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  2. The reason why Wall Street continues to push the austerity line also has to do with a) class psychology and b) how elite conventional wisdom is shaped.

    Think about the days of feudalism. Back then, nobody bothered to justify their position in an egalitarian ethical framework. Instead, there was the “natural” superiority of the aristocracy, which allowed landlords to pillage the peasantry without even a scrap of justification. Concepts like meritocracy or equality were barely even considered; most people simply accepted their place in society.

     

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  4. Good news!  U.S. households are wealthier than ever!

    Bad news: Not everyone is sharing in the wealth.

     

  5. Here’s a look at this week’s cover.

     

  6. Wall Street seems inclined to unfriend Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

    Shares in his newly minted public company dipped below $20 this week, barely half of May’s initial public offering price of $38. At the time of the IPO, Facebook was anointed “the darling of Wall Street” following an opening day frenzy that valued Zuck’s social network at well over $100 billion — good enough for the second largest IPO in U.S. history. But now, restless investors are calling for Zuckerberg to turn the company’s reins over to someone with more leadership experience.

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  7. President Obama had a famous falling-out with Wall Street after Democrats passed the sweeping financial reform bill, Dodd-Frank, and Obama bruised some egos with tough language about "fat-cat bankers" hurting the economy.

    Still, more than three years after he was sworn in, no top bankers are in jail, financial-fraud prosecutions are down by one count, and now JPMorgan Chase just lost a staggering $2 billion on the type of risky credit default swaps that helped drag the country into this financial hole in the first place. CNN's Jack Cafferty writes:

    "[V]oters will hold up the president against his record - and ask how this could happen again. In light of the mess at JP Morgan, it will be nearly impossible for Obama to run as the president who got tough on Wall Street."

    And conservatives are highlighting Obama’s ties to Wall Street. Moe Lane at Red State:

    "Now, I personally don’t actually have an issue with Wall Street donating money to candidates. But Barack Obama does – or at least that he said that he did, only that turned out to be a lie. In other words, it’s all about the hypocrisy: if you don’t think that campaign contributions from unpopular corporations are a form of communication, and you campaign on that, then do not take campaign contributions from those unpopular corporations."

    4 ways the JPMorgan mess could hurt Obama

     


  8. The ADL says 15 percent of Americans hold “deeply anti-Semitic views,” compared to 12 percent in 2009.  Obviously, the shift in attitude occurred during the ongoing economic crisis, and some of the biggest changes came with questions measuring stereotypes about Jews and money. For instance, 19 percent of survey respondents said the statement that “Jews have too much control/influence on Wall Street” was “probably true.” In 2009, that number was 14 percent.

     

  9. The sketches of Occupy Wall Street. More here.

    Image: Guy Denning

     

  10. What the Wall Street protests will accomplish

    The “Occupy Wall Street” protest entered its third day on Monday, with organizers at the counterculture website Adbusters saying the demonstrators represent “the 99 percent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 percent.” A heavy police presence kept the protesters, who numbered several thousand at the peak of the weekend’s rally, off Wall Street itself. Instead, demonstrators gathered in a nearby park demanding reforms to keep a financial meltdown from happening again. What will they accomplish? Here, some theories.

     

  11. A Bloomberg News poll found that 71 percent of Americans (and 76 percent of Republicans) favor banning annual bonuses on Wall Street. Another 17 percent favor a 50 percent tax on bonuses above $400,000, and only 7 percent say the compensation system is fine as is. To put that last point in perspective, says Reuters' Felix Salmon, 24 percent of Americans think Obama is a secret Muslim while 41 percent believe in ESP: “Americans will believe anything, it seems—except the idea that incentivizing bankers at systemically-important institutions to take big risks makes any sense at all.” As Wall Street prepares to dole out another year of huge bonuses, based on bailout-fueled profits, should Washington take note and step in?

    Here’s what the pundits are saying