Joseph Stiglitz on Why Janet Yellen, Not Larry Summers, Should Lead the Fed – NYTimes.com

I have been following the press on the President’s choice of someone to replace Bernanke in the Fed, and have had a strong intuition that Larry Summers would be a very bad choice. This is the first appearance I have seen of an authoritative and strong opinion about this. I recommend it.
Stiglitz minces no words. They may sound not so different, but there is a vast difference between them, according to someone who has worked with both for decades.

Why Janet Yellen, Not Larry Summers, Should Lead the Fed – NYTimes.com.

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Charlie Rose – A conversation with author Joshua Cooper Ramo

I have the highest regard for Joshua Cooper Ramo’s book The Age of the Unthinkable, which Bob Franza introduced to me. For various reasons, I just reviewed the book, and come away from it even more impressed than I was a year ago. Searching for more about what the man is doing now, I came across this conversation that he had with Charlie Rose early last year.

Late, but better late than never.

Watch it, and tell me what you think. Read the book.

Charlie Rose – A conversation with author Joshua Cooper Ramo.

Stephanie Frost Documents Closing Her Account With Bank Of America, Switching To Community Bank (VIDEO)

As Ms. Frost looks forward to 2010, one of her new Year’s resolutions is to “stop doing business with companies that I feel are taking advantage of me, don’t appreciate my business, treat me poorly as a customer… The first place I’m starting is with my bank.”

Stephanie Frost Documents Closing Her Account With Bank Of America, Switching To Community Bank (VIDEO).

Here is something YOU can do about the financial mess: Move Your Money

Arianna Huffington has proposed something simple and practical and effective that you and I – and everyone – can do about the financial mess in America, right now.
For all those who are asking what can WE do about this financial mess, this is fabulous. Read the whole posting. Watch the video. Follow the instructions. Email to everyone.

From Arianna Huffington: Move Your Money: A New Year’s Resolution.

Selections from the post:

“Last week, over a pre-Christmas dinner, the two of us, along with political strategist Alexis McGill, filmmaker/author Eugene Jarecki, and Nick Penniman of the HuffPost Investigative Fund, began talking about the huge, growing chasm between the fortunes of Wall Street banks and Main Street banks, and started discussing what concrete steps individuals could take to help create a better financial system. Before long, the conversation turned practical, and with some help from friends in the world of bank analysis, a video and website were produced devoted to a simple idea: Move Your Money.

“The big banks on Wall Street, propped up by taxpayer money and government guarantees, have had a record year, making record profits while returning to the highly leveraged activities that brought our economy to the brink of disaster. In a slap in the face to taxpayers, they have also cut back on the money they are lending, even though the need to get credit flowing again was one of the main points used in selling the public the bank bailout. But since April, the Big Four banks — JP Morgan/Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo — all of which took billions in taxpayer money, have cut lending to businesses by $100 billion.

“The idea is simple: If enough people who have money in one of the big four banks move it into smaller, more local, more traditional community banks, then collectively we, the people, will have taken a big step toward re-rigging the financial system so it becomes again the productive, stable engine for growth it’s meant to be. It’s neither Left nor Right — it’s populism at its best. Consider it a withdrawal tax on the big banks for the negative service they provide by consistently ignoring the public interest. It’s time for Americans to move their money out of these reckless behemoths. And you don’t have to worry, there is zero risk: deposit insurance is just as good at small banks — and unlike the big banks they don’t provide the toxic dividend of derivatives trading in a heads-they-win, tails-we-lose fashion.

“Think of the message it will send to Wall Street — and to the White House. That we have had enough of the high-flying, no-limits-casino banking culture that continues to dominate Wall Street and Capitol Hill. That we won’t wait on Washington to act, because we know that Washington has, in fact, been a part of the problem from the start. We simply can’t count on Congress to fix things.

“….”

Changes and New Directions. I’m back!

If you have followed me in this blog you will have noticed that over the last year I have been somewhere else! I and my colleagues dove deeply into our commitment to grow CareCyte.

In June/July of this year, after two years of continuous effort, Shirah and I, and my partners in the company, decided to stop investing in CareCyte. The company was not moving. We have not closed the company; we are continuing in conversations with possible customers. Our website is still active; we continue to think that the company represents a historic opportunity, and we look forward to bringing it forward at some moment in the future, but the timing is off and we don’t have the millions that would be required to alter the readiness of the country and the industry for this innovation.

To all who supported us in this effort, I extend my heartfelt thanks. The challenge of reforming healthcare is unmet and will become more and more difficult as time goes on and it is not addressed. For now, however, it will no longer be at the center of my attention.

I am returning to consulting and constructing another business that fits with the consulting. Stanley Stein, Chris Majer, and I are forging a new offer to customers who need capital to grow their businesses but are having trouble finding it through traditional sources. The new company, PNW Financial Services, will be the subject of forthcoming postings. I will tell you here when we complete an initial website for the company. For those who talk to me directly, my new email address there is cbell@pnwfs.com.

A brief diagnosis of what happened with CareCyte is that we were stopped by paralysis in the healthcare industry combined with structural weaknesses in our own plans. It was obvious in 2008 that there would be a significant challenge in raising money for the company. However, we received almost universal approval for the ideas involved. We thought that the desperate trouble in the healthcare industry, combined with the big commitment of Barack Obama to address the healthcare disaster in the US, would combine to give the company a place to stand given its vast potential impact on healthcare costs and care quality. Obama declared that the ‘…only real danger to the economy is the rising cost of healthcare,’ and he is right. Spending on healthcare in the US is approaching 20% of GDP, at the same time that we will soon will have the largest aging population ever encountered in the country. It seemed a good bet that our offerings, with their systemic effect on the industry, would attract customers and broad support. No such luck, even with good support from the Washington State Congressional Delegation.

I plan to say more about the situation with healthcare in the country as well, in later postings.

I’m glad to be back.