Politics: September 2008 Archives

This post at Daily Kos is the best summary I've read about how we reached this point of near collapse of our financial systems. Spoiler alert: former Senator Gramm (McCain's chief economic adviser) and formed Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan are bad buys. Here are some interesting statistics, which come from a conversation between business correspondent Bob Moon and host Kai Ryssdal on American Public Media's "Marketplace" in the spring.

BOB MOON: OK, I'm about to unload some numbers on you here, so I'll speak slowly so you can follow this.

The value of the entire U.S. Treasuries market: $4.5 trillion.

The value of the entire mortgage market: $7 trillion.

The size of the U.S. stock market: $22 trillion.

OK, you ready?

The size of the credit default swap market last year: $45 trillion.

KAI RYSSDAL: That's a lot of money, Bob.

Remember, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is head of the conservative Christian Democratic Party in Germany, not the Greens. Via Deutche Welle:

Speaking in Austria on Saturday, Sept 20, Merkel said her government had tried in vain to win G8 support last year for tighter regulation of hedge funds and financial oversight of capital markets, hinting that she felt vindicated in her stance as a financial disaster unfolded on Wall Street in recent days.

So we can't have health care for everyone because that would be socialist, but the government just took 80% ownership of AIG? Crazy.

joy garnett molotov

Joy Garnett, Molotov (detail)


Susan Meiselas, Sandinistas at the walls of the Esteli National Guard headquarters, Esteli, Nicaragua, 1979
© Susan Meiselas/Magnum

The second paragraph of Susan Meiselas's bio on her website states:

Meiselas joined Magnum Photos in 1976 and has worked as a freelance photographer since then. She is best known for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua and her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America, which were published widely throughout the world. In 1981, Pantheon published her second monograph, NICARAGUA, JUNE 1978-JULY 1979.

In addition to being the author of the iconic photograph above, she is also known to many of us as the person who sent her lawyer after Joy Garnett accusing her of "pirating" the photo when Joy created the painting titled Molotov seen in detail above.

Given Meiselas's progressive (other than on copyright issues) history, I was surprised when I saw this on the page for her upcoming exhibition at the International Center of Photography:


[Meiselas image is from the ICP site. Joy's image is from her flickr feed.]

This page is an archive of entries in the Politics category from September 2008.

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