Archives for White House

Ohhigod! A failing company allowed to fail?

In an amazing turnaround, the hot-and-cold administration of Barack Obama is embracing a new concept: Bad corporate giants should be allowed to fail.

But at this point, failure is only an option, not an absolute. While the White House appears to ready to accept the fact that the government cannot save everything, it is giving General Motors yet another chance to save itself and quality for mroe federal tax handouts.

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White House rejects GM, Chrysler bailout plans

Neither General Motors nor Chrysler submitted acceptable plans to receive more federal bailout money, the Obama administration said as it set the stage for a crisis in Detroit that would dramatically reshape the nation's auto industry.

The White House pushed out GM's chairman and directed Chrysler to move quickly to forge a partnership with Fiat if it expects to receive additional government assistance.

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More American troops headed for Afghanistan

Grappling with a war gone awry, President Barack Obama plans to send thousands more U.S. forces into Afghanistan, hoping to hasten the end of a conflict that still has no clear end in sight.

Obama on Friday will announce a multitiered strategy that banks heavily on world help and invigorated U.S. diplomacy. The Afghanistan war, which Obama calls adrift, is now his, and a central part of the new strategy is to build up the Afghan army.

The broad U.S goal remains much as it was when the war began in the fallout of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks: To dismantle the operations of the Taliban and al-Qaida, which have shifted their power base from Afghanistan to Pakistan in recent years.

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Obama’s media blitz: Style over substance?

I fully expect the next "Law and Order" or "CSI" or "24" episode to feature an embattled president racing against time trying to boost national economic confidence. It will star, as himself, Barack Obama.

Then, we'll see Obama singing on "American Idol," twirling on "Dancing With the Stars" and dissecting the American psyche while sitting on Oprah's sofa.

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Obama’s manipulated non-press conference

Here's today's puzzler. When is a press conference not a press conference?

The answer is:

When the person pretending to conduct the exercise picks those who will be allowed to ask questions ahead of time and then spends almost an hour artfully dodging any direct answer to a direct inquiry, essentially making a speech or, if you prefer as some analysts have suggested, filibustering.

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We deserve better than Tim Geithner

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner nearly struck out Wednesday morning despite multiple opportunities to defend the dollar. Geithner's narrowly averted gaffe was sadly typical, given the greenback's shabby treatment these days.

While addressing a jam-packed meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, Geithner answered Standard Chartered Bank's Doug Smith who wanted the secretary's thoughts on "the Chinese government proposal about a global currency." People's Bank of China governor Zhao Xiaochuan would shift Earth's reserve currency from the dollar to "Special Drawing Rights" (SDR), combining the dollar, Britain's pound, Japan's yen, and the euro. Call it the international "globo."

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Our future will be a regulated one

The Obama administration proposes to vastly expand federal oversight of the U.S. financial system. There is broad agreement that a new, more powerful regulatory framework is needed. For the moment -- at least, until the economy turns around -- the laissez-faire, deregulatory types are in hiding.

The plan would establish federal regulation of the larger hedge funds -- meaning their books would be open; derivatives trading -- the downfall of several big investment houses; and large insurance companies -- to avoid a repeat of the AIG flameout.

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Americans on Obama: Still too early to tell

Americans are furious at Wall Street bonuses and wearied by job losses, but many seem ready to give President Barack Obama more time to deal with the nation's economic crisis.

After his second prime-time news conference to defend the decisions he's made since taking office two months ago, Obama appears to enjoy the confidence -- or at least the patience -- of ordinary Americans anxious about the economy.

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Geithner set to unveil regulatory crackdown

The Obama administration is proposing an extensive overhaul of financial regulations in an effort to prevent a repeat of the banking crisis last fall that toppled once-mighty institutions and wiped out trillions of dollars in investor wealth.

Officials said the administration will seek to regulate the market for credit default swaps and other types of derivatives and require hedge funds to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was scheduled to outline the proposals in testimony Thursday before the House Financial Services Committee.

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