Economy

Banks Are Called on to Repent

America’s banks remain under fire, including a public resignation by a Goldman Sachs executive disgusted by the firm’s abuse of its clients. New protests also include calls by some Christian churches for the banks to repent for their roles in the nation’s foreclosure crisis, Michael Winship reports.

Slovakia Defies the Kochs and Cato

Exclusive: For the past decade, the people of the small central European nation of Slovakia have suffered under a harsh and corrupt “privatization” scheme devised by the Koch Brothers’ Cato Institute. However, in weekend elections, they defied their oligarchs by voting for a left-of-center “populist” party, reports Mark Ames.

Seeking Justice for Wall St.’s Victims

International agencies and global movements target human rights violators from small or isolated countries, but the idea of holding accountable the powerful and well-connected who cause much greater human suffering is considered unthinkable, a paradigm that Danny Schechter challenges.

Pols Resist Refunding Ponzi Cash

When financier Robert Allen Stanford was a high-flying billionaire, he spread his campaign donations around to powerful politicians of both parties, from Barack Obama to John McCain. But now – with Stanford convicted of fraud – a federal court is demanding refunds of his largesse, reports Michael Winship.

Financial Magic Thinking Dies Hard

Since the early supply-side days of Ronald Reagan, the Right has pretended that slashing taxes on the rich will generate extra revenue, thus more than paying for itself. The reality has turned out differently, but Michael Winship says that hasn’t changed the determination to bend reality to politics.

Mother of the Sit-Down Strike

Seventy years ago, the remarkable life story of Lucy Gonzales Parsons came to an end in a fire that destroyed her Chicago home. Though little remembered today, Parsons pioneered strategies to protest poverty and injustice, including the sit-down strike, William Loren Katz recalls.

The ‘Winners’ Take Everything

Exclusive: Many Americans still wonder how it happened, how did a country admired for its Great Middle Class, which sustained strong democratic institutions, end up with Third-World-style wealth inequality and a democracy to match? In reviewing Winner-Take-All Politics, James DiEugenio seeks an answer.

Regaining a Spirit of Defiance

When kids scramble to buy the latest Nike running shoe, they’re mocked for their consumerism; yet, when Mitt Romney mentions his wife’s Cadillacs and other one-percenters tool around in their luxury autos, they’re admired for their success — a commentary on America’s crisis, writes Phil Rockstroh.

Taking a Bite Out of Apple

The late Steve Jobs was perhaps the most acclaimed businessman of his generation, making the iconic Apple products both stylish and efficient, even if that meant pushing his work force to extremes. But those extremes sometimes meant cruelly exploiting overseas workers, as Michael Winship reports.

Madison: Father of the Commerce Clause

Exclusive: The Tea Party has been fueled by the idea that key Founders, like James Madison, opposed a strong central government and thus laws like “Obamacare” are unconstitutional. But Madison was the framer who devised the Commerce Clause upon which health-care and other reforms are based, notes Robert Parry.