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Harpers’ Columnist Thomas Frank, 5 Years After the Wall St. Implosion; Activist Ken Jones on Fracking in California

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Tom Frank, the Easy Chair columnist, returns to talk about his column in the September issue of Harpers’ regarding the 2008 market meltdown and bailouts;  activist Ken Jones of 350 Marin updates us on fracking and related legislation in California.Click here for GoDaddy deal that benefits the PBC podcast.

Frank’s most recent book is Pity the Billionaire, and his latest column recaps how little has changed in response to the implosion of the mortgage industry in 2008.  We talk about the events that started in September, 2008 and how the bailouts demanded by Hank Paulson and delivered by Nancy Pelosi and George W. Bush led to the Tea Party and Occupy, and produced little meaningful change to prevent a future meltdown.

Frank uses an execretory metaphor in his column, and explains that it was inspired by the Senate hearing about Goldman Sachs’ “shitty deals”.  We discuss how the mainstream media blames unqualified, “predatory” borrowers for the problems, when sub-prime loans produced fees and profits to all involved, and merchants of greed rode it right into the ground.

We talk about the Tea Party, GOP deficit hawks, and get Frank’s frank views on the Occupy movement, which he detailed in this essay.

At 51 minutes into the podcast, we talk with Ken Jones, a member of Progressive Democrats of America and activist with 350 Marin.  We talk about the extent of fracking in California, the new gold rush to tap the huge Monterey Shale, and the reckless risks of fracking to climate change, water supplies, clean drinking water, and more.  We talk about attempted legislation in Sacramento this year, and the only surviving bill, SB 4, which is very weak.  Jones also talks about the county resolution passed by Marin supervisors last week (see this video), and the positions of local Assemblymember Marc Levine.