Item: President Barack Obama, reported the Bloomberg news agency for July 11, “said his $787 billion stimulus bill ‘has worked as intended’ as he pushed back against Republican criticism that his recovery program has failed to rescue the economy.”
Nine financial firms that received a total of $32.6 billion through the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) paid their top traders and bankers more than $5 billion in bonuses last year, even as those same firms lost $81 billion, according to a report released on Thursday by New York Attorney general Andrew Cuomo.
Though data shows that the U.S. economy only shrank at a one-percent annual rate during the second quarter of the 2009 calendar year, according to “preliminary” data released July 31 by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), that number may be unrealistically low, owing to government involvement in the markets.
First-time unemployment claims continue to increase at a faster pace than expected. “The Labor Department said the number of claims in the week ending July 25 rose by 25,000 from an upwardly revised figure the previous week,” the Agence France Press reported July 30.
Just call it irony. The same day the value of the dollar plunged to a current-year low as measured against six other major currencies, and the same week in which the U.S. Treasury is in the midst of a record $106 billion debt auction, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke fielded a question on PBS’s “News Hour” from a man who touched on the problem: