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Economy

Obama’s Proposed Investment in American Infrastructure

by Luke Landes

President Obama proposed yesterday spending more than $50 billion over the next six years to modernize the transportation infrastructure in the United States. He is calling for renovations to or creation of 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of rail, and 150 miles of airport runways. The $50 billion would be an up-front cost, paid ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Like That Political Ad? Click On It.

by Smithee

I recently learned of a sort of fun game that you can play with the political establishment, regardless of whose ideas you want to be represented in Government. Maybe it’s the websites I frequent, but it seems like I’ve been seeing advertisements on many of them on a regular basis for more than two years. ... Continue reading this article…

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New Financial Regulations in the Wall Street Reform Law

by Luke Landes

Updated: The media are calling the new Wall Street Reform Law, recently signed by President Obama, the most significant reform of the financial industry since the Great Depression. It looks to tighten the reins on a industry that helped cause the recent recession by requiring the Federal Reserve to create and enforce regulations on the ... Continue reading this article…

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Unemployment Benefits and Homebuyer Credit Not Extended

by Luke Landes

Last Thursday, the Senate failed to pass a bill that would again extend unemployment benefits. Rather than continue haggling between Democrats and Republicans for another round of changes to the bill, the Senators will likely drop the issue. The bill also contained an extension to the homebuyer tax credit, a benefit that officially ends on ... Continue reading this article…

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Wall Street Reform Bill Passes Senate

by Luke Landes

In December of last year, the House of Representatives passed a bill designed to reform the financial industry, introducing more consumer protection and more regulation of Wall Street firms and other financial businesses. The Senate also tackled the controversial topic of financial reform, passing its own version of the bill yesterday. Though not an attractive ... Continue reading this article…

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GM Used Bailout Funds to Repay Loan: Mostly Irrelevant

by Luke Landes

Update: According to news reports, GM paid back one loan in order to qualify for a new government loan at a lower rate. This basically negates my original opinion regarding the loan repayment announcement. Read further at your own risk. Ever since General Motors announced that it paid back its $6.7 billion government loan, a ... Continue reading this article…

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The Volcker Rule: Obama Proposes New Banking Regulations

by Luke Landes

If President Obama is able to enact the new plan for banks called “The Volcker Rule,” the era of banks too big to fail should be over. Obama has been speaking with former head of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, who is advising the President to adopt a plan different than those suggested by Treasury ... Continue reading this article…

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Basics of the Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee (Bank Tax)

by Smithee

Yesterday, President Obama put forth a proposal to recover a projected shortfall in TARP repayments. When the TARP was created, the EESA statute specified that the president would need a plan before 2013 to avoid shortfalls that would add to the deficit. Instead of 2013, we got one this week. Is it a good plan? ... Continue reading this article…

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New Stimulus Plan: The Fiscal Menace or The Economy Strikes Back?

by Luke Landes

(Or perhaps Episode IV: Obama’s New Hope.) In a few weeks the Senate will be debating another stimulus plan. This one is billed as a jobs creation package with a $154 billion price tag. It’s an extension of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and its purpose is to increase public funding for ... Continue reading this article…

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Hundreds Hired at the IRS to Find Cheaters

by Smithee

In a continuation of my favorite story of the year, the IRS announced a few days ago that they are ramping up a new investigative unit to find more offshore tax cheats, with an emphasis on those that are using dummy corporations with multiple layers to hide their wealth. They’ve named it the “Global High ... Continue reading this article…

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Obama’s New Job Boosting Ideas

by Smithee

President Obama gave a “major speech” today (out of curiosity, can anyone tell what makes a speech major?) outlining several new proposals for boosting job creation and ensuring job stability. More than 90 percent of all economic indicators point to a recovery already in progress, but unemployment, even though it went down in a dramatic way ... Continue reading this article…

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Initial TARP Recipients are 57% Repaid

by Smithee

With the news that Bank of America hurried up a sale of securities in order to pay back their TARP loan, the story of the many billions loaned to the “big banks” has reached an interesting turning point: they’re now more than half paid back, 57 percent to be precise. Here’s the breakdown of the $165 ... Continue reading this article…

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GMAC Asking for a Third Bailout From Taxpayers

by Luke Landes

Through today, GMAC has received government bailout funds totaling $12.5 billion. The company is asking the Obama administration for $5.6 billion more. One might say that in a true democracy, GMAC would need to ask permission from each taxpayer whose funds would go towards shoring up the company’s balance sheet, a move that would make ... Continue reading this article…

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Pay Czar Ordering Bailed Out Companies to Reduce Pay

by Luke Landes

The executives of these companies had to see this coming. When a company is “too big to fail,” it becomes a public institution in senses of the phrase but the most literal. And for a number of banks and other financial companies in the past year, the public has become a partial owner thanks to ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Prepare for the Demise of the Dollar

by Luke Landes

Since the middle of the twentieth century, the U.S. dollar has been the currency that has dominated the world. Governments have held dollars in reserve, and borrowed dollars when necessary, because this currency can buy just about anything, anywhere. In particular, dollars can easily buy oil, a commodity currently necessary for the progress of developed ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Percent of U.S. Post Offices Under Evaluation, 700 to Be Closed

by Luke Landes

The U.S. Postal Service has not been a thriving business for a while, and the recession has worsened its condition. In order to save $7 billion, the government is evaluating about 3,200 offices out of the total of 32,741, and 700 of these are currently marked for closure. Personally, I am a fan of the ... Continue reading this article…

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New Consumer Financial Regulation

by Luke Landes

The White House is proposing a realignment of the financial regulation that failed to prevent the latest recession, but will the proposals help protect consumers? There is a long way to go between the President’s proposal and the enactment of a law, but here are the highlights as the plan stands today. The Financial Services ... Continue reading this article…

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President Obama Proposes Executive Pay Legislation

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, the White House announced new plans for letting investors have a say in executive compensation. With this proposal, shareholders of all public companies will be able to vote on the pay levels of the companies’ highest paid senior management. This sounds like a better plan than allowing the government to set absolute compensation limits, ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Banks Allowed to Repay TARP Bailout Money

by Luke Landes

Ten banks have now been approved by the government to being repaying taxpayers for a portion of the more than $700 billion the industry has received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in total. The stated purpose of the TARP was to provide banks with the capital to boost their balance sheets and ease ... Continue reading this article…

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Tracking the Economy By Looking at Underwear

by Luke Landes

According to Alan Greenspan, this is of the first types of spending that consumers give up when a recession is felt personally: When men come to the point at which they need to save more money than usual and decide to cut bank their spending, underwear is at the top of the list of possible ... Continue reading this article…

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