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15 Nov 2011 19:54


U.S.: USPS expected to default on payment, could be broke by next year

  • $5.1 billion lost in fiscal 2011 by the US Postal Service source
  • » They could be broke by September 2012: On top of that, they expect to default on a key health care pension plan payment (which forces them to pre-pay for workers’ future health benefits decades in advance) — of $5.5 billion.

28 Jul 2011 23:23


Politics: An update on the debt ceiling shenanigans

  • boehner’s bill falls short: After a chaotic day of vote-whipping, vote-delaying, and vote-switching, John Boehner has decided to postpone the vote on his debt ceiling bill. Despite multiple assurances that it would be brought to a vote before tomorrow, at the end of the day, Boehner didn’t have enough votes to ensure the bill’s passage (and he wasn’t going to embarrass himself by introducing a bill that was sure to fail). In an unusual alignment, conservative Tea Partiers and House Democrats all pledged to vote against the bill, albiet for different reasons. While the legislation has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, Boehner’s ability to shepherd it through the House is seen by many as the first real test of his leadership abilities. If he doesn’t eventually pass it, there’s a good chance he’ll (eventually) be deposed as Speaker. But it’s not over yet–sources say Republicans plan to tweak the bill a bit, and re-introduce it tomorrow.  source

27 Jul 2011 23:52


Politics: McCain invokes “Lord of the Rings” in debt ceiling tirade

  • The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
  • John McCain • Ripping the Republican Party on the Senate floor. He later derided House Republicans’ approach to the debt-ceiling discussions as “the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees.” source

25 Jul 2011 22:02


Politics: Obama speech light on policy, heavy on politics

  • We were planning on live-blogging the President’s primetime speech on the debt ceiling, but there wasn’t much to live-blog about. He didn’t support or reject any new policies, or endorse a specific strategy for raising the debt limit. Rather, the President doubled-down on the importance of avoiding default, reinforced hard distinctions between him and House Republicans, and make slight adjustments to his political positioning. He warned, in his most explicit language yet, of the consequences default would have for average Americans. He came out hard for progressive taxation, hammering the Republicans for refusing to consider raising taxes on the rich, and explicitly asked constituents to call their representatives in Congress and voice support for the White House’s “balanced.” In general, as was the case in his press conference last Friday, the President ended up sounding a whole lot more partisan than normal, but didn’t deliver any game-changers. source

13 Jul 2011 22:34


Politics: Talk about drawing a line in the sand

  • I’ve reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this.
  • President Obama • Toward the end of a budget meeting with Republicans. It’s not clear what policy he won’t yield on, but from the texture of the debate thus far, we’re guessing it’s the inclusion of revenue increases in the deal to raise the debt-ceiling.source

16 May 2011 23:20


U.S.: Influential conservative says failing to raise debt limit bad

  • The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. […] The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns.
  • Ronald Reagan, circa 1983 • Regarding legislation to raise the debt limit. This guy seems like a flaming liberal, doesn’t he? Oh wait, maybe not. source

10 May 2011 16:58


Politics: Speaker Boehner wants it both ways on debt ceiling debate

  • That would be a financial disaster, not only for us, but for the worldwide economy. I don’t think it’s a question that’s even on the table.
  • Speaker Of The House John Boehner • Commenting on the looming necessity to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, all the way back in late January. See how quickly things change? Seriously, though, the above statement is almost certainly Speaker Boehner’s true opinion on this issue. The fact that he’s now trying to game some more political leverage out of it is unsurprising, as it’s very similar to the way he handled last month’s budget battle. Greg Sargent has a pretty astute take on this — that Boehner knows failure to raise the limit is unthinkable, but wants to push this debate as close to the eleventh hour as possible, hoping that will make it easier to convince members of his own party that he got all he could out of the White House. Sounds about right to us. source

31 Jan 2011 12:52


Politics: Speaker Boehner pushes back on anti-debt ceiling talk

  • That would be a financial disaster not only for our country, but for the worldwide economy.
  • Speaker Of The House John Boehner • Appearing on Fox News Sunday, the Speaker waded into the debt ceiling issue, seeming to suggest that to his mind, failure to raise the limit would be unthinkable. The nature of Boehner’s unabashed candor is very surprising, considering the Republican voices who have recently toyed with the idea of voting against raising the ceiling. This may be an early example of the internal struggle between establishment Republicanism and their new Tea Party cohorts. source

27 Nov 2009 09:36


Biz, World: Investors looking for an out from the mirage of Dubai

  • The question right now is is it just a Dubai issue or is the whole UAE in trouble, does Abu Dhabi still have enough cash to help Dubai?
  • Merrill Lynch sales manager in emerging markets equity Amr Aboushaban • Describing shaken investor confidence in the Middle East after Dubai said it couldn’t repay billions in loans. There are other areas in the region – most notably Abu Dhabi – that might be able to help the Middle East’s largest sign of unparalleled wealth, but investors are scrambling to keep their money safe in other regional financial havens as a result of the news. source

26 Nov 2009 09:59


World: Happy Thanksgiving! Dubai may default on its massive debt

  • $59 billion in liabilities owed to various creditors source