As Unemployment Falls, ‘Biggest Risk’ To Job Growth Is ‘Self-Inflicted Damage From Bad Policy Decisions’

Despite steady job growth in November, policies like those being debated as part of the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations in Washington could damage further employment gains, progressive economists and analysts say. The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs last month, and the national unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, its lowest level since December 2008, the time of the financial crash, according to data released Friday by the federal government. “Despite the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. economy showed remarkable resilience adding 146,000 jobs in November. The economy continues heading in the right direction, though still not fast enough. The biggest risk to a stronger labor market remains the potential for self-inflicted damage from bad policy decisions,” says Adam Hersh, … Continue reading

Activists Pressure Administration To Reveal Name Of New Mortgage Task Force Head

Housing and mortgage-accountability activist groups are urging the Obama administration to reveal the name of the new director  appointed to the newly created Mortgage Fraud Task Force after Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that such a director was now in place. President Obama first promised the creation of the task force in his 2012 State of the Union address, as a way “to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis.” “This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans,” Obama vowed at the time. Although … Continue reading

Advocates Call ‘Paltry’ Bank Deal Just The Beginning For Wronged Homeowners

Critics of the fraud committed by the nation’s largest banks in the so-called “robo-signing” scandal are calling Thursday’s settlement deal just the first step in achieving justice for wronged U.S. homeowners. State and federal officials announced the $26 billion settlement over the banks’ fraudulent foreclosure practices which led to wrongful foreclosures nationwide. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder led the announcement at a Washington news conference and says the settlement will be a step in “righting the wrongs that led to our nation’s housing-market collapse and economic crisis.” About 1 million families will see some reduction in their mortgages, while another 750,000 homeowners who were wrongly foreclosed on will receive $2,000 checks, according to the terms of the settlement. Critics, however, … Continue reading

Jobs Report Puts Pressure On GOP

The federal government’s report that the nation added 200,000 last month only puts fresh pressure on congressional Republicans to do more to help the struggling U.S. economy, and struggling jobless Americans in particular, according to many both in and out of the Obama administration. The Labor Department released employment data Friday, which also found the national unemployment rate dropped to 8.5 percent, its lowest level in three years. Despite the hope that the news represents, it also points out that more must be done, many say. In all, employers created nearly 2 million private-sector jobs during 2011, according to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. “We’ve now created more than 3.2 million jobs over 22 consecutive months of private sector growth,” she … Continue reading

Confrontation With Wall Street: Consumer Confirmation Battle Expected This Week

The latest political battle between the 99 percent and the 1 percent likely is to take place this week on the Senate floor, as senators are expected to vote on the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Created as the brainchild of prominent consumer advocate-turned-Democratic-Senate-candidate Elizabeth Warren, the CFPB is designed to shield consumers from the sorts of financial abuses which helped lead to the 2008 financial meltdown. Although Warren helped establish the new agency, President Obama instead nominated Cordray to become its first permanent director. Republicans, who have long opposed the CFPB itself, have stalled the Cordray nomination. They went so far … Continue reading

‘The Supercommittee Must Fail,’ Congress Is Told

By focusing on deficit reduction, not job creation, the so-called congressional supercommittee is focused entirely on the wrong problems and therefore, the nation would be better off it were to fail to come up with a deal, progressive members of Congress were told Wednesday. Indeed, the sorts of budget-cutting likely to be recommended by the supercommittee, known formally as the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, likely would only worsen the already-bleak U.S. unemployment situation, according to Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, a progressive policy organization. “For this nation to succeed, the supercommittee must fail,” Borosage says. Borosage was one of those invited to testify Wednesday at a hearing called by the Congressional Progressive Caucus focusing on … Continue reading