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.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
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?