Senate Committee on Finance
Chairman Baucus, Ranking Member Grassley, Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today regarding the Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee.
On October 3, 2008, Congress gave the Treasury Department authority to stabilize the American economy through the enactment of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA).
By Robert Robb
Now that Senate Republicans have produced their own proposal, this much is known for certain: after Congress finishes doing whatever it is going to do regarding financial market reform, the country will still have financial institutions policymakers regard as too big to fail. And when the financial system is again under stress, there will be more bailouts.
Corn and hogs in the Midwest seem a long way from condos in Florida. There is, in fact, a direct link and it’s one worth contemplating in light of the pursuit of Goldman Sachs by Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Derivatives—the new bad word—used to be called “futures.” They’ve existed since the Civil War, invented basically to protect farmers, traders, and merchandisers from ruin when they could not sell a crop to cover their costs because a bumper harvest created a glut, or, conversely, to protect buyers when a bad harvest led to price inflation. Hence the creation of contracts with third parties who agreed to buy or sell at a certain price, whatever the future might bring. This stabilized the market and freed farmers from looking around for a buyer in what might be a frantic market.
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. As a nation, we continue to experience the consequence of three distinct but closely related challenges. One is a financial crisis, born of reckless speculation that threatened to choke off lending to families and to businesses. And this crisis, in turn, led to the deepest recession we’ve known in generations — costing millions of Americans their jobs and their homes, closing thousands of businesses and devastating Main Streets across the country. And over the past two years, this downturn has aggravated an already severe fiscal crisis, brought on by decades of bad habits in Washington.
Just when we thought the socialism accusations against the Obama administration were subsiding, the president himself reignited the debate. Speaking in Illinois about his vision to reform Wall Street excess, Obama put forth: “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But part of the American way is you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or … service.”
Initially, eligible voters, including those born in Puerto Rico but residing in the United States, would vote on whether they wish to keep their current political status or opt for a different direction.
If a majority are in favor of changing the current situation, the Puerto Rican government would be authorized to conduct a second vote and people would choose among four options:
From Truman to Obama, see each president’s ratings with USA TODAY’s approval tracker.
The spending comes as Congress and President Obama pursue a legislative agenda that touches virtually all parts of the U.S. economy — from bills on health care and energy to new regulations for banks and Wall Street firms.