Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 31, 2010

Camille Paglia writes that pressuring middle-class young people into "word jobs" is cruelly shortsighted - "The elite schools, predicated on molding students into mirror images of their professors, seem divorced from any rational consideration of human happiness."

The White House - Economic Recovery for Small Businesses: Now is Not the Time to Pull Back

TARP and the Continuing Problem of Toxic Assets - It was a bold bet that the Treasury and Fed could engineer an economic recovery without allowing the repricing of US housing stock

White House - Landmark: Number of Donut Hole Rebate Checks Passes One Million

Tire-d Old Trade Policies - You can't boost exports by trashing imports

Abolish tenure, require more teaching, put star professors online

The White House Blog - Agent Orange and Veterans: A 40-Year Wait

J McCain: The Surge and Afghanistan - Unless he understands the reason for success in Iraq, the president is unlikely to lead a successful strategy against the Taliban

White House: Katrina - Five Years Later, Our Commitment Continues

Why We Fought and What We Achieved - Saddam had launched multiple wars, used weapons of mass destruction and aided global terrorism. Now Iraq's government is an ally and represents all the Iraqi people.

Remarks on the 47th Anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" Speech. By Hannah Rosenthal, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism . Imam Yahya Hendi From Clergy Without Borders, Washington, DC, August 28, 2010


Social Security Bait and Switch - 'Harry, am I making this up?' Yes, Mr. President, you are.

IMF Enhances Crisis Prevention Toolkit

Alvin Greene Mocks White House Staff As 'Harvard Rich Kids'

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 30, 2010

Muslim: It was only after losing the fight for total state power against democracies and dictatorships alike that Islamists launched their war against the West

Conservative: The World Trade Center Mosque and the Constitution

Export Controls for the 21st Century - The current system is a legacy of the Cold War and fails to distinguish between low-tech items and the most advanced proprietary technology

On the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) Tax Task Force Report

Jimmy Carter in Pyongyang - Back to the same old North Korean games

Our Man in Caracas - Good news: Chávez doesn't like him

Ten Fallacies About Web Privacy - We are not used to the Internet reality that something can be known and at the same time no person knows it

Alinsky Wins at the SEC - A new proxy access rule will help activists and unions, not shareholders

Kirchner's Assault on the Press - This week's target: Argentina's two most influential daily newspapers

The White House Blog - Preparing Workers for New Careers

The Folly of Subsidizing Unemployment - My calculations suggest the jobless rate could be as low as 6.8%, instead of 9.5%, if jobless benefits hadn't been extended to 99 weeks

Energy Dept: Setting the Record Straight on Weatherization

The $31 Billion Revenue Fantasy - Those who make $200,000 a year are 3% of all taxpayers but pay 52% of all income taxes

The White House Blog - Helping New Orleans Rebuild Its Schools

Spreading Hayek, Spurning Keynes - Professor Leads an Austrian Revival

When Justice Comes Naturally - The Constitution can 'live' without losing its core meanings. Review of Hadley Arkes's Constitutional Illusions & Anchoring Truths.

The 1.6% Recovery - The results of the Obama economic experiment are coming in

Remarks by the President on the Fifth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana

Lebanon's parliament amended a 1946 law that had been used to bar the 400,000 Palestinians living in the country from taking any but the most menial jobs

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 27, 2010

USAID Launches Pakistan Flood Relief Info Sharing on “Humari Awaz” Cell Phone Network

A new study confirms what I've been saying for decades: Paying high fees to fund managers is the route to lower returns

The SEC's Sop to Unions - Under the new rules, average shareholders won't muster the numbers to influence corporate elections

A Challenge for WTC Mosque Opponents - The rights of American Muslims are being questioned in other locations. Will Gingrich and Palin speak out on their behalf?

Blanche Lincoln's Last Earmark: changes to Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) - The spending problem, in profile

Protecting Medicare Benefits and Offering Clear Choices for Seniors

Intel's Otellini: "the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here. And wealth will not accrue here. Ultimately, we will face an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth—much like we are witnessing today in Europe."

Women's Equality Day and the 90th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

Scapegoating For-Profit Colleges - Obama tees up another private industry for punishment

200,000 Homes Weatherized Under the Recovery Act

Time for Obama to Pull a Clinton - When I met with the president in early 1995, I warned him he would not be re-elected unless he changed his reputation

UN mapping report leaked: Crime of genocide against Hutu center of controversy

Public Pensions and Our Fiscal Future - Few Californians in the private sector have $1 million in savings, but that's effectively the retirement account they guarantee to many government employees

Press Briefing

Aug 26, 2010

Jared Bernstein on Republicans, the Recovery Act and "jobs created or saved"

The Military Should Mirror the Nation - America's Armed Forces are drawn from an increasingly narrow segment of society

Five Principles to Make “Contingent Capital” More Like Capital and Less Contingent

Stop the Madness - Washington is spending the country into economic decline

The IRS Targets Incompetent Tax Preparers - That's good news. But the agency is going overboard

U.S. Provides $50 Million in Early Recovery Aid to Pakistan Flood Victims

Big Foot on Campus - Why colleges want a waiver from ObamaCare

Minutes of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy July 2010 Official Meeting

Oil Spill & The Gulf Claims Racket - The lawyers are upset they aren't getting more of the action

A Muslim Reformer on the Mosque - The warriors for tolerance and the antimosque crusaders are both wrong

The Fed Is Running Low on Ammo - It still has options if more monetary easing is needed. But they're not very effective

IMF Paper: Can Global Liquidity Forecast Asset Prices?

The White House is having a disastrous 'summer of recovery.'

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 25, 2010

Working Together To Save Lives in India

Cleaning Up the Mortgage Mess - Obama's program to help homeowners has unfortunately made things worse

Countering Piracy: International Partnership Achieves Steady Progress

Our Blue-Collar Great Depression - American workers who are less well-educated need a lifeline until new opportunities emerge.

The Case for Economic Optimism - Investment in equipment and software is strong, as is the outlook for exports

Why the Senate Should Block 'New Start' - The nuclear treaty is the first step toward unilateral disarmament

U.S. Government Hosts Conference on Improving Southern Sudan's Agriculture

The Trial Bar Heads to Iraq - A lawsuit that would create civil damages for wartime decisions

Wireless in Gaza - If young Palestinians have access to better information today, they may make better decisions tomorrow

Human Rights Kowtow - The Obama Administration makes itself an accomplice to U.N. corruption

Vice President Biden Releases Report on Recovery Act Impact on Innovation

The Housing Mirage - Homeowner subsidies have only delayed the day of reckoning

The Afghanistan War Is Mainly About Pakistan and India - Actually, it's about the whole region.

Putting the Brakes on ObamaCare  How a Republican Congress could begin the process of repealing this unpopular law

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 24, 2010

The White House Blog - Their Economic Policies Haven’t Changed, So They Won’t Bring the Change We Need

Wind Power Won't Cool Down the Planet - Often enough it leads to higher carbon emissions

White House: 31,000 Homes Weatherized in June

Virginia Is for Surpluses - Erasing red ink without a tax increase

The White House Blog - Your Credit Card Bill of Rights Now in Full Effect

The Politics of Plastic - The war against credit cards is raising costs and harming consumers

Identified a family of retroviruses in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (update)

Cracks in the Iranian Monolith - Opposition is spreading in the streets, in prisons, and even in the military

Like Bush, Not Clinton, Obama Follows His Heart Not Polls

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 23, 2010

Lorenz Of Arabia - As a wartime strategy, Germany tried to foment a Grand Jihad in Muslim lands

The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility - The idea that companies have a duty to address social ills is not just flawed, argues Aneel Karnani. It also makes it more likely that we'll ignore the real solutions to these problems.

The White House Blog - At the Indiana State Fair: Farmers, The First Entrepreneurs

The Guns of August, 1990 - The last 20 years would have been very different had American forces taken that open road to Baghdad the first time around

Reducing Energy Costs while Creating Green Jobs for Americans, by Secretary Shaun Donovan

Australian Boomerang - Another big spending center-left party loses its majority

President Obama Challenges Politicians Benefiting from Citizens United Ruling to Defend Corporate Influence in Our Elections

ObamaCare's Tax on Taxes - The latest gambit to punish for-profit health insurers

How States Hide Their Budget Deficits - The SEC's charges against New Jersey for misleading investors should warn other states against sweeping the truth under the rug

Iran Unveils New Drone

Treasury Concludes Three Weeks of Global Engagement with Governments, Private Sector on Iran

$4.4 Trillion - That's how much the spending baseline has increased in 31 months

Obama Administration Housing Scorecard Shows Continued Progress in Housing Market, but Challenges Remain

Gates and Buffett Take the Pledge - Wealthy businessmen often feel obligated to 'give back.' Who says they've taken anything?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 20, 2010

Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster

The Lockerbie Bomber and Scotland's Disgrace - A political stunt freed a mass murderer and brought needless grief to many in the US

Bashing Beijing Will Not Help Our Trade Deficit - Higher wages, not a stronger yuan, will help Chinese workers and reduce US imports

State Dept: A Critical Milestone in Iraq

The SEC's Jersey Score - At last, a state gets hit for securities fraud

Seniors Already Seeing Lower Prescription Drug Costs

More Countrywide Loans - What Senate ethicists didn't tell us on Dodd

Remarks by the President at a Discussion with Ohio Families on the Economy

Victory in Iraq  -American arms created a republic, if Iraqis can keep it

An assessment of the long-term economic impact of stronger capital and liquidity requirements
FSB & BCBS, August 2010

The Basel Committee's assessment of the long-term economic impact finds that there are clear net long term economic benefits from increasing the minimum capital and liquidity requirements from their current levels in order to raise the safety and soundness of the global banking system. The benefits of higher capital and liquidity requirements accrue from reducing the probability of financial crisis and the output losses associated with such crises. The benefits substantially exceed the potential output costs for a range of higher capital and liquidity requirements.

The FSB-BCBS MAG assessment of the macroeconomic transition costs, prepared in close collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, concludes that the transition to stronger capital and liquidity standards is likely to have a modest impact on aggregate output. If higher requirements are phased in over four years, the group estimates that each one percentage point increase in bank's actual ratio of tangible common equity to risk-weighted assets will lead to a decline in the level of GDP relative to its baseline path by about 0.20% after implementation is completed.  In terms of growth rates, this means that the annual growth rate would be reduced by an average of 0.04 percentage points over a four and a half year period, with a range of results around these point estimates. A 25% increase in liquid asset holdings is found to have an output effect less than half that associated with a one-percentage point increase in capital ratios. The projected impacts arise mainly from banks passing on higher costs to borrowers, which results in a slowdown in investment. A two-year implementation period leads to a slightly larger reduction from the baseline path, with the trough occurring after two and a half years, while extending the implementation period beyond four years makes little difference. In all of these estimates, GDP returns to its baseline path in subsequent years.

Winning the Peace in Iraq - The last American combat troops left Iraq this week. But when 'Operation New Dawn' begins on Sept. 1, the U.S. will still have a vital mission—and interests—there

Get Ready for Ads in Books

Proposal to ensure the loss absorbency of regulatory capital at the point of non-viability - consultative document

Press Briefing

Aug 19, 2010

Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster

Barney Frank to Fannie Mae: Drop Dead - Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles

Barney Frank has been all over the airwaves this week with a clear and—we never thought we'd say this—perfectly sound message about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: "They should be abolished."

Well, praise be. Two years ago next month, then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson put the two government-sponsored mortgage-finance giants into conservatorship, and Congressman Frank declared himself pleased that there was a good chance, according to government bean-counters, that the rescue wouldn't cost taxpayers a dime. Also at the time, Mr. Frank scoffed at the Bush Administration's view that Fan and Fred should be wound down, saying it would never happen. One and a half trillion dimes ($149 billion) later, Mr. Frank appears to have seen the light.

Recall that in 2007 Mr. Frank had complained that the reason Fannie and Freddie hadn't been reformed earlier was "the insistence of some economic conservative fundamentalists in the Bush Administration who, to be honest, don't think there should be a Fannie Mae or a Freddie Mac." Welcome aboard, Barney.

In another sign that he's an avid reader of these columns, Mr. Frank even told Fox Business, "If we want to subsidize housing then we could do it upfront and let the budget be clear about that." That is certainly a more honest way to subsidize housing and makes us think we don't write in vain.

We prefer no subsidy for homeownership, not least because the painful experience of the last 40 years is that such policies lead to boom and bust and awful economic harm. Canada has neither a Fannie Mae nor a mortgage-interest tax deduction, and yet its homeownership rate is higher than America's. The homebuilder-Realtor-mortgage banker lobby will object, which is no doubt why Treasury chief Tim Geithner continued to call for some federal role in guaranteeing mortgages at his housing finance gabfest this week. But that road inevitably leads to the Son of Fannie.

The housing reform debate is only beginning, but for now we'll associate ourselves with Mr. Frank's view that if Congress wants to subsidize housing, it ought to do so directly out of annual appropriations, allocating dollars in open and transparent fashion against other priorities.

Assessing the macroeconomic impact of the transition to stronger capital and liquidity requirements - Interim Report

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Financial Stability Board set up the Macroeconomic Assessment Group (MAG) to assess the macroeconomic effects of the transition to strengthened capital and liquidity regulations. The MAG comprises economic modelling experts from central banks and other authorities. In its Interim Report, the MAG concludes that, for each percentage point increase in the target capital ratio implemented over a four-year horizon, the level of GDP relative to the baseline path declines by a maximum of about 0.19%. The maximum GDP loss occurs four and a half years after the start of implementation, after which GDP recovers towards its baseline path. The associated rise in banks' lending rates would amount to about 15 basis points for each percentage point increase in capital. These costs will slowly dissipate during and after the phase-in, returning GDP to the path it would have followed in the absence of the changes. The impact of the new regulatory framework on specific national financial systems will depend on current levels of capital and liquidity in those systems, and on the consequences of changes to the definitions used in calculating the relevant regulatory ratios. These results imply that the reforms proposed by the Basel Committee are likely to have, at most, a modest impact on aggregate output, provided that appropriate transition arrangements are in place.

Deconstructing Harry Reid - The Senate majority leader's inexplicable desire to debate taxes in September

Somalia: Frozen Warfare in Mogadishu

Blagojevich 23, Fitzgerald 1 - Chicago's jester politician humiliates the Justice Department

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 18, 2010

Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster

Obama Follows Nixon On Oil Spills - The overreaction to Santa Barbara in 1969 left the country dangerously vulnerable

Ralph Nader: Where Left and Right Converge - Anticorporatist views are becoming more and more common

FASB's Tort Bar Gift - New accounting rules would give lawyers a lawsuit roadmap

If 10-year interest rates, which are now 2.8%, rise to 4% as they did last spring, bondholders will suffer a capital loss more than three times the current yield

The Avastin Mugging - The FDA rigs the verdict against a good cancer drug

Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner Opening Remarks at theConference on the Future of Housing Finance APFD

Lift the wraps on the Himalayan border situation - Let facts speak for themselves on the India-China frontier

Monday, August 16, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 17, 2010

The White House Blog - Slowing Large Health Insurance Premium Increases

Comrade Duch and the Killing Fields - When will justice come to more senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge?

The White House Blog - New Battery Technology and New Jobs in Wisconsin

Uncle Sam, Venture Capitalist - Meet the battery company that Obama visited yesterday

Japan as Number Three - Beijing's rise, Tokyo's fall and the wealth of nations

Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster

The Future of Housing Finance - We'll never get a rational mortgage system until the government's affordable housing mandates are ended

Press Briefing

Aug 16, 2010

Exploring the Many Facets of Deterrence, by Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation

The Fed Can't Solve Our Economic Woes

US Groundbreaking Effort to Provide Emergency Food Assistance to Earthquake Victims in Haiti - Two New Grants Utilize Cash and Food Vouchers to Complement In-Kind Food Aid

Subsidy As a Way of Life - In the U.S. it's 'work, work, work.' A rock drummer in France gets a state stipend.

Presidential Memorandum--Continuation of U.S. Drug Interdiction Assistance to the Government of Colombia

How Not to Win Hearts and Minds - In a U.N. survey, 52% of Afghans said foreign aid organizations 'are corrupt and are in the country just to get rich.'

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 13, 2010

Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster

State Sec Clinton On New START Treaty Ratification

Awlaki vs. Predator - American members of al Qaeda aren't merely criminal suspects. They're active enemy combatants who can be targeted like other terrorists.

Obama Administration Announces Additional Support For Targeted Foreclosure-Prevention Programs To Help Homeowners Struggling with Unemployment

Georgia and the Limits of Russian Power - Moscow's occupation forces remain in the country, but the future looks bright for Tbilisi

White House: Teaching Our Way to a Stronger Economy

Rosty and Reagan - A lesson in tax reform and bipartisanship

Are Plastics Making Us Fat? - Health gurus claim chemicals—not calories—are the cause of obesity

How did Sudan implode so catastrophically?

Hezbollah, Radical but Rational

The Dodd-Frank Bailout is Already Here

Nanostructured Metamaterial Enables Invisibility Cloak, Amplifies Light, Reduces Dramatically Absorption

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 12, 2010

Why Obama Is Still the Favorite in 2012 - Hispanic voters hold the balance of power—and Republicans aren't winning their support

Europe Jumps Off the Keynesian Bus - The economy is looking bright in Britain and Germany after those governments announced plans to reduce spending

Nuclear Reactor Renaissance - Nuclear reactor design is poised for a desperately needed revival. Here are seven contenders.

The White House Blog - Another Step Towards Sustainable Recovery

No Bad Idea Left Behind - Congress turns even a border security bill into a job killer

Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore a Stimulus Success Story; Project to Add Desperately Needed Highway Capacity

Gay Marriage: Leave It to the Voters - I support it as a policy matter, but having the courts mandate it promises trauma of the sort that followed Roe v. Wade

Commerce Secretary: The Cost-Saving Census

Washington vs. Paul Ryan - What happens when a politician is more honest than his critics

Press Briefing

Aug 11, 2010

Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster

Washington Post economics columnist Robert Samuelson on avoiding the economic fate of Western Europe

Pakistan's Project of Renewal - The floods are only the latest challenge to hit my country, says President Zardari

The High Costs of Very Low Interest Rates - Money that should be invested to create jobs is instead funding government debt, while worried consumers sit on the sidelines

The Case For Birthright Citizenship - Since the abolition of slavery, we have never denied citizenship to any group of children born in the U.S. Why change now?

Urging Iran to Respect the Fundamental Freedoms of its Citizens, by State Sec Hillary Clinton

Recusal Refusal - NLRB appointee Craig Becker's evolving definition of ethics

Discussion on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

Quantitative Easing 2 - The Fed revs up the helicopter

Implementation of Iran Sanctions, by Robert J Einhorn, Special Advisor Nonproliferation and Arms Control

End of the Net Neut Fetish - What the Google-Verizon deal really means for the wireless future

New START Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC)

Stimulus Pushers - The latest bailout for public unions and spendthrift states

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 10, 2010

Karachi's complex culture of violence

President Obama on Higher Education in Austin: "We Are Not Playing for Second Place"

Hillary for Vice President? The movement is gaining traction.

The White House Asks: How do the Women You Know Continue to Break Barriers?

Joel Kotkin on California as a "failed state."

The Calm Amidst the Smoke - I've never lived in a city where the bizarre is so interwoven into daily routines as in Moscow

Statement of President Barack Obama on Secretary Gates Reform Agenda

In Lebanon, a Power Struggle and Pitiable Choices - A young prime minister pays court in Syria, while Iran also jockeys for more influence

The White House Blog - Top 5 Things You Should Know Before Heading Back to College

Of CEOs and Congressmen - Private vs. public accountability

Confronting China's Snarl - Beijing's truculence warrants a firm American response

Compensation in Bell, California - Want $600,000 a year in retirement? Work for the government.

The False Fed Savior - Monetary policy can't make up for failed fiscal and regulatory policy

Unlocking The Genetic Secrets Of Autism

Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster

Naomi Campbell and the 'Blood Diamond' Hoax - Diamonds aren't a major reason for Africa's conflicts, and the Kimberley Process is no guarantee of a stone's pedigree in any case

Critical Role of Women in Peace and Security, by Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues
U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, DC

Building on Iran Sanctions - With the regime under pressure, now is not the time to ease up

Monday, August 9, 2010

Press Briefing

Aug 09, 2010

Tough new global financial rules are a must

Canada, Land of Smaller Government - Its corporate income tax rate is 18% and falling. America's is 35%

Libertarians: Medicare's chief actuary vs. President Obama on the ObamaCare facts

White House: The Employment Situation in July

Fairness and the Capital Tax Fetish - No serious economist thinks higher dividend and cap gains taxes are efficient ways to raise revenue. Why not limit deductions for high earners instead?

The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill

Why I'm Not Hiring - When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits

Will Iraq Fall Victim to the Oil Curse? - The Baghdad government runs a top-down command economy and only pays lip service to private jobs and economic diversification

John Fund on Medicare's questionable financial condition

Honoring Elena Kagan

Government and the Uncertainty Trap - It's not a lack of liquidity that's holding back our economy. Investors and business leaders are waiting to learn more about future taxes and regulations.

Federal President's Weekly Address: Medicare Officially Safer After Health Reform

The World Drills On - There's no ban in Norway, Brazil, Australia, Canada . . .