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?
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.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new 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. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.