Keyword: govwatch

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  • (Obamaville Democrat) Schakowsky: Americans don't deserve to keep all of their money

    09/14/2011 6:30:34 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 105 replies · 1+ views
    CHICAGO (WLS) - A lot of reaction Wednesday morning to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky's interview with Don Wade and Roma. Schakowsky said that Americans don't deserve to keep all of their money because we need taxes to support our society. “I’ll put it this way. You don’t deserve to keep all of it and it’s not a question of deserving because what government is, is those things that we decide to do together. And there are many things that we decide to do together like have our national security. Like have police and fire. What about the people that work at...
  • Biofuel venture hasn’t paid off for Snohomish County (Washington state)

    06/28/2010 1:00:25 PM PDT · by epithermal · 40 replies · 1+ views
    HeraldNet ^ | June 28, 2010 | Noah Haglund
    A plan to lessen Snohomish County’s dependence on fossil fuels while helping local farmers has fallen well short of expectations. Supporters urge patience. In time, they say, an improved economy will boost demand for locally grown oilseed crops, such as canola, which can be turned into biodiesel. Eventually, they maintain, a $1.2 million investment in a grain dryer and seed crusher at the county’s Cathcart facility south of Snohomish will prove worthwhile. ..snip.. Efforts to wean government vehicle fleets off fossil fuels have lagged. Snohomish County now runs about two-thirds of its diesel fleet on a blend of 20 percent...
  • Retired, then rehired: How college workers use loophole to boost pay

    06/27/2010 2:32:38 PM PDT · by Second Amendment First · 37 replies
    Seattle Times ^ | June 27, 2010 | Nick Perry and Justin Mayo
    Greg Royer ranks among the state's top-paid employees, with a salary of $304,000. But that's just part of his income. For nearly seven years, he's also collected an annual pension of $105,000. Royer, the vice president for business and finance at Washington State University, tops a long list of college administrative staff members who've been able to boost their incomes by up to 60 percent by exploiting a loophole in state retirement laws. A Seattle Times investigation has found that at least 40 university or community-college employees retired and were rehired within weeks, often returning to the same job without...
  • The Death of Fiscal Federalism

    03/19/2010 7:52:19 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 7 replies · 275+ views
    Reason ^ | 2010-03-17 | Veronique de Rugy
    It’s been a long time since economic policy was forged in the states. Last May the Obama administration forced South Carolina not just to take its share of federal stimulus funds, but to spend the money on new programs rather than paying down the state’s debt. I was horrified. Obama, I felt, had killed fiscal federalism. Then I realized that fiscal federalism has been dead for a long time. Fiscal federalism is the idea that states should set their own economic policies rather than following directives from Washington. Libertarians have a particular attachment to the concept. If states can differentiate...
  • Miles for Nothing: How the Government Helped Frequent Fliers Make a Mint

    12/14/2009 10:46:36 AM PST · by 1rudeboy · 13 replies · 1,405+ views
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | DECEMBER 7, 2009 | SCOTT MCCARTNEY
    Free Shipping of Coins, Put on Credit Cards, Funds Trip to Tahiti; 'Mr. Pickles' Cleans Up Enthusiasts of frequent-flier mileage have all kinds of crazy strategies for racking up credits, but few have been as quick and easy as turning coins into miles. At least several hundred mile-junkies discovered that a free shipping offer on presidential and Native American $1 coins, sold at face value by the U.S. Mint, amounted to printing free frequent-flier miles. Mileage lovers ordered more than $1 million in coins until the Mint started identifying them and cutting them off. Coin buyers charged the purchases, sold...
  • Louisiana blasts new FDA rule requiring oysters to be sterilized to prevent rare bacterial illness

    10/28/2009 7:22:46 AM PDT · by rrstar96 · 34 replies · 2,044+ views ^ | October 28, 2009 | Chris Kirkham
    At the small warehouse tucked away in the back side of the French Quarter, the shuckers at P&J Oyster Co. have arrived before daybreak for 133 years. Their in-shell and shucked oysters have been on the menus of generations of restaurateurs, from oysters on the halfshell at Acme Oyster House and Casemento’s to the seafood gumbo at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse. In less than two years, the tradition could become obsolete for seven months out of the year, based on newly announced oyster guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration. In an effort to reduce cases of a rare, but potentially...
  • Democrats to Unveil Offshore Tax Evasion Bill

    10/27/2009 9:17:09 AM PDT · by markomalley · 37 replies · 2,240+ views
    WSJ ^ | 10/27/2009 | Martin Vaughan
    Congressional Democrats are set to announce Tuesday legislation aimed at squeezing more information from foreign banks and U.S. citizens with offshore accounts to ferret out tax evaders. The bill from Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.), includes some of President Barack Obama's proposals to fight offshore tax cheating. According to a summary of the bill obtained by Dow Jones Newswires, it is expected to raise $8.5 billion for the U.S. government over 10 years. Foreign banks with U.S. customers would face a 30% withholding tax on income from...
  • EPA: Senate climate bill would add about $100 a year in energy cost for typical household (Barf)

    10/24/2009 6:57:20 PM PDT · by Free ThinkerNY · 20 replies · 1,108+ views
    Associated Press ^ | Oct. 24, 2009 | H. JOSEF HEBERT
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate plan to tackle global warming would add about $100 a year to the energy costs for a typical household, according to an analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency. The analysis released late Friday by the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer, who heads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, generally mirrors the cost projected by the EPA when it examined similar legislation that the House passed in the summer. The Democratic bill calls for cutting greenhouse gases from power plants and large industrial facilities by shifting energy use away from fossil fuels, especially coal. It...
  • FDIC Fund to Be in Red for Years as Bank Failures Jolt System

    09/29/2009 4:31:37 PM PDT · by Kartographer · 20 replies · 1,078+ views ^ | 9/29/09 | DAMIAN PALETTA and MICHAEL R. CRITTENDEN
    The government said the fund that protects consumer bank deposits has fallen into the red and will remain there into 2012, a pointed symbol of how the aftershocks of the financial crisis will reverberate for years as banks continue to fail at a high rate. The negative balance is a headache for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which runs the fund. On Tuesday, it proposed the unprecedented step of having the banking industry prepay $45 billion in fees by the end of the year to give the government more breathing room to handle future failures.
  • Porn surfing rampant at U.S. science foundation

    09/29/2009 7:57:08 AM PDT · by markomalley · 40 replies · 3,152+ views
    Washington Times ^ | 9/29/2009 | Jim McElhatton
    Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times. The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency's inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars. (snip) For instance, one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting...
  • Swedish military bras burst, melt during 'rigorous exercise'

    09/23/2009 7:00:13 PM PDT · by llevrok · 60 replies · 8,716+ views
    The Register (UK) ^ | 23rd September 2009 | Lewis Page
    The Swedish armed forces have been hit by a major equipment problem, according to reports. Flimsy military brassieres are unable to stand up to the strains imposed when female Swedish troops perform "rigorous exercises", routinely bursting open or even catching fire - so forcing busty young conscripts to hurriedly strip off in the field. The revelations come courtesy of the Gothenburg Post and English-language Swedish journal The Local. The Post reported yesterday on concerns raised by the Swedish Conscription Council, an organisation concerned with the rights of conscript troops in the Swedish forces. Council spokesperson Paulina Rehbinder told The Local...
  • Federal Student Loan Defaults Ratchet Up [as the Federal govt. takes over private lending]

    09/17/2009 7:25:13 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 11 replies · 1,051+ views
    Forbes ^ | 2009-09-18 | Maurna Desmond
    Just as the government's grip on the lending business for higher education tightens, the Department of Education is reporting that defaults on taxpayer-backed student loans surged in 2007 at the very beginning of the credit crisis, suggesting that more losses are baked in. The national student loan default rate increased to 6.7% in 2007, up from the 2006 rate of 5.2%, the agency reported Monday. "The economic downturn likely had a significant impact on the borrowers captured in these rates," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "The Department is reaching out to make sure current and prospective student borrowers...
  • House Votes to End Subsidies to Student Loan Firms [consolidates lending in Dept. of Education]

    09/17/2009 7:22:06 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 36 replies · 2,347+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | 2009-09-18 | Nick Anderson
    The Democratic-led House approved a bill Thursday that would overhaul college lending and spend tens of billions of dollars on student grants, community colleges, school construction and early childhood education. The bill would end a program that subsidizes private lenders that provide federally guaranteed student loans. The government itself would make all such federal loans as of July 1, effectively cutting out banks and other lenders as middlemen. That would be a major shift because direct government lending in the last academic year accounted for about a quarter of federal loan volume.
  • Who's Too Big to Fail? [Federal Reserve, FDIC rebuffing more FOIA requests]

    09/13/2009 11:46:27 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 13 replies · 1,184+ views
    Regulators today won't define 'systemic risk,' unlike 25 years ago. With Congress back in session and the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers failure upon us, the Obama Administration is resuming its quest for greatly expanded authority to bail out American businesses. Under the Treasury reform blueprint, any financial company, whether a regulated bank or not, could be rescued or seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation if regulators believe it poses a systemic risk. If recent history is any guide, when the feds stage their next intervention, they will not define "systemic risk" and they will refuse to release the...
  • Corus, Minn. bank busts bring '09 failures to 91 [FDIC Friday] [failure in Obamaville]

    09/11/2009 5:28:16 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 12 replies · 1,145+ views
    Market Watch ^ | 2009-09-11 | John Letzing
    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Regulators closed Chicago-based Corus Bank N.A. and Woodbury, Minn.-based Brickwell Community Bank on Friday, bringing the number of U.S. bank failures this year to 91 and costing the federal deposit-insurance fund more than $1.7 billion as the credit crisis continues claiming victims.
  • China alarmed by US money printing [another slap to Obama] [ChiComs quoting Ben Franklin]

    09/06/2009 9:57:25 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 66 replies · 4,669+ views ^ | 2009-09-06
    The US Federal Reserve's policy of printing money to buy Treasury debt threatens to set off a serious decline of the dollar and compel China to redesign its foreign reserve policy, according to a top member of the Communist hierarchy. BY AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD Cernobbio, Italy. Cheng Siwei, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee and now head of China's green energy drive, said Beijing was dismayed by the Fed's recourse to "credit easing". "We hope there will be a change in monetary policy as soon as they have positive growth again," he said at the Ambrosetti Workshop, a policy gathering on...
  • FDIC Insurance Fund Shrinks to $10.4 Billion [at end of June] [to insure $4.5 Trillion]

    08/27/2009 11:33:41 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 17 replies · 1,903+ views
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | 2009-08-27 | Damian Paletta & Michael R. Crittenden
    WASHINGTON – The government insurance fund that protects more than $4.5 trillion in U.S. bank deposits fell to just $10.4 billion at the end of June, as the banking industry continues to struggle with souring loans. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. fund is at its lowest level since mid-1993, during the savings-and-loan crisis. That makes it likely that the government will have to charge banks another special fee to recapitalize its reserves. Officials could also consider borrowing up to $100 billion from the Treasury Department, but they have avoided this option so far.
  • The fatal flaw of all democracies

    08/26/2009 9:33:31 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 16 replies · 1,441+ views
    The Union Leader, Manchester, NH ^ | 2009-08-27 | Patrick J. Buchanan
    "We just can't afford it!" Not long ago, every American child heard that, at one time or another, in the home in which he or she was raised. "We just can't afford it!" It may have been a new car, or two weeks at the beach, or the new flat-panel TV screen. Every family knew there were times you had to do without. Every father and mother has had to disappoint their kids with those words. Why is it that what parents do many times a year politicians seem incapable of doing: saying no? How many times in the last...
  • FDIC Closes ebank

    08/21/2009 2:32:54 PM PDT · by Kartographer · 21 replies · 1,963+ views
    FDIC ^ | 8/21/09
    On Friday, August 21, 2009, ebank, Atlanta, GA was closed by the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named Receiver. No advance notice is given to the public when a financial institution is closed.
  • Reports Say Spanish Bank Will Buy Guaranty Financial Group

    08/19/2009 4:42:16 PM PDT · by NorwegianViking · 11 replies · 1,737+ views
    Austin American Statesman ^ | August 19, 2009 | American Statesman Staff
    A large Spanish bank has won the bidding for Austin-based Guaranty Financial Group, according to the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News. Federal regulators who have essentially been running Guaranty in recent months have chosen Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria as the buyer. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News both said that regulators had chosen BBVA, citing unnamed sources close to the negotiations. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is expected to make the announcement Friday. Under the expected scenario, the FDIC will seize Guaranty, then sell most or all of it to BBVA. Guaranty’s financial condition has been deteriorating for...
  • Watchdog Faults FDIC On Georgia Bank Failure [FDIC failure to regulate led to loss]

    08/14/2009 10:11:11 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 7 replies · 1,349+ views
    Dow Jones ^ | 2009-08-14 | Michael R. Crittenden
    WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) -- U.S. bank regulators waited too long to address problems at a Duluth, Ga.-based bank that failed last year and could cost the federal deposit insurance fund an estimated $207 million, government auditors said Monday. The Office of Inspector General for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a report that the agency's supervision of Haven Trust Bank was "not effective in identifying and addressing problems early enough." "By the time supervisory actions were taken against the bank, failure was all but inevitable," the IG's office said in the report. Haven Trust failed last December.
  • FDIC to seize Colonial, sell assets to BB&T: report

    08/14/2009 9:45:52 AM PDT · by Kartographer · 34 replies · 2,890+ views
    Reuters/YahooNews ^ | 8/14/09 | Anurag Kotoky and Sweta Singh
    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp is taking Colonial BancGroup Inc (CNB.N) into receivership and will sell the struggling lender's branches and deposits to BB&T Corp (BBT.N), Dow Jones said, citing a person familiar with the situation
  • Regulators close 2 banks in Florida [FDIC Friday]

    08/07/2009 5:48:19 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 7 replies · 1,187+ views
    AP ^ | 2009-08-07
    NEW YORK — Regulators on Friday shut down two banks in Florida, bringing to 71 the number of federally insured banks to fail this year under the weight of the weak economy and rising loan losses. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the banks: First State Bank of Sarasota, Fla., and Venice, Fla.-based Community National Bank of Sarasota County. First State Bank had total assets of $463 million and deposits totaling $387 million. Community National Bank had $97 million of assets and $93 million in deposits.
  • Five Banks Fail; 69 Failures So Far In 2009 [FDIC Friday]

    08/02/2009 11:48:48 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 11 replies · 1,452+ views
    Fox ^ | 2009-07-31
    Five banks were closed on Friday, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, bringing the national total number of bank failures to 69 for 2009.
  • Big Texas bank on verge of failure [Guaranty, $13.4B assets] [FDIC only has $1.8B left?!]

    07/31/2009 12:37:47 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 108 replies · 4,476+ views
    NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Guaranty Bank is hardly a household name. But the Austin, Texas-based thrift's looming failure is shaping up as a big headache for bank supervisors -- not to mention a black eye for Carl Icahn and others in the smart money set. Guaranty (GFG) could be soon seized by the government in what would be the biggest bank failure in a year that has already had 64 of them. Last week, the bank warned investors to expect a federal takeover after regulators forced a writedown of its risky mortgage investments and a bid to raise new capital...
  • Analysis: House Health Care Bill’s Price Tag Tops $1.6 Trillion

    07/20/2009 9:21:34 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 8 replies · 1,505+ views
    Roll Call ^ | 2009-07-20 | Steven T. Dennis
    How much does the House Democrats’ health care overhaul cost? Is it $1 trillion or $1.6 trillion? Democrats argue the number should be $1 trillion, a number provided by the Congressional Budget Office for the net cost of the portion of the bill affecting health insurance, and they boasted in press releases that the bill actually creates a $6 billion surplus over the coming decade. But the gross cost of the bill is much higher, more than $1.6 trillion, according to a Roll Call analysis of the CBO data. And despite more than $800 billion in tax and fee hikes,...
  • Wasteful Stimulus Spending (Breaking on Drudge)

    07/20/2009 5:05:55 AM PDT · by teg_76 · 107 replies · 5,963+ views
  • Four more banks bite the dust [FDIC Friday] [total cost is $1.1 billion]

    07/18/2009 12:46:12 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 6 replies · 1,028+ views
    CNN ^ | 2009-07-18
    Two in California, one in Georgia and one in South Dakota - these FDIC closures bring the total number of failed banks in 2009 to 57. BY CATHERINE CLIFFORD NEW YORK ( -- State regulators shut down four banks Friday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said. The bank were: First Piedmont Bank, based in Winder, Ga.; BankFirst, based in Sioux Falls, S.D.; Temecula Valley Bank of Temecula, Calif.; and Vineyard Bank of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Friday's actions bring the total number of closings for 2009 to 57. . . . . . Friday's failures will cost the FDIC fund nearly...
  • CIT Says It Won’t Get More U.S. Aid [bankruptcy, failure may be imminent]

    07/16/2009 6:59:10 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 37 replies · 2,177+ views
    The New York Times ^ | 2009-07-15 | Michael J. de la Merced & Eric Dash
    The survival of one of the nation’s largest commercial lenders, the CIT Group, was thrown into doubt late Wednesday after federal officials rebuffed pleas to rescue the struggling company a second time. Unless a buyer emerges for CIT — a prospect that seems unlikely — the century-old lender could founder, even after it received a $2.33 billion taxpayer-financed bailout in December. The plight of CIT, which provides loans to about a million small and midsize companies, particularly in the sagging retail sector, poses a crucial test of the Obama administration’s attempts to stabilize the nation’s financial industry.
  • CIT Worries Spread; FDIC Backstop Remains In Doubt

    07/11/2009 11:13:13 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 9 replies · 1,206+ views
    Dow Jones / The Wall Street Journal ^ | 2009-07-10 | Michael Aneiro
    NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Concerns about the creditworthiness of CIT Group Inc. (CIT) are seeping into broader markets after the commercial lender Friday confirmed that the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has yet to approve its application to issue government-backed debt. The worries about the lender are touching markets from stocks to Treasurys, underscoring how broader credit concerns may be resurfacing after a period of relative calm. Shares of CIT were off nearly 30% Friday before closing down 18%, while most CIT bonds fell, indicating worries about the lender's ability to meet its obligations in the long run. Treasury prices, meanwhile,...
  • IndyMac's Failure: A Year Later

    07/11/2009 11:04:52 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 1 replies · 637+ views
    The Street ^ | 2009-07-11 | Lauren Tapa Lacapra
    IndyMac died a year ago Saturday, the first major thrift to fail in the financial crisis. Its burial, marked by confusion, chaos, and a relatively sweet deal for a group of private equity titans, is unlikely to happen in the same manner today. The aftermath of IndyMac, since renamed OneWest Bank, is telling, and provides a stark illustration of how much things have changed in the course of a year.
  • Wyoming bank is 53rd failure of 2009, 1st in state since 1991 [FDIC Friday]

    07/11/2009 11:02:55 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 11 replies · 859+ views
    MarketWatch ^ | 2009-07-11
    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Thermopolis, Wyo.-based Bank of Wyoming was closed by regulators Friday, the 53rd U.S. bank failure of 2009 as the credit crisis continues to claim victims.
  • Consumers Fall Behind on Loans at Record Pace

    07/07/2009 2:43:20 PM PDT · by Red in Blue PA · 10 replies · 1,193+ views
    CNBC ^ | 7/7/2009 | Staff
    Soaring U.S. unemployment and a shrinking economy drove delinquencies on credit card debt and home equity loans to all-time highs in the first quarter as a record number of cash-strapped consumers fell behind on their bills. Delinquencies on the value of all card debt soared to a record 6.60 percent from 5.52 percent in the fourth quarter as more cardholders relied on plastic to meet day-to-day expenses, the American Bankers Association said. Late payments on home equity loans rose to 3.52 percent from 3.03 percent, and on home equity lines of credit climbed to 1.89 percent from 1.46 percent. A...
  • For Banks, Wads of Cash and Loads of Trouble [brokered deposits and risky loans]

    07/06/2009 9:51:51 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 3 replies · 1,155+ views
    The New York Times ^ | 2009-07-04 | Eric Lipton & Andrew Martin
    MACON, Ga. — H. Averett Walker used hot money to turn Security Bank from a sleepy Southern lender into a regional powerhouse. Darrell D. Pittard used hot money to jump-start his brand-new MagnetBank, allowing it to lend hundreds of millions of dollars even though it did not have a single drive-up window or even a customer with a checking account. It is a formula being replicated at banks across the United States. Rather than simply wooing local customers, they have turned to out-of-state brokers who deliver billions of dollars in bulk deposits, widely known as “hot money,” from investors nationwide....
  • SC: Foreign tourists wanted [new Federal gov't tourism agency?] [Graham says yes to more gov't]

    07/05/2009 9:48:09 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 7 replies · 1,288+ views
    Grand Strand marketers turn eyes toward Europe. BY MIKE CHERNEY MYRTLE BEACH — When it comes to attracting foreign visitors to the Grand Strand, some local tourism leaders are looking to Congress for help. The Travel Promotion Act of 2009, which has been introduced in the House and Senate, would create a nonprofit corporation to advertise the U.S. as a travel destination in foreign countries. The campaign would be funded by industry contributions and a $10 fee on foreign travelers who do not have to pay for a visa. The travel industry, including the U.S. Travel Association and the American...
  • 7 more banks fail as FDIC mulls rules for sales

    07/02/2009 7:50:32 PM PDT · by AH_LiveRight · 14 replies · 1,395+ views
    AP via Yahoo ^ | July 2, 2009 | Stephen Manning and David Pitt
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Six Illinois banks and one bank in Texas were shuttered Thursday as government regulators proposed new rules for private equity firms seeking to take over failed banks. That brought the number of U.S. bank failures this year to 52. That's more than double the 25 which failed in all of 2008 and the three closed in 2007. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of all seven. The total cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund from the seven closings will be $314.3 million, the FDIC said. The assets of most of the failed banks will be...
  • 7 more banks fail as FDIC mulls rules for sales [6 in Illinois as Obama says markets stable]

    07/02/2009 8:43:32 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 16 replies · 2,142+ views
    AP ^ | 2009-07-02
    7 more banks fail as FDIC seeks stronger rules for buyers of failed banks. BY STEPHEN MANNING and DAVID PITT WASHINGTON (AP) -- Six Illinois banks and one bank in Texas were shuttered Thursday as government regulators proposed new rules for private equity firms seeking to take over failed banks. That brought the number of U.S. bank failures this year to 52. That's more than double the 25 which failed in all of 2008 and the three closed in 2007. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of all seven. The total cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund from...
  • How To Save The Newspapers, Vol. XII: Outlaw Linking [Chicago judge would outlaw links, excerpts]

    06/28/2009 6:54:50 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 29 replies · 1,360+ views
    Tech Crunch / Slashdot ^ | 2009-06-28 | Erick Schonfeld
    Of all the misguided schemes put forth lately to save newspapers (micropayments! blame Google!), the one put forth by Judge Richard Posner has to be the most jaw-dropping. He suggests that linking to copyrighted material should be outlawed. No, Posner does not work for the Associated Press (which also has some strange ideas on linking). He is (normally) considered to be one of the great legal minds of our time. Posner is a United States Court of Appeals judge in Chicago and legal scholar who was once considered a potential Supreme Court nominee. He is someone who should know better....
  • U.S.'s debtor status worsens dramatically; Foreigners hold 50 percent

    06/28/2009 12:49:29 AM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 13 replies · 1,277+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | 2009-06-27 | David M. Dickson
    In the midst of the longest, and probably deepest, postwar recession last year, the U.S. investment position with the rest of the world sharply deteriorated. At the end of 2008, America's net international investment position was minus $3.47 trillion, the Commerce Department reported Friday. That represents the difference between the value of U.S. assets owned by foreigners ($23.36 trillion) and the value of foreign assets owned by Americans ($19.89 trillion). At the end of 2007, the U.S. net international investment position was minus $2.14 trillion. Thus, America's net indebtedness with the rest of the world increased by $1.33 trillion, or...
  • Et Tu, Big Business?

    06/19/2009 4:18:51 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 19 replies · 1,532+ views ^ | June 19, 2009 | Jonah Goldberg
    What did you do when capitalism died, Daddy? I won't be surprised to hear that question from my daughter by the time she gets out of college, or should I say the State Mandatory Voluntarism Training Facility. When liberals hear conservatives decry the death of capitalism, they titter and roll their eyes. "Oh, you paranoid right-wingers! You see Bolsheviks around every corner." But such exasperation is the exhalation of concentrated ignorance. The absence of free markets isn't necessarily Bolshevism, or even socialism. Capitalism's death can come in many forms, by many different hands. After all, not all of Julius Caesar's...
  • Legislators Framing Climate Bills Hold Energy Stock

    06/18/2009 10:36:28 AM PDT · by bamahead · 12 replies · 948+ views
    WSJ ^ | JUNE 17, 2009 | JAKE SHERMAN
    As Congress moves ahead with climate-change legislation touching almost every corner of the energy industry, a number of lawmakers shaping the debate have investments in companies that would be affected by the results. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D., Mass.), one of the lead authors of a House bill that would favor alternative-energy sources, had investments of between $51,000 and $115,000 in the Firsthand Technology Value Fund at the end of last year. Three of the top 10 holdings in the Ohio fund are solar-energy manufacturers. Some House and Senate leaders also held stakes in the energy sector. In 2008, House...
  • Healthcare letter from Sen. John McCain ["bi-partisan health care reform"]

    06/17/2009 7:15:43 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 17 replies · 894+ views
    Country First PAC via Norfolk (Va.) Examiner ^ | 2009-06-17 | U.S. Sen. John McCain, RINO-Arizona
    My Friends, Health care is a problem of growing importance across America. From kitchen tables, to state governments, to our government here in Washington, the growing cost of health care and the shortcomings of the current system are issues of extreme concern. With polls showing that a majority of Americans now support Congress enacting a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system, it is clear that we must begin working towards a bi-partisan solution to address the need for reform. In the coming weeks, Congress will begin the hard work of debating health care legislation that will provide all...
  • City of less than 3,000 people condemns 235 Acres of Farmland for city use -Eminent Domain or Theft?

    06/08/2009 10:37:00 PM PDT · by · 16 replies · 2,186+ views
    times news ^ | 6/8/09 | stand our ground
  • Regional bank in Illinois fails [FDIC Friday in Obamaville]

    06/05/2009 6:09:22 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 12 replies · 768+ views
    CNN / AP ^ | 2009-06-05
    Bank of Lincolnwood becomes the 37th bank to be closed by regulators this year. BY BEN ROONEY NEW YORK ( -- Bank of Lincolnwood was shuttered by Illinois regulators Friday, bringing the number of failed banks this year to 37 and costing the Federal Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s deposit insurance fund $83 million. The two offices of Lincolnwood, Ill.-based bank will reopen Saturday as branches of Republic Bank of Chicago. Bank of Lincolnwood customers will retain their deposit insurance coverage, the FDIC said. As of late last month, Bank of Lincolnwood had total assets of about $214 million and total...
  • Santa Clara County Open Space Authority to Return Assessment Funds (Illegal tax)

    05/31/2009 12:44:33 AM PDT · by CounterCounterCulture · 1,291+ views
    Open Space Authority to Return Assessment Funds San Jose, CA, May 29, 2009 – Property owners who have property within the jurisdiction of the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority will soon be able to claim refunds of an assessment charged by the Authority on their real estate tax bills between 2002 and 2008. In 2001, the Authority approved a $20 annual assessment on single-family homes located within the Authority’s territory to help purchase and maintain open space and parkland. Higher amounts were charged for multi-family and commercial properties. The Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and...
  • Greater Atlantic Bank on verge of failure [Northern Va. bank] [FDIC Friday]

    05/29/2009 2:20:50 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 11 replies · 727+ views
    Regulators slapped Greater Atlantic Bank with a prompt corrective action directive, warning the troubled bank that it will be seized if it does not quickly find capital or a merger partner, according to a Wednesday securities filing. The Reston-based bank, a subsidiary of Greater Atlantic Financial Corp. (Pink Sheets: GAFC), has been in hot water with its regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision, since April 2008, when it was hit with a cease and desist enforcement order. The bank was undercapitalized in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the bank said it was “critically undercapitalized” as of March 31. The...
  • Title I stimulus money to 2 more Lincoln schools (What a joke!)

    05/26/2009 8:47:11 PM PDT · by NoobRep · 11 replies · 1,157+ views
    Lincoln Journal Star ^ | 5/26/09 | Margaret Reist
    The uses for the Title I stimulus money outlined to the school board Tuesday include: * $214,300 to hire a coordinator and half-time bookkeeper to help administer Title I programs started with stimulus money. * $642,675 for professional development programs, including Quantum Learning, which applies brain-based research to student learning, and a program to help teachers promote social and emotional growth. * $450,000 to hire three social workers to join the 14 the district now employs. * $200,000 to contract with mental health agencies to work with students with mental health issues. * $1.05 million to hire math coaches, kindergarten...
  • Exploding debt threatens America [U.S. gov't. is "now the most serious source of systemic risk"]

    05/26/2009 9:57:57 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 45 replies · 1,884+ views
    Financial Times ^ | 2009-05-27 | John Taylor
    Standard and Poor’s decision to downgrade its outlook for British sovereign debt from “stable” to “negative” should be a wake-up call for the US Congress and administration. Let us hope they wake up. Under President Barack Obama’s budget plan, the federal debt is exploding. To be precise, it is rising – and will continue to rise – much faster than gross domestic product, a measure of America’s ability to service it. The federal debt was equivalent to 41 per cent of GDP at the end of 2008; the Congressional Budget Office projects it will increase to 82 per cent of...
  • Garage sales covered under new product safety laws

    05/26/2009 8:42:50 PM PDT · by Nachum · 47 replies · 1,956+ views ^ | 5/26/2009 | SARA SHEPHERD
    Selling any used cribs or playpens at your upcoming garage sale? Children’s clothes with drawstrings or zippers? Pre-1985 books? Rubber duckies or pool floaties? Better check them twice. Just like megasize toy manufacturers and stores that sell products from China, the notoriously broad and confusing federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act applies to you and your front yard
  • Man Gets Flat Tire, State Threatens Foreclosure (Ohio)

    05/23/2009 4:46:02 PM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies · 2,546+ views
    WCPO ^ | May 21, 2009 | Brendan Keefe
    FAYETTEVILLE, Ohio -- A broken road reflector cost Paul Holden the price a new tire, and now it could cost him his home. That's the threat from the Ohio Attorney General if Holden doesn't pay another $24.66 the state says it spent investigating his claim for the flat tire. > Then more bills started coming from the state. The first was for an additional $22.00 for the state's investigation. Ohio officials were even charging Holden more than $6.00 in postage for letters they sent to him, including the bills. Each subsequent bill added more fees, and a few cents in...