Last week, the Washington Post publicized a disturbing new practice of the Social Security Administration and Department of the Treasury: holding on to taxpayers’ refunds in order to cover old debts. These were decades-old debts, usually Social Security overpayments made to the taxpayer’s late parents. There was an overwhelming negative reaction to the Post story, and people affected contacted their representatives in Congress. Now the Social Security Administration says that they’re ending the practice. [More]
Although the idea of a trillion-dollar platinum coin swooping in to be deposited at the Federal Reserve and save us from hitting the debt ceiling is a nice one, it’s just not gonna happen, says the Treasury Department. Even if it did, the Federal Reserve says it wouldn’t accept the deposit anyway so there’s no point in talking about it. Thanks for spoiling the fun, guys. [More]
Last year, the Treasury Department didn’t even bother printing any new $10 bills. [More]
Yesterday, the Treasury Department released a scorecard of just how well (and poorly) the largest mortgage servicers are doing at meeting certain benchmarks of its Making Home Affordable program. Not surprisingly, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase — the three largest servicers — were called out for needing “substantial improvement,” meaning that the banks will not receive millions of dollars in federal incentives until they get their acts together. [More]
For all its tough talk, the Treasury can’t do jack to reign in lenders who are wrongfully denying home owners loan modifications. After seeing reports that some banks were basically modifying no loans at all, Treasury staffers huddled up to talk about withholding payments and levying fines on the baddest of the bunch. Unfortunately, they were told by their own lawyers that they don’t have that power. ProPublica reports, “staffers were walked back by Treasury lawyers, who said the government was only party to a commercial contract with servicers and not acting as their regulator.” [More]
A printing error on the fancy new $100 bills means that nearly a billion are in storage until the government figures out how many to destroy. The paper got creased during printing, leaving a portion of Franklin’s face uninked. It’s a $110 billion boo-boo! [More]
Today the Fed announces it will buy back $600 billion in Treasuries, a nuanced effort that aims to stimulate the economy by lowering interest rates. [More]
The Treasury Dept. announced today that it plans to sell off all of the 7.7 billion shares of Citigroup it acquired as part of the bailout of the bank. This could mean a profit of upwards of $8 billion for the federal government in just a few months. [More]
Several banks are doing just what they’re always bugging customers to do — paying back money that was lent to them.
Former Treasury Secretary John W. Snow has told the New York Times that he, along with the entire Bush Administration, simply “forgot” that people had to be able to “afford their house.”
The Treasury Department showed off four sexy new designs for the back of the penny, a facelift to commemorate the 2009 bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. One image shows Lincoln’s log cabin, one of him taking a break from splitting rails to read a book, one of them with the Capitol mid-construction, and the last of him gesturing towards the state capitol building in Springfield, Illinois! Yeah. Pennies. In the middle of the financial implosion, we’re worrying about what the pennies look like.