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.”
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:
President Barack Obama's imprudent moratorium on drilling for oil in the Gulf Of Mexico cost not only the Gulf region but also the nation billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs.
In the realm of online news, the New York Times is one of the premier go-to sites that hundreds of thousands of news surfers around the world check in with every day. On March 18, the Times announced that it would end the free usage online readers have accessed for the past 15 years, and would begin to charge for unlimited access to its site.
The number of activities contemplated by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution for the federal government is very small. However, astute Americans are aware that much of what the government does these days involves a considerable stretching the Constitution — e.g., the "necessary and proper clause," the "general welfare" clause, and the "interstate commerce" clause — to "justify" the federal government's involvement in everything from education and entitlement programs to energy production and ecology.
Reports that the Huffington Post struck a deal with online company AOL, Inc. that involves the sale of the Huffington Post to the online company for $315 million, $300 million of which will be paid in cash and the rest of the amount in stock. The deal was signed at the Super Bowl in Dallas, where both Arianna Huffington and AOL CEO's Tim Armstrong were in attendance.
With the number of home foreclosures on pace to hit one million this year, many Americans were hoping to look to the church for spiritual encouragement and hope. Sadly, however, it appears that some churches may be in the same trouble. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “The past few years have seen a rapid acceleration in the number of churches losing their sanctuaries because they can’t pay the mortgage.”
With at least $7 billion in losses expected in 2011 and similar setbacks over the past several years, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it plans to close up to 2,000 post offices across the nation beginning in March 2011.
As many as 98 banks, which took in a total of $4.2 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), may fail anyway, according to a study of third quarter earnings by the Wall Street Journal. Although the federal government originally promised to use TARP funds only to help healthy banks, the Wall Street Journal’s study tells a rather different tale. The banks in question are hamstrung by “eroding capital levels, a pileup of bad loans and warnings from regulators,” much of them stemming from risky commercial real estate loans gone sour.
Twenty-six-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the social networking website Facebook, has been selected as Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2010. Facebook, which began in 2003 as a small insider website at Harvard University where Zuckerberg was a student, has exploded over the past two years to become arguably the Internet’s most used address, with nearly 600 million individuals having Facebook accounts and projections for a billion members by 2012.