Let's hold the champagne and party favors!

As reported earlier, Obama has taken a new populist stance regarding Wall Street. However, as John Carney points out, Big Banks Have Already Figured Out The Loophole In Obama’s New Rules.

Big banks have already begun poking the holes in Obama’s new rules—holes they expect their banks to pass through basically unchanged.

The president promised this morning to work with Congress to ensure that no bank or financial institution that contains a bank will own, invest in or sponsor a hedge fund or a private equity fund, or proprietary trading operations unrelated to serving customers for its own profit.

HAMP's purpose isn't to save people's homes

If you listened to Obama Administration and the MSM you would have thought that the Making Homes Affordable program was designed to help people stay in their homes. You would have been mistaken.

Of the nearly 760,000 modifications that have been enrolled in three-month trial plans, less than 32,000 have transitioned into permanent relief for homeowners. Nearly 87 percent of the modifications under the administration's program are for investor-owned mortgages.

That's right - the program is designed to bail out real estate investors and speculators, not homeowners.

GAO report on Stimulus

The GAO has released a new report on the Stimulus.

GAO's review of prime recipient reports identified the following: Erroneous or questionable data entries that merit further review:

  1. 3,978 reports that showed no dollar amount received or expended but included more than 50,000 jobs created or retained
  2. 9,247 reports that showed no jobs but included expended amounts approaching $1 billion
  3. Instances of other reporting anomalies such as discrepancies between award amounts and the amounts reported as received which, although relatively small in number, indicate problematic issues in the reporting.

Pretty astounding huh. Believe this or not, 75% of the reporting was supposedly reviewed by a Federal Agency, while only 1% was reviewed from the recipient of the funds.

Obama to Push for "Free Trade" Agreement with Asia

Just when you think it can't get any more obvious, we get this:

President Barack Obama raised hopes for creating an Asia-Pacific free-trade region by announcing Saturday that the U.S. would seek to join a smaller group seen as a precursor to a broader Pacific Rim agreement.

News that the U.S. would participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, joining Chile, New Zealand, Singapore and Brunei, was announced in Tokyo and Singapore, drawing applause at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

"Significant steps like the TPP are important to help keep up the momentum in our efforts to realize the ... vision" to create a region-wide free trade area, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told other leaders at their weekend summit here.

Elizabeth Warren Interview & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Lobbying Against Consumers

It appears Obama is going to try to push financial regulatory reform again, although unfortunately the administration's plan wants to make the Federal Reserve a super regulator with expanded powers.

What is more interesting to note is how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is attacking the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Oh yes, lord forbid if there was regulation against ripping off the general public with credit cards, mortgages, banking fees and loans. (Note the Washington post got the agency title wrong as well as miscategorizes the Say on Pay Bill).

Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs International Appointed to Key State Dept. Position

That is right. Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs, has be appointed to a very important position in the State Department.

Hormats was named by the Obama administration Friday to be the department's undersecretary for economic, energy and agricultural affairs, an official announcement indicated.

Obama Economist Romer - Wishful Thinking?

Do you ever wonder if economics has gone by the wayside and now it's all simply consumer confidence, public relations and wishful thinking?

Obama Economist Christina Romer via Financial Times:

The US economy will feel a substantial boost from the Obama administration’s emergency spending package over the next few months, says Christina Romer, a senior White House official, who has warned against tightening monetary and fiscal policy before recovery is well established.

We are going to get some serious oomph from the stimulus, there is the inventory cycle and I believe there is some pent-up demand by consumers.

Why isn't Single Payer Health Insurance on the Table?

Single Payer Universal Health Care Insurance reform is not in consideration in D.C.'s lobbyist bubble health care reform negotiations. Here is Obama's reason why.

Obama has rejected the idea of establishing a single government insurance program, however, saying the U.S. tradition of providing health care through employers would make such a shift politically and practically impossible.

Ouch! Alternet Asks the Question - Is Obama's Chief Economic Adviser Larry Summers Taking Kickbacks?

I don't like this story. Not a bit and it's making the rounds as a bombshell. Alternet is asking the question Is Larry Summers Taking Kickbacks From the Banks He's Bailing Out?:

Last month, a little-known company where Summers served on the board of directors received a $42 million investment from a group of investors, including three banks that Summers, Obama’s effective “economy czar,” has been doling out billions in bailout money to: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley. The banks invested into the small start-up company, Revolution Money, right at the time when Summers was administering the “stress test” to these same banks.