US fiscal time bomb is about to explode

Here’s how to defuse it.

Christian Science Monitor
by US Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)

05/04/10

American leaders on the left and right are increasingly acknowledging that unless we take dramatic steps to reduce our deficits and debt, we may face not just another economic crisis but the end of American prosperity and leadership as we know it. No one knows precisely when we will reach this economic tipping point, but I would argue we have no more than five years to put ourselves on a sustainable course. Change on this scale does not happen overnight. The time to start making hard choices is now...

//tinyurl.com/282hjp7



Shadow banking

The American Prospect
by Nomi Prins

05/04/10

Despite all the noise about financial reform, the shadow banking system that helped create the financial crisis would remain fundamentally unaltered by the legislation now pending in Congress. Indeed, leveraged entities such as private-equity, venture-capital, and hedge funds get only minor regulatory attention. These barely regulated, nontransparent bastions of speculation propagated systemic risks beyond any that could be created by the banks themselves. Whether housed at banks, created by banks, or freestanding, they exist to enable speculative risk-taking hidden from either regulatory or market scrutiny while camouflaging layers of debt and enabling the complex-securitization deals that caused the financial collapse. Yet, neither the House bill passed last December nor the most recent Senate bill submitted by Sen. Chris Dodd does more than impose marginal adjustments on the shadow banking system...

//www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=shadow_banking


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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