Well it’s about time, isn’t it? According to the AP, taxpayers have pumped $145 billion into the two comatose mortgage guarantors. These companies should have never been allowed to engage in the sort of mortgage speculation that other banks, brokers and mortgage companies.
Fannie, Freddie to Delist – Associated Press
BP Covering Up Wildlife Deaths Due to Spill?
Finance, Markets, Economy
- Markets Pricing in ‘Paradigm Change’ – El-Arian – CNBC
- Best Buy profits don’t meet target - CNBC
- Data and BP top market agenda - MarketWatch
- Efforts to control gulf spill described as ‘chaotic’ - New York Times
- Setbacks cloud U.S. plan to exit Afghanistan – New York Times
- Banks Yielding on Volcker, Picking Other Fights – New York Times
- Kasich’s tax returns flip flop - Columbus Dispatch
- Editorial: Your tax dollars at work - Columbus Dispatch
- U.S. man arrested in Pakistan for Hunting bin-Laden – Agence France Presse
- More Alvin Greene - Washington Post
Uh, apparently not. According to polling by Gallup, not so much.
UPDATED: Includes the seven banks seized by the FDIC over the holiday weekend. Since the FDIC began publishing the failed bank list in 2000, 74% of the banks on the list were placed there during this recession.
Filed under: Economy, Foreign Policy, National Security, Politics
(Source: ABC News)
ABC’S “THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS”
STEPHANOPOULOS: Major milestone this week here in Iraq with the American troops pulling out of the cities. And I wonder if you can put the broader American mission in context. Are we in the process of securing victory or cutting our losses to come home?
BIDEN: Securing victory. Look, the president and I laid out a plan in the campaign which was twofold. One, withdraw our troops from Iraq in a rational timetable consistent with what the Iraqis want. And the same time, leave behind a stable and secure country.
And one of the reasons I’m here, George, is to push the last end of that, which is the need for political settlement on some important issues between Arabs and Kurds and among the confessional groups. And I think we’re well on our way.
Daily Graphic: FDIC Bank Seizures This Year at 45 Nearly Double Those Seized in Recession’s First Year
Five more banks were seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. over the weekend in Georgia, Minnesota and California. During the first year of the current recession – 2008 – 25 FDIC insured banks failed. Little more than halfway through 2009 this year’s total is 45.
Release Date: June 24, 2009
For immediate release
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the pace of economic contraction is slowing. Conditions in financial markets have generally improved in recent months. Household spending has shown further signs of stabilizing but remains constrained by ongoing job losses, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Businesses are cutting back on fixed investment and staffing but appear to be making progress in bringing inventory stocks into better alignment with sales. Although economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time, the Committee continues to anticipate that policy actions to stabilize financial markets and institutions, fiscal and monetary stimulus, and market forces will contribute to a gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth in a context of price stability.
The prices of energy and other commodities have risen of late. However, substantial resource slack is likely to dampen cost pressures, and the Committee expects that inflation will remain subdued for some time.
In these circumstances, the Federal Reserve will employ all available tools to promote economic recovery and to preserve price stability. The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. As previously announced, to provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets and to improve overall conditions in private credit markets, the Federal Reserve will purchase a total of up to $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and up to $200 billion of agency debt by the end of the year. In addition, the Federal Reserve will buy up to $300 billion of Treasury securities by autumn. The Committee will continue to evaluate the timing and overall amounts of its purchases of securities in light of the evolving economic outlook and conditions in financial markets. The Federal Reserve is monitoring the size and composition of its balance sheet and will make adjustments to its credit and liquidity programs as warranted.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Charles L. Evans; Donald L. Kohn; Jeffrey M. Lacker; Dennis P. Lockhart; Daniel K. Tarullo; Kevin M. Warsh; and Janet L. Yellen.
Go check out this story at the Financial Times … energy market may conspire to stop recovery …
Text: Geithner Testimony to Senate Appropriations Committee – Treasury’s Priorities & Financial System Update
Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Collins, members of the Subcommittee, I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you for the first time as Treasury Secretary on the President’s Fiscal Year 2010 Budget request for the Department of the Treasury.
While we see some initial signs of economic improvement and the financial system is beginning to heal, our country faces very substantial economic and financial challenges.
President Obama and his Administration are working to meet these challenges by getting Americans back to work and getting our economy to grow again; by restoring fiscal discipline to ensure a sustained recovery, and by making the long-neglected investments in health care, energy and education needed to enhance America’s global competitiveness and produce more balanced, sustainable growth over the long-term.
Treasury’s Key Priorities
To achieve these goals, we are repairing and reforming our financial system so that it works for, not against, a recovery that serves all Americans.
To restore growth and meet our fiscal goals, we are redesigning and bolstering enforcement of our tax code so that it is both fairer and more efficient.
To advance our interests globally, we are working with other nations to promote economic recovery and financial repair, and to ensure more open markets for U.S. business.
(Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve)
Current economic and financial conditions and the federal budget
Before the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
June 3, 2009
Chairman Spratt, Ranking Member Ryan, and other members of the Committee, I am pleased to have this opportunity to offer my views on current economic and financial conditions and on issues pertaining to the federal budget.
Economic Developments and Outlook
The U.S. economy has contracted sharply since last fall, with real gross domestic product (GDP) having dropped at an average annual rate of about 6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of this year. Among the enormous costs of the downturn is the loss of nearly 6 million jobs since the beginning of 2008. The most recent information on the labor market–the number of new and continuing claims for unemployment insurance through late May–suggests that sizable job losses and further increases in unemployment are likely over the next few months.
For the first time, Henderson said the new GM will accept 4,100 dealer contracts out of 6,000, leaving 2,100 in the old company. GM had sent letters earlier this month to 1,100 dealers, saying their contracts would be ended by late next year.
Henderson said the new GM would sign “deferred termination agreements” with most of the dealers targeted for closure, giving them up to 17 months’ notice, to ease their hardship.
The plan will allow “thousands of dealerships to survive, while providing for an orderly wind-down of those dealerships not being retained,” Henderson said. “The alternative to the exercise of sound business judgment is that the Company would liquidate — and all dealerships would cease to be GM dealerships.”
(Source: U.S. Dept. of the Treasury)
It is a pleasure to be back in China and to join you here today at this great university.
I first came to China, and to Peking University, in the summer of 1981 as a college student studying Mandarin. I was here with a small group of graduate and undergraduate students from across the United States. I returned the next summer to Beijing Normal University.
We studied reasonably hard, and had the privilege of working with many talented professors, some of whom are here today. As we explored this city and traveled through Eastern China, we had the chance not just to understand more about your history and your aspirations, but also to begin to see the United States through your eyes.
The Obama Administration released the following fact sheet at 10 p.m. Sunday night regarding the path forward for GM and the government as 60% owner.
It’s being reported that GM’s bankruptcy filing will occur Monday morning at 8 o’clock. MarketWatch says tonight that the feds will support the company with $30 billion through a 60 to 90 day bankruptcy period.
What I found most interesting in tonight’s story at MarketWatch was this:
As a result of this restructuring, GM will lower its break-even point to sales of 10 million cars per year. Before the restructuring, GM needed to sell about 16 million car sales a year to turn a profit.
The way I read that, GM is either downsizing by about half or cutting its costs by about that much. When you hear all the millions and billions roiling around this story, you sometimes lose the scale of things. Ten million cars per year to break even versus 16 million is a number I understand.
Of course, GM is downsizing and cutting costs. But that number brings it home — GM, for the time being will be a smaller footprint on the trail of the U.S. economy. What’s to become of that old saw, “As GM goes, so goes the nation?”
Data From Dept. of Commerce
Uber investor Marc Faber says he’s 100 percent sure the U.S. will experience hyperinflation and economist Nouriel Roubini says that while the U.S. economy may post modest growth in six to nine months there is still a chance for a second dip beginning some time in 2010.
The U.S. economy will enter “hyperinflation” approaching the levels in Zimbabwe because the Federal Reserve will be reluctant to raise interest rates, investor Marc Faber said.
Prices may increase at rates “close to” Zimbabwe’s gains, Faber said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Hong Kong. Zimbabwe’s inflation rate reached 231 million percent in July, the last annual rate published by the statistics office.
“I am 100 percent sure that the U.S. will go into hyperinflation,” Faber said. “The problem with government debt growing so much is that when the time will come and the Fed should increase interest rates, they will be very reluctant to do so and so inflation will start to accelerate.”
Roubini stood by a recent article in which he mentioned the possibility of a “perfect storm” in 2010.
“There is even a risk of a double dip, a W-shaped recession at the end of next year,” he said, a combination of rising oil prices, rising public debt and increases in real interest rates, rising concerns about inflation and the expiration of a number of tax cuts in the United States.
From USA Today:
Federal tax revenue plunged $138 billion, or 34%, in April vs. a year ago — the biggest April drop since 1981, a study released Tuesday by the American Institute for Economic Research says.
When the economy slumps, so does tax revenue, and this recession has been no different, says Kerry Lynch, senior fellow at the AIER and author of the study. “It illustrates how severe the recession has been.”
For example, 6 million people lost jobs in the 12 months ended in April — and that means far fewer dollars from income taxes. Income tax revenue dropped 44% from a year ago.
“These are staggering numbers,” Lynch says.
Chart Source: American Institute for Economic Research
The world economy has avoided “utter catastrophe” and industrialized countries could register growth this year, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said on Monday.
“I will not be surprised to see world trade stabilize, world industrial production stabilize and start to grow two months from now,” Krugman told a seminar.
“I would not be surprised to see flat to positive GDP growth in the United States, and maybe even in Europe, in the second half of the year.”
The Princeton professor and New York Times columnist has said he fears a decade-long slump like that experienced by Japan in the 1990s.