Item: An Associated Press story dated February 17 reported: “Vice President Joe Biden asserted in an interview Wednesday that taxpayers have ‘gotten their money’s worth’ out of the $787 billion stimulus program that Congress passed during the depths of the recession....
The culprits blamed for the failure of Lehman Brothers in September of 2008 included the company’s top executives, their accountants, their highly-leveraged loans that had started going bad, their success at hiding those bad loans by cooking the books, and their lenders demanding more and better collateral, according to Anton Valukas in his 2,200 page report released Thursday.
After hiring lobbyists last year to protect its interests amidst increasing public and congressional scrutiny, the Federal Reserve banking cartel is stepping up the fight to keep and possibly expand its regulatory regime while maintaining its secrecy. This month, regional Federal Reserve Bank chiefs publicly pushed the issues in what the New York Times described as a “public relations offensive.”
When the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced last Friday that the economy lost only 36,000 jobs in February, the usual choristers took that as good news. Christina Romer, the Chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers said, “Today’s report on the employment situation is consistent with the pattern of stabilization and gradual labor market healing we have been seeing in recent months.”
On February 24, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), at a hearing held by the House Financial Services Committee, asked Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke whether he was aware of allegations that the Federal Reserve had been complicit in the Watergate cover-up and in the illegal funneling of billions of dollars in loans to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein:
On Wednesday, February 10, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed confidence that every cent of the Federal Reserve’s exposure to insurance giant AIG would be repaid. Regarding a combined $116 billion dollars that the Fed provided in emergency loans to shore up AIG and back the purchase of Bear Stearns — an amount that totals about one-fifth of the Fed’s entire balance sheet, Bernanke said that the Fed “expects these exposures to decline gradually over time. The [Federal Reserve] Board continues to anticipate that the Federal Reserve will ultimately incur no loss on these loans as well.”
International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn made a series of headline-grabbing statements late last week, calling for new supervisory authority over world financial markets and even the exploration of a new global reserve currency.
There are further signs that Barrack Obama’s jobless “recovery” is, in fact, no recovery at all. The latest indication of the fundamental unsoundness of the American economy is found in statistics from the Commerce Department. According to that department, the sale of new homes plummeted in January to the lowest rate recorded in fifty years. As The Washington Post reports:
As President Barack Obama’s jobless “recovery” is showing more and more signs of being no recovery at all, the Senate has voted another $15 billion to continuing pursuing their addiction to stimulus, and there are prospects that another $100 billion will be following shortly.
Just when the headline news about the economy was beginning to look good and the talking heads were beginning to sound good, along came a barrage of bad news that was so bad that it couldn’t be covered up. Gallup began with the news that in January nearly 20 percent of the U.S. workforce “lacked adequate employment”, which was worse than the numbers reported by the Labor Department. According to Reuters, these “findings appear to paint a darker employment picture than official U.S. data,” with about 30 million Americans “underemployed.” And Gallup misses the mark by at least 2 percent, according to John Williams of ShadowStats.com.