Bondholders in the United States alone would lose more than $1 trillion if yields leap, showing how urgent it is for governments to put their finances in order, the Bank for International Settlements said on Sunday. The Basel-based BIS lambasted firms and households as well as the public sector for not making good use of the time bought by ultra-loose monetary policy, which it said had ended up creating new financial strains and delaying rather than encouraging necessary economic adjustments.
Comments: When, not if. And probably soon. This is the cost of Bernanke´s Gambit. The piper must be paid.
On a cold October morning, just after the federal government shutdown came to an end, Jenner Barrington-Ward headed into court in Boston to declare bankruptcy. (Snip) It has been a painful slide. A five-year spell of unemployment has slowly scrubbed away nearly every vestige of Ms. Barrington-Ward's middle-class life. She is a 53-year-old college graduate who worked steadily for three decades. She is now broke and homeless. Ms. Barrington-Ward describes it as "my journey through hell." She was laid off from an administrative position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008;
Francis Bacon´s painting "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" became the most expensive work of art ever sold when it fetched $142.4 million in one of the biggest auctions in history at which Christie´s sold more than $691 million worth of art. Bacon´s 1969 triptych, never before offered at auction and which carried a pre-sale estimate of about $85 million, easily eclipsed the $119.9 million price of Edvard Munch´s "The Scream," achieved in May last year at Sotheby´s.
The old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" was on full display during HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius´s testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday. The television showed a split screen. On one side was the Secretary proclaiming that Healthcare.gov has never crashed. On the other side was an image of the crashed Obamacare website, which was down for the duration of her three hour testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The split screen picture said it all: The Obama administration says one thing; the facts say the opposite. There's no more striking example of this than
A data center critical for allowing uninsured Americans to buy health coverage under President Barack Obama´s healthcare law went down on Sunday, the U.S. government said, in the latest problem for the "Obamacare´´ rollout. Verizon´s Terremark operates the data center behind a federal system for determining eligibility for government subsidies to buy insurance nationwide and hosts HealthCare.gov, the website that makes insurance available in 36 of the 50 states. The data center experienced a failure on Sunday that led it to lose network connectivity, Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Joanne Peters said.
The Left’s obsession with Charles and David Koch continues unabated. Today’s exhibit: this New York Times article on a press conference by California campaign finance officials on a fine that they levied against an Arizona group called the Center to Protect Patient Rights. ...So the story apparently is all about the Kochs. Does this mean that the Koch brothers ... contributed some of the $15 million that was involved in the incident that gave rise to the fine? Um, no.
The international telecommunications company Verizon has been tasked with helping the government fix the federal health exchange, USA TODAY has learned. An informed source in the telecommunications industry said Verizon´s Enterprise Solutions division has been asked by the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the performance of the HealthCare.gov site, which is a key component of the Affordable Care Act. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been made official. HHS office said Sunday the department would reach outside its
The Chinese government has warned the U.S. that the government shutdown and prospect of Washington´s first ever default were threatening the value of its U.S. investments. In its first official reaction to the U.S. political stalemate over the budget and looming debt ceiling deadline later this month, Beijing said that "the clock is ticking" and urged politicians in Washington to "ensure the safety of the Chinese investments".
President Barack Obama´s recent comments about income inequality are providing more fuel to the debate over whether the government can really do anything to reduce it, but perhaps the bigger question is: Do voters really want them to? "I think the president can stop it," Obama said Sunday on ABC´s "This Week," when asked about the top 1 percent capturing most of the country´s income gains. The problem, he said, is "you´ve got a portion of Congress whose policies … just want to, you know, leave things alone, they actually want to accelerate these trends."
A new survey of customer satisfaction in the United States shows the gap between the ´Big Three´ automakers and imported car brands has stretched to its widest point in five years. The 2013 American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) finds GM, Ford and Chrysler have an average score of 82 (on a scale between 0 and 100) which is below the industry average of 83. Asian brands have an average score of just over 84, slightly behind European brands which lead the ACSI with an average just under 85. Overall, satisfaction with 20 different auto brands fell 1.2 percent. The ACSI
The earth barely missed taking a massive solar punch in the teeth two weeks ago, an "electromagnetic pulse" so big that it could have knocked out power, cars and iPhones throughout the United States. Two EMP experts told Secrets that the EMP flashed through earth´s typical orbit around the sun about two weeks before the planet got there. "The world escaped an EMP catastrophe," said Henry Cooper, who lead strategic arms negotiations with the Soviet Union under President Reagan, and who now heads High Frontier, a group pushing for missile defense. "There had been a near-miss about
GDP data Wednesday is expected to show a slow-moving, zombie-like economy, as the Fed meets for a second day. Many economists expect second quarter growth to be paltry, less than one percent, and some think that data could help shape the Fed´s thinking if it´s even weaker than expected. The first quarter grew at a 1.8 percent rate. The Fed meanwhile, is not expected to say much new when its meeting ends. The 2 p.m. statement is not seen altering what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has already said about the Fed´s plans to taper bond purchases before the end of the
In a week when he tried to focus attention on the struggles of the middle class, President Obama said in an interview that he was worried that years of widening income inequality and the lingering effects of the financial crisis had frayed the country’s social fabric and undermined Americans’ belief in opportunity. Upward mobility, Mr. Obama said in a 40-minute interview with The New York Times, “was part and parcel of who we were as Americans.” “And that’s what’s been eroding over the last 20, 30 years, well before the financial crisis,” he added.
Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin are starting to sour on the new pope. In response to Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation, in which the pontiff denounced “trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” these two paragons of the far right – both of whom regularly invoke the teachings of Jesus to bolster their own political views – have suddenly turned their backs on the man whose actual job description is to speak for Jesus. Sarah Palin complained that Pope Francis sounded “kind
President Obama requested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu take a “breather” from his harsh criticism of the U.S. strategy regarding Iran during a call betwee the two leaders, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. The request came as the administration girds up for a push in the next six months to reach a final settlement on Iran´s nuclear program. The president reportedly urged Netanyahu to tone down his rhetoric for the sake of diplomacy and urged him to dispatch officials to Washington who could help negotiate a resolution agreeable to both countries. The president called Netanyahu last Sunday, promising to
In 1947, Sen. Harley Kilgore (D-W.Va.) condemned a proposed constitutional amendment that would restrict presidents to two terms. “The executive’s effectiveness will be seriously impaired,” Kilgore argued on the Senate floor, “ as no one will obey and respect him if he knows that the executive cannot run again.” I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37?percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats have distanced themselves from the reform and from the president.
Cher told her fans on Wednesday that she does not celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, she appears to deplore the American holiday, calling in the “beginning of a great crime.” Cher said that the American settlers were guilty of taking land from native Americans who had no concept of property ownership and also intentionally infected them with smallpox. “You don’t celebrate the holiday I thought?” a fan asked Cher. “I DON’T,” Cher replied emphatically. She said that, to her, Thanksgiving is a day to see family, eat food together and watch a movie. “Not 2 celebrate the beginning of a GREAT Crime.” When asked
For all the gnashing of teeth over the lack of comity and civility in Washington, the real problem is not etiquette but the breakdown of political norms, legislative and constitutional. Such as the one just spectacularly blown up in the Senate. To get three judges onto a coveted circuit court, frustrated Democrats abolished the filibuster for executive appointments and (non-Supreme Court) judicial nominations. The problem is not the change itself. It’s fine that a president staffing his administration should need 51 votes rather than 60. Doing so for judicial appointments, which are for life, is a bit dicier. Nonetheless, for
Four more years. 10 trillion more dollars in debt. And by the end of it, we’ll have a nuclear war in the Middle East and mandates forcing you to buy everything from electric cars to Michelle Obama’s trademark Soy and Asphalt pie. The motives behind the Washington Post op-ed argument are… revealing. I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37?percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats have distanced themselves from the reform and from the president. Even former president Bill Clinton
President Obama's weekly remarks: Hi, everybody. On behalf of all the Obamas — Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo, and the newest member of our family, Sunny — I want to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. We’ll be spending today just like many of you — sitting down with family and friends to eat some good food, tell stories, watch a little football and. most importantly, count our blessings. And as Americans, we have so much to be thankful for.
For Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, enough was enough. The Senate´s top Republican had watched a Tea Party-driven government shutdown sink the GOP´s already-weak brand and jeopardize McConnell´s own chances of ever becoming majority leader. The solution, he concluded, was that the party´s so-called Establishment had to start fighting back against its most conservative wing. McConnell, an ardent Obamacare opponent, and other Republican pragmatists in Congress, supported the conservatives´ mission to defund Obamacare during budget negotiations, which led to the 16-day shutdown. But the pragmatists also accepted that their odds of success were virtually nil. Democrats ruled the Senate and White House, those
LEE COUNTY - The Lee County Sheriff´s Office has arrested a juvenile in connection with two random attacks reported in Lee County. Traveshia Blanks, of Fort Myers, is charged with two counts of battery on a person 65 years of age or older. On Tuesday around 3:50 p.m., deputies responded to a report of a group of people who randomly attacked an unsuspecting victim (Snip)We talked to students from nearby Cypress Lake High School who didn´t seem to think the teens did anything wrong. "I´m not gonna say it´s not right and it´s not fun, because it is fun," said
One day after a new poll showed that only a minority of Americans trust President Barack Obama, the president told an audience that his policies are based on kindness. “Kindness covers all of my political beliefs,” Obama told his audience of wealthy investors, high-tech donors, journalists and fellow Democrats Tuesday, only two months after he slashed at GOP legislators, calling them arsonists, nuclear blackmailers, economic wreckers, hostage-takers, obsessives and irresponsible extremists. “When I think about what I’m fighting for, what gets me up every single day, [kindness] captures it just about as much as anything,” he told his audience at the DreamWorks
Progressive talk radio needs a savior. Just a few dozen stations now carry liberal talkers, as key affiliates in cities with active left-wing politics are falling like dominoes, going dark or switching formats. Detroit’s progressive outlet shut down in January, along with Seattle’s liberal talk station, which changed to sports. And after last year’s election, Portland’s progressive talk station ended its political programming. With the political battlegrounds of 2014 and 2016 on the horizon, reducing the whopping imbalance between conservative radio, with its huge fan base, and the left has become more important than ever, according to those in
When 200 of CGI Federal´s top managers gathered at the luxurious Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania on a brisk day in early November 2009, they found time for business - and high jinks. CGI Federal and its parent company, CGI, do behind-the-scenes work, often with "Top Secret" clearance, for hundreds of American and foreign government agencies - from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and State Department to the Kyrgyzstan Border Service and World Anti-Doping Agency. But the questions swirling around the company go beyond how it mangled the showpiece reform of Obama´s presidency. Some investors and analysts are expressing concerns