Friday, October 7, 2011

Goodbye WRBU...

Saddled with millions of dollars in recent judgments for failure to pay licensing fees, television station operator Roberts Broadcasting filed for bankruptcy Friday.

Sprint In Trouble

Anger At Wall Street Reaches New Highs

The Occupy Wall Street protest may be the answer to a favorite question of social scientists ever since the bank bailouts of 2008 -- where is the social movement? Americans are famously willing to tolerate a relatively large amount of income inequality (especially compared to our European counterparts). Americans love meritocracy, and are typically quite happy to see hard work rewarded, even to the tune of millions of dollars, as is often the case on Wall Street. But there is a catch — we want the rules of the game to be fair.

Recent scandals involving Wall Street banks and financial institutions, headed by some of the world's most well-paid managers, executives and analysts, have many Americans asking themselves whether this game is rigged. It is this sense of injustice, coupled with economic insecurity, that animates changes in Americans' attitudes toward Wall Street. It's not just a small number of Americans, those who are actually "occupying" Wall Street, who feel such injustice. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

In a paper forthcoming in the journal Public Opinion Quarterly, I examine Americans' attitudes toward banks, financial institutions and Wall Street over the last 40 years and look at historical trends in how Americans perceive the honesty and ethical practices of bankers.

Animosity toward Wall Street is at its highest level in at least 40 years. Americans have never exactly loved Wall Street stockbrokers or bankers—but we certainly didn't always hate them. Why this increasing hostility? The answer is a "perfect storm" of financial turmoil and a series of major scandals on Wall Street.