"There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, 'no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.' The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the US"Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world's prison population, but only 5% of the world's people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports."
"The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners' work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce."
"This multimillion-Dollar industry has its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs. It also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cells in a large variety of colors."
"At this point, it should be clear that I think efforts to build resilience in the financial system are critical to minimizing the chance of financial instability and the potential damage from it. This focus on resilience differs from much of the public discussion, which often concerns whether some particular asset class is experiencing a "bubble" and whether policymakers should attempt to pop the bubble. Because a resilient financial system can withstand unexpected developments, identification of bubbles is less critical."
"Nonetheless, some macroprudential tools can be adjusted in a manner that may further enhance resilience as risks emerge."
"Policy," BIS continued, "has little room for maneuver."