President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, speaks out about growing debt

The only Fed member to speak up and say the US must fix its growing debt problems or risk a new financial crisis was Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Mr Hoenig said that rising debt was infringing on the central bank’s ability to fulfil its goals of maintaining price stability and long-term economic growth. “Stunning” deficit projections were putting political pressure on the Fed to keep interest rates low, infringing on its independence at the risk of inflation, he said.

The US budget deficit is projected to be $8,000bn in the next decade. Barack Obama, US president, recently lifted the government’s borrowing authority to $14,300bn.

Thats alot to swallow

Published in: on February 17, 2010 at 11:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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Obama critizied McCain about freeze on govt spending, now he says ‘Thanks for the idea!’

The freeze would take effect in October and limit the overall budget for agencies other than the military, veterans affairs, homeland security and certain international programs to $447 billion a year for the remainder of Obama’s first term, senior administration officials said Monday, imposing sharp limits on his ability to begin initiatives in education, the environment and other areas of domestic policy.

Although the freeze would shave no more than $15 billion off next year’s budget — barely denting a deficit projected to exceed $1 trillion for the third year in a row — White House officials said it could save significantly more during the next decade. They described the freeze as a critical component of a broader deficit-reduction campaign intended to restore confidence in Obama’s ability to control the excesses of Washington and the most lavish aspirations of his own administration

It is also unlikely to affect the approximately $900 billion health-care bill, which has been on life-support since the Massachusetts vote. In an interview with ABC News on Monday, Obama vowed to press ahead with health care and other first-year agenda items, even it means jeopardizing his reelection chances in 2012.

Late Monday, Republicans mocked the idea of a Democratic spending freeze. “Given Washington Democrats’ unprecedented spending binge, this is like announcing you’re going on a diet after winning a pie-eating contest,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).

Democrats, meanwhile, are likely to give the freeze a mixed response. Conservatives, including Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) and members of the House Blue Dog Coalition, have been calling for a freeze backed by the threat of a presidential veto. But liberals have resisted freezing spending, particularly on social programs, and are likely to call on Obama to extend any freeze to military programs, aides said.

As a candidate, Obama criticized a spending freeze proposed by his GOP opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, comparing it to “using a hatchet to cut the fed budget. I want to use a scalpel.”

I guess that scapel got buried in Wall Street.

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm  Comments (1)  
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So how much exactly do we owe? $12,245,872,000,000

And here I was worried about my mortgage and cc debt

WASHINGTON (AP) —

Figures on government spending and debt (last six digits are eliminated). The
government’s fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
Total public debt subject to limit Jan. 22 12,245,872
Statutory debt limit 12,394,000
Total public debt outstanding Jan. 22 12,302,465
Operating balance Jan. 22 142,454
Interest fiscal year 2009 383,365
Interest fiscal year 2008 451,154
Deficit fiscal year 2009 1,417,121
Deficit fiscal year 2008 454,798
Receipts fiscal year 2009 2,104,613
Receipts fiscal year 2008 2,523,642
Outlays fiscal year 2009 3,521,734
Outlays fiscal year 2008 2,978,440
Gold assets in September 11,041

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 8:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Obama Administration to outsource NASA.

The White House has decided to begin funding private companies to carry NASA astronauts into space, but the proposal faces major political and budget hurdles, according to people familiar with the matter.

The controversial proposal, expected to be included in the Obama administration’s next budget, would open a new chapter in the U.S. space program. The goal is to set up a multiyear, multi-billion-dollar initiative allowing private firms, including some start-ups, to compete to build and operate spacecraft capable of ferrying U.S. astronauts into orbit—and eventually deeper into the solar system.

Congress is likely to challenge the concept’s safety and may balk at shifting dollars from existing National Aeronautics and Space Administration programs already hurting for funding to the new initiative. The White House’s ultimate commitment to the initiative is murky, according to these people, because the budget isn’t expected to outline a clear, long-term funding plan.

The White House’s NASA budget also envisions stepped-up support for climate-monitoring and environmental projects, along with enhanced international cooperation across both manned and unmanned programs.

On the flip side of that, if you have a spare $250k, I think Virgin will take you up in space for a few hours. Perhaps we should start offering rides like that to get some increased revenue.

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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How much did the Auto bail out make for the taxpayers???

Um, how about how much did it lose?

The Obama administration will tell Congress Wednesday that it expects to lose about $30 billion of the $82 billion government bailout of the auto industry.

DAYAM!!!

Thats certainly some coins change.

Gene Sperling, senior counsel to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, confirmed in an interview late today that the administration’s forecast is that it will lose $30 billion on its auto investments — but that’s down from an earlier estimate of $44 billion.

“The real news is the projected loss came down to $30 billion from $44 billion,” Sperling said, noting that auto sales have improved ahead of what many analysts had forecast. The administration still holds out hope that if things improve, the administration could still recover more.

The estimate — the first public accounting of losses connected to the rescue of General Motors and Chrysler — is in line with what the Government Accountability Office, the Troubled Asset Relief Congressional Oversight Panel and former auto czar Steve Rattner have suggested.

The Treasury Department has loaned $50 billion to General Motors, and swapped all but $6.7 billion of it for a 61 percent majority stake in the automaker. In order for taxpayers to be repaid fully, GM’s stock would have to be worth far more than current estimates when the company goes public as early as next year.

GM chairman and CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. said that GM will make a $1 billion payment of its outstanding loans on Dec. 31 and plans similar quarterly payments. In a Web chat with reporters today, he said the company could opt to make a lump-sum payment

The administration forgave much of Chrysler’s $12 billion in government loans….well thats nice, will someone forgive me for my mortgage?

Well, thats good news, only $30 Billion instead of $44billion. Idiots!

Saving General Motors and Chrysler saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, President Barack Obama said today.

“It was right decision then and the right decision now,” Sperling said, calling it a “courageous decision by the president” to give the two automakers a “rebirth even though he knew it was not going to be politically popular.”

Not politicially poopular…yeah $30Billion is gonna do that, plus the private airplanes to get there are goign to hinder popular.

Published in: on December 9, 2009 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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SPEND, SPEND, SPEND…Spend our way out of a recession

Well, this should be interesting…

President Barack Obama outlined new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals Tuesday, saying the nation must continue to “spend our way out of this recession” until more Americans are back at work.

Okay, so how much extra is this going to cost?

No price tag was given….I guess he has had enough of the broken promises

Obama proposed a package of new spending for highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects, deeper tax breaks for small businesses and tax incentives to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient.

Published in: on December 9, 2009 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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$15 Billion more to Fannie Mae = Total of $110Billion, so far for Fannie and Freddie

Happy Holidays everyone…Fannie Mae are getting an extra $15Billion in errr ‘bailout’ money from the taxpayers.

Last week the Treasury Dept said it was going to pump a extra $15Billion into Fannie Mae.

That brings Fannie’s total bailout to $59.9 billion [2]; together with its sibling Freddie Mac, the toll has risen to $110.6 billion

Fannie lost $18.9 billion in the third quarter and $56.8 billion for the year so far. The company offered a couple of explanations for its continued downward spiral. First and foremost is simply the deterioration of the housing market: Fannie owns or guarantees nearly $3 trillion in mortgages, and borrowers continue to default in rising numbers. But Fannie also said its losses stem from its efforts, as an arm of the government, to modify mortgages for struggling borrowers.

Those costs will only go up in the future, since the government’s foreclosure prevention [5] program still hasn’t resulted in many permanent modifications [6]. Fannie expects to lose money through the program in a number of different ways. First, Fannie will take a loss when mortgages are modified to lower amounts. But Fannie will also be responsible for paying incentive fees (mostly to mortgage servicers) for completed modifications.

Fannie and Freddie’s bailout funds don’t come from the $700 billion TARP, but rather via a housing bill passed in July 2008 [8]. (We track both in our bailout database [4].) Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said that Fannie and Freddie could get as much as $200 billion each.

DAYUM!!!!

fanniemacbig

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 8:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Privatization…on Death Row??

Arizona spends approx $4.7 million each year to house inmates in death-row in a super-maximum-security prison. But in a first in the criminal-justice world, the state’s death-row inmates could become the responsibility of a private company.


State officials soon will seek bids from private companies for nine of the state’s 10 prison complexes that house roughly 40,000 inmates, including the 127 on death row. It is the first attempt by a state to put its entire prison system under private control.

WOW….and yet, I’m thining if it can work, then why not??

The state woudl still perform the executions, just not handle the day-to-day job when dealing with the prisoner.

The cons??

Throughout the years, there have been high-profile riots, escapes and other violent incidents. The companies also do not generally provide the same wages and benefits as states, which has resulted in resistance from unions and concerns that the private facilities attract less-qualified workers.

The federal government, with a surge of new immigrant inmates, also contracts with firms. The number of federal prisoners in private prisons in the U.S. has more than doubled, to 32,712 in 2008 from 15,524 in 2000. The number of state prisoners in privately run prisons has increased to 93,500 from 75,000 in that time.

electrocution-christmas-tree-convicts-joke-funny-jail-gag-death-row

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 8:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sealed Court Documents show J.P Morgan and Citi sued for ripping off students

Previously sealed court documents show that JPMorgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) are being sued for conspiring with education finance company Nelnet (NNI) to allegedly receive federal student loan subsidies by making false claims and illegally recruiting more borrowers.

Well at least I know what my increased credit card bill rate is going to.

The civil action suit was filed in May 2008 at U.S. District court in Omaha, Nebraska and was posted recently on Wikileaks, just before it was officially unsealed by the court.

The 285 page suit (below) says Nelnet illegally induced students to apply for federal student loans, paying telemarketers to aggressively push the government product, and used false advertising to get more applications, like promising that students would save thousands of dollars in interest payments by consilidating their loans with Nelnet. They then presented false claims to the Department of Education to receive federal funding.

How much they are asking for is unclear.

The company has already had to sign agreements with state authorities promising not to offer a variety of incentives to students and school authorities, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Here’s their summary:

A settlement with the U.S. Department of Education in 2007 allowed Nelnet to keep $278 million in disputed profits from the controversial loan subsidy.

Nelnet agreed not to take advantage of the subsidy in the future. In 2006, the department’s Office of Inspector General concluded Nelnet got the $278 million improperly and should repay it. After the settlement in early 2007, the Justice Department opened a civil file on other issues contained in the inspector general’s report.

Separately, Nelnet settled with Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who said Nelnet may not have broken the law but acted deceptively and uncompetitively by sponsoring marketing events and paying for school employees to participate

So glad we gave these chums $ome bonus bailout money.

If you have a few hours to waste, here is the document in its entirety

Student Loans 2008 Suit: JPMorgan, Citigroup, Nelnet

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Published in: on October 21, 2009 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Obama administration inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, or the economy turned out to be worse than they thought. Which is it? It can’t be both

Here is a piece by Steve Huntly from the Chicago Sun-Times, that raises all the questions we have today about the love affair that the media and others have with Obama and the thin veil it is hiding behind.

Have you heard the news? President Obama inherited an economic mess from the Bush administration.

You say that’s hardly news? But it’s been the message sounded over and over by the White House. Top Obama adviser David Axelrod said on one of the Sunday news shows, “He walked in the door, we had the worst economy since the Great Depression.” In San Francisco, Obama talked of being “busy with our mop.” White House heavy hitter Rahm Emanuel used the worst-economy-since-the-Depression line on a public TV news show.

Take, for example, all the talk of inheriting the worst economy since the 1930s crisis. That came in response to the news that the federal deficit hit $1.4 trillion.

Yet just a few months ago, the Obama camp was singing a little different tune. It was under criticism for the $787 billion stimulus package it bulldozed through Congress on grounds that massive spending was needed to keep the unemployment rate from breaching 8 percent. When joblessness hit 9.5 percent in June, Vice President Joe Biden said, “We misread how bad the economy was.”

They inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, or the economy turned out to be worse than they thought. Which is it? It can’t be both

The MSNBC blast against the chamber appears to dovetail with what the Politico newspaper reports is a White House and Democratic effort “to marginalize” the business organization. That echoes the administration assault on the Fox News Channel: It says Fox isn’t a news organization.

The White House trying to dictate who’s a news organization. Democrats out to gut a business group. Obama media allies damning Americans as racist, unpatriotic and treasonous. Is this the America Obama promised when he campaigned to end the cynical and divisive politics of the past?

It raises very good questions and points out some great points and questions the article from CNN asking if the GOP are in trouble, are they, or is it just that so many crazies are getting the “media” spotlight and not the run or the mill normal people that are starting to see more clearly and ask better questions and know when we are getting the run around.

cartoon-gimme-an-o-600