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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Great Recession Roundup — February 10, 2009

Items of Interest:

The Huffington Post:
Administration Officials Met With Laughter At Bailout Briefing — Administration officials were greeted with sarcasm and laughter Monday night when they briefed lawmakers and congressional staff on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's new financial-sector bailout project, according to people who were in the room...

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner testifies before the Senate Banking Committee.Roger Simon / The Politico:
After the speech, time for a drink -- I might have more confidence in Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner if he looked like he could order a drink without getting carded. And he definitely is going to need a drink or two in the months ahead. We all will.

And that is because financiers on Wall Street have been drunk for years. Drunk on power. Drunk on ego. Drunk on greed.

And now we must reward them for it. That is the essential message of Geithner, his boss Barack Obama and their financial bailout plan....
Frank James / The Swamp: Obama oversold Geithner appearance
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Stocks Slide as New Bailout Disappoints -- Investors had been expecting the Obama administration to unveil a shock and awe solution on Tuesday for the nation’s hobbled banking system. But the main reaction was disappointment as the new plan raised more questions than it answered, sending stock markets and the shares of banks assumed to be holding toxic assets sharply lower...
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Nationalization After All -- If I’m reading this correctly, Timothy Geithner’s financial rescue plan actually might lead to bank nationalizations after all. The key thing is provision 1b of [The Treasury] fact sheet.
Jeff Cox / CNBC: Five Reasons the Markets Don't Like the Bank Bailout
Matt Nesto / CNBC: Is Tim Geithner Just a Paulson Sequel?
Martin Wolf / FT: Why Obama’s New TARP Will Fail To Rescue The Banks
Daniel Gross / Slate: Trust Geithner's Pessimism over Obama's Rhetoric
Treasury Secretary Tiny Tim Geithner enters the cash room at the Treasury to announce his plan to help the hobbled banking systemTreasury Secretary Tiny Tim Geithner enters the gilded Cash Room at the Treasury Building to announce his plan to help the hobbled banking system
Democracy Now:
Economist James Galbraith: Bailed-Out Banks Should Be Declared Insolvent -- With estimates of the cost of addressing the financial crisis exceeding $9.7 trillion, we speak with economist and University of Texas professor James Galbraith, author of The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too. Galbraith says rather than pouring billions into propping up troubled giant banks, the government should declare them insolvent...
Katie Escherich / ABCNEWS:
Obama: ‘There Is No Easy Out’ for Wall Street — In Exclusive Interview, President Warns of ‘a Perfect Storm of Financial Problems’ — On the same day his treasury secretary detailed a $2 trillion plan to stabilize the U.S. banking systems and the Senate narrowly passed …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Huckabee: Stimulus is ‘anti-religious’ — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warned supporters Tuesday that the $828 billion stimulus package is “anti-religious.” — In an e-mail that was also posted on his blog ahead of the Senate's passage, Huckabee wrote: “The dust is settling …
David Stout / New York Times:
Senate Approves Stimulus Plan -- The Senate voted on Tuesday to approve an $838 billion economic stimulus plan that stands to become the most expansive anti-recession effort by the United States government since World War II...

Despite numerous differences in the two bills approved in the Senate and the House, the overall scope of the economical recovery effort is now clear — sprawling in its reach, with tax cuts for individuals, families and businesses, assistance for jobless and low income Americans, aid to states, and huge spending on education, healthcare, energy and technology.

The Senate approved its bill most along party lines, by a vote of 61 to 37, with three Republicans joining 56 Democrats and two independents in favor. (There is one vacancy in the Senate, from Minnesota, and Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a Republican nominated to become Mr. Obama’s Commerce Secretary, did not vote.)..
David Rogers / The Politico: $838B stimulus clears Senate
Donald Douglas / American Power: Senate Approves Economic Stimulus
Joel / Alan Colmes' Liberaland: On Tuesday's Radio Show...
Dan / Riehl World View: Target: Specter, Snowe And Collins
Pamela Leavey / The Democratic Daily: Stimulus Package Passes in Senate
How the World Almost Came to an End on September 18, 2008 -- LiveLeak has caught a scary moment of previously undisclosed insight by [Congressman] Paul Kanjorski where he reveals some facts that have not been captured by the media previously. At 2 minutes and 20 seconds in the video below, Democratic Representative Kanjorski explains how the Federal Reserve told Congress members about a "tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the United States, to the tune of $550 billion dollars." According to Kanjorski, this electronic transfer occurred over the period of an hour or two. And it gets worse...
Farewell to 'for sale by owner'? -- The real-estate wipeout's collateral damage on listings Web sites.

Not long ago, for sale by owner (FSBO) Web sites were heralded as a fresh entrepreneurial wave that was going to upend the staid real estate industry. In 2006 real estate sales "unassisted" by a broker accounted for 20% of sales made, says Steve Murray, editor and owner of Real Trends, a market research firm in Castle Rock, Colo.

Then the bubble burst. During the past four years, David Zwiefelhofer, who designs FSBO Web sites and sells them to real estate entrepreneurs, has sold about 50 regional FSBO sites through his company, FSBOWebsite.com. Only 30 to 35 are still operating...