Thursday, March 26, 2009

China's Military Power

On March 25, 2009 the Department of Defense (DOD) released its annual report about the current and future military capability of the People's Republic of China. The Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2009 discusses their grand, security, and military strategies through the next 20 years.

Previous annual reports from 2002-2008 about the military capability of the People's Republic of China are also available.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Economic Stimulus Plan Web Sites

If you are seeking information about the stimulus plans, in addition to the Obama Administration's which helps Americans track spending from the $787 Billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, several federal and independent agencies have pertinent web sites:

IRS Information Related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 highlights the following topics:

  • COBRA: Health Insurance Continuation Subsidy

  • Tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers

  • Tax credit of $400 or $800 for many taxpayers

  • $250 payment to Social Security Recipients, Veterans and Railroad Retirees

  • Deductions for state and local sales taxes for purchasing certain new 2009 vehicles

  • Tips to avoid Recovery Rebate Credit confusion from the U.S. Department of the Treasury contains links about making housing affordable, the Consumer and Business Lending Initiative (TALF), the Capital Assistance Program (CAP), the Financial Stability Plan, fact sheets, and press releases and statements.

The fiscal year 2010 budget overview from the Office of Management and Budget describes the Obama Administration's fiscal policies and major budgetary initiatives.

State Economic Stimulus Plans from the National Conference of State Legislatures provides details about state-level stimulus plans for 16 states.

Stimulus Watch describes projects that are candidates for funding by federal grant programs once the stimulus bill passes. This site allows people with local knowledge about the proposed projects in their cities to find, discuss, and rate the projects.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Consumer and Business Loans

According to a March 3, 2009 press release, the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board rolled out the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), part of the Consumer and Business Lending Initiative. The TALF potentially makes $1 trillion available for loans to businesses and households.

The press release explains:

The TALF is designed to catalyze the securitization markets by providing financing to investors to support their purchases of certain AAA-rated asset-backed securities (ABS). These markets have historically been a critical component of lending in our financial system, but they have been virtually shuttered since the worsening of the financial crisis in October. By reopening these markets, the TALF will assist lenders in meeting the borrowing needs of consumers and small businesses, helping to stimulate the broader economy.

On March 17, 2009 the program will accept subscriptions for funding and on March 25 the new securitizations will be funded, creating new lending capacity for additional future loans. Funding should continue on a monthly basis through December 2009 or longer at the discretion of the Federal Reserve Board.

See for additional information about the TALF and the CBLI (Consumer Business Lending Initiative).