Boeing and the Failure of the Invisible Hand

The United States often touts itself as a capitalist economy, wherein each person operates according to their best interest. In theory, we are all mutually dependent, and people make money when they provide goods or services that are valued by other people – and for which they are willing to pay. Adam Smith, writing generations ago in Wealth of Nations, coined the term “Invisible Hand,” … Continue reading Boeing and the Failure of the Invisible Hand »

Labor, Past and Present: Shawn Fain and Sidney Hillman

The boardroom at Amalgamated Bank is named after Sidney Hillman. As you enter through the vestibule, you’ll notice an impressively large plaque with the names of the founders of Amalgamated. The room itself has perhaps twenty seats around the table, and another dozen or so against the walls. The East side of the room has a giant screen and a camera for video conferences.  The … Continue reading Labor, Past and Present: Shawn Fain and Sidney Hillman »

Bank Regulators Have Conflicting Goals

Last month, POLITICO published an article that detailed a new mortgage rule that the Federal Reserve is proposing. Specifically, the Fed is looking to disincentivize banks from offering low down payment loans to consumers by making them more expensive, with the aim of avoiding a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. Civil rights and housing groups have joined forces with banks to push back against … Continue reading Bank Regulators Have Conflicting Goals »

The Silicon Valley Bank Failure Explained

My name is Morris Pearl. I am the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at BlackRock. We usually write this newsletter in the collective voice of our entire membership. This week though, I’d like to take the reins and give you my perspective on the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) failure that has been dominating the news over the last few days. (Two other … Continue reading The Silicon Valley Bank Failure Explained »

The New Omnibus Package’s Retirement Changes Are a Giveaway to Rich People Like Me

Back in the 1990s, I was making good money working for an investment bank, and I was putting the maximum amount allowed into my individual retirement account (IRA) and a 401(k) plan (that was later merged into my IRA).   So part of my retirement savings are now in these tax advantaged plans. The tax advantage is that I never paid any income taxes on all … Continue reading The New Omnibus Package’s Retirement Changes Are a Giveaway to Rich People Like Me »

Howard Schultz should be in favor of Starbucks workers organizing

Last week, Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post penned an excellent exposé on Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and his efforts to stop the recent wave of unionization at his franchise. (You can read the piece HERE.) The Starbucks unionizing campaign began in Buffalo in August 2021 and has since spread to more than 225 Starbucks cafés across the country. Like thousands of other workers in … Continue reading Howard Schultz should be in favor of Starbucks workers organizing »

Market Manipulation Is Just a Fancy Name for Fraud

This week all eyes have been on the JP Morgan market manipulation trial, where three former employees are accused of manipulating valuable metals futures to make a boatload of money for themselves and the bank.  While ‘market manipulation’ sounds like some complicated white collar crime, it’s really just a business term for ripping someone off. These men would create the illusion of a larger demand … Continue reading Market Manipulation Is Just a Fancy Name for Fraud »

What Will Be the Effect of the Fed’s Efforts to Fight Inflation?

With prices rising significantly for families across the United States, the federal government has made controlling inflation one of its top economic priorities. One of the most important ways the government has traditionally tried to limit inflation is through the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. Raising interest rates clearly can shrink inflation, but many Americans don’t understand that it does so by deliberately slowing down … Continue reading What Will Be the Effect of the Fed’s Efforts to Fight Inflation? »

Statistics Matter: Why Averages Aren’t Useful When Talking About the American Economy

When people talk about economic statistics and how people in the country are doing, they tend to use the word “average” a lot. We hear about the average family’s wealth, or the average personal income, or the average amount of debt. But thanks to out-of-control inequality, the average, or the total amount divided by population, is actually a pretty unhelpful statistic.  Let’s say we have … Continue reading Statistics Matter: Why Averages Aren’t Useful When Talking About the American Economy »

Don’t Let Inflation Fears Stop COVID Relief

President Biden and his team have announced that about $1.9 trillion of additional money is needed due to the problems caused by the current pandemic.  That is about 9% of the size of the entire US economy — anyway you think about it, that is a big deal. The benefits of that are fairly well articulated by the administration, but because many on the right … Continue reading Don’t Let Inflation Fears Stop COVID Relief »

The Digital Divide

Last month, I was getting ready to convene yet another meeting by Zoom. I got a message from a wealthy New York lawyer informing me that her second home in East Hampton, a beach area about a two hour drive from New York City, didn’t have reliable enough high-speed internet to handle Zoom. For us, it wasn’t a big problem – we rescheduled our meeting … Continue reading The Digital Divide »

To Honor John Lewis, Take Up His Battle

My memory of Representative John Lewis, an icon of the 1960s Civil Rights movement and a decades-long member of Congress, is from 2012. Lewis was at a Democratic party event and he related a story of someone recently coming to his office on Capitol Hill, and apologizing for having beaten him up many decades earlier – all the way in 1961. To put that in … Continue reading To Honor John Lewis, Take Up His Battle »

The House Infrastructure Bill Has a Big Problem

House Democrats are making a serious mistake. On July 1st, the Democrat-controlled House passed a massive, $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill. This bill is basically just a messaging bill, intended to serve as a display of Democratic priorities, since it has almost no chance of getting passed in the Republican-controlled Senate. This infrastructure bill has a lot of good things in it, but there’s one significant … Continue reading The House Infrastructure Bill Has a Big Problem »

High-Speed Internet Isn’t a Luxury – It’s a Necessity

As we approach the third month of nationwide social distancing orders, many of us have become accustomed to our new life indoors thanks to the plethora of activities and connections internet access can provide. However, for many of my fellow Americans in small towns and rural communities, high-speed fiber optic internet connection is a luxury that they simply do not have access to. In today’s … Continue reading High-Speed Internet Isn’t a Luxury – It’s a Necessity »