Archive for the ‘money’ Category

Obama Stimulus Job Numbers for Massachusetts “Manufactured in Washington DC”

March 27, 2009

“The question to me was, ‘How in God’s name did Obama’s guys come up with these job numbers for us?’  So, being a good accountant I dove into it.”

“I think they used a ouija board.”

That’s from my friend in Massachusetts speaking about the number of jobs that would be saved there as estimated by team Obama.  The people in Massachusetts have no idea how they can ever save that number of jobs, we were told….

“They must have just manufactured these numbers in Washington DC….”

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By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press Writer

State officials overseeing the federal economic stimulus program in Massachusetts say they have no idea how the White House came up with one key pledge — the promise to save or create 79,000 jobs in the state.

They say they’re not even sure how to measure saved jobs — and fear the jobs figure sets an unrealistic yardstick against which the success or failure of the program will be measured.

“The federal estimate of 79,000, we really don’t know what’s behind that, we just plain don’t,” Jeffrey Simon, Director of Infrastructure Investment in Massachusetts, told The Associated Press.

“I’m not saying it’s not 79,000, but I just don’t have any way of knowing that,” he said.

Simon and his counterparts overseeing the distribution of stimulus funds in Massachusetts said concerns about the state jobs numbers were raised at a meeting earlier this month in Washington between state and federal leaders.

Massachusetts Undersecretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez also attended the Washington meeting and said other states complained that issuing job estimates undercut the administration’s vow of transparency because it was unclear where the estimates came from.

Gonzalez said he was asked at one point how he might come up with a jobs estimate and pointed federal officials to a state task force report, but cautioned them the estimate was very rough and came with “qualifications all over it.”

He said he was surprised when the state was presented with the estimate of 79,000.

“We have no idea where that number came from and now we’re going to be measured against it,” Gonzalez told the AP. “They haven’t even decided yet how they are going to require that we measure new and retained jobs.”

Job creation has been a key selling point of the $787 billion federal stimulus package. The Obama administration said they stimulus package will save or create 3.5 million nationwide.

Critics say the numbers are fuzzy, particularly when it comes to saved jobs.

In a one-page explanation on the federal stimulus Web site, the administration said it arrived at the state numbers by using an average of three different methods of estimating job growth.

The first looks at the total working-age population of each state. (If a state accounted for 10 percent of the country’s total working age population, it was allotted 10 percent of the national job impact of the stimulus package.) The second uses a similar method based on 2007 employment records, before the beginning of the current recession.

The administration said the two methods are reasonable because states with larger populations will get a proportionately larger share of tax cuts, education spending and fiscal relief from the stimulus package.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
327/ap_on_re_us/stimulus_mass_jobs_2

Related:
Obama’s end of the beginning and possibly the beginning of the end

Stimulus: Example of More Wise Spending on “Infrastructure”?

Obama Stimulus; Fewer Jobs, Real Growth Industry is Government Counting, Regulating Jobs (Go Figure)

Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

 The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

 Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/27/no
w-they-tell-us-pt-ii-ap-really-catching-on-t
o-obama-math/

Fed to pump another $1 trillion into U.S. economy “from thin air”

March 19, 2009

Expect elegant Ben Bernanke on Jay Leno before long.  He’s the coolest Obama spokesman on the economy — as he proved Sunday on “60 Minutes.”

But he knew about the AIG bonus money last year and he hasn’t said a word.

And four years ago, Ben Bernanke famously identified the huge influx of foreign currency as a sign that America was about to go over an economic ledge — but he didn’t understand what that might mean.

As FinancialPost.com reports:

[The] Federal Reserve chairman delivered an elegant mea culpa for pinpointing the massive capital inflows as a force lifting the U.S. economy, but failing to stop Americans from going on a destructive spending spree.

“The global imbalances were the joint responsibility of the United States and our trading partners, and although the topic was a perennial one at international conferences, we collectively did not do enough to reduce those imbalances,” the Fed chief told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Then yesterday Bernanke released $1 trillion into the U.S. economy “out of thin air.”

We haven’t created more jobs or more wealth but we do have more money now — which will usually start inflation and an economic roller coaster ride….

Before long the only financial guys getting bonuses will be Chinese….

Related:
http://www.financialpost.com/persona
l-finance/wealthy-boomer/story.html
?id=1374217

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The Federal Reserve sharply stepped up its efforts to bolster the economy on Wednesday, announcing that it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the financial system by purchasing Treasury bonds and mortgage securities.

By Edmund L. Andrews
International Herald Tribune

Having already reduced the key interest rate it controls nearly to zero, the central bank has increasingly turned to alternatives like buying securities as a way of getting more dollars into the economy, a tactic that amounts to creating vast new sums of money out of thin air. But the moves on Wednesday were its biggest yet, almost doubling all of the Fed’s measures in the last year.

The action makes the Fed a buyer of long-term government bonds rather than the short-term debt that it typically buys and sells to help control the money supply.

The idea was to encourage more economic activity by lowering interest rates, including those on home loans, and to help the financial system as it struggles under the crushing weight of bad loans and poor investments.

Investors responded with surprise and enthusiasm. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had been down about 50 points just before the announcement, jumped immediately and ended the day up almost 91 points at 7,486.58. Yields on long-term Treasury bonds dropped markedly, and analysts predicted that interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages would soon drop below 5 percent.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington March 10, 2009.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington March 10, 2009.  Reuters/Yuri Gripas
.

But there were also clear indications that the Fed was taking risks that could dilute the value of the dollar and set the stage for future inflation. Gold prices rose $26.60 an ounce, hitting $942, a sign of declining confidence in the dollar. The dollar, which had been losing value in recent weeks to the euro and the yen, dropped sharply again on Wednesday.

In its announcement, the central bank said that the United States remained in a severe recession and listed its continuing woes, from job losses and lost housing wealth to falling exports as a result of the worldwide economic slowdown.

“In these circumstances, the Federal Reserve will employ all available tools to promote economic recovery and to preserve price stability,” the central bank said.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2
009/03/18/business/fed.php

http://michellemalkin.com/20
09/03/19/the-david-copperfi
eld-school-of-economic-recovery/

45 percent of world’s wealth destroyed: Blackstone CEO

March 12, 2009

Private equity company Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) CEO Stephen Schwarzman said on Tuesday that up to 45 percent of the world’s wealth has been destroyed by the global credit crisis.

“Between 40 and 45 percent of the world’s wealth has been destroyed in little less than a year and a half,” Schwarzman told an audience at the Japan Society. “This is absolutely unprecedented in our lifetime.”

$50 Trillion in Global Assets “Lost” in 2008

By Megan Davies and Walden Siew
Reuters

 

But the U.S. government is committed to the preservation of financial institutions, he said, and will do whatever it takes to restart the economy.

 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner plans to unfreeze credit markets through a new program that will combine public and private capital in a fund that would buy bank toxic assets of up to $1 trillion.

 

“In all likelihood, that will have the private sector buy troubled assets to clean the banks out in terms of providing leverage … so that we can get more money back into the banking system,” Schwarzman said.

 

He expects the private sector to end up making “some good money doing that,” but added there were complex issues on how to price toxic assets.

 

He put part of the blame for the financial crisis to credit rating agencies.

 

“What’s pretty clear is that, if you were looking for one culprit out of the many, many, many culprits, you have to point your finger at the rating agencies,” he said.

Read the rest:
http://www.reuters.com/article/wtUSI
nvestingNews/idUSTRE52966Z20090310

In Shift, Chinese Move More Money Overseas

February 3, 2009

Some Chinese are so eager to turn their yuan into other assets that when an online real estate brokerage organized a tour of foreclosure auctions in the United States, it received so many applications that it had to turn away nearly 400 people.

By By Keith Bradsher
The New York Times

 

Shoppers at the Chow Tai Fook jewelry store in Hong Kong. The jewelry retailers are reporting more mainland Chinese coming to buy expensive pieces.  Photo: Christie Johnston for The New York Times

In Shanghai, cash-rich Chinese companies are buying high-yield bonds issued by distressed American companies at a time when many Western investors are steering clear of bonds even from solid companies.

All over the world, Chinese companies are sending home fewer of the billions of dollars they earn from exports, parking them in overseas bank and brokerage accounts instead.

And in Hong Kong, wealthy mainlanders are turning up at jewelry stores in growing numbers seeking diamonds, big ones.

“They’re looking for five-carat diamond rings and six-carat diamond earrings — three carats for each ear,” said Yollanda Lam, the marketing manager for the King Fook jewelry store chain here.

Together, these trends represent a potentially tectonic shift. As Chinese citizens are starting to send more money out of the country, foreign investors are pulling money out too, and slowing the pace of new investment.

“There is a recognition for sure that China is slowing down, so why keep your money there?” said Henry Lee, a Hong Kong fund manager.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/
business/worldbusiness/03yuan.htm
l?_r=1&hp

France Rejects “Obama Style” Stimulus

February 3, 2009

Prime Minister François Fillon on Monday rejected demands that the French government seek to stimulate consumer spending, rather than follow his plan to stimulate corporate and infrastructure investment, to lift France out of its economic slump.

“It would be irresponsible to chose another policy, which would increase our country’s indebtedness without having more infrastructure and increased competitiveness in the end,” Fillon said in a speech in Lyon.

Bloomberg

More than 1.1 million people took to the streets across France last Thursday, according to the Interior Ministry, with unions putting the number of protesters at 2.5 million, to call on President Nicolas Sarkozy to stop cutting government jobs, increase the minimum wage and spend more on households as the economy enters its first recession since 1993.

Opponents of the government have been calling for an “Obama-style” stimulus plan, one that puts money directly into the pockets of working people.

French unemployment rose by about 45,000 people in December, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Monday, taking the jobless ranks to the highest level in about two years.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/
02/02/business/frecon.php

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

January 30, 2009

Since the United States is now discussing an economic “stimulus” of almost $1 Trillion, we  have been trying to figure who benefits most from this deal?  The answer is China, if they decide to underwrite the U.S. loan, and buy the U.S. Treasurys that will fund the stimulus.  Just by doing that, China will get more than $300 Billion in payments of interest from the U.S.

So, why does China like this deal, in addition to the money?  China wants power and the ability to call the shots.  “Buying” the American debt is a lot faster and potentially less expensive than fighting the U.S. with some future Chinese military — which is not culturally in China’s psyche or style anyway…..

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“I think the objective of the grand strategy is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war, with economy and culture,” said Chong-pin Lin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan at Princeton.

Chong-pin engaged Princeton University students and professors in a lively discussion Nov. 18 that focused on China’s relationship with Taiwan and China’s growing importance in world affairs.

A professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan, Chong-pin was brought to Princeton by the East Asian Studies department. His lecture was titled, “More carrot than stick: Beijing’s adjusted Taiwan policy.”

Chong-pin mentioned beauty pageants and high-visibility sporting events as examples of China’s emerging emphasis on culture.

“Now I think it’s generally agreed that Beijing is using economic and cultural influence to establish its international status,” he said. “The idea is to make the rest of the world look to Beijing unconsciously or subconsciously as the future mecca of the world.”

By Megan DeMarco
The Times (Trenton, NJ)

Read about China’s “Grand Strategy” to ease the U.S. out of East Asia:
http://www.nj.com/news/times/regional/index.ssf?/base/
news-15/12280215089560.xml&coll=5

Related:
Economic Stimulus About “Soul of America”

Biggest Beneficiary of U.S. Economic Stimulus?

Related:
McCain on Bipartisanship in Stimulus, “This Was Not The Way To Start”

Audacity, Hope and Obama’s Spending Stimulus: Once Discredited Theory Gets A Real Try

China Starts to Set Limits On Its Biggest Borrower: Barack Obama and The U.S.

 Get the Feeling Russia and China Are Slicing Up The World and the U.S. Will Be Left Out?

Biggest Beneficiary of U.S. Economic Stimulus?

January 30, 2009

Name one state, agency or program that will get more than $300 Billion from the $800+ Billion economic stimulus.

That would be China.  Nothing and nobody comes close.

China will reap over $300 Billion just by fincnacing the stimulus.  That will be U.S. dollars flowing from Americans to China as interest on the loan.

We’d be be better off borrowing from our credit cards.

A bank employee counts US dollar bank notes. The euro fell sharply ...

When America borrows, who pays?  First, I guess, and correct me if I’m wrong, China lends the money to the U.S.

China already “owns” as of October, 652.9 billion dollars in US Treasury bonds.

And China won’t just get the money: China will gain further in its already pervasive importance in the world.

And China may call the shots.

Just today, China said it didn’t like the “Buy American” provisions in the economic stimulus.

What else doesn’t China like?

When one country owes another country so much money, over $1 Trillion, what will happen?  We don’t know, because this has never happened before.

Like a Mafia, Boss, China will own the United States.  And, if real estate trends are any guide, China will also buy up any remaining valuable U.S. soil.

China will have all the money.  And in some places, money is power.

In the business deal called the economic stimulus, I’d rather be Chinese than American….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

A Chinese customer shows off a handfull of hundred-yuan notes ...

The latest irritants to China from America are a “buy American” provision attached to White House-backed stimulus legislation moving through Congress and criticism of China’s currency policies by Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner….See:
China Starts to Set Limits On Its Biggest Borrower: Barack Obama and The U.S.

Related:
Economic Stimulus About “Soul of America”

Stimulus Throws Around So Much Money, Some Lawmakers, Families, Executives Get Rich

January 29, 2009

With something like $800 billion in the stimulus bill passed yesterday in the House of Representatives and maybe several trillion more to be decided later for bank bailouts (not to mention the TARP and other bailouts), who will get rich?

If history is any guide, lawmakers, their families and top executives across the country will get rich with your tax money….

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By Stephen Dinan and S. A. Miller
The Washington Times

A top House Republican is demanding an investigation into whether the more than $2 billion for national parks in the House stimulus package is proper in light of the fact that the chief lobbyist for the National Parks Conservation Association is the son of House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey.

NPCA is a major player in advocating for national parks funding, and its senior vice president for government affairs is Craig Obey, son of the Wisconsin Democrat who has long been his party’s top Appropriations Committee member.

The money included in the stimulus bill that passed Mr. Obey’s committee – $2.25 billion – was about equal to the National Park Service’s total yearly budget, and would be a staggering increase and almost three times the $802 million that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved for park spending in its stimulus bill.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/200
9/jan/29/stimulus-includes-plum-lawmaker
s-son/

Pakistan Hopes Obama Can Deliver Even Part of the Bush-Cheney Love (and Money)

January 28, 2009

Former Pakistan President Musharraf has been on a media blitz of sorts seeking love and money from the new Obama Aministration.

Musharraf got rich off Bush-Cheney.

Now President Zardari is at it; seeking U.S. approval and funding which may be in serious doubt.

Just yesterday Defense Secretary Gates said Predator drones would continue to invade pakistan’s air space in efforts to find and kill terrorists the Pakistani’s tolerate.

On Sunday, September 10, 2006, the late Tim Russet hosted Vice President Cheney on”Meet the Press.”  Cheney made an extremely long supporting speech on the importance of General Musharraf and pakistan to the United States.

I heard about this while in Pakistan working near my friend Muhammad.

Muhammad is now dead, killed by the Taliban, right near where the Predator drones are operating today.  Musharraf is no longer the kingpin in Pakistan.

But it was Tim Russert’s careful, probing inquiry with Cheney that opened my eyes to the growing troubles between the U.S. and Pakistan — and the kind of “over the top” support once given to Pakistan by the United States.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

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Part of Vice President Cheney’s Remarks on “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert on Sunday, September 10, 2006:

“President Musharraf has been a great ally. There was, prior to 9/11, a close relationship between the Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban. Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized, diplomatically recognized the government of Afghanistan at that particular time. But the fact is Musharraf has put his neck on the line in order to be effective in going after the extremist elements including al-Qaeda and including the Taliban in Pakistan. There have been three attempts on his life, two of those by al-Qaeda over the course of the last three years. This is a man who has demonstrated great courage under very difficult political circumstances and has been a great ally for the United States”.

“So there’s no question in that area along the Afghan/Pakistan border is something of a no man’s land, it has been for centuries. It’s extraordinarily rough territory. People there who move back and forth across the border, they were smuggling goods before there was concern about, about terrorism. But we need to continue to work the problem. Musharraf just visited Karzai in, in Kabul this past week, they’re both going to be here during the course of the U.N. General Assembly meetings over the course of the next few weeks. We worked that area very hard, and the Paks have been great allies in that effort.”

“Pakistan, we’ve gone in and worked closely with Musharraf to take down al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, same thing. In all of those cases, it’s been a matter of getting the locals into the fight to prevail over al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-related tyrants.”

“Think of Musharraf who puts his neck on the line every day he goes to work, when there’ve been attempts on his life because of his support for our position. And they look over here and they see the United States that’s made a commitment to the Iraqis, that’s gone in and taken down the old regime, worked to set up a democracy, worked to set up security forces, and all of a sudden we say it’s too tough, we’re going home. What’s Karzai going to think up in Kabul? Is he going to have any confidence at all that he can trust the United States, that in fact we’re there to get the job done? What about Musharraf? Or is Musharraf and those people you’re talking about who are on the fence in Afghanistan and elsewhere going to say, ‘My gosh, the United States hasn’t got the stomach for the fight. Bin Laden’s right, al-Qaeda’s right, the United States has lost its will and will not complete the mission,’ and it will damage our capabilities and all of those other war fronts, if you will, in the global war on terror.”

Related:
 Pakistan’s President Continues Audition for Obama Attention, Funding, Support

Economy Worse Before Its Better, Biden Says

January 25, 2009

The White House warned Sunday that the country could face a long and painful financial recovery, even with major government intervention to stimulate the economy and save financial institutions.

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press

“We’re off and running, but it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Vice President Joe Biden, taking the lead on a theme echoed by other Democratic officials on the Sunday talk shows.

At the end of the Obama administration’s first week, the party in power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue sought to lower expectations for a quick fix despite legislation expected to pass by next month that would pump billions of dollars into the economy. Democrats also opened the door for even more government aid to struggling banks beyond the $700 billion bailout already in the pipeline.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090125
/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_economy