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    Morning Bell: Framing The Debt Limit Debate

    In May, Congress will begin debate on our nation’s debt limit. The debt limit is an alarm bell built into our nation’s laws, which forces members of Congress to confront out-of-control spending when our debt reaches a certain level. Five times in the last four years, we have ignored this … More

    AIG: Did Geithner Give Away the Farm?

    It’s official: U.S. taxpayers did not get a good deal when they bailed out AIG last year. That was the conclusion of a report released yesterday by Neil Barofsky, the federal government’s special inspector general for TARP. The conclusion is no surprise: no one holds up the $170 billion bailout … More

    Exit Strategy or Entrance Strategy? New TARP Program On the Way

    One year and a week after Congress enacted legislation creating the $700 billion “Troubled Asset Relief Program,” the Treasury Department next week is expected to launch its first initiative to buy, well, troubled assets. Odd as it may be, in the year since its creation TARP has been used for … More

    Obama v. Geithner on TARP Repayments: Save or Spend?

    In his statement yesterday announcing that 10 banks would be repaying $68 billion in TARP bailout funds, President Obama proudly asserted that the step would reduce the national debt: “And as this money is returned, we’ll see our national debt lessened by $68 billion — billions of dollars that this … More

    Financial Prison Break: Banks Flee TARP

    In the weeks leading up to last week’s release of “stress test” results, there was quite a bit of talk about more bailout money for troubled banks — how much they would need, and how much Washington would force them to take. (Yes, force.) How things have changed. Not only … More

    Seizure Plan Seizes Up: Frank Delays Financial Institution Receivership Plan

    The Obama Administration tried to portray the plan as no big deal, akin to simply filling in a loophole. The idea was to provide the FDIC with authority to seize failing “non–banK” financial institutions such as holding companies, insurance firms and hedge funds, similar to the powers they already have … More

    Morning Bell: Would You Do Business with this Government?

    This Saturday a bus filled with about 40 people pulled into a cul-de-sac in Fairfield County, Connecticut where a pastor and a steelworker disembarked and made their way to the front door of one of the large homes in the neighborhood. The protestors did not make it to the door … More