Why is the stock market soaring when the real economy is on its knees?

The short answer is the Fed has been propping up the stock market. And, high stock prices are not always tethered to traditional methods of stock valuation, like productivity, price, earnings, growth—all those “fundamentals” you learn about in the “Investing for Dummies” book. The market has become a highly manipulated gambling casino for the elite, where bank…

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Poverty & powerlessness–up close and personal

I’ve just read–two years after everyone else–Katherine Boo’s powerful book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. It won the 2012 National Book Award, and a blurb on the back cover of the just-released softcover edition says, “Reported like Watergate and written like Great Expectations.”  I usually ignore those blurbs, but in this case, it’s an extremely apt…