Archive for the ‘recession’ Category

Where Are the Leaders?

March 29, 2009

You wake up in the morning and once again the financial weather report calls for the Apocalypse followed by brief showers of despair. Seeking a ray of hope, you turn on the television and settle in to watch a Capitol Hill hearing. There in the hot seat is the man who holds the entire U.S. economy in his hands. And he looks like Harry Potter.

By David Rothkopf
The Washington Post

You wake up in the morning and once again the financial weather report calls for the Apocalypse followed by brief showers of despair. Seeking a ray of hope, you turn on the television and settle in to watch a Capitol Hill hearing. There in the hot seat is the man who holds the entire U.S. economy in his hands. And he looks like Harry Potter.
US bank chiefs to meet with President Obama

Go online, meanwhile, and you find the HTML version of the French Revolution, with left and right calling for poor Tim to be strung from a lamppost. You actually start feeling sorry for the guy. Arianna Huffington snipes that “the issue isn’t his delivery, it’s what he’s delivering.” Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz concludes that Geithner’s plan “amounts to robbery of the American people.” Next you find Connie Mack, Republican senator from Florida, fulminating that “quite simply, the Timothy Geithner experience has been a disaster. . . . America needs and deserves a Treasury secretary who can truly lead us forward.”

On that point, at least, he’s right. We do need strong leadership. The world is in chaos. There are riots from Greece to China. Iceland has collapsed, and Mexico teeters on the edge. Pakistan is broke, melting down and awash in nukes. Yes, the stock market soared with Geithner’s toxic asset plan, but didn’t he and Obama dismiss Wall Street’s response when the first version of the bank bailout landed with a thud last month? Don’t we hate Wall Street? Obama and Geithner subsidize hedge funds on Monday and come back with heavy regulations on Thursday. What gives?

In this March 12, 2009, file photo Treasury Secretary Timothy ...

Gradually it becomes clear. This is not just a global economic crisis. It’s a global leadership crisis. Obama is still finding his footing, Gordon Brown is on his way out, Hugo Chávez is nuts and Wall Street management is larcenous. Isn’t there someone somewhere with decent values, a firm hand on the tiller and at least one big new idea? Where have all the leaders gone?

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/cont
ent/article/2009/03/26/AR20090326034
22.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Obama On Geithner Sounds Like “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”

March 19, 2009

Just like FEMA Director Michael D. Brown had to be fired after Katrina, just after the President of the Uited States said, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner also has to be fired.

He was head of the New York Federal Reserve when AIG got into real trouble and needed a federal bailout. He apparently has amnesia or slept through meetings where the AIG bonus money was discussed and allowed.  And as Tresury Secretary his performance has been lackluster.  He did know about the stimulus bonus exceptions early on and did nothing to stop them — which allowed AIG to pay the stimuluses in good faith, allowed a preventable presidential “outrage” moment and a congressional lynching on TV of AIG’s top man: who took the job last year when Treasury asked him and only accepts $1 a year in pay.

Geithner is the one man most responsible for voter lack of confidence in this economy.  And as the president has been saying: without confidence the economy may last a lot longer.

Yesterday, when President Obama likened Geithner to Alexander Hamilton all I could think about was Mike Brown and “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”
Geithner: AIG must return bonus money

Presidents have been wrong before.  The good presidents admit it.

——-

Geithner also heads the IRS which has failed to collect from businesses getting lots of bailout money without paying their taxes?  Well, Geithner couldn’t figure how to pay his taxes correctly so what the heck.  He’s using everything in his means to solve these economic woes and as President Obama said, Geithner has been making “all the right moves.”

Time for a Mayflower Move for Turbo Tax Tim, Mister President….

“I have complete confidence in Tim Geithner and my entire economic team.”

My confidence is shot, Mister President.

“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/
03/19/lovely-13-bailout-recipien
ts-owe-220-million-in-back-taxes/

Lawmaking by Stampede Made the Stimulus, Now We’ll Tax ‘Bonuses’ the Simulus Allowed?
Related:
Duke Coach Slam Dunks Obama: Go Fix the Economy

 Obama the centrist, pragmatic problem-solver is gone: now liberal spendathon, no accountability
.
News at eleven followed by Jay Leno and Barack on the National Barack Channel….

Obama, Pelosi: Anything to Win

Obama, Congress, Treasury, Fed: Shameful Mismanagement of Your Money, Recovery

Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?

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

 Defining Moment for Obama’s Treasury Secretary

Where in the World Is Matt Lauer? In The Tank With Obama…

March 13, 2009

Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?  Easy: he’s holed up at the liberal bastion: NBC (National Barack Channel).

He won’t be travelling the world this spring because so many people in the world blame the U.S. for the global recession and even more are starting to worry that Barack Obama can’t make things better soon enough.

Matt can’t go to Rome: he’s pro-abortion and the Pope is there.  Matt can’t go to China, where 20 million migrants are out of jobs and the government fears “social unrest.”  Matt can’t go to Tibet: the Chinese will have a fit.  Even after Barack Obama gave up on human rights abuses in Chinese, their Premier said he’s worried about buying more U.S. Treasuries.  Matt can’t go to Britain: Obama “snubbed” their PM and the Brit media has taken up the Welcome Mat, Matt.

Matt can’t go to Japan after the Japanese got the feeling Obama was getting soft on North Korea.

Matt can’t go to Switzerland.  The Swiss are nervous after scores of new Yanks arrived to avoid paying higher taxes in the U.S. — and because congress wants Switzerland to allow them to find out who these Yanks are….

Matt can’t go to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan — despite the fact that Obama loves them all, they are too dangerous; filled with guys the Obama Administration won’t name.

Hint: terrorists.

There just are too few places for poor Matt Lauer to go. 

Even Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the U.N. called the U.S. a “deadbeat nation.”

So the trip is cancelled.

Related:
http://www.breitbart.com/article.p
hp?id=D96T995O3&show_article=1

Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important

Obama Back Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

 Fleeing Obama’s Taxes in Switzerland

 Pakistan: Circling The Drain?

Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

http://americaswatchtower.com/2009/03/13/ene
rgy-companies-make-plans-to-move-to-switzerlan
d-to-avoid-obamas-taxes/

Obama’s 52 Mistakes in 52 days:
http://www.fireandreamitchell.com/2009/0
3/13/don-surber-is-being-generous-52-days
-52-obama-mistakes/

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/1
3/52-days-52-mistakes/

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber
/2009/03/12/52-days-52-mistakes/

China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S.

March 13, 2009

China has a love-hate-envy relationship with the United States.

The Chinese people love American culture and can’t get enough of the American movies, videos, and music — much of it on the internet.

Yet the Chinese government blocks much of the internet because the cultural trends of these same Chinese people, most of them young and with growing affluence, worries older leaders in Beijing.

China envys the U.S. and its powerful military and almost unchallenged influence in the world.  Leaders crave such influence and dispatched the first ever long-range naval mission far from China in modern times when ships went to fight piracy near Somalia last December.

China is building an aircraft carrier, its first ever, and the incident at sea between Cninese ships and USNC  Impeccable last weekend was no accident.  China wants the U.S. and the world to know that it is claiming sovereignty over a vast expanse of sea.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

China aslo loves and fears the U.S. dollar.

China has so much reserve money that it has to be invested, and in many ways, that almost always has meant buying U.S. Treasuries.

China has invested almost $1 billion in U.S. bonds.

This huge holding has to worry the Chinese since the crash of the stock market and the global economic recession — which the Chinese blame on U.S. debt and greed.

Luo Ping, a director-general of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, tried to explain how China feels about the recession and China’s continuing purchases of U.S. debt:

“We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion-$2 trillion… we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys but there is nothing much we can do….

Ping, “whose English tends towards the colloquial,” according to the Financial Times’ Henny Sender, also asked “Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold? Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option.”

The global recession means China’s exports have ground to a halt and along with that, many factories and factory jobs stand idle.

About 20 million  Chinese people, many of them migrant laborers, returned home last January and are out of work.  China is rushing aid to the unemployment and fears social unrest.

The Independent (UK) reported in early March:

“China’s growth has dropped from 13 per cent in 2007 to 6.8 per cent in the most recent quarter. The rapid slowdown in the global economy, and in the US in particular, has hit China’s export-led economy, which has been at the heart of wider Asian growth in recent years. While extremely high compared with growth levels in mature economies, the slower pace is well below the 8 per cent the Government needs to create jobs for the millions of rural workers heading for China’s cities.The slowdown has left 20 million rural labourers unemployed, with 7 million college graduates also seeking work. The authorities are desperate to stop sporadic clashes between police and protesting workers turning into more general unrest against the Communist Party.”

But the recent economic woes of the United States undoubtedly worry the Chinese — and it is not a surprise that Premier Wen Jiabao said on Friday, “We have loaned a huge amount of money to the United States,” said Wen at a news conference in Beijing. “Of course, we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I’m a little bit worried. I would like for you [a Western reporter] to call on the United States to honor its word and stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets.”

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

China's Premier Wen Jiabao gestures as he answers a question ... 
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao gestures as he answers a question at a news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 13, 2009.REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA POLITICS SOCIETY)

Related:
Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/13/china.wen/index.html

Obama’s three-pronged economic strategy: delay, delay and delay

March 12, 2009

We are in a world-wide economic disaster.  We are bleeding out, as doctors say.  And so far the United States has a tourniquet but there is no heartbeat.

The number of households threatened with losing their homes rose 30 percent in February from last year’s levels, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.

After the stimulus and omnibus what do we have: lots of pork and debt but still a very uncertain picture on what all economist say we need: jobs and a fix for the banking and housing sectors.

Economists’ main complaint centers on the administration’s plan for the banking sector. “The most important issue in the short run is the financial rescue,” said Stephen Stanley of RBS Greenwich Capital. “They overpromised and underdelivered. Secretary Geithner scheduled a big speech and came out with just a vague blueprint. The uncertainty is hanging over everyone’s head.”

In stark contrast with Obama’s popularity with the public, a majority of the 49 economists polled by the Wall Street Journal are dissatisfied with the administration’s economic policies.

Reaf a report from The Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123
671107124286261.html

[forecast] 

The number of households threatened with losing their homes rose 30 percent in February from last year’s levels, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200903
12/ap_on_bi_ge/foreclosure_rates

****************

Here’s David Ignatius of the Washington Post:

For all the legislative commotion surrounding the economic crisis, we are still living in the equivalent of “the phony war” of 1939 and 1940. War has been declared on the Great Recession, but it’s basically politics as usual. The bickering and mismanagement that helped create the crisis are continuing, even though we elected a president who promised a new start.

History tells us that phony war doesn’t last forever and that when it ends, all hell breaks loose. World War II officially began with Germany’s September 1939 attack on Poland, but for months it was just skirmishing on the sidelines. That hiatus ended on May 10, 1940, when Hitler invaded Belgium and its neighbors. Neville Chamberlain was out as British prime minister, and Winston Churchill arrived as the avenging angel.

We’re still in the Neville Chamberlain phase when it comes to the economic crisis. The government is talking about sacrifice and solutions, but it hasn’t yet made the tough decisions that will put the economy back together. Economist David Smick had it right in The Post this week when he said the administration had a three-pronged strategy: delay, delay and delay. The administration announces a rescue package but doesn’t deliver details; it promises budget discipline but saves the hard decisions for later.

One reason this season feels so political is that Obama has stacked his administration with politicians and former government officials. You might think that with the greatest financial crisis of his lifetime, the president would want a few business leaders with experience managing large organizations in crisis. But no.

Here’s the un-businesslike Obama Cabinet: At Treasury, a former government official; at State, a former senator; at Commerce, a former governor; at Defense, a former government official and university president; at Energy, a former professor; at Homeland Security, a former governor; at Health and Human Services, a former governor; at the White House as chief of staff, a former congressman; at the White House as economic czar, a former university president and government official.

All fine people, no doubt. But as thin on business experience as a Hyde Park book club. Maybe Obama sees business executives as too tainted by the financial crisis to be useful, or confirmable. The closest he comes is Paul Volcker’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board — which includes Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive of GE; Jim Owens, chief executive of Caterpillar; and venture capitalist John Doerr.

The culture of immobilism starts on Capitol Hill. These people are still working a four-day week, taking Fridays off so they can run home and tell constituents how diligent they are. They may talk about a crisis, but they don’t act like it’s real.

Republicans and Democrats are sticking to party-line votes on many key issues. The Democrats were egregious in packing the stimulus bill with pet projects that won’t stimulate much except campaign contributions and in sticking with earmarks — a symbolic outrage that Obama promised during the campaign he would eliminate. But the Republicans have been even worse in their strategy of opposing recovery plans, which has given a legislative face to Rush Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails.”

The legislative pettifoggery was captured by a New York Times headline this week: “Obama’s Budget Faces Challenge by Party Barons; Panel Chairmen Oppose a Tax Plan but Want to Reduce Debt.” This nonsense has to stop, folks. The party’s over.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co
ntent/article/2009/03/11/AR2009031103
214.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

******************

You don’t get something for nothing….

Obama says we need a total rebuilding of American health care, education and energy: but we’ll just push reset with the rest of the world….It just seems like a sophomoric and socialistic thought process that can’t work.  The Soviet Union spent itself to death trying to keep up with U.S. military advances.  Now China and Russia will just watch as America spends itself to death with $1 billion dollars an hour of borrowed (much from China) money….

And despite spending $1 billion an hour in Obama’s first 50 days, the economy hasn’t rebounded and will need (likely) much more money and much more work….

Obama’s To-Do List: Fix Economy First or Do Everything Obama’s Way?

March 12, 2009

As for what policies I’d drop from the to-do list because of the crisis, at this point I’d have to say all of them. For years, I’ve been reading alarmed commentators like Martin Wolf of The Financial Times and thinking them a bit on the outer edge of pessimistic thought. Now I am not so sure. Now I think this economic crisis could be like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Big-name economists are talking seriously about another depression.

In that context, I don’t think we can do anything but fixate on this. That is, I think the president should spend 50 percent of his time on the banking crisis, 25 percent of his time on getting our allies to coordinate with a global stimulus package and 25 percent of his time beginning work on a second round of stimulus. He’s taking his eye off the ball if he spends hours every day working on health care, education and energy. Worse, he adds uncertainty into the market.

If by summer the crisis has passed, then he should go back to the long-term stuff. But the world is too uncertain just now. If the economy collapses, history will judge him very harshly for having a budget process that is on an entirely separate track from his crisis-response process.

By David Brooks:
http://theconversation.blogs.nyti
mes.com/2009/03/11/obamas-t
o-do-list/

*******************
Gail Collins:

Remember when the early Clinton administration got trapped by its own little economic crisis and James Carville grouched that if there was reincarnation, he wanted to be reborn as the bond market because then “you can intimidate everybody”?

I think I want to come back as a moderate Republican. A club so exclusive it could hold a meeting in a Capitol elevator. But these days, nothing moves unless they’re happy. Stimulus packages hang on two senators from one of the most underpopulated states in the nation {Maine].

By Gail Collins, The New York Times:
http://theconversation.blogs.nyti
mes.com/2009/03/11/obamas-to
-do-list/

Obama, Geithner: recession requires global action

March 11, 2009

The emphasis on economic stimulus has already been met coolly by many European nations, raising questions whether a gathering of finance chiefs from the Group of 20 rich and developing economies near London this weekend will make much headway battling a deepening downturn.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/
nm/us_financial_g20

******************

Warning that the global recession is deepening, the Obama administration on Wednesday called on major U.S. allies to do their part and support strong stimulus programs to fight the downturn.

The administration said decisive action was needed by all countries to complement what is being done in the United States. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined an ambitious agenda, including a tenfold increase in the size of an emergency fund the International Monetary Fund uses to help countries in trouble to as much as $500 billion.

“We can do a really good job here at home, with a whole host of policies, but if you continue to see deterioration in the world economy, that’s going to set us back,” President Barack Obama said in the Oval Office following a briefing by Geithner.

By JENNIFER LOVEN and MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press Writers

It’s essential for other major countries to commit to substantial and sustained efforts to bolster their economies in the face of a deepening recession, Geithner later told reporters.

The U.S. challenge highlighted a rift with European nations who are balking at U.S. calls for more stimulus spending, arguing they do not want to pile up huge levels of debt. Some European critics have charged that the U.S. demand for increased stimulus spending was an effort to divert a European call for a major overhaul of regulations governing the financial system to curb the types of excesses in the U.S. that spawned the crisis.

Obama said the U.S. has two goals for the G-20 summit in April: to make sure there is “concerted action around the globe to jump-start the economy” and to achieve consensus on regulatory reform to take place in each country.

However, many European nations have been critical of U.S. calls for increased stimulus spending. At a meeting this week of finance ministers of the 27-nation European Union, officials said they were doing enough already to support the world economy.

Geithner sought to play down any disagreement between the U.S. and Europe.

“I think you will find very broad support to address these objectives,” he said. Geithner will attend talks Friday and Saturday in London with finance officials from the Group of 20 nations.

Those meetings are designed to develop a common agenda for a summit April 2 in London to be attended by Obama and the other leaders of G-20 countries, a group that includes not only the world’s wealthiest nations but also major developing countries such as China, India and Brazil.

Geithner said the U.S. will seek approval to expand a $50 billion fund the IMF maintains to support countries in trouble to as much as $500 billion. The IMF needs much greater resources to be able to provide emergency loans to countries during the current crisis, he said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
311/ap_on_bi_ge/obama_geithner

53% Say It’s Likely the U.S. Will Enter a Depression

March 10, 2009

Most Americans (53%) now think the United States is at least somewhat likely to enter a 1930’s-like depression within the next few years.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 39% think this outcome is unlikely.

Nineteen percent (19%) say a Depression is Very Likely while 7% say it is not at all likely.

The latest results are more pessimistic than those found in early January, when 44% said a 1930’s-like depression was likely in the next few years, and 46% disagreed.

In March 2008, only 38% of adults said the country is likely to slip into a depression, while most (55%) disagreed.

The most recent survey also found that half of all adults (49%) say today’s children will not be better off than their parents. Only 26% hold the more optimistic view, while another 25% are not sure. Those results have changed little from January, when only 27% said children will be better off and 47% disagreed. Twenty-six percent (26%) were undecided at that time.

From Rasmussen:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/b
usiness/general_business/53_say_it_s_likely_the_
u_s_will_enter_a_depression_similar_to_1930_s

Treasury might not be up to the job of fighting recession

March 10, 2009

The Treasury might not be “up to the job” of spearheading the British Government’s response to the recession, according to the IPPR, one of Labour’s favourite think tanks. Britains worry…

By Christopher Hope
The Telegraph (UK)
Senior officials from the IPPR, the Institute of Public Policy Research, also questioned whether Gordon Brown’s policy of appointing former bankers as ministers was appropriate in dealing with “problems that banks have caused themselves”.

The Treasury was “not in good shape” to cope with the pressures of becoming a more interventionist Government while keeping a right rein on public spending, the IPPR said.

Guy Lodge and Tony Dolphin from the Institute said: “The lights are on in the Treasury but who is minding the tills? After hiving off so much responsibility for fiscal and monetary policy, the department is not in good shape to tackle the biggest economic crash for decades.”

They said part of the problem was that, when Mr Brown was Chancellor between 1997 and 2007, the Treasury spread itself too thinly and became a “Department for the Domestic Front”, wrapping its “tentacles” around large swathes of policy including welfare reform and child poverty.

This has meant that when the economy went downhill, the Treasury lost its core skills of keeping a check on the public finances and lost touch with its “conventional role of saying ‘no'” to more public spending.

In article in this week’s edition of ‘Public Finance’, the pair said: “Genuine doubts have been raised about whether the Treasury has the people it needs to face all these challenges simultaneously.

“The ‘Alistair and Mervyn’ show might be about to hit the road. It remains to be seen whether Treasury staff are well placed to support such a ‘show’.”

The departments suffers from “ridiculously high turnover rate in posts”, they said, adding: “Treasury officials rarely spend more than a year in post before moving on. This weakens the department’s skills base and deprives it of specialist expertise.”

Staff numbers have been cut by 17 per cent over the past four years. More cuts are planned by 2011. To make matters worse, the Treasury has also had problems filling policy posts. A recruitment drive last year was “only partially successful in plugging the skills gap”, leaving the Treasury short of vital skills.

They said: “One consequence of these changes is that today’s Treasury has few staff with experience of fighting a recession or dealing with a major economic calamity.”

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/rec
ession/4967743/Treasury-might-not-be-up-to-the-jo
b-of-fighting-recession-warns-IPPR.html

And other than Turbo Tax manipulation, what is U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s experience in dealing with recession?

US Recession Could Last Up to 36 Months: Roubini

March 9, 2009

The man who predicted the current financial crisis said the US recession could drag on for years without drastic action.

Nouriel Roubini
CNBC.com
Nouriel Roubini

Among his solutions: fix the housing market by breaking “every mortgage contract.”

“We are in the 15th month of a recession,” said Nouriel Roubini, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, told CNBC in a live interview. “Growth is going to be close to zero and unemployment rate well above 10 percent into next year.”

Echoing a speech he made earlier in the day, Roubini said he sees “no hope for the recession ending in 2009 and will more than likely last into 2010.”

Read the rest:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/29598949