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Is the U.S. Going Broke?
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Author Topic: Is the U.S. Going Broke?  (Read 54593 times)
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2008, 07:22:26 PM »

We'll just have to wait and see how the vote goes. I think they're going to vote it in on Wednesday. There is enormous pressure from around the world to get the bailout passed.

This article illustrates how countries around the world feel about this:


U.S. gambles blamed for world’s financial crisis
Costa Rica leader: ‘Managers of big business took huge risks out of greed’

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Astounded by the U.S. government's failure to resolve the financial crisis threatening the foundations of the global free market, fingers of blame are pointing at America from around the planet.

Latin American leaders say the U.S. must quickly fix the financial crisis it created before the rest of the world's hard-won economic gains are lost.

"The managers of big business took huge risks out of greed," said President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, whose economy is highly dependent on U.S. trade. "What happens in the United States will affect the entire world and, above all, small countries like ours."

In Europe, where some blame a phenomenon of "casino capitalism" that has become deeply engrained from New York to London to Moscow, there is more of a sense of shared responsibility. But Europeans also blame the U.S. government for letting things get out of hand.

Amid harsh criticism is a growing consensus that stricter financial regulation is needed to prevent unfettered capitalism from destroying economies around the globe.

And leaders of developing nations that kept spending tight and opened their economies in response to American demands are warning of other consequences — a loss of U.S. influence globally and the likelihood that the world's poor will suffer the most from greed by the biggest players in global finance.

"They spent the last three decades saying we needed to do our chores. They didn't," a grim-faced Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Tuesday.

Late Tuesday, the Senate announced it would vote on a $700 billion bailout proposal Wednesday night.

Even staunch U.S. allies like Colombian President Alvaro Uribe blasted the world's most powerful country for egging on uncontrolled financial speculation that he compared to a wild horse with no reins.

"The whole world has financed the United States, and I believe that they have a reciprocal debt with the planet," he said.

It's harder for European leaders to point the finger directly at the United States since many of their financiers participated in the recklessness. London was home to the division of failed insurer AIG that racked up huge losses on credit-default swaps, and many reputable European banks disregarded risk to load up on higher yielding subprime assets.

But the House's rejection Monday of the U.S. bank bailout proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson provoked a sharper tone and warnings that America must act. Though global markets on Tuesday recovered some of the ground they lost in a worldwide slide the day before, politicians from Europe to South America insisted the risk of a further plunge remains high.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on U.S. lawmakers to pass a package this week, saying it was the "precondition for creating new confidence on the markets — and that is of incredibly great significance."

In an unusually blunt statement from the 27-country European Union, EU Commission spokesman Johannes Laitenberger said: "The United States must take its responsibility in this situation, must show statesmanship for the sake of their own country, and for the sake of the world."
   
The crisis also has strengthened voices in France and Germany calling for EU regulations to eliminate highly deregulated financial markets, despite objections from Britain, which along with the U.S. is considered by some to practice a freer form of "Anglo-Saxon" capitalism.

"This crisis underlines the excesses and uncertainties of a casino capitalism that has only one logic — lining your pockets," said German lawmaker Martin Schulz, chairman of the Socialists in the EU assembly. "It also shows the bankruptcy of 'law of the jungle' capitalism that no longer invests in companies and job creation, but instead makes money out of money in a totally uncontrolled way."

The U.S. government's failure to apply rules that might have prevented the crisis is seen as a betrayal in many developing countries that faced intense U.S. pressures to liberalize their economies. In some developing nations, state enterprises were privatized, currencies were allowed to float against the U.S. dollar and painful measures were taken to bring down debts.

These advances are at risk now that credit is drying up. Countries with commodities-based economies are particularly vulnerable since more industrialized nations could reduce their demand for everything from soy to iron ore.

It doesn't seem fair to me that those of us who endured so much hunger in the 20th century, who began to improve in the 21st century, should have to suffer due to the international financial system," Silva said. "There are going to be a lot of people going hungry in the world."

Just before meeting with Silva on Tuesday, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez said he believes a new economic order is in store for the planet.

"What's to blame? Imperialism, the United States, the irresponsibility of the United States government," said the self-avowed socialist and frequent U.S. critic. "From this crisis, a new world has to emerge, and it's a multi-polar world."

China's influence in the outcome of all this could be profound because it is a huge investor in U.S. debt. It is already calling for strict new international regulatory systems to apply to globalized financial markets.

Liu Mingkang, chairman of the Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission, said Saturday before a weeklong bank holiday in China that debt in the United States and elsewhere has risen to dangerous and indefensible levels.

The rest of the world is taking notice. Many newspapers made references Tuesday to China's increasing importance in global finance. In Algeria, a large cartoon on the front page of the newspaper El-Watan showed Uncle Sam at prayer: "Save us!" he says, kneeling before a portrait of China's Mao Zedong.

In London, Jane Ayerson, a 20-year-old Irish exchange student, said Europeans share the blame.

"The problem started with America, but banks here have been greedy, too," she said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26962762/
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2008, 08:35:00 PM »


Nouriel Roubini's Global EconoMonitor

Is Purchasing $700 billion of Toxic Assets the Best Way to Recapitalize the Financial System? No! It is Rather a Disgrace and Rip-Off Benefiting only the Shareholders and Unsecured Creditors of Banks

Nouriel Roubini | Sep 28, 2008

Whenever there is a systemic banking crisis there is a need to recapitalize the banking/financial system to avoid an excessive and destructive credit contraction. But purchasing toxic/illiquid assets of the financial system is not the most effective and efficient way to recapitalize the banking system. Such recapitalization – via the use of public resources – can occur in a number of alternative ways: purchase of bad assets/loans; government injection of preferred shares; government injection of common shares; government purchase of subordinated debt; government issuance of government bonds to be placed on the banks’ balance sheet; government injection of cash; government credit lines extended to the banks; government assumption of government liabilities.

A recent IMF study of 42 systemic banking crises across the world provides evidence on how different crises were resolved. First of all only in 32 of the 42 cases there was government financial intervention of any sort; in 10 cases systemic banking crises were resolved without any government financial intervention. Of the 32 cases where the government recapitalized the banking system only seven included a program of purchase of bad assets/loans (like the one proposed by the US Treasury). In 25 other cases there was no government purchase of such toxic assets. In 6 cases the government purchased preferred shares; in 4 cases the government purchased common shares; in 11 cases the government purchased subordinated debt; in 12 cases the government injected cash in the banks; in 2 cases credit was extended to the banks; and in 3 cases the government assumed bank liabilities. Even in cases where bad assets were purchased – as in Chile – dividends were suspended and all profits and recoveries had to be used to repurchase the bad assets. Of course in most cases multiple forms of government recapitalization of banks were used.

But government purchase of bad assets was the exception rather than the rule. It was used only in Mexico, Japan, Bolivia, Czech Republic, Jamaica, Malaysia, and Paraguay. Even in six of these seven cases where the recapitalization of banks occurred via the government purchase of bad assets such recapitalization was a combination of purchase of bad assets together with other forms of recapitalization (such as government purchase of preferred shares or subordinated debt).

In the Scandinavian banking crises (Sweden, Norway, Finland) that are a model of how a banking crisis should be resolved there was not government purchase of bad assets; most of the recapitalization occurred through various injections of public capital in the banking system. Purchase of toxic assets instead – in most cases in which it was used – made the fiscal cost of the crisis much higher and expensive (as in Japan and Mexico).

Thus the claim by the Fed and Treasury that spending $700 billion of public money is the best way to recapitalize banks has absolutely no factual basis or justification. This way of recapitalizing financial institutions is a total rip-off that will mostly benefit – at a huge expense for the US taxpayer - the common and preferred shareholders and even unsecured creditors of the banks. Even the late addition of some warrants that the government will get in exchange of this massive injection of public money is only a cosmetic fig leaf of dubious value as the form and size of such warrants is totally vague and fuzzy.

So this rescue plan is a huge and massive bailout of the shareholders and the unsecured creditors of the financial firms (not just banks but also other non bank financial institutions); with $700 billion of taxpayer money the pockets of reckless bankers and investors have been made fatter under the fake argument that bailing out Wall Street was necessary to rescue Main Street from a severe recession. Instead, the restoration of the financial health of distressed financial firms could have been achieved with a cheaper and better use of public money.

Indeed, the plan also does not address the need to recapitalize those financial institutions that are badly under capitalized: this could have been achieved by using some of the $700 billion to inject public funds in ways other and more effective than a purchase of toxic assets: via public injections of preferred shares into these firms; via required matching injections of Tier 1 capital by current shareholders to make sure that such shareholders take first tier loss in the presence of public recapitalization; via suspension of dividends payments; via a conversion of some of the unsecured debt into equity (a debt for equity swap). All these actions would have implied a much lower fiscal costs for the government as they would have forced the shareholders and creditors of the banks to contribute to the recapitalization of the banks. So less than $700 billion of public money could have been spent if the private shareholders and creditors had been forced to contribute to the recapitalization; and whatever the size of the public contribution were to be its distribution between purchases of bad assets and more efficient and fair forms of recapitalization (preferred shares, common shares, sub debt) should have been different. For example if the private sector had done its fair matching share only $350 billion of public money could have been used; and of this $350 billion half could have taken the form of purchase of bad assets and the other half should have taken the form of injection of public capital in these financial institutions. So instead of purchasing – most likely at an excessive price - $700 billion of toxic assets the government could have achieved the same result – or a better result of recapitalizing the banks – by spending only $175 billion in the direct purchase of toxic assets. And even after the government will waste $700 billion buying toxic assets many banks that have not yet provisioned for such losses/writedowns will be even more under capitalized than before. So this plan does not even achieve the basic objective of recapitalizing under capitalized banks.

The Treasury plan also does not explicitly include an HOLC-style program to reduce across the board the debt burden of the distressed household sector; without such a component the debt overhang of the household sector will continue to depress consumption spending and will exacerbate the current economic recession.

Thus, the Treasury plan is a disgrace: a bailout of reckless bankers, lenders and investors that provides little direct debt relief to borrowers and financially stressed households and that will come at a very high cost to the US taxpayer. And the plan does nothing to resolve the severe stress in money markets and interbank markets that are now close to a systemic meltdown. It is pathetic that Congress did not consult any of the many professional economists that have presented - many on the RGE Monitor Finance blog forum - alternative plans that were more fair and efficient and less costly ways to resolve this crisis. This is again a case of privatizing the gains and socializing the losses; a bailout and socialism for the rich, the well-connected and Wall Street. And it is a scandal that even Congressional Democrats have fallen for this Treasury scam that does little to resolve the debt burden of millions of distressed home owners.

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« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2008, 07:03:29 AM »

Defazio "We shouldn't be rushed into this!"

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« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2008, 09:11:03 AM »

Paulson Rescue Proposal Is `Crazy,' Predecessor O'Neill Says

By Brendan Murray

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said the $700 billion bank-rescue proposal under negotiation in Washington is ``crazy,'' with potentially ``awful'' consequences for the world's largest economy.

``Doesn't this seem like lunacy to you?'' said O'Neill, who was President George W. Bush's first Treasury chief, from 2001 to 2002, in a telephone interview today. ``The consequences of it are unbelievably bad in terms of public intrusion into the private sector.''

O'Neill's objections mirror those of Republicans in the House of Representatives who rejected the plan in a Sept. 29 vote. The former Treasury chief said he's lobbying for an alternative solution that would offer guarantees for troubled assets, stopping short of purchasing the debt.

``Is anybody thinking there?'' asked O'Neill, who also served as deputy budget director in the Ford administration. ``It's too late, it's not going to make any difference and it's aggravating as hell when there's a better idea and you can't even get it in play,'' he said, recognizing little success so far in pitching his own proposal.

O'Neill, 72, was fired after an almost two-year tenure marked by strains with White House officials and comments that roiled markets.

His plan to deal with the crisis would start with a ``discounted cash-flow analysis'' of distressed instruments that are clogging the financial system. The government would guarantee the assets, paring back the support as principal and interest payments were made, he said.

Liquidity Boost

``That should take care of the liquidity problem because if they have a government guarantee at a specified level they should trade just like cash,'' O'Neill said.

He likened his solution to the Treasury's decision Sept. 19 to guarantee domestic money-market funds for a year to try to stop a run on what traditionally have been among the safest of investments.

To replenish capital in banks, the government should make 20-year loans to institutions and charge 2 percentage points above the government's borrowing rate, he said. Regulators could count the loans as part of the banks' capital base, he added. Paying the premium would give banks an incentive to retire the government loans faster, he said.

O'Neill said he has shopped his ideas to congressional leaders including Joint Economic Committee Chairman Charles Schumer; Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd; and Senator Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Banking Committee.

Lobbying Lawmakers

``I honestly don't think they really understand it and they're so much in a bubble that it's impossible to penetrate it,'' he said.

Meanwhile, the Senate is set to vote tonight on a modified version of the $700 billion rescue plan the House rejected two days ago. The House may vote again Oct. 3.

``If they pass this thing, it's awful what the consequences are going to be in terms of an ongoing federal relationship that doesn't need to exist with the institutions,'' O'Neill said. ``Are we going to insist on having a federal representative on boards of directors to protect our investment?''

The main component of the legislation now under consideration is giving the Treasury secretary authority to purchase distressed mortgage-related assets with an amount of money equivalent to about half of Canada's annual gross domestic product.

``We have no capacity in the federal government and it's not possible to create a capacity to manage a $700 billion property portfolio,'' he said. ``It's crazy. It's like we've lost our moorings.''

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=axb_haAIXhYs&refer=home
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« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2008, 07:23:59 PM »

Business's want to keep all the profits in good times, and have the taxpayers cover all the losses in bad times.  Well, when Obama wins, the transition will be complete; all three houses will be socialist.  I bid a sad farewell to a free America where people had the freedom to succeed OR fail, and greet the new America, where mediocrity reigns and we join the ranks of the third world.  I am counseling my children and grandchildren to become politicians, because only politicians seem to be financially secure no matter how badly the economy is mishandled in democracies as well as dictatorships.
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« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2008, 08:04:28 AM »

Paulson's Reasons for Delaying Day of Reckoning: Jonathan Weil

Commentary by Jonathan Weil

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- If you think this bailout is expensive, just wait until you see the next one.

The $700 billion rescue plan approved by the U.S. Senate won't fix the core problem with the nation's ailing financial institutions. And it almost guarantees that you and I will have to pony up for an even costlier bailout someday, maybe soon, if the House of Representatives passes it tomorrow.

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has correctly identified the quandary: Lots of shaky banks and insurance companies are showing strangely high values for assets that aren't worth squat in the market. Many need more capital and can't raise it. And he's right in saying the outlook is grim if we don't get this fixed.

What's stunning is how little the taxpayers would get in return for their money under Paulson's package, and how illusory much of the banks' newly minted capital would be.

Under the plan, Treasury would buy some companies' troubled assets at above-market values. To boost their capital, Paulson would have to pay the companies more than what their balance sheets say the assets are worth. Then other companies would use the rigged prices to write up, or avoid writing down, the values of similar holdings on their own books.

So, the taxpayers get hosed on the asset purchases. Other banks use the trumped-up prices to cook their books. And investor confidence supposedly is restored.

That brings us to this question: Why would a smart guy like Hank Paulson -- the former boss of Goldman Sachs -- advance such a dumb, shady plan? Let us count the reasons:

No. 1: It delays our national reckoning until after the presidential election.

Paulson first floated a bailout Sept. 18, at the very hour when shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley looked like they might go into a death spiral. It's not so much a bailout, as it is a timeout. He had to follow up with something, anything, to stop the freefall from resuming. It didn't have to make sense.

So it doesn't. The plan is about creating the illusion of stronger financial institutions, not strengthening them.

The banks know this. Otherwise, they would have stopped charging each other near-record rates for three-month loans by now. The reason they haven't is because they're still afraid their customers -- other banks -- might go broke.

No. 2: The reckoning will be worse than you can imagine.

If Paulson were serious about recapitalizing rickety U.S. banks, he would infuse them with hundreds of billions of dollars of fresh government money, in exchange for ownership stakes. And if he wanted to create market liquidity for all those troubled assets on their books, he would be ordering banks to disclose everything there is to know about them, so Mr. Market could figure out their present value.

He can't let that happen. Not now. If everyone could see how much the toxic waste is worth, the writedowns would be so huge that many banks would have to be declared insolvent.

Better to let the next administration deal with the clean- up. The trouble is, the longer the government waits to address the banks' lack of capital, the worse it gets, barring a miracle.

No. 3: He's helping his friends.

Is there any doubt? Let's see.

As of yesterday, Morgan Stanley Chief Executive John Mack owned 2.75 million shares of his company's stock, valued at about $67 million. If Mack can get Morgan Stanley to trade reams of sketchy paper for billions of dollars of our Treasury's cash, without diluting any of his stake in the company, who benefits?

Paulson would have us believe it's you.

No. 4: There's an excellent chance the Congress will pass it. Leave someone else to figure out the costs another day.

(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aMaWyNFImi4o&refer=home
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« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2008, 05:39:38 AM »

Why The Bailout Won't Save Financials
Thursday October 2, 11:45 am ET
By Simon Maierhofer

The following article is an excerpt from ETFguide's ETF Profit Strategy Newsletter, a members only publication.

Until Wednesday evening, coming to a bailout agreement has been as elusive as catching ice cubes in hot water. The question is will the 'mother of all bailouts' be able to buoy the equity markets represented foremost by the S&P 500 (AMEX: SPY - News) and Dow Jones (AMEX: DIA - News)? The $700 billion bailout (if approved by the House Of Representatives) won't be more than a drop of water on a hot stone.

'Quality can't be rushed'

My father always used to say: 'Quality can't be rushed'. Just as good wine needs time to age and mature before it is presented to the public, any bailout strategy would need time for proper consideration from all angles before approval and presentation to the taxpayer.

The bailout is necessary (and therefore flawed) because it is the forced REACTION to a trend that the government (SEC) failed to curtail in the first place, rather than a preventative, voluntary ACTION to channel this trend in the right direction. The added time pressure will result in a rushed outcome with further unwanted and unexpected side-and ripple effects.

Why throw good money after bad?

The bailout is designed to benefit primarily financial institutions and by extension the entire U.S. economy. By the most conservative measure, financials have already lost 50% of their value. The Financial Select Sector SPDRs (AMEX: XLF - News) is down 51% (from high to low). How much more is there to lose? The downside potential is limited (see chart below).

How about protecting sectors of the economy that haven't fallen apart yet? The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDRs (AMEX: XLP - News) with companies like Procter & Gamble and McDonalds have held up well. Imagine this; Bloomberg reported that Bank Of American refused to extend further finance aid to McDonalds with their McCoffe campaign.

The Consumer Discretionary SPDRs (AMEX: XLY - News) have suffered a 33% loss. Companies like McDonalds and Walt Disney would benefit from some extra support to the tune of several hundred billion dollars. In the case of financials, why would you throw good money after bad?

Japan, a warning example

I know in theory, brilliant minds like Bernanke, Paulson and others believe that infusing the nation's ailing banks with cash, will revive the ailing credit market. The Fed has auctioned off hundreds of billions in loans already, with no results. Credit is tight and banks prefer to hold on to their money, they know they will need it.

Japan has been dealing with the same problem for over a decade. From the Nikkei's 1989 high of 38,916 the index has fallen as low as 7,831, almost 80%. None of the many government stimulus packages made a dent. Japanese banks (in general) hold on to their money like it's going out of style.

Perception drives the market

Even though the 'bailout committee' understands how important perception is to the fate of the equity markets (thus the rush on a decision), they underestimate the crucial role perception plays in the credit game. Yahoo reported via its Tech Ticker that a classic 'run on the bank' killed Washington Mutual.

Customer's perceived WaMu as unfit to safe-keep their money, a self-fulfilling prophecy that proved true, realized through a materialization of perception. Any smart bank that gets to exchange toxic loans from precious cash will want to hold on to it to protect against a 'run on their bank'.

A bad can of worms

Banks hoping to raise cash through the proposed auction model 'cash for toxic mortgages' might be in for a surprise. Until now, it has been close to impossible to value the bad debt on bank's balance sheets. An auction might brutally expose how little those phony mortgage backed securities are worth. The auction might be a can of worms much better left closed and untouched.

The mother of all problems

True to form, the media and governing body of the U.S. have left an even bigger problem largely 'undiscussed'. How big is this problem? It is a $50 - $60 trillion problem. How big is $50 trillion? If there was such a thing as a million dollar bill, it would take 5,000,000 one million dollar bills to get $50 trillion. In comparison, the gross domestic product (GDP - the total value of ALL goods and services produced within a country) of the United States is $12 trillion.

If you could earn one dollar per second, it would take you 1,585,500 years to earn $50 trillion.

The SEC has now promised to crack down on this 'new' problem - credit default swaps. If the SEC is about ready to tackle credit default swaps, it's about time for credit default swaps to blow up (the SEC is notoriously late).

We will further discuss credit default swaps - which is what drove AIG into the hands of the government - in an upcoming issue of the ETF Profit Strategy Newsletter.

http://biz.yahoo.com/etfguide/081002/43_id.html
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« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2008, 08:04:58 AM »

Paulson's Reasons for Delaying Day of Reckoning

Commentary by Jonathan Weil

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- If you think this bailout is expensive, just wait until you see the next one.

The $700 billion rescue plan approved by the U.S. Senate won't fix the core problem with the nation's ailing financial institutions. And it almost guarantees that you and I will have to pony up for an even costlier bailout someday, maybe soon, if the House of Representatives passes it tomorrow.

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has correctly identified the quandary: Lots of shaky banks and insurance companies are showing strangely high values for assets that aren't worth squat in the market. Many need more capital and can't raise it. And he's right in saying the outlook is grim if we don't get this fixed.

What's stunning is how little the taxpayers would get in return for their money under Paulson's package, and how illusory much of the banks' newly minted capital would be.

Under the plan, Treasury would buy some companies' troubled assets at above-market values. To boost their capital, Paulson would have to pay the companies more than what their balance sheets say the assets are worth. Then other companies would use the rigged prices to write up, or avoid writing down, the values of similar holdings on their own books.

So, the taxpayers get hosed on the asset purchases. Other banks use the trumped-up prices to cook their books. And investor confidence supposedly is restored.

That brings us to this question: Why would a smart guy like Hank Paulson -- the former boss of Goldman Sachs -- advance such a dumb, shady plan? Let us count the reasons:

No. 1: It delays our national reckoning until after the presidential election.

Paulson first floated a bailout Sept. 18, at the very hour when shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley looked like they might go into a death spiral. It's not so much a bailout, as it is a timeout. He had to follow up with something, anything, to stop the freefall from resuming. It didn't have to make sense.

So it doesn't. The plan is about creating the illusion of stronger financial institutions, not strengthening them.

The banks know this. Otherwise, they would have stopped charging each other near-record rates for three-month loans by now. The reason they haven't is because they're still afraid their customers -- other banks -- might go broke.

No. 2: The reckoning will be worse than you can imagine.

If Paulson were serious about recapitalizing rickety U.S. banks, he would infuse them with hundreds of billions of dollars of fresh government money, in exchange for ownership stakes. And if he wanted to create market liquidity for all those troubled assets on their books, he would be ordering banks to disclose everything there is to know about them, so Mr. Market could figure out their present value.

He can't let that happen. Not now. If everyone could see how much the toxic waste is worth, the writedowns would be so huge that many banks would have to be declared insolvent.

Better to let the next administration deal with the clean- up. The trouble is, the longer the government waits to address the banks' lack of capital, the worse it gets, barring a miracle.

No. 3: He's helping his friends.

Is there any doubt? Let's see.

As of yesterday, Morgan Stanley Chief Executive John Mack owned 2.75 million shares of his company's stock, valued at about $67 million. If Mack can get Morgan Stanley to trade reams of sketchy paper for billions of dollars of our Treasury's cash, without diluting any of his stake in the company, who benefits?

Paulson would have us believe it's you.

No. 4: There's an excellent chance the Congress will pass it. Leave someone else to figure out the costs another day.

(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aMaWyNFImi4o&refer=home
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« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2008, 11:53:00 AM »

Rep. Brad Sherman Martial Law

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« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2008, 04:40:58 PM »

How they voted the second time around:

Representative David Wu (D - District 01) - yes
Representative Greg Walden (R - District 02) - no   
Representative Earl Blumenauer (D - District 03) - yes
Representative Peter A. DeFazio (D - District 04) - no
Representative Darlene Hooley (D - District 05) - yes

Senator Wyden (D) no
Senator Smith (R) yes

I used to be closed minded too and blamed every problem on the Democrats. Then I opened my eyes, stopped listening to wind bags like Limbaugh, started reading bills and H.R.s and such and watched how the various voted officials voted on said bills and H.R.s. Now instead of looking at the world through my "parties" eyes I see it through my own. If I feel a Republican is best suited for a particular position I'll vote for them, if a Democrat I'll vote for them, Independent, Green it doesn't matter. It's the person and their record not some dumbassed party thing.
 
I'm of the belief that the two party system we've got here breeds G.W.B.U.S.H.s (Greedy Weasel Bankrupting United States Homeland) and until we start getting involved and paying attention (If you're not outraged, You're not paying attention.) and voting for the best person for the job, no matter the "party" we will continue to slide down this slippery slope of avarice into the greed induced pit of dispair.

After watching the video of DeFazio and his steadfastness in wanting protections for the American people in this corporate welfare scheme, even risking criticism for not voting for something that will continue the Josephine County welfare (ONC) payments, he'll continue to get my vote.

It's raining and tomorrow I'm taking my quad out into the woods and tearing up some turf!! YeeHa!!
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« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2008, 06:13:59 PM »

Thanks for posting that. You beat me to it. I see David Wu and Earl Blumenauer went over to the dark side, Greg Walden saw the light, DeFazio stuck to his guns (God Bless him) and I hope the voters in Hooley's district have the sense to give her the boot.

There's plenty of blame to go around for both parties. I don't think we've seen the last of this by a long shot. This promises to be the recession that keeps on giving. In a few more months or sooner they'll be asking for another 700 billion. Using fear mongering to rush a bill like this through congress instead of taking the time to work out the best plan possible will all but guarantee that the money goes down a rat hole. Reminds me of the lyrics to an old song "fools rush in where wise men never go...." With only a few months left in power the current administration is patching things up (band aid on severed artery) and leaving this mess for the next administration.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 06:23:56 PM by Admin » Logged
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wtf?


« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2008, 04:40:03 AM »

With only a few months left in power the current administration is patching things up (band aid on severed artery) and leaving this mess for the next administration.

Yep. And if things take off and go great (ya right) the right will say that it was because of what the previous (now current) administration did. If things take another big dump, which is more than likely, they will blame the new administration. It's the American political way.

Yes the fear mongering, and many lies, worked in fooling the American people into supporting the invasion of Iraq, just so baby could say he did what Daddy didn't. Thing is Daddy knew it would be a never ending story and baby just isn't that smart. And the fear mongering worked in waffling many of the Senators and Representatives into voting for this ridiculous plan. Well, fear mongering and the addition of a whole bunch of crap that has nothing to do with the bailout. Just go to house.gov and look up the text of H.R. 1424, Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and you'll see. As you said, no one party is responsible, and you can see that be looking up the authors of the various amendments attached to this monstrosity.

Well the Senior Center is serving breakfast today and I've heard that their Biscuits and Gray is better than the Grange. I'll be the judge of that, then I'm going to make some Terra less Firma.

P.S. Thanks for fixing the spell check!!!!!!
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« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2008, 03:39:39 AM »

60 Minutes: Wall Street's Shadow Market

A discussion of Credit Default Swaps with an interview with Jim Grant on CBS 60 Minutes ...


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« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2008, 03:52:25 AM »


What They Said


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« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2008, 04:08:49 AM »

Well the Senior Center is serving breakfast today and I've heard that their Biscuits and Gray is better than the Grange. I'll be the judge of that, then I'm going to make some Terra less Firma.

P.S. Thanks for fixing the spell check!!!!!!

The host moved us to a new upgraded server. There was a misconfiguration that caused the spell check problem. Unfortunately I didn't spot it right away because I use mozilla firefox which has a built-in spell checker unlike IE. I'll be expecting a full report on the biscuits & gravy :)
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