Robert Weissman

Robert Weissman

Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen. Weissman was formerly director of Essential Action, editor of Multinational Monitor, a magazine that tracks corporate actions worldwide, and a public interest attorney at the Center for Study of Responsive Law. He was a leader in organizing the 2000 IMF and World Bank protests in D.C. and helped make HIV drugs available to the developing world.

 

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The Medicare-for-All Moment
There is only one solution to the twin problems of escalating health care costs and the epidemic of the uninsured: a Medicare-for-All, single payer system. Unfortunately, the healthcare debate on Capitol Hill has evolved without serious consideration of the Medicare-for-All single payer health proposal. There are many reasons for this, but one is that many who actually support Medicare-for-All have claimed that the proposal is "not feasible."
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Wednesday, July 01, 2009
150 Years
One hundred and fifty years jail time for Bernard Madoff is a good thing. To listen to the victims of his swindle, or read their words, is to appreciate the very far-reaching ways in which Madoff's quiet crime has wreaked havoc on the lives of thousands of families.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Financial Sector Regulation
There are major gaps and shortcomings in the Obama administration's financial regulatory proposals, formally released today, and the proposals alone leave the financial sector vulnerable to future crisis. Still, it's nice to be able to say that the proposal does contain meaningful reforms.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The IMF Accountability Moment
Seeking to avoid a direct up-or-down vote on a proposal to send $108 billion to the International Monetary Fund, the administration, at the last moment, had the money stuck into a supplemental appropriations bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That maneuver turned out to be too clever by a turn.
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Thursday, June 04, 2009
GM Nationalization: The Path Not Taken, Choices Still Ahead
Whatever the woes of General Motors -- and they are substantial -- it does not follow that the government needed to drive the company into bankruptcy. With at least $50 billion in government supports undergirding the new GM, the Obama administration auto task force deciding GM's fate could have steered the company away from bankruptcy court. If it had so chosen, it could have acquired the company outright -- a much better course to advance the legitimate public interest in rescuing GM.
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Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Bankrupt Thinking
What in the world is the Obama administration thinking? The GM bankruptcy -- entirely avoidable -- seems designed to hurt every constituency it is supposed to assist.
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Monday, April 13, 2009
No Blank Check for the IMF
This month's G20 meeting ended with one overriding tangible agreement: A commitment by the rich countries to provide more than $1 trillion in assistance (mostly in the form of loans) to developing countries. This money is desperately needed. Although they had nothing to do with mortgage-backed securities or credit default swaps, developing countries are getting worst hit by the global economic meltdown. The World Bank conservatively estimates that 53 million more people will be trapped in deep poverty due to the crisis.
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Friday, March 20, 2009
Lessons from AIG
Watch out if you live in or visit Washington, D.C. If you see a camera or microphone, be careful not to be trampled by a politician rushing to shout their "outrage" at AIG, and its brazen scheme to pay $165 million in bonuses to employees at the company unit responsible for driving the company to the edge of insolvency.
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Friday, March 13, 2009
Said without Joy: We Told You So
Is it fair to complain about the actions of the financial deregulators? Could anyone reasonably have foreseen the consequences of a decades-long regulatory holiday for the financial sector? In a word, yes.
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Saturday, March 07, 2009
12 Deregulatory Steps to Financial Meltdown
What can $5 billion buy in Washington? Quite a lot. Over the 1998-2008 period, the financial sector spent more than $5 billion on U.S. federal campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures. This extraordinary investment paid off fabulously. Congress and executive agencies rolled back long-standing regulatory restraints, refused to impose new regulations on rapidly evolving and mushrooming areas of finance, and shunned calls to enforce rules still in place.
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