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Bailed Out Bankers Testify: Live Video

MSNBC |   February 11, 2009 08:58 AM

The eight chief executives from bailed out Wall Street banks are testifying today before Congress. The CEOS will be quizzed aggressively on how they have used more than $160 billion in taxpayers’ money.

Watch the hearing live here

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Banking leaders face the hot seat in Congress

Via: Raw Story/ Associated Press
Published: Wednesday February 11, 2009

Banking leaders who benefited from a federal bailout are bringing a message of accommodation and gratitude to Congress, hoping for a better reception than the one given Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

The eight chief executives nevertheless will likely hear plenty of skepticism Wednesday morning when they take seats at a witness table in the Rayburn House Office Building. It will be the first such examination by lawmakers since they passed the bailout bill last year. The CEOS will be quizzed aggressively on how they have used more than $160 billion in taxpayers’ money.

In prepared testimony, the banking industry leaders applauded the program for making more loans available and promised to pay their share of the money back to the Treasury over time. Anticipating confrontations over their own compensation, several asserted that none of the government’s money went to bonuses or dividends.

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Obama to introduce executive pay limits for bailed out companies.»

Think Progress- By Faiz Shakir on Feb 3rd, 2009 at 10:25 pm

The Obama administration plans to mandate new executive pay limits for financial companies that are receiving any help from the $700 billion bailout fund. “If the taxpayers are helping you, then you’ve got certain responsibilities to not be living high on the hog,” President Obama said in an interview. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has proposed that no employee of a bailed-out company can receive more than $400,000 in total compensation until it pays the money back.

UpdateObama will announce today that he’s imposing a cap of $500,000 on the compensation of top executives at companies that receive significant federal assistance in the future.

Update Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was the first to propose the idea of capping salaries last October. Watch his appearance last night on The Rachel Maddow Show.

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Obama to detail compensation limits on executives

JIM KUHNHENN | February 4, 2009 10:05 AM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Call it the maximum wage. President Barack Obama wants to impose a $500,000 pay cap on executives whose firms receive government financial rescue funds, a dramatic intervention into corporate governance in the midst of financial crisis.

The new restrictions, described by an administration official familiar with the new rules, are to be announced Wednesday morning at the White House. The steps set the stage for the administration’s unveiling next week of a new framework for spending the money that remains in the $700 billion financial rescue fund.

“If the taxpayers are helping you, then you’ve got certain responsibilities to not be living high on the hog,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the plan had not yet been made public, said the most restrictive limits would apply only to struggling large firms that receive “exceptional assistance” in the future. Healthy banks that receive government infusions of capital would have more leeway.

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Job seekers queue up to attend a job fair Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009, in Chicago. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits has reached an all-time record, the government said Thursday, and more layoffs are spreading throughout the economy. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Job seekers queue up to attend a job fair Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009, in Chicago. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits has reached an all-time record, the government said Thursday, and more layoffs are spreading throughout the economy. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Economy Shrinks In 4Q At 3.8 Percent Pace

JEANNINE AVERSA | January 30, 2009 10:33 AM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — The economy shrank at a 3.8 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, as the deepening recession forced consumers and businesses to throttle back spending.

Although the initial result was better than economists expected, the figure is likely to be revised even lower in the months ahead and some believe the economy is contracting in the current quarter at a pace of around 5 percent. The current January-March period, they said, will probably turn out to be the worst quarter for the recession.

American consumers and businesses cut back everywhere in the final three months of 2008. Shoppers chopped spending on cars, furniture, appliances, clothes and other items. Businesses dropped the ax on equipment and software, home building and commercial construction. And overseas sales of U.S.-made goods and services tanked as foreign buyers grappled with their own economic woes.

“The downturn is intensifying. The fourth quarter is worse than it looks,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com.

The new figure, released Friday by the Commerce Department, showed the economy sinking at a much faster clip in the October-December period than the 0.5 percent decline logged in prior quarter.

The report tallies gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced within the United States. It is considered the broadest barometer of the country’s economic health.

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Exxon Mobil Reports Record $45.2 Billion Profit For 2008

JOHN PORRETTO | January 30, 2009 10:02 AM EST | AP

HOUSTON — Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company, even as its fourth-quarter earnings fell 33 percent from a year ago.

The previous record for annual profit was $40.6 billion, which the world’s largest publicly traded oil company set in 2007.

The extraordinary full-year profit wasn’t a surprise given crude’s triple-digit price for much of 2008, peaking near an unheard of $150 a barrel in July. Since then, however, prices have fallen roughly 70 percent amid a deepening global economic crisis.

In the fourth quarter alone crude tumbled 60 percent, prompting spending and job cuts in an industry that was reporting robust, often record, profits as recently as last summer.

With piles of cash and diversified operations, the majors like Exxon Mobil have fared better than many smaller oil and gas companies, but Friday’s results show no one is completely insulated from the ongoing malaise.

Irving, Texas-based Exxon said net income slid sharply to $7.8 billion, or $1.55 a share, in the October-December period. That compared with $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share, in the same period a year ago, when Exxon set a U.S. record for quarterly profit. It has since topped that mark twice, first in last year’s second quarter and then with earnings of $14.83 billion in the third quarter.

Revenue in the most-recent quarter fell 27 percent to $84.7 billion.

Both the per-share and revenue results topped Wall Street forecasts. On average, analysts expected the company to earn $1.45 a share in the latest quarter on revenue of $69.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

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