Treasury must comply with FOI request on AIG…U.S District Court rules for Bloomberg & FOX Business

Finally some REAL transparency….this will put Geithner back on the hotseat as Treasury has to answer questions, recall Geithner as head of NY Fed was behind the AIG and CITI bailouts…..

From FOXBusiness:

Judge Richard J. Holwell of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said in a decision Friday that the government is directed to comply with FOX Business’s request under the FOIA “within 30 days and to produce a Vaughn index with 45 days.”

That means Treasury must comply with FOX Business’s request by Monday, March 23, and must produce a Vaughn index by Monday, April 6.

A Vaughn index details which documents have been withheld and why.

FOX Business sued Treasury on Dec. 18 over failure to provide information on the bailout funds or respond to FBN’s expedited requests filed under the FOIA.

The initial request, filed on Nov. 25, sought actual data on the use of the bailout funds for American International Group …and the Bank of New York Mellon… and an additional request, filed on Dec. 1, sought similar data on the bailout funds for Citigroup…

FBN asked the Treasury Department to identify, among other issues, the troubled assets purchased, any collateral extended, and any restrictions placed on these financial institutions for their participation in this program.

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February 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . CITI, citigroup, Economy, FDIC, Finance, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Uncategorized, Wall St. 4 comments.

Rasmussen Poll: Americans agree with Rick Santelli on housing, only 38% support Obama Housing Plan….Obama ratings fall..41% disapprove of his performance….

YEAH WE AGREE WITH RICK DAMMIT! LET US ALL REFI IF ANYONE GETS A BREAK!!! ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL! This is EXCELLENT to have out there BEFORE they release the Eligibility Details for the plan..NO MEANS TESTING!!!! Don’t divide America against itself! Everyone get a fair shake here!!!! THIS IS AMERICA!! We believe in America and our well-regulated, fair and free markets WOOHOO!

Rasmussen:

Fifty percent (50%) of voters give President Obama positive grades for handling the economy, but just 38% favor providing mortgage subsidies to financially troubled homeowners

Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 38% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Twenty-eight percent (28%) Strongly Disapprove to give Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of +10

Overall, 57% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance so far while 41% disapprove. This marks the President’s lowest overall rating to date and only the third time his ratings have dipped below 60% since taking office. It remains to be seen whether this modest decline represents lasting change or is merely statistical noise.

February 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Immigration, Labor Department, Music, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Uncategorized, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 2 comments.

Stimulus Package: Unemployment Benefits Additions explained….Jindall refuses money to expand eligibility for UE benefits, accepts the funds for those already eligible…

workforfoodGovernor Jindall is accepting funds for LA to increase the UE benefits $25.00 a week to those  eligible under existing UE guidelines, but is rejecting the ‘incentive’ funds designed to expand UE to Part Time workers and those who voluntarily resign for certain reasons.I totally support this move, it makes the msot fiscal sense. Details on the incentives below..

Stimulus Package Unemployment Benefit details explained, from Workforce Management:

The stimulus package also could result in lasting changes to the nation’s unemployment insurance system. Under the legislation, the federal government would fund states to modernize programs criticized by some as plagued by outdated eligibility requirements. Incentive payments would go to states that have, or would adopt, certain features in their jobless-benefits programs.

What do the states have to agree to to get the funds? Note: LA Governor Jindall turned down this money today for LA:

Chief among the reforms specified in the act is use of an “alternative base period.” This is designed to get states to consider a person’s earnings in the most recent completed quarter when determining eligibility, which can help lower-wage workers qualify for benefits.

States using an alternative base period could receive additional money if they have or embrace at least two other measures from a list of options. The possibilities include allowing people seeking part-time work to qualify for benefits and not disqualifying individuals from jobless benefits if they’ve left work for a compelling family reason, including the illness or disability of a family member.

Other changes to unemployment in the stimulus (warning MSNBC linky, ugh!):

The stimulus bill also increases weekly unemployment benefits by $25 through 2009. The amount of your unemployment benefits continues to vary based on your previous income and your state, but everyone will receive an extra $25 per week. This increase is automatic — people who are receiving benefits won’t need to take any special steps to boost their benefits. But it may take a few weeks for the state unemployment offices to reprogram their software programs and add the extra money, says Rich Hobbie, executive director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

Plus, people collecting unemployment benefits get a tax break. Unemployment benefits are usually subject to federal income tax. But people receiving unemployment benefits in 2009 will be able to exclude the first $2,400. Any benefits you receive beyond that in 2009 will be subject to federal income tax.

The bill also extends the emergency unemployment-compensation program, which provides up to 33 weeks of extended unemployment benefits to workers who exhaust their regular benefits. Contact your state unemployment-benefits office for more information about receiving extended benefits (see the unemployment benefits map for links.

For more information about collecting unemployment benefits, see What You Need to Know About Unemployment Benefits.

Debate continues on efficacy of changes:

The likely effect of the modernization reforms on employers is subject to debate, with one side arguing that a stronger safety net will help businesses by stimulating economic demand amid downturns and another camp worried that firms’ unemployment taxes will rise.

More on some Governors turning down the funds, warning NYT:

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana announced Friday that he would reject a portion of expanded unemployment benefits that would eventually require the state to raise taxes on businesses.

And the governors of Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas have said their states may not want to meet the conditions that accompany the money or expand programs that will have to be paid for by the state once the stimulus money runs out.

From BayouBuzz.com:

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced that the state will not change its law to use a part of the $787 billion federal stimulus bill that would result in an unemployment insurance tax increase on Louisiana businesses. The Governor also announced that the state will use a provision in the legislation to increase state unemployment benefits for recipients by an extra $25 per week, and reaffirmed his acceptance of the transportation funds included in the bill to fund shovel-ready transportation priorities in the state.

(more…)

February 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, Uncategorized, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 8 comments.

Health Care and Stimulus Package: COBRA Benefit explained…

Glad to see this breakdown, courtesy of the UK, none of our media bothered to explain it to us in detail, they are busy burnishing the halo for their hero, snark:

What the COBRA rules were prior:

Among its many measures to provide relief for the unemployed, the act creates a temporary subsidy to assist laid-off employees in continuing employer-provided health care benefits under COBRA and comparable state and governmental continuation coverage requirements. The subsidy does not apply to health flexible spending account benefits. Before the newly enacted changes to COBRA, employees electing COBRA continuation coverage had to pay up to 102 percent of the cost of the premiums for such coverage.

COBRA New Guidelines:

The new law provides that COBRA continuation premiums for employees who are involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 may not exceed 35 percent of the cost— effective March 1—with the remaining percentage to be subsidized by employers. Employers will then be able to claim a tax credit against wage withholding and payroll taxes to cover the COBRA subsidy.

THE DETAILS AND INCOME PHASE OUT:

Eligibility Factors Include Income and Termination Date

The COBRA subsidy is recaptured as additional income tax if the employee’s income exceeds $145,000 (single filers) or $290,000 (joint filers), with a phase-in of the recapture starting at annual incomes exceeding $125,000 ($250,000 for joint filers.) Individuals who expect their incomes to exceed these maximums in a given taxable year may waive the premium subsidy for that year.

(more…)

February 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Economy, Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Uncategorized, Unemployment Statistics. 8 comments.

Rick Santelli responds to WH on Kudlow Report…and objecting to TARP on 9/26/08 when Team Bush did what Team Obama is doing now……

Kudlow had Rick on last night so he could respond to Gibbs who launched an attack on the Rickster at the WH briefing yesterday…Gibbs makes Scot McClellan look like Churchill…..

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rickster on September 26, 2008, Rick has ALWAYS opposed this half axxed interfering with the markets,including TARP!! So those saying these CBOT traders supported the Wall St bailout are full of crxp!!!!! Pass this clip on!!

more about “Rick Santelli responds to WH on Kudlo…“, posted with vodpod

February 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, FDIC, Finance, Housing, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 1 comment.

Geithner Team’s New Math….

No wonder the stimulus and housing plans are a flop…..

February 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Economy, Entertainment, Finance, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 1 comment.

Paul Volcker says capitalism will survive ‘in most respects’….

Paul, please stop talking now..between you and Greenspan having ‘epiphanies’ we are all wishing you guys would RETIRE TO A MONASTERY AND TAKE A VOW OF SILENCE..

Every word gives Team Obama more room to dismantle all we know….

February 20, 2009
Paul Volcker
Columbia University

February 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, FDIC, Finance, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 2 comments.

92% of the population knows Pelosi, and 65% view her unfavorably…in other shocking news, the Earth is still ROUND!!!

BWAAAAHAAAAAAA!!!

Let's see here..what else can we stick in this bill while we have the chance.....I know! Let's put a high speed transit route from my state to yours!

Let's see here..what else can we stick in this bill while we have the chance.....I know! Let's put a high speed transit route from my state to yours!

From Rasmussen:

Thirty-five percent (35%) of U.S. voters have a favorable opinion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Just 27% say the same about other members of the congressional leadership including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Pelosi is clearly the best-known member of that group: 92% have an opinion about her one way or the other. Just 75% have an opinion on Reid, a Democratic senator from Nevada, and just over 60% have any opinion on the Republican leaders John Boehner of Ohio and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

More voters have an unfavorable opinion than a favorable one of all four legislators.


February 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture. Comments off.

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