- -04-27-11 Financial Institutions Play Shell Game With Taxpayer Dollars (Truthout.org)
"The Federal Reserve claimed at the time that the emergency loans were needed so banks could provide credit to small- and medium-sized businesses that desperately needed money to create jobs or to prevent layoffs. 'Instead of using this money to reinvest in the productive economy, however, it appears that JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America used a large portion of these near-zero-interest loans to buy U.S. government securities and earn a higher interest rate at the same time, providing free money to some of the largest financial institutions in this country,' " according to Senator Bernie Sanders." 04-11
- -05-16-11 US Debt Limit Reached, Agreement Far Off (Wall Street Journal)
"The U.S. government is expected to hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling Monday, setting in motion an uncertain, 11-week political scramble to avoid a default."
"Bankers and business executives warned lawmakers last week that default could trigger a financial crisis, sending interest rates soaring, which would make it harder for families and businesses to borrow. That's because a default would throw into question the value of U.S. Treasury securities, long considered one of the world's safest investments. Many loans and business deals are based on the value of Treasurys, and if their value eroded the impact would be felt broadly."
"Because the government is projected to run a $1.5 trillion deficit this year, it must borrow money to cover its obligations, ranging from military spending to interest on existing debt." 05-11
- 07-02-11 Editorial: Reducing the National Debt (Bankrate.com)
"It's not the economic cataclysm that Timothy Geithner warned of in his letter to Sen. Michael Bennet. In there the Treasury Secretary spells out the economic consequences of failing to raise the statutory debt limit. If Congress doesn't act, the U.S. will be forced to default on its legal obligations, which in turn 'would inflict catastrophic, far-reaching damage on our nation's economy, significantly reducing growth and increasing unemployment.' "
"The judgment day I fear is the one that happens after the debt limit is increased. Will Congress do something to contain and pay down this debt? We're at $14.3 trillion now. How much deeper can we go?"
"One trillion is a big number. If you could spend $10 million a day, it would take nearly 274 years to spend a trillion dollars at that rate. To spend $14.3 trillion would take about 3,918 years."
"The American people are keenly aware of the need for reining in spending, as they're cleaning up their own household finances. And some are even willing to pay more in taxes if it means we can leave our children and grandchildren a financially sound nation in which they can flourish."
"Ways to pare down debt"
"Maybe it's time to put forward some creative ways to whittle down at least some of the debt:"
"Implement the recommendations made in the Government Accountability Office's recent 345-page report to streamline duplication, overlap and fragmentation of government services. Estimated cost savings: hundreds of billions of dollars."
"Create a claw-back provision on bonuses paid since 2009 to the Wall Street executives who were responsible for the magnitude of the 2008 financial crisis and apply that money to the national debt."
"Impose a 50 percent tax on the income of lobbyists and public relations firms whose purpose is to influence Congress and distort public opinion, the effect of which is to increase the national debt."
"Make corporations pay their fair share of taxes."
"Revert to the income tax levels that were in place before former President George W. Bush (under whose administration the debt level increased from $4 trillion to $10 trillion) took office." 07-11
- U.S. Owes China $1.16 Trillion (CBS News)
"China, the biggest buyer of U.S. Treasury securities, owns a lot more than previously estimated."
"In an annual revision of the figures, the Treasury Department said Monday that China's holdings totaled $1.16 trillion at the end of December. That was an increase of 30 percent from an estimate the government made two weeks ago."
"Japan had the second highest foreign holdings, totaling $882.3 billion at the end of December. The revision was only slightly below the original estimate."
"The total foreign holdings of Treasury debt stood at $4.44 trillion at the end of December, according to the new report. That's up 1.5 percent from the estimate made two weeks ago. About two-thirds of U.S. Treasurys owned overseas are held by foreign governments and central banks."
"The U.S. government is selling huge amounts of debt to finance record-high budget deficits. The Obama administration in its new budget released on Feb. 14 projected that this year's deficit will reach a record $1.65 trillion. It would be the third consecutive year the federal deficit has exceeded $1 trillion." 03-11