economy

BRILLIANT! Pelosi forces vote on Tax Cuts for Job Outsourcers, Idiots fall for it hook line & sinker

  • Posted on: 2 June 2010
  • By: MinistryOfTruth

Speaker Pelosi pulled a brilliant move at the end of the last weeks legislative session.

House Democrats are home for a long Memorial Day break with a gift-wrapped wedge issue delivered just in time for district campaigning. One of their final actions before adjourning late Friday was passing a measure that would strip tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas by a 215-204 vote.

talkingpointsmemo.com

The Grand Outsourcing Party. Expect Dems to run on this come election time.

More brilliance below the fold.

Are we there yet?

  • Posted on: 29 January 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

Not really, kids. We still have a long way to go and until the people that really need to get back to work start to see "jobs! jobs! jobs!!!" flooding into their lives most won't care too much about this kind of half decent news on the economic situtation, as good an indicator as the news may be:

Situational Assessment: An Overview of the Obama Administration's Triage Approach

  • Posted on: 22 January 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

The following is derived from a comment I posted as part of an ongoing conversation in a DailyKos diary.* It's essentially my take on what the Obama Administration inherited from its predecessors, and how President Obama has had to take a triage approach in order to get a handle on the myriad of emergency situations left at his doorstep by the rapidly retreating Bush Administration.

Get some coffee, and then please add your thoughts -- I'd appreciate any feedback.

You're presuming "reckless spending" given type and consistency.

Under Bush/Cheney and the GOP majorities, "reckless spending" gutted national infrastructure and effectively pissed away money like a firehose streaming water into a hurricane.  The spending worked hand-in-glove with multiple policies and deregulations that caused much more problems, including increasing the wealth disparity and eliminating a large swath of the middle class.

The GOP and BushCo knew that the economy was going to tank by the end of Bush's term, but they miscalculated: they thought they could prevent it from showing ~before~ Bush got out of office so they could place the blame on the incoming Democratic Administration (by 2004, the GOP realized that they wouldn't likely retain the WH after Bush's term).

When Obama came into office, he was faced with what was essentially a no-brainer: either hunker down and work within the severely limited confines of financial collapse that BushCo left him, which would mean do literally nothing that cost any additional money and follow the rough rut that the BushCo debacle had effectively carved, or start spending the stimulus and redirecting it, adding and adjusting to it with additional programs and increasing debt temporarily in order to create "working capital"...

He chose the latter.  He didn't have to try hard to make that choice, either, as the economy was on a downward spiral that required at least some degree of action along the lines he took to avoid complete global collapse.

That also means, unfortunately, spending some money in ways and amounts that he didn't necessarily want to, but had to in order to quell certain potential panic reactions.

Now he's working to walk back the cat, instituting or announcing more financial regulation and program reform while working to implement a healthcare plan that extends coverage to more Americans while also BRINGING DOWN the deficit -- a twofer in terms of fiscal and social responsibility.

He's already working to get control of what was "reckless" under Bush and what he was forced into padding, and that's far more than BushCo ever did...and they left one helluva mess.  They did a lot of it on purpose, to ensure that the incoming Administration would have so much to repair, that they wouldn't likely be able to accomplish much.  And the GOP knew that it could screech that the new President was taking on too much too fast, when in reality I think Obama took on the top 3 to 5 items and is concentrating on the top 3 after triaging the wide-ranging debacle that was his predecessor's legacy.

As Obama progresses, he's also adjusting / correcting / redirecting funds, programs and policies to rebuild and support our national infrastructure -- necessary for effective progress in a variety of areas, and likely to also help increase/improve economic and job issues at the same time.

I concluded by mentioning that the habit of teabaggers and GOP shills to lump all spending together as "reckless" and ignoring the particulars of what was left to this administration and what it has to deal with to simply stabilize the situation was effective just an exercise in intellectually dishonesty.

...what do you think? Accurate or fair assessment of what was left by BushCo, initially addressed by the Obama Administration and depicting roughly where we're at now?

Let's get a discussion going in comments: is the assessment over-simplified, or could it explain some of the actions taken and backtracking now in process? What other factors do you see affecting the capacity of this Administration to make headway? What are the top ten major issues left for the incoming Administration? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

Triumph of the Money Party

  • Posted on: 16 December 2009
  • By: MichaelCollins

Triumph of the Money Party

Image cc

Health Care Reform DOA. Why the Surprise?

They Did what they Always Do

Michael Collins

The Money Party is a small group of enterprises and individuals who have most of the money in this country. They use that money to make more money. Controlling who gets elected to public office is the key to more money for them and less for us September 30, 2007

Dr. Howard Dean, MD, just said pull the plug on the current health care reform effort. The cure is worse than the disease according to the good doctor.

Why the surprise?

Last week the president announced that he's sending 30,000 troops to
Afghanistan without a declaration of war by Congress and without
Afghanistan posing a direct threat to the United States violating both
the United States Constitution and international law at the same time.

The bailed out Wall Street failures are paying back just enough of
their loans to the Treasury Department to allow a new round of huge bonuses.
At the same time, they continue to get tons of cash through the Federal
Reserve. Pay back a few billion, get seven trillion dollars  in credit.
Not a bad deal.

Nick Benton's Corner: Usury & the Next American Revolution

  • Posted on: 3 November 2009
  • By: carol white

Posted with the permission of the author Nicholas Benton, owner/editor of the Falls Church News Press.


Usury" is an old-fashioned word, and not by accident. It has been virtually stripped from the English language in the last 60 years for obvious reasons, at least from the banker point of view.That's because, in its historic form, it carries with it a moral dimension, and not a good one.


 


It has its root in the Latin word, "usura," which means "interest." You know, that additional 30 percent or more you now owe your credit card company over and above what you're spending.


Nick Benton's Corner: I am a Human Capitalist

  • Posted on: 27 October 2009
  • By: carol white

Posted by consent of author, Nicholas Benton, owner/editor of the Falls Church News Press.


Many readers over the years have asked me to put a name on what I stand for in terms of philosophy and public policy. While being reluctant to be pinned down by labels, here is my answer: I am a "human capitalist."


Movie maker Michael Moore deserves credit for uncovering some extraordinary lost film footage from the January 11, 1944 inaugural speech of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, footage that appears in Moore's latest film, "Capitalism, A Love Story."


From My Mailbag: AFL-CIO Demonstrates in Chicago

  • Posted on: 27 October 2009
  • By: carol white

Showdown in Chicago: Thousands Protest Bankers


by Seth Michaels, Oct 27, 2009


More than 5,000 people are packing the streets of downtown Chicago this morning, chanting, marching and rallying against Big Bankers and financial institutions that have taken taxpayer money and are using it to give big bonuses to CEOs and to lobby against financial reforms that would ensure they don’t go back on the public dole.


Senator Sanders Unfiltered: Return to the Gilded Age

  • Posted on: 17 October 2009
  • By: Connecticut Man1

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-10-16 16:23:31 -0400. -- GH

The Dow and the Down and Out  

While markets surged past 10,000, the official unemployment rate stood near
10 percent. The United States is in a unique historical position. People on top are doing extraordinarily well, but in the real world the middle class is collapsing. The top 1 percent owns more wealth then the bottom 90 percent. CEOs of large corporations earn 400 times what their
workers make.  That is not what America is supposed to be about. With all the issues we are dealing with – from health care to global warming to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – please do not forgot what is happening to tens of millions of our brothers and our sisters out there
who are struggling hard to keep their heads above water.

Not like I didn't say enough about this stuff earlier...

Money

  • Posted on: 29 September 2009
  • By: susie dow

A succinct account of just what ails our financial system from Janet Tavakoli. (via Jesse's Cafe Americain)

Wall Street’s Fraud and Solutions for Systemic Peril

By Janet Tavakoli

TSF Opinion Commentary – September 29, 2009

http://www.tavakolistructuredfinance.com/Fraud.pdf

 

Last week I gave a presentation to members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) explaining the corrosive atmosphere that allowed the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of the capital markets to flourish. The following is a brief summary.

Wall Street gave mortgage lenders large credit lines (similar to credit card debt) and packaged the loans into private‐label residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS). Most of the RMBS was rated “AAA,” since subordinated investors absorbed the risk of a pre‐agreed amount of loan losses. But many RMBSs were backed by portfolios comprising risky fraud‐riddled loans. Most of the “AAA” investment was imperiled, and subordinated “investment grade” components were worthless. Wall Street disguised these toxic “investments” with new value‐destroying securitizations and derivatives.1

Meanwhile, collapsing mortgage lenders paid high dividends to shareholders (old investors) and interest on credit lines to Wall Street (old investors) with money raised from new investors in doomed securities. New money allowed Wall Street to temporarily hide losses and pay enormous bonuses. This is a classic Ponzi scheme. More...

The paper is four pages long. It's perhaps one of the simplest explanations that I have seen to date.

The ACORN I Know By David Swanson

  • Posted on: 24 September 2009
  • By: luaptifer

[Reposted from author's site with permission]

By David Swanson

If someone told you that a bunch of low-income people, most of them African-American or Latino, most of them women, most of them elderly, had been victimized by a predatory mortgage lender that stripped them of much of their equity or of their entire homes, you might not be surprised. But if I told you that these women and men had gotten together and, after three years of work, brought the nation's largest high-cost lender to its knees, forced it to sell out to a foreign company, and won back a half a billion dollars of what had been taken from them-one of the largest consumer settlements ever-you'd probably ask me what country this had happened in. Surely it couldn't have been in the United States of the Second Gilded Age, the land of unbridled corporate power and radical government activism on behalf of the rich and the greedy.

Yet, it was. These victims identified a problem and named it "predatory lending" in the late 1990s. Their campaign to reform Household International (also known as Household Finance and as Beneficial) played out from 2001 to 2003, concluding with a settlement that includes a ban on badmouthing the company. That's why more people haven't heard about this. The families who fought back and defeated Household are barred from bragging about it or teaching the lessons they learned, because that would require recounting the damage that Household did to homes and neighborhoods. These families are members of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

I was ACORN's communications coordinator during much of the Household campaign, but left before it ended. No one has asked me not to tell this story.

When Is a Recovery? And, Is It, Even Then?

  • Posted on: 13 July 2009
  • By: Aaron Barlow


All the talk of a ‘jobless recovery’ going on gives me the heebie-jeebies. What bothers me is that people get left out of the equation. The economy becomes nothing more than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the idea that if it goes up, things get better for everyone. A rising tide floats all boats sort of argument.


Somehow, I suspect, that’s related to ‘trickle down,’ even though the water’s going in different directions.

Speaking From the Middle

  • Posted on: 5 July 2009
  • By: Aaron Barlow

Now, I ain't no economist, and I ain't no economist's son—but I do have eyes, and ears, and I do live in the United States.  And the people around me, for the most part, are those  who make (probably) something well under $100,000 a year.  For the most part, we've lived reasonably comfortably for the past twenty years.  Our homes have increased in value steadily even though our income has not.  Our children graduate from college (a good sign for the future) and, though they are generally saddled with debt from student loans, jobs (until recently) have been there for them.  With a little luck and careful purchase, many of them were able to buy their own homes, were able to use the increasing value of their homes to offset the burden of college debt.

A Nation on the Brink - Mexico's July 5 Legislative Elections

  • Posted on: 4 July 2009
  • By: MichaelCollins

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-07-04 09:09:21 -0400. -- GH

A Nation on the Brink Mexico's
July 5 Legislative Elections

Part 2 of a three part series (Part 1)

Michael Collins and Kenneth Thomas

Mexico approaches this election confronting the rise of a narcostate, growing economic chaos, social inequalities, citizen disenchantment--or worse

As Mexico approaches the July 5th mid-term elections, the nation confronts two critical problems. An expanding an increasingly violent "war on drugs" threatens to convert Mexico into a narcostate. This will lead to the inevitable compromise of the members of all political parties. An expanding economic crisis in the wake of NAFTA and the global financial situation, threatens private companies, the Central Bank, and government programs -- as well as the income and employment of most citizens. Rising social inequality and a workforce crisis mean that many, perhaps most, Mexicans live in conditions parallel to those of sub-Saharan Africa.

Disenchantment and dismay reign. The volatile political situation foreshadows a change in the air. Close to 80% of Mexicans voted in mid-term elections in the 90's. Tomorrow, turnout is expected to be less that 50%. An attempted "no confidence" vote on the government looms. Members of the various parties engage in what has been called "fratricide." And there is talk -- talk which hearkens back to the Revolution of 1910 -- that it's time for the people to ignore the major parties and take matters into their own hands.

Nick Benton's Corner: The New Normal

  • Posted on: 12 June 2009
  • By: carol white

Posted with permission of Nicholas Benton, Publisher/Editor of the Falls Church News Press


by Nicholas Benton


Sipping white wine out on the porch during a party on a summery early evening in Arlington, a small group of us, fairly savvy on matters pertaining to the wider economy, mused about the current, relentless refrain coming from Washington and Wall Street that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and that the turn-around from the brink of the worst economic collapse of our lifetimes is underway.


It is not hard to imagine, I proposed, that there were many groups of people just like us, sipping wine on summery porches, talking about the signs of a recovering economy...in, say, 1931. There were signs back then, signs not unlike the one the experts are pointing to now, that prosperity was just around the corner. Little did they know then, I mused, that they were facing eight or nine years of the Great Depression ahead of them.


A New Foundation: a Speech by President Obama

  • Posted on: 14 April 2009
  • By: ePluribus Media

  THE WHITE HOUSE
 
Office of the Press Secretary
_________________________________________________________________
                      
Remarks of President Barack Obama
A New Foundation
Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
Washington, DC
 
 
As Prepared for Delivery
 
It has now been twelve weeks since my administration began.  And I think even our critics would agree that at the very least, we’ve been busy.  In just under three months, we have responded to an extraordinary set of economic challenges with extraordinary action – action that has been unprecedented in both its scale and its speed.
 
I know that some have accused us of taking on too much at once.  Others believe we haven’t done enough.  And many Americans are simply wondering how all of our different programs and policies fit together in a single, overarching strategy that will move this economy from recession to recovery and ultimately to prosperity.     
 
So today, I want to step back for a moment and explain our strategy as clearly as I can.  I want to talk about what we’ve done, why we’ve done it, and what we have left to do.  I want to update you on the progress we’ve made, and be honest about the pitfalls that may lie ahead.