Economy

Cover of April 13, 2009 Issue of TNAWhen the Federal Reserve announced on March 19 its latest offensive against the financial crisis — to purchase more than $1 trillion in government debt ranging from mortgage-backed securities to long-term Treasury bonds — Wall Street, the financial media, and the political classes had a conniption. Even the most diehard defenders of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his monetary policies were aghast: surely this latest move would unleash long-latent inflationary forces that would cripple any prospects for a robust recovery. Even the New York Times made note of the danger, worrying that "the Fed was taking risks that could dilute the value of the dollar and set the stage for future inflation." The Times pointed as evidence to the sharp rise in gold prices and a drop in the dollar's value against both the yen and the euro that followed the Fed's announcement.

In a move heralding the Obama administration’s most aggressive intervention in the business sector to date, the federal government has forced GM CEO Rick Wagoner to step down. The change in leadership was announced by GM in a statement released in Wagoner’s name on Monday. In it, the former CEO said the government asked him to leave. “On Friday I was in Washington for a meeting with administration officials,” Wagoner begins. “In the course of that meeting, they requested that I ‘step aside’ as CEO of GM, and so I have.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has given a nod of approval to China’s call for a global currency to replace the dollar, joining a chorus of international voices that include Russia, a United Nations panel, billionaire investor George Soros, and Kazakhstan — among others. Geithner’s remarks favoring the China proposal, delivered at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on March 25, surprised many, as the previous day both he and President Obama gave statements disapproving of any move away from the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

GeithnerIt’s official: the Obama administration intends to nationalize the entire financial sector. If there were any lingering doubts as to the intentions of President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, they were dispelled by today’s announcement detailing the Treasury Department’s new “framework for regulatory reform.”

On March 19, 2009, President Barack Obama makes an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. AP ImagesPresident Barack Obama is in the middle of his national tour to convince the American public that “we’re doing everything we can to reduce that deficit.” President Obama has been on The Tonight Show, 60 Minutes, held town meetings in California and conducted the March 24 prime-time press conference on the economy. The problem is, he revealed in that March 24 press conference, that “everything” now means the same as “nothing.”

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