A Failed Whale, And How To Fix It, by Alexis Goldstein [The Nation]
|Jamie Dimon, CEO JP Morgan|
King Cotton's Long Shadow, by Walter Johnson [New York Times]
Answering the question of "What was the role of slavery in American economic development?" According to Johnson: "The most familiar answer to that question is: not much. By most accounts, the triumph of freedom and the birth of capitalism are seen as the same thing. The victory of the North over the South in the Civil War represents the victory of capitalism over slavery, of the future over the past, of the factory over the plantation. In actual fact, however, in the years before the Civil War, there was no capitalism without slavery. The two were, in many ways, one and the same."
Who Will Get the Real Mortgage Crisis Profits? by Peter Miller [Ourbroker.com]
Describing the massive profits housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received in 2012, and wondering who will ultimately reap these rewards if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are privatized.
Inside the Belly of the Beast: Corrections Corporation of America and the Recession, by Hadar Aviram [California Correctional Crisis Blog]
Describing the business model of the private for-profit prison industry, particularly in recessionary times. According to Aviram: CCA institutions - of which it operates 67 and owns 49 - are located in 20 states and in DC (6 of their institutions are, at this point, vacant). After an initial period of time, population in its private institutions averages 89%. A minimum occupancy is often, albeit not always, mentioned in its contracts with the states to whom it provides services. The business model is structured around the concept of a "per-diem", that is, the state pays a price per-inmate-per-bed-per-day. . . . Who are CCA's main customers? Well, the federal government, for one. Revenues from federal clients comprise 43% of CCA's total revenue for the years 2010 and 2011. But of the states that contract with CCA, California is a major contributor, providing CCA with 13% of its management revenue."
[photo courtesy of Steve Jurvetson, via Creative Commons]