FROM Yves Smith
'Nationalizing' America's Banks: Rumors and Realities Talk of "nationalizing" America's biggest banks, like Citigroup or Bank of America , has frightened investors and caused bank stocks to decline. The Obama Administration insists the banking system will remain private, but yesterday took steps that could lead to government ownership of troubled institutions. Would that mean government management or temporary control until private capital could be raised? Could it turn into a boondoggle? If it didn't work, would taxpayers be on the hook? We get some answers.
Will Washington Rescue Detroit's Big Three? The Big Three bailout passed the House but stalled in the Senate today, even after Barack Obama warned that collapse of the auto industry would have "a devastating ripple effect" throughout the economy. In the Senate, Republicans, many of them from the South, were still saying, " No ." On this rebroadcast of today's To the Point, we hear whether regional interests are playing a role in preventing what Democrats, including Barack Obama, call a disaster of national proportions.
Will the US Get a 'Car Czar?' After a compromise between Democrats and the Bush White House, Congress passed the $14 billion Big Three bailout bill last night. Today Barack Obama said government can't stand by and watch the auto industry collapse, warning of what he called "a devastating ripple effect" throughout the economy. But in a debate on the Senate floor today, some Republicans accused the Bush White House of making a bad deal with the Democrats, including a so-called "Car Czar" they said would have too little power. Adamant those against helping Midwestern companies were Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Richard Shelby of Alabama, both from Southern States which have subsidized non-union factories run by foreign car-makers. Are regional interests playing a role in preventing what Democrats, including Barack Obama, call a disaster of national proportions?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?