And they wonder why we despise them:
WASHINGTON — The job market is stagnant and the GOP has the federal government tied up in knots, so the country’s short-term economic future is in the hands of America’s titans of industry and finance.
But despite having an unprecedented amount of cash on hand with which to create jobs — more than $3 trillion, nearly four times as much as the 2009 stimulus bill — the corporations aren’t spending and the banks aren’t lending.
“They’ve been making money, and they haven’t been spending it. So it sits there,” said Jared Bernstein, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama now at the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “The economy has been growing since the second half of 2009, and the vast majority of households have seen very little of that. It’s got to be going somewhere.”
Think of it as corporate austerity.
“In a more normal economic recession, you would expect business reinvesting to grow,” said Brandon Rees, deputy director of the office of investment at the AFL-CIO, the labor union federation. But instead, “that money just keeps piling up,” he said. “The CEOs just can’t figure out what to do with it all.”
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