Antagoniste


18 mars 2009

Top 5 USA États-Unis Top Actualité

Citation de la semaine
"The last thing the President wanted was a high-profile ceremony as he signed a bill stuffed with pork barrel spending — including such items as $950,000 for a Myrtle Beach South Carolina convention center and $238,000 for a Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii."
—Chip Reid (ABC News) about the $410 billion spending package

Poids média de l'actualité américaine (9-15 mars) selon le Pew Research Center:

Actualité États-Unis

Actualité États-Unis

Actualité États-Unis

Media Focus on Economic Villains: Bonuses, Bernie and Blather

In a week highlighted by a rise in the stock market and a showdown between a comedian and cable host, the financial crisis was again the top story in the news—by a wide margin.

The economic meltdown, with its spreading storylines, accounted for 35% of the newshole from March 9-15, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Related stories, such as the Bernard Madoff scandal and problems in the auto industry, added another 8%, as measured by PEJ’s weekly News Coverage Index, an examination of 55 different mainstream news outlets across five media sectors.

Last week, the narrative seemed to focus more on what had been a smaller but ongoing element, the hunt for people or institutions that appear to embody the nearly unbridled excess that contributed to the unraveling of the financial system.

One earlier example was former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, who generated attention and scorn for spending more than $1 million to refurbish his office. Or troubled Citigroup, recipient of billions in bailout money, which made headlines with plans to buy a $50-million jet—before reversing course.

Last week, that spotlight moved back onto insurance giant and multiple-bailout recipient AIG, which was lampooned as a financial “black hole” by late night host Jay Leno. Over the weekend, AIG also made front-page news that provoked populist and political outrage after revelations the company would pay a reported $165 million in bonuses despite taking $170 billion in federal funds, and the storyline appeared to be spilling over into this week as week as well.

Another culprit also emerged during the week—the media itself, particularly the financial cable news channel CNBC. Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show, had recently spent time fingering CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, among others. Things culminated on March 12, when Stewart, channeling Mike Wallace, grilled Cramer and accused CNBC of abandoning journalism for cheerleading in the run-up to the Wall Street collapse. The encounter, complete with Stewart’s four-letter expletives, became an instant online video hit and made its way to the White House, where Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters he had “enjoyed it thoroughly.” By week’s end, the feud had become a major event in the mainstream press, page one material and a Twitter favorite.

Madoff, perhaps the single-most-visible villain in this run of economic bad news, also attracted substantial attention last week for pleading guilty to bilking investors in a $65 billion Ponzi scheme. By himself, Madoff was the No. 3 story of the week, filling 7% of the newshole.

Source:
journalism.org
Media Focus on Economic Villains: Bonuses, Bernie and Blather


18 mars 2009

Quand l’État réglemente (III) Économie En Vidéos États-Unis Récession

La semaine dernière nous avons vu que la déréglementation, qui a été désignée par les médias comme étant responsable de la crise, n’est qu’un mythe (ici, ici & ici). Cette semaine nous verrons que c’est plutôt la réglementation qui a amené le système financier américain au bord du gouffre.

Cette semaine, j'ai publié 2 billets (ici & ici) montrant comment l'imposante réglementation adoptée par le gouvernement américain, sous prétexte de lutter contre la discrimination, a joué un rôle dans le déclenchement de la crise en incitant, voire en obligeant, les banques à donner du crédit à des gens insolvables.

De manière très concrète, voici comment l'État a imposé sa volonté aux banques.

Dans cet article datant de 1998, on apprend que le Department of Housing and Urban Development est parvenu à une entente hors cours avec Accubanc Mortgage Corporation, une banque du Texas qui avait été accusée de pratiques discriminatoires dans l'attribution de ses prêts hypothécaires.

En vertu de cette entente, "Accubanc Mortgage Corporation" a accepté de verser une pénalité 2,8 milliards de dollars (constants) en prêts hypothécaires à des gens qui avaient préalablement refusé.

Voici comment Andrew Cuomo, le secrétaire du "Department of Housing and Urban Development" a expliqué cette décision en 1998:

CUOMO: To take a greater risk on these mortgages, yes. To give families mortgages that they would not have given otherwise, yes.

QUESTION:
[unintellible] … that they would not have given the loans at all?

CUOMO: They would not have qualified but for this affirmative action on the part of the bank, yes.

QUESTION: Are minorities represented in that low and moderate income group?

CUOMO:
It is by income, and is it also by minorities? Yes.

CUOMO: With the 2.1 billion, lending that amount in mortgages — which will be a higher risk, and I’m sure there will be a higher default rate on those mortgages than on the rest of the portfolio.

Le message envoyé par les autorités réglementaires en place à Washington était clair: les banques doivent consentir des prêts aux groupes minoritaires mêmes si ces gens présentent un plus grand risque pour le créancier.

Bref, au lieu de laisser le libre-marché dicter aux banques le niveau de risque acceptable lors de l'attribution d'un prêt hypothécaire, le gouvernement a décidé d'imposer aux institutions financières un modèle de gestion du risque qui n'était pas soutenable.

On se rend rapidement compte que les lois "anti-discriminations" n’ont pas été adoptées pour réparer des injustices, on a plutôt forcé les banques à prendre des risques inconsidérés pour que des politiciens puissent racoler des électeurs.

Ainsi est né le subprime; ainsi a débuté la crise…

Ce n'est pas le capitalisme qui a failli, c'est l'interventionnisme de l'État.


18 mars 2009

Au pays des soviets Coup de gueule Économie En Chiffres États-Unis Gauchistan Hétu Watch Récession

Dans un régime communiste, l'élite dirigeante dépouille la population de sa richesse pour la redistribuer aux amis du pouvoir.

Donc, doit-on se surprendre de voir, Gerry Pasciucco, l'un des patrons d'AIG, arborer dans ses temps libres un t-shirt de Che Guevara ?

Aujourd'hui, Barack Obama joue la vierge offensée en dénonçant les bonus versés aux cadres d'AIG.  Pourtant, si Obama avait refusé d'utiliser l'argent des contribuables pour donner un nouveau bailout à cette entreprise, ces bonus n'auraient jamais été payés.

Mais voilà, comme je disais, AIG à des amis haut placés à Washington.  Voici les contributions électorales d'AIG pour l'année 2008.

AIG Bonus


18 mars 2009

C’est la loi ! Économie États-Unis Hétu Watch Récession Revue de presse

The Examiner

Dodd silent on language in stimulus that allows AIG bonuses
The Examiner

Sen. Christopher Dodd [D-Connecticut] won’t say how a rule he added to the Obama stimulus package ended up allowing AIG to give top executives of the failing company big bonuses.

The Dodd amendment includes this line: “There is an exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009.” According to AIG officials, who sent a letter explaining the bonuses to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last week, the company was contractually obligated to made the payments, which amounted to $165 million. Lawmakers fumed over the payments Tuesday but were unaware of the exception provided in the stimulus bill they voted on that makes them perfectly legal.

Dodd’s state of Connecticut is home to a large division of AIG, which has given the former Democratic presidential candidate more money than to any other lawmaker. Dodd received more than $101,000 in campaign donations from AIG employees in 2008 and $223,000 since 2003, according to OpenSecrets.org.