March 19th, 2009
06:00 AM ET
13 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Thursday, March 19, 2009


For the latest political news:

CNN Dodd: Administration pushed for language protecting bonuses
Senate Banking committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told CNN Wednesday that he was responsible for language added to the federal stimulus bill to make sure that already-existing contracts for bonuses at companies receiving federal bailout money were honored.

WSJ: Some Will Pay Back AIG Bonuses
Some top employees of American International Group Inc.'s disgraced Financial Products group have agreed to return hefty retention bonuses under mounting public outrage over $165 million in payouts to a unit that brought the insurer to its knees.

NYT: A Defining Moment for Treasury Secretary
Fair or not, questions about why Mr. Geithner did not know sooner about the A.I.G. bonuses and act to stop them threaten to overwhelm his achievements and undermine Mr. Obama’s overall economic agenda.

Washington Post: Fed to Pump $1.2 Trillion Into Markets

The Federal Reserve yesterday escalated its massive campaign to stabilize the economy, saying it would flood the financial system with an additional $1.2 trillion.

WSJ: Bush Decides to Write a Book on Decisions
Former President George W. Bush, who once called himself "The Decider," is writing a book about decisions.

For the latest national and international news:

WSJ: In France, Oui to Bailout, Non to Layoffs
In exchange for a €3 billion ($3.9 billion) low-interest loan from Paris, Renault pledged not to close any French factories for the duration of the loan or resort to mass layoffs in France for a year.

Houston Chronicle: U.S. moves to beef up border security
The Obama administration plans to deploy additional federal law enforcement agents to the U.S.-Mexico border to choke off southbound shipments of automatic weapons and cash drug proceeds that are fueling the Mexican cartels’ murderous resistance to Mexico President Felipe Calderon.

USA Today: Fewer leaving urban centers, moving to sunnier places

Unemployment and the housing meltdown are triggering an about-face in where Americans choose to live.

LA Times: Studies cast doubt on prostate cancer screenings
The tests rarely save lives, researchers say, and treatment can cause more harm than the potential tumor.

LA Times: Medical marijuana dispensaries will no longer be prosecuted
The statement by Eric H. Holder Jr. represents a landmark shift from the Bush administration's zero tolerance toward the use of pot by people with cancer and other serious ailments.

For the latest business news:

CNN: Stocks seen opening lower

Stocks were set to open lower Thursday, as investors look ahead to the government's weekly report about the state of the job market.

CNN:'s citizen accounting effort
The government's online effort to track stimulus money could transform public spending by allowing you to play Big Brother, but it's off to a slow start.

Business Week: The Fed Breaks Out the Heavy Artillery
With rate cuts no longer an option, Bernanke & Co. launch a massive plan to buy up mortgage-backed securities, agency debt, and Treasuries to boost the economy and the markets

Business Week: Why the U.S. Is Losing Foreign Graduates
A new report says foreign science and engineering graduates are leaving the U.S. to start companies at home. Could a U.S. policy fix keep them here?

Filed under: Political Hot Topics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Joanne

    If the bonuses are taxed, these recipients can consider these payments to their 2009 taxes and get the money in a tax return? Have then give the money back

    March 19, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. TexasIndependent

    This is what happens when government meddles in the private sector. Everybody realizes that the bonuses laid out in contracts had to be honored once the government decided to keep AIG out of bankruptcy protection. Truth is, no company is too big to fail. A failed company will go into bankruptcy protection and shrink, but their marketshare will open up to other competitors.

    And on top of that we have Barney Frank, one of the great instigators of the housing collapse, demanding the names of people who received bonuses and saying he would not keep their names confidential. The same people whose lives have been threatened, Barney Frank wants to make their names public. Barkey Frank and Chris Dodd should be brought up on charges for what they did with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two of them lecturing executives on how to run a country is laughable when our government is broke and they were a part of criminal accounting practices at Fannie and Freddie. Listening to them bark at executives makes me sick to my stomach.

    March 19, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. what's the problem?

    Government is the problem, not the solution. Everything they put their hands on blows up and costs us more money. Let AIG flourish or die on its own. I'm an AIG employee and I think AIG should break into pieces and send its troubled sectors into bankruptcy protection. I'll be out of a job, but at least my own fellow Americans won't want to lynch me.

    Government pushed for bad lending, which translated into credit default swaps, the devaluing of which cause AIG's downturn.

    Government is the problem, not the solution!

    March 19, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. Wall St Guy

    Yes, there was abuse by some, and extremely poor oversight by others. In the better firms, most of these people are already gone (forget about them receiving any bonuses).

    However, I am amazed by the ignorance of Senator Dodd, Representative Rangel and others:
    Most people on Wall St had NOTHING to do with derivatives or mortgages. Yes, we get paid alot, but we were also the people who worked the hardest in school, got the best grades, graduated from the best schools, put in 80, 90, 100-hour weeks for YEARS to get where we are – and now we have certain members of the government (and some ignorant reporters) painting every high-income Wall Street employee with the same brush.

    Certain members of the government are TOO STUPID to understand that they will destroy the very companies they've strived to rescue (with these emergency loans). I hope they're prepared to destroy the tax base, and to force HONEST Wall Streeters to file for bankruptcy just because they're ignorant!

    March 19, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |