- -03-15-09 Friedman: "Fairness Has Left the Building" (CBS News)
"On CBS' Face The Nation this morning, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman weighed in on the financial crisis and the administration's plans to fight it, and said people should expect that whatever comes from the bailout of financial institutions, fairness will not be part of it." 03-09
- -Editorial: What's Still Wrong With Wall Street (Time.com)
"Are you furious? If not, you should be. The giant financial institutions that make up Wall Street have been bailed out, thanks to trillions of dollars of our money, and are on track to hand out record-breaking multibillion-dollar bonuses while millions of regular folks are hurting. Even outside the gilded halls of Wall Street, there's no shortage of good cheer: many economists say the Great Recession has ended, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke keeps seeing 'green shoots' in the economy."
"But the only green shoots that many non–Wall Street types have seen lately are the weeds sprouting in the parking lots of abandoned malls. Unemployment is marching toward 10%, and house foreclosures are still rising. If you're a day late with your credit-card payment or overdrawn by a few bucks on your ATM card, the bank (which your tax money helped bail out) is still sticking you with obscene fees and charges." 10-09
- -Five Steps to Survive the Financial Crisis (U.S. News)
"It would be nice if the average American was prepared for ups and downs in the economy, but many simply aren't. More than a third of Americans have less than $10,000 in total savings and investments outside of their home and retirement plans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Meanwhile, the median credit card debt for the average U.S. household in 2008 was $7,066 according to CardTrak.com." 03-09
- -What Has the Stimulus Bill Done for Us? (Time.com)
"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — President Obama's $787 billion stimulus — has been marketed as a jobs bill, and that's how it's been judged. The White House says it has saved or created about 3 million jobs, helping avoid a depression and end a recession. Republicans mock it as a Big Government boondoggle that has failed to prevent rampant unemployment despite a massive expansion of the deficit. Liberals complain that it wasn't massive enough."
"Yes, the stimulus has cut taxes for 95% of working Americans, bailed out every state, hustled record amounts of unemployment benefits and other aid to struggling families and funded more than 100,000 projects to upgrade roads, subways, schools, airports, military bases and much more. But in the words of Vice President Joe Biden, Obama's effusive Recovery Act point man, 'Now the fun stuff starts!' The 'fun stuff,' about one-sixth of the total cost, is an all-out effort to exploit the crisis to make green energy, green building and green transportation real; launch green manufacturing industries; computerize a pen-and-paper health system; promote data-driven school reforms; and ramp up the research of the future. 'This is a chance to do something big, man!' Biden said during a 90-minute interview with TIME." 08-10
- The Trillion-Dollar Solution to the Credit Shortage (New York Times)
"The result has been a drastic contraction of the amount of credit available throughout the economy. By one estimate, as much as $1.9 trillion of lending capacity — the rough equivalent of half of all the money borrowed by businesses and consumers in 2007, before the recession struck — has been sucked out of the system."
"Banking chiefs, who have come under sharp criticism for not making more loans even as they have accepted billions of taxpayer dollars to prop themselves up, say it is the markets, not the banks, that are squeezing American borrowers."
"The Obama administration hopes to jump-start this crucial machinery by effectively subsidizing the profits of big private investment firms in the bond markets. The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve plan to spend as much as $1 trillion to provide low-cost loans and guarantees to hedge funds and private equity firms that buy securities backed by consumer and business loans." 02-09
- Why AIG Stumbled and Taxpayers Own It (CBS News)
"Of all the corporate bailouts that have taken place over the past year, none has proved more costly or contentious than the rescue of American International Group (AIG). Its reckless bets on subprime mortgages threatened to bring down Wall Street and the world economy last fall until the U.S Treasury and the Federal Reserve stepped in to save it." 05-09