In his weekly address, President Barack Obama announced that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is preparing a new strategy for reviving our financial system, and urged the swift passage of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.
"Obama Slams AIG 'Outrage'" is from the March 17, 2009 Editon of the Express. Obama has ordered Treasury Secretary Geitner to figure out a legal means to prevent AIG from handing out $165M in bonuses giving me a chance to draw Obama dropping the "People's Elbow" on AIG fat cats. This is what I don't understand. If the federal government now owns a 80% stake in the company, why can't it just tell AIG to stop screwing around? Ah well. I have a feeling it's going to be an AIG week here at Headline DS.
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*******FreeTradingVideos**** : Stocks bounced today after the Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said banks are well capitalized. I think this is a false bounce.
At its annual meeting, the National Venture Capital Association is expected to announce Wednesday morning an initiative designed to help reinvigorate the exit market amidst the most challenging environment VCs have faced in years.
Exits are the number one concern for venture capitalists, NVCA president Mark Heesen tells The Deal in Part 1 of our Behind the Money video conversation. Only seven venture-backed companies have gone public in the last five quarters, according to Heesen.
"At the end of the day, venture capital is all about returns," says Heesen. "VCs haven't been able to deliver returns to their LPs."
The latest numbers coming from the NVCA show that the closed IPO market wreaked havoc on VC performance in the fourth quarter of last year, when returns declined across most time horizons. The trade group's data on the first quarter has also been disappointing: VC investment plunged to a 12-year low, and fewer VC funds were raised in the quarter than in any quarter over the last five-plus years.
More details on the NVCA's strategy for helping open up the IPO process are expected at a press conference Wednesday morning.
Watch the video below or download it on iTunes. Check back later in the week for Part 2, when Heesen talks about the regulatory environment under President Obama and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Watch the video interview below or download it at iTunes.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced that the deptartment's report on global currency policies will be delayed. The report could have concluded that China is a currency manipulor.
BY ALLIE SPILLYARDS
ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY
You're watching multisource politics news analysis from Newsy
Last week’s budget showdown was over billions of dollars. But that’s just pocket change compared to the number that matters now.
$14.294 trillion. It’s called the debt ceiling. And to hear politicos talking about it- it sounds like Congress is preparing for doomsday.
KAY BAILEY HUTCHINSON: “Really the debt ceiling's going to be Armageddon.”
EZRA KLEIN: “The economy will go into a tail spin. It will be a catastrophe.”
ERROL LOUIS: “The repercussions would be profound. They would be severe. And they would be permanent.”
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner predicts the U.S. will hit its debt ceiling in mid-May -- which makes the need for compromise all the more urgent. So what exactly is the debt ceiling? ABC’s David Kerley explains.
“It’s like defaulting on your home mortgage. Nobody would loan you anymore money without a much higher interest payment.”
But CNBC’s Erin Burnett argues, borrowing is not really a necessity.
ERIN BURNETT: “We are a very wealthy country. If you look at our assets, we could pay down the debt tomorrow. We choose to borrow because we can borrow at incredibly low interest rates. Our country, because we are the safest country in the world, has this ability to borrow. And to choose to borrow and to pay it down later. Other countries don’t have that choice.”
Her colleague Jim Cramer warns- the debt is a serious issue.
JIM CRAMER: “Everyone’s playing with fire. We’re no better than these European countries that are in trouble.”
ABC’s Jake Tapper calls last week’s 2011 budget standoff a slap fight compared to what the U.S. could be facing with the battle over raising the debt ceiling.
“While a government shutdown was serious, defaulting on US debt ... could mean Social Security and veterans benefits cut, a collapse of the stock market, home prices plummeting, tax hikes, a curtailing of Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, and much more.”
And according to The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein - the effects wouldn’t just be short term.
“Right now, the market doesn't believe that our political system would ever allow a debt default. The morning after a default happens, the market will have been proven wrong, and it will have been proven wrong permanently: If it can happen once, it can happen again in 20 years. In that world, the cheap debt that America enjoys and relies on is gone forever, and our economy is likely to be permanently worse off for it.”
But don’t expect an agreement any time soon. A writer for CNN Money says...
“In any case, coming to agreement on any long-term plan -- balanced or not -- is unlikely to happen in the next month. So don't be surprised if lawmakers just approve a series of small increases to the debt ceiling while the negotiations continue.”
According to the latest NBC News Wall Street Journal Poll 62% of Americans say the debt ceiling shouldn’t be raised.
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BY MALLORY PERRYMAN
ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY
You're watching multisource politics news analysis from Newsy
This Sunday....Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner hammers home the dangers of playing chicken with the debt ceiling.
And the analysts weigh in...will red and blue compromise to get the budget back in black?
On NBC’s Meet the Press and ABC’s This Week, Treasury Secretary Geithner made it clear- using the debt ceiling as a political bargaining chip is like playing with fire.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: "We’d tip the U.S. economy and the world economy back into recession, depression. It would make the last crisis look like a tame, modest crisis... It would have a permanent devastating damage on our creditworthiness as a country."
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: "If you allow people to start to doubt whether the United States of America will meet its obligations, that will be catastrophic. And you can't take that risk.”
Geithner stressed he thinks both sides realize the gravity of the situation- and they’ll make it work. On CNN’s State of the Union, Tea Party favorite Rand Paul says, a compromise means both sides need to give in a little bit.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): "There is a compromise, but the compromise is not to raise taxes. The compromise is for conservatives to admit that the military budget is going to have to be cut... Liberals will have to compromise and will have to cut domestic welfare. The compromise is where we cut not whether to raise taxes."
After her interview with Paul, CNN’s Candy Crowley also talked to Democratic Senator Anthony Weiner. Here’s Crowley’s summary of where the two polar opposite senators can find middle ground.
Candy Crowley (Host, State of the Union): “Let the record show that they both agreed that bringing down the debt will have to include big cuts at the Defense Department, which is a going some for the Republicans who generally don’t like that idea. So there was a little commonality but after that, not so much.”
Analysts on the Sunday shows were split on whether compromise is actually in the cards. Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm says, she’s hopeful.
Frm. Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI): “This week the president gave the parameters on the Democratic side and Congressman Ryan gave the parameters on the Republican side. So now we know what the arena is. They agree that the deficit reduction should be about $4 trillion. They agree that everyone should put entitlements on the table.”
And at the This Week roundtable, economist Alice Rivlan echoes that hopeful tone.
Alice Rivlin (Brookings Institute): “I have a great deal of hope for the six senators, the so-called ‘Gang of Six’ in the Senate. Three Republicans. Three Democrats. Some very serious folks... They understand and their colleagues and I think a lot of others in the Senate, that we have to come together and reach a compromise.”
But ABC’s George Will isn’t convinced. He says- President Obama hasn’t given any real details about his budget plan.
George Will (ABC News): “In effect he has not yet presented other than a critique of Paul Ryan’s budget. Now the both parties are clearly making a wager. The Republicans are wagering that the American people mean what they say and that it’s different this time. The president’s party is wagering that they don’t. That they’re still rhetorically conservative but operationally liberal.”
Finally- as part of our running tally of who’s in, and who’s out of the 2012 presidential race- business mogul Donald Trump tells CNN’s Candy Crowley, he wishes he didn’t have to run for President- but it’s his patriotic duty.
Donald Trump: "I wish I didn't have to do it. I would prefer not doing it. But I love this country. And if you ask me, what are the odds, I'll let you know some time prior to June. But I will tell you, I am giving it serious, serious thought.”
But while most of the analysts on the Sunday shows agree Trump probably won’t head up the Republican ticket, Random House’s Jon Meacham sums up what’s driving the Apprentice boss’ candidacy.
Jon Meacham (Random House, Executive Editor): “Trump is an emblem of the triumph of the celebrity political culture...Trump is an interesting figure. Like all populist outbreaks, it tells you something about the frustration with both parties.”
According to a new survey of Republican primary voters, Mr. Trump is tied with Mike Huckabee as the second most popular potential candidates- both trailing behind front runner Mitt Romney.
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Narration and Sources:
The United States national debt is either hovering around the $14.294 Trillion official debt limit or may have already breached it as some news agencies stated back in May that "U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress he would start tapping into federal pension funds." Now it is reported that $206 Billion of retirement funds have been used with only $62 Billion left that are available for borrowing and will last only until August 1st.
Timothy Geithner gives some sobering statements on what would happen if there is no debt limit deal.
All this is happening while President Obama and Congress are still talking about a compromise to raise the debt ceiling by a deadline of August 2
Proposals include cutting social security by changing how cost of living increases are calculated by using chained consumer price index. Bloomberg says "Advocates say the change is needed because the government's current measure of inflation overstates how quickly prices rise." The AARP vehemently and justifiably opposes any cuts to Social Security in a deal to cut the nation's bills.
QE 2 officially ended on June 30th as scheduled. A June 22nd Press Conference with Ben Bernanke gave little substance; Interest rates will be kept the same and there was no announcement for future QE or that there would BE no near future QE, leaving the question still on the table. Bernanke admits in his speech that there is inflation and blames part of this on the Japanese disaster. Once again the chairman states that the recovery was slower than anticipated but that growth and more employment is expected within months.
Not that things aren't bad enough at home but Europe is still in bad shape as credit rating agency 'Moody's' has downgraded Portugal's debt to Ba2 or 'junk bond status'
Portugal's statistics agency calculated the deficit for the first quarter of 2011 to be 8.7% of GDP. This was an improvement from 9.2% at the end of last year but still much higher than 5.9%, the goal Portugal must reach by the end of this year under the EU's bailout package terms.
The Greek crisis can is being kicked down the road one more time for now as the last $17 Billion in bailout funds out of $156 Billion approved by the EU last year is disbursed to Greece after the Greek parliament voted in favor of austerity measures required for the bailout. Needless to say many Greek people are protesting furiously at this decision.
Remember back in May when the head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested on rape charges? Later the New York Times reported on June 30th that "The...case...is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper." Christine Lagarde became the head of the IMF in his absense and now she is facing an inquiry by a French court on her role in a 2008 arbitration payout.
*******www.youtube****/watch?v=3DoY1h4dal8 (Dominique Strauss-Kahn released without bail)
In the precious metals market, Gold gains an average of 3.4% on currencies in first half of 2011. Central banks have pulled 635 tonnes of gold in the past year from the Bank for International Settlements; this is the largest withdrawal in over a decade.
This morning, the S&P 500 Index e-mini futures (ES U1) is trading higher by 2.25 points to 1190.75 per contract. The major stock indexes in the United States have rallied for three consecutive trading days and trying to make it four in a row. Traders must be very careful today, after all, it is options expiration tomorrow. During the trading week leading up to quadruple witching options expiration the markets will often be very volatile and turbulent. The problems in the European Union are being swept under the rug these days ahead of the European Union (EU) meeting in Poland tomorrow. The EU gathering will include U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as they try and create another bailout fund for the Euro-zone similar to the U.S. Toxic Asset Relief Program (TARP).
BY ZACH TOOMBS
As if the White House didn’t have enough to deal with as is, a new book that hits shelves Tuesday is making waves and reflecting poorly on President Obama and his economic team. CNN reports.
“It’s title is ‘Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President.’ And it’s written by former Wall Street reporter Ron Suskind. He interviewed over 200 people, including the president, for this book. And, essentially, it looks at what was going on in the White House during the financial crisis of 2008. It is a very critical book. It says the White House economic team was plagued with internal rivalries and a treasury secretary that dragged his feet on some major decisions.”
The New York Times is among the few publications that already have their hands on a copy of the book, which asserts that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner routinely ignored the president’s orders on the economy. The Times says:
“Some decisions, including one to overhaul the debt-ridden Citibank, were carried out sluggishly or not at all by a resistant Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, according to the book.”
The book also includes a controversial quote from former National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers. Politico reports:
Former White House economic adviser Larry Summers, according to Suskind, told then-OMB director Peter Orszag that as far as economic policy, “There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes.’”
But Summers flatly denied the quote Saturday, calling Suskind’s book a combination of fiction, distortion and words taken out of context. Another White House staffer quoted in the book calling the White House a hostile work environment for women also accused Suskind of stretching the truth. FOX has her comment.
“In the book, according to The Washington Post, Suskind quotes former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn as saying the White House would fit all of the ‘classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace for women.’ But Dunn told the Post yesterday that she did not say that.”
The White House even went as far as to release a statement specifically addressing the claims in “Confidence Men.” FOX and Friends has part of the response.
“Books like these tend to take the normal day to day activities of governing and infuse them with drama, palace intrigue and salacious details based on anonymous accounts.”
Despite the denials, the book’s highly publicized release has plenty of pundits questioning Obama’s handle on both the economy and his economic team.
On MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show, guests posed the question, is the president really the person in charge of the U.S. economy?
“Its seems the classic narrative of the Obama administration -- that ‘the guy’s not tough enough.’ And I don’t know if it’s true or not, but this is the story that you hear on the street, all over the place -- that the guy’s not tough, that he doesn’t have enough cajones, that he’s not running his ship. He wants everybody to be happy, which is what he wanted all the way back from Harvard. He wants to be liked. He wants everyone to feel like their getting their way. And consensus is hard. We need a leader.”
Although debates over the actual text drawn from interviews in the book will likely boil down to “he-said-she-said,” Politico notes that there are plenty of smaller errors in “Confidence Men” that should be some cause for concern.
His new book is marred by a variety of minor mistakes. Suskind renders financial journalist Erin Burnett as “Erin Burkett.” (The error is faithfully echoed in the index.) And Pfeiffer is described as “the deputy press secretary,” a title he has never held. At the time, he was deputy communications director.
Suskind himself will be able to defend his book this week during a series of interviews on The Today Show among other programs.
BY RUISHA QIAN
ANCHOR ERICA COGHILL
At Saturday’s G20 meeting in Paris, world leaders are set to wrestle about whether to boost IMF’s aid in the European debt crisis. The Economic Times explains one side of the debate.
“Brazil, Russia, India and China are working on ways to contribute money rapidly to expand the effective funds of the International Monetary Fund... to increase the role of emerging economic nations in combating the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.”
The plan would give the IMF roughly $750 billion in normal lending capacity.
Bloomberg, quoting a Hong Kong-based strategist, says more involvement in funding could give emerging countries more say in the euro crisis.
“Emerging markets, in particular China, may feel the pressure at this point to make some gestures to help the West. They do not want to invest too much given that the West’s problems are of its own making, and if they help, they want to do so in a way that brings them benefits and recognition.”
The plan has been shot down by the US, UK, and Canada.
In an interview with CNBC, US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says Europe should be able to take care of itself.
“Of course Europe, as a whole, has very substantial resources available to help manage the problem. The financial problem that faces Europe is complicated to solve, but they are well within the resources that Europe has available.”
And the Financial Times explains why the U.K. isn’t fond of the idea of more IMF aid, either.
“The emerging economies’ offer put the UK in a particularly difficult position because David Cameron, prime minister, called this week for a much bigger “bazooka” to prevent contagion spreading from Greece, through Spain and Italy to the rest of the world economy, but does not want to commit UK funds to the effort.”
Despite the wrangling between developed and developing countries, the Wall Street Journal says ultimately, the plan is likely to encounter legal difficulties.
“Even if the G-20 backs the idea, however, doubling the IMF's resources requires legislative approval, a political hurdle that could stymie efforts in some countries. Some lawmakers in the U.S. Congress, for example, have discussed de-funding existing commitments to the IMF. Asking Congress for additional funding would be a major obstacle.”