the related activities of major publishers and online retailers, such as Amazon.com and Apple. As a print and digital author, participant in […]

January 19, 2012

The Foreclosure Crisis: A Government In Denial

The Federal Reserve sent a warning shot that housing is the greatest threat to the economy. The government should take note. As we start the New Year, the executive branch and Congress continue to pretend the gravest risk to our economy and social stability does not exist: the ongoing foreclosure crisis. The financial crisis began […]

January 9, 2012

Occupy Our Homes: Shining A Light On Our Great Failure

The housing crisis is America’s most urgent economic problem, but until now, it’s been the farthest from policymakers’ minds. A recent article on Salon reports that the Occupy movement is planning to begin a nationwide action protesting the foreclosure crisis. Whatever your views of the movement itself, they are casting a bright light on the […]

December 2, 2011

Why Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand’s Objectivism glorified wealth-creators over moochers, but the Wall Street traders who worship her might be surprised to learn which category they’re in. As the dysfunctional nature of our economy becomes increasingly apparent, the media is appropriately focusing on the whether the ideas of economic thinkers from earlier eras can help to solve today’s […]

November 18, 2011

How To Prevent A Housing Recovery: Accept A 46-State Mortgage Fraud Settlement

The settlement will do nothing to help fix the bruised housing market and may in fact have damaging consequences. There are two fundamental values that are essential to any working capitalist economy: accountability and the rule of law. The reported outlines of the proposed settlement of the robo-mortgage scandal (no official details have been released) […]

November 8, 2011

Unequal Justice: Banker Arrests, 0; Protester Arrests, 2,511

Cross-Posted From The Roosevelt Institute’s New Deal 2.0 Blog Equal justice is a basic underpinning of a healthy capitalist system. Without prosecutions for the financial crisis, that principle is being eroded. Since the start of the financial crisis, Americans have wondered why, if laws were broken, none of the occupants of Wall Street or other […]

October 28, 2011