Monday, September 22, 2008

Wall Street greed knows no bounds

“Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it.” NY Times.

Please read that again.

The biggest bailout in the history of the world is underway and financial firms are already lobbying to expand the scope. The greedy are not satisfied. They want more. They want to make money on taxpayer misery. Misery that Wall Street brought about.

Treasury Secretary Paulson is asking for Congress to spend nearly a trillion dollars – without holding hearings – and everybody in Big Money wants on the gravy train.

You know something is wrong when liberal thinkers like Paul Krugman agree with conservative writers like William Kristol that this “cash for trash” plan is fraught with danger.

America is on the verge of nationalizing the financial world. Who is next? Airlines, automobile manufacturers, credit card companies?

Insane. This is insane. It was greed that got us here. If Congress is our best hope, then we are doomed.

"Give you an idea how bad the American economy is -- Mexico is
now calling for a fence along the border." – Jay Leno.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Dems must, MUST, demand transparency and more oversight with this mess. Bush may cancel elections,insert martial law, close congress and name himself Kim il Sung,(SP) of North America. He is about as dumb. Some expressly hard actions must be taken to put controls back on these people (Sen. Gramm rode the wave of no controls)...I lived through one depression....Bill

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you. We are on a fast train to disaster if the bailouts occur as written. I am still not in favor of a bailout of any kind. It's not just the Dems who are wanting 'transparency and oversight'. Conservatives(you notice I didn't say Republicans) are in general agreement that a bailout will cause untold misery to our country. You can blame all this on Bush if you want to,but the whole of Washington politics is smelling like old dead fish The number two person in recieving ill gotten funds through the 'good ole boys' game is Barach Obama.check it out--------Goose

The South Plainsman said...

The Republicans are demanding accountability too. Have been busy, so no time to post today. This bailout is a bad deal in my opinion, but the alternatives may or may not be worse. I think a rush to judgment based on Congress' desire to recess may be the biggist mistake. Let's take some time, get the facts out and then make the decisions necessary.

The Wall Street crowd should not be bailed out. Period.

The South Plainsman said...

By the way, Bill. I don't guess I know you, but you need to get a good grasp on things. You may hate Bush, but Chris Dodd and Barney Frank have as much or more to do with all of this than Bush. And so do a lot of other Republicans and Democrats.

But you are right about transparency and oversight. Congressmen from both parties are demanding that.

Goose....good job. You are right.

Ira said...

So what are the consequences if we don't bail out these irresponsible banks? And, are the same greedy s.o.b.s going to keep their jobs? What sections of the business community are next in line to have their bubble burst? Oil? Airlines? Credit?

Too many questions... Oh, I forgot. Taxpayers are too simple minded to understand all these complex financial issues.

Just wait. Once we actually borrow the billions of dollars the price of oil will go up and the value of the dollar will tank.

Anonymous said...

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Automobile-finance companies lead a growing list of liquidity-starved industries trying to get in on the huge government rescue plan targeted originally at cleaning up bad mortgage bets, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a lobbyist for one of the Big Three automakers. Other businesses, such as student and credit-card lenders, also could eventually access the program, the newspaper said. To permit that, House and Senate versions of the bill written overnight -- with lobbyist input -- now include language broadening the types of assets eligible for sale under the plan, from "mortgage-related" to "troubled assets," the report said

sph said...

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, Pub.L. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, enacted 1999-11-12, is an Act of the United States Congress which repealed part of the Glass-Steagall Act, opening up competition among banks, securities companies and insurance companies. The Glass-Steagall Act prohibited a bank from offering investment, commercial banking, and insurance services.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) allowed commercial and investment banks to consolidate. For example, Citibank merged with Travelers Group, an insurance company, and in 1998 formed the conglomerate Citigroup, a corporation combining banking and insurance underwriting services. Other major mergers in the financial sector had already taken place such as the Smith-Barney, Shearson, Primerica and Travelers Insurance Corporation combination in the mid-1990s. This combination, announced in 1993 and finalized in 1994, would have violated the Glass-Steagall Act and the Bank Holding Company Act by combining insurance and securities companies, if not for a temporary waiver process [1]. The law was passed to legalize these mergers on a permanent basis. Historically, the combined industry has been known as the financial services industry.

The same Phil Gramm who called us a nation of "whiners" while working for dear OLD McSame.

The South Plainsman said...

One thing that everyone needs to watch out for. Just as we are bailing out the financial institutions, the Big Three automakers are getting in line for 30 or 40 billion dollars. Who else will be there now that the printing press seems to be running full tilt?

Ira is right. This will destroy the value of the dollar, sending the costs of all imports higher, including oil.

SPH is right about one thing....Glass-Steagall should be reinstated. There are a number of other "reforms" that may need to be changed.

Everyone needs to step back and take a long, sober look at all of this.

Ira said...

Now, consider this: Already the automotive industry wants to be included in the bail-out. (SUV anyone?) Once this purchase of over-priced housing loans, etc. goes through the dollar will drop, gas prices will rise everything becomes unhinged.

Enter the airlines. They will claim if the airlines fail the crisis will be catastrophic.

Then the trucking firms will be stepping up to the plate...

At first I thought this bailout was essential. Now I think it is a man-made disaster done through intentional deregulation and corruption.

This represents nothing less than the transfer of Congressional powers to the Executive Branch and the transfer of public funds into corporate hands through Treasury Secretary Paulson.

Anonymous said...

Revisionist riddle:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Okay, I know the wall is Wall Street. How is Humpty and who is the king?

Jeff Hebert said...

I've seen it called the largest redistribution of wealth in history. $700 billion dollars from the taxpayers to the finance industry. When Poulson was asked about whether or not this was socialism, he just responded "It's necessary". In other words, yes.

I don't know enough to know what the right thing to do is. But I do know from recent history that rushing a solution through based on panic and worst-case scenarios is a bad idea.

The thing I like most that I've hear so far is from Obama, who said last year that we ought to regulate financial entities not based on what they are but what they do. If it acts like a bank, regulate it like a bank. It was letting through all these pseudo-banks that had all the power and none of the restrictions that's largely to blame here.

Panicked people make bad decisions, whether they're Congresspeople or not. I got told if we didn't pass the AUMF we'd get nuked. I got told if we didn't pass the bankruptcy reform bill the economy would collapse. I got told if we didn't authorize the new FISA bill the terrorists would win tomorrow.

I'm tired of getting scared into legislating away my rights and my money.

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