Many small banks are turning down federal money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) because they recognize that it comes with too many strings attached. Additionally, the small businesses they primarily cater to “need lines of customers, not lines of credit,” as ABC News put it on November 9.
The unemployment rate shot from 9.8 percent in September to 10.2 percent in October, the highest it has been since 1983, the Labor Department reported on November 6. In response, the Obama administration is set to sign a $24-billion economic stimulus bill.
In Robert J. Samuelson’s latest op-ed piece for the Washington Post, “Could America Go Broke?”, the longtime editor and economic and business writer — who can normally be counted upon to prescribe the usual Keynesian claptrap for our sundry economic woes — actually flirts with common sense. In his piece, Samuelson dares to ponder the unthinkable: What if the rest of the world lost confidence in the viability of the dollar, and America could no longer service her fourteen-figure national debt by printing more money?
The Ford Motor Company has posted a net income of nearly $1 billion in the third quarter of this year, no thanks to Uncle Sam. Ford was the only Detroit automaker to escape federal bailout money while steering clear of bankruptcy court.
The federal $3 billion “Cash for Clunkers” program promoted by the Obama White House last summer cost an average of $24,000 per additional car sold, according to an analysis by automotive consumer researcher Edmunds.com. The White House has responded with a blistering attack disputing the finding.
According to the White House on October 30, the $787-billion stimulus plan has created or saved about one million jobs, but that number is conveniently unverifiable. There is simply no way to know with certainty how many workers would have lost their jobs without the stimulus. And of course, the admininstration-supplied estimate does not even take into account how many jobs may have been lost because of the stimulus program, ignoring the fact that the "stimulus" money that was used to create jobs in certain government-favored sectors of the economy had to be siphoned out of the economy as a whole, destroying jobs elsewhere.
The U.S. economy grew at a better-than-expected 3.5 percent annualized rate in the third quarter, according to an “advance estimate” released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) October 29.
Less than a week after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged Congress to act with dispatch to pass new legislation giving the Fed and the Federal Government more surveillance powers and control over the financial sector, the Obama administration has unveiled a bill that, if passed, would put most of Bernanke’s proposals into effect.
A year after the onset of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, details continue to emerge of the sordid secret deals cut by the Federal Reserve in bailing out certain financial giants. The very latest, courtesy of Bloomberg News, alleges that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, under the leadership of Timothy Geithner (now U.S. Treasury Secretary), engineered a sweetheart deal to pay off holders of AIG debt at par, rather than the 40 cents on the dollar that AIG negotiators had been pushing for.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is growing impatient. With the financial crisis continuing to drag on, Bernanke appeared again before Congress yesterday to urge lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at preventing future economic crises of the severity of the ongoing Great Recessioan.