FROM David Smick
Getting the Biggest Bang from the Next Bailout President Obama will likely propose another huge investment of public money in private banks and brokerages houses. The mismanagement that caused them to collapse has made them very unpopular and the President is targeting one feature the public really can understand: executive bonuses .
Getting the Biggest Bang from the Next Bailout Big chunks of America's biggest banks are now owned by the taxpayers and, with billions more bailout money to come, they're going to own more. The Obama Administration is faced with a major question: with federal ownership on the increase, should there be more federal control? The President says he won't subsidize failure by allowing bailout money to pay for executive bonuses. Does he need to do more? Should he nationalize the banks and dismiss the architects of failure? Buy up those “toxic assets?” Cut the size of banks so they're not “too big to fail?” What's the best way to get the biggest bang for the next bailout?
A Political Salesman Lays It on the Line President-elect Obama said today that America's economic crisis is " no accident of history ." He decried "an era of irresponsibility" from Wall Street to Washington. But he said the seeds of the problem provide hope for overcoming what he called a "devastating loss of trust and confidence…"
A Political Salesman Lays It on the Line President-elect Barack Obama said today that only the federal government is big enough to prevent economic recession from lasting for years to come. Calling the America's economic crisis "no accident of history," he decried "an era of irresponsibility" from Wall Street to Washington and warned that "a bad situation could become dramatically worse" if Congress fails to act soon. But sounding more like a president than a president-elect he observed that the seeds of the problem provide hope for overcoming what he called a "devastating loss of trust and confidence…" We hear more about how bad things are, what Obama proposes and the prospects for improvement if he gets what he wants. Were years of "prosperity" really a sham? What's in store for America's standard of living?
G7 Finance Ministers to Gather to Discuss Global Financial Crisis Treasury Secretary Paulson said yesterday that governments around the world need to coordinate their actions so "the action of one country does not come at the expense of others or the stability of the system as a whole." Finance ministers from the industrialized West as well as China, Brazil and Saudi Arabia are coming to Washington in the next few days. They'll talk about interest rates, tax cuts, spending increases and the possibility of coordinating their efforts to restore confidence in the worldwide economy. But different countries face different problems, and they compete, especially with the US, which has been economically dominant for so long. We talk about hopes, as opposed to realities, as well as the decline of mutual trust and how it might be restored.
AIG's Global Reach, What's Next? Bear Stearns was bailed out , along with Freddie and Fannie , while Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail . But with a trillion dollars in assets, American International Group turns out to be big enough to threaten the global economy, moving the Federal Reserved to agree to what the New York Times calls "the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank's history." The insurance company does business all over the world, insuring cars, houses, retirement plans and companies, along with a lot of exotic financial instruments based on risky mortgages. Why does AIG qualify for $85 billion in American taxpayers' money? Will unprecedented government intervention ease the private financial crisis? Will other troubled companies be standing in line?
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?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."