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European Union President Says Obama Stimulus is The ‘Road to Hell’

The head of the European Union slammed President Barack Obama’s plan to spend nearly $2 trillion to push the U.S. economy out of recession as “the road to hell” that EU governments must avoid.

The blunt comments by Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek to the European Parliament on Wednesday highlighted simmering European differences with Washington ahead of a key summit next week on fixing the world economy…



Filed under: Economics, Obama, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama Staff Caught Passing Blackberry During Prime-Time Speech (Video)


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Senate Democrats Push Cuts in Obama’s $3.6 Trillion Budget

MEDIA: Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota said the Senate Budget Committee, which he chairs, will vote on his version Wednesday.

“We’ve made hundreds of billions of dollars of changes to make this work to get down to the deficit goal and at the same time maintain the president’s priorities — education and energy and health care,” Conrad said as he left a closed meeting in the Capitol, where he briefed Senate Democratic colleagues on his plan…

Filed under: Economics, Obama, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


PAPER: The Obama administration is considering asking Congress to give the Treasury secretary unprecedented powers to initiate the seizure of non-bank financial companies, such as large insurers, investment firms and hedge funds, whose collapse would damage the broader economy, according to an administration document…

Brendan Smialowski / Bloomberg News

Brendan Smialowski / Bloomberg News

Filed under: Economics, Obama, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Attorney General Holder to Support FAILING Newspapers, Follows Pelosi

“U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday preserving a healthy newspaper industry was important and he was open to adjusting antitrust policy if it could help…

“I’d like to think 20, 30, 40 years from now people will still be reading the newspaper,” Holder told reporters…”



Pelosi Seeks Subsidies for Failing Newspapers…

Let Free Markets Work…?

Filed under: Obama, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fannie to Pay Bonuses of Up To $611K to 4 Execs; Obama Received $105K Contributions

“Fannie Mae plans to pay retention bonuses of as much as $611,000 each to key executives this year as part of a plan to keep hundreds of employees from leaving the government-controlled company.

Rival mortgage finance company Freddie Mac is planning similar awards, but has not yet reported on which executives will benefit…”

Obama Received $105K From Fannie/Freddie…

Filed under: Economics, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Biden: Economy, ‘This is life and death’

“Vice President Joe Biden’s tone on the economy Monday night was a stark contrast from the upbeat message coming from the Obama administration over the past few days…”

BIDEN: “This president has inherited the most difficult first 100 days of any president, I would argue, including Franklin Roosevelt”

BIDEN: “Let me explain what I mean by that,” he added. “It was clear the problem Roosevelt inherited. This is a more complicated economic [problem]. We’ve never, ever been here before – here or in the world. Never, ever been here before.”

Filed under: Economics, Obama, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pelosi Seeks Subsidies for FAILING Newspapers

“We must ensure that our policies enable our news organizations to survive and to engage in the news gathering and analysis that the American people expect,” Pelosi wrote.

“Pelosi’s spokesman, Brendan Daly, said the speaker was moved by the recent announcement by the Hearst Corp., the parent company of The Chronicle, that it would be forced to sell or close the paper if it could not achieve major cost-savings quickly. Hearst has said the paper lost $50 million last year and that this year’s losses will likely be worse.”

Filed under: Media, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama Set to Charge Wounded Veterans for Treatment; ‘Refused to Hear About Government-Avowed Obligations’

“‘It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan,” said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. “He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.'”

Jim Young/Reuters

Jim Young/Reuters

Filed under: Obama, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WIRE – Pelosi: It’s My Way Or The Highway on AIG Bonuses

Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement on AIG:

“The American people do not want their tax dollars spent on bonuses for AIG executives who have mismanaged their company into near bankruptcy. AIG executives should voluntarily forgo their excessive retention payments, but if they refuse, the U.S. Treasury should use whatever tools at its disposal to make AIG repay taxpayers.

“AIG has turned on its head the basic principle that bonuses and retention payments are rewards for outstanding performance. No taxpayer funds should be used to pay bonuses or other unjustified compensation to AIG executives whose irresponsible risk-taking brought our financial system to the brink of collapse.

“This week, Congress will demand further answers from AIG on the steps the government-controlled company will take to repay taxpayers. Congress and the Obama Administration are working to protect taxpayers from such irresponsible misuse of taxpayer funds.”

Filed under: Economics, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fed Chief Sees Lack of ‘Political Will’ as Threat to Economy, 60 Minutes Interview

Chairman Ben Bernanke gave his first interview since taking the helm of the Federal Reserve, with CBS’ 60 Minutes today. In it he stated that the biggest issue that may continue to threat the U.S. economy is a lack of action on the part of the political process to stem a potentially prolonged recession. “The biggest risk that, you know, we don’t have the political will,” Bernanke said.

But he further added that stabilization of the banking sector is crucial to ensure an economy recovery. “Recovery is not going to happen until the financial markets and the banks are stabilized.” Fortunately, the chairman added that the banks regulated by the Fed are solvent. He also noted that the government’s is “going to take time and patience.” He reemphasized his position on the role of the political process, saying that “it’s going to take some support.”

During the questioning Bernanke stated that the era of “high living” ended with the collapse of the financial companies. It is also “hard to forecast exactly” the future trend in unemployment, he said. Bernanke also emphasized that the U.S. recovery will probably start in 2010, but that the bulk of the crisis will end by the end of this year.

– LG

Related Article: Ben Bernanke’s Childhood Home is Foreclosed




Filed under: Economics, Obama, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Carville on Wishing Bush To Fail On 9/11 Morning, Wanted Comment Stricken From Record (Video)

FLASHBACK: Most Democrats Wanted Bush to Fail in 2006…

Filed under: Obama, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


“Russia could land strategic bombers at Cuban and Venezuelan airfields while conducting patrols, the head of the Russian strategic air force was quoted as saying by the Interfax news service…”

“”There are four or five airfields in Cuba with 4,000-meter-long runways, which absolutely suit us,” Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev told Interfax…”

Filed under: Politics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


“Curiously enough, though, not one of these brief reports mention that Tony West was “American Taliban” terrorist John Walker Lindh’s defense lawyer. Another key bit of info left out of these announcements was that Tony West raised $65 million for Obama’s presidential campaign. Money well spent if it gets a cushy government job, I suppose…”

SF GATE: “He also took part in the defense of Lindh, the Marin County man who was a 20-year-old Taliban soldier in Afghanistan when he was captured in November 2001. Lindh pleaded guilty in 2002 to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons and was sentenced to 20 years in prison…”

BLOG: Raised $65 MILLION for Obama Campaign as a state finance co-chair…

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In November, the Chinese government announced that it would be implementing a stimulus package worth $915 billion. Details of the plan were not so readily available and made it difficult for economists to estimate the impact that it would have on the global economy. Just recently, however, the former head of the nation’s statistic bureau stated that they would be removing export taxes on many industries hurt by the crisis.

Moments ago China’s Premier Wen Jiabao spoke at a news conference and offered greater insight into the government’s thinking. He stated that the communist government has prepared other measures in case of greater problems head. He also said that they had a “full arsenal” to stimulate the economy. Wen may have been taking a shot at the U.S. legislature, saying that China can “at any time…introduce new stimulus.” It has “reserved adequate ammunition” to do so.

In a startling note, he also mentioned that they are concerned over the security of its investments in the U.S. He then urged the U.S. government to “ensure the safety” of its American assets. “We have lent a huge amount of money to the United States” and that “of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am a little bit worried.”

On foreign exchange intervention, Wen seemed a bit defensive. He argued that that the Yuan appreciated against a wide-range of currencies, but that the currency’s upward swing has hurt its exports. He also reiterated their stance on diversifying the basket against which the Yuan is pegged to. “No country” can “pressure” them to appreciate or depreciate the currency.

– LG

Filed under: Global Economics, World, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Confronting misgivings, even in his own party, President Barack Obama mounted a stout defense of his blueprint to overhaul the economy Thursday, declaring the national crisis is “not as bad as we think” and his plans will speed recovery. Challenged to provide encouragement as the nation’s “confidence builder in chief,” Obama said Americans shouldn’t be whipsawed by bursts of either bad or good news and he was “highly optimistic” about the long term…”

Filed under: Economics, Obama, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

U.N. Calls U.S. ‘Deadbeat,’ White House Objects

“The White House is taking offense at U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s comment that the United States is a “deadbeat” donor to the world body.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that Ban’s word choice was “unfortunate,” given that the U.S. is the largest contributor to the United Nations. The U.S. pays 22 percent of the organization’s ‘s nearly $5 billion operating budget but is perennially late paying its dues…”

Filed under: Obama, World, , , , , , , , ,

Stocks Trade in Tightest Range Since Early February on JPMorgan Profit Outlook

US Session Key Developments

  • JPMorgan’s CEO Echoes Citi, Announces Profits
  • S&P 500 Trades in Tightest Range Since Feb. 2nd
  • Volatility Remains Under 50 For Fourth Day

Stocks Trade in Tightest Range Since Early February on JPMorgan Profit Outlook

Stocks in the S&P 500 traded in the tightest daily range since Feb. 2nd, but nonetheless finishing the day just inches above ground. The marginal gain extended yesterday’s 6.40% surge in the 500 stock index as speculation that Citigroup would be announcing much better than expected profits for the first quarter. Interestingly enough, JPMorgan Chief Executive Office Jamie Dimon echoed comments by his Citigroup counterpart, saying that his company would be profitable in January and February. Indeed, Citigroup continued to jump, by 6.21% to $1.54. JPMorgan extended gains by 4.62% to $20.40. But the broad market didn’t react as enthusiastically as they had just yesterday. This may be due to the fact that Moody’s Investor Service stated that the bank, which bought Bear Stearns last March and Washington Mutual in October, would see its credit rating outlook slashed to ‘negative’ last week.

Dow 30              6930.40                  +3.91                    +0.06%

Sector performance was mixed in the Dow with four slipping and five finishing the day ahead. The best performing one was the Financials, which rose 2.35%, while the worst one, Energy, slipped 1.69% after crude had its worst day since Mar. 2nd.

NASDAQ           1371.64                    +13.36                  +0.98%

The NASDAQ was the best performing index of the three major U.S. benchmarks, rising as much as 1.89% before profit-taking forced it down. Apple jumped ahead by 4.51% after it introduced a newer, smaller, talking iPod Shuffle that will sell for $79 Ebay also performed strongly, advancing 4.77% to $11.63 after the Silicon Valley-based company announced plans to expand the global presence of its PayPal online payment system.

S&P 500            721.36                      +1.76                     +0.24%

The S&P 500 traded in its tightest daily range since February 2nd after having its greatest day since early November. Financials were the best performing sector, advancing 2.40% as Citi and JPMorgan continued to surge more than 4.60%. The VIX volatility index dipped slightly, by 0.90% to 42.61 and marked the fourth consecutive session that the fear gauge remains under 50.

Filed under: Economics, Stocks, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Freddie Mac to Ask For Additional $30.8 Billion From Taxpayers After Losing $50 Billion

“Freddie Mac said Wednesday it will ask the government for nearly $31 billion in additional aid after posting a gargantuan loss of more than $50 billion last year as the U.S. housing market worsened.

The recent loss was driven by $13.2 billion in hedged trades, $7.2 billion in credit losses from the declining housing market conditions and $7.5 billion in writedowns of the value of its mortgage-backed securities. The company also took a charge of $8.3 billion for now-worthless tax credits.”

Obama’s Mortgage Plan Already Benefits Freddie…

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5 Gitmo Detainees Admit to Planning 9/11; Wearing “Badges of Honor” (Video)

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