After days of speculation, the White House produced the magic number for jobs created or saved courtesy of the stimulus. The exact total so far is 640,329 jobs. You can debate whether or not that number indicates the stimulus is doing enough to alleviate the unemployment problem, but you can’t debate how many jobs the administration is taking credit for. There should be no confusion along those lines.
Posts by Greg Michaels
You’d think most people out there wish last year’s crisis never happened. Given the loss of jobs and money, the last thing people would do is be thankful for 2008’s bounty. Countless books and even one fact-heavy cinematic masterpiece went out of their way to document just how much pain and suffering people have been through. But, when put to a vote, more people than you would think were pleased with the collective work of the institutions that inflicted pain on the global economy.
Tim Geithner is, unquestionably, a hard working guy. He inherited an extreme set of circumstances and didn’t have a supporting cast around him until recently. There is no shortage of issues keeping TG up at night. But could Timmy actually be working too hard? Pilots and medical residents have strict guidelines on required rest since they deal with peoples’ lives. While you may never go under the knife of Dr. Geithner, he does have some degree of control over the economic lives of over 300 million Americans. The last thing you want is some sleep deprived guy falling asleep at the wheel of the economy. So maybe it’s time to make sure TG isn’t showing any of the physiological effects of sleep deprivation such as hallucinations and memory loss.
Part of the understanding a neutral country expects from everybody else is ‘you don’t mess in our affairs and we won’t mess in yours’. And, for the most part, foreign governments have kept themselves out of what goes on inside Switzerland’s borders. But with Italian police conducting raids on Swiss banks operating in Italy and other major European governments turning up the heat on their citizens hiding assets in Switzerland, this is as close the Swiss have come to a declaration of war in several hundred years. The stakes in this game are high.
According to KPMG, as much as 80% of the Europeans’ money in Switzerland is undeclared. In all, KPMG reckons that tax evasion could represent up to 25% of Switzerland’s total private-banking market.
Still, just because there is a lot on the line doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to hit the panic button. Typically some event happens which clearly signals a changing of the guard and that is the moment when people need to worry.
Given the promises made on the campaign trail, there are few issues the administration is more on the line for than jobs. So when the Associated Press claims the administration is, in some cases, vastly overestimating the number of jobs created (or saved) by the stimulus, the White House takes notice. They have contingency plans for minor crises like this one in which it clearly states for a given problem, X, the corrective action is Y. Ed DeSeve, a senior adviser to the president for Recovery Act implementation, probably knows this drill pretty well and shed some light on the situation by defining what the administration sees as X.
Now that more than a year has passed since Lehman was proven to be not too big to fail, lawmakers have had ample opportunity to inspect the wreckage and devise a detailed, reasonable strategy to prevent the same type of carnage from happening again. It’s tough enough for analysts to dig through the complex web of businesses at large financial institutions to place earnings estimates on them. A surgical dismantling requires a carefully orchestrated series of steps on-par with launching the Space Shuttle. Barney Frank has some ideas about which commands should be coming from Mission Control and shared them today with Timmy G.
Two critical questions about the economic recovery can now be put to rest: (1) is the consumer back and (2) are government policies having an impact. The answer to both questions can be found in 290 feet of opulence otherwise known as the world’s largest sailing yacht, the Maltese Falcon. After months of rumor and speculation, we now have confirmation that, after parting with $120 million, one lucky individual can now sail the seven seas in style. So who has a cool $100 mil to throw down on a yacht like this in the current economic climate?