Economy

Tough Talk Is Not Enough on Loan Modifications

Today, the Obama administration announced that it is stepping up efforts to pressure mortgage companies and banks to reduce payments for homeowners facing foreclosure.

As double digit unemployment becomes the major driver of foreclosures and as the vast majority of adjustable rate mortgages have yet to trigger, the White House is finally getting the message that news footage of families being tossed to the curb during the holiday season will not help Democrats going into the 2010 election cycle.

Anniversary Sparks Renewed Efforts to Break Up the Banks

Thursday, November 12th marks the ten year anniversary of the repeal of the depression-era Glass-Steagall Act that protected consumers from casino-style gambling on Wall Street and prevented significant financial crises for almost 60 years. As Congress took up a series of bills this fall to restore confidence in the financial sector, notably lacking were any bills to break up the big banks and restore Glass-Steagall protections.

GAO Touts Good News! Stock Trades Safe from H1N1

H1N1 is here. President Obama declared a national health emergency. Health workers and schools are worried because the vaccine is seriously behind schedule. Parents are worried about how they will stay home with their kids and keep their jobs. What are the watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office worried about?

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LIVE! From the Big Showdown in Chicago

With the newspapers full of talk about "zombie" banks and parasitic "vampire squid" financial institutions, it was particularly fitting that the "Showdown in Chicago" started with a ghoulish group of zombies rocking out to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Chicago's own South Shore Drill Team opened the three days of banks protests with a bang and had the crowd of thousands of activists dancing in no time.

The Showdown promises to be the first major American protest against the banks since the financial meltdown in September 2008. Thousands are expected to join three days of educational activities and the large march on Tuesday to the American Bankers Association (ABA) convention at the downtown Sheraton hotel.

Halloween Horror! Seven CEOs to Face Paycuts

According to the Wall Street Journal, federal "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg will order seven bailed out financial institutions and auto companies to cut their compensation packages for top officers by 25%-50%. According to one professor interviewed, this represents a "seismic shift" in corporate governance.

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Help Us Bust the Banksters; Join Our New Campaign

This week, the Center for Media and Democracy is launching its new campaign on the "Banksters" with a new companion website, www.Banksterusa.org, and a new portal in our online encyclopedia called the "Real Economy Project." We are so fortunate that Mary Bottari brought this much needed effort to demystify economic issues and spur people to take action to CMD, with the support of our founder, John Stauber, and our Board.

Blue darts on red targetI see this project as the beginning of a new phase in CMD's life of weighing in on crucial issues in the media and before Congress and trying to make a real difference in outcomes. In many ways, this new effort is a return to our roots and builds on CMD's long-standing mission to "inform and assist grassroots citizen activism that . . . promotes economic justice." At the same time, this effort really takes the gloves off in aiming at both the spin and the underlying policies that have undermined the promise of the American dream.

This Is Going to Hurt: What Your Doctor Doesn't Say Can Cost You

Insurance companies are hot targets right now in the debate over skyrocketing medical costs and health care reform.

But there is another, little-noticed factor could also be sucking untold health care dollars out of our pockets, and it's one we seem loathe to address: the part that doctors themselves have in quietly pushing up the costs of our medical care. This is an area that is begging for closer scrutiny, and in which patients need more help.

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