Default by the US government is no longer unthinkable

But September 2008 marks the moment when the scale of our excesses, the extent of our debts and the moral bankruptcy of our financial regulatory system finally began to be truly exposed.

Fury at $2.5bn Lehman bonus

STAFF at Lehman's New York office who helped to cause the world's biggest corporate bankruptcy are to share in a $2.5 billion bonanza.


Video and transcript

Bill Moyers sits down with former Nixon White House strategist and political and economic critic Kevin Phillips.They explores the role that the crumbling financial sector played in the now-fragile American economy.

$1,000,000,000,000: The astonishing cost of US government's desperate bid to rid the economy of toxic debt

There are some members of Congress who are unhappy at the thought of the taxpayer taking on hundreds of billions of dollars of currently worthless debt. But the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Steney Hoyer, said he expected quick action

Treasury Seeks Asset-Buying Power Unchecked by Courts

"He's asking for a huge amount of power,'' said Nouriel Roubini, an economist at New York University. "He's saying, `Trust me, I'm going to do it right if you give me absolute control.' This is not a monarchy.'

Many economists skeptical of bailout

Many of the same economists and opinion-makers who'd provided a bipartisan sheen of consensus to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's previous moves have quickly begun casting doubts on the wisdom of a policy that would allow Treasury to purchase without oversight hundreds of billions of dollars of difficult-to-price assets from financial institutions.

From Information Clearing House


Bailout could boost inflation, sink dollar

Christian Science Monitor


A spike in the price of gold and oil was matched Monday by a fall in the US dollar and in stocks – all signs of unease as investors take a sober look at a mammoth government bailout of financial institutions. Two big questions are weighing on investors: First, will this bailout cost so much that it affects the creditworthiness of the US Treasury? Second, will the bailout succeed in calming credit chaos and restoring health to the banking system?

Paulson urges speed in Sovietization of US finance sector

Indianapolis Star


The Bush administration insisted 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. Congressional leaders endorsed the plan’s main thrust, saying passage might occur in a matter of days. But they said it 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...

The $700 billion questions

In These Times
by David Sirota


Just as they do today at the National Archives’ Declaration of Independence exhibit, tourists in the future … will line up to see a framed draft of this week’s White House legislation demanding Congress surrender its power of the purse, and give an unelected appointee (in this case, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson) the power to hand over $700 billion of taxpayer money to ‘any financial institution’ … ‘without limitation … on such terms and conditions as determined by [him].’ In a nation priding itself on separating powers between the branches of government, the bill explicitly states that decisions by Paulson may not even ‘be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.’” Whether the bill passes or not, the drafting of it — even the mere thinking of it — is the single most clear sign that all of the major tenets of American democracy are on the auction block these days...

Bailout threatens economy, shreds Constitution, rips off taxpayers
by Hans Bader


The stock market sank as the Bush Administration, not content with a $700 billion financial system bailout, capitulated to liberal demands that it be expanded to add more costly give-aways, like ‘a systematic approach for preventing foreclosure’ that would allow irresponsible borrowers to remain in their homes at taxpayer expense. It is so extreme that it is unconstitutional...

The American Empire: Too big to fail?

by Justin Raimondo


After the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. bestrode the earth like a colossus, America’s stock was rising, and the pride that goeth before a fall imbued our leaders with the illusion that they couldn’t fail. The American empire, they thought, is too big to fail. It’s the end of history — and the rest will just be a mopping-up operation, that will be well worth the costs. The failed policies that led to our current economic predicament — the whole system of central banking and fiat currency — are precisely those policies that benefited those who are now demanding to be bailed out. They may have bankrupted the country, but you can be damned sure they aren’t going down with the rest of us, no sirree! This outrageous rip-off is mirrored in the foreign policy realm, where the very same crowd that dragged us waist-deep into the Middle Eastern quicksand are lecturing us from every podium...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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