Grumpy Editor, over the Labor Day weekend, noted that Larry Kudlow's syndicated column advanced some thoughts that business editors of major publications missed: Where are all those billions of dollars going that the Obama administration got as “settlements” from top U.S. banks?
Most recent, the former CNBC host pointed out Bank of America’s $16.65 billion settlement was for financial-crisis era mortgage securities.
That came after $12 billion was obtained from JP Morgan and $7 billion from Citigroup.
As with BofA, both payments from those top banks to the U.S. government were linked to mortgage-backed securities dealings.
“These huge bank settlements are election year ATMs for the Obama administration,” declared Kudlow, an economist and a former advisory committee member of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac). “It’s a real shakedown.”
Added Kudlow: “No one even remotely knows how these penalty-payment numbers are calculated. And the federal government’s disbursement of these funds is equally mysterious.”
Kudlow was associate director for economics and planning in the Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan administration.
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
CNN correspondent Will Ripley, in Pyongyang, North Korea, managed to interview three American detainees on Labor Day: Jeffrey Fowle, Mathew Miller and Kenneth Bae. They called for a U.S. representative to go to the communist nation to make a direct appeal for their releases. “I’m getting desperate for help,” declared Fowle…A recovered “Laptop of Doom” (as CNN called it), containing 35,000 ISIS terrorist files, resulted in interviews from Dubai over the weekend with Jenan Moussa, Foreign Policy contributor. What was interesting to the TV-dial flipper: CNN and Fox News interviews at the same time on Sunday both were labeled “live” --- but with different backgrounds…Even with the 9/11 anniversary coming up in nine days, top U.S. editors didn’t get very excited about a new English-language al-Qaeda on-line publication that suggested U.S. locations for Muslim extremists to car bomb. Sites included Times Square in New York, Las Vegas casinos, Georgia Military College, U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and San Diego-based defense contractor General Atomics...U.S. editors, concerned in the past about ice fading from Arctic waters, also yawned at a London Daily Mail revelation that an Aug. 25 satellite reading showed an area the size of Alaska that was open water two years ago is again covered by ice. Among the few news outlets mentioning this: The Hyannis (Mass.) News and NewsBusters…Two new national polls not widely reported: a Rasmussen Reports survey found 75 percent of American adults are concerned about inflation. The tally included 37 percent who are “very concerned” and 22 percent who are “not concerned.” Meanwhile, a Pew Research Center/USA Today survey revealed 65 percent said the world is more dangerous than it was several years ago, 7 percent felt the world has gotten safer while 27 percent said things have not changed much. Also, nearly twice as many Republicans as Democrats (46 percent vs. 24 percent) now think the U.S. does too little to help solve world problems…Fish get water, farmers don’t: In the California water battle during a drought, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is releasing water --- through Sept. 14 --- from Trinity Lake to help protect Chinook salmon in low-water conditions. Irate farmers declare the water release comes when their allocation of federally-managed irrigation water has been cut to zero. Result? Higher food prices ahead.
The federal government plans to spend nearly $1 million to create an online database to track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.