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Financial Services Regulation “Redo”

Legislation to redo financial services regulation in the United States is going to be the hot issue in the Senate this week. Yes, “redo.” Saying “reform” suggests improvement, but nobody can really say if this is going to improve things or just change ’em a bunch. S. 3217 is the bill. It’s name is “The […]

News Business Bailouts

The report that ABC news may cut half of its domestic correspondents and close its brick-and-mortar bureaus brings to mind that aid that some members of Congress want to give to the newspaper business. Newspapers have been hard-hit by changes in the media environment and advertising markets. H.R. 3602 and S. 673 would allow certain […]

You Lost $1,000 on the TARP Deal

It was about a year ago that we were covering the big financial services bailout plan known as “TARP,” for Troubled Asset Relief Program. See the post “Your Family‚Äôs $1,000 Bailout Bet on the Stock Market,” for example. Here’s some news that shouldn’t surprise: The Inspector General for the TARP program calls it “unrealistic” to […]

Bailout Funds – It’s My Turn Now

WashingtonWatch.com has never been profitable. Maybe someday it will be, but there aren’t enough of you yet. And also, it’s not profitable because of the downturn in the economy. Why do I say that? Because the Washington Post is reporting that the Obama administration plans to give bailout funds to millions of small businesses. The […]

The WashingtonWatch.com Blog, Year 2

Happy Fourth of July! What better way to celebrate the founding of our nation than . . . um, by . . . blogging? Those were the words that introduced the WashingtonWatch.com blog one year ago yesterday – well, one year and two days ago. That’s right, this blog debuted exactly one year ago, give […]

The AIG Bonus Debacle: Channel Your Anger

In early February here on this blog, I wrote favorably about the somewhat fanciful idea of televising the conference committee on the economic stimulus bill. If conference committee meetings were televised, members of the conference committee would be constrained to explain what they were doing and why. That would be a good thing. Well, the […]

No Bailout, Huh? . . . Would You Settle for “No Bonus”?

Everyone’s abuzz about the bonuses being paid out to AIG employees, some reaching above $1 million. And Congress is there on the case, chasing down the money that . . . it is responsible for putting out there in the first place. (Yes, yes, AIG money was a loan from the Fed, not TARP – […]

Bailout Update – Your Family’s $3,000 Investment

The Government Accountability Office has a report out on the financial services bailout law and the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or “TARP.” As of January 23, the Treasury Department has disbursed about $293.7 billion, mostly to purchase preferred shares of 317 financial institutions. That’s a bit over $3,000 per U.S. family, just shy of $1,000 […]

The $17.4 Billion Auto Bailout Plan

Today’s plan to bailout automakers comes in at $17.4 billion. That’s about $178 per U.S. family, or $57 per person. It’s not clear that all this money is going to be spent outright – it may be in the form of loans (and who knows whether the loans would be repaid). So don’t treat that […]

The Bailout Money is a Slush Fund

“[T]roubled assets from any financial institution.” That’s what the financial services bailout bill allowed the Treasury Department to buy: “troubled assets from any financial institution.” They were talking about bad mortgages. But then the money got used to buy pieces of financial institutions themselves. Some Members of Congress raised a stink when word circulated that […]