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'Looting Main Street':-Matt Taibbi On How The Nation’s Biggest Banks Are Ripping Off American Cities With Predatory Deals

From Democracy Now “Looting Main Street”–Matt Taibbi on How the Nation’s Biggest Banks Are Ripping Off American Cities with Predatory Deals:

From Democracy Now “Looting Main Street”–Matt Taibbi on How the Nation’s Biggest Banks Are Ripping Off American Cities with Predatory Deals:

In a new article in Rolling Stone magazine, journalist Matt Taibbi takes an in-depth look at the experience of one small Alabama town and its disastrous dealings with Wall Street. Taibbi writes, “The destruction of Jefferson County reveals the basic battle plan of these modern barbarians, the way that banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have systematically set out to pillage towns and cities from Pittsburgh to Athens.”

And from Rolling Stone Looting Main Street: How the nation's biggest banks are ripping off American cities with the same predatory deals that brought down Greece:

If you want to know what life in the Third World is like, just ask Lisa Pack, an administrative assistant who works in the roads and transportation department in Jefferson County, Alabama. Pack got rudely introduced to life in post-crisis America last August, when word came down that she and 1,000 of her fellow public employees would have to take a little unpaid vacation for a while. The county, it turned out, was more than $5 billion in debt — meaning that courthouses, jails and sheriff's precincts had to be closed so that Wall Street banks could be paid.

As public services in and around Birmingham were stripped to the bone, Pack struggled to support her family on a weekly unemployment check of $260. Nearly a fourth of that went to pay for her health insurance, which the county no longer covered. She also fielded calls from laid-off co-workers who had it even tougher. "I'd be on the phone sometimes until two in the morning," she says. "I had to talk more than one person out of suicide. For some of the men supporting families, it was so hard — foreclosure, bankruptcy. I'd go to bed at night, and I'd be in tears." Read on...

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