What’s Happening to the Republican Party?

by Henry on October 15, 2010

A lot of US-based bloggers are speculating about who is going to win or lose in the Congressional mid-terms. Myself, I’ve nothing much to add to that discussion. What’s more interesting to me is the potential transformation happening within the Republican Party. Parties – like most other organizations in advanced industrial democracies – depend on money. And it’s pretty clear that the sources of fundraising are changing. Take a look at this “Sunlight Foundation”:http://blog.sunlightfoundation.com/2010/10/15/court-rulings-change-elections-independent-spending-dwarfs-party-spending-in-midterm/ post on the balance between spending by traditional party committees and by outside groups. Or just look at the key graphs.

2006 spending by outside groups and by party committees

Spending in 2010 by party committees and outside groups

[click to continue…]

The other shoe

by John Quiggin on October 15, 2010

The bailout of the US financial sector through the Troubled Assets Recovery Program (TARP) looks to have been fairly successful on its own terms – the banks have become profitable again and the final estimated loss to the government is relatively small. That doesn’t change the fact that the government took on huge risks for negative returns, without any reason to expect that the future behavior of the banks will change.

But all of that was based on assumptions of an orderly resolution of the mortgage crisis. Those assumptions now look very dubious, as the legal consequences of the practices of the financial sector during the bubble, ranging from sloppiness to outright fraud, manifest themselves.
[click to continue…]