Category Archives: Obtaining income through harm

This is the point of the harmful part of a productive + harmul economic system: obtaining income not through productive means, but by unproductive means–taking it away from others.   The central idea of this website is that one group uses resources to restructure the alternatives of the second group in such a way that the first group benefits.  Slavery would be an example.  This is discussed in the following sections: Harm through the market, Obtaining income through the government – rent seeking – corruption, Discrimination: race – gender – ethnic – religious – class Slavery, Forced Labor Crime, Control of land and natural resources This section gives some examples of how this is done in today’s world, but other  categories provide a fuller story.

Coronavirus relief package

Caption: Through the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility, the Federal Reserve will provide $500 billion to companies by buying bonds, but the companies will not be required to retain employees or limit executive pay. See accompanying story below. Credit: Public Domain

Federal assistance during the coronavirus pandemic is crucial. This page will look at ways in which allocation of these resources is directed not to those who most need it, but to large corporations, the wealthy, and the financial sector, as well as basic information about the federal assistance.

This Treasury official Is running the bailout. It’s been great for his family. Justin Elliott, Lydia DePillis and Robert Faturechi ProPublica June 2, 2020

‘Lining up at the trough’: Federal Reserve to offer corporations $500 billion no-strings-attached bailout loophole Julia Conley Common Dreams April 28, 2020

Large, troubled companies got bailout money in small-business loan program Jessica Silver-Greenberg, David Enrich, Jesse Drucker and Stacy Cowley New York Times April 28, 2020
This article describes how companies which would be thought not qualified for a small-business loan program did in fact receive one. Of the $349 billion in low-interest loans for small businesses more than 200 publicly traded [= not-small] companies have disclosed receiving a total of more than $750 million in bailout loans.

The tax-break bonanza inside the economic rescue package Jesse Drucker New York Times April 24, 2020
As small businesses and individuals struggle to obtain federal aid, the wealthiest are poised to reap tens of billions of dollars in tax savings.

Failing to help those who need it most Editorial Board New York Times April 24, 2020 (Opinion)

House passes $484 billion bill with money for small businesses, hospitals and testing to battle coronavirus Erica Werner Washington Post April 23, 2020

Banks gave richest clients ‘concierge treatment’ for pandemic aid Emily Flitter and Stacy Cowley New York Times April 22, 2020
Some businesses seeking coronavirus loans got to avoid flaky online portals or backed-up queues. Many other small businesses couldn’t get their loan requests submitted before the money dried up.

Starve the beast, feed the depression Paul Krugman New York Times April 16, 2020 (Opinion)
Anti-government ideology is crippling pandemic policy.

How the government pulls coronavirus relief money out of thin air Matt Phillips New York Times April 15, 2020
Once-fringe ideas in economic theory are now nearly official policy as government borrowing surges and the Federal Reserve signals it could buy unlimited debt.

Failure to help those that need it the most Editorial Board New York Times April 15, 2020
The distribution of coronavirus bailout funds requires more attention.

Here’s what’s in the $2 trillion virus stimulus package John Harney / Bloomberg Washington Post March 27, 2020 IRS has paid out over $218 billion in stimulus checks Andrew Keshner MarketWatch May 11, 2020

How the Fed’s magic money machine will turn $454 billion into $4 trillion Jeanna Smialek New York Times March 26, 2020
The central bank takes Treasury Department loan guarantees and uses them to stand up huge programs. Here’s how that works.

$29,000,000,000,000: A detailed look at the Fed’s bailout by funding facility and recipient James Felkerson Levi Economics Institute November, 2011 Original and important research detailing the financial sector bailout undertaken by the Federal Reserve during the 2007-09 financial crisis, showing that it was much larger than previously understood. Very helpful for understanding what the Fed is doing now, on what will be an even larger bailout.

Cover of Predatory Value Extraction by William Lazonick and Jang-Sup Shin

Predatory Value Extraction by William Lazonick and Jang-Sup Shin

The economist who put stock buybacks in Washington’s crosshairs Sheelah Kolhatkar New Yorker June 20, 2019

Predatory value extraction James McRitchie Corporate Governance April 29, 2020 Comments William Lazonick Corporate Governance May 7, 2020 Comments Jang-Sup Shin May 5, 2020

Cover of Predatory Value Extraction by William Lazonick and Jang-Sup Shin

Bribery and money-laundering by Switzerland and Nordic countries

CPI 2019: Trouble at the top Transparency International January 20, 2020
Top scoring countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) like Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland are not immune to corruption. Multiple scandals in 2019 demonstrated that transnational corruption is often facilitated, enabled and perpetuated by seemingly clean Switzerland and Nordic countries.

An Icelandic fishing company bribed officials in Namibia and used Norway’s largest bank to transfer 70 million dollars to a tax haven Ingi Freyr Vilhjálmsson Studin November 12, 2019