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Tag: Bailout

auto industry
fordnewsblog.wordpress.com

Blurring the Line Between Business and Government

President Obama grabbed the proverbial steering wheel on Monday, shaking up the American auto industry by stating tougher conditions for receiving federal subsidies and forcing GM’s CEO to step down. But critics are wrong to suggest that this represents an unprecedented use of executive power.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Cars, Banks and Confusion

The president is telling Detroit to shape up or die while at the same time politely asking Wall Street, whose recklessness and greed caused this economic crisis, if it would be so kind as to accept another heaping helping of taxpayer funds.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / richardefreeman

Obama Team Scraps Auto Bailout

The Obama administration auto task force has sent both GM and Chrysler back to the drawing board, turning down requests for additional loans until the companies come up with more realistic restructuring plans. The government will prop up GM for two months while the automaker tries again. Chrysler has 30 days.

Posted on Mar 29, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Anatoli Axelrod

GM Chief Booted in Bailout Deal

GM CEO Rick Wagoner resigned Sunday, apparently at the request of the Obama administration as part of a larger bailout agreement. The ouster of the man who gave us the Hummer wasn’t entirely unexpected. He spent the last eight years driving the world’s biggest car company into a ditch. Now if only we could apply this logic to the banking bailout. Update

Posted on Mar 29, 2009 READ MORE



What You Dig

Here are the five most-read stories of the last seven days, including Chris Hedges on America’s moral meltdown and Robert Scheer on the economic incompetents who find easy employment in the Obama administration. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE


Art Imitates Life

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Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


Going Postal

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Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE


Lessons of the Exxon Valdez

Twenty years ago, the Exxon Valdez supertanker spilled at least 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s pristine Prince William Sound. The consequences of the spill were epic and continue to this day, impacting the environment and the economy.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner and Bernanke
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Geithner Calls for More Authority After AIG Mess

In testifying before Congress on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asked for what he called “new resolution authority” to grant the federal government the ability to more successfully take on financial institutions like AIG (i.e., non-banks) in the future.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE


Kill AIG Bonuses With a Tax? It’s a Lousy Idea

Obama needs to stop straddling and to threaten to veto any cockamamie tax scheme that emerges from Congress as retribution for the repulsive bonuses handed out at American International Group.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE


A Repairman, Not a Revolutionary

Timothy Geithner has not been a good performer, but he does have a vision. He sees an improved Wall Street, though one not fundamentally different from what we have now.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout

The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. Our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / epicharmus

Putting the ‘Toxic’ Back in Tarp

The Toxic Asset Relief Program was originally designed to save the banks from their bad bets by purchasing toxic assets, but has since evolved into something of a multipurpose slush fund. Now the Obama administration is getting back to the business of buying junk, elaborating on a plan that sent the Dow tumbling when it was first announced. Update

Posted on Mar 22, 2009 READ MORE


White House
Flickr/dcJohn

White House Looking to Curb Wall Street’s Excesses

Faced with the glaring problem of indulgence and intractability on the highest tiers of Wall Street’s corporate behemoths, the Obama administration is putting together a plan to make financial institutions more accountable and more transparent to the government and to the taxpayers who granted them buoyancy.

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Geithner
White House / Pete Souza

Wouldn’t Let Geithner Quit Even if He Tried, Obama Says

Although Timothy Geithner is under fire from several directions, especially because he failed to stop the AIG executive bonus train from arriving at its destination, President Obama continues to actively support him. In fact, Obama says he wouldn’t let Geithner quit even if the treasury secretary tried to do so at this point.

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 READ MORE


AIG sign
visitbulgaria.info

AIG Claims It Overpaid Taxes, Sues Government

Having succeeded in dispensing tens of millions of dollars to company executives last week as the country—and Congress—cried foul, the insurance titan is now suing the government to reclaim millions in taxes. Apparently AIG officials believe they paid the IRS too much and now are demanding a huge tax rebate.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 READ MORE


A Government of Men, Not Laws

In the 21st century Gilded Age, the blue-collar shower-after-work crowd is given the tough, while the white-collar shower-before-work gang gets the love, and never before this week was that doctrine made so clear.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


The Geithner Problem

The treasury secretary may indeed be the hardest-working man in Washington. But in order to survive, let alone succeed, he’s going to have to make a more convincing case that he’s part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


Scheer

Amy Goodman and Robert Scheer: Should Geithner Step Down?

Truthdig’s Robert Scheer appeared on “Democracy Now!” on Thursday to tell host Amy Goodman who exactly sent the U.S. into financial dire straits and to recommend some changes that could put the country on a better track. Here are some hints: One culpable party rhymes with “Shmoldman Shmacks,” and another is at the top of President Obama’s economic team.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


Geithner and Obama
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

And Now, This Tepid Message From Our Treasury Chief

We’ve seen a lot of Timothy Geithner lately in the news—usually looking concerned yet purposeful as he stands behind the president in photos and press conferences—but we haven’t heard a great deal straight from the source. On Thursday, CNN’s Ali Velshi managed to get the treasury secretary talking, but what Geithner had to say is distinctly underwhelming.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


If You’re a ‘Little Guy,’ a Contract Means Nothing

If only the contracts entered into by shop-floor workers at auto plants were as inviolate as those secured by the incompetent pirates of the American International Group.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


Colbert

‘Colbert Report’: Take Out Your Pitchforks

What’s to be done when companies that received major bailouts from taxpayers turn around and brazenly offer beaucoup bucks to the executives who helped put us in the hole in the first place? Here are a couple suggestions by way of an answer: Pitchforks! Angry mobs!

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE



Geithner image from Presidencia de la Nación Argentina

Geithner’s Bonus Plan as Perplexing as His Other Proposals

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has sent Congress an explanation of his plan to deal with the AIG bonus fiasco. Essentially, Treasury will dock the $165 million in bonuses from AIG’s next bailout payment. Here’s a question: If AIG can do without that $165 million, why were we giving it to the company in the first place?

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Mark Lennihan

N.Y. Attorney General Investigates AIG’s ‘Staggering’ Bonus Mess

In a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, reprinted here, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo shares what his office has discovered so far about AIG’s scandalous bonuses, which “made more than 73 millionaires in the unit which lost so much money that it brought the firm to its knees, forcing a taxpayer bailout.”

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE


Those Hit Hardest Get No Bailout

Taxpayers’ bailout money for AIG bonuses has rightfully provoked a massive backlash against AIG, Wall Street, President Barack Obama and his economic advisers, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers.

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Obama Aiming to Block AIG Bonuses

AIG’s dishing out $165 million in bonuses to executives who played a part in bringing their company to near ruin is an “outrage,” according to President Barack Obama, who pledged to do whatever he can to stop the payouts at the bailed-out insurance giant. Updated

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE



Collage from Flickr / mobilestreetlife

OK—So Where Did the Other Billions Go?

In the face of mounting public outrage, AIG has revealed how it spent $75 billion of taxpayer money, a sum that amounts to less than half of the government’s $170 billion bailout of the firm. AIG says it gave a sizable chunk of the money to banks, including foreign institutions, and spent a pretty penny to cover junk investments.

Posted on Mar 15, 2009 READ MORE


AIG logo
listphile.com

AIG to Dish Out $165 Million in Post-Bailout Bonuses

The tug of war continues between corporate financial giants and the federal government, and certain members of the former seem to have some trouble adjusting to their post-bailout status. AIG, for example, is still planning to reward its top 400 executives with a whopping $165 million in bonuses this weekend, even after the company was given more than $170 billion from taxpayers to stay afloat. Updated

Posted on Mar 14, 2009 READ MORE


Cramer and Stewart
comedycentral.com

CNBC Does Damage Control After Stewart-Cramer Showdown

CNBC and sister cabler MSNBC promoted Jim Cramer’s appearance on “The Daily Show” last week, but that was before he was soundly trounced by Jon Stewart. After the fact, CNBC and its affiliate networks haven’t exactly been playing highlight clips in heavy rotation, and some industry types believe that damage may have been done to the financial network’s reputation.

Posted on Mar 14, 2009 READ MORE


Cramer on TheStreet.com TV

Jim Cramer’s Stock Market Manipulation Primer

So, CNBC hyperpundit Jim Cramer was the very picture of contrition during his cringe-tastic appearance on Thursday night’s “Daily Show.” But let’s revisit this moment from 2006—when Cramer brought a much haughtier version of himself to TheStreet.com TV to discuss, among other delightful topics, how to “create a new truth to develop a fiction” whilst in “hedge-fund mode”—shall we?

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE


Cramer and Stewart

Jon Stewart’s Not Buying What Jim Cramer’s Selling

In this highly anticipated face-off between Jon Stewart and CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday’s “Daily Show,” Cramer furiously backpedals as he’s zinged repeatedly by a (mostly) courteous but relentless Stewart, who questions whether Cramer isn’t a snake-oil salesman who has supported the myth that there is one unified economic system that works the same for everybody while knowing that’s not the case.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE


A Bad Fix Would Be No Fix

Advice to solve the financial crisis before even thinking about health care, energy or education is either misguided or disingenuous. Fortunately, Obama seems to be ignoring all the chatter.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 READ MORE


Wall St. bull
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

Socialism Without a Soul

Newt Gingrich is right: “It is European socialism transplanted to Washington.” How else to describe an economy in which the government controls the entire financial center and is now supplying life support for the auto industry?

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE


Eight Is Enough

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Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE


Slots

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Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / Smith

GM Is Europe’s Headache, Too

If GM strikes out in Washington, the automaker could take its troubles to Europe, the second continent where it has asked for a bailout. That’s because GM operates plants in six European countries, to the tune of 300,000 jobs. The company is hoping for good news, especially since its auditors announced it may not survive much longer.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Jon Stewart Is Mad as Hell

What’s more offensive than CNBC reporter Rick Santelli’s rant against Barack Obama’s supposed intention to throw only a table scrap of bailout money to foreclosed homeowners? His network’s laughable coverage of the biggest economic news story since the Great Depression.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


AIG building
AP photo / Mark Lennihan

Billions Dished Out in the Shadows

We’ve already given AIG a total of $170 billion—an amount that dwarfs the $75 billion allocated to helping those millions of homeowners facing foreclosures. And more will be thrown down the AIG rat hole because President Barack Obama is blindly following the misguided advice of his top economic advisers, who insist that AIG is too big to fail.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE


Bernie Sanders
senate.gov

Bernie Sanders Wants Answers, Writes Legislation to Get Them

Fed chief Ben Bernanke may be able to dole out trillions in the blink of an eye, but on Tuesday he ran headlong into Congress’ only independent democratic socialist. Sen. Bernie Sanders demanded to know where all the Fed’s money was going. Bernanke said “no.” Sanders fired back by introducing a bill that would require such information to be posted to the Fed’s Web site.

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / reubenaingber

Bigger Bailout Expected for AIG

The government is expected to come to AIG’s rescue for a fourth time as the mega-insurer prepares to announce the biggest quarterly loss by a single company in the history of the world. Reports put the bonus bailout at $30 billion, less than half of AIG’s expected quarterly loss.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 READ MORE


Robin-Hood Republicanism?

Only months after the 2008 primaries, most Americans probably don’t remember Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul. But that doesn’t mean the conservative populism they championed during their campaigns is as fleeting as their dark-horse candidacies.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / stan

Citigroup Wants a Bigger Bailout

Uncle Sam already gave Citigroup $45 billion and promised to limit the bank’s losses on $300 billion in troubled loans, but executives at the ailing bank are now reportedly asking the federal government to sweeten the deal. One scheme has Washington exchanging preferred stock for common stock.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE


Robber Barons
icsd.k12.ny.us

A Non-Rising Tide Lifts No Boats

The rationale of the TARP bailout’s “capital-injection program”—providing banks with capital that will increase loans to consumers and businesses—has apparently been forgotten by the 20 largest banks that received TARP money. A Treasury Department survey has found that lending in the last quarter of 2008 was stagnant, or even slightly declined, despite $250 billion in capital-injection funds.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


General Chrysler
truckend.com

More Aid, Please

General Motors, recipient of the 2009 “Nation’s Most Resistant-to-Change Company That Still Gets Federal Assistance” award, wants more. The auto giant on Wednesday asked for $16.6 billion in loans, on top of the $13.4 billion already granted. All this amid GM plans to shed 47,000 jobs worldwide.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Bank Owned
willows-journal.com

$75 Billion to Fight Foreclosures

While $700 billion was given to the banks and credit institutions that haphazardly pushed forward our current economic fiasco, millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure may now be given only about one-tenth of that figure—$75 billion—in an effort to slow the deterioration of the housing market.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Paul Morse / Pete Souza

Good Money After Bad

Congressional Republicans, with the exception of that embarrassingly shrunken contingent of three moderates, will rue their legacy of deep indifference at a time of true national emergency, one that makes George W. Bush’s far more costly war on terror now seem an absurdly irrelevant exercise.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Carmaker, Banker, Broker ...

Obama must deal with a new presidential role that he did not seek but cannot avoid: managing big chunks of the private-sector economy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Blame Your Puny Paycheck

This didn’t start with the mortgage and credit crisis. It all began with the wage crisis.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Bad News From America’s Top Spy

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. Just ask the new director of national intelligence, who warned that the deepening economic crisis could trigger a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


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