Chriss W. Street

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Union Leadership Overhead Costs Contribute to 80% Membership Decline

Steve Early, longtime union staff member and prolific socialist writer, just published Save Our Unions: Dispatches From a Movement in Distress, which directly blames bloated union overhead costs as a major contributor to the decline of the union movement. Mar 25, 2014 1:21 AM PT

Putin Will Pay Sanctions with Crimea's Gas Rights

This week saw escalating rounds of ceremonial sanctions by the U.S. and European Union (EU) against Russia over its annexation of the Crimea, followed by escalating ceremonial sanctions by Russia against the U.S. and EU. But as President Obama looked petulant, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a huge Cheshire-Cat grin as he welcomed two million residents of the Crimea and their massive off-shore natural gas rights into Mother Russia. Mar 22, 2014 6:24 PM PT

Fed Chair Janet Yellen Indicates Higher Interest Rates Ahead

Janet Yellen, in her first press conference as the new Federal Reserve Chair, said the U.S. economy is expanding by close to 3% despite harsh weather. She added that hiring and wage growth are faster than expected, causing unemployment to fall more than expected and the percentage of Americans in the workforce to expand for the first time in seven years. Mar 19, 2014 2:25 PM PT

Food Price Inflation Scares the Fed

Stock markets around the world fell Thursday, led by the 246 point dive, or 1.5%, for the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average and a 1.9% drop for German stock market index. Analysts generally pointed to worries about shrinking Chinese lending and the potential trade war between Russia and the West, but I am more concerned that since the beginning of 2014 food prices have skyrocketed. Mar 14, 2014 2:12 PM PT

Russians Know U.S. Sanction Threats Are a Joke

As Russia President Vladimir Putin consolidates his military hold on the Crimean Peninsula, President Obama signed an executive order suspending certain Russian visas and allowing the Treasury Department to impose financial sanctions on individuals and entities for “misappropriating state assets of Ukraine.” Mar 7, 2014 10:08 AM PT

Obama Budget Is Rainbows, Butterflies, and Unicorns

Rainbows, Butterflies, and Unicorns (RBU) is an slang term used on Wall Street to sarcastically describe a situation in which expectations are unrealistic and one has to put on a happy face regardless of personal opinions. This perfectly describes the president’s budget, which tries to celebrate a $500 billion deficit as a major accomplishment. Mar 5, 2014 6:33 AM PT

Ukraine Crisis Means Drill, Baby, Drill

Russia’s invasion of Crimea is a tipping point event that will further spur the American oil boom. The European Union (EU) and United States in 2008 threatened to slap economic sanctions on Russia for invading Georgia. But after a while the criticism faded and threats of sanctions were quietly dropped, because the EU is almost entirely reliant on Russia for energy supplies. Mar 4, 2014 6:56 AM PT

Russian Stock Market Crash Won't Mean Much to US

The Russian stock market suffered an 11% loss overnight in reaction to a run on bank deposits fed by rumors the European Union and the United States would apply Cold War type sanctions to punish Russia’s invasion of the Crimea. Mar 3, 2014 7:39 PM PT

Bitcoin Is Not Going Away

New York Times editorial writer Joe Nocera had a field day on February 28th raging against “The Bitcoin Blasphemy," which he claimed is libertarian “sacrilege” since it is “unconnected to any currency or any government.” Mar 3, 2014 8:06 AM PT

Should U.S. Pay for Ukraine's Bankruptcy?

European and American media may be celebrating the triumph of the Ukraine “people’s revolution,” but the real question is who is going to pay for the $29 billion a year bailout to keep the country from going bankrupt. Feb 28, 2014 2:21 PM PT

Former CEO to PIMCO Founder: 'I’m Tired of Cleaning Up Your Sh*t'

The Wall Street Journal on February 25th published a story about December’s messy corporate divorce between Bill Gross and Mohamed El-Erian as Co-Chief Investment Officers at Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), the world’s largest bond fund with almost $2 trillion in assets. Feb 26, 2014 2:10 PM PT

Federal Reserve to Cut Off Europe to Support U.S. Borrowing

Janet Yellen, newly confirmed Federal Reserve (Fed) chair, announced February 19th that America’s central bank is moving to cut off the massive financial lifeline that has been subsidizing the European banking system since the beginning of the global financial crisis in March of 2008. Feb 24, 2014 9:11 PM PT

China's Employment Index Falls to Five-Year Low

The highly credible HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of economic demand in China reported that demand in China’s factories fell for a second month in a row and hit a seven-month low. Feb 21, 2014 12:03 PM PT

U.S. Banks Investigated for Pay-to-Play with Chinese Regulators

A joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, Hong Kong Department of Justice, and the UK Ministry of Justice into accusations that American investment banks hired the children of powerful Asian officials to secure lucrative securities business may have just ensnared JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Feb 20, 2014 6:42 AM PT

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