Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the think tank Demos. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week, and continues to write columns in the Boston Globe and Huffington Post. He is the author of A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama's Promise, Wall Street's Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future, Obama's Challenge, and other books.

Articles by this author

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Monday, August 17, 2009
Killing Yourself with Kindness
Will somebody please explain to me why Barack Obama is still on his bipartisan kick?
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Monday, July 27, 2009
Wall Street on Speed
The New York Times recently reported that the latest scheme--or scam--on Wall Street is something called High Frequency Trading. Very sophisticated financial firms, such as Goldman Sachs, are tipped off by the New York Stock Exchange's own computers to pending buy and sell orders. Armed with ultra sophisticated computer algorithms, the insiders anticipate the direction of the market based on what they learn about supply and demand for a given security. They can make an extra penny here and an extra penny there at the expense of us suckers, adding up to billions.
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Monday, July 20, 2009
Smoking the Green Shoots
Question for the day: Where is the economic recovery going to come from?
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Monday, July 06, 2009
3 Reasons We Need an Economic Wake Up Call
Several events of the past week should be a wake-up call to the Obama administration. Bottom line: the medicine isn't working. Stronger stuff is needed. Consider: The June Unemployment Numbers. The green-shoots school was expecting that the rising rate of unemployment would continue to slow, as it did in May. But instead the number spiked back up. A total of 467,000 jobs were lost. The unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent, and OECD economists project that U.S. unemployment will still be in double digits as late as 2011.
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Monday, June 29, 2009
Pecora Swirling: Appointing the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
Reuters is out with an authoritative story on finalists being considered for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the investigative body created by Congress to launch a full-scale investigation of the financial crisis in the spirit of the famous early 1930s hearings led by Ferdinand Pecora.
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Monday, June 22, 2009
The Policy That Dare Not Speak Its Name
I'm sure I'm not the only reader who noticed the juxtaposition of two front page stories in Sunday's New York Times dealing with health care. The first article cited a new Times-CBS poll showing that 72 percent of Americans favored a government run health plan comparable to Medicare, which would be available to everyone.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Five Questions We Should Ask About Financial Oversight
On June 17, the Obama administration will make public its long-awaited white paper on financial reform, quite possibly with a speech by the president himself. Leaks from various players within the administration over the past few weeks have focused on whether there should be a major consolidation of the different agencies that supervise banks, investment companies, and financial exchanges.
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Monday, June 08, 2009
Fantasies of Green Shoots
There is a huge reality gap between the happy talk about green shoots, banks passing stress tests, the rise in unemployment slowing -- and what's happening out in the real economy, especially if you take a close look at banking and housing, ground zero of the economic crisis. Credit remains tight for all but the most blue-chip borrowers. Despite the Fed's policy of keeping short term interest rates at just above zero, average rates on conventional 30-year mortgages, now above 5.5 percent, have jumped nearly a full point since April.
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Thursday, June 04, 2009
Facing Down the Private Insurance Industry
Despite budget pressures, President Obama has not backed off his commitment to universal healthcare reform. But the devil is in the details. And if he is not careful he could end up with a reform worse than nothing. A crucial question is whether the law will include a public, Medicare-style plan. This public plan could be used by people who otherwise lack good insurance, or by employers who conclude that the public plan is a better deal for themselves and their workers.
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Monday, June 01, 2009
Betting the Fed
In the banking panic of 1907, J. Pierpont Morgan personally organized a syndicate of financiers to provide $25 million to collapsing banks. It was this panic that finally persuaded Congress in 1913 to create the Federal Reserve System -- not a single central bank but 12 regional reserve banks and a weak board of governors in Washington. The New York Federal Reserve Bank, with its intimate links to Wall Street, quickly became the reserve system's most influential player.
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