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 »

A COVID-19 Economy: I’m Not Worried About the 1%. I’m Terrified for the Bottom 50%.

As I write this, I am eating lunch in my New York City office, near the Flatiron building in Manhattan.  A lot of people have offices in this neighborhood, like FanDuel and Credit Suisse. As I often do as part of my regular office day, I went to a branch of Dig Inn that normally has over a dozen workers making lunches assembly line style. … Continue reading A COVID-19 Economy: I’m Not Worried About the 1%. I’m Terrified for the Bottom 50%. »

Democracy Needs A Paper Trail

As I’m writing this, it’s several days since the Iowa caucuses, our nation’s first step towards choosing a Democratic presidential nominee to face off against President Donald Trump. And it’s also several days after one of the more spectacular election night snafus in recent memory.  The Iowa fiasco has already drawn widespread condemnation, and threatened to undermine public confidence in this aspect of our democratic … Continue reading Democracy Needs A Paper Trail »