Tag: debt

Video: Debt, Wall Street, and Public Sector Unions

At last year’s conference on Public Sector Unions, Saqib Bhatti presented on how debt has replaced income in the US economy. As debt skyrocketed, bank profits have soared, but the impacts on other parts of the economy – and particularly public workers – are negative and getting worse.

Sadiq Bhatti is the Executive Director of the ReFund America Project and a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. He works on campaigns to rebalance the relationship between Wall Street and local communities.

Debtors’ Island: How Puerto Rico Became a Hedge Fund Playground

You could call it a perfect storm: a fiscal crisis converging with a deep secular economic decline.1 Once touted as the showcase of U.S.- led economic development, debt-strapped Puerto Rico is currently embroiled in a struggle for survival. During the mid-twentieth century, Puerto Rico grew at a rapid pace, betting on cheap labor, privileged duty-free access to the U.S. market, and tax incentives for U.S. companies. By the 1970s, however, the formula had lost steam and ...

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The Subprime Specter Returns: High Finance and the Growth of High-Risk Consumer Debt

Recognizing the risks to the public, regulators have begun to step in to curtail abuses and hold accountable those who violate the law in lending practices that affect all borrowers, including those with subprime credit scores. While default rates remain relatively low thus far with these subprime loans, we should guard against complacency. Despite the fact that large banks may be pulling back...

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The Greek Inquisition: International Finance, Syriza, and the Greek Labor Movement

Why has the new Greek government failed to accomplish so much of what it had promised? And where does that leave the Greek labor movement? The government’s and the labor movement’s problems stem from the same fact, which has endured since the February 2012 signing of the second bailout agreement: Greece is no longer a sovereign nation state.

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Indentured Studenthood: The Higher Education Act and the Burden of Student Debt

Promising to do something about student debt has become the means for politicians to pretend they are doing something for the 99 percent. That was true even before the 2016 election campaign really got underway. Obama, after all, promised two free years of community college in his 2015 State of the Union address. That idea, like so many others from Republicans and Democrats, did not go anywhere, even though the most recent re-authorization of the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA) expired in 2013. However, inaction is not just a symptom of Washington gridlock. The reality is that paying for college is a confounding, sprawling sector of the economy involving loans, grants, scholarships, and tax credits.

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