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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 13, 2010 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

The economic crisis was an ‘inside job’

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you haven't been humming tunes from "Les MisÚrables," you haven't seen "Inside Job," the new documentary about how our economic crisis evolved.

The most forgiving American will want to seize a pitchfork and march on Wall Street. Or Harvard Square. Or in front of the White House. There are so many despicable parties, it's hard to pick a favorite. Is it time to reconsider the Axis of Evil?

The film, written and directed by Charles Ferguson (and narrated by Matt Damon), will be opening in select cities this week. Although much of the story is familiar, Ferguson manages to weave together decades of bits and pieces into a dramatic narrative that plays like a whodunit. Names have faces, and storytelling combined with graphic illustrations helps explain the complex series of events that led to the global meltdown. Here are a few takeaways:

One, trying to assign blame to either Democrats or Republicans is pointless. Everyone is culpable. From the early 1980s, when Ronald Reagan deregulated banks, through the two Bushes, Bill Clinton and now Barack Obama, each administration has endorsed -- and each Congress has helped tweak -- laws and rules that made systemic abuses and the meltdown not only possible but, looking back, inevitable.

Two, many investment bankers knew the mortgage loans they were packaging and selling were junk. They knew because their own analysts told them so. Tens of thousands of loans failed to meet basic underwriting standards, according to recent testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a bipartisan group created to examine the causes of the meltdown. Not only that, Wall Street insiders were betting against their own customers and institutions.

Throughout the system, from the lending institutions to federal regulators to congressional overseers, those charged with protecting consumers averted their eyes.

Three, the cozy relationship between Wall Street and Ivy League academia, wherein economists push policies that benefit them financially, is eye-opening. In some cases, business professors and economists at America's top schools were shown to have conflicts of interest as they advanced policies for which they had been paid directly or that otherwise benefited them.

In other instances, we see that the same people who created policies that ultimately led to these abuses are still -- or were until recently -- running the show. Notably missing from the film, declining to be interviewed, are Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Hank Paulson, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin.

This is not to say that what benefits Wall Street necessarily hurts average Americans or that all bankers are corrupt, but the system clearly enabled the abuses that have led to current circumstances. The attitude seemed to be that everyone was doing it.

When the big banks failed, of course, taxpayers were left holding the bag. Even though there was wide consensus that the bailouts were necessary to get credit moving again, there is simply no justification for the bonuses and golden parachutes that went to the very people who drove their institutions -- and us -- off a cliff. Reward for failure was the best gig in town.

Although most of what the movie highlights is familiar, there's something jarring about seeing the culprits up close in all their taxpayer-subsidized, suntanned splendor -- their multiple estates and private jets juxtaposed against shuttered homes and unemployed Americans living in tents. Obscene is the word that comes to mind.

I'm not one to advance class warfare, and most Americans still want to preserve a market system that leaves open the possibility that they, too, can work hard and achieve wealth. But it's clear from "Inside Job" that the game has been rigged so that only a few were in positions to get rich at the expense of the middle class, not just here but globally.

The movie isn't perfect. One wonders what was left on the editing floor. Some of those interviewed, who dodged questions or gave unacceptable answers, also looked stupid. None of these guys is stupid.

And, at the end, Ferguson couldn't resist making an editorial comment as the camera panned the Statue of Liberty. "Some things are worth fighting for."

We get it. The film is so well done and presented so factually that no Hollywood prodding was needed. Anyone who sees this movie will be furious. Thus, the only remaining question is why some of these people aren't being prosecuted for fraud or at least shirking fiduciary duty.

It would seem as never before that the White House should hire a special prosecutor. Ferguson's movie, which the president and his economic team had best watch -- and soon -- could use a sequel: "The Perp Walk."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

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