Altogether now: “Business news is the worst part of mainstream media. You’re no better informed by reading it than by reading nothing at all.”

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Heck, we talk about business all the time.

ON THE AVENUES: Taco Bell has as much to do with “local business” as Jeff Gahan does with “quality urban design principles.”

Meanwhile, begin your week with this video cam of foxes pillaging the hen house, and remember:

Yanis Varoufakis, business cults, and why I refuse to wear a suit.

The prime reason for this violent, lifelong allergic reaction to the trappings of chambers of commerce and like-minded business idolatry societies is their vacuously obnoxious glorification of business for the sake of business, in the form of endless rounds of symbolic pom-pom waving, mysterious networking rites, totemic seminars and expense account driven re-education junkets, the sum total of which is the perpetuation of eager, grasping and typically greedy cadres of business “elites”, each dressed exactly alike, refusing to travel in steerage, wholly ignorant of the universe beyond their sales strategies, but perfectly capable of exchanging indecipherable business lingo and colloquialisms that surely would have inspired Sinclair Lewis to update the saga of “Babbitt” for an even more annoying age.

A beertrepreneur? That’s something completely different. Now strap on those Wall Street Sickness Bags and enjoy.


The Calm Before the Crash
, by Whitney Wimbish (The Baffler)

Business news is the worst part of mainstream media. You’re no better informed by reading it than by reading nothing at all. In fact, you might be worse off—if you’re sucked into the assumptions of neoliberal economics that are the only existing reality on Wall Street. Those theories boil down to one point: It’s your fault if you’re poor.

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A typical criticism of business-page reporting is that it’s not really for regular people, it’s for investors. And, sure, it acts as another set of society pages for richies and helps them make money. But that’s not all it does. Financial news depicts Wall Street from the Wall Street perspective. And it depicts us as Wall Street sees us.

Think about the MarketWatch article from earlier this year, widely mocked on Twitter, which repeated an investment company’s claim that you should have twice your annual salary saved by the time you’re 35. That column isn’t just laughable tripe; what it really does is launder finance industry propaganda that says people don’t have enough money because they’re not saving enough. Not because specific policies have sapped their money, not because retirement products sold by Wall Street don’t work, not because of a tax code that was bad even before Trump got his hands on it. Because of individual bad decisions. It’s your fault!

It doesn’t take a special background in finance to understand that’s a lie. You likewise don’t need to know the details of the Dodd-Frank Act or Trump’s efforts to dismantle it to know something is very wrong in our economy, despite what so many articles would have you believe these days. But here’s some data anyway …

You may wish to pour a drink before continuing.

Just like before the 2008 crash, personal debt is at an all-time high and some borrowers are defaulting at an increased rate, for example on car loans. Total household indebtedness is $13.2 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in May, $536 billion more than the last high point, which was in 2008. For some perspective, with $13.2 trillion, you could fix Flint’s water crisis more than 60,000 times over. Meanwhile, corporate debt has also grown to an all-time high, with $5.3 trillion in outstanding corporate bonds—and half of the bonds issued in recent years have been downgraded to “junk.”

Total household indebtedness is $13.2 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in May, $536 billion more than the last high point, which was in 2008.

When it all comes crashing down, you know which group will get a bailout. For everyone else, another crash will compound the misery caused by the last one …

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