FROM Thomas Ferguson
Is the US Becoming a Banana Republic? Argentina, Indonesia, Russia and other so-called “emerging economies” have followed a pattern that’s all too clear to officials of the International Monetary Fund. Entrenched financial elites take too many risks during good times, and when times go bad they can’t pay their debts. But they’ve accumulated so much influence that governments can’t call them to account and the rest of the country suffers.
Is the US Becoming a Banana Republic? An article in the Atlantic magazine is drawing a lot of attention from Wall Street to Washington. It's about cozy relations between financial and political institutions that make the US look like Argentina, Russia, Indonesia and other “emerging markets.” A former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund says Democrats and Republicans have enabled “financial oligarchs” to accumulate too much political power, so much that they can resist the reforms needed for economic recovery. Is it time for the government to wake up to reality?
'Nationalizing' America's Banks: Rumors and Realities Talk of "nationalizing" America's biggest banks, like Citigroup or Bank of America , has frightened investors and caused bank stocks to decline. The Obama Administration insists the banking system will remain private, but yesterday took steps that could lead to government ownership of troubled institutions. Would that mean government management or temporary control until private capital could be raised? Could it turn into a boondoggle? If it didn't work, would taxpayers be on the hook? We get some answers.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.