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?
Future of the Palestinians as Trump welcomes Abbas President Trump says there's "no reason there can't be peace" between Israel and the Palestinians… but the first step will have to be unity between the West Bank and Gaza. Are the Palestinian Authority and Hamas any closer to speaking with one voice?
Is the United States losing its moral authority in the world? American support for human rights has often been criticized as more about words than it is about action. President Trump is creating more skeptics than ever. What are the consequences for America's role in the world?
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.