The State of the Economy
March 4, 2009 10:38 AM Subscribe
So how's the economy doing? Everyone, even google's CEO, seems to acknowledge it's bleak. Of course, panic would not be good, but a glance at the headlines reveals that one in five mortgages are underwater--prompting yet more federal relief--while the FDIC's insurance fund is threatened by further bank insolvency, and the U.S. private sector hemorrhaged nearly 700,000 jobs in February. New revelations about the banking crisis show that as Merrill Lynch foundered, its top 10 earners made $209 million last year, and that some of the companies that caused the mortgage crisis are now benefitting from it. At a time when 87 million Americans can't afford health insurance, and prison spending outpaces all but Medicaid; when we still don't know where exactly $2.2 trillion in bank loans have gone, some analysts are nevertheless cautiously optimistic. One sign of progress is that Obama is taking on the kinds of costly and wasteful U.S. defense contracts that the previous administration let run amok. If he can take on that racket, and make a dent, there may be hope after all.
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