Tag Archives: Bailout

Let’s Be Fair to Bernanke– hindsight’s 20/20

posted by Ogenec
While neither the Fed nor the Treasury got everything right, they did far better than the Monday-morning quarterbacks would have us believe

By Steven Rattner
Thursday, December 3, 2009.

When the Senate Banking Committee welcomes Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for his confirmation hearing today, the questioning is sure to be sharp, yet another chapter in the unceasing second-guessing of the government’s handling of the Wall Street meltdown.

Almost since the first cracks in Wall Street’s facade appeared more than two years ago, commentators and politicians of all stripes have questioned whether the Fed and, equally, the Treasury made proper decisions as they faced the worst financial crisis in 75 years.

It is very much the Banking Committee’s responsibility to satisfy itself about Bernanke’s qualifications and the overall management of the financial crisis. It is also appropriate for other oversight groups to conduct their own inquiries.

But much of the barrage of criticism is unfair, and some of it is simply ignorant.
Take, for example, the drumbeat of criticism for the decision to let Lehman Brothers fail. Conveniently forgotten by critics is the fact that until the consequences of Lehman’s bankruptcy became evident, the refrain from all quarters after the bailout of Bear Stearns in the spring was that the next floundering bank needed to be allowed to fail to teach Wall Street a lesson (preserve “moral hazard,” to use the jargon).

Shortly after Lehman’s filing, Allan Meltzer, a distinguished monetary economist, commended the Fed for letting Lehman go, telling PBS that “within a few days, just a few days, Barclays was there buying up some of Lehman’s assets.” A year later, Meltzer had a different view: “Allowing Lehman to fail without warning is one of the worst blunders in Federal Reserve history.”

More recently, a government oversight report came out swinging against the handling of the AIG bailout, suggesting in particular that the Fed and the Treasury should have demanded concessions from the banks that were counterparties to AIG’s hundreds of billions of dollars of credit insurance contracts.

That criticism sounds good, but like much after-the-fact commentary, it’s off-base. Once the Fed and the Treasury concluded (correctly) that an AIG bankruptcy posed unacceptable systemic risks, the government immediately lost any bargaining power to demand concessions. The result was a very unfortunate windfall for the counterparty banks, but what was the realistic alternative?

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related story:
Unexpected drop in jobless rate sparks optimism
WASHINGTON (AP) — A surprising drop in the November unemployment rate and in job losses cheered investors Friday and raised hopes for a sustained economic recovery.

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Filed under Bailout, Banking, Economy, Free Market, Timothy F. Geithner (Sec of Treasury), Uncategorized

MSNBC Interviews Clueless Sarah Palin Supporters At Book Signing

MSNBC’s Nora O’Donnell unsuccessfully tries her best to convince supporters of Sarah Palin that she really was for the bailout, before she was against it. SMDH

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Filed under Books, Media and Entertainment, MSNBC, Norah O'Donnell, Partisan Politics, Politics, Pop Culture, Republicans, Television

Vice-President Joe Biden Kicks It with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show

Posted by Audiegrl

Vice President Joe Biden makes his sixth appearance on The Daily Show and the first for a sitting vice president! Really? On second thought, I guess a show with Dick Cheney would have been kind of uncomfortable. 😉

In Part One, Biden says the Obama administration is creating new jobs by investing in energy, education and health care. In Part Two, he explains the necessity of the bank bailout and explains why the Democrats can’t pass anything in the Senate.

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Part One

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Part Two

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Filed under Bailout, Banking, Comedy Central, Economics, Economy, Education, Energy, Entertainment, Green, Health Care Reform, Humor, Jobs, Jon Stewart, Jon Stewart's The Daily Show, New York, New York, NY, Politics, Pop Culture, Stimulus, TARP, TV Shows, Vice-President Joe Biden, Video/YouTube

Shut Up, “Neo-Progressives!” You’re more like neo-cons than you think.

_______________blogpost by  Ogenec________________

Despite their fevered protestations, the two are like peas in a pod. And their disease is contagious.

In popular discourse, there is a pitched fight between “progressives” and “conservatives.” On just about every issue, you see signs of the partisan sniping: health care, the economy, foreign policy, etc. But as I’ve watched the spittle fly and the rhetoric spiral ever downward, I’ve reached two conclusions. First, the fight is not between progressives and conservatives; it’s between “neo-progressives” and “neo-conservatives.” Second, neo-progressives and neo-conservatives are much closer in thinking than they care to admit.

The Neo-con lineup

The Neo-con lineup

Right now you’re probably scratching your head in abject puzzlement. So let me try to explain. First up, what is a neo-progressive, anyway ? Well, we all know what a neo-con is, right? A neo-con is a person who wraps himself in the mantle of conservatism to advance policy goals — such as the “pre-emptive” war in Iraq — that are a complete perversion of conservatism. That same reasoning applies to neo-progressives: they wrap themselves in the mantle of the progressive moment to advance policy goals that are anything but. And, to the extent their goals are in fact progressive, the means by which they attempt to secure them are positively Roveian.

Let me illustrate the “similarity” point, which will also shed additional light on the first point. Take the inveighing against Wall Street and its bonus payouts.

Both Sides Against The Middle

Both Sides Against The Middle

I’m not so much focusing on the merits of the issue. But only pointing out that factions on both the left and the right share an extreme distaste for the bailouts. How they get there may be substantively different — the Extreme Left is anti Big Business, and the Extreme Right is anti government meddling in Big Business — but the result is the same. Both sides hate it, and both sides resort to the worst kind of economic populism to make their criticism heard. Both are holding the pitchforks. Or instigating others to do so.

How about foreign policy as another example? It’s a matter of record that neo-cons were instrumental in launching the war in Iraq. Progressives opposed that war, and rightly so. However, a more recent incident — the voting irregularities in Iran — shows just how closely aligned the neo-cons and the neo-progressives can be.

iranprotestpictures.com

iranprotestpictures.com

As is their wont, neo-conservatives argued for muscular rhetoric and saber-rattling against the Iranian government. That all-too-familiar drumbeat for “intervention” started up again. See, for example: “Her Name was Neda”. No surprise there, you say. But what was surprising was how closely this rhetoric was mirrored by some on the Left. They argued, just as the neo-conservatives did, that it was time for Obama to toughen his stance.
Neda Protest Sign

Neda Protest Sign


For example: Neda’s Martyrdom and the Pitfalls of Obama’s Chronic Pragmatism
Again, I’m not opining as to whether the Neda incident required greater intervention than the United States government provided. Only that conservatives and progressives found themselves in much the same place on this issue. This op-ed from June by E.J. Dionne makes the point:
The Liberals’ Iran Dilemma.

The last example is the most important one, as it pertains to the process of governing. As such, it pervades every issue.

Click for more information

Click for more information

Neo-conservatives in the Bush era, led by Cheney and David Addington, were fierce advocates of the “Unitary Executive” theory: that every ounce of legislative, political, and policy power should flow from the White House. That position, and the zeal with which Cheney and his underlings acted on it, led directly to such outrages as the doctoring of intelligence for the Iraq war; the shameful outing of Valerie Plame; the Justice Department firings; and the politicization of science education. Given its shameful provenance, you would think that progressives would be the first to disavow such an approach. And, in fact, real progressives do.

But not neo-progressives. They want Obama to act just as high-handedly as Bush-Cheney did. They want all power to flow through the White House, and for Obama to ramrod through their preferred policy prescriptions already. The problem with Bush, it turns out, is not how he implemented policy but the actual policies themselves: if you just changed the policy preferences but kept the Bush method, we’d be golden!!! Oh, they don’t say it quite so blatantly, of course. They hide behind codewords like “spineless” and “gutless,” and they bemoan things like bipartisanship, a word they can barely bring themselves to say without a lip-curling sneer. But that’s what they mean.

So the next time some “progressive” says Obama needs to steamroll the conservatives already, you turn around and say “shut the f**k up, you stupid neo-progressives. We’ve had quite enough of that take-no-prisoners approach, and the adults are back in charge.” And point ’em to this excellent Dkos diary by AZDem, which makes the point that true liberals display “Niebuhrian humility”: “The Myth of Certainty” Certainty, that’s for neo-conservatives. And neo-progressives. Despite their fevered protestations, the two are like peas in a pod. And their disease is contagious, so it’s best to stay away from both types altogether. Especially during flu season.

Related article: Obama and the Left’s Old Schism

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Filed under Bailout, Banking, Civil Protest, Elections, Middle East, Partisan Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized, War

Dow Breaks 10,000– UP 53% since March

posted by GeoT
In a sign of further strength in the economic recovery under the Obama Administration The Dow Jones Industrial Average has once again closed above the 10,000 level
CLOSED: Dow 10,015.86 +144.80 +1.47%

Current DJ Average

Real-Time DJ Chart

**Stocks surge on Intel, JPMorgan reports**
Story from:

Related Stories:
Blackstone sees “more than green shoots” of recovery

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Filed under Banking, Economics, Economy, Free Market

Me Talk Presidential One Day

posted by Ogenec

Former President George W. Bush

Former President George W. Bush


Matt Latimer worked as one of Dubya’s speechwriters during the president’s final twenty-two months in office. He was there to help sell the surge to a skeptical public. He was there as we pretended that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. And he was there to see a president who failed to grasp his own $700 billion bailout package—even as he was pitching it to the American public on live TV. A disillusioned insider reveals for the first time just how messy things got

GQ Style/Matt Latimer—As a speechwriter for George W. Bush during the final years of his presidency, I’d seen crises and controversies. But nothing prepared me for the imminent collapse of America’s free-market system.

I was in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with another speechwriter, a young man named Jonathan. (His last name was Horn; the president nicknamed him Horny.) We were chatting casually when the president’s favorite speechwriter came in. Chris Michel was in his midtwenties, with sandy blond hair. He was usually chipper, though at the moment his face was so pale he must have been the whitest man in the Bush White House. And that was no small accomplishment. Chris had just come from a secret meeting in the Oval Office, and without so much as a hello he announced: “Well, the economy is about to completely collapse.”

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Filed under Bailout, Media and Entertainment, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized

Victory! “Debtor’s Revolt” – Ann Minch Triumphs In Credit Card Fight Via Youtube

Ann Minch

Ann Minch

HuffingtonPost/Arthur Delaney—Two weeks ago, Ann Minch of Red Bluff, Calif. announced in a YouTube video that she’d launched a one-woman “Debtors’ Revolt” and would refuse to pay off her credit card balance after an unfair interest-rate hike. Now, after her video made a huge splash, Bank of America has agreed to reduce her rate.

Minch said in a video posted Saturday that a Bank of America executive contacted her on Friday.

“He asked me to talk a little about my personal financial situation so we can negotiate some kind of agreement in regard to my existing credit card account,” she said. The executive “tried to get me to agree to 16.99 percent and I said, ‘No, nope, I believe because you guys are getting your money from the Fed at zero percent interest… that 12.99 percent is a more than generous profit margin for you guys.’ So he did finally agree to that and he also agreed to send me that in writing.”

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Watch Ms. Minch talk about her victory…

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Filed under Bailout, Banking, Capitalism, Economy, Money, Uncategorized