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US downplays trade loophole with Iran, other blacklist countries

WASHINGTON – The United States on Friday downplayed a newspaper report about US firms being allowed to do business with Iran and other blacklisted countries, insisting its sanctions were squeezing Tehran. The New York Times reported that some 10,000 deals had been allowed under a humanitarian aid loophole approved in…

Gov’t regulator refuses to allow mortgage reductions, despite Obama mandate

The Obama administration has been pushing for banks and investors to cut mortgage balances for homeowners who owe more than their home is worth. But the regulator for the biggest investors of them all — the government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — won’t let the two do it. The…

Geithner consulted with Jon Stewart on economy: US Treasury

If the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear didn’t convince you that Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart has made the leap from comedian to political force, perhaps this will. According to Bloomberg news service, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner met with Stewart at the Daily Show host’s New York offices in April.…

Cost of Fannie, Freddie bailouts could double

Rescuing Fannie, Freddie could cost taxpayers as much as $259 billion, regulator says The government spelled out Thursday just how much the most expensive rescue of the financial crisis will end up costing taxpayers — as much as $259 billion for mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That figure…

Watchdog panel: US bailout money ended up in overseas banks

Watchdog says US financial rescue had greater impact overseas than foreign bailouts in US The $700 billion U.S. bailout program launched in response to the global economic meltdown had a far greater impact overseas than other countries’ financial rescue plans did on the U.S., according to a new report from…

Government OKs $600M in housing aid for 5 states

The Obama administration plans to send $600 million to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure in five states. The Treasury Department said Wednesday that mortgage-assistance proposals submitted by North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina received approval. The states estimate their efforts could help up to 50,000 homeowners. The…

ACLU sues for right to represent US citizen on ‘kill list’

ACLU executive director admits that government action which prevented them from representing accused terrorist al-Awlaqi ‘did raise our eyebrows’ The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights announced on Tuesday that they have filed a lawsuit against the United States government in connection with its practice of…

Henry Paulson: My close ties with Wall Street were ‘a huge help’

WASHINGTON — One thing most Democrats and Republicans around the nation seem to agree on is that their government is too cozy with Wall Street — and that that’s not a good thing. The dissatisfaction is largely rooted in the fact that the major financial institutions who played a part…

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