Happy New Year! And what better time to talk about my favorite ideas for getting us out of this fine mess of an economic jim jam we’re all bunched up in. But first, a recap of my previous two posts:
In Dear Mom (Part I) I talked about the absolutely bizarre and vitriolic discussion around what role US federal housing policy played in the collapse of the global economy. Basically, it played a very minor role, in spite of lingering (or, should I say, malingering) opinions to the contrary. When even the industry publication American Banker weighs with a super geeky online commentary saying pretty much what I already said in my blog post, I think we can all put this bugbear to bed.
In Dear Mom (Part II) I took a pretty heady Wall St Journal editorial by Republican dissenters to the Federal Crisis Inquiry Commission and broke down their top ten reasons for the economic collapse into plain English. I’m proud of this blog post, really. It works. And my mom says you should read it because it’s good for you.
But now that I’ve debunked the junk and laid down the ground, I owe it Mom and to you, dear reader, to put my money where my mouth is and talk about what my favorite fixes include. So to begin. Continue reading →
Wall Street greed, lax regulatory oversight, and excessive executive compensation fueled a global debt glut that finally imploded; and
Federal housing policies forced Wall Street financiers to provide high risk mortgages to unworthy borrowers, ultimately leading to an unstable housing market that finally collapsed and brought the economy down with it.
In my first post, I explained some of the background for these opposing views, and I also spent a substantial amount of time discussing why view #2 appears to be (a) freakishly out of touch with reality, (b) so freakishly out of touch with reality that even people who normally want to blame the government for everything can’t agree with it, and (c) in spite of (a) and (b), freakishly popular.
To add vinegar to gall, I don’t think view #1 really doesn’t do justice to the issues either. Continue reading →
My mom rocks. She’s the most big-hearted, intellectually curious, bright-eyed and good-looking mom in the world. Now, she and Pop came for a visit a few weeks back and Mom pulled out of her purse a couple of news clippings: Five Good Reasons Why Wall Street Breeds Protesters (USA Today), and Wall Street’s Gullible Occupiers (Wall Street Journal). She laid them down in front of me over a lovely brunch (at Kevin’s in Red Hook for you foodies out there) and asked in that demure Dayton, Ohio drawl of hers: which one should I believe?
Mom deserves an answer!
So, I’m going to give it my best shot. There are an awful lot of folks who have killed an awful lot of trees trying to sort this business out (and I will cite throughout this blog my personal favorites), and much black ink has been spilled. I’m going to try and give to you, in layman’s terms, what I believe the critical issues were and some ideas on how to address the current aftermath and future implications thereof. This may take a while. Ready? Continue reading →
Ask anybody, and I mean anybody, about evaluating the effectiveness of nonprofit service providers and you will be greeted by winces, whinges, shrugs, groans, gnashing of teeth, sighs, and the burying of faces in flattened palms. And by anybody I don’t just mean any nonprofit service provider – I mean as well our beloved philanthropic leaders and public sector partners. After all, we’re talking about an industry that in 2009 paid 9% of all wages, contributed 5.4% of GDP, reported revenues of $1.4 trillion, and held some $2.56 trillion in assets. Why can’t we find a way to tell how effective this industry is with our money (both public and private dollars)? How hard can it be? Continue reading →