Economic Update: Banking Collapse Contagion?
On March 10, 2023, the Silicon Valley Bank, the most important bank in Silicon Valley, failed. This bank held the money of some of the wealthiest people in the world, venture capitalists who invested in tech businesses.
The government bailed it out hoping to prevent the crisis from becoming a nationwide contagion like the one in 2008 when even larger banks failed. As a consequence in 2008, 8.7 million people lost their jobs. Unemployment jumped to 10%. There was a 1/3 drop in the value of homes and 10 million people lost their homes. The government did nothing to help them.
After the Silicon Valley Bank crashed the Signature Bank in New York crashed followed by the Republic Bank and then Credit Suisse. We speak with the economics professor Richard Wolff on why the economy was threatened with collapse and what must be done to protect us from the unstable banking system.
Guest – Richard Wolff is emerita professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts where he taught for for 35 years and a visiting professor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the Nee School University, NYC. He is the founder of Democracy at Work and host of their national syndicated show Economic Update. Professor Wolff has authorized numerous books on capitalism and socialism, including most recently The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us From Pandemics or Itself, Understanding Socialism; and Understanding Marxism, which can be found at democracyatwork.info.
Upcoming Supreme Court Cases
The ever more conservative and activist Supreme Court has already heard arguments this term in a number of cases of vital importance. The cases involve the legality of President Bidens student debt relief plan, the fate of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other independent agencies, and the liability of social media sites where it is claimed that Googles algorithms sent people to a hateful site that the plaintiffs in the case claim led to an Islamic State attack that killed their child.
Also of concern is the Supreme Courts refusal to take an appeal from a lower count opinion upholding the State of Kansas law forbidding the State from doing business with any company that refuses to certify it does not support the boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS movement against Israel. And there is the Helaman Hansen case that addresses the question of whether the First Amendment permits criminal punishment of speech that merely encourages a noncitizen to remain in the United States, without any requirement of intent to further illegal conduct, and when remaining in the United States unlawfully is itself not a crime.
Guest – Attorney Stephen Rohde is a noted constitutional scholar and activist. He is the past Chair of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California; the founder and current Chair of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace; the author of American Words of Freedom, and of Freedom of Assembly. Steve Rohde is a regular contributor to TruthDig as well as the Los Angeles Review of Books, and is a leader in the national campaign to free the imprisoned investigative journalist, Julian Assange.