Posts Tagged bailout

What’s good for GM is good for . . .

gmI don’t even want to finish that phrase. Some are predicting now that GM may only exist for another couple of months. From CBS News:

The White House says neither General Motors nor Chrysler submitted acceptable plans to receive more bailout money, setting the stage for a crisis in Detroit and putting in motion what could be the final two months of two American auto giants.

President Barack Obama and his top advisers have determined that neither company is viable and that taxpayers will not spend untold billions more to keep the pair of automakers open forever. In a last-ditch effort, the administration gave each company a brief deadline to try one last time to convince Washington it is worth saving, said senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to more bluntly discuss the decision.

This is ominous news indeed. If we thought unemployment was bad now, wait until these mega-corporations go under. It won’t just be a ripple effect, it’ll be a tsunami. We’d all better buckle up.

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So you thought your $700 Billion was safe from greedy execs

Think again.

It turns out that George Bush, determined to the end to do as much damage as possible before leaving office, created a giant loophole for executive compensation for companies receiving bailout funds.

From the Washington Post:

Congress wanted to guarantee that the $700 billion financial bailout would limit the eye-popping pay of Wall Street executives, so lawmakers included a mechanism for reviewing executive compensation and penalizing firms that break the rules.

But at the last minute, the Bush administration insisted on a one-sentence change to the provision, congressional aides said. The change stipulated that the penalty would apply only to firms that received bailout funds by selling troubled assets to the government in an auction, which was the way the Treasury Department had said it planned to use the money.

Now, however, the small change looks more like a giant loophole, according to lawmakers and legal experts. In a reversal, the Bush administration has not used auctions for any of the $335 billion committed so far from the rescue package, nor does it plan to use them in the future. Lawmakers and legal experts say the change has effectively repealed the only enforcement mechanism in the law dealing with lavish pay for top executives.

Pretty slick, huh? The American taxpayers get screwed again. Thanks, George.

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Hard Truths & Fascism by Any Definition

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I’ve not yet taken a firm position on the ‘auto bailout’.  I am sympathetic to Mark Nickolas ‘ position.

I realize that I’m going to get a ton of grief for this from my friends and colleagues, and I really hate it when I find myself siding with the Republican Party on policy — because they’re just so predictably wrong on almost everything they utter these days — but I think this auto industry bailout is a piss-poor idea and I find myself rooting for the GOP to kill it.  From
This Sucks, but I’m Rooting Against the Auto Bailout…

Or we should just nationalize them. At the very least, they need to agree to drop law suits against states that raise efficiency/carbon standards.

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AIG’s $3 Million in Bonuses Courtesy of the U.S. Taxpayers

Now if this story doesn’t make you utterly lose it, then you must indeed have achieved perfect Zen. You will recall that we, the taxpayers, just gave AIG $152 Billion in bailout money with no strings attached.

So they’ve decided not to give out bonuses this year. That’s sounds right; after all, bonuses are based on performance, and a company that requires $152 BILLION from the taxpayers must not be performing in a bonusable way. But there is this other little thing call ‘retention payments’.

Now the company is planning to take millions of that money and hand it over to employees in a program that sounds a lot like bonuses. [snip]

On Wednesday, lawmakers grilled Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari about AIG’s bonus plan. Rep. Donald Manzullo, R-Ill., asked if a $3 million bonus was too much.

“It is excessive for a failing institution, yes,” said Kashkari.

But so far, no one’s stopping AIG from paying millions to some employees in its new retention program. The company has told 168 employees they’ll receive between $92,500 and $4 million per individual if they stay with the company for one year. That angers some on Capitol Hill.

Some?! Some?! I’m so pissed about this, I can’t even write a respectable sentence.

A) How about the taxpayers who feel like they’ve just been sucker punched? B) With unemployment where it is, I’ll bet it won’t be hard to fill any jobs that happen to open up (do you think those people are really going to leave those good jobs in these tough times?). And C) How do I apply for one of those jobs?!

This year at my work our very large department chose to provide a Christmas for just five children from the angel tree. As of the deadline yesterday, there were still unfilled wishes among the very modest requests for these children (just clothing and one toy). Last year, my very generous co-workers fulfilled the wishes of two whole families, going far beyond the requested items. Things are different this year, and families are doing their best to just handle their own needs. I know my co-workers have not turned stingy, I know they are giving as generously as they can. And this is why I’m angry.

We all helped these AIG bastards (pardon my French, but believe me, I showed tremendous restraint in the selection of that word) STAY IN BUSINESS! If if weren’t for us, they would be putting their own kids’ names on an angel tree somewhere (okay, I doubt it would come to that).

Congress had better find a way to stop this retention payment thing from happening. In fact, I’d like a thank you note from each and every one of these AIG ingrates expressing how pleased they are that my fellow taxpayers and I made it possible for them to continue having a job at all!

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Bailout Lacks Oversight

This is what you call major violation of the public trust. It is so outrageous, there are no words for it. The Bush administration has managed to achieve one more major disaster before leaving office–give away BILLIONS of taxpayers dollars with NO OVERSIGHT. That’s right. We were told how absolutely necessary this bailout is, and we trusted they would spend our money wisely and carefully. HAH!

And now they want to bail out GM to the tune of more BILLIONS in order to save millions of jobs. And we all want to save those millions of jobs, don’t we? But who can be believed any more? Not George W. Bush. Not anyone in his administration.

Bailout Lacks Oversight Despite Billions Pledged

In the six weeks since lawmakers approved the Treasury’s massive bailout of financial firms, the government has poured money into the country’s largest banks, recruited smaller banks into the program and repeatedly widened its scope to cover yet other types of businesses, from insurers to consumer lenders.

Along the way, the Bush administration has committed $290 billion of the $700 billion rescue package.

Yet for all this activity, no formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the bailout to prevent corruption and government waste. Nor has the first monitoring report required by lawmakers been completed, though the initial deadline has passed.

Six weeks! What have they been doing? When the hell are they going to get around to this? Is it not a priority? Shouldn’t they be on it 24/7?! I mean really!

I apologize for the shouting. This just pisses me off!

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Deja-Vu All Over Again

The savagely wrong so-called bailout bill now passed by both houses of Congress, like the Iraq war, which is not incidental to our economic melt-down, is the worst thing we’ve done since waging the wrong war with the wrong people in the wrong way. Same crowd of fools and knaves. But this time we get to bail out the scoundrels who financed the fools into the White House. Big oil, big banks, big Wall Street liars and cheats and criminals. Bush-Cheney-McCain. This gang of three (And Sarah Palin) have now bankrupted the Republic, not easy to do, but then we’ve given them an encore. And Ronald Reagan for eight years, privatizing everything that moved. Social Security would have been privatized too, by Reagan and Bush, if the Democrats had not stopped these “fiscal conservatives” (in a pig’s eye).

The House got it right the first time. This bill, now law, with President George Bush’s authorship and signature, is a disaster for us all: Main Street, State Street, and South Temple. This law is not Adam Smith nor Lord John Maynard Keynes.. No Wealth of Nations here, no wealth of nations left. This is a bastard child of the Reagan administration, the last two years of the Clinton Administration and in that critical time, the last two years, huge mistakes by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, a good Republican who voted for Bush though he was reappointed by Clinton. And then the fatal decade under George the Less. These crooks and liars should be tried and thrown into jail for as long as it takes to restore our Republic. In other words, when hell freezes over. Or when Envirocare/EnergySolutions ‘ so-called “depleted uranium” disappears. It has a two million years’ half-life.

This abortion of a bill protects the platinum parachutes of the super-rich, bails out the banks, insurance companies, investment companies, the Chinese, who own most of the U.S. now; the Robber Barons of the Middle East big oil states who own that part of our money not already pledged to Russia for her oil.

One David Young, president of Paragon Wealth Management in Provo, is quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 4, 2008, as saying this bill will do little at first, but “in the long run, it should be effective.” Wrong again, in Happy Valley. This is precisely the opposite of my own belief, at least. This will at most cause a bit of a rally for a week or so; and then we will fall deeper faster to almost total ruin.

There is blame all around: both presidential candidates and their running mates. Endorsement of both Republican and Democratic members of both Houses. It must be said, however, that George Bush had this misbegotten bill in his desk for several months before he steamrolled Congress, again, just as this worst of all presidents did in waging our very own war of aggression against a state with whom we were at peace. Way to go, Bushie.

Ed Firmage
Salt Lake City, Utah

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John Amato interviews Naomi Klein about the next Shock Doctrine: ‘The Wall Street Bailout Giveaway’

This is the best conversation about what is happening right now with the economic crises and the ‘bailout’.

By: John Amato on Saturday, September 27th, 2008

The ‘Bailout’ must be stopped and this is why.

Part II

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Why We Lose If McCain Wins

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Why The Rest of the World Isn’t Helping With the Bailout


By: Ian Welsh Thursday September 25, 2008 3:45 pm

You may have noticed the rather frigid response to requests that the rest of the world help with the bailout. European leaders coldly said no, so did Chinese, so did, well, pretty much everyone. And China instructed its banks to not lend to American banks.

You might be wondering why. Let’s start with the history: basically the US spent the last seven and a half years borrowing money from the rest of the world and spent it on tax cuts for your rich, a war that most of the world didn’t agree with (that’s Iraq) and on consumption. The money inflow was extreme, at one point in 2005 some surveys were showing it as being more than the total interest on all the money in the world (ie. all the legal money, plus drug money). Everyone warned the US, including the IMF, but the US just went on its merry way with a war no one wanted and fiscal policies clearly aimed at making its rich even richer and impoverishing its middle class. read on…

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