Federal Reserve boss Ben Bernanke told Congress this week that despite not having any imminent plans to further “support” the economy, the central bank was “considering all options” to fight unemployment and could “step into new areas” because the alleged recovery remains “unusually uncertain.”
Earlier this year, it looked as if columnist Paul Craig Roberts had hung up his word processor in disgust, having just published his book How the Economy Was Lost (mostly a collection of his best columns of the past decade) and a swansong article “Truth Has Fallen and Taken Liberty With It.” Recently, however, he has returned with a few new columns, e.g., this one — and a revealing interview with the Swiss-based free-market webzine The Daily Bell.
The White House on July 21 extolled the extension of unemployment insurance by the Senate, claiming it was “not only the decent thing to do but one of the most effective ways to boost our economy.” President Obama signed the extension into law immediately, saying that this was “desperately needed assistance to two and a half million Americans who lost their jobs in the recession…Americans who…will finally get the support they need to get back on their feet during these tough economic times.”
Instead of asking for a federal bailout, Maine is considering shifting part of its underfunded pension plan liabilities to Social Security. Without the proposed fix, the pension liability the state currently faces is “going to rip the guts out of our budget,” according to Peter Mills, the state Senator who initially suggested the plan.
A triumphant and triumphalist President Obama signed the financial overhaul bill into law July 21, promising as he did that “the American people will never be asked again to foot the bill for Wall Street's mistakes.”
The unremitting flow of negative news about the economy has finally caught the attention of the mainstream media, causing an increasing number of economists to make comparisons between today’s recession and the Great Depression.
Czarist Russia is looking better and better. Once a byword for bureaucratic absolutism, the apparatchiks of pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg and their endless rule-making seem positively enlightened beside some of the pieces of aptly named omnibus legislation emanating from Capitol Hill these days. The newly passed Dodd-Frank Financial Regulation Bill may be the worst yet. At 2,315 pages and 390,000 words, the bill is half the size of the entire King James Bible. It stretches credulity to believe that America’s political leaders now enact single pieces of legislation many times the size of the entire Mosaic code. But they do.
The economy has gained either 2.5 million jobs or 3.6 million jobs since the Recovery Act was signed into law in January, 2009, depending upon which statistical “model” is used, according to Christina Romer, Chair of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers. When compared to the report issued earlier this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, neither number is even close.
Central bankers and analysts are warning of another credit crisis just around the corner as banks start competing with governments to refinance trillions of dollars in short-term debts coming due soon, resulting in significantly reduced credit availability for businesses and consumers, among other problems.
The Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) is wreaking havoc on hundreds of small banks that took bailout money, according to a new report issued by the Congressional Oversight Panel. The COP oversees the $700 billion in bailout funds.
On Thursday, October 24, 1907, Wall Street was in turmoil. Crowds of spectators gathered to watch panicked bankers and their lackeys rushing about, desperately trying to halt the financial hemorrhaging of what would be known in the history books as the Panic of 1907. Outside one troubled bank, the Trust Company of America — where J. P. Morgan himself worked frantically behind the scenes to keep the institution solvent — long lines of angry depositors waited, hands jammed in pockets in the chill autumn air, to retrieve their deposited monies. No one knew whether the beleaguered bank, which Morgan had declared to be “the place to stop the trouble,” would have enough funds to survive the run.