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ASBC David Brodwin
By David Brodwin
Posted on: November 2, 2016
The Wells Fargo Bank scandal has been driven from the headlines by the presidential election next week, but like the Terminator, it will be back. Wells Fargo's conduct in fraudulently opening two million retail bank accounts was so foul that both political parties felt compelled to join in castigating the company and its CEO John Stumpf. Stumpf soon resigned; even his offer to disgorge $41 million in pay was not enough to save his job.While all eyes are on the election, Democrats and Republicans skirmish over the lessons that the public will draw from Wells Fargo. They're fighting over... read more
By Rose Marcario
Posted on: October 20, 2016
With the election only three weeks away, it’s important to remember what David Brower said back in 1986 - “there is no business on a dead planet.” Business doesn’t live in a vacuum, but in an interconnected world. Any business that has not come to terms with the fact of our interconnectedness to the natural world and our own health and wellbeing is asleep at the wheel. We need to elect leaders who will protect our planet’s air, water and soil and defend the health and well-being of our families and communities.Consider the plight of our dying planet. Over 100 million Americans live where the... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: October 17, 2016
A new report from the Center for American Progress has a dire warning for our nation’s future.Small business ownership rates have been trending down since the early 2000s.  “Looking at all households who are earning income, business ownership steadily declined from 14.6 percent in the period from 1998 to 2000 to 13.5 percent in the mid-2000s to 12.8 percent by 2010 to 2012,” says the report.Also according to the report, “African Americans are 5 percent less likely to have a business in their household compared with white households—even at the same levels of income, wealth, and education—and... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: October 12, 2016
This week, Americans learned that they had likely given Donald Trump a nearly 20-year break from income taxes, as a consolation prize for his losing nearly a billion dollars on real estate investments. His supporters called him a genius for legally avoiding so much in taxes, while his detractors wondered what kind of businessman can singlehandedly lose that much money.This particular use of tax laws to subsidize private business gets headlines. But meanwhile, out of the headlines, cities and towns give away tax dollars every day. The gifts are made in the guise of job creation, and the voters... read more
By John O'Neill
Posted on: October 4, 2016
When House Republicans released their “Built for Growth” policy paper on June 20, they provided an opening for serious tax reform. In particular, their paper included a proposal for a destination-based corporate tax. This includes a destination tax based on sales, whose implementation could end our self-inflicted penalty on U.S. exports.The tax-reform opening lies not just in the House proposal, but also with how it matches up to the international tax framework which the Senate Finance Committee released on July 25, 2015. That framework favors a territorial tax system, but one with rules to... read more
ASBC David Brodwin, Wells Fargo
By David Brodwin
Posted on: September 26, 2016
Wells Fargo got caught misbehaving again recently, but many commentators are drawing exactly the wrong conclusion. Wells Fargo's internal control system did not fail. It worked exactly as it was probably intended to work – and that's the real problem.First let's recap the facts, and then we can see why what looks like a failure is actually a success for Wells Fargo. The facts are that Wells Fargo created 1.5 million unauthorized retail bank accounts and 565,000 unauthorized credit applications. To put it bluntly, bank employees faked applications to open accounts that customers didn't ask for... read more
By Manisha Paralikar
Posted on: September 21, 2016
As I plugged away at reviewing a dozen company greenhouse gas emissions CDP reports these past few months, Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate saddled my brain.  One could bet that most of the thousands of company and city representatives reporting their climate abatement strategies and greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets had not read Klein’s book. Even if they did, it would still be no small feat to kick start the collaborative movement needed to implement Klein’s proposed solution to climate change: replace capitalism with a new economic model that... read more
ASBC David Brodwin, Climate Change
By David Brodwin
Posted on: September 2, 2016
Whether you love them or hate them, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have shown Americans the downsides of trade deals like Trans-Pacific Partnership and its trans-Atlantic counterpart. These deals, like NAFTA before them, aim to take down barriers to trade globally and encourage economic growth. But they also take down factories and jobs in many parts of the U.S. The economic pain they cause has become a big election year issue.Proponents of these treaties say that economies grow stronger when companies everywhere compete on a global market. They say that this will cause inefficient and... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: August 29, 2016
If you work hard and play by the rules you will get ahead, according to the American Dream. But working hard and playing by the rules now feels like running in place to a lot of Americans. The past few years of economic data justify their complaint: Most of the productivity gains in the U.S. economy have been captured by the top 1 percent, and most working Americans have seen their standard of living plateau rather than rise.Economic stratification has spurred politically explosive resentments. And these resentments have encouraged economists to seek a better understanding of economic... read more
By Claudia Viek
Posted on: August 29, 2016
Online alternative lenders offer a variety of advantages from their use of automation, big data and crowdfunding to reach small businesses. They offer quick loan decisions with a stripped-down application process. These firms assess risk immediately with efficient use of algorithms and technology. Money can be distributed in days, not months.But for too many small businesses, getting financing from one of these lenders is like the Wild West.Advertisements for quick cash — once the domain of those lending to individual consumers — are more and more promising the same to small businesses.... read more

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