On February 4, 2009, President Barack Obama signed legislation establishing a $500,000 limit on executive compensation at firms receiving federal aid through the Troubled Asset Relief Program. “In order to restore trust” to our financial system, Obama said during the signing ceremony, “we’ve got to make certain that taxpayer funds are not subsidizing excessive compensation packages on Wall Street. He referred to these “lavish bonuses” for executives at failing firms as “the height of irresponsibility” and “shameful” — “exactly the kind of disregard for the costs and consequences of their actions that brought about this crisis.”
Constitutionalist Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, is planning to hold hearings about the Federal Reserve’s bailouts of foreign-owned banks during the economic crisis.
With the turmoil in the Middle East and the catastrophe in Japan, it is easy to be distracted from the power plays of the global elite. But this week’s ruling by the World Trade Organization declaring $5.3 billion in U. S. government subsidies to Boeing Corporation illegal is a significant episode in the 15-year effort of the WTO to wrest trade sovereignty from the nations of the world and consolidate it under a global authority.
Complying with a court order, the Federal Reserve began releasing documents on March 31 related to one of its bailout and wealth-transfer schemes during the financial crisis. And it turns out that among the biggest beneficiaries were foreign firms, including a bank owned by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's central bank.
Harvard Professor Gregory Mankiw (picture, left), in writing a hypothetical speech in the New York Times for the President in the year 2026, thinks politicians can kick the entitlements can down the road for another 15 years. His opening could come from any politician’s current teleprompter:
It used to be one of the great cities of a great nation, a thriving, prosperous metropolis humming night and day with the machinery of America’s industrial superiority. In 1950, individuals and families were still streaming to Detroit to work in the ever-growing automotive industry, and as the U.S. Census Bureau crunched the numbers that year they found the Motor City had grown to an astounding population of 1,849,568 people, with the city fathers predicting two million and beyond in the coming years.
Even after the Cash for Clunkers program failed, the federal government refuses to give up. It is now launching Cash for Clunkers 2, this time for “green vehicles.” Perhaps not surprisingly, the proposal has delighted General Motors.
Credit Time magazine for identifying, however imprecisely, a very important but little understood consequence of the modern Federal Reserve-based financial system: a “brain drain” that is luring many of the best and brightest from math, science, and engineering into finance. “Wall Street,” notes Time’s Rana Foroohar, “hires more math, engineering and science graduates than the semiconductor industry, Big Pharma or the telecommunications business.” The author continues:
Politically astute viewers of the Glenn Beck program know that he is sounding more like Ron Paul and less like a neoconservative every day. Regular viewers also know that Friday’s episodes tend to be a break from the monotony of current events, with a greater focus on foundations, whether it be the founding of this nation, or the foundations of progressivism, etc. The Friday, March 25, episode of the Glenn Beck program focused on one of the foundations of America’s economic woes: the Federal Reserve.
When Reuters and CNBC.com announced the awful housing numbers from February, most observers were surprised. The housing market appeared to have found a bottom last fall, and many economists were expecting small but predictable improvements every month.