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Politics Barack Obama

  • US Capitol Building

    The economy is struggling mightily. Some 15 million people remain unemployed. The Federal Reserve has been slow to act and still is not doing much. The Senate has been unable to find the 60 votes needed to pass anything but minor bills. It’s time to start talking about a tax cut.

  • What we need are incentive based changes to encourage banks to speed up their writedowns of loans and encourage homeowners to not walk away from upside down mortgages.

  • President Barack Obama

    Stunning new polls – both public and internal – show that the Republicans may exceed New Gingrich’s 52-seat House gain in 1994, which would easily top the 39-seat magic number the GOP needs to capture the House. And the Senate, where the magic number is 10, is suddenly in play.

  • With jobs and housing not recovering, traders are girding for a tough third quarter. With gridlock likely in Washington, a major stimulus program seems off the table. Renewal of the Bush tax cuts is likely, but will not be very stimulative by itself. Most traders are even doubtful that further quantitative easing by the Fed is unlikely to be a big help, as low rates are not producing buyers in housing.

  • President Obama is "now a lame duck and paralyzed" in his ability to use fiscal policy to influence the economy, Hans Redeker, the global head of foreign exchange strategy at BNP Paribas, told CNBC Wednesday.

  • Job Losses

    With thousands of young college graduates moving in with parents and returning Iraq-war veterans facing long-term unemployment, President Obama is scrambling for cover. Irresponsible spending, largesse for big banks and subsidies for a broken health care system have busted the budget and failed to create jobs.

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    The U.S economy today is desperately running in place – it’s neither in the economic freefall of late 2008 and early 2009, nor finding the footing for the rapid acceleration of growth predicted. It’s merely racing to keep from getting worse, held and fed by an addiction to Washington policy.

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    Once again, many in the auto industry are howling about the latest attempt by the government to push the industry toward better fuel economy. The issue is whether new cars and trucks should come with a "Guzzler Grade" on the new car sticker prices.

  • President Barack Obama

    That the honeymoon between Washington and Wall Street has turned to bitter recriminations is not news, given that the administration had long pledged to revamp Wall Street regulation in the wake of a crisis that rattled the global financial system. The NYT reports.

  • The Nikkei, down 3.6 percent, hit a 52-week low as investors were not impressed with the BOJ's latest stimulus efforts, boosting cheap loans to commercial bnaks. The yen is at a 15-year high against the dollar.

  • Paul Krugman

    The US economy needs another government stimulus program as big as the one President Obama pushed through Congress in February 2009, economist Paul Krugman said on CNBC Monday.

  • The new boring: the economy muddles along, with no growth. The balance sheet of corporate America is in good shape. ... Corporations are starting to say, we have a ton of cash, let's go out and buy someone and cut expenses.

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    Americans may be dissatisfied with the economy but don’t look for Republicans to sweep control of the House and Senate. Voters have good reason to be disenchanted with both parties.

  • The risk trade: out of banks, hide in REITs. Another weak day for banks, particularly regional banks. It's been an absolutely miserable month: the Regional Bank HOLDRs Trust, a basket of regional banks, is down about 12 percent in August. The good news..?

  • Futures, which had been trading down all morning, got a small boost when personal spending for July came in a big stronger than expected, but then resumed their downward move.

  • Barney Frank

    Republicans are eyeing the powerful chairmanship of the House financial services committee held by Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat, as one of the biggest spoils of victory in November’s midterm congressional elections.  The FT reports.

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    The Obama administration's top housing official says several new programs are in the works to help try to revive the housing market.

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    The finding, contained in a new paper by Carmen M. Reinhart, an economist at the University of Maryland, generated considerable debate during an annual policy symposium organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, reports the New York Times,

  • Recession-themed newsprint cuttings

    It increasingly seems as if the policy makers attending like physicians to the American economy are peering into their medical kits and coming up empty, their arsenal of pharmaceuticals largely exhausted, reports the New York Times.

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    At a black-tie dinner in April, a politically influential hedge fund manager named Paul Singer offered a blistering critique of the “terrible path” he said Washington politicians were charting on economic issues.