WhiteHouse.gov—Getting Our Money Back from Wall Street~~As the President continues to work on immediate job creation, he discusses his proposal for a new fee on the largest financial institutions to ensure that every cent of taxpayer assistance gets paid back. Saying that, “we’re not going to let Wall Street take the money and run,” he then to discusses the ongoing push to make sure banks can never put our economy at risk again.
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Category Archives: TARP
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve made a record profit of $46.1 billion last year, reflecting money made off its extraordinary efforts to rescue the country from the worst economic and financial crisis since the 1930s, the central bank announced Tuesday.
The windfall gets turned over to the Treasury Department.
It marks the biggest profit on record dating back to 1914 when the Fed was created. The previous record profit – of $34.6 billion – was registered in 2007. In 2008, the Fed reported a profit of $31.7 billion.
The Fed says the bigger profit was primarily due to increased income from the securities it held last year.
posted by: LibbyShaw
A recent article published in the Washington Post reveals that the American worker lost big time during the past decade.
This news should come as no surprise to any hard working middle class American. We have been living the pain for 10 long years.
The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation’s growth.
It was, according to a wide range of data, a lost decade for American workers. The decade began in a moment of triumphalism — there was a current of thought among economists in 1999 that recessions were a thing of the past. By the end, there were two, bookends to a debt-driven expansion that was neither robust nor sustainable.
The Washington Post also reveals that there has been zero net job creation since December 1999. Conditions have not been this grim for decades. Essentially, the American worker has not had a raise in a very long time.
As we well know, our home values have declined as have our retirement and savings accounts.
Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 — and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.
Economists attribute the decline to economic stagnation, an out of control housing bubble, too much risk and too much debt. Money was invested in mini mansions instead of business investments that would have created jobs and economic growth.
The housing bubble both caused, and was enabled by, a boom in indebtedness. Total household debt rose 117 percent from 1999 to its peak in early 2008, according to Federal Reserve data, as Americans borrowed to buy ever more expensive homes and to support consumption more generally.
An experiment called an unbridled free market economy ended very badly for we the people.
The first decade of the new century was an experiment in what happens when an economy comes to rely heavily on borrowed money.
“A big part of what happened this decade was that people engaged in excessively risky behavior without realizing the risks associated,” said Karen Dynan, co-director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution. “It’s true not just among consumers but among regulators, financial institutions, lenders, everyone.”
The experiment has ended badly. While the stock market bubble that popped in 2000 caused only a mild recession, the housing and credit bubble has had a much greater punch — driving the unemployment rate to a high, so far, of 10.2 percent, compared with a peak of 6.3 percent following the last such downturn.
In short, the big banks, enabled by Republican free market ideology, gambled with our money and they lost it. And they lost it big time. As we know we the taxpayer had to step up and bail out the banks so there would not be a complete and thoroughly devastating global economic melt down.
The G.W. Bush era was one in which the GOP rewarded every one of its fat cat sugar daddies, including Halliburton with its no bid contracts for a ginned up war called Iraq.
We the people are dearly paying the price for the Bush era’s unforgivable mistakes.
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I am with Dylan Ratigan on this one. The banks should pay the taxpayers back with interest. Why on earth did Hank Paulson give away our money with no strings attached? What was he thinking?
So next time we hear about the virtues of an unbridled free market economy we need to say no way in hell. Any politician who embraces this voodoo notion of economic devastation should be run out of office on a rail for they are unfit to serve the people.
Speaking of unfitness to serve, why is that Republicans have to blame their short comings on others? Why can’t Republicans ever step up and take responsibility for their mistakes?
Republicans are obviously inept at running the economy and they are also incompetent at keeping our nation safe whether from terrorist attacks or national disasters like Hurricane Katrina. It seems that the only thing Republicans are good at is playing the blame game.
A coordinated, successful attack, with sufficient warning, carried out by 19 terrorists, killing 2,973 people, on the 234th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the previous President… who happened to be a Democrat.
HOWEVER, an unsuccessful attack, attempted by 1 terrorist, killing absolutely no one on the 339th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the current President… who happens to be a Democrat.
SIMILARLY, a complete and total meltdown of the financial system, including a stock market collapse and levels of bankruptcy/foreclosure not seen since the Great Depression on, or around, the 2415th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the previous President (and Congress)… who created Acorn, and just happened to be Democrats.
BUT, 10% unemployment and lackluster job growth on the 215th day of an administration… that’s completely and totally and absolutely and so gosh-durn’t the fault of the current President (and Congress)… who want to institute socialism (in the form of Acorn) and happen to be Democrats.
NOW, making a statement from your “brush farm” 144 hours after a dude with bad facial hair is prevented from blowing up an airplane… that’s fighting some serious war on the baddies.
AND YET, making a statement from the beach 72 hours after a dude with bad genital burns is prevented from blowing up an airplane… that’s “pretending the war on terror doesn’t exist“.
If folks really have a desire to destroy what is left of their financial security, go ahead and continue to vote for Republicans. Hopefully most of us won’t have this death wish in November.
Posted by Audiegrl
Starting today, we’re making $88 million in funding available for centers to adopt new health information technology systems to manage their administrative and financial matters and transfer old paper files to electronic medical records. These investments won’t just increase efficiency and lower costs, they’ll improve the quality of care as well –- preventing countless medical errors, and allowing providers to spend less time with paperwork and more time with patients.
That’s the purpose of the final initiative I’m announcing today as well -– a demonstration project to evaluate the benefits of the “medical home” model of care that many of our health centers aspire to. The idea here is very simple: that in order for care to be effective, it needs to be coordinated. It’s a model where the center that serves as your medical home might help you keep track of your prescriptions, or get the referrals you need, or work with you to develop a plan of care that ensures your providers are working together to keep you healthy.
So taken together, these three initiatives –- funding for construction, technology, and a medical home demonstration –- they won’t just save money over the long term and create more jobs, they’re also going to give more people the peace of mind of knowing that health care will be there for them and their families when they need it.
And ultimately, that’s what health insurance reform is really about. That’s what the members of Congress here today will be voting on in the coming weeks.
Now, let me just end by saying a little bit about this broader effort. I know it’s been a long road. I know it’s been a tough fight. But I also know the reason we’ve taken up this cause is the very same reason why so many members from both parties are here today –- because no matter what our politics are, we know that when it comes to health care, the people we serve deserve better.
President Obama announces that the Recovery Act will provide new funding for Community Health Centers to finance new construction, modernize information technology, and build a “medical home” model. December 9, 2009
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Posted by Audiegrl
Vice President Joe Biden makes his sixth appearance on The Daily Show and the first for a sitting vice president! Really? On second thought, I guess a show with Dick Cheney would have been kind of uncomfortable. 😉
In Part One, Biden says the Obama administration is creating new jobs by investing in energy, education and health care. In Part Two, he explains the necessity of the bank bailout and explains why the Democrats can’t pass anything in the Senate.
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Posted by Audiegrl
AP/Calvin Woodward—Sarah Palin’s new book reprises familiar claims from the 2008 presidential campaign that haven’t become any truer over time. Ignoring substantial parts of her record if not the facts, she depicts herself as a frugal traveler on the taxpayer’s dime, a reformer without ties to powerful interests and a politician roguishly indifferent to high ambition.
Palin goes adrift, at times, on more contemporary issues, too. She criticizes President Barack Obama for pushing through a bailout package that actually was achieved by his Republican predecessor George W. Bush — a package she seemed to support at the time.
A look at some of her statements in “Going Rogue,” obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its release Tuesday:
PALIN: Says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking “only” for reasonably priced rooms and not “often” going for the “high-end, robe-and-slippers” hotels.
THE FACTS: Although travel records indicate she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel (robes and slippers come standard) overlooking New York City’s Central Park for a five-hour women’s leadership conference in October 2007. With air fare, the cost to Alaska was well over $3,000. Event organizers said Palin asked if she could bring her daughter. The governor billed her state more than $20,000 for her children’s travel, including to events where they had not been invited, and in some cases later amended expense reports to specify that they had been on official business.
PALIN: Boasts that she ran her campaign for governor on small donations, mostly from first-time givers, and turned back large checks from big donors if her campaign perceived a conflict of interest.
THE FACTS: Of the roughly $1.3 million she raised for her primary and general election campaigns for governor, more than half came from people and political action committees giving at least $500, according to an AP analysis of her campaign finance reports. The maximum that individual donors could give was $1,000; $2,000 for a PAC. Of the rest, about $76,000 came from Republican Party committees. She accepted $1,000 each from a state senator and his wife and $30 from a state representative in the weeks after the two Republican lawmakers’ offices were raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into a powerful Alaska oilfield services company. After AP reported those donations during the presidential campaign, she gave a comparative sum to charity.
PALIN: Rails against taxpayer-financed bailouts, which she attributes to Obama. She recounts telling daughter Bristol that to succeed in business, “you’ll have to be brave enough to fail.”
THE FACTS: Palin is blurring the lines between Obama’s stimulus plan — a $787 billion package of tax cuts, state aid, social programs and government contracts — and the federal bailout that Republican presidential candidate John McCain voted for and President George W. Bush signed.
Palin’s views on bailouts appeared to evolve as McCain’s vice presidential running mate. In September 2008, she said “taxpayers cannot be looked to as the bailout, as the solution, to the problems on Wall Street.” A week later, she said “ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy.”
During the vice presidential debate in October, Palin praised McCain for being “instrumental in bringing folks together” to pass the $700 billion bailout. After that, she said “it is a time of crisis and government did have to step in.”
PALIN: Writes about a city councilman in Wasilla, Alaska, who owned a garbage truck company and tried to push through an ordinance requiring residents of new subdivisions to pay for trash removal instead of taking it to the dump for free — this to illustrate conflicts of interest she stood against as a public servant.
THE FACTS: As Wasilla mayor, Palin pressed for a special zoning exception so she could sell her family’s $327,000 house, then did not keep a promise to remove a potential fire hazard on the property.
She asked the city council to loosen rules for snow machine races when she and her husband owned a snow machine store, and cast a tie-breaking vote to exempt taxes on aircraft when her father-in-law owned one. But she stepped away from the table in 1997 when the council considered a grant for the Iron Dog snow machine race in which her husband competes.
PALIN: Says she tried to talk about national security and energy independence in her interview with Vogue magazine but the interviewer wanted her to pivot from hydropower to high fashion.
THE FACTS are somewhat in dispute. Vogue contributing editor Rebecca Johnson said Palin did not go on about hydropower. “She just kept talking about drilling for oil.”
PALIN: “Was it ambition? I didn’t think so. Ambition drives; purpose beckons.” Throughout the book, Palin cites altruistic reasons for running for office, and for leaving early as Alaska governor.
THE FACTS: Few politicians own up to wanting high office for the power and prestige of it, and in this respect, Palin fits the conventional mold. But “Going Rogue” has all the characteristics of a pre-campaign manifesto, the requisite autobiography of the future candidate.
posted by GeoT
WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – The Obama administration plans to unveil on Monday a new plan for dealing with troubled financial giants, said a senior U.S. lawmaker, who also mentioned potentially big changes for the insurance industry.Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and a chief architect of the financial regulation overhaul, declined on Friday to give details on the administration’s new bill, which would give the government the power to dismantle large financial companies that get into crises.
The new draft bill is expected to take a tougher stance toward troubled financial firms than the administration’s original plan, and may take out some language that would allow for temporary bailouts.
Giving the government “resolution authority” would serve as a rebuttal to the concept that some firms are too big to fail. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday highlighted the need for this authority as well as other measures to reduce the likelihood that one firm could destabilize the financial system.
Frank also said Congress is discussing whether to create an optional federal charter for insurers.Insurance companies are currently regulated by the states.
“If we do get into national chartering it will be in life insurance … and maybe large commercial entities,” Frank said during remarks to a banking symposium.
He said lawmakers would not likely try to federally regulate property and casualty insurers, however.
Posted by GeoT
In my household we have had a goal of achieving zero credit card debt which luckily we have managed to accomplish. What tough times sometimes do is cause us to step back and evaluate our spending habits and make adjustments. So the fact that as a country we are saving more (and charging less) in spite of the bad economy is a positive sign. It may mean a slower recovery but it will lead to more stability in the long run
WASHINGTON – Consumers slashed their borrowing in July by the largest amount on record as job losses and uncertainty about the economic recovery prompted Americans to rein in their debt.
Economists expect consumers will continue to spend less, save more and trim debt to get household finances decimated by the recession into better shape
Posted by TheLCster
Colleen Barry/Huffington Post—Michael Moore says his film “Capitalism: A Love Story” is dedicated to “good people … who’ve had their lives ruined” by the quest for profit.
After much success at Cannes, Moore premieres the movie Sunday in his first appearance at the Venice Film Festival. It was warmly received at a press showing Saturday evening and won positive reviews. Variety called it one of Moore’s “best pics.”
“I am personally affected by good people who struggle, who work hard and who’ve had their lives ruined by decisions that are made by people who do not have their best interest at heart, but who have the best interest of the bottom line, of the company, at heart,” Moore told reporters Sunday.
The film features plenty of examples of lives shattered by corporate greed – but also some inspiring tales of workers who have rebelled.
According to Moore, “the revolt you think I am calling for has actually begun. It began Nov. 4,” when President Barack Obama was elected.
A trailer for the movie can be found here.
After reading the article I thought, why don’t people read. Because if they were interested in current affairs they would know that things are starting to work for the country. TARP is a huge success and now the Stimulus is working.
But unfortunately people only know that unemployment is bad, so they are very unhappy. Sad, but for years I’ve watched how uninformed our people in the US really are.
Perfect example is the war in Iraq. The average person didn’t research to make sure that this country was in a war because of 9/11, many of them, if you ask them think Saddam Hussein was the reason for 9/11. They just took the word of the Bush admin. Didn’t read newspapers, magazines, or even watch cable news. I remember when it was disproved that Hussein had not been the cause of 9/11 people didn’t even realize that. How do I know? Because I have a big mouth and I always engage strangers about issues if the moment arises. And I’m stunned at how ignorant people are.
So I am truly hoping that maybe, just maybe, they will start listening.