FROM Binyamin Appelbaum
Strong jobs report makes fed action likely The latest report on employment makes it more likely than ever that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates in a couple of weeks — even though workers are not being paid what they should in an improving economy. Binyamin Appelbaum, Washington correspondent for the New York Times , explains the motivation behind the Fed's move.
Yellen Cautious about Rate Hike amid Positive Economic Growth Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee today the Fed is pleased with economic improvement. "Domestic spending in production has been increasing at a solid rate. Real gross domestic product has now estimated to have increased at a 3.75% annual rate during the second half of last year." It was not what you'd call a rousing endorsement of progress — and Yellen indicated the Fed's in no hurry to start raising interest rates, as we hear from New York Times reporter Binjamin Appelbaum.
Janet Yellen Testifies on Capitol Hill Janet Yellen, the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve, testified today before the House Financial Services Committee. She signaled that she'll keep interest rates low and continue other policies of Ben Bernanke, the man she's just replaced. Binyamin Appelbaum, Washington Correspondent for the New York Times , has more on today's hearing.
Yellen’s Path to Head of Fed President Obama has decided that Janet Yellen should replace Ben Bernanke as head of the Federal Reserve. She’s the current vice chair and, if she’s confirmed by the Senate, she’ll be the first woman ever to lead the most powerful central bank in the world. Binyamin Appelbaum is Washington Correspondent for the New York Times.
Biggest Threat to Economy Is the Congress, Bernanke Says In what's likely his last appearance before the House as Chair of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke said today that Congress is the biggest obstacle to economic growth, and that it's on course to make things even worse. Benyamin Appelbaum, Washington correspondent for the New York Times , has more.
Jobs Added, Stocks Up but Economy's Just Keeping Pace The US economy created 165,000 jobs last month — more than expected — and growth was stronger in February and March than previously had been reported. The stock markets jumped at the news, as we hear from Binyamin Appelbaum, who reports on economics for the New York Times .
Welcome to 'Sequestration' The leaders of both parties in both Houses of Congress met for less than an hour at the White House this morning, but there was no deal to prevent $85 billion in arbitrary, federal budget cuts go into effect today. As both parties and scores of Washington veterans have been saying for months, "Sequestration" was supposedly designed so it would never happen. President Obama says there was no way he could force Congress to negotiate. Republicans, of course, blame the President . We hear about the gradual impact of sequestration across the country. Is the US in a new period of austerity?
Bernanke Warns of an Approaching 'Fiscal Cliff' Federal Reserve Chairmen Ben Bernanke today gave the Senate Banking Committee sobering news about unemployment. "Given that growth is projected to be not much more than the rate needed to absorb new entrants into the labor force, the reduction in the unemployment rate is likely to be frustratingly slow." He also warned lawmakers to resolve differences over taxes and spending or face what he called a "fiscal cliff" by the end of the year. Binyamin Appelbaum reports for the New York Times .
Has Obama Taken a Combative New Turn? With a veto threat and new challenges to Republicans, President Obama has switched from reasoned compromise to partisan confrontation . What does it mean for this year’s legislation and next year's campaign? How does it look to Ron Suskind, author of the latest White House expose ? We hear from him and others.
Is There a New Man in the White House? "Scrappy," "combative," and "confrontational" are words being applied to Barack Obama after yesterday's speech on reducing the deficit. He's no more the compromiser seeking a "grand bargain," with new proposals that are "the mirror image of the priorities espoused by House Republicans." The Obama White House says, "It's fair to say we've entered a new phase." We hear how his strategy has changed, how both parties are reacting on Capitol Hill and how next year's re-election campaign might be affected. We talk with author Ron Suskind, whose latest book reports that Obama's top advisors ignored him and took over the White House during his first two years.
President Obama Urges Compromise…Again In the absence of legislation to hold off a debt-ceiling crisis, President Obama said today the issue's more urgent than ever, and repeated his call for Americans to demand action. He urged them to keep the pressure on Washington by contacting their congressional representative and urging them to find a bipartisan compromise "that can pass both houses of Congress" and that he can sign. As Speaker John Boehner struggled to round up enough House Republicans, Harry Reid, the leader of Democrats in the Senate said he's willing to compromise."
Elizabeth Warren Bypassed for Head of Consumer Watchdog Agency President Obama disappointed supporters of Elizabeth Warren today by nominating Ohio's former Attorney General, Richard Cordray, to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau . But, as the confirmation process begins, he promised to hold out against changes to finance reform. Binyamin Appelbaum is domestic correspondent in Washington for the New York Times .
Financial Reform: Unwritten Rules for an Empty Road When he signed the Dodd-Frank finance reform bill less than a year ago, President Obama said it would protect consumers from the reckless behavior of banks that caused the Great Recession, and then got bailed out with taxpayer money. But implementing the measure has run into serious roadblocks. Today, a House committee held yet another hearing . Are taxpayers and the global economy still vulnerable to banks that are "too big to fail?"
Financial Reform: Unwritten Rules for an Empty Road When he signed the Dodd-Frank finance reform bill , President Obama said it would protect consumers from the reckless behavior of banks that caused the Great Recession and then got bailed out with taxpayer money. Less than a year after calling the legislation a "key pillar" of economic recovery, he hardly mentions it any more. He's meeting with Wall Street leaders he once called "fat cats," presumably looking for campaign contributions. Republicans, and some Democrats, are delaying the new rules to give teeth to reform. The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will open for business on July 21, but Obama still has not appointed a leader. Is the economy still vulnerable to risky practices by banks that are "too big to fail?" What's the future of consumer protection?
Obama Touts Auto Bailout, but Labor Numbers Are a Concern The Labor Department said today that unemployment rose a tenth of a point last month from 9- to 9.1 percent. Some 232,000 new jobs had been predicted, but only 54,000 materialized. Meanwhile, President Obama went to a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio today to remind voters the automobile bailout saved 1.5 million jobs. Binyamin Appelbaum is a domestic correspondent for the New York Times .
Bank of America Thaws Frozen Foreclosures Widespread reports of improprieties led big banks to suspend foreclosures earlier this month. But Bank of America , which services about 20 percent of the nation's mortgages says it is starting up again. Binyamin Applebaum is domestic correspondent for the New York Times .
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.