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Obama’s Wars

Obama’s Wars

By Bob Woodward

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Tag: Economics


Perry Anderson on the Specter of China

Is China on its way toward becoming the feared colossus of the 21st century, surpassing the United States in its imperial ambitions and economic hegemony?

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 READ MORE

Liz Cheney Edition

Today on the list: Why Liz Cheney’s fear-mongering is blowing up in her face, how Florida plans to de-gay Hollywood and why books are overrated.

Posted on Mar 10, 2010 READ MORE

AP / Bebeto Matthews

‘Say on Pay’ Won’t Prevent Bonus Gluttony

Like many of us, President Barack Obama is outraged by how out of control executive compensation is, but his plan to fix the problem simply won’t work.

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 READ MORE

United States Treasury

China Flexes Financial Muscle

News that China sold $34 billion in U.S. government bonds at the end of last year has raised the fears of analysts, some of whom think that the move—which involved less than 5 percent of the overall amount of bonds held by China—is meant to signal a loss of confidence in U.S. economic policy.

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / World Economic Forum

My Big Fat Wall Street Bankers

The logic of global capitalism is everywhere. New investigations are showing that the same Wall Street tactics—and companies—that ushered our own economy to economic collapse have emerged to exacerbate Greece’s current financial crisis.

Posted on Feb 14, 2010 READ MORE

Ohio’s Unemployed Getting Smashed

While seemingly intuitive, it’s bit frightening to see the correlation so clearly illustrated: A graphic, covering a 12-year period, shows the tie between Ohio’s unemployment rate and the amount of alcohol purchased. With unemployment and booze consumption at their contemporary highs, many are wondering about the public health effects of unemployment on those out of work.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / DetroitDereck Photography

A Green Checkered Flag for Ford

Ford Motor Co. has seemingly shifted out of crisis mode and is now reporting a profit of $2.7 billion for 2009, a considerable success given the state of the U.S. auto industry and the sluggish economy.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE

Wall Street Bonuses ‘Offensive’

The Obama administration, perhaps getting wise to public opinion, is lashing out at Wall Street firms. White House senior adviser David Axelrod called the huge bonuses executives received this year “offensive” in light of the fact that the rest of us are struggling through an economic crisis.

Posted on Oct 18, 2009 READ MORE


Rational? Don’t Bet on It

Jon Stewart interviews Justin Fox, columnist for Time magazine and author of “The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward and Delusion on Wall Street.” He suggests (gasp!) that markets aren’t rational and human behavior cannot always be predicted. Check out this clip from last night’s “Daily Show.”

Posted on Jul 2, 2009 READ MORE

IMF Recession

IMF Sees an Even Deeper Recession

A shrinking global economy has many at the International Monetary Fund worried, as economists project that 2009 will see a decline of 1.3 percent in world economic output—the first global recession since World War II.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


G-20 vs. 6 Billion

No matter how trite it has become for the media to focus on the “clashes” and “violence” that have “erupted” at the G-20 demonstrations in London, stories on the economic summit seem to overlook the legitimate concerns that protesters have against the world’s 20 largest economies orchestrating macroeconomic policy for the rest of the world.

Posted on Apr 1, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Elizabeth Dalziel

Obama’s Plan to Save the World

Forget about terrorism for a moment. The potential catastrophe that climate change could unleash on America makes every other national security crisis pale in comparison. President Obama cannot secure the homeland without addressing this global emergency.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE

Deficit / Mario Piperni

Budget Deficit Hits $1.8 Trilly

The current year’s federal budget deficit, according to congressional economists, will top $1.8 trillion, the biggest ever by far. And their projection for the fiscal 2010 budget shortfall is tickling $1.4 trillion, putting both estimates much higher than they were in forecasts back in January.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 READ MORE


Sanford and ‘Some’

Wednesday will mark the day Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, rejected “some” of the estimated $8 billion in federal stimulus money his state is slated to receive. Sanford’s anti-deficit spending stand has sparked talk that the Republican may be eyeing a 2012 presidential campaign. Updated.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE

Chow Chows

Unemployment Keeps On Rising

Not since Ronald Reagan’s reckless free marketeering have we seen unemployment this high: The U.S. jobless rate hit 8.1 percent in February, with 651,000 jobs cut during the month.

Posted on Mar 6, 2009 READ MORE

Job Loss

U.S. Unemployment Hits 7.6 Percent

With little surprise but incredible effect, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in January, hitting its highest level since 1992. President Obama used the report to prod Congress to pass his economic stimulus package.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE

Kenneth Lewis

Slapping the Pay Cuffs on Execs

Amending current TARP rules and regulations, President Obama is expected to put a $500,000 cap on executive salaries at companies that receive large amounts of bailout funds. It would mean major pay cuts for the likes of Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis, who took home more than $20 million in 2007.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE

General Motors Lobby

Post-Bailout, Lobbying Continues

Without skipping a beat, once-troubled financial entities are continuing to spend big to lobby Congress as they pocket billions in TARP bailout money. The lobbying is defended by the bail-outted firms as a “transparent and effective way” to be heard on policy issues.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE

Geithner Claw!

Geithner Urges ‘Fundamental Reform’ in Bailout

It’s the first full day of Obama’s administration and things are looking a bit different in D.C. Treasury secretary nominee Timothy Geithner called for “fundamental reform” of the $700 billion bailout, claiming the existing bailout package favored big business over struggling families.

Posted on Jan 21, 2009 READ MORE

Our Cuba Policy: A Failure at 50

President-elect Obama will have more urgent matters to deal with after he takes the oath of office. But somewhere on his long to-do list, he should make a note to finally bring five decades of counterproductive American policy toward Cuba to a definitive end.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE

One Man’s Bid to Aid the Environment

A Utah student’s disruption of a federal auction has temporarily blocked a Bush-enabled land grab by the oil and gas industries.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE

Latino Leaders
AP photo / Andre Penner

Latin Leaders Rebuke U.S.

In a summit that celebrated the absence of the U.S. on its guest list, Latin American leaders met in Brazil to discuss a post-U.S. hegemonic world. The talks, which centered on the “demise” of the capitalist model, also snubbed former colonizing nations Portugal and Spain in a further demonstration of the increasing political autonomy of the region.

Posted on Dec 17, 2008 READ MORE

Big Three

Poll: Auto Bailout Low on Fuel

With a bailout of the Big Three hovering over our political landscape, popular opinion has signaled a considerable voice against any federal support for the failing auto industry. A poll shows 61% of Americans oppose a bailout, believing any government assistance would be both unfair and ineffective in fixing the economy.

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 READ MORE

Obama’s Shrewd Choices

Barack Obama’s appointees will implement the Obama program, not only because that is what he tells them to do but because that is what they have come to believe is best for the country.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE

The Peril and Promise of Interesting Times

If things get much more “interesting,” we might have a collective nervous breakdown. But along with the anxiety, there’s also a sense of rare opportunity—a chance to emerge better than we were economically, politically and socially.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and Rubin
AP photo / Chris Carlson

Obamanomics = Rubinomics?

Judging by the new additions to Barack Obama’s economic squad, the president-elect appears to be borrowing heavily from Robert Rubin’s ranks, but here’s an argument as to why Obama’s approach will differ from Rubin’s (but consider the source here).

Posted on Nov 24, 2008 READ MORE

Auto Bailout

‘Morning Review’: Prop. 8 and the Big 3

Check out the most recent “Morning Review Friday with Roy Ulrich,” where UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky discusses Proposition 8’s current legal status, and Truthdig’s own Titus Levi engages in a fruitful debate on the virtues and pitfalls of a bailout of the auto industry in Detroit with the Cato Institute’s Dan Ikenson.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 READ MORE

Gov. Sarah Palin

Extreme Makeover: Palin Edition

If the hierarchy of staff salaries in the McCain/Palin campaign has anything to say about what Republicans really care about this election, then voters will likely be unsurprised that the McCain camp’s highest paid individual these past couple weeks is none other than Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist, Amy Strozzi.

Posted on Oct 24, 2008 READ MORE

McCain Banking on a Confederacy of Dunces

Is John McCain stupid, or does he believe we are? That’s the question as he criticizes Barack Obama for allegedly trying to “redistribute the wealth” with a plan to lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the super-rich.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE

McCain’s Socialist Delusion

Wherever John McCain appears on the stump in these waning days of the presidential campaign, he is always accompanied by his imaginary friend “Joe the Plumber,” but it is the specter of Karl Marx that lurks just offstage.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008 READ MORE


Otto Von Bailout

If you thought the United States’ $700-billion bailout would quell the global financial crisis, think again. The German parliament just approved a $675-billion bailout of Germany’s financial markets, a plan that is part of a coordinated European response to volatile global and regional markets.

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE

Carter 'Woah' / Barry Batchelor

Carter Kicks Bush While Economy Falls Down

Following the Dow’s 600-point drop, former President Jimmy Carter had some pointed words for the Bush administration on Friday, blaming the current economic crisis on the “atrocious” policies of the past eight years and declaring the economic situation to be an “entrenched problem” that will “take years to correct”.

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 READ MORE

Republican Economic Policies Don’t Add Up

Many Americans believe, despite the current financial crisis, that Republicans are generally better at managing the economy. History tells a very different story.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Reed Saxon

Lose Your Home, Lose Your Vote

The tanking economy is screwing over citizens both as homeowners and voters. The past two years have seen more than 1 million people lose their homes through foreclosure, and November’s election may see the same people also disqualified from voting due to election laws requiring official notification of voters’ new addresses.

Posted on Sep 25, 2008 READ MORE

Krugman on Bank Collapse and ‘1931 Revisited’

Financial columnist Paul Krugman, trying to make sense of the Lehman Brothers debacle, warns that “the defenses set up to prevent a return of those bank runs, mainly deposit insurance and access to credit lines with the Federal Reserve, only protect the guys in the marble buildings, who aren’t at the heart of the current crisis. That creates the real possibility that 2008 could be 1931 revisited.”

Posted on Sep 15, 2008 READ MORE

Zardari President
AP photo / Anjum Naveed

Bhutto’s Widower Assumes Presidency in Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, assumed the presidency of Pakistan on Tuesday, concluding a transfer of power that began with the resignation of former President Pervez Musharraf just two weeks ago. Zardari’s presidency is likely to be one of conflict, as an ongoing Taliban resurgence and a 26 percent approval rating already riddle his first days in office.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE


Oprah’s Support = 1 Million Votes

The power of Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement is clearly quantifiable when it comes to her “favorite things” (e.g. book sales), but how about her favorite people (e.g. Barack Obama)? Well, a scholarly duo from the University of Maryland came up with 1 million votes as the impressive, if somewhat strangely derived, number that represents the boost Oprah has given Obama since she gave him her official stamp of approval.

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE

Elaine Chao

Unemployment at a Four-Year High

A government report released Friday signals worsening economic tides as the U.S. tries to navigate through its highest level of unemployment in four years. The seven-month-long trend of net job losses is likely to persist, with few signs of a turnaround on the horizon.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE

Did Bush Put a Hit Out on Fannie, Freddy?

From madcap marketeer Jim Cramer to wired alt-blogger Scott Thill, there are more than a few braniacs who believe the Bush White House did not just watch the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac but actually engineered it as yet another sortie in the long GOP war against the New Deal. Never fear, though, as The Onion has already written a satirical report on efforts to build a better bubble.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE

South Africa Prepares for World Cup, Prostitution

A plan to legalize sex work in time for South Africa’s 2010 World Cup has many in the country upset. While supporters believe criminalization puts women in harm’s way, religious groups and others argue that “family values” trump the interests of both the national economy and individual workers.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE

gas prices
AP photo / Lisa Poole

Inflation Runs at a 26-Year High

The once-mighty U.S. dollar is full of hot air, or at least the rate of inflation is at a 26-year high due to the recent economic toils and astronomical energy prices. Prices U.S. consumers pay shot up 1.1 percent in June—or more directly, your paycheck just got 1.1 percent smaller.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE

Klein Shock Doctrine

The Truthdig Interview With Naomi Klein

Critics and challengers of Naomi Klein’s work had better take a close look at her latest book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” before launching their attacks. This is one writer whose research and documentation are so exhaustive that would-be detractors will not only find her analysis to be dauntingly watertight, even if they don’t share her views about the unnatural disasters enabled by free-market capitalism, but they might also discover that some of her source material seems strangely familiar.

Transcript available here.

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE

Klein Shock Doctrine

The Truthdig Interview With Naomi Klein

Critics and challengers of Naomi Klein’s work had better take a close look at her latest book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” before launching their attacks.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE

Fiat Chief on the Global Finance Crisis

The Italian-Canadian chief executive of Fiat, the leading Italian industrial enterprise, Sergio Marchionne, speaking about the present economic crisis last weekend, mentioned the well-known argument first made by the Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter about the function of “creative destruction” in modern capitalism.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE

Bush and flag

How to Rule the World After Bush

How has the Bush administration changed the world economically, and what it will mean for the next administration? Also, if Bush-style “imperial globalization” is rejected in January, what will American ruling elites try to turn to—Clinton-style economic globalization?

Posted on May 18, 2008 READ MORE

U.S. Consumer Confidence at 28-Year Low

A survey released Friday showed that U.S. consumer confidence has fallen to the lowest point since the “stagflation” of the early 1980s. According to the survey, lower-income households, citing rising food and fuel prices, were the main source of the drop in confidence.

Posted on May 16, 2008 READ MORE

Toward a New Washington Consensus

What passes for smart economic policy is actually a set of right-wing globalization measures that destabilizes the world economy. For the sake of Americans and others, our politicians need to wise up.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE

The Single-Payer Solution

As the media coverage of the Democratic presidential race continues to focus on lapel pins and pastors, America is ailing.

Posted on Apr 23, 2008 READ MORE

He’s ‘McSame’ on Social Security, Too

The most puzzling aspect of John McCain’s political persona is his habitual attraction to George W. Bush’s bad ideas.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE

Shrinking Payrolls Worry Economists

A sharp jump in the number of Americans filing for unemployment has brought the four-week average to its highest level since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Last week, 378,000 new claims were filed. Roughly 2.8 million workers currently receive unemployment benefits.

Posted on Mar 20, 2008 READ MORE

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