Tuesday, 28 December 2010

America’s ruling elite, doing well from recession

Three years since the onslaught of the recession in December 2007, the majority of the US population is facing staggering levels of unemployment, home foreclosures, hunger and poverty. For millions of working-class families, buying gifts this year required scraping together scarce dollars, borrowing from friends and relatives or adding more debt to their already overloaded credit cards.

At the other pole of society, America’s ruling elite, which has presided over this economic catastrophe, is celebrating its good fortune. The recent deal by President Obama and the Congressional Republicans to extend tax cuts to the richest two percent of the population tops off a year of record corporate profits and an 85 percent surge on the S&P 500 stock index.

2010 is expected to be the second most profitable year for Wall Street investment firms on record. The biggest five banks—JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup—have put aside at least $90 billion for year-end bonuses that could top last year’s payouts.

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