The Barracuda

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(photo credit: Kidd Madonny) First of all, this is NOT a Rahm-related blog post. This is a five foot long barracuda that I came within inches of swimming into with my hand a few days ago off of St. John’s Island in the Caribbean. I stopped just in time, but the toothy fish might have done a job on me had I not stopped before ramming him, or her. Internationally popular DJ Kidd Madonny snapped this picture. I appreciate very…

Alert: Democracy Now, KPFA, and General Anthony Zinni

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Tomorrow at 8 am EST, I will be chatting with Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman about the impact of Sunday’s Japanese national elections on US-Japan relations. At about 10 am EST, I will be talking yet again about Hatoyama, Aso, Ozawa, Okada and the other rising and falling Japanese political players on Berkeley’s listener-supported KPFA radio. And then, from 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm, I will be chairing a meeting with retired 4-Star General Anthony Zinni in a meeting titled “Sorting…

Americans Should Get Assurances on “Offshoring” in Citibank Bail-out

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Here is a very quick clip of my views on the Citibank bail-out and the importance of realigning the interests of US-based multinational firms that take taxpayer money with the interests of America’s workers. This segment played on PRI’s The World which airs on National Public Radio affiliates around the country. It may sound perverse, but as things look now, these large institutions are getting funds to make them solvent but are laying off workers left and right. There is…

Bill Richardson, GM, Citibank: Where is the Bail-Out Debate on Offshoring Middle Class Jobs Overseas?

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A bit more than a decade ago, I received a briefing at Sandia National Weapons Laboratories on a few of their private-public partnerships, or CRADAs (Cooperative Research and Development Agreements). Intel had a CRADA with Sandia and Los Alamos Labs on developing extreme ultra-violet lithography. Many other top tier firms did too. But the CRADA that interested me most was General Motors. GM’s tech team was with us — and we learned about a great number of tax-payer supported national…

G20 Should Focus on Solutions, Without Obama

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Imagine your country is suffering from the worst financial crisis in nearly a century (as in the UK) or that your export market is collapsing along with the promise of prosperity you’ve made to hundreds of millions of peasants (as in China). You have hinged your public support on creating effective regulation and creating the next monetary system (Merkel, Brown, Sarkozy) and you are coming to Washington DC to meet with the leaders of the G20 to accomplish these multilateral…

Bailouts, Bubbles, Boils, and Trouble

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Today, my colleagues at the New America Foundation are having a half day forum titled “Recipes for Recovery: From Washington to Wall Street” at the Hyatt Regency on Capital Hill. It’s free, open to the public and starts at 10 am EST. For those who are not nearby, there will be youtube video capsules posted later. Headliners are Medley Capital CEO Richard Medley, former Michigan Governor and National Association of Manufacturing President John Engler, Former Congressman William Frenzel, and others….

Who Wasn’t On Stage With Obama and Should Have Been?

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I’m not satisfied with the roster of economic personalities and thinkers we see Barack Obama mixing with. I realize that there are a lot of players behind the scenes and those who walked out on stage (list below) are symbolic of clusters of other people and thinkers — though every time I see Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers in the same group, it reminds me of the UK and France on the P-5 at the UN Security Council. Do we…

Applause for Obama’s Thoughtful Stand on Infrastructure Investment

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The New America Foundation’s Sherle Schwenninger and industrialist and philanthropist Bernard Schwartz were out way ahead of the pack in calling for massive government commitment to infrastructure investment. Now this has become conventional wisdom of late. Not too long ago, Senior Obama economic policy adviser Austan Goolsbee complimented Schwenninger’s heavy-lifting on the infrastructure agenda before many others were in that policy space. But beyond a bland embrace of the need for new infrastructure investment, I really appreciated Barack Obama’s thoughtful…

Bartlesville Gas and the Downside of Dropping Prices at the Pump

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I snapped this picture on Monday morning this week in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where I paid $2.09 a gallon for gas. Bartlesville is the original home base of Frank Phillips and Phillips 66 (now ConocoPhillips). This ought to worry everyone. We’ll be under $2.00 in some parts of the country soon — and the price gougers elswhere in the country will slowly float down to these levels as well. This is unfortunate on a number of fronts as a combination of…