Economic Recovery Measures

‘Line’ Items: Commissions, Summits, Caps and Dogs

Commission Coming – The White House says President Obama will create a fiscal commission by executive order within days. Meanwhile, Republicans still have not committed to participating.

Snow Job – Just hours after Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) announced they had reached a deal on a jobs bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plowed it under, saying it was too bloated with provisions not related to creating jobs. The Senate will consider the scaled-down version Reid crafted on February 22 when it returns from its week-long President’s Day recess.

Weekend Editorial Roundup

Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy:


The New York Times criticized Republican healthcare reform proposals as not doing enough to fix the current system or to contain costs.  Proposals such as health savings accounts, high-risk pools, and allowing insurance to be purchased in any state, they argued, would either not drive down costs enough or would actually push up premiums for certain groups.

Senate To Consider Scaled-Down Jobs Bill

 The Senate is likely to turn to a tightly focused jobs bill when it returns from the President's Day break next week. The bill, a much-scaled down version of legislation written by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont) and his ranking Republican, Charles Grassley of Iowa, contains provisions that the Congressional Budget Office said earlier this year would indeed help stimulate the economy.

Stimulus Proposals in the President's Budget

In the budget released last week, the President outlined his vision for additional economic stimulus. Included in his proposal was $76 billion over 11 years (including $29 billion in 2010) to extend existing stimulus measures on the tax side, $90 billion ($45 billion in 2010) to extend spending stimulus measures, and another $100 billion ($24 billion in 2010) to allow for new, yet-to-be-specified stimulus measures.

One More FDIC Bank Closing

On Friday evening, the FDIC reported that it has taken over an additional bank (First American State Bank of Minnesota) for a cost to the FDIC of about $3 million. This brings the total number of failed banks since the beginning of 2008 to 182. Total deposits of all failed banks now equal over $8.7 billion for 2010 and $380 billion since the beginning of 2008, all at an estimated cost to the FDIC of about $61.4 billion.

‘Line’ Items: Washington Activities Affecting the Bottom Line

No Limit to Ploys in House Rules – The House raised the debt limit to $14.3 trillion on Thursday using a procedure that allowed members to approve the increase without a direct roll call vote on it.

Expired Fed Lending Facilities

Earlier this week, four Fed lending facilities came to a close (see Fed release here), as previously announced, in light of improved conditions in financial markets. Among the expiring programs included the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, Primary Dealer Credit Facility, and the Term Securities Lending Facility (links will direct you to a full description of each program at

Six More FDIC Bank Closings

Five More FDIC Bank Closings

On Friday evening, the FDIC reported that it has taken over an additional five banks (Columbia River Bank, Evergreen Bank, Charter Bank, Bank of Leeton, Premier American Bank) for a cost to the FDIC of about $530 million.

Stiglitz, Stimulus, the Financial Sector and the Genie

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz stopped by New America this week to discuss his new book "Freefall", about our economic and financial crisis.

For the fiscal hawks among us, he warns: "Our economic growth has been based … on borrowing from the future: we have been living beyond our means."

But, he has other worries for the immediate future:

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