Stress test: Obama’s rosy scenario

The Nation
by William Greider

Now it’s official. Prosperity is right around the corner. We have heard the good news from both Wall Street and Washington. President Obama is careful not to use those very words … [b]ut the Obama administration sees ‘green shoots’ sprouting all around and it offers hard evidence in the long-anticipated results of its ’stress tests’ for major banks. Good news! Nobody is insolvent. … They can all weather the storm, with a little more aid from Uncle Sam. The stock market turned bullish in anticipation, and so has Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. With few qualifiers, the Fed chairman announced a recovery is likely in the second half of the year. Well, maybe not for employment, but that’s a lagging indicator and financial markets always lead the way...


Are we all doomed?

TCS Daily
by Josie Appleton


Once, the apocalypse was an aberrant state of affairs, brought about by otherworldly forces. In traditional religion, some divine power burns up the earth and blacks out the sun, and creates a ‘new heaven and a new earth’ which is quite different from our own. In classic science fiction, the apocalypse comes from outer space or strange and mysterious creatures — the mutant from Mars, Triffids, giant leeches, or crab monsters. Cold War sci-fi presented threats to the world as coming from Them! or It!: the threats were extraordinary and Other. The world did not end every day. Now, the end of the world has become a resolutely everyday matter, the outcome of ordinary things...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


US bank stress tests rigged to benefit Wall Street

It makes this assertion even while acknowledging that should the recession deepen significantly, the 19 banks could suffer $599.2 billion in losses over the next two years, and that their total loss rate for loans would be 9.1 percent, exceeding the levels of the 1930s.


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