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The Biz Roundup February 13

And we now have a stimulus. So, get stimulated already.

The stated aim of the US fiscal stimulus package is job creation. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was priced at $820bn when it was passed by the House of Representatives on January 28. The bill passed by Senate on February 10 totals $838bn. We are awaiting confirmed details of the reconciliation bill, believed to total $787bn, which will be signed into law by President Obama.

(“US stimulus: Where the money will go,” Financial Times, February 12). The politics are boring, so instead I’m linking to FT’s chart of how the money will actually be spent. Boy, I wish I had done that chart.

Goodbye, Gregg, we hardly knew ye, and, I guess, that’s a good thing.

What matters is that he dumped the President. He was picked to be the next Commerce Secretary, he accepted the appointment, and then he walked away — breaking the news, as it turned out, at the very moment Obama was appearing at an event in Peoria, Ill., to build support for his $789 billion stimulus plan being hammered out by Congress. In this town, the President, especially one with a 63% approval rating just three weeks into office, is not supposed to get dumped.

(“After Gregg Jilts Obama, Washington Counts Score,” Time, February 13) Nice to know the moderate Republicans are as unforgivably partisan as their more radical shipmates.

Did I really say $13 billion? Oh, my bad, I really meant to say $25 billion.

General Motors Corp., nearing a federally imposed deadline to present a restructuring plan, will offer the government two costly alternatives: commit billions more in bailout money to fund the company’s operations, or provide financial backing as part of a bankruptcy filing, said people familiar with GM’s thinking.

The competing choices, which highlight GM’s rapidly deteriorating operations, present a dilemma for Congress and the Obama administration. If they refuse to provide additional aid to GM on top of the $13.4 billion already committed they risk seeing an industrial icon fall into bankruptcy.

(“GM to Offer Two Choices: Bankruptcy or More Aid,” February 14) This is the official definition of a money pit. Good luck on your next job, Rick. Maybe you and Judd Gregg could get a gig up.

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