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PisnNapalm
03-19-2009, 07:09 PM
This is getting ridiculous.... There is a country that keeps creating money out of thin air. It's called Zimbabwe. :mad:


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/business/economy/19fed.html?hp

March 19, 2009
Fed Plans to Inject Another $1 Trillion to Aid the Economy
By EDMUND L. ANDREWS

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve sharply stepped up its efforts to bolster the economy on Wednesday, announcing that it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the financial system by purchasing Treasury bonds and mortgage securities.

Having already reduced the key interest rate it controls nearly to zero, the central bank has increasingly turned to alternatives like buying securities as a way of getting more dollars into the economy, a tactic that amounts to creating vast new sums of money out of thin air. But the moves on Wednesday were its biggest yet, almost doubling all of the Fed’s measures in the last year.

The action makes the Fed a buyer of long-term government bonds rather than the short-term debt that it typically buys and sells to help control the money supply.

The idea was to encourage more economic activity by lowering interest rates, including those on home loans, and to help the financial system as it struggles under the crushing weight of bad loans and poor investments.

Investors responded with surprise and enthusiasm. The Dow Jones industrial average, which had been down about 50 points just before the announcement, jumped immediately and ended the day up almost 91 points at 7,486.58. Yields on long-term Treasury bonds dropped markedly, and analysts predicted that interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages would soon drop below 5 percent.

But there were also clear indications that the Fed was taking risks that could dilute the value of the dollar and set the stage for future inflation. Gold prices rose $26.60 an ounce, hitting $942, a sign of declining confidence in the dollar. The dollar, which had been losing value in recent weeks to the euro and the yen, dropped sharply again on Wednesday.

In its announcement, the central bank said that the United States remained in a severe recession and listed its continuing woes, from job losses and lost housing wealth to falling exports as a result of the worldwide economic slowdown.

“In these circumstances, the Federal Reserve will employ all available tools to promote economic recovery and to preserve price stability,” the central bank said.

As expected, policy makers decided to keep the Fed’s benchmark interest rate on overnight loans in a range between zero and 0.25 percent.

But to the surprise of investors and analysts, the committee said it had decided to purchase an additional $750 billion worth of government-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities on top of the $500 billion that the Fed is already in the process of buying.

In addition, the Fed said it would buy up to $300 billion worth of longer-term Treasury securities over the next six months. That would tend to push down longer-term interest rates on all types of loans.

All these measures would come in addition to what has already been an unprecedented expansion of lending by the Fed. The central bank also said it would probably expand the scope of a new program to finance consumer and business lending, which gets under way this week.

In effect, the central bank has been lending money to a wider and wider array of borrowers, and it has financed that lending by using its authority to create new money at will.

Since last September, the Fed’s lending programs have roughly doubled the size of its balance sheet, to about $1.8 trillion, from $900 billion. The actions announced on Wednesday are likely to expand that to well over $3 trillion over the next year.

Despite a trickle of encouraging data in the last few weeks, Fed officials were clearly still worried and in no mood to cut back on their emergency efforts.

Fed policy makers sharply reduced their economic forecasts in January, predicting that the economy would continue to experience steep contractions for the first half of 2009, that unemployment could approach 9 percent by the end of the year and that there was at least a small risk of a drop in consumer prices like those that Japan experienced for nearly a decade.

The Fed rarely buys long-term government bonds. The last occasion was nearly 50 years ago under different economic circumstances when it tried to reduce long-term interest rates while allowing short term rates to rise.

Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman, has been extremely cautious in recent weeks about predicting an end to the recession, saying that he hoped to see the start of a recovery later this year but warning that unemployment, a lagging indicator, would probably keep climbing until some time in 2010.

In contrast to several recent Fed decisions, with the presidents of some regional Fed banks dissenting, the decision at Wednesday’s meeting of the 10 members of the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policy making group, was unanimous.

Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, said the Fed had adopted a “kitchen sink” strategy of throwing everything it had to jolt the economy out of its downward spiral.

But while Mr. Hatzius applauded the decision, he cautioned that the central bank could not solve the economy’s problems by expanding cheap money.

“Even if the Fed could make interest rates negative, that wouldn’t necessarily help,” Mr. Hatzius said. “We’re in a deep recession mainly because the private sector, for a variety of reasons, has decided to save a lot more. You can have a zero interest rate, but if you just offer more money on top of the money that is already available, it doesn’t do that much.”

Fed officials have been wrestling for months with the fact that lenders remain unwilling to lend and borrowers are unwilling or unable to borrow. Even though the Fed has been creating money at the fastest rate in its history, much of that money has remained dormant.

The Fed’s action is an expansion of its effort to bypass the private banking system and act as a lender in its own right.

The Fed and the Treasury are starting a joint venture this week called the Consumer and Business Lending Initiative in their latest effort to thaw the still-frozen credit markets. The program will start out with $200 billion in financing for consumer loans, small-business loans and some corporate purposes.

Fed officials have said they hope to expand the program next month, possibly to include the huge market for commercial mortgages, and both the Fed and Treasury hope the program will eventually provide up to $1 trillion in total financing.

revefsreleets
03-19-2009, 09:48 PM
There's more to come. There will be probably at least another trillion in toxic assets leveraged by the US Government.

But THAT move I agree with. It's the only way to start moving things forward, flushing the shit out of the toilet.

But I do not agree with the original stimulus package, nor the additional spending package. This could have been done in a more efficient and smarter way...

MACH1
03-19-2009, 10:17 PM
Roomer mill says by '12 the buzz word will be Quadrillion, Yes that's QUADRILLION.

HometownGal
03-19-2009, 10:27 PM
There's more to come. There will be probably at least another trillion in toxic assets leveraged by the US Government.

But THAT move I agree with. It's the only way to start moving things forward, flushing the shit out of the toilet.

But I do not agree with the original stimulus package, nor the additional spending package. This could have been done in a more efficient and smarter way...

I agree in principle and applaud them for their efforts, but I think this guy nails it:

But while Mr. Hatzius applauded the decision, he cautioned that the central bank could not solve the economy’s problems by expanding cheap money.

“Even if the Fed could make interest rates negative, that wouldn’t necessarily help,” Mr. Hatzius said. “We’re in a deep recession mainly because the private sector, for a variety of reasons, has decided to save a lot more. You can have a zero interest rate, but if you just offer more money on top of the money that is already available, it doesn’t do that much.”

SCSTILLER
03-20-2009, 07:53 AM
Roomer mill says by '12 the buzz word will be Quadrillion, Yes that's QUADRILLION.

And didn't someone pretty high up in the American Government say that he planned on cutting the deficit in half by the end of his first (hopefully only) term? Curious to see how he plans on doing that.

revefsreleets
03-20-2009, 10:20 AM
I disagree in principle with printing fiat money to shore up the economy.

But the trillion I'm talking about is a seperate issue altogether. This will be money the US government uses to back the toxic assets in the private banking system. If it's done right, somewhere YEARS down the road, the taxpayers may even turn a profit on that particular investment.

PisnNapalm
03-20-2009, 10:43 AM
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SteelShooter
03-21-2009, 01:02 AM
Pfffffftttt!

Flushing more tax doolars down the drain!

steelwall
03-21-2009, 01:31 AM
But I do not agree with the original stimulus package, nor the additional spending package. This could have been done in a more efficient and smarter way...

You've summed up in 2 sentences what I think about the stimulus package, and it's inability IMO to have a long term positive effect on our economy

Our economy in the past has been very resilient. BUT... like I told a friend of mine, times have changed since our economy could rebound so quickly IMO because we have never had this big of a government. I know some blame lays on Bush (ahemm Toney admitting wrong on Bush's part, and his office) he did make our government bigger on the other hand we rebounded from 9/11 with astounding results again IMO, and you may thinl Im drinking Bush koolaid here. but Obama seems to be taking the prize on this contest. ( bigger government)

Our government's sole respnsibility was to protect it's citizens, we have gone WAAAAAYYYYYYYYY beyond that fundemental principle.

revefsreleets
03-21-2009, 07:49 AM
Was reading today that we've burned too many bridges and that our scorched Earth policy is REALLY going to hurt. Instead of going to congress to get $$$ to take these toxic assets off the book, arguably THE most important step to turning things around, this will be "back-doored", using a little of the original bailout fund, the Fed and he FDIC to buy out these shitty mortgage bundles and take them off the books.

In essence, they went to congress for things they did NOT need, and now have to half-ass it and use other measures for the things that are MOST important.

THIS is why you try to not to rely too heavily on the government to fix your problems.

PisnNapalm
03-21-2009, 09:33 AM
Ladies and gentlemen.... It's time for a revolution.

We can start by loudly voicing our disgust with current policy.

http://www.teapartyday.com/

lilyoder6
03-21-2009, 10:13 AM
this is getting out of control..

i think rly the only way obama will cut the deficit in half will have to be the same reason the great depression was ended, A world war...

fansince'76
03-22-2009, 06:31 PM
That could never happen now. Obama sent Iran a tv commercial full of teddy bears and rainbows. World peace is finally here folks! All we had to do was talk nicely..

Yep, time for us all to come together in a circle, join hands, and sing Kumbaya.

Tehran, Iran – Iran's supreme leader rebuffed President Barack Obama's latest outreach on Saturday, saying Tehran was still waiting to see concrete changes in U.S. policy.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was responding to a video message Obama released Friday in which he reached out to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year, and expressed hopes for an improvement in nearly 30 years of strained relations.

Khamenei holds the last word on major policy decisions, and how Iran ultimately responds to any concrete U.S. effort to engage the country will depend largely on his say.

In his most direct assessment of Obama and prospects for better ties, Khamenei said there will be no change between the two countries unless the American president puts an end to U.S. hostility toward Iran and brings "real changes" in foreign policy.

"They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven't seen any change," Khamenei said in a speech before a crowd of tens of thousands in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad.

In his video message, Obama said the United States wants to engage Iran, but he also warned that a right place for Iran in the international community "cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization."

Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate Iranians on the new year and accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons in the same message.

Khamenei said there has been no change even in Obama's language compared to that of his predecessor.

"He (Obama) insulted the Islamic Republic of Iran from the first day. If you are right that change has come, where is that change? What is the sign of that change? Make it clear for us what has changed."

Still, Khamenei left the door open to better ties with America, saying "should you change, our behavior will change too."

Diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Iran were cut after the U.S. Embassy hostage-taking after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which toppled the pro-U.S. shah and brought to power a government of Islamic clerics.

The United States cooperated with Iran in late 2001 and 2002 in the Afghanistan conflict, but the promising contacts fizzled — and were extinguished completely when Bush branded Tehran part of the "Axis of Evil."

Khamenei enumerated a long list of Iranian grievances against the United States over the past 30 years and said the U.S. was still interfering in Iranian affairs.

He mentioned U.S. sanctions against Iran, U.S. support for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his 1980-88 war against Iran and the downing of an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf in 1988.

He also accused the U.S. of provoking ethnic tension in Iran and said Washington's accusations that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons are a sign of U.S. hostility. Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, like energy production, not for building weapons.

"Have you released Iranian assets? Have you lifted oppressive sanctions? Have you given up mudslinging and making accusations against the great Iranian nation and its officials? Have you given up your unconditional support for the Zionist regime? Even the language remains unchanged," Khamenei said.

Khamenei, wearing a black turban and dark robes, said America was hated around the world for its arrogance, as the crowd chanted "Death to America."

Prominent political analyst Saeed Leilaz said Khamenei's comments did not amount to a rejection of better ties with the Obama administration. Rather, Iran's current hard-line leaders need to publicly maintain some degree of anti-U.S. rhetoric to bolster their own position, especially with their conservative base, he said.

"Iran's ruling Islamic establishment needs to lessen tensions with the U.S. and at the same time maintain a controlled animosity with Washington," he said. "Iran can't praise Obama all of a sudden."

Khamenei will also likely stand his ground as long as he remains concerned about the United States' ability to destabilize Iran, he said.

For its part, the Obama administration must take practical steps such as lifting a ban on selling Iran spare parts for passenger aircraft or considering unfreezing Iranian assets in the U.S., Leilaz said.

Obama has signaled a willingness to speak directly with Iran about its nuclear program and hostility toward Israel, a key U.S. ally. At his inauguration last month, the president said his administration would reach out to rival states, declaring "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

"They say we have stretched a hand toward Iran. ... If a hand is stretched covered with a velvet glove but it is cast iron inside, that makes no sense," Khamenei said.

Iranian Mullah-ocracy Tells Obama to Go Piss Up a Rope (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090321/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran_obama_21)

revefsreleets
03-22-2009, 07:03 PM
The Ayatollah is the REAL power in Iran, too...Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is just a mouthpiece for him.

But is this a real surprise? You don't need to live here to know that Obama changed nothing....

BrandonCarr39
03-23-2009, 06:51 PM
The market went UP almost 500 pts today b/c of this news.

This is a joke, right? And some more supposedly good news is how housing sales went UP 5.1%?? With some 600K+ jobs being lost every month for the last 3 months, people somehow are able to afford to BUY HOMES?!

Sorry, I don't buy it.

Godfather
03-23-2009, 08:36 PM
The market went UP almost 500 pts today b/c of this news.

This is a joke, right? And some more supposedly good news is how housing sales went UP 5.1%?? With some 600K+ jobs being lost every month for the last 3 months, people somehow are able to afford to BUY HOMES?!

Sorry, I don't buy it.

Up 5.1% from what? That's the key.

Dino 6 Rings
03-23-2009, 09:07 PM
The market went UP almost 500 pts today b/c of this news.

This is a joke, right? And some more supposedly good news is how housing sales went UP 5.1%?? With some 600K+ jobs being lost every month for the last 3 months, people somehow are able to afford to BUY HOMES?!

Sorry, I don't buy it.

Actually I think the Chinese are buying the foreclosed homes...but what do I know...

Preacher
03-23-2009, 10:07 PM
Do the math, sir.

$13 obama dollars a week x 4 = $52/month (before taxes)
$52/week = new homes for everyone!


Actually here in south west florida, we have already seen a large increase in existing home sales, now construction is picking up again (thank God). I can't speak for other parts of the US as we're all different (good luck Cali) but it definitely seems to be turning around here. Talking to some realtors and mortgage brokers in the area, they told me that every single week for the past 6 months have been an increase from the month prior. We're looking forward to hiring back some of the guys we had to lay off!

Yep. There has been some reports of home prices starting to bounce up in San Francisco as well. Maybe the bottom has been hit.

revefsreleets
03-24-2009, 10:32 AM
Krugman HATES the plan...says it's pretty much the same plan Bush had (surprise surprise surprise, Obama steals MORE Bush stuff).

Remember that Krugman was the guy who said all the trillions we are spending were NOT ENOUGH. Maybe a 20 trillion dollar deficit is a good idea to him?

My guess is, if Bush was going to roll this out, and Paul Krugman hates it, it'll probably be just what the Dr. ordered...the fact is, these assets ARE undervalued now. That' precisely the point. There have already been a couple big hitters (Bill Gross of PIMCO and billionare Wilbur Ross) who have vowed to start snatching these troubled assets up almost immediately.

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commentary/41725937.html

Uh-oh, 'cash for trash'
By Paul Krugman
New York Times


Published on Tuesday, Mar 24, 2009

NEW YORK: Over the weekend the New York Times and other newspapers reported leaked details about the Obama administration's bank rescue plan, which was officially released on Monday. Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Barack Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the ''cash for trash'' plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury secretary Henry Paulson.

This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair.

After all, we've just been through the firestorm over the AIG bonuses, during which administration officials claimed that they knew nothing, couldn't do anything, and anyway it was someone else's fault. Meanwhile, the administration has failed to quell the public's doubts about what banks are doing with taxpayer money.

And now Obama has settled on a financial plan that, in essence, assumes that banks are fundamentally sound and that bankers know what they're doing.

It's as if the president were determined to confirm the growing perception that he and his economic team are out of touch, that their economic vision is clouded by excessively close ties to Wall Street. And by the time Obama realizes that he needs to change course, his political capital may be gone.

Let's talk for a moment about the economics of the situation.

Right now, our economy is being dragged down by our dysfunctional financial system, which has been crippled by huge losses on mortgage-backed securities and other assets.

As economic historians can tell you, this is an old story, not that different from dozens of similar crises over the centuries. And there's a time-honored procedure for dealing with the aftermath of widespread financial failure. It goes like this: the government secures confidence in the system by guaranteeing many (though not necessarily all) bank debts. At the same time, it takes temporary control of truly insolvent banks, in order to clean up their books.

That's what Sweden did in the early 1990s. It's also what we ourselves did after the savings and loan debacle of the Reagan years. And there's no reason we can't do the same thing now.

But the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, apparently wants an easier way out. The common element to the Paulson and Geithner plans is the insistence that the bad assets on banks' books are really worth much, much more than anyone is currently willing to pay for them. In fact, their true value is so high that if they were properly priced, banks wouldn't be in trouble.

And so the plan is to use taxpayer funds to drive the prices of bad assets up to ''fair'' levels. Paulson proposed having the government buy the assets directly. Geithner instead proposes a complicated scheme in which the government lends money to private investors, who then use the money to buy the stuff. The idea, says Obama's top economic adviser, is to use ''the expertise of the market'' to set the value of toxic assets.

But the Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: If asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn't really about letting markets work. It's just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets.

The likely cost to taxpayers aside, there's something strange going on here. By my count, this is the third time Obama administration officials have floated a scheme that is essentially a rehash of the Paulson plan, each time adding a new set of bells and whistles and claiming that they're doing something completely different. This is starting to look obsessive.

But the real problem with this plan is that it won't work. Yes, troubled assets may be somewhat undervalued. But the fact is that financial executives literally bet their banks on the belief that there was no housing bubble, and the related belief that unprecedented levels of household debt were no problem. They lost that bet. And no amount of financial hocus-pocus — for that is what the Geithner plan amounts to — will change that fact.

You might say, why not try the plan and see what happens? One answer is that time is wasting: Every month that we fail to come to grips with the economic crisis another 600,000 jobs are lost.

Even more important, however, is the way Obama is squandering his credibility. If this plan fails — as it almost surely will — it's unlikely that he'll be able to persuade Congress to come up with more funds to do what he should have done in the first place.

All is not lost: The public wants Obama to succeed, which means that he can still rescue his bank rescue plan. But time is running out.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Krugman is a New York Times columnist.