New York (CNNMoney) – The U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 9.4% - its lowest level since May 2009, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Businesses were hiring, adding 113,000 jobs to payrolls in the month. But the government continued to shed staff, cutting 10,000 workers from payrolls.
New York (CNNMoney.com) – It's official: Social Security will reach its tipping point this year.
For the first time in nearly 30 years, the system will pay out more benefits than it receives in payroll taxes both this year and next, the government officials who oversee Social Security said on Thursday.
And while Social Security cash flow will likely head back into the black for a few years after that, starting in 2015 it looks to stay in the red for the long haul, the trustees said in their annual report.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Despite groans from Republicans about high unemployment, President Obama's administration continues to say the stimulus is creating jobs.
In its latest stimulus report released Wednesday, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers said the Recovery Act has already funded about 3 million jobs.
That's in line with earlier predictions from Christina Romer, chairwoman of the council, who has said since the beginning of the Recovery Act that the stimulus would save a total of 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. Different models estimate the number of jobs to be between 2.5 million and 3.6 million, meaning Romer's target may have already been reached.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - A hearing to discuss the future of national energy policy got pretty ugly, as lawmakers slammed executives from five of the world's largest oil companies Tuesday.
At one point Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., called on Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America, to quit his job. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-Louisiana went so far as to suggest McKay try a type of ritual suicide.
"Mr. Stearns asked you to resign. In the Asian culture we do things differently. During the Samurai days we just give you a knife and ask you to commit hara-kiri," said Cao, who is of Vietnamese descent.
McKay did not respond to these comments. However, he did say that a relief well will allow his company to get the leak under control "by mid-August."
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. called on executives from BP, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell Oil to answer before his House Energy and Environment subcommittee Tuesday. Specifically, he wanted to focus on the ongoing spill, renewable energy development and the effect of President Obama's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.
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New York (CNNMoney.com) – Fannie Mae requested another $8.4 billion from the federal government on Monday, saying that due to trends in the housing and financial markets, the company expects its deficits to continue.
The government-controlled mortgage giant announced Monday that it lost $13.1 billion applicable to common shareholders in the first quarter of 2010.
The request cames just four days after Fannie's twin Freddie Mac also asked for a handout - to the tune of $10.6 billion - after posting an $8 billion quarterly loss.
In using Fannie and Freddie to prop up the mortgage market, the government in December lifted a $200 billion limit on their bailouts, essentially giving the twin housing lenders a blank check. Fannie Mae has already received $76.2 billion from the federal government and Freddie has gotten $50.7 billion.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The U.S. government is racking up debt at a slower pace than last year, according to Treasury Department figures released Monday.
In the first six months of the fiscal year, the U.S. government fell $717 billion further into the red, the Treasury Department reported Monday, including a $65.4 billion deficit in March. That means the deficit for fiscal 2010, which started in October, is down 8% from $781.4 billion in the same period last year.
The Treasury Department is forecasting that the deficit will hit $1.56 trillion this year, up from the record $1.4 trillion losses posted last year.
March's shortfall, the 18th consecutive monthly deficit, was down from the $191.6 billion in the red posted a year ealier. Just before the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, the government reported a monthly gain, which reduced its overall debt by $45.7 billion.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - A year and a half after Lehman Brothers' collapse, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is calling for a federal investigation into the "Lehman situation" and other companies that may have fudged their balance sheets, contributing to the financial crisis.
"We must work tirelessly to reduce the incidence of financial fraud in order to restore trust and confidence in the financial markets," Dodd wrote in a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday.
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New York (CNNMoney.com) - The United States dropped a record $220.9 billion further into the red in February, the Treasury Department reported Wednesday.
The shortfall was up from the previous record $193.9 billion shortfall in February last year.
It's the 17th straight month that the U.S. government has posted deficits. The last time the government posted a monthly surplus was in September 2008, when the government reduced the deficit by $45.7 billion.
The cumulative deficit for fiscal 2010, which started in October, reached $651.6 billion, up from $589.8 billion in the same period the year before. The Obama administration is forecasting that the deficit will hit $1.56 trillion this year.