Monthly Archives: November 2008

>Treasury may have to request funds from Congress

>The Hill, Leading the News-

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is close to running out of money and soon may have to ask Congress for access to the rest of the $700 billion package it approved for rescuing the economy.

Paulson has said that he intends to leave the second $350 billion of the package for President-elect Barack Obama’s administration, but the government’s moves in just the last two days leave Paulson with only about $20 billion in funds for the nearly two months remaining until Obama’s inauguration.

The continuing market volatility and tough credit markets could force Paulson to seek access to the funds, particularly as the government continues to unveil new programs to prop up the economy.
On Tuesday, Paulson did not rule out requesting access to the remaining funds.

“When the time is right, we’ll avail ourselves of the congressional process,” Paulson said during a press conference.

Treasury has the authority to spend $350 billion of the $700 billion Congress authorized in October under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP. The government has committed about $330 billion so far, leaving it with about $20 billion before it would have to make its request to Congress.

Paulson must submit to Congress a plan on how Treasury would use the money in order to access the final $350 billion. Lawmakers could choose to restrict how Treasury can use the money.

Two new efforts that the government announced this week have pushed Paulson closer to having to make a request.

One day after putting together $20 billion in aid for Citigroup, Treasury announced it would provide $20 billion to the Federal Reserve for credit protection as part of the two new programs to prop up the home mortgage and consumer credit markets.

The Federal Reserve offered assurances Sunday on $306 billion in troubled assets for Citigroup as part of the effort to save the firm, which was seen as being on the verge of collapse.

The government has set up a new $200 billion program aimed at unfreezing lending in the consumer credit markets for student loans, car loans and other asset-backed securities. Paulson also suggested that the program could be expanded to additional types of assets, such as commercial mortgage-backed securities and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities.

“That $200 billion is a starting point. This is — it’s going to take a while to get this program up and going. And — and then it can be expanded and increased over time,” Paulson said.

The Federal Reserve set up a program on Tuesday that could support up to $600 billion in debt issued by or backed by the hobbled government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “Nothing is more important to getting through this housing correction than the availability of affordable mortgage finance,” Paulson said.

Leave a comment

Filed under bailout, Barack Obama, Citigroup, Congress, Financial crisis, Henry Paulson, leading the news, TARP, The Hill

Treasury may have to request funds from Congress

The Hill, Leading the News-

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is close to running out of money and soon may have to ask Congress for access to the rest of the $700 billion package it approved for rescuing the economy.

Paulson has said that he intends to leave the second $350 billion of the package for President-elect Barack Obama’s administration, but the government’s moves in just the last two days leave Paulson with only about $20 billion in funds for the nearly two months remaining until Obama’s inauguration.

The continuing market volatility and tough credit markets could force Paulson to seek access to the funds, particularly as the government continues to unveil new programs to prop up the economy.
On Tuesday, Paulson did not rule out requesting access to the remaining funds.

“When the time is right, we’ll avail ourselves of the congressional process,” Paulson said during a press conference.

Treasury has the authority to spend $350 billion of the $700 billion Congress authorized in October under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP. The government has committed about $330 billion so far, leaving it with about $20 billion before it would have to make its request to Congress.

Paulson must submit to Congress a plan on how Treasury would use the money in order to access the final $350 billion. Lawmakers could choose to restrict how Treasury can use the money.

Two new efforts that the government announced this week have pushed Paulson closer to having to make a request.

One day after putting together $20 billion in aid for Citigroup, Treasury announced it would provide $20 billion to the Federal Reserve for credit protection as part of the two new programs to prop up the home mortgage and consumer credit markets.

The Federal Reserve offered assurances Sunday on $306 billion in troubled assets for Citigroup as part of the effort to save the firm, which was seen as being on the verge of collapse.

The government has set up a new $200 billion program aimed at unfreezing lending in the consumer credit markets for student loans, car loans and other asset-backed securities. Paulson also suggested that the program could be expanded to additional types of assets, such as commercial mortgage-backed securities and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities.

“That $200 billion is a starting point. This is — it’s going to take a while to get this program up and going. And — and then it can be expanded and increased over time,” Paulson said.

The Federal Reserve set up a program on Tuesday that could support up to $600 billion in debt issued by or backed by the hobbled government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “Nothing is more important to getting through this housing correction than the availability of affordable mortgage finance,” Paulson said.

Leave a comment

Filed under bailout, Barack Obama, Citigroup, Congress, Financial crisis, Henry Paulson, leading the news, TARP, The Hill

>Vatican can be sued for priest sex abuse: US court

>A US appeals court has ruled that the Vatican can be sued for the sex abuse committed by US priests.

The Vatican had tried to block a class action lawsuit alleging that it orchestrated a cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy with the argument that it was protected by laws granting sovereign states immunity from most US civil proceedings.

Central to the case is a 1962 Vatican mandate unearthed in 2003 which outlined a policy of “strictest” secrecy regarding allegations of sexual abuse by clergy and threatened those who spoke out with excommunication.

A federal appeals court ruled that the case brought by three Kentucky men can proceed because exceptions in the law allow the Vatican to be held liable for the actions of church employees acting within the scope of their employment in the United States.

Click HERE to finish reading this story

Leave a comment

Filed under AFP, civil proceedings, excommunication, priest sex abuse, The Vatican, United States, US courts

Vatican can be sued for priest sex abuse: US court

A US appeals court has ruled that the Vatican can be sued for the sex abuse committed by US priests.

The Vatican had tried to block a class action lawsuit alleging that it orchestrated a cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy with the argument that it was protected by laws granting sovereign states immunity from most US civil proceedings.

Central to the case is a 1962 Vatican mandate unearthed in 2003 which outlined a policy of “strictest” secrecy regarding allegations of sexual abuse by clergy and threatened those who spoke out with excommunication.

A federal appeals court ruled that the case brought by three Kentucky men can proceed because exceptions in the law allow the Vatican to be held liable for the actions of church employees acting within the scope of their employment in the United States.

Click HERE to finish reading this story

Leave a comment

Filed under AFP, civil proceedings, excommunication, priest sex abuse, The Vatican, United States, US courts

Turkey Carving 101

Thanksgiving is just a couple days away and for anyone who has not carved a turkey before here is a valuable demonstration. I have been in charge of slicing up the bird for many years and even I found a few helpful hints for carving while watching this video.

Ray Venezia, manager of the meat department at Fairway Market, demonstrates his method for carving a turkey to get the most meat from the bird.

3 Comments

Filed under Fair Way Markets, NY Times, Ray Venezia, Thanksgiving, turkey carving, YouTube

Turkey Carving 101

Thanksgiving is just a couple days away and for anyone who has not carved a turkey before here is a valuable demonstration. I have been in charge of slicing up the bird for many years and even I found a few helpful hints for carving while watching this video.

Ray Venezia, manager of the meat department at Fairway Market, demonstrates his method for carving a turkey to get the most meat from the bird.

2 Comments

Filed under Fair Way Markets, NY Times, Ray Venezia, Thanksgiving, turkey carving, YouTube

Obama Pledges to Cut Wasteful Spending

Associated Press –
President-elect Barack Obama pledged to make deficit reduction a goal of his administration Tuesday, but only after recovery from the financial crisis is well under way.

Leave a comment

Filed under Associated Press, Barack Obama, budget cuts, Financial crisis, is, President-Elect, Wasteful Spending

Obama Pledges to Cut Wasteful Spending

Associated Press –
President-elect Barack Obama pledged to make deficit reduction a goal of his administration Tuesday, but only after recovery from the financial crisis is well under way.

Leave a comment

Filed under Associated Press, Barack Obama, budget cuts, Financial crisis, is, President-Elect, Wasteful Spending

>Bailouts for Bankers, Not a Cent for Autoworkers

>John Nichols, The Nation

This is the part of our nation’s surreal economic crisis that seems particularly surreal:
The U.S. auto industry, which employs 3 million Americans in auto plants, parts and supplier networks and dealerships nationwide is broadly understood as being essential to maintaining America as an industrial force. It’s financial collapse, which even critics of moves to bailout the industry suggest is imminent, would devastate workers, retirees and communities in every state of the nation. Despite the grumbling from anti-union zealots, the auto giants have radically retooled in a manner that makes the cost of producing a vehicle at a unionized plant of General Motors, Ford or Chrysler roughly equivalent to the cost of running a car off the line at a non-union plant. And to top it all off: Auto plants actually produce something that most Americans consider to be useful.
Yet, proposals to provide what now seems to be a very small bailout — $25 billion — are currently stalled.
At the same time, the whole of the federal government is scrambling to buy as much as $50 billion in “toxic assets” — bad loans and other products of irresponsible financial practices that are of dubious value — from Citigroup, a global banking concern that makes money by charging working families exorbitant interest rates for credit. According to the Wall Street Journal, “[The move to protect the banking concern] would mean taxpayers could be on the hook if Citicorp’s massive portfolios of mortgage, credit cards, commercial real-estate and big corporate loans continue to sour.”
Perhaps, in some wild calculation of American interest, Citicorp is worthy of a bailout.
But what mad calculus would make Citigroup more worthy than the auto industry?
And why the urgency with regard to Citigroup and the casual disengagement with regard to the industrial giants that, for all their flaws and perils, remain what Barack Obama correctly described as “the backbone of American manufacturing”?
Something is fundamentally wrong with a federal government that offers bankers a bailout and autoworkers as cold shoulder.

Leave a comment

Filed under Americans, Auto Industry, bailout, Barack Obama, Citicorp, Financial crisis, John Nichols, The Nation, Wall Street Journal

Bailouts for Bankers, Not a Cent for Autoworkers

John Nichols, The Nation

This is the part of our nation’s surreal economic crisis that seems particularly surreal:
The U.S. auto industry, which employs 3 million Americans in auto plants, parts and supplier networks and dealerships nationwide is broadly understood as being essential to maintaining America as an industrial force. It’s financial collapse, which even critics of moves to bailout the industry suggest is imminent, would devastate workers, retirees and communities in every state of the nation. Despite the grumbling from anti-union zealots, the auto giants have radically retooled in a manner that makes the cost of producing a vehicle at a unionized plant of General Motors, Ford or Chrysler roughly equivalent to the cost of running a car off the line at a non-union plant. And to top it all off: Auto plants actually produce something that most Americans consider to be useful.
Yet, proposals to provide what now seems to be a very small bailout — $25 billion — are currently stalled.
At the same time, the whole of the federal government is scrambling to buy as much as $50 billion in “toxic assets” — bad loans and other products of irresponsible financial practices that are of dubious value — from Citigroup, a global banking concern that makes money by charging working families exorbitant interest rates for credit. According to the Wall Street Journal, “[The move to protect the banking concern] would mean taxpayers could be on the hook if Citicorp’s massive portfolios of mortgage, credit cards, commercial real-estate and big corporate loans continue to sour.”
Perhaps, in some wild calculation of American interest, Citicorp is worthy of a bailout.
But what mad calculus would make Citigroup more worthy than the auto industry?
And why the urgency with regard to Citigroup and the casual disengagement with regard to the industrial giants that, for all their flaws and perils, remain what Barack Obama correctly described as “the backbone of American manufacturing”?
Something is fundamentally wrong with a federal government that offers bankers a bailout and autoworkers as cold shoulder.

Leave a comment

Filed under Americans, Auto Industry, bailout, Barack Obama, Citicorp, Financial crisis, John Nichols, The Nation, Wall Street Journal