On the continuing loss of the middle class

December 5, 2009 | By | Reply More

Eliot Spitzer discussed the economy of the United States with Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow. Has the economy recovered? No:

[W]e have a major crisis in this nation, and that crisis is jobs. That crisis is that we are seeing the elimination of the middle-class job foundation that permits most Americans to do better year after year after year. The reality is median family income has been stagnant for forty years, and the policies of what I call financialization, which is major banks trading assets back and forth, the Wall Street banks, such as Goldman, which is rightly a lightning rod right now for much of what’s going on, buying and selling, playing with tax dollars in proprietary trading—they make huge money, nothing is added to the economy, jobs are sent overseas. All of this going on simultaneously. That is what our economy has become. And Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner were the architects of this.

Spitzer also commented on AIG and credit default swaps:

AIG was, to a great extent—their financial products division—a Ponzi scheme supposedly guaranteeing hundreds of billions of dollars of CDS collateral, credit default swaps, with no collateral behind it. That is part of what brought us down. But that is the system that the Fed was overseeing. They specifically rejected the effort back in ’94, ’95 to regulate this swamp. The derivatives, that are a quintessential Wall Street creation, have some small utility at an economic level, but became an enormous revenue stream for banks, and they were unregulated. People made a fortune. We taxpayers hold the bag.

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Category: Economy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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