- -09-21-08 Interview: Bloomberg Suggests a Bipartisan Solution to Rescue (MSNBC News)
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recommends a bipartisan approach to fixing the Wall Street disaster. 09-08
- -001 Congress Approves Budget (MSNBC News)
"Acting in quick succession, the House and Senate approved budgets Thursday night drawn to President Barack Obama's specifications and pointing the way toward major legislation later this year on health care, energy and education." 04-09
- -001 Geithner: $2 Trillion More Needed to Save Economy (ABC News)
"Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined a massive $2 trillion plan today that he said is meant to stabilize the nation's banking sector and restore the public's faith in the government's ability to handle the crisis." 02-09
- -001 Treasury Calls for Overhaul of Regulations (New York Times)
"The Obama administration on Thursday detailed its wide-ranging plan to overhaul financial regulation by subjecting hedge funds and traders of exotic financial instruments, now among the biggest and most freewheeling players on Wall Street, to potentially strict new government supervision." 03-09
- -01 Both Political Parties Blame Bush for Economic Disaster (New York Times)
"These experts, from both political parties, say Mr. Bush’s early personnel choices and overarching antipathy toward regulation created a climate, that, if it did not set off the turmoil, almost certainly aggravated it."
"The president’s first two Treasury secretaries, for instance, lacked the kind of Wall Street expertise that might have helped them raise red flags about the use of complex financial instruments that are at the heart of the crisis." 09-08
- -01 Chaos in the Stock Market (New York Times)
"The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index soared 4 percent to 1,255.08, while financial shares rose 11 percent, in the busiest day of trading in the New York Stock Exchange’s history. The American International Group, which the government essentially took over, jumped 43 percent. Big banks like Bank of America and the Wachovia Corporation rose more than 20 percent."
"But across Wall Street, many of the basic mechanisms of the marketplace broke down after the Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Friday morning that it would ban short selling in nearly 800 financial stocks, making it harder for people to bet against those securities, and that it also would force investors to disclose those trades." 09-08
- -01 Democrats Want Protections for Taxpayers in Rescue (MSNBC News)
"The Bush administration insisted on Sunday that Congress must move quickly to approve what one lawmaker called the 'mother of all bailouts' — a $700 billion proposal to buy a mountain of bad mortgage debt in an effort to unfreeze the nation’s credit markets."
"However, Democrats said that the administration’s spare three-page plan must be expanded to include help for people on Main Street as well as the big Wall Street financial firms who have lost billions of dollars through their bad investment decisions." 09-08
- -01 Editorial: What Brought Down Wall Street? (MSNBC News)
"Lenders, for one, demanded lots more freedom. But they 'were a different kind of animal' from airlines and trucking firms, which the Carterites also deregulated, [Carter administration's aviation czar Alfred E.] Kahn says. 'They were animals that had a direct effect on the macroeconomy. That is very different from the regulation of industries that provided goods and services. ... I never supported any type of deregulation of banking.' " 09-08
- -01 Government Plans to Buy Bad Mortgages (MSNBC News)
"The Bush administration is asking Congress to let the government buy $700 billion in toxic mortgages in the largest financial bailout since the Great Depression, according to a draft of the plan obtained Saturday by The Associated Press." 09-08
- -01-02-09 Anti-Consumer Practices of Credit Card Companies (Consumer-Action.org)
"National advocates working closely to end abusive and anti-consumer practices by the credit card industry today reacted to the release of a long-awaited GAO report documenting credit card fees, interest rates and disclosure practices from the six largest credit card issuers. According to Consumer Action, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Consumers Union and U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), the report points out the need for simplified pricing that consumers can better understand, and the importance of prohibiting abusive credit card pricing practices (such as two cycle billing, residual or 'trailing interest' and 'universal default.')" 01-08
- -01-05-09 Auto Sales Plunge (MSNBC News)
"General Motors, Ford and Toyota said Monday their U.S. sales plunged in December, as car and truck buyers continued to steer clear of showrooms due to the dismal economy." 01-09
- -01-06-09 Debate Over Stimulus Package (New York Times)
"A bipartisan group of senators worked furiously in backroom negotiations on Thursday to cut the cost of the more than $920 billion economic stimulus plan. Senate Democratic leaders said they would await the outcome of those talks before calling for a final vote on the measure, perhaps on Friday." 02-09
- -01-29-09 Editorial: Why Your Bank Is Broke (Time.com)
"There's little hope that the type of shares the government is buying in banks as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) will plug the hole in the banking system's bucket. Paul Miller, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets who has written a number of reports on the capital issues of banks, says the only way to solve the problem is for the government to stop buying preferred shares and start taking direct ownership stakes. Of course, the issue with that approach is that the problem at the banks is so large, Uncle Sam may end up owning a good portion of the banking sector. Few seem to want nationalization. Unfortunately, that could be the only way out." 01-09
- -02-03-09 U.S. Consumers Changing Behaviors (Christian Science Monitor)
"Consumer behavior in America appears headed toward a new normal that includes less household debt, more saving, and cooler expectations about home prices in the future." 02-09
- -02-06-09 Summary of the Stimulus Bill Under Debate (U.S. News)
"The Democratic chairmen of the Senate Appropriations and Finance committees released a summary of the current version of the $888 billion stimulus bill, which is being called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." 02-09
- -02-11-09 Shapiro Moves Swiftly at the SEC (Time.com)
"Hoping to show she's got the right stuff, Mary L. Schapiro, 15 days on the job as chairman of the besieged Securities and Exchange Commission, took her first steps this week in shaking up the agency, while simultaneously securing an agreement with Bernie Madoff, working on tips for two more Ponzis, and waving goodbye to her chief enforcement officer, Linda Thomsen, who resigned." 02-09
- -02-18-09 Auto Makers Ask for More Money (MSNBC News)
"General Motors and Chrysler asked the government for an additional $14 billion in aid, a dramatic acknowledgment that conditions in the U.S. auto industry have grown significantly worse in just two months." 02-09
- -02-23-09 Editorial: Who Caused the Economic Disaster? (Newsweek.com)
"Well, the herd mentality of financial crazes has a long history. But compensation practices skewed so heavily toward bonuses based on annual profits make matters worse."
" 'People self-select for careers. On Wall Street they self-select for the money,' says pay consultant Alan Johnson. 'Wall Street is a sales business—they sell bonds, securities, transactions, ideas … They're not paid to be long-term, philosophical, reflective.' The pressure is to do the next merger, sell more stocks and bonds, do more trading—whatever boosts current profits and bonuses, the long-term consequences be damned." 02-09
- -02-25-09 San Francisco Chronicle on the Brink (KTVU News)
"There are concerns the San Francisco Chronicle may not survive the current recession after a Tuesday announcement by the Hearst Corporation that losses could force the paper to be sold or shut down." 02-09
- -02-27-09 Consumer Reports: Chrysler and GM in Bottom Spots (USA Today)
"Chrysler and General Motors (GM) took the bottom two spots, respectively, in Consumer Reports magazine's new automaker for reliability, even as the pair seek billions more in federal loans to stay afloat." 02-09
- -02-27-09 Denver's Rocky Mountain News Shuts Doors (CNN News)
"After nearly 150 years in business, the Rocky Mountain News published its final edition Friday, the victim of a bad economy and the Internet generation." 02-09
- -02-27-09 U.S. Economy Shrinks at Staggering Pace (CBS News)
"The economy contracted at an incredible 6.2 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, as consumers and businesses ratcheted back spending, plunging the country deeper into recession." 02-09
- -03-12-09 How Madoff Pulled It Off (CBS News)
" It's easy, when you're inventing investment account statements out of whole cloth, to make yourself look like a financial wizard."
"Or maybe it isn't. Bernard Madoff put quite a bit of work into it."
"What's clear from the evidence against him is that Madoff never really invested a penny of the $65 billion investors trusted to him. It's not like the guy was skimming a little off the top of his transactons. He didn't buy or sell a share of anything on his investors' behalf. He just took the money and sent back made-up statements." 03-09
- -03-13-09 Summers: $50 Trillion in Global Wealth Erased (CBS News)
"Lawrence Summers, Director of the White House National Economic Council, at left, gave a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington this morning detailing why the economic crisis started and defending the Obama administration's strategy for combating it."
" 'On a global basis, $50 trillion dollars in global wealth has been erased over the last 18 months. This includes $7 trillion dollars in US stock market wealth which has vanished, and $6 trillion dollars in housing wealth that has been destroyed,' he said. 'Inevitably, this has led to declining demand, with GDP and employment now shrinking at among the most rapid rates since the second World War.' "
"Summers, the former Treasury Secretary under President Clinton and former president of Harvard University, was professorial in describing the crisis and relating it to prior downturns. But to boil things down, he said it comes down to an 'abundance of greed and an absence of fear on Wall Street' that led to the bubble. The recession and crisis were in turn caused by the reverse of that." 03-09
- -03-15-09 Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer Debate (PBS News)
"Comedian and "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart held a high-profile sparring match with CNBC's Jim Cramer this week over the cable network's coverage in the lead up to the Wall Street meltdown. A panel of business writers weighs the media's role in the economic crisis." 03-09
- -03-22-09 Treasury Plans to Buy $1 Trillion in Bad Bank Assets (CNN News)
"Stocks surged Monday, recharging the rally, after Treasury's plan to buy up billions in bad bank assets and a better-than-expected existing home sales report raised hopes that the economy is stabilizing."
"The government plans to run auctions between the banks looking to unload the bad assets - such as subprime mortgages - and the investors looking to buy them. The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will be involved."
"Economists have said that stabilizing the banking system is key to stabilizing the economy." 03-09
- -03-26-08 Dollar Free Fall Is Ending (Christian Science Monitor)
"The greenback has bounced back a bit after hitting a record low against the euro last week." 03-08
- -03-29-09 Head of GM Steps Down at White House Request (MSNBC News)
"General Motors Corp. Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner will step down immediately at the request of the White House, administration officials said Sunday. The news comes as President Obama prepares to unveil additional restructuring efforts designed to save the domestic auto industry." 03-09
- -04-03-09 Jobless Rate Hits 8.5 Percent (New York Times)
"The American economy shed another 663,000 jobs in March, the government reported Friday, bringing the toll of job losses during the recession to 5.1 million." 04-09
- -04-04-08 Poll: 81% Say Country Going in Wrong Direction (CBS News)
"Americans' views on the economy and the general state of the country have hit an all-time low in the history of the CBS News/New York Times poll. Eighty-one percent of those polled say the country is on the wrong track, while only 14 percent believe it is heading in the right direction." 04-08
- -04-07-09 Saturn Was Supposed to Save GM (Newsweek)
"More than just a car, it would be a stand-alone subsidiary—using innovative technology by workers and managers engaged in unprecedented joint decision making. 'Saturn is the key to GM's long-term competitiveness, survival and success,' Smith said. Its mission: 'to develop and produce an American-made small car that will be fully competitive with the best of the imports … [and] affirm that American ingenuity, American technology and American productivity can once again be the model and the inspiration for the rest of the world.' " 04-09
- -04-17-09 Banks Have a "Good" Week (Time.com)
"This week's positive results, which had been anticipated by a month-long rally in bank stocks, are certainly better than last year's multi-billion-dollar losses. But bank earnings are extremely sensitive to assumptions about the future, and whether the banks are actually on the road to recovery will depend to a great extent on how the economy performs in coming months." 04-09
- -04-28-09 Home Prices Post 18.6 Annual Percent Drop (Time.com)
"In another sign the housing crisis could be reaching the bottom, home prices dropped sharply in February but for the first time in 25 months the decline was not a record." 04-09
- -04-29-09 Bank of America Ousts Chairman (New York Times)
"Bank of America shareholders stripped Kenneth D. Lewis of his chairman’s title on Wednesday while allowing him to remain president and chief executive officer, in a vote that may mark the beginning of the end of his leadership at the embattled bank." 04-09
- -05-13-09 RealtyTrac: April Foreclosures Rose 32 Percent (U.S. News)
"The number of U.S. households faced with losing their homes to foreclosure jumped 32 percent in April compared with the same month last year, with Nevada, Florida and California showing the highest rates, according to data released Wednesday." 05-09
- -05-15-09 Banks Take Billions But Give Fewer Loans (ABC News)
"Neil Barofsky, Treasury's special investigator assigned to keep an eye on how the TARP funds are being spent, said the bailout let banks lend more than they would have been able to otherwise, but has not increased lending the way some hoped."
" 'If the goal of the program was to increase lending, well obviously lending has not increased.' " 05-09
- -05-29-09 GM Gets Ready for Bankruptcy (CBS News)
"GM's new road map, outlined in a regulatory filing Thursday, would briefly send the automaker into bankruptcy protection, erase most of its debt and eventually have it emerge leaner and stronger." 05-09
- -06-09-09 Ten Banks to Pay Back $68 Billion in TARP Loans (CNN News)
"But another reason Homan cites is his optimism for the solar industry's U.S. future."
"Ten leading banks won approval to repay money from the government's controversial TARP program, regulators said Tuesday, which could represent approximately $68 billion in bailout funds returned to taxpayers." 06-09
- -07-01-09 Obesity Rates Rise in the U.S. (MSNBC News)
"Obesity rates among adults rose in 23 states over the past year and didn't decline anywhere, says a new report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation."
Recent research suggests that obese persons, compared to non-obese persons, "live nearly as long but are much sicker for longer, requiring such costly interventions as knee replacements and diabetes care and dialysis. Studies show Medicare spends anywhere from $1,400 to $6,000 more annually on health care for an obese senior than for the non-obese." 07-09
- -07-02-09 Jobless Rate Rises to a 26-Year High (MSNBC News)
"Employers cut a larger-than-expected 467,000 jobs in June, driving the unemployment rate up to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent, suggesting that the economy's road to recovery will be bumpy." 07-09
- -07-24-09 Cash for Clunkers (CNN News)
"Americans will get a new incentive to trade-in their gas-guzzling cars today when a government rebate program that offers cash vouchers to people who trade in their cars for new fuel-efficient vehicles officially start" 07-09
- -07-25-09 Editorial: The Monster of Wall Street Lives (Newsweek.com)
"Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have reported huge profits, the Dow has made it past 9000, and Barack Obama has moved on to health care. The horror show seems to be over. But as in one of those clichéd Hollywood endings, the monster in this story isn't really dead, even if most people think he is. Lost amid all the premature self-congratulation is the fact that the deepest underlying problem that caused the financial disaster is not being solved."
"The problem: how to control and keep tabs on the market activities of giant firms that cause such a disruption to the system they can't be allowed to fail. Put simply, six months into the Obama administration there is as yet no coherent proposal for solving this issue, and serious differences remain between Tim Geithner's Treasury and Ben Bernanke's Fed."
"For the most part, the current measures will make it easier to clean up after the next mess. But they won't prevent another mess from happening." 07-09
- -07-26-09 Anti-Trust Comes Up Against Other Departments (Newsweek.com)
" 'The struggles between the expert agencies and the Justice Department get to the heart and soul of exactly what the competition policy of the Obama administration will be,' said Mark Cooper, an antitrust expert and director of research at the Consumer Federation of America, an advocacy group."
"He added: 'Now you have an antitrust division that cares about competition, and it is running up against the expert agencies that haven’t changed their attitudes yet.' " 07-09
- -07-30-09 Study: Bank Bonuses Far Exceeded Revenues (CBS News)
"Several financial giants that received federal bailout money in the last year paid out bonuses to employees that greatly exceeding the amount of revenue generated by the banks, according to a study on executive compensation set to be released by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Thursday." 07-09
- -11-03-09 Buffet Buying Railroad in His Biggest Purchase (Time.com)
"Warren Buffett has made bets on railroads before, but now he's all in. The billionaire investor's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Tuesday agreed to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., making a $34 billion bet on the future of the U.S. economy."
"Burlington Northern, the nation's second-largest railroad, is the biggest hauler of food products like corn, and coal for electricity, making it an indicator of the country's economic health. The railroad also ships a large amount of consumer goods — including items imported from Asia — from big Western ports like Los Angeles and Seattle." 11-09
- -11-03-09 Media Moguls (Time.com)
"In The Curse of the Mogul, Jonathan Knee, Bruce Greenwald and Ava Seave say the biggest problem with media companies is the moguls, who have been seduced into believing that content is king, bigger is always better and talent — especially their own — is irreplaceable. So blinded are they, they have mismanaged their companies and shareholders have suffered." 11-09
- -11-04-09 Cuomo Files Federal Antitrust Suit Against Intel (New York Times)
"Following the lead of foreign regulators, New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, filed a federal antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against Intel, the world’s largest chip maker." 11-09
- -12-04-09 Unemployment Rate Falls 10 Percent (MSNBC News)
"The U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 10 percent in November as employers cut the smallest number of jobs since the recession began. The better-than-expected job figures are a rare note of encouraging news for the labor market." 12-09
- -12-16-08 Madoff Pulls Off Possibly Largest Investment Fraud (The Wall Street Journal)
"A judge ordered the U.S. operations of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities to be liquidated, as fresh details emerged of trading discrepancies that offer clues as to how he may have run the epic scam alleged by authorities."
"WSJ reporter Amir Efrati says the Madoff scandal could go down as one of the biggest frauds in Wall Street history." 12-08
- -12-29-08 Editorial: A Failure of Oversight and Madoff (Truthout.org)
"I think we've had a collapse of the markets caused by three different factors. The three factors all point to the failure of regulatory entities to carry out their missions. One area is the liquidity and capitalization of the major banks, which SEC was supposed to keep an eye on. We've had one bank fail after another. When you look at the scope of those failures, and the magnitude of those failures, you have to ask yourself, how could anybody miss the red flags that these banks were in deep trouble."
"The second factor is market manipulation and insider trading. It has been a colossal failure by the SEC. Its failure to investigate the big players gave them a sense they were invulnerable. So, they just got bolder."
"The SEC seemed to be doing its best job on investment fraud, but some of the fraud that has surfaced before Madoff raised some questions about the SEC. Madoff is on a new scale." 12-08
- -Editorial: Obama's Economic Hope and the Public's Fear (U.S. News)
"So credit remains very tight, and is even tightening more, in the midst of a harsh recession—the opposite of what is wanted or needed. Private behavior and the lack of confidence are neutralizing public policy. Having once had too little appreciation of risk, lenders now have too much. The willingness of lenders to lend and of borrowers to take on more debt, which is the basis for the creation of credit, is simply not there." 04-09
- 02-24-09 Can Your Bank Pass the Stress Test? (Time.com)
"In early February, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, as part of his bank fix, said he will "stress-test" the nation's largest financial firms to find out which ones are fit and which ones are flatlining, and then apply the appropriate therapy — which we assume means anything from injecting capital to pulling the plug. By using a medical term, Geithner gave the impression that he had some fiscal electrocardiograph that could be strapped to banks to chart the strength of their accounts. But when it comes to a bank checkup, the actual test is far less scientific." 02-09
- 05-07-09 Results of Stress Tests of Banks Revealed (Time.com)
"Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC), and Bank of America (BAC) are troubled, as the government sees it, and will have to improve their balance sheets by a combined total of almost $60 billion. JP Morgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) passed the tests and are free from any additional obligations." 05-09
- Where the 2009 Taxes Are Going (WallStats.com)
Provides a wall chart. Place your cursor on the chart and you will get the option of zooming into and out of areas with "+" and "-" buttons; you can also drag portions of the chart. 04-09
- -07-20-09 Up to $23.7 Trillion to Fix Financial System? (ABC News)
" 'The total potential federal government support could reach up to $23.7 trillion,' says Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in a new report obtained Monday by ABC News on the government's efforts to fix the financial system."
"Granted, Barofsky is not saying that the government will definitely spend that much money. He is saying that potentially, it could." 07-09
- -Crisis Altering Wall Street (New York Times)
"There is an air of exodus on Wall Street — and not just among those being fired. As Washington cracks down on compensation and tightens regulation of banks, a brain drain is occurring at some of the biggest ones. They are some of the same banks blamed for setting off the worst downturn since the Depression." 04-09
- -Editorial: The Banking Crisis Is Over (Time.com)
"What banks are earning from the difference between the cost of capital and the income from lending is now great enough for the banking system to be self-sustaining again."
"What will happen at this point is that bank stocks will not go up much more, but they will not dive sharply down either. There is enough evidence in comments from the CEOs of Citi and B of A and in the Wells Fargo earnings to show that the idea that banks are insolvent and probably in need of nationalization is no longer part of the consideration of how the problems with the system will be settled." 04-09
- -Goldman Sachs to Return Bailout Money (USA Today)
"Goldman would be the largest, if it follows six smaller banks, including Signature Bank (SBNY) and IberiaBank, (IBKC) who have already repaid the government with interest."
"But analysts are cautioning that the repayments should not be viewed as an indication that the economy is rebounding; rather as a sign of how worried bankers are about legislation that imposes limits on banks that take TARP money." 04-09
- -How Much of Citigroup (or AIG) Could the Government Take Over? (Time.com)
"FDIC chairman Sheila Bair doesn't think a full government takeover of Citigroup and other multinational financial institutions is practical or even possible. Here are her reasons, as summarized by Pete Davis:"
"1. The legal authority to take over large banks does not currently extend to multinational financial conglomerates;
2. The FDIC lacks the funding to conduct such a massive bailout;
3. Other countries have regulatory oversight of these financial conglomerates too, and they may object to a U.S. takeover." 03-09
- -Recession Impact: Closing the Life-Saving Clinics (CBS Today)
"The economic crisis is hurting society's most vulnerable. For some people these days - especially cancer patients - losing a job and health insurance could mean losing life-saving care as cash-strapped public hospitals are forced to cut critical charity care." 04-09
- -Unsustainable Deficit Is Projected (USA Today)
"President Obama's budget would generate unsustainably large deficits averaging almost $1 trillion a year over the next decade, according to new estimates released Friday."
"The dismal deficit figures, if they prove to be accurate, inevitably raise the prospect that Obama and his allies controlling Congress would have to consider raising taxes after the recession ends or else pare back his agenda." 03-09