Category Archives: Wall Street

Comparative Inequality: Top Income Shares Around the World

As the Occupy Wall Street movement stands up for “the other 99%,” a data source recently cited by Paul Krugman reports the history of top income shares in twenty-six countries including the U.S. The World Top Incomes Database will soon publish data from several more countries. Among leading contributors are Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, whose collaboration on U.S. inequality is widely acknowledged as authoritative. Saez has a link on his homepage to the latest U.S. data (2008)—the first item under “Income and Wealth Inequality.”

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Occupy Wall Street: Experienced Organizer Offers Advice

Ezra Klein posts comments from organizer Rich Yeselson on Occupy Wall Street. Is this movement scaling up?

The four habits of highly successful social movements, by Rich Yeselson. Posted  on Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog, October 5, 2011. The Wall Street protests seem to be gathering strength and expanding beyond the geographic limits of downtown Manhattan. The media, too, is finally amplifying the story. Whether they will grow larger and sustain themselves beyond these initial street actions will depend upon four things: the work of skilled organizers; the success of those organizers in getting people, once these events end, to meet over and over and over again; whether or not the movement can promote public policy solutions that are organically linked to the quotidian lives of its supporters; and the ability of liberalism’s infrastructure of intellectuals, writers, artists and professionals to expend an enormous amount of their cultural capital in support of the movement.

The whole world is watching.

Occupy Wall Street? It’s About Time!

As the “Occupy Wall Street” movement continues and spreads to other cities, it’s nice to see economist and Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz and economic historian Jeff Madrick out addressing the crowd in New York City (video and transcript here—thanks to my son Nick). From the beginning of the crisis, Stiglitz has scoffed at the idea of banks being too big to fail. On the contrary, he says, they’re not too big to be reorganized—that is, take them into bankruptcy, wipe out the equity holders, replace management, and move on—that’s the customary way of dealing with failed banks.  Jeff Madrick’s latest book is Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present (2011); he’s also a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books.

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