Wednesday 18th of September 2019

yo ho ho hope .....

yo ho ho hope .....

The Obama administration yesterday made a concerted push to boost confidence in downward-spiraling financial markets, assuring Americans that officials are taking the steps necessary to contain the worsening economic damage and to restore the nation's long-term fiscal health.

A day after the markets hit crisis lows, the administration sought to restore calm. The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve launched a long-awaited program to pump money into consumer lending. Aides, including the White House budget director, vowed that the president's spending plan would benefit the vast majority of working Americans. And officials in various public venues used soothing language in an effort to inspire hope.

"What I'm looking at is not the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market," said President Obama, speaking to reporters at the White House, "but the long-term ability for the United States and the entire world economy to regain its footing."

The nation is caught in a dangerous cycle in which an endless stream of grim news - waves of layoff announcements, signs that banks are teetering financially and negative economic data -- has contributed to anxiety among American consumers and businesses. That, in turn, has caused further economic weakness. The White House appears to be moving to arrest that cycle.

But words weren't enough to end the raft of bad news yesterday.

Among the items on the business news ticker: U.S. auto sales fell further in February, with General Motors sales down 53 percent from a year before. An index for pending home sales dropped more than expected in January, to a new low. And shares of General Electric fell sharply as investors worried that its credit rating could be cut.

After trading higher early in the day, the stock market ended down 0.6 percent, as measured by the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, now at its lowest level since 1996. The index dropped 9 percent over the preceding four days.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/03/AR2009030301196_pf.html

meanwhile …..

Fairly or not, Countrywide Financial and its top executives would be on most lists of those who share blame for the nation’s economic crisis. After all, the banking behemoth made risky loans to tens of thousands of Americans, helping set off a chain of events that has the economy staggering.

So it may come as a surprise that a dozen former top Countrywide executives now stand to make millions from the home mortgage mess.

Stanford L. Kurland, Countrywide’s former president, and his team have been buying up delinquent home mortgages that the government took over from other failed banks, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. They get a piece of what they can collect.

“It has been very successful — very strong,” John Lawrence, the company’s head of loan servicing, told Mr. Kurland one recent morning in a glass-walled boardroom here at PennyMac’s spacious headquarters, opened last year in the same Los Angeles suburb where Countrywide once flourished.

“In fact, it’s off-the-charts good,” he told Mr. Kurland, who was leaning back comfortably in his leather boardroom chair, even as the financial markets in New York were plunging.

As hundreds of billions of dollars flow from Washington to jump-start the nation’s staggering banks, automakers and other industries, a new economy is emerging of businesses that hope to make money from the various government programs that make up the largest economic rescue in history.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/business/04penny.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

cartooning about...

The global financial crisis, Victorian bushfires, Liberal Party leadership and climate change provided inspiration for political cartoonists in 2009.

More than 80 of their satirical drawings are now on show at the National Museum of Australia as part of the 12th annual Behind the Lines exhibition.

...

Curator Guy Hansen says the cartoons capture defining moments in Australia's political history.

"While Kevin Rudd struggled with the Global Financial Crisis, Malcolm Turnbull struggled with being Opposition leader," he said.

"For a brief moment all of these issues were pushed off the front page as a second-hand Mazda ute transfixed the nation's media.

"All these controversies unfolded while the world waited to see if its political leaders would reach an agreement on how to deal with climate change."

Mr Hansen says the global financial crisis provided a challenge to cartoonists.

"Cartoonists were challenged to find the appropriate visual metaphor to depict the infinitely complex workings of the economy," he said.

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Here on this site, not only we provide you with brilliant cartoons capturing the moment, we also provide cutting commentaries on the smell of fish. May there be plenty more good toons amongst the crummy ones, may you visit this haven of peace more often and please do a nostalgic stroll of the past year through Gus's view... The cartoon above clearly explains what happened in some quarters of finance while other cartoons allegorically depicts the way greed on credit squeezed our nuts...