Economy

The Fire Sale of the Post Offices

One of 13 murals in the Bronx Post Office created by New Deal artists Ben Shahn and Bernarda Bryson.

In an earlier time, U.S. post offices were more than just places to mail letters. They were noble structures, symbols of democracy, stone-and-mortar testimony to the value of community. But many are now neglected and up for sale, laments Gray Brechin.

Are US Banks Still ‘Too Big to Fail’?

President George W. Bush speaks on the phone in the Oval Office, Oct. 7, 2008, with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, discussing efforts to solve the spreading global financial crisis. (White House photo by Eric Draper)

The U.S. economy’s long slog back from the 2008 financial crisis has tried to ignore the looming question of whether a repeat is likely. Some economists think the Dodd-Frank reforms have largely ended “too big to fail” risk-taking but others aren’t so sure, as Michael Winship notes.

Putting the Dollar in Jeopardy

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., addresses the delegates to the Bretton Woods Conference, July 8, 1944. (Photo credit: World Bank)

For 70 years, a key element of American power has been the dollar’s standing as the world’s premier currency. But Washington’s repeated use of economic sanctions as a foreign policy weapon has encouraged China and other powers to consider financial alternatives, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ Business

'Iron Dome' anti-missile site near Sderot, Israel. (Photo credit: Natan Flayer)

The U.S. Congress is rushing to give Israel another $225 million to replenish its supply of “Iron Dome” anti-missile missiles depleted during its war with Gaza, a boost to Israel’s war effort and a shot in the arm for its arms industry, as Danny Schechter explains.

Postponing Costs for Bad Decisions

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Politicians from Washington to Beijing to Tel Aviv like to put off the negative consequences of their decisions as long as possible, but that often adds to the eventual costs to their people and the world, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Israel and US Hit Self-Destruct

Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (State Department photo)

Traditional U.S. policies – backing Israel whatever it does and assuming the dollar will remain king – are facing new challenges as Israel shocks the global conscience with its war on Gaza and emerging economic powers consider a new reserve currency, notes Danny Schechter.

GOP Madness Surfaces in Texas

Texas Gov. Rick Perry greeting voters during his ill-fated run for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Tea Party extremism boiling from beneath the Republican Party bubbled to the top in the GOP’s Texas state platform revealing ugly bigotries and a frantic know-nothing-ism, writes Michael Winship.

The Kurds Eye Long-Desired State

Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: The sectarian conflict engulfing Iraq has created an historic opportunity for the Kurds, a people who have long dreamed of their own homeland. A new Kurdish state carved out of Iraq also could shift the region’s power relationships, says Andrés Cala.

Administrators Are Big Men on Campus

A scene at the University of Chicago.

America’s universities are turning more teaching over to low-paid “adjunct” professors and are leaving students with greater debt burdens, but one area were pay is high and the perks are lavish is in college administration, writes Lawrence S. Wittner.

The Back Story of ‘Citizen Koch’

citizen-koch

Exclusive: The documentary, “Citizen Koch,” was deemed unfit for PBS as the network sidles up to David Koch’s wealth, but the film’s weakness actually is that it doesn’t focus enough on how the Koch brothers have corrupted the U.S. political process, writes Jim DiEugenio.