Bailing out America
The stimulus bill and another massive bailout for banks -- big money challenges for the Obama administration.
The following is not a full transcript; for full story, listen to audio.
Last week saw 626,000 new claims for unemployment benefits, 30,000 more than the week before, and enough to create a new sense of urgency for the President's stimulus package. At the Energy Department, he made the case for quick action, praising "constructive changes" that have been made but affirming that that "scale and the scope of this plan is the right one." David Lightman, White House correspondent for the McClatchy Newspapers, tells "To the Point" about the current outlook for President Obama's stimulus package.
Big chunks of America's biggest banks are now owned by the taxpayers and, with billions more bailout money to come, they're going to own more. The Obama Administration is faced with a major question: with federal ownership on the increase, should there be more federal control? The President says he won't subsidize failure by allowing bailout money to pay for executive bonuses. Does he need to do more? Should he nationalize the banks and dismiss the architects of failure? Buy up those "toxic assets?" Cut the size of banks so they're not "too big to fail?" What's the best way to get the biggest bang for the next bailout?
- Michael Shnayerson: Contributing Editor, "Vanity Fair"
- David Smick: global financial market strategist
- Barry Ritholtz: CEO, Fusion IQ
- Simon Johnson: former Chief Economist, International Monetary Fund
Hosted by award-winning journalist Warren Olney, "To the Point" presents informative and thought-provoking discussion of major news stories — front-page issues that attract a savvy and serious news audience.