Iran Nuclear Deal: There Is No Alternative

On April 3, President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to fill him in on the P5+1 deal with Iran. But the prime minister wasn’t buying. He told the President: “The deal based on this framework would threaten Israel’s survival (and would) legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy, and increase Iran’s aggression and terror […]

Back to School—And to Widening Inequality

American kids are getting ready to head back to school. But the schools they’re heading back to differ dramatically by family income. Which helps explain the growing achievement gap between lower and higher-income children. Thirty years ago, the average gap on SAT-type tests between children of families in the richest 10 percent and bottom 10 percent […]

Fed Hubris: Central Bank Ignores That It is on Thin Political Ice

A shot across the Fed’s bow from Simon Johnson, former IMF chief economist and bank critic, on the surface looks to be a good bit of news. Johnson, in a recent Project Syndicate article, warns that the notoriously cloistered central bank is overly confident about its political position. Although Johnson is constrained by both space limits […]

Will the U.S. Oil Boom Make Energy Sanctions Easier?

Ask someone to identify a big geopolitical consequence of the ongoing U.S. oil production boom and odds are high that they’ll invoke Iran. (Every one of the links in that last sentence is an example.) Without surging U.S. oil production, they’ll argue, sanctions on Iranian oil exports would have led to a massive oil price spike. Here is a concrete case of the oil boom yielding greater U.S. freedom of action in […]

The Rise of the Non-Working Rich

In a new Pew poll, more than three quarters of self-described conservatives believe “poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything.” In reality, most of America’s poor work hard, often in two or more jobs. The real non-workers are the wealthy who inherit their fortunes. And their ranks are growing. In […]

Immigration Reform: Still Happening, Congressional Gridlock Notwithstanding

Despite the standstill in Congress on immigration reform, state and local governments have been very active in passing their own immigration legislation. In this article for Foreign Policy, I look at what different states and cities are doing regarding immigration and the effects of their policies. You can read the beginning of the piece below:  With all […]

The GOP’s Tunnel Vision on the Export-Import Bank

Ask which of the two congressional parties is more in favor of free trade, and the answer is easy: the Republicans. If President Obama succeeds in concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations this year, he will rely on GOP votes, including Tea Party Republicans, to get the deal through Congress. His own Democratic Party is strongly […]

The Private Equity Limited Partnership Agreement Release: The Industry’s Snowden Moment

Last week, the Wall Street Journal released an important story that chronicled how the private equity industry kingpin KKR systematically took advantage of its credulous investors via taking questionable charges through its related company KKR Capstone. That story depended critically on the Wall Street Journal obtaining the terms of the investment from a 2006 KKR limited partnership agreement […]

Is Credit Suisse Really in Jail?

Credit Suisse’s guilty plea to a charge of tax fraud seems to be a major step forward for a Justice Department that was satisfied both before and after the financial crisis with toothless deferred prosecution agreements and large-sounding fines that were easily absorbed as a cost of doing business. A criminal conviction certainly sounds good, and I […]

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