Attorney General Eric Holder made it official in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee: Some banks are so big that criminal prosecution poses an unacceptable danger to the U.S. and world economies. This is not Holder's opinion alone. In the past, the Justice Department has consulted with the Federal Reserve, the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to assess the consequences of criminal prosecution. This is a government-wide problem.
Emmett Pinkston served in the military for 30 years, first in the Marines, then in the Air Force, then in the Army. He helped coordinate security for President George W. Bush during the G8 Summit on Sea Island, Ga., in 2004, and worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq from 2005 to 2007, some of the deadliest years of the war.
Does it matter whether or not America is actually a "center-right" country, as conservatives argue, if its elected leaders think it is? Or is the only factor that matters the size of a voter's bank account?
The U.S. political system is increasingly gamed against Americans of modest means — a situation exacerbated in recent years by major changes in the nation's campaign laws.
That's the overriding takeaway from a new report slated for release today by Demos, a left-leaning nonprofit public policy group "working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy."
These reputational consequences--whether justified or not--are to be expected. Sociologists and economists have long remarked upon the central role that social trust plays in healthy markets. Market transactions depend on a whole series of assumptions that people must be able to rely on, including the soundness of money, the enforceability of contracts, the good will of their partners, the integrity of the legal system, and the common meanings of language. Social trust is the glue that holds markets and societies together.
Young adults are pulling back on credit-card debt for similar reasons, said Amy Traub, a senior policy analyst at Demos, a public policy research organization. It found that Americans age 25 to 34 cut their credit card debt in half between 2008 and 2012.
All around them, young adults are seeing signs of financial distress -- job insecurity, foreclosures, high college costs. That's making them think twice about applying for loans, she said.