President Barack Obama has lately been touting the government’s takeover of two of the Big Three automakers as an unqualified success. This is not surprising considering the large hand he had in it; nor is it surprising that his statements on the subject have been less than forthright.
The calamitous economic plight of the so-called “PIGS” nations of the European Union (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) is well known to the world. Greece is in the spotlight this week, as, according to the New York Times, "[It] took the first step to raise money from the sale of government assets on Monday while a top official at the European Central Bank argued that the country was not insolvent and should not be excused from paying its debts."
In 2006 the Federal Reserve decided it was time to begin to reach out and influence middle schoolers with the party line about the Fed, and launched the Federal Reserve Kids Page. Consisting of 10 harmless-appearing questions, either in English or Spanish, the Fed’s answers gloss over, and sometimes deliberately misstate, the correct answers.
The U.S. economy experienced disappointing jobs numbers in May, according to figures released June 3 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), leaving the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent at the end of the month.
Analysts are warning that the Federal Reserve is gearing up for a third round of quantitative easing, which involves printing money and flooding the market with the inflated cash through the bond market. The Federal Reserve purchases bonds with printed money, which in turn leads to more inflation. Despite the lessons learned by the first two rounds of quantitative easing, the Federal Reserve is preparing for a third round.
Many were shocked to learn that foreign banks were the largest recipients of the Federal Reserve’s discount loan program during the height of the financial crisis. Unfortunately, providing emergency cash to foreign banks is just one “absurdity from the recession-era financial markets,” as dubbed by The Blaze. According to Bloomberg News, the Federal Reserve also handed out $80 billion in secretive loans to banks at absurdly low interest rates.
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit,” said the Senator, “is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies.... Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”
Echoing the Obama administration’s characterization of the tax breaks being enjoyed by the five major oil companies (Exxon, ConocoPhillips, BP America, Shell, and Chevron) as "subsidies," the Senate tried to remove them on Tuesday, but failed.
That bump you just felt was the U.S. Treasury running up against the federal debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion. It happened on May 16 and was, as all the proponents of raising the ceiling warned, supposed to precipitate the greatest economic catastrophe in history.
Although Monday, May 16th is the day the financial world was supposed to end as the federal government’s spending hit the debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) announced that he was able to put off that day of reckoning until August 2nd. In a letter to Congress, Geithner said that by borrowing from a pension fund belonging to federal workers and from an emergency fund set up to “help deal with foreign financial crises” coupled with slightly higher tax revenues than expected, he is able to stave off the inevitable until early August. But he warned that failure to raise the debt ceiling by that date “would have a catastrophic economic impact.”
Economists Richard M. Ebeling and Matthew J. Slaughter testified before the House Monetary Policy Subcommittee May 11 and agreed that spending must be cut to avert a financial catastrophe, but disagreed about the risks of failing to raise the national debt limit.