News March 2015

From the week of March 29 to April 4, 2015

  1. Analysis of leaked “chapter” of TPP.
    1. TPP is corporate corruption we can, and must, prevent
    2. It’s even worse than the critics feared.
  2. Obama could unmask big political donors. Will he?
  3. Exposing Hedge Fund Politics in NY (and elsewhere)
  4. Latest regulatory comment by Occupy the SEC: Asset Managers and Systemic Risk
  5. Department of Justice finds, quelle surprise, that HSBC is falling short in effort to clean up their act.
    1. HSBC is under a deferred prosecution agreement with DoJ
    2. So, this means DoJ should move ahead with prosecution.
    3. Much more likely, this will be an April Fools joke, on us, as has been the case in the past
  6. Under Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Considers Privatizing Half its Public Housing This ties-back to the affordable housing discussion, which talked about HUD’s “RAD” program, pursuant to which public housing is sold to private developers (along with considerable subsidies) in exchange for temporary commitments that they maintain it as public housing. Chicago is apparently where RAD is going to be rolled-out in force.
  7. Stanford offers free tuition for families making less than $125,000
  8. Check out this newly released map (from Metrics Maps) of the states with more prisoners than college students. I get it that it would include Alabama and pretty much the whole south; but whatever happened to California.
  9. McDonald’s pay rise was a PR stunt, not a solution for workers
  10. New York City Consumer Agency Investigating Four For-Profit Colleges
  11. The Horror of Amazon’s New Dash Button
  12. Occupy Wall Street, the Tour

From the week of March 22 to March 28, 2015

  1. Just Mercy. If you are looking for something uplifting to ring in the Spring, listen to this podcast interview of Bryan Stevenson, a criminal defense lawyer work on death row cases in Alabama talking about his recent book about his career.
  2. Amazon makes even temporary warehouse workers sign 18-month non-competes.
  3. Which woman should replace Andrew Jackson on the 20$ bill?
  4. Student Debt: How does Germany afford to provide free education?
  5. Prison
    for individual profit (USA)
    for society’s benefit (Norway)
  6. Workers and working conditions
    Noam Chomsky on the assault on American labor
    US minimum wage’s relevance for the UK
    – (NYU’s Campus construction in Abu Dhabi +labor abuse ) Private investigator collects information on professor and reporter
    From Microsoft, a Novel Way to Mandate Sick Leave
  7. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Considers to End Payday Debt Trap
  8. #Blacklivesmatter
    Whitest city seen through the eyes of its black residents
    Witnesses question excessive force in black man’s death
  9. Investment part of secret Trans-Pacific Partnership draft leaked — thank you Wikileaks.
  10. Effort to push David Koch off the board of American Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian.
  11. Florida man sentenced to 11 years in prison for defrauding 470 homeowners of $750,000. On that standard, what should Countrywide, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC… get?

From the week of March 9 to March 15, 2015

  1. Accounting for inequality: Richer and Poorer (The New Yorker) by Jill Lapore. “The reason Democrats and Republicans are fighting over who’s to blame for growing economic inequality is that, aside from a certain amount of squabbling, it’s no longer possible to deny that it exists—a development that’s not to be sneezed at, given the state of the debate on climate change. That’s not to say the agreement runs deep; in fact, it couldn’t be shallower. The causes of income inequality are much disputed; so are its costs. And knowing the numbers doesn’t appear to be changing anyone’s mind about what, if anything, should be done about it”.
  2. Blacks and the Master/Slave Relation. For the first time in a while, Against the Grain radio has a very worthwhile interview–with Frank Wilderson of UC Irvine. He talks about his thesis (apparently relying on Harvard’s Orlando Paterson) that a master-slave relationship between American blacks and whites continues to undergird both groups’ identities, and that it happens at a social level that is more foundational than a Marxian economic account can capture. There is some pretty controversial and abstract thinking here, but really well presented.
  3. Mark Lance Discusses Anarchism. Who would have thought you could get a really straight forward and favorable overview of the history and arguments behind anarchism–from a conversation between a University of Chicago Philosophy Department podcaster and a Georgetown professor.
  4. Will the Supreme Court Make Disparate Impact Disappear? And if that did not surprise you from the U of C, the first speaker in this podcasted law school panel gives a great account of the history of housing discrimination, the importance of litigation to combat it, and the possible impact of the Supreme Court’s current review of the long-standing disparate impact theory of liability.
  5. Good podcast on thinking about economics as if the Earth mattered. Slow Money from the ExtraEnvironmentalist podcast. Let’s put “alternative” in Alternative Banking.
  6. Does Capitalism Drive Drug Addiction? Mind-expanding discussion of causes of drug addiction.
  7. One reason (of many) it is good we have unions:
    1. Print:AFL-CIO head on Obama’s trade push: ‘We are going all out to oppose it’
    2. Video:Obama, Unions On Opposite Sides Of The (Fast) Track For Trade Deals
  8. Many of New York City’s homeless shelters are plagued by unsafe and unhealthy conditions, according to a report from the Department of Investigation released Thursday. The report is about 185 pages long, but it is worth reading the executive summery at the beginning. From the summery: ‘…For Fiscal Year 2013, DHS’ expenditures for non- contracted family shelters, which only house approximately one quarter of families in the shelter system, totaled $108,513,389.06 ($78,176,198 for hotels, $28,213,955 for non-contracted clusters, and $2,123,194 for non-contracted Tier IIs). In comparison, DHS is paying $259,931,620 in expenditures for contracted facilities, which house approximately three-fourths of the City’s homeless families. But even for the shelters that have contracts, DHS does not use the contracts to enforce terms or impose penalties for non-compliance. Moreover, in some cases, these rents can be three-times the average rent in the relevant neighborhood. While the cost arguably includes social services, DOI found that in many cases those services were minimal at best’.
  9. Blockupy
    – Protest Calling on Eurozone to Dismantle “Laboratory for Austerity”– Syriza and Podemos Part of German Blockupy Protests
    – Anti-ECB protest in Frankfurt – in pictures
    – Global Revolution #blockupy

From the week of March 2 to March 8, 2015

  1. States predict inmates’ future crimes with secretive surveys and frightening implications.
  2. Walmart’s Visible Hand. Paul Krugman’s take on Walmart’s wage increase.
  3. European Banks vs. Greek Labour
  4. Affordable Housing Needs a Reset a new Alt-Banking Huffington Post blog post.
  5. De Blasio and Developer Are Close, but Not on Lower-Cost Housing.
  6. Justice Department Finds a Pattern of Civil Rights Violations by the Ferguson Police Department
  7. Ferguson Residents Challenge “Modern Debtors’ Prison Scheme” Targeting Blacks with Fines, Arrests
  8. One in five millennials lives in poverty, report finds

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