Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

GDP Decline in Europe during the Great Recession

May 29, 2010

Telling graph from the American Thinker’s Graph of the Day feature for 5/29/2010 regarding Europe’s GDP decline during the Great Recession.  Socialism ain’t all that.  Paul Krugman was just a bit off as well…

“This gets at a theme I’ve written about in the past, and will surely return to: a lot of the American image of Europe as a moribund economy is, like, so 1990s. They’re doing better now – and we’re doing worse.”  Paul Krugman, January 2008.

Declines in Real GDP (%) During the Great Recession

Source:  IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2010.
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U.S. Taxpayers Bailing Out Greece?

May 9, 2010

Good read by Mike Pence and Cathy McMorris Rodgers in the NY Post on how the US Taxpayers could be bailing out Greece, whose self-inflicted problems are due to years of rampant socialism. 

US taxpayers will be helping to foot the bill for the Greek bailout, via the Interna tional Monetary Fund. And if the Obama administration doesn’t draw a clear line, Uncle Sam may soon be on the line for even more and larger European “rescues.”

The Greek government, with its high taxes and profligate spending to support large bureaucracies and social programs, is bankrupt. Its bonds have been downgraded to junk status.

As economist Milton Friedman once said, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” Greece has run out of sand.

 Concerned that the fiscal damage could spread throughout the EU and the world, other European Union members and the IMF have pledged $145 billion to bail out Greece. And since the United States is the largest contributor to the IMF budget, our government will be funneling billions of American tax dollars to Greece.

No one wants to see Greece fail — the economic stability of Europe is important. But US taxpayers have funded bailout after bailout, and our country faces a debt crisis of its own.

Our unemployment rate stands at nearly 10 percent. The public debt now stands at $9.2 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that America’s debt held by the public will reach 90 percent of gross domestic product within 10 years under President Obama’s budget. Without dramatic spending restraints, America is on a path like the one that led to Greece’s financial catastrophe.

The Latest Casualties of Socialism: Greece, Spain, and Portugal

May 4, 2010

Excellent read from Dexter Wright in the American Thinker on how years of rampant Socialism (and Liberalism) have resulted in financial disasters in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and therfore to the EU.  Take note California.  You’re to the U.S. as Greece is to the E.U.

At the close of April the worst of the PIGS, Greece, was bailed out financially by the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by borrowing money mostly from Germany. The agreement that permitted that transaction to occur forced the Greek government to agree to austerity programs reducing social services and pensions.  This essentially means that the massive socialist programs instituted over the last forty years in Greece are being rolled back simply because these programs have run out of money.

Margret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, once said “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

Clearly Greece has run out of its own money and is now using German money to prevent total collapse. Bonds covering Greek debt have been degraded to junk bond status.

The next of the PIGS to start squealing looks like it will be Portugal followed very closely by Spain. Both countries will have to issue new debt to support their socialist programs because they have run out of their own money. The combined debt of all the PIGS is $3.7 Trillion. This exceeds their combined Gross Domestic Product by 63%. They are upside down in their debt. They owe more than they are worth. The citizens will ultimately pay for the years of over spending. In order to float the loans to cover the debt, these nations have offered their own citizens as collateral. 

If the story of the financial collapse of the PIGS seems familiar that is because we have seen this story unfold before throughout the twentieth century. Most recently, this script was played out upon the world stage when the Soviet Union collapsed, before that the Weimar Republic and before that Tsarist Russia

Continued:

The events that are transpiring in Europe are what a script writer would call foreshadowing of the events that will take place in America if the government continues to spend more money than the U.S. Treasury takes in. But these lessons are seemingly lost on American socialists as they push ahead at top speed to institute the Obama socialist agenda by packing the federal budget with huge amounts of pork.  At the current rate of spending the United States will be upside down in its debt obligations by next year. That is to say that America will owe more than its annual GDP. Currently the national debt is $12.9 trillion, and our GDP is $13.7 Trillion. Next year, the federal government will have to borrow $1.4 trillion to cover all of the expenditures in the budget. The collateral the government will use to secure these loans is the American tax payer. The taxpayers may not know it, (and the politicians hope they never find out) but the share of the national debt that each taxpayer owes right now is $117,380.00, essentially two years of engenderment, working off the debt for each household based on annual household incomes. 

 

GDP drops by 2.5% and Obama Says “We’re Heading in the Right Direction”.

May 1, 2010

Our Dear Leader is absolutely clueless and in over way over his head.  Courtesy of Gateway Pundit.

Projected Federal Spending in 2020 per Director of CBO

April 25, 2010

From Randall Hoven in the American Thinker:

“Given current law and certain changes to that law that are broadly supported by the Administration and Congress, the budget deficit and debt are on a worrisome path-unsustainable in the long run and posing growing risks even during the next several years.”  Douglas Elmendorf, Director of the CBO, April 23, 2010.


Your Tax Dollars at Work: SEC Staff Watched Porn as Economy Collapsed

April 23, 2010

The SEC has fallen asleep at the wheel.  First with Bernie Madoff, and now this.  From 9News:

The SEC’s inspector general conducted 33 probes of employees looking at explicit images in the past five years, according to a memo obtained late on Thursday by The Associated Press.

The memo says 31 of those probes occurred in the 2 years since the financial system teetered and nearly crashed.

It was written by SEC Inspector General David Kotz in response to a request from U.S. Senator Charles Grassley.  An SEC spokesman declined to comment on Thursday night.

The memo was first reported on Thursday evening by ABC News. It summarises findings of past inspector general probes and reports some shocking findings:

A senior attorney at the SEC’s Washington headquarters spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When he ran out of hard drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs, which he kept in boxes around his office. He agreed to resign, an earlier watchdog report said.

An accountant was blocked more than 16,000 times in a month from visiting websites classified as “Sex” or “Pornography.” Yet, he still managed to amass a collection of “very graphic” material on his hard drive by using Google images to bypass the SEC’s internal filter, according to an earlier report from the inspector general. The accountant refused to testify in his defense and received a 14-day suspension.

Seventeen of the employees were “at a senior level,” earning salaries of up to $US222,418 ($A239,933.12).

Rep. Barney Frank, Housing Prophet

April 18, 2010

From Randall Hoven in the American Thinker:

“We have, I think, an excessive degree of concern right now about home ownership and its role in the economy… those who argue that housing prices are now at the point of a bubble seem to me to be missing a very important point…  This is not the dot-com situation…  you’re not going to see the collapse that you see when people talk about a bubble.”  Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), June 2005

Source:  Federal Housing Finance Agency

The Latest Casualty of Liberalism: City of Los Angeles’ Credit Rating

April 7, 2010

From Bloomberg via BusinessWeek:

Los Angeles had the rating on $3.2 billion of debt cut to Aa3 from Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service a day after Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for a twice-a-week shutdown of “nonessential” services that might last until July.The one-level downgrade cited the difficulty of balancing the budget of the nation’s second-largest city by population. The mayor, whose workforce totals 35,000, told CNN today that 2,400 employees would retire early and 1,000 other positions would be eliminated.

View the full article here.

Hope but No Change: Unemployment Remains at 9.7%

April 2, 2010

Though employers added 162,000 jobs in March, which was the most in 3 years, 48,000 of those were temporary Census jobs.  And for the 3rd straight month, unemployment remains at 9.7%.  Wasn’t the Stimulus supposed to prevent all of this?  From the AP via Yahoo! Finance:

The nation’s economy posted its largest job gain in three years in March, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the third straight month.The increase in payrolls is the latest sign that the economic recovery is gaining momentum and healing in the job market is beginning. Still, the healing is likely to be slow, and most economists don’t expect new hiring to be fast enough this year to rapidly reduce the unemployment rate.

The Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the most since the recession began but below analysts’ expectations of 190,000. The total includes 48,000 temporary workers hired for the U.S. Census, also fewer than many economists forecast.

Luck of the Irish? No, Just a Shift Away from Big Government

March 17, 2010

From the American Thinker’s graph of the day feature.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  The U.S. needs to be more like Ireland…

Harry Reid on 9.7% Unemployment: “Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good”.

March 5, 2010

Misery Index at Highest Level Since 1991

January 10, 2010

The Misery Index, a combination of unemployment and inflation rates, is at its highest level since 1991 and stands at 12.8%.  Hope  and Change.  And Misery.

From Ed Lasky in the American Thinker:

The Misery Index is the sum of a nation’s unemployment, interest rates, and inflation figures. Given the Fed’s printing presses are running red hot and the Democrats show a propensity to profligacy, inflation looks to rise in the year ahead. Commodity prices are heading steadily higher, fueled by too much cash, and too much deficit spending. The Democrats have put policies in place that crimp the development of our vast mineral and energy reserves,. These trends are like the pig in the python – eventually the rise in these input prices will be reflected in higher prices for all consumers. A further source of anxiety should be the ever-weakening dollar that makes import prices higher in dollar terms.The misery index now stands at 12.8%, the highest since 1991 and 3 points above its average since then.

As Business Week reported this past week:

Whichever methodology you use, the misery metric will likely have political implications near-term… U.S. President Barack Obama faces his first midterm congressional elections in November. Their opposition will surely seek to capitalize on voter discomfort with the economy.

That’s what happened in 1976 when Jimmy Carter exploited a misery index of around 13% to help defeat Gerald Ford for the Presidency—only to see it rise to more than 20% four years later, costing him the same job. So unless they can cut their current indices, lawmakers could suffer their own form of misery this year: lost elections.

Obama Says 10% Unemployment Rate Heading in Right Direction

January 8, 2010

What is considered the wrong direction?

Hope and Change: Unemployment Remains at 10%

January 8, 2010

Hope and Change huh?  More like Change, for the worse, but no Hope.  Unemployment remains at 10%.  The One is taking a toll on our economy.

From Hotair.com.

Last month’s surprisingly sunny report on losses did not hold, and the US remains in double-digit unemployment:

Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-85,000) in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment fell in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while temporary help services and health care added jobs.

In December, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, were unchanged. At the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.7 million, and the unemployment rate was 5.0 percent. …

Total nonfarm payroll employment edged down in December (-85,000). Job losses continued in construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, while temporary help services and health care continued to add jobs. During 2009, monthly job losses moderated substantially. Employment losses in the first quarter of 2009 averaged 691,000 per month, compared with an average loss of 69,000 per month in the fourth quarter.

The number of jobs lost rose significantly between November and December, although the unemployment rate held steady.  In fact, the last paragraph shows a potential problem rolling into 2010.  The average job losses in the fourth quarter were skewed by the unexpectedly small decline in November, leading people to think that the end was near for job loss and that net job growth may be close.  Instead, December outpaced the entire quarter — in a season where retail usually adds positions.

The losses in construction and manufacturing give the greatest worry.  Those industries have been in free fall for over a year, and the economic stimulus package supposedly addressed those specifically.  There has been no jobs “saved or created” in those industries in numbers large enough to matter.

Government Jobs Top Goods-Producing Jobs

January 6, 2010

A sad sign of the times.  For the 1st time ever, Government jobs top goods-producing jobs in the US.  From Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit:

There are now more people working in governement than in goods-producing jobs.

For the first time in history there are now more profit-eating government jobs than goods-producing jobs in the United States.
Clusterstock reported:

In the just-so story of the evolution of our economy, our old manufacturing based economy has been replaced by an innovative knowledge economy. That’s not quite true.

In fact, the decline of the jobs in goods producing sectors of the economy–construction, manufacturing, mining and agriculture–has largely been met with an increase in jobs on the government payroll. We’ve gone from providing jobs in profit-making private industry to providing jobs in profit-eating government work. Toward the end of 2007, the total number of government jobs exceeded the total number of goods producing jobs. Welcome to the government payroll economy.

The average government worker enjoys a $71,000 per year annual salary compared to the average individual working in the private sector who makes just $40,000 per year.

Moody’s Lowers Bond Rating for Illinois

December 9, 2009

The State of Illinois recently had its bond rating lowered by Moody’s, with only California (another state that likes to tax and spend) having a lower rating. 

From Ethel Fenig in the American Thinker:

In a shuddering preview of what’s in store for the U.S., Moody’s Investor Services lowered the state of Illinois’ bond ratings on Tuesday reports Karen Pierog of Reuters.

Illinois’s bond ratings are now the second lowest of all 50 states, trailing only the # 1 holder of this dubious honor–California. In practical terms this means Illinois will have to pay bondholders a higher interest rate to compensate for their higher risk.

Illinois, the state where then State Senator Barack Obama (D) voted present as a state legislator, consistently voting for tax and spend policies. Then, he moved on to represent Illinois in Washington as Senator Obama where he continued to do the same before moving on to become president of the United States where he continues his pattern of tax and spend, consequences be damned.

He brings forth policies of spending our way out of the recession caused, of course, by his predecessor. His presidential predecessor, of course, had to deal with a Congress that was controlled by the party of the now president of which the now president was a member. And the now president voted present or agreed with all the budget busting legislation.

Quote of the Day, Courtesy of Barack Obama

November 18, 2009

 From The One’s interview yesterday with Major Garrett of Fox News.

“I think it is important, though, to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.”  Barack Obama

Ya think?

Obama Plans Job Summit to Address Struggling Economy

November 13, 2009

What a joke. Does he actually believe, that we believe, this will help right the economy?  Yet another rookie move.   

From Lee Cary in the American Thinker.

Obama’s planned December Jobs Summit is exactly what a community organizer would do.

Today, President Obama announced that he would host a Jobs Summit in December.  The question, he said, is – How do we add jobs and grow the economy?  It’s pretty clear to the conscious that the President hasn’t a clue how to grow the economy. And, every day more of us suspect that job growth isn’t even part of his agenda for the next few years.

It would have been heresy to publically make the following statement six months ago: Obama is intent on eroding the U.S. economy so that he can more easily transform it into a version of European socialism.

The idea of a “summit” is typical of a community organizer mentality. Convene the stakeholders, let them vent about the problem, give a shout-out to those already engaged in efforts to address the problem, get at least one member of the “establishment” that caused the trauma to attend and be contrite, define a vague action plan, stress the need for the whole community to get actively involve, break into small groups to discuss the issues, put people’s thoughts on flip chart paper, have the break-out groups’ scribes report back to the larger group, be sure everyone signs their names and contact information on a clipboard, and then schedule a few interviews with the local media to exaggerate the outcomes of the event.

As the Summit ends in December, the room will be all a-buzz with optimism and bonhomie. Then nothing will change.  It’s about feeling good, not doing good.

At Obama’s Summit, we can expect some announcement like an extension of unemployment benefits, or a commitment from an administration-friendly company to hire x-hundred more employees in an inner city, or the formation of a special blue ribbon commission of Beltway luminaries and captains of industry tasked to come up with additional solutions to make “The Turn in Ten” – how the decline in jobs will turn around in 2010 to a growth in jobs. More new government jobs.   

The administration’s effort to blame the continuing recession on Bush loses veracity by the day.  It’s already moved past the tipping point. By the January 20th anniversary of his inauguration, Obama will fully own the state of the economy, and it won’t be pretty.

The opportunity to take action to improve the economy passed earlier this year. We’re now into damage control, and some of the more powerful pumps will continue to sit idle.  

Fed Predicts Economy to Struggle for Years

November 10, 2009

Wasn’t the Stimulus supposed to save our economy?  Weren’t we told from The One that our economy had been pulled from the brink?  From Yahoo! Finance:

Unemployment likely will remain high for the next several years because the economic recovery won’t be strong enough to spur robust hiring, Federal Reserve officials warned Tuesday.

The cautionary note struck by the presidents of regional Fed banks in San Francisco and Atlanta were the first public remarks of Fed officials since the government reported last week that the nation’s jobless rate bolted to 10.2 percent in October. It marked only the second time in the post-World War II period that the rate surpassed 10 percent.

In separate speeches, Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, warned that rising unemployment could crimp consumers, restraining the recovery. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity.

“With such a slow rebound, unemployment could well stay high for several years to come,” Yellen said. “In other words, our recovery is likely to feel like something well short of good times.”

View the full article hereHope and Change just isn’t cutting it.  But at least we’ll have healthcare.

Obama and Democrats: Healthcare a Priority but Economy, Jobs Are Not

November 9, 2009

Judging by Obama’s actions, or lack thereof, Healthcare is a priority for him and his administration.  Congress has spent many an hour on this topic, on legislation, on garnering votes, etc.  Obama even made an appearance on Capitol Hill on Saturday to rally the troops prior to that night’s vote.

But Healthcare isn’t at the top of the issues list with American citizens these days.  What is atop their list is a struggling economy and a skyrocketing unemployment rate.  The more Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress neglects these issues, the more the Democrats will suffer in 2010. Last Tuesday’s Governor elections in NJ and VA will hopefully be just the tip of the iceberg. 

From Nolan Finley of the Detroit News:

Americans are angry with Washington as much for what it isn’t doing as what it is.

What it isn’t doing the most is paying attention to the still-raging economic disaster.

Last week’s job numbers show unemployment nationally bumping past 10 percent and surpassing 15 percent in Michigan. Unemployment keeps climbing, even though President Barack Obama and Congress nine months ago committed $787 billion to creating jobs.

Since then, neither the White House nor Congress has spent a minute honestly analyzing whether the stimulus program is accomplishing its goal, and if not, what other approaches might work.

Instead, the administration is spinning dismal economic reports into positive news, allowing both it and Congress to ignore the economy while they pursue their ideological ends.

It ought to infuriate anyone who’s lost a job, can’t find a job, is worried about his job or lives in a community ravaged by a lack of jobs that Congress devotes nearly all of its energy to arguing about health care.

The promise of health care reform was not what got Democrats elected. Voters tossed Republicans on their fannies for ruining the economy, not because they didn’t enact wildly expensive social programs.

But while the economy tops every list of public concerns, job creation is not the hot topic in Washington.

In fact, Democratic leaders, obsessed with reworking America, have proved more than willing to sacrifice precious jobs during the worst economic climate in a half-century.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., rammed an energy-rationing bill through her Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week without a single Republican member in the room.

The bill would greatly limit America’s ability to produce the energy it needs to fuel an economic rebound. In other words, it’s a job killer.

Democrats are revealing that putting the country back to work is a lesser priority than passing their social agenda.

If that weren’t true, they wouldn’t even consider any measure that would raise taxes on job creators.

Higher taxes, particularly on business, always result in fewer jobs. Both the health care and climate change bills will trigger huge tax hikes for every taxpayer.

Democrats have learned nothing from history. During the Great Depression, each time the economy showed a spark, President Franklin Roosevelt snuffed it out with another tax increase or regulatory burden.

Obama is making the same mistake and justifying it by claiming health care and climate change are so urgent they can’t be delayed until the economy recovers, and perhaps we can afford the costs.

But one in 10 American workers are unemployed — one in seven in Michigan. Surely, that’s the most urgent priority.

If it doesn’t become so soon in Washington, the tea bags being hurled at the Capitol will turn into pitchforks.

Job Losses Since Start of Democrat Majority

November 7, 2009

From the GOP Accountability site:

Job Losses Since Start of Democrat Majority

The Stimulus Swindle

November 6, 2009

Hotair.com provides an excellent graph on the Stimulus’ expected results v. actual results, courtesy of the GOP

The Stimulus Swindle

Unbelievable. Unemployment Rate at 10.2%

November 6, 2009

We knew it was coming but it’s still hard to fathom.  Unemployment in the US is at 10.2%.  Hope & Change is officially in a downward spiral.  From Foxnews.com:

Nearly 16 million people can’t find jobs, the Labor Department said Friday, pushing the unemployment rate over 10 percent for the first time since 1983.

The Labor Department said the economy shed a net total of 190,000 jobs in October, less than the downwardly revised 219,000 lost in September.

 But the loss of jobs exceeded economists’ estimates. It’s the 22nd straight month the U.S. economy has shed jobs, the longest on records dating back 70 years.

 Counting those who have settled for part-time jobs or stopped looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 17.5 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.

 The jobless rate rose from 9.8 percent in September.

Move over Jimmy Carter.  There’s a new sheriff in town.

Another GM Bailout On the Way?

October 29, 2009

Could another GM bailout be on the way, this time for GMAC?  From Ed Morrissey at Hotair.com:

Maybe three’s the charm?  After two bailouts and a politicized bankruptcy that ended up being a big payoff to the United Auto Workers, the credit arm of General Motors wants even more taxpayer money.  Why?  Because, silly geese, GMAC is just too big to fail:

It might seem like a lot of cash for one supersize clunker, a good-money-after-bad attempt to jump-start a broken-down giant of Detroit.

But as the Obama administration contemplates a third rescue of GMAC, the onetime finance arm of General Motors, federal officials, automotive executives and analysts all say the company is — just like the biggest Wall Street firms — too big to fail.

Despite two taxpayer-financed bailouts, GMAC is still struggling, even as its two biggest customers, General Motors and Chrysler, have put bankruptcy behind them.

While the collapse of GMAC probably would not send shock waves through the financial system the way the failure of a giant bank would, it would nonetheless deal a devastating blow to the auto industry, its suppliers and employees.

How much more does GM want to rescue its loan business?  Another $5.6 billion, on top of the $12.5 billion it has already sucked out of the Treasury in its other welfare checks.  GM apparently wants to sell the government even more of its business in exchange for the cash.  At the moment, the government holds 35% of GM; after this “sale”, it would own a majority stake in the automaker.

At least there’s one piece of good news — the UAW won’t need Card Check after all.  If the federal government owns a majority stake, then every negotiation will be federally arbitrated, right?

Why would the government even consider a third bailout for GM?  In part, the thinking is that they have to rescue the funds already committed:

Why rescue GMAC again? The federal government has committed more than $60 billion to prop up G.M. and Chrysler, and letting GMAC fail, the thinking goes, would threaten a recovery in the broader car industry.

“We are in too deep for us to sensibly back out now,” said Douglas Elliott, a former investment banker who is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution. “We will probably lose less money by putting in more now.”

This is the kind of thinking most often seen at craps tables and bookie joints.  Betting on the Tennessee Titans will eventually pay off, and besides, bettors have gotten in too deep to stop now.  The Titans have to win sometime, don’t they?  The only real difference is that one gets better odds on craps, and for that matter, even the Tennessee Titans.

The best policy would be to let GM fail, which is what the government should have done in the bankruptcy.  Instead, it put a wet-behind-the-ears campaign worker in charge of interfering with senior creditor rights to hand the UAW a sweetheart deal.  Now we’re just throwing nonexistent money after crushing debt, all in the service of a company that hasn’t performed well in years.  This is what happens when government puts its money on bad teams in a sport they have no business playing in the first place.

Obama Scolds Wall Street

October 21, 2009

Great post from Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit on Obama’s scolding of Wall Street, which is hilarious in itself since he’s The One responsible for unemployment at 9.8% (and rising), an out-of-control deficit, and a crumbling economy.  Other than that, he’s handled things quite well.

After tripling the national deficit in one year and nearly doubling unemployment President Obama had the gall to lecture Wall Street on economics yesterday.

deficit
Obama promised 2,500,000 million jobs…
But so far his record “stimulus” package has only created 30,083.

Reuters reported:

President Barack Obama chastised Wall Street firms on Tuesday for resisting tighter regulations of their industry and said they had not done enough to boost lending to small businesses.

Lashing out at the “reckless speculation” and “shortsightedness” he said were behind the 2008-2009 financial crisis, Obama expressed frustration at criticism he has taken over the unpopular $700 billion bailout of the financial industry.

Obama told a Democratic party fund-raiser that his administration backed the bailout program, begun in the Bush administration, because it was necessary to prevent a financial collapse that could have devastated the economy.

“We also know we should never again have to face potential calamity because of reckless speculation … and shortsightedness and self-interestedness from a few,” Obama said. “So if there are members of the financial industry in the audience today, I would ask that you join us in passing what are necessary reforms.”

The remarks were the latest in a series from Obama and his aides urging the financial industry to get behind a package of proposals under consideration in Congress that would tighten rules for derivatives trading and other activities while establishing a new consumer watchdog for financial products.