This year is the 75th anniversary of Edwin Sutherland’s presidential address to the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in 1939. In the course of beginning to write a book from a white-collar criminological perspective about our modern financial crises I decided to reread Sutherland’s address (which was published as an article in 1940) to see how it stands up in light of modern white-collar criminological research and theory. It reads exceptionally well today. It is not even archaic in tone.
Anyone who follows the news periodically, if not more often, wonders about the criteria making certain issues or persons “newsworthy,” and others substantially less so. One reliable indicator of newsworthiness is that the story happens in Washington, D.C. A second is an unusual or counter-intuitive event (“Man bites dog”). A third is the prospect of large losses. This last quality, however, renders the relative neglect of Puerto Rico’s debt crisis an interesting anomaly.
The debate over inequality has shifted. It is no longer whether greater inequality exists (it indisputably does) or whether it is a good thing (even David Brooks and Marco Rubio concede that it is not). Instead, the big issue is whether the rise of the top one tenth of one percent with their extraordinary concentration of wealth has anything to do with the rise of inequality between the middle and the bottom. The answer is, of course it does
In my prior column I discussed the U.S. media frenzy that arose when a leaked emails revealed that Martha Roldos, a leading politician in Ecuador who (very badly) lost an election contest with President Correa, was trying to obtain funding from an infamous United States group that goes by the Orwellian name National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
This is the fourth article in my evolving series of pieces prompted by the Kansas Regents’ new policy that eviscerates academic freedom and tenure. In my third installment I explained that the Regents’ action, while cowardly, unconstitutional, and self-destructive, was not taken on their initiative but in response to extortion by Kansas legislative leaders.
OK, I’m flabbergasted.
I came across, and commented on, a piece by Scott Sumner a few days ago. (DID SCOTT SUMNER FIND MMT’S ACHILLES’ HEEL? ) He claimed he had proof MMT is wrong:
Step one: Understand the three “control fraud” epidemics that drove the crisis.
That Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa proposes extracting primary materials to pay for his ambitious policies should come as no surprise.
I will note three puzzling aspects to this story as preliminaries. Why did JPMorgan (or WaMu) engage in “nationwide … fraudulent activity” in its sales to the secondary market? An honest bank does not have to make fraudulent reps and warranties to sell its loans.