Politics Barack Obama

  • Beige Book: as subdued as you could get without being bearish. There were attempts at optimism, but the overall tone sounded...rather cautious. And the bank testimony? A famous bank analyst slams...banks.

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    Just look at the slaughter across the board: BofA, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Goldman, JPMorgan — all of them down 2.5 to 3.5 percent. This had nothing to do with China. What it’s all about is a ridiculous bank-tax proposal that is anti-growth, anti-capital, anti-profits, anti-shareholders, and anti-bank-lending.

  • Charlie Plosser

    If we agree that transition to end-user demand is the critical turning point, then the next question becomes when?

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    A potential wave of new regulation and higher taxes may be scaring many businesses from hiring, prolonging any rebound in employment, say business groups and economists.

  • Will Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn replace Ben Bernanke? It's certainly possible, because Bernanke currently has four Senate holds on his nomination. In other words, there may not be a vote by January 31st when his term as chairman expires.

  • I have a few thoughts concerning the burgeoning public backlash against big banker bonus announcements expected in the weeks ahead. This backlash of course stems from taxpayer fury over banks which were rescued by taxpayer-financed TARP money.

  • President Obama plans to impose a fee on banks, reportedly expected to raise about $120 billion in order to recoup the cost of the TARP. But how do you invest in financials when the rules of the game keep changing? Anton Schutz, president of Mendon Capital and Chris Mutascio, managing director and bank analyst at Stifel Nicolaus shared their insights.

  • China's National Flag

    Friction is building between the United States and China, and it’s time for all of us to pay attention. We are on the brink of a trade war with an uncertain behemoth, and recent policy decisions from Washington are fanning the flame, writes Gary Shapiro, President & CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association.

  • President Barack Obama

    The Obama Administration is floating a trial balloon of plans to assess a fee or tax —targeted on big banks — with an aim of "recouping" supposed losses from the rescue of the financial sector.

  • The latest move out of Washington suggests once again, lawmakers are less than happy with Wall Street.

  • Cows in a meadow

    I'm in Seattle for the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation, where farmers say they're under siege by environmentalists who want to impose living standards on livestock and push cap and trade limits on carbon emissions. Farmers are also smarting from generally low food prices this year as consumers pulled back on eating out or buying meat.

  • President Obama announced Friday that he would be pushing for more spending on job-creation programs. Many in the media are circling that fact that had the participation rate in the US stayed the same as last month, the unemployment rate would've jumped to 10.4%.

  • The productivity gains that the U.S. economy has achieved over the last twelve months have been nothing short of impressive. Through a combination of increased output and reduced hours worked, unit labor costs have been declining. In the tough world of economics, this is the way the system works.

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    Let’s face it. Even though nothing came out of Copenhagen, awareness of easily avoidable phrases like “climate change,” “green careers,” even “green jobs” became hugely Googled, SEO-ed, categorized and tweeted.

  • Weatherproof billboard featuring President Barack Obama

    A garment company in New York known for publicity stunts has seized the attention of the Obama administration.

  • Japan changes finance ministers only less frequently than Lady Gaga changes outfits, so it would be excusable to overlook yesterday’s announcement that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama named Naoto Kan to replace Hiroshi Fujii, who stepped down for health reasons.

  • Democrats

    Reports that Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT.) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) are not seeking re-election this year are surprising to some but the two Democrats have added their names to a growing list of retirements from both political parties.

  • "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" said Henry David Thoreau. The Conference Board said on Tuesday that 45% of Americans are unhappy in their jobs. I don't know if that qualifies as "the mass of men", but it's a lot and probably not surprising given the economic circumstances the nation finds itself in.

  • Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the embattled Connecticut Democrat who was facing an increasingly tough bid for a sixth term in the United States Senate, has decided not to seek re-election this year, Democrats familiar with his plans said Wednesday.

  • The NYSE Consolidated Tape volume (all trading in all NYSE stocks on all exchanges), was 4.1 billion shares yesterday, pretty anemic considering that we averaged over 5 billion shares a day in 2009.