Author Archive | susie

No Jobs for You

I continue to worry that at some point, Wall Street will convince the administration that it would be a great psychological ploy to cut off unemployment compensation to convince the market there’s a recovery.

And if they do that, all hell will break loose:

March 16 (Bloomberg) — U.S. employers won’t hire enough workers this year to lower the jobless rate much below the level of 9.7 percent reached in February, three Obama administration economic officials said today.

The proportion of Americans who can’t find work is likely to “remain elevated for an extended period,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, White House budget director Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a joint statement. The officials said unemployment may even rise “slightly” over the next few months as discouraged workers start job-hunting again.

“We do not expect further declines in unemployment this year,” the officials said in testimony prepared for the House Appropriations Committee. They predicted the economy would add about 100,000 jobs a month on average — not enough to bring the jobless rate down substantially.

Today’s projections are in line with the 10 percent average unemployment forecast for this year in last month’s budget plan. Christopher Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said the administration’s language risks damping expectations for a recovery.

“They need to work on the message, and right now the message is that there is not a lot to be hopeful about,” Rupkey said. “Warning about a slow jobless recovery can help make it a reality.”

Hmm

Ex-Pat Cracker wonders if Francis grew up to be Rush Limbaugh:

Boehner: Throw Down, Yo

Gangsta pimp John Boehner gives advice to the poor abused bankers:

This week, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) released the latest version of his financial regulatory reform bill, which aims to correct the deficiencies in the financial system that led to 2008’s economic crisis. The House of Representatives has already passed a comprehensive regulatory reform bill, and now that Dodd has given up on negotiating with recalcitrant Republicans, he is moving on an expedited timeline, with a markup scheduled for Monday.

It’s taken the Senate a year and a half after the financial crisis to even get to this point, but House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) told “an enthusiastic crowd of bankers” today that, even if the Senate passes a bill, reconciling it with the House version will take another year. “If the Senate is able to produce a bill, I think it’s just as likely that we’ll be talking about the same issue a year from now as we are right now,” Boehner said at the American Bankers Association government relations summit.

Boehner then added that the bankers should be standing up for themselves against “those little punk staffers” trying to write new regulations:

“Don’t let those little punk staffers take advantage of you and stand up for yourselves,” Boehner said. “All of us are hearing from our friends and constituents on lack of credit, you can’t get a loan, the more your government takes and taxes, the more regulations you have to comply with the more cost you have there and less amount you are going to have available to loan to customers.”

Wellpoint

Whoever could have known?

Health insurance companies have always claimed that they support “affordable, high-quality health care for every American” and are supportive of health care reform efforts and not simply concerned with their profits. To try to project this image of compassion for the uninsured, WellPoint Inc. — which recently came under fire for planning double-digit rate hikes in at least eleven states — pledged three years ago to use its charitable foundation to spend $30 million to assist the uninsured receive care.

A new investigative report by the Los Angeles Times finds that WellPoint’s foundation has completely failed to meet its promise of spending $30 million to help the uninsured. Rather, the company spent $6.2 million — a paltry 11 percent of what the company promised:

WellPoint’s public records indicate that from 2007 to 2009 the foundationgave less than $6.2 million in grants targeted specifically at helping uninsured Americans get access to coverage and care — barely one-fifth of what was promised and just 11% of the charity’s total giving over the last three years.

“It was just not something that the company really wanted to do,” said one former executive, who, like others interviewed for this story, asked not to be identified out of concern that discussing WellPoint could have adverse career consequences. “So it went by the wayside.”

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