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Wall Street Socialists

Posted on Sep 17, 2008

By Amy Goodman

  The financial crisis gripping the U.S. has the largest banks and insurance companies begging for massive government bailouts. The banking, investment, finance and insurance industries, long the foes of taxation, now need money from working-class taxpayers to stay alive. Taxpayers should be in the driver’s seat now. Instead, decisions that will cost people for decades are being made behind closed doors, by the wealthy, by the regulators and by those they have failed to regulate.

  Tuesday, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Department agreed to a massive, $85-billion bailout of AIG, the insurance giant. This follows the abrupt bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the 158-year-old investment bank; the distressed sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America; the bailout of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; the collapse of retail bank IndyMac; and the federally guaranteed buyout of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase. AIG was deemed “too big to fail,” with 103,000 employees and more than $1 trillion in assets. According to regulators, an unruly collapse could cause global financial turmoil. U.S. taxpayers now own close to 80 percent of AIG, so the orderly sale of AIG will allow the taxpayers to recoup their money, the theory goes.

  It’s not so easy.

  The financial crisis will most likely deepen. More banks and giant financial institutions could collapse. Millions of people bought houses with shady subprime mortgages and have already lost or will soon lose their homes. The financiers packaged these mortgages into complex “mortgage-backed securities” and other derivative investment schemes. Investors went hog-wild, buying these derivatives with more and more borrowed money.

  Nomi Prins used to run the European analytics group at Bear Stearns and also worked at Lehman Brothers. “AIG was acting not simply as an insurance company,” she told me. “It was acting as a speculative investment bank/hedge fund, as was Bear Stearns, as was Lehman Brothers, as is what will become Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. So you have a situation where it’s [the U.S. government] ... taking on the risk of items it cannot even begin to understand.”

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  She went on: “It’s about taking on too much leverage and borrowing to take on the risk and borrowing again and borrowing again, 25 to 30 times the amount of capital. ... They had to basically back the borrowing that they were doing. ... There was no transparency to the Fed, to the SEC, to the Treasury, to anyone who would have even bothered to look as to how much of a catastrophe was being created, so that when anything fell, whether it was the subprime mortgage or whether it was a credit complex security, it was all below a pile of immense interlocked, incestuous borrowing, and that’s what is bringing down the entire banking system.”

  As these high-rolling gamblers are losing all their banks’ money, it comes to the taxpayer to bail them out. A better use of the money, says Michael Hudson, professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and an economic adviser to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, would be to “save these 4 million homeowners from defaulting and being kicked out of their houses. Now they’re going to be kicked out of the houses. The houses will be vacant. The cities are going to [lose] property taxes, they’re going to have to cut back local expenditures, local infrastructure. The economy is being sacrificed to pay the gamblers.”

  Prins elaborated: “You’re nationalizing the worst portion of the banking system. ... You’re taking on risk you won’t be able to understand. So it’s even more dangerous.” I asked Prins, in light of all this nationalization, to comment on the prospect of nationalizing health care into a single-payer system. She responded, “You could actually put some money into something that pre-empts a problem happening and helps people get health care.”

  The meltdown is a bipartisan affair. Presidential contenders John McCain and Barack Obama each have received millions of dollars from these very companies that are collapsing and are receiving the corporate welfare. President Clinton and his treasury secretary, Robert Rubin (now an Obama economic adviser), presided over the repeal in 1999 of the Glass-Steagall Act, passed after the 1929 start of the Great Depression to curb speculation that caused that calamity. The repeal was pushed through by former Republican Sen. Phil Gramm, one of McCain’s former top advisers. Politicians are too dependent on Wall Street to do anything. The people who vote for them, and whose taxes are being handed over to these failed financiers, need to show their outrage and demand that their leaders truly put “country first” and bring about “change.”
 
  Denis Moynihan contributed to this column.
 
  Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 700 stations in North America.

  © 2008 Amy Goodman

  Distributed by King Features Syndicate

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, July 9, 2010 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Here is a re-post of my post to Tex on Amy Goodman’s thread, “If Only Information Flowed As Crudely as Oil” which seems to have disappeared totally after the attack and the shut down, but here, on this thread, is my post in answer to Tex who told me to STFU:

*******
Tex, July 8 at 11:20 pm,

What does the complexity of a disingenuous argument that dung is ice cream really mean??  ———— NOTHING!!!!!!!  A complex argument to justify Political Conservatism without the balance of innovation has the equivalent meaning of the former argument——— DUNG by any other name cannot pass for ice cream and a complex argument to the contrary will not convince anyone other than a fool.

Here is what Conservative and Liberal innovation really are— one hoards and the other creates:

(Begin Quoting)

“The Conservative by Ralph Waldo Emerson
http://www.emersoncentral.com/conservative.htm

A Lecture delivered at the Masonic Temple,
Boston, December 9, 1841

The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made. This quarrel is the subject of civil history. The conservative party established the reverend hierarchies and monarchies of the most ancient world. The battle of patrician and plebeian, of parent state and colony, of old usage and accommodation to new facts, of the rich and the poor, reappears in all countries and times. The war rages not only in battle-fields, in national councils, and ecclesiastical synods, but agitates every man’s bosom with opposing advantages every hour. On rolls the old world meantime, and now one, now the other gets the day, and still the fight renews itself as if for the first time, under new names and hot personalities.

Such an irreconcilable antagonism, of course, must have a correspondent depth of seat in the human constitution. It is the opposition of Past and Future, of Memory and Hope, of the Understanding and the Reason. It is the primal antagonism, the appearance in trifles of the two poles of nature.

There is a fragment of old fable which seems somehow to have been dropped from the current mythologies, which may deserve attention, as it appears to relate to this subject.
(End Quoting)

You should go ahead and read the rest of the quote at the following website:  http://www.emersoncentral.com/conservative.htm

I checked out all your posts, one is a union that is totally against anything conservative and the rest is propaganda—not practice. 

****************

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By freelyb, September 24, 2008 at 8:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hope that everyone who has posted here has also contacted their respective congressional reps.  Its the ONLY thing that can be done right now.

Later, we can refuse to pay taxes if we must. Seriously.

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By joe bongiovanni, September 24, 2008 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As you watch Shumer, Pelosi, et al isolate all the sane commentors as “fringe” you can see the wedge of power at work.

Please understand this is a non-partisan move.

The overall aim is first something that feels like RTC, but ultimately will involve a trans-national CORPORATION ostensibly set up by these countries, but which will actually be the PRIVATE CENTRAL BANKERS of those countries.

For those of you who have been waiting for the great NWO power grab, hang onto your pants.
This IS it.

The private banking system’s debt-money structure is THE cause of all of this turmoil.
We have about $50 TRILLION in currently outstanding debt obligations to taxpayers, including interest.
Yes, you have to include the interest.

$700 Billion actually becomes an IOU for about $2 TRILLION, so if you watched Colbert last evening, he nailed it.

The ONLY answer for maintianing any sense of national control over our economy in the future is to put an end to the private-banking, debt-money-creation scheme implemented with the FED, and institute a system of government-issue, debt-free money creation, just like Lincoln did.

Monetary reform NOW.
See monetary.org.
See this.
http://www.monetary.org/amacolorpamphlet.pdf

Let’s get on with it.

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By J Snow, September 22, 2008 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bear Stearns Insider Trading…

George W Bush attended the Economic Club of New York meeting on March 14, 2008 where he practically danced a jig with Henry Kissinger and was so up-beat that you had to conclude that he was verily “the cat who ate the canary.” What would make George W Bush so happy? The economy sucks, there are record foreclosures, his poll ratings are in the upper 20’s and the prospects of Republicans holding the White House, House and Senate are very slim. So why so happy?

Could it be that George W Bush did what he does best - cheat? His whole personal history is full of “getting away with it.”

Now the specifics:

1) Please look at the video of George W Bush at the Economic Club of New York 03/14/2008:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFzEPyWa7OA

2) Then read the CNN article dated 03/17/2008 regarding JP Morgan’s buyout of Bear Stearns at $2/share:

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/03/16/stearns.morgan/

3) This past Tuesday, when Bear Stearns was trading around $65 a share, there was huge put volume in the March $30 strike.  Over 55,000 contracts traded that day at an average price of 15 cents a contract.

http://www.thestreet.com/s/who-traded-55000-bear-30-puts-tuesday/newsanalysis/optionsfutures/10407812.html?puc=_htmlttt

4) Note the highly unusual option trading on Friday March 14, 2008 where 17,000 March $25 puts traded at $7/sh:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=686026799

5) Now Bush has a history of insider trading in Harken Energy:

http://www.thetruthaboutgeorge.com/special/harken.html

or

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020722/leopold20020718

6) Lastly, on March 17th after the $2/share sellout was announced, George W Bush was far more reserved with reporters:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2008/03/17/VI2008031700861.html?sid=ST2008031602369

Bottom line, George W Bush had the means and the motive to trade on the insider news that Bear Stearns would be bought out by JP Morgan at $2/share on March 16, 2008. The 55,000 March 30 puts cost only $825,000 and netted a profit of $160,000,000. Nice work if you can get it.

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By KDelphi, September 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

Oohn Poole, Ricky and everyone who thinks that they are to “smart” to get a subprime mortgage—well, guess what? You just did. $700 billion—unless the “loyal oppositon Dems” stop them tomorrow. Right.

You get 3%. That’s alot better than sub[prime.

Everytime there is another announcement, the price tag gets bigger and The Dems (except maybe Sanders—its at CD) say, “We just have to do this”.

If we just “bought” al this debt, if we do NOT insist that they regulate it (I’m not even sure that that will help—there’s probaly more good news to come), we are really dumb.

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By cann4ing, September 21, 2008 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

DemRealist—your definition of fascism is close, but it isn’t just government serving the interest of corporations but a blending of government and corporate functions into what Naomi Klein refers to as the corporate security state. 

That said, although the meltdown of the casino on Wall Street has taken the nation to the edge of an economic abyss, possibly the beginning of a 2d Great Depression, also provides an opportunity for real change as it has again exposed the fallacy of the vice-into-virtue philosophy of laissez faire—not only the hallmark of Republican economics but of the corporatist sector of the Democratic Party, especially since Bill Clinton betrayed his democratic base (labor) by joining with Geo. H.W. Bush & Reagan in ramming NAFTA thru on the fast track.

The NY Times reported today that Paulson has gone before Congress seeking $700 billion to bailout Wall Street, a bailout that “would place no restrictions on the administration other than requiring semiannual reports to Congress, granting the Treasury secretary unprecedented power to buy and resell mortgage debt.”

This is unacceptable.  While a bailout is necessary to prevent a total collapse, any bailout should come with heavy strings attached, including a restoration of Glass-Steagall and other New Deal safeguards against speculative abuses, strict Wall Street CEO salary caps, relief for struggling homeowners, possibly in the form of a foreclosure moratorium similar to that provided by FDR, and a repeal of the Bush tax cuts to those earning over $250,000/year.

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By Da Bronx, September 21, 2008 at 5:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Tom, September 18 at 10:16 am #

So if the Republicans are so giddy about Socializing Wall Street to save their money and stock accounts, then I guess they have no more ability to debate their point of view when it comes to “Socializing Medicine”.

Actually it is the Dems who are “Giddy” about socializing wall Street. AND in general and on average Democratic law makers have more personal wealth than do Republicans…. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good partisan rant.

BTW NOBODY running (with the exception of Nader) is talking about anything NEAR “socialized medicine” Obama claims he wants to be sure everyone can buy MEDICAL INSURANCE, Mc Cain claims he wants to give medical insurance tax breaks (similar to mortgage intrest deductions) to middle class families.  Since we have Hill-Burton for poor folks, I do not see the difference in effect on the weekly paycheck.

Just for my information; does anyone here get paid weekly anymore?

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By bill mcdermott, September 21, 2008 at 5:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

that gang at wall street including kudlow,capitalism is great socialism bad,but socialism is certainly good for them.just maybe capitalism do to greed that would make organised crime blush is a thing of yesterday and the system cant be trusted.maybe socialism should be the new deal for everyone since capitalism has crushed the lower and middle classes.The administration lowered medicare by ten billion wow was that terrific thanks gov bush for that one.the republicans and wall street and kudlow cant blame the unions on this one.all americans must now be unionised,vote the right wing out for ever.

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By DemRealist, September 21, 2008 at 12:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have heard a lot of people refer to this as “socialism”, but it is much closer to fascism.  It would be socialism if the people got something back for investing in these institutions, if they retained control of the banks and insurance companies they are paying to bail out.  But they don’t and they won’t.  These institutions will only go back to ripping us off again as they have in the past, and keeping outrageous profits for themselves.  Fascism, as I understand it, is when government serves corporate interests rather than its citizens. Isn’t that exactly what is happening today?  Wealth is being transferred from hard working citizens to rich corporations, and we have zero input in this decision.  No advantages will come back to us after we pick up the tab…no new roads, no new health care, etc.  And now this fascist government can claim there is no money left for maintaining the remaining vestiges of a social safety net in America.

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By cann4ing, September 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

troublesum, thanks for the link.  Some selected portions:

“The claim will echo around the corporate media that this was the inevitable consequence of all Americans ‘living beyond their means.’ Don’t believe it. The vast majority of people who will have to pay the price for this disaster are blameless….

“The crisis was caused by an irrational free-market system and the insatiable greed of a small class of rulers who continually seek greater wealth and power, without regard for the cost.

“AIG got into trouble almost entirely because of an obscure part of its business—selling what are called ‘credit default swaps,’ which amount to an insurance policy on investments in bonds. Basically, AIG was selling financial protection to investors and companies that bought bonds—if the seller of those bonds defaulted on the promise to pay back the principal, plus interest, investors could cover their losses.

“Credit default swaps are pretty much an invention of the last 10 years. Yet these financial insurance policies today may cover as much as $62 trillion worth of debt, according to estimates—greater, that is, than the total annual production of goods and services of every country of the world.

“The financial catastrophe unfolding on Wall Street is the product of blind greed and arrogance. And now that the house of cards is collapsing, the U.S. government’s series of rescues carry another lesson: The bigger the bet and the wider the potential damage if it loses, the more likely the Feds will have to come to the rescue to stop the whole game from coming to an end.

“The immensity of this crisis demands an alternative that goes far beyond new regulations on the banks and government interventions to save whichever band of corporate parasites is failing this week. Ultimately, it demands a vision of a different kind of society altogether—a socialist world dedicated to the principles of solidarity, democracy and liberation, rather than the wealth and power of a tiny minority.”

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By steven daniel, September 20, 2008 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Doesn’t anybody remember the ridiculous “No Limits” ads of both Merrrill Lynch and Ford?  Or the slogan “No Fear”? Well, it looks like the No Fear/No Limits crowd has smashed into the inevitable wall.
No surprise.  When Al Gore warned that we can’t keep borrowing from China to pay for oil from the Mid-East and T. Boone Pickens put a price tag on it of $700 billion (per month?!), Wall Street woke up and began liquidating or short selling. Nomi Prins is so right to point out that these unregulated investment banks were loaning at 30 times their amount of capital.  But she could have put it more crudely: they were writing “bad checks” against a bull market, in housing, stocks, hedges or whatever, and even using the “assets” of these loans to take out loans from other suckers (banks and insurance companies). The sheer madness of this bum check-illness and mentality is captured beautifully in a little novel called SCAMMING GOD by Morgan Ibarra, which is based on an actual masquerade, an under-reported swindle in which a major Wall Street law firm played a nefarious role.  Now they’re funneling Wall Street funds to Obama.

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By troublesum, September 20, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

If socialism is good for bankers, maybe it’s good for the rest of us:
http://socialistworker.org/case-for-socialism-meetings

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By purplewolf, September 20, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

beerdoctor: I don’t give much hope that the average moron out there will wake up. I have relatives who have lost almost everything a few years after the Bush takeover, but still will vote Repug, thinking that the answer lies there. Are you better off that you were 4 years ago? How about 7 years ago?

As for Odd Todd representing “Union” workers, I am less than impressed. He is just a token to try to convince the sheeple that Repugs are for unions, “see, we are for unions,” all the while destroying them. I don’t know what will happen who the American people can no longer afford the over inflated prices of many of the products these big corps charge now, and the new lower class of paid workers will not be able to afford either. The tax base will continue to go down and one day all the countries this administration has borrowed from will tell us to get lost.

Big brother will only help those whom they can use, but will not be able to keep bailing them out forever. As for the ones that were not helped, all I can say if that perhaps they did not pay enough in perks, votes, money or whatever the PTB wanted from them and therefore are only being returned the favor in kind. This administration takes care of it’s own and nothing else. If you are a part of the outer circle, you are screwed.

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By hippy pam, September 20, 2008 at 5:59 am Link to this comment

And we are STILL ACCEPTING TAINTED CHINESE ITEMS TO BE USED BY OUR KIDS[putting the kids at risk of being “dummed down” more than WE ALREADY allow them to become}...THIS SYSTEM DOES NOT WORK…........

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By cann4ing, September 19, 2008 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

What is taking place is a form of oligarchic socialism design to protect the speculative investments of wealthy elite.  What is needed is true democratic socialism in which government intervenes for the good of the needs of the entire society rather than a select few and where intervention is open and democratic.

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, September 19, 2008 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Here are two links that might be useful, concerning this topic:
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/99395/

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=Va&aid=10265

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By Oohn Poole, September 19, 2008 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yada Yada Yada: Sorry Amy your complaining doesn’t fly. The wincing truth is that America was never truly meant to be a “democracy”. The ruling class from the beginning lusted for a veiled feudal system of overlords and vassals. These rulers just tapped into the laziness of the vassals and are now in a good position to get rid of that pesky “middle class”. The USA government could say that since they own the mortgage paper on millions of homes those present squatters are not entitled to any more handouts such as social security until the squatters debt has been paid. They’ll just garnish any promised SS payout. Clever of the ruling class I’d say.  After all- these so call home owners who never truly were interested in being resourceful or productive but instead chose to believe that home “ownership” at any cost was the easy way to not only get rich but stay rich. Just get that house any way you can and you won’t really have to work. Just tap into the equity when you need to go to the store or even better retire at age 40 and take out a reverse mortgage and live the good life! The American character is corrupt beyond repair-the bad guys running the show know this and exploited it. John Poole

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By Dave S, September 19, 2008 at 2:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s clear that Obama/Rubin and McCain/Gramm are very much in favor of the system that gives super-wealthy campaign funders whatever they want, while the rest of us foot the bill. In fact, the economic henchmen behind these two “reform” candidates created the current economic crisis. What can the rest of us do to make things right?

Vote for the only candidates who have promised to end corporate socialism: Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney!

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By Dash, September 18, 2008 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So much for capitalism and the magic that is NOT: the Free market. Hypocrites!

These companies should be allowed to go bust and charged with criminal negligence.

They have a nerve , Reaming the public and then come crawling to us for money to save there sorry ….

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By kath cantarella, September 18, 2008 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You’d better get Obama elected before you start cracking the whip on him. With McCain&Co;waiting in the wings, you don’t have any election leverage anyway. Do it after the election.

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By Frank Cajon, September 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Go ahead, Fuhrer: Nationalize the banks, the mortgage industry. Put my ass and everyone else that actually PAYS taxes on the line. But, make DAMN sure that along with it, you nationalize the national resources, labor, and means of production in this country: the OIL and POWER companies, provide NATIONAL HEALTH insurance for all citizens, a fully funded Social Security with retirement at 65, unionize all hiring, and withdrawl all of our troops from wars of occupation in other countries to invest the hundreds of billions being wasted on our crumbling infrastructure.
I am a socialist. The results of lack of central planning of our financial system is coming home to roost, and the rape of our system by the oil thieves continues as we have one in the White House, while they stack up unheard-of profits during times when people can’t afford to buy milk and meat. I live in a city of 2 million that is bankrupt. W and his fellow fascists are to the point where they see their wealthy backers actually threatened, the ones whose money for nothing schemes coupled with his trillion dollar war paid with tax cuts got us to where our country is bankrupt. What are they doing? Turning into socialists.
Well, Chancellor, turn all the way. Resign, and take your mastermind VP with you. Your successor, and the next administration, will have little choice but to turn the now third-rate economy into a socialist/limited capitalist hybrid similar to the central planning that is pulling formerly communist countries up and has kept Scandinavian countries high for decades. If there is anything left of our economy, let the people have it.

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By chris sutton, September 18, 2008 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Folks,

lest we postulate that it would be “worse” to allow
investment banks and investor classes to “fail”, we should remember two issues (American media avoids issues);
1) the great redeeming factor to demise of monopoly is that everyone is wiped out, thereby beginning anew, without “special interest” influence..which is how regulation was accomplished in ‘30’s..on a level field.
2) bailouts are actually “class warfare”, as down the line, Americans will be “informed” that funding no longer exists for “medicare” (pharmaceutical company subsidies aside), nor “Social Security”..of course this will never be “connected” to bailouts of
investors..

or didn’t anyone else see this coming??

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By Ricky, September 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t lend to inner city folks who can’t make payments and you’re racist. Lend to inner city folks who can’t make payments and you’re a predatory lender.

Don’t lend to rich suburbanites who want to pull out all of their equity to buy a Wii and a boat and an I-phone and a laptop, and you’re slowing the economy. Lend to rich suburbanites who want to pull out all of their equity to buy a Wii and a boat and an I-phone and a laptop, and you’re maintaining a speculative bubble.

Geez people. Aren’t we really asking, “Why the hell didn’t you stop me from borrowing money?”

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By thebeerdoctor, September 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

re: purplewolf
What is with the republican fickle finger of fate? How come A.I.G. gets the cookies but Lehman Brothers does not? Free market? As Senator Claire McCaskill has pointed out, not in oil, pharmaceuticals or the financial services industry. These bastard claim they are pro union by trotting out BP employee and first dude, Todd Palin. Did you happen to see Senator McCain giving that rousing speech in Michigan, claiming he is a friend of the American worker? talk about hollow…
Is there any hope that a majority of voters will see through this?

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By purplewolf, September 18, 2008 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

beerdoctor: No need to worry about Detroit, Flint or Saginaw for the matter seeing any $$ for a bailout. G.W. already announced over a week ago in the business section of The Flint Journal, “THAT HE WOULD NOT,” be bailing out the auto industry. G.W. also gave us “traitors” the reasoning behind this. G.W. stated “IT WAS BECAUSE WE WERE A BLUE STATE AND DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM IN THE LAST TWO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS-IN OTHER WORDS WE ARE OF NO CONSQUENNCES TO HIM.”
This is the predicted answer for those who do not bow down to Heir Bush and the republican party-suffer and die, you’re not worthy in our scheme of how we want things to be. We only deal with “our base. the haves and the have mores. Now go away like a good little peon or we will have to call out Blackwater against your sorry -ss.

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By Plunge Protection Team, September 18, 2008 at 11:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ralph, Ron, & Cynthia:

Now they’re planning the crime of the century
Well what will it be?
Read all about their schemes & adventuring
It’s well worth the fee

So roll up and see
How they rape the universe
How they’ve gone from bad to worse

Who are these men* of lust, greed, & glory?
Rip off the masks & let’s see

But that’s not right, oh no, what’s the story?
There’s you & there’s me

That can’t be right

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By Tom, September 18, 2008 at 11:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So if the Republicans are so giddy about Socializing Wall Street to save their money and stock accounts, then I guess they have no more ability to debate their point of view when it comes to “Socializing Medicine”.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, September 18, 2008 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

The United States is facing a depression worse than 1929. For a while the fairy tales from Washington will help calm things down, but no bailouts no cash infusion, and no change of leadership save us now.

http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1473&category=Environment

As Gerald Celente Says, in this article, don’t waste a dime, stock up on canned goods, and water it’s going to be a dark cruel winter.

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By Gigi Jones, September 18, 2008 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amy,
As usual you are right on target!  Since McPalin has foreign policy experience because she can see Russia from her window, does this mean that because Bush/Cheney/et al bailed out big business that we will get socialized medicine in this country and bail out the Americans who need and don’t have healthcare?  I mean, I’m thinking like a Repug,right?-do they stand a chance?

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By Hannah, September 18, 2008 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is just beyond me that, according to polls, The Dems are only a point or two ahead. Why, I ask, why would anyone want to continue this fiasco if you are a working person in the US. And that would be 95% of us. Get real people, the republicans sell only lies to benefit themselves, run off with the money and leave the rest of us in the poor house taking personal responsibility. It is criminal.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, September 18, 2008 at 6:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My single question:

Did AIG share it’s profits with us when they were soring? 

The money we are spending now should translate into FREE auto policies for every non-commercial driver in the USA. But, oh shit that would be socialism, so instead we will pay the bail out, and the “goverment’ will reap the profits in interest (11%) so they can again lead us into misadventures abroad.

Is this a great country… or is it just another flim-flam medicine show?

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By thebeerdoctor, September 18, 2008 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

re: jackpine savage
Well jackpine, how remarkable it is to see republicans calling for a STRONG Treasury Secretary and a STRONG Chairman of the Federal Reserve, to nip this (in the bud!) right now.
Those same interests who rail against a national health care system as socialized medicine, see it is in the national interest (their’s) to take the marker for these makers of additional paper (let me be fair, they call them products) who have “screwed the pooch” as they used to say amongst test pilots.
Now Detroit has got their trick or treat bag at the door. After all, the financial services industry makes paper, while the automakers produce something tangible, in the form of automobiles. You will hear this from all sides: We need to get this economy moving.
Watching congressman Lucas from Oklahoma this morning on CSPAN was frightfully hilarious. The groaning sighs he made, as he told Susan Swain, that while he is a believer in a deregulated market, extraordinary times called for extraordinary actions.
Representative Lucas reminded me of the funeral home owner played by Johnathan Winters, in the movie version of The Loved One: “There must be some way to get these stiffs off of my property!”

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By jackpine savage, September 18, 2008 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

writeon,

Indeed, estimating the shock waves of US financial collapse are beyond reckoning.  While the bailouts are no good for the taxpayer, the real question is whether the bailouts will stem the fall or make everything worse.  Unfortunately, the answer to that question is sitting in foreign reserve stockpiles around the world.  In other words, we are not nearly in charge of our own destiny.

Beerdoc,

I’ve been mulling scenarios a lot lately, and even the best of them frighten me.  If we manage to avoid real catastrophe, we will come out the other side with finances being extraordinarily centralized.  Not only do i think that’s dangerous, but i also happen to think that it’s wrong.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 18, 2008 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

Before the main pole of this fraudulent tent was pulled, it was literally hillbilly Christmas for the top executives of these financial entities. Huge golden parachutes combined with “generous” severance packages, made those who got out, before the you-know-what hit the fan, very comfortable indeed.
A recent report of a German bank sending Lehman Brothers $400 million, just before they announced they were going belly up, proved unfortunate. The German bank attempted to cancel the transfer; too late! sorry Charlie, that cash now belongs to the bankrupt tuna factory.
To take this beyond the NYC metro area, it has also been announced that the Halifax Bank of Scotland, now belongs to Lloyds TSB.

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By Marc Schlee, September 18, 2008 at 12:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Long Live the International Socialist Revolution

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By writeon, September 17, 2008 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s difficult to estimate the consequences of allowing the US financial system to collapse. It’s arguably worse than bailing them out with billions from the taxpayer. Either way, collapse or bailout, it’s the ‘working class’ that are going to end up picking up the tab, because the private financial system is ‘bust’ and the only source of funds now available is tax money.

If the financial system crashed and we enter a recession deeper, worse and longer than the Great Depression, who will suffer most? It certainly won’t be the financial aristocracy, but ordinary people, who haven’t benefitted and haven’t even been consulted. We are all mostly third class passengers down in steerage, whilst on the glittering decks of the Titantic the rich are still dancing.

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By jackpine savage, September 17, 2008 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

The reason that private money is not rushing in to bail the “banks” out is that they cannot even begin to fathom the actual risk.  Our fearless government, on the other hand, seems unconcerned with risk.

The US Government has effectively put our collective, indebted asses on the line to be trampled in what is beginning to look like a run on the shadow banking system.

A nation that borrows $4B/day on nothing but “good faith and credit” while assuming insane risk is betting that her lenders can’t afford to let her fall…and praying that her credit remains rated AAA. (since losing that AAA has been a huge piece of every failure that we’ve seen)

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By Joe D, September 17, 2008 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes, Naomi Prins and Michael Hudson are duly outraged and the candidates vying for the top slot are fatally compromised as the financial system goes into meltdown.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if Amy asked this question:“This is for both of you, Naomi Prins and Professor Hudson, do you think that the financial disaster we are witnessing is an indication of the failure of the private banking system, called the Federal Reserve?”

The Fed never comes under criticism in the broadcast media, even on Democracy Now, and yet, is it not reasonable to question whether or not The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 should be repealed and a different system that is accountable to the public put in its place?

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By Frank Cajon, September 17, 2008 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

Jeez, so Bush/Cheney Reichstag/Junta has poured 115 billion into big banks and insurance companies that lavished hundreds of millions on CEO bonuses, and privatized the two biggest mortgage banks? So the market went down 900 points in two days (my losses, enough to buy a new, hybrid car)? Damn, we piss away $115 billion in Iraq every few months. And rich guys get most of that.
I think the important things to remember are that: Chancellor Bush gave all working Americans $600 whole dollars this year in an ‘economic stimulus package’. At about the same time, by coincidence, the price of oil crested at its highest point ever and anyone not driving a moped or working at home is in the red on that benevolent gesture on gas costs alone. That, and that McPalin will continue to see to it that the upper two percent of the income earners get tax breaks while the poor and middle class (until there is one no longer) will continue to pay the freight. It utterly amazes me that in a time when we truly need class struggle, the majority of Americans are staring at Palin’s bod while ignoring her (and the guy with brain cancer’s) lies that Obama will tax the middle class, so that the GOP stiffs are dead-heating the polls. But then, the lemmings in this country, as I often point out here, elected (I don’t buy that it was a complete rig) Herrs Bush and Cheney in full knowledge that they were capable of ruining the economy, and don’t seem to care that they have.

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