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Reuters

U.S. banking regulators partially retreated from a much-criticized proposal to impose new rules on private equity investment in troubled banks, aiming to encourage responsible investment in distressed banks.

The 4-1 vote by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp board was a partial victory for potential investors and some regulators who had warned that an initial proposal unveiled in July threatened to scare away much-needed capital.

 

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Breitbart

The real US unemployment rate is 16 percent if persons who have dropped out of the labor pool and those working less than they would like are counted, a Federal Reserve official said Wednesday. Lockhart pointed out in a speech to a chamber of commerce in Chattanooga, Tennessee that those two categories of people are not taken into account in the Labor Department's monthly report on the unemployment rate. The official July jobless rate was 9.4 percent. Lockhart, who heads the Atlanta, Georgia, division of the Fed, is the first central bank official to acknowledge the depth of unemployment amid the worst US recession since the Great Depression. "If one considers the people who would like a job but have stopped looking -- so-called discouraged workers -- and those who are working fewer hours than they want, the unemployment rate would move from the official 9.4 percent to 16 percent, said Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart.

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AP

The government agency that guarantees you won't lose your money in a bank failure may need a lifeline of its own.

The coffers of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have been so depleted by the epidemic of collapsing financial institutions that analysts warn it could sink into the red by the end of this year.

That has happened only once before -- during the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s, when the FDIC was forced to borrow $15 billion from the Treasury and repay it later with interest.

 

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LiveScience

A recent analysis of the 2007 financial markets of 48 countries has revealed that the world's finances are in the hands of just a few mutual funds, banks, and corporations. This is the first clear picture of the global concentration of financial power, and point out the worldwide financial system's vulnerability as it stood on the brink of the current economic crisis.

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American Thinker

The Obama administration on Tuesday acknowledged that Obamanomics, the dismal science of spending other people's money as fast as possible, honed with ward bosses and union kingpins on Chicago's South Side, has failed. They did so, not in so many words and probably without knowing it, while hammering Americans with a devastating and demoralizing one-two blow -- one a sucker punch, the other below the belt. With the sycophants in the Obama press corps distracted while rubbing elbows with the Obamas and other rich folk on the Vineyard, the O Team threw their sucker punch: officially announcing that the federal budget deficit next year will be nearly 20% more than in their first forecast made just last May, and over the next ten years will be two trillion dollars more than they had predicted. That's two million million dollars more than Obama had forecast. Just 90 days ago. Oops. Even ballpark hunches should be closer than that. Obama's estimate of the te

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The Street

Four more banks went into Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. receivership on Friday, bringing to 81 the total of FDIC actions in 2009. Including FDIC bank closings in 2008, the total for the current financial crisis is now 104. Assets of these 104 banks totaled $146.7 billion. How does this compare with other crises in recent history? The worst banking crisis since the Great Depressionwas, until 2008, the savings and loan crisis that spanned 10 years from the 1980s into the 1990s. Total assets involved in that crisis were $519 billion. Adjusting for inflation, using the consumer price index, that is $923 billion in 2009 dollars. That dwarfs the current size of bank failures under the FDIC program in this crisis.

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David Weigel

A funny thing has started happening to Paul since his long-shot presidential campaign ended quietly in the summer of 2008. More Republicans have started listening to him. There are the media requests from Fox Business Channel and talk radio, where he’s given airtime to inveigh on sound money and macroeconomics. There is HR 1207 , the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, a bill that would launch an audit of the Federal Reserve System, and which has attracted 112 co-sponsors. When Paul introduced the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act just two years ago, no other members of Congress signed on.

And then there are the luncheons. The off-the-record talks have brought in speakers such as ex-CIA counterterrorism expert Michael Scheuer, libertarian investigative reporter James Bovard, iconoclastic terrorism scholar Robert Pape, and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. Perhaps the most influential guest has been Thomas Woods, a conservative

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Andy Birkey

In an interview with AM 1280 on Saturday, Rep. Michele Bachmann announced that she will have Rep. Ron Paul as her guest for a September town hall forum in St. Cloud.

“I’ll be doing another town hall up in the St. Cloud area in September and we’ll do that on monetary policy. Ron Paul is going to come in and we are going to host something on monetary policy,” Bachmann said.

Bachmann is a convert to the Ron Paul movement, sometimes attending the congressman’s weekly lunches.

“I especially want to speak to the 19- to 20-year olds so they can know what there future will be under this level of debt accumulation and spending,” she added about the forum. “They need to know their future. And so I’m bringing him in so we can have a discussion on monetary policy.”

 

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Alternet

If you're living on the streets, engaging in the biological necessities of life -- like sitting, sleeping, lying down or loitering -- will get you in jail. It's too bad so many people are falling into poverty at a time when it’s almost illegal to be poor. You won’t be arrested for shopping in a Dollar Store, but if you are truly, deeply, in-the-streets poor, you’re well advised not to engage in any of the biological necessities of life — like sitting, sleeping, lying down or loitering. City officials boast that there is nothing discriminatory about the ordinances that afflict the destitute, most of which go back to the dawn of gentrification in the ’80s and ’90s. “If you’re lying on a sidewalk, whether you’re homeless or a millionaire, you’re in violation of the ordinance,” a city attorney in St. Petersburg, Fla., said in June, echoing Anatole France’s immortal observation that “the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges.”

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Cluster F Nation

All this goes to show is how completely the people in charge of things in the USA have lost their minds. They seem to think this mass exercise in pretend will resurrect the great march to the WalMarts, to the new car showrooms, and the cul-de-sac model houses, reignite another round of furious sprawl-building, salad-shooter importing, and no-doc liar-lending, not to mention the pawning off of innovative, securitized stinking-carp debt paper onto credulous pension funds in foreign lands where due diligence has never been heard of, renew the leveraged buying-out of zippy-looking businesses by smoothies who have no idea how to run them (and no real intention of doing it, anyway), resuscitate the construction of additional strip malls, new office park "capacity" and Big Box "power centers," restart the trade in granite countertops and home theaters, and pack the turnstiles of Walt Disney world - all this while turning Afghanistan into a neighborhood that Beaver Cleaver

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Reuters

Steven Strongin, Goldman's stock research chief, as saying these meetings did not give anyone an unfair advantage and the tips did not contradict research notes that carry predictions over a longer term.

Goldman's analysts talk about short-term developments around specific stocks during the meeting, called a "trading huddle," which is also attended by some of the firm's own traders, the Journal reported.

The practice started some two years ago, and since then the Wall Street firm has given ideas on hundreds of stocks

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Economic Policy Journal

WSJ features a page 2 column today that has this doozy of a point in it: For the administration, the answer is clear: Err on the side of continued expansionary policies...For fiscal conservatives, the answer is equally clear: Start cutting the federal deficit and slowing the growth in the money supply now... Earth to WSJ, the money supply (m2 nsa) is not expanding. The money supply peaked in February when it hit 8244.9 billion. Preliminary July data now shows money supply at 8326.7 billion. The stock market and economy are about to crash again because of this.

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FT.com

T he global economy is starting to bottom out from the worst recession and financial crisis since the Great Depression. In the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009 the rate at which most advanced economies were contracting was similar to the gross domestic product free-fall in the early stage of the Depression. Then, late last year, policymakers who had been behind the curve finally started to use most of the weapons in their arsenal. That effort worked and the free-fall of economic activity eased. There are three open questions now on the outlook. When will the global recession be over? What will be the shape of the economic recovery? Are there risks of a relapse? More.....

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NY Times

Mr. Aleynikov, who is free on $750,000 bond, is suspected of having taken pieces of Goldman software that enables the buying and selling of shares in milliseconds. Banks and hedge funds use such programs to profit from tiny price discrepancies among markets and in some instances leap in front of bigger orders.

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BlueLoriBlogSpot

Sure Tax Cheat Tim we believe you! ""I don't think the financial system is reverting to past practice, and we won't let that happen," Mr. Geithner said. "The big banks are running with much less leverage now, much more conservative liquidity cushions, there's been a significant shrinking of their balance sheets, getting rid of bad assets and cleaning up. And the weakest parts of the system don't exist anymore." Some banks, including those that received government bailout money, are earning record profits, increasing pay and ramping up risk. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., for instance, recently recorded its most profitable quarter ever and boosted its degree of risk-taking as measured by how much money it could lose in a single day." "The consequence of achieving stability is that people can raise money, can raise equity, can borrow more easily at lower rates, that these markets have liquidity again," Mr. Geithner said. Read

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The Star

OTTAWA–The International Monetary Fund says most countries will need to raise taxes to pay off the trillions of dollars they spent fighting the global recession. IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard says in an article to be published today that governments acted properly in ramping up spending to stop the worst slump since World War II. Soon, he says, nearly all countries will have to raise taxes to pay the recovery bill.

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Freedom Fighter Radio

Martial Law will then be declared because of the rioting and deliberate desired control over our people. Restricted travel and checkpoints on all major interstates as regions are effected. Massive gun confiscation (supposedly for our safety, of course). If you don’t think they are coming to your door to try to take them, think again!!!  

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The Business Insider

The United States needs to borrow nearly $10 trillion over the next decade, including about $1.6 trillion this year. Where's it going to come from? This is a critical question, because resistance on the part of creditors will drive up interest rates, clobbering the housing market and demolishing the value of whatever cash savings Americans have left. The other answer--our government lending the money to itself--will destroy the value of the dollar, and that wouldn't help too many people, either (except debtors--it would help debtors because they will be able to repay nominal debts with toilet-paper dollars. For now, the money we're borrowing is coming from somewhere, thankfully. But it's not coming from China, which has funded our spending for most of the past decade. As you can see in the chart above from the NYT, China's absolute purchases of Treasury debt continued to rise through last year, but the percentage of our borrowing that China is funding is s

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The Business Insider

Comment mine -and where oh where is obamageddon while America rots? Vacation whee! Earlier this week it came out that this year's deficit numbers would be reduced by about $262 billion. But bad news long term. The Obama administration is upping its 10-year deficit forecast to $9 trillion from $7.9 trillion over the next two years. And of course they waited until end-of-market on Friday to do it, though we can't blame them for that.

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WSJ

U.S. banks have been dying at the fastest rate since 1992, mainly because of bad loans they made. Now the banking crisis is entering a new stage, as lenders succumb to large amounts of toxic loans and securities they bought from other banks. Federal officials on Thursday were poised to seize Guaranty Financial Group Inc., in what would be the 10th-largest bank failure in U.S. history, and broker a sale of the Texas bank to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA of Spain. Guaranty's woes were caused by its investment portfolio, stuffed with deteriorating securities created from pools of mortgages originated by some of the nation's worst lenders.

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Forbes

The toll of failed banks is mounting, with 80 institutions closed by regulators so far this year - the most since 1992 at the height of the savings-and-loan crisis. The latest came Friday with the seizures of two small banks in Georgia and one in Alabama: ebank, located in Atlanta, with $143 million in assets and $130 million in deposits; First Coweta, based in Newnan, Ga., with $167 million in assets and $155 million in deposits; and CapitalSouth Bank, based in Birmingham, Ala., with $617 million in assets and $546 million in deposits. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the failed banks, and approved the sale of some or all of their assets and deposits to other institutions. In contrast to the big bank failures early in the financial crisis, many of the recently shuttered banks were undone not by exotic mortgage products but by garden-variety loans. At the same time, a knot of big, complex banks collapsing in recent months is sapping billions fro

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NY Times

Guaranty Bank, a deeply troubled Texas lender, was sold on Friday to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria of Spain in one of the largest government-assisted deals offered to a foreign firm. Federal regulators seized Guaranty Bank and simultaneously brokered the sale of its branches as well as most of the deposits and assets to BBVA Compass, the Spanish bank’s American subsidiary. The government, however, agreed to absorb most of the losses on $9.7 billion, or more than 80 percent, of the Guaranty assets included in the deal.

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