FROM James Surowiecki
Finance Reform under the Microscope A joint committee reached a surprise compromise last week on finance reform, and President Obama wanted both houses to pass it by the Fourth of July. But the death of Senator Robert Byrd deprived Democrats of a crucial vote, and today Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown pulled out , citing a $19 billion fee he called an unacceptable tax.
Finance Reform under the Microscope President Obama calls the finance reform compromise the biggest thing of its kind since the Great Depression, and he wants it on his desk by the Fourth of July. But the sudden death of Robert Byrd means one less Democratic vote in the Senate, and familiar questions are being raised all over again. Could banks still be "too big to fail?" Would consumers get better protection? Why would the mortgage giants Fanni Mae and Freddie Mac be left as they are? Will liberal Democrats or moderate Republicans get cold feet?
An Ultimatum for General Motors and Chrysler President Obama says General Motors and Chrysler have failed to justify their requests for $17 more billions of federal dollars. Bankruptcy is a real possibility. GM has 60 days to come up with a better plan for reorganization; Chrysler has 30 days to pull together a merger with Fiat of Italy. Even if the companies do go bankrupt, Obama insists that he won't let the auto industry die, saying that Washington will back the warranties on all their new cars. Will today's drastic actions help to restore it or drive it over a cliff?
For GM and Chrysler: an Ultimatum President Obama says General Motors and Chrysler have failed to justify their requests for $17 more billions of federal dollars. Bankruptcy is a real possibility. GM has 60 days to come up with a better plan for reorganization; Chrysler has 30 days to pull together a merger with Fiat of Italy. Even if the companies do go bankrupt, the President insists that he won't let the auto industry die: he says Washington will back the warranties on all their new cars. The President compared what's happening to the auto industry to a natural disaster. He spoke directly to the men and women who work in the industry and those who live in communities that depend on it, saying he can't pretend there won't be tough times to come. Will today's drastic actions help to restore it or drive it over a cliff?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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.
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.