The rise and (almost) fall of America's banks

GM, Chrysler May Face Bankruptcy to Protect U.S. Debt

General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC may have to be forced into bankruptcy by the U.S. government to assure repayment of $17.4 billion in federal bailout loans, a course of action the automakers claim would destroy them.

//tinyurl.com/cgmkom



Bank to issue grimmest warning yet on economy

Mervyn King will this week present the Bank of England's most pessimistic assessment yet of the outlook for Britain's economy, after a slew of official figures confirming that activity has "fallen off a cliff" since the autumn.

//tinyurl.com/bgpxma



U.S. Delays Finance Plan as Officials Debate Debt

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner delayed the announcement of the Obama administration's financial-recovery plan as officials debated proposals aimed at addressing the toxic debt clogging banks' balance sheets.

//www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a66I5I6.NfL0&refer=home



The rise and (almost) fall of America's banks

The federal government -- working without a road map, and without a net -- is putting together a plan to keep U.S. banks from collapsing. Not just to get the banks lending again. To keep them alive.

//finance.yahoo.com/news/The-rise-and-almost-fall-of-apf-14288120.html



Wounded banks: Only game left

Banks have become the only game in town for most businesses and consumers looking for loans, and that's why the government is gearing up for what could be the most expensive bank bailout ever.

//tinyurl.com/dfsxry



Where has the U.S. bailout money gone?

Following is an outline of TARP funds spent or pledged so far.
//www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5162DI20090207


Welfare benefits in danger?

More than 98,000 welfare recipients in San Bernardino County stand to lose their monthly cash benefits as early as March unless the state can cough up the money needed to fund the program

//www.sbsun.com/news/ci_11658072



Key to success in the big bank bailout? Let 'em fail

One need not be a threat to the global financial system or be "too big to fail" in order to qualify for a handout. Just ask the lucky management of Flagstar Bancorp of Michigan, who, by sheer ineptitude in real estate deals, drove their company to the brink of collapse and their stock price down 97 per cent, and who were rewarded the other day with a $267-million (U.S.) cheque from Uncle Sam.

//tinyurl.com/crsa34


From Information Clearing House

--------

The case for bankers

Slate
by Jacob Weisberg

Not long ago, American culture abhorred lawyers, mistrusted journalists, and envied bankers. Today we ignore lawyers, pity journalists, and despise anyone connected to Wall Street — for undermining their own companies, trashing the global economy, and being insanely overpaid. Public sentiment has judged the lot of them guilty as h... and sentenced them indefinitely to a mid-six-figure stockade. This reaction is understandable but hardly rational. While our financial system as a whole has been revealed to be deeply flawed — underregulated, overleveraged, plagued by reliance on faulty models and assumptions and suffering from horrendous conflicts of interest at the rating agencies and elsewhere — most bankers deserve the new loathing no more than they did the old fawning. What’s more, the opprobrium being heaped on a sector essential to our long-term economic vitality may well be making matters worse...

//www.slate.com/id/2210720/



It still won’t work

The American Spectator
by Robert Stacy McCain

No amount of presidential persuasion, nor any conceivable quantity of federal spending, can repeal the basic economic law of supply and demand. Thus, if Congress should enact this idiotic ’stimulus’ — a neo-Keynesian pump-priming venture absurdly overbalanced to the demand side of the equation — nothing is more predictable than its failure to spur real recovery. Indeed, the Pelosi plan is so close to being the exact opposite of what our economy needs at this juncture, many informed observers do not hesitate to say that it will actually delay recovery and perhaps make the recession far worse than it already is...

//spectator.org/archives/2009/02/09/it-still-wont-work



An economy is not about jobs

The Liberty Papers
by tarran

02/09/09

The temporary unemployment that accompanies recessions occurs becasue the price system requires the passage of time to reach an approximate equilibrium. Essentially, in a recession, people who were producing things that were not in heavy demand stop that undesired production and spend some finite period of time looking for othe rthings to do. Simmilarly prospective employers need time to figure out where the shortages are, or to identify opportunities to start expanding production again. By attempting to sabotage this feedback system, the proponents of the stimulus plan are setting the stage for long-term stagflation at best, and a future crash at worst. Not only are they shifting the problem of what to do with the unemployed into the future, they are encouraging, though false price signals, people to abandon productive pursuits in favor of the make-work projects being promoted by the state...

//tinyurl.com/ajurge



The new banking crisis

Adam Smith Institute
by Dr. Eamonn Butler

02/09/09

Just as you thought the banking crisis was over, another one streaks towards you. The £6bn profit announced by Barclays must be relatively good news, even though bank accounts are always complicated and this set has some one-off features that might boost the bottom line. But at least we seem to have got through the fear that the banks could simply collapse. A ‘toxic bank,’ mopping up the remaining bad debt, might help further. Now we’re just in a pretty normal, if nasty, recession. The new banking crisis, though, is political interference. The state now owns large chunks, even majority chunks, in some of our biggest high-street banks. The politicians who arranged this initially said they had no desire to interfere in how the banks ran their business. I said at the time they wouldn’t be able to resist. I was right...

//tinyurl.com/daxsbm

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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