Thomas R. Eddlem
The U.S. economy grew at a better-than-expected 3.5 percent annualized rate in the third quarter, according to an “advance estimate” released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) October 29.
“The International Monetary Fund was the surprise winner at the last summit of the Group of 20 leaders, which agreed to quadruple the organization's resources to $1 trillion,” the Wall Street Journal reported September 23. At this week's summit in Pittsburgh, the Journal predicted, “The G-20 is likely to give the IMF an additional job: Monitoring whether nations are changing their economic policies to promote long-term growth."
Though data shows that the U.S. economy only shrank at a one-percent annual rate during the second quarter of the 2009 calendar year, according to “preliminary” data released July 31 by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), that number may be unrealistically low, owing to government involvement in the markets.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is on a public relations offensive to persuade Americans that he has the economy well in hand, and that he has an “exit plan” for the Fed's inflationary monetary policies if consumer prices should start to rise precipitously. Bernanke does see a time when banks are lending more freely, and the fractional reserve system for banks would again put additional inflationary pressure on the economy.
Capital lending firm-turned-bank holding company CIT has patched together another $3 billion private loan to avoid bankruptcy and try to complete the transition to bank holding company.
President Obama’s Auto Task Force Chairman Steven Rattner resigned suddenly earlier this week after reports that the New York Attorney General’s office was investigating Rattner’s role in a New York State pension bribery scandal.
The ADP National Employment Report estimated that the national economy shed some 473,000 jobs in June, which may be enough to bring the national unemployment rate to the 10-percent threshold once official figures are tallied later in the month.
Ford Motor Company was supposed to be the only major U.S. automaker not in need of a bailout, but this week Ford accepted a $5.9 billion loan subsidy under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The EISA loan is designed to help the auto industry by supporting “capital investments in facilities designed to produce vehicles with greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.”
Former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan (left) came up with a novel way to claim the U.S. government would never default on debt: print the difference. Greenspan told NBC's "Meet the Press" August 7, in response to a question about the recent downgrade in the U.S. bond rating by Standard and Poor's: