Radio: Argentinian Debt, the War on Drugs & More (BBC Business Matters)

I’ve made a series of appearances on the panel of BBC’s Business Matters radio show. Here are the last two appearances (note, the BBC only makes these available for 30 days):

  • July 9th, 2014: Obama has asked congress for $3.7 billion to help deport immigrant workers from Central America, many of them children - we discuss the story, and how it fits in with the failed war on drugs. (Web) (iTunes)
  • June 14th, 2014: We discuss the showdown between Argentina and “vulture capitalist” Paul Singer, as well as the moral framing of national and individual debt (iTunes)

Alexis Goldstein Interviews Thomas Piketty (HuffPost Live, April 2014)

I had the great pleasure to co-interview economist Thomas Piketty about his new book, “Capital In The 21st Century,” with Ryan Grim over at the Huffington Post’s DC headquarters. Among the questions I asked Piketty:

  • Does the economics profession needs a course correction? (starts at 10:04)
  • Are the massive salaries of executives (who often sit on the boards of their executive friends) overvalued relative to their real worth? (17:32)
  • Would we have more luck globally coordinating taxes on property than we’ve had coordinating regulations on wall street? (28:28)
  • Are you proposing we tax stocks & bonds each year, not just when they are sold? (32:56) (Spoiler alert: YES)
  • You’ve said that the English have too much blind faith in the markets; how widely can that criticism be levied? (40:00)

Wall Street Bonuses & The Culture of “F You Money” (All in with Chris, March 2014)

On March 13th 2014, I joined All in with Chris Hayes to discuss new data from the NYC Comptroller’s office showing that Wall Street employees based in NYC made a total of $26.7 billion in bonuses (with an average of a $164,530 bonus per employee). The Institute for Policy Studies then compared that total to the sum of ALL INCOME for all full-time American workers making the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour.

Chris and I discuss this report, Wall Street employees aspiration toward “F You Money,” and why Wall Street workers think they deserve these paychecks (and why I disagree):

The Student Debt Crisis (Ronan Farrow Daily, Feb 2014)

I joined Ronan Farrow on his new show to discuss the $1.2 trillion+ in student debt, an Oregon plan (“Pay It Forward”) to make public higher education more affordable, and whether Obama deserves the pay on the back he gave himself on student debt in the State of the Union. I also elaborated on the topic over at, discussing in more detail the Oregon plan, as well as Strike Debt’s plan to free.

‘Eminent domain’ could help homeowners (The Cycle, Jan 2014)

On MSNBC’s The Cycle on January 29th, 2014, I discussed my article for The Nation about a Wall Street trade group SIFMA putting pressure on local communities not to pursue eminent domain plans to help homeowners.

On the show, we broke down the issue piece by piece, starting with what the eminent domain plans aim to do, why Wall Street opposes them, and why Wall Street’s claims that these plans could make them stop giving loans is ridiculous—since when is Wall Street a benevolent actor when they give out loans as if they are charity? (To name just one example, the Department of Justice found that Wells Fargo engaged in a “practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in its mortgage lending”).

Debate with Grover Norquist on Minimum Wage (CNN, Dec 2013)

On December 9th, 2013, I appeared on “The 11th Hour” with Don Lemon on a panel with Austan Goolsbee, Grover Norquist, and Christine Rousselle. We discussed the fight to raise the minimum wage. Norquist claimed “apartheid loved the minimum wage increase as a way to keep blacks out of particular jobs” and I brought up The Nation's article that claimed Norquist opposed the divestment movement in the 80s. As you can imagine, things got pretty heated from there.

I will post the video if it is made available (CNN has not posted it), but for now, here is the transcript

Wall Street: Give Back Your Bonuses (Democracy Now, Dec 2013)

I joined Democracy Now! to discuss The Other 98% recent video calling on Wall Street to do the right thing and return their bonuses to those they made homeless during the foreclosure crisis.

We also discussed the Volcker Rule, tax havens, and The Other 98%’s parody ad, “Exxon Hates Your Children.”

On December 19th, I joined All in with Chris Hayes to talk about Congress’ failure to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed with Ezra Klein and Dedrick Muhammad. I mentioned (~12:15) that with the stroke of a pen, President Obama could raise the minimum wage of 2 million federal contractors currently making minimum wage, something many in Congress including Rep Keith Ellison (D-MN), and the group Change to Win had been calling for [update: which Obama did two months later, on February 12th, 2014].