Economic Views

May 11, 2010

May 11, 2010

courtesy of: Dprogram

Obama’s Big Sellout

December 11, 2009

source: Matt Taibbi, Global Reseach

The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway

Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers “at the expense of hardworking Americans.” 

Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it’s not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.

Then he got elected.

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Taxpayers Are “Involuntary Investors” in “Shaky” Banks, Risk-Taking Firms

November 26, 2009

source: Truthout

As financial reforms face new delays in Congress, the chair of the Congressional oversight panel on the TARP program, Elizabeth Warren, told Truthout Tuesday that the nation’s financial institutions still pose major risks for taxpayers – and the economy.

She declared, “The rules that got us into this financial crisis have not yet been changed.” Meanwhile, she said, “The too-big-to-fail institutions are bigger, the banking industry is more concentrated and the toxic assets remain on the books of the banks. Worse yet, the implicit government guarantee that let big companies take on high risks, then keep all the rewards if they succeed and get taxpayer bailouts when they failed, are even stronger than they were a year ago.”

She added, “In other words, we are now operating under a set of rules that have proven to be disastrous, but we have not changed them.”
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Reverse Bank Robbery

September 2, 2009

source: UK Guardian

No wonder America’s banks are making profits again: the US government is bribing them to borrow its own money….

Most of us work for a living, the rest are bankers. These days the news is filled with great tales about how America’s banks are coming back.

Even that giant corpse Citigroup is showing signs of life. Its stock is now selling for more than five times the lows it hit earlier this year. Its market capitalization is up near $57bn, a bit more than the $45 billion that the government lent them through the Troubled Assets Relief Programme, or Tarp. Some are even expecting that the government will make a profit on its Citigroup investment.

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Banks make $38bn from overdraft fees

August 10, 2009


source: Financial Times

US banks stand to collect a record $38.5bn in fees for customer overdrafts this year, with the bulk of the revenue coming from the most financially stretched consumers amid the deepest recession since the 1930s, according to research. The fees are nearly double those reported in 2000.

The median bank overdraft fee has this year rose from $25 to $26, according to Moebs, the first time it has gone up in a recession for more than 40 years.

“Banks are returning to a fee-driven model and overdraft fees are the mother lode,” said Mike Moebs, the company’s founder.

Overdraft fees accounted for more than three-quarters of service fees charged on customer deposits, he said.

The Real Economy Versus the Make-Believe World of the Government and Financial Giants

August 4, 2009


source: Washingtons Blog

In the real economy, unemployment is at Depression-era levels (see this, this and this).

In the real economy, bank loan loss rates will be higher than the Depression.

In the real economy, government revenue is at its lowest level since the Depression, and most states are on the verge of bankruptcy.

In the real economy, the world economy is crashing faster than during the Depression (and see this).

But in the make-believe world of the government and the financial giants, the recession is over.

How do they do it?

Well, as I noted a couple of days ago, the boys use:

  • High-frequency trading, program trading-based frontrunning, and other computer-based manipulation of the markets
  • Creation and manipulation of bubbles
  • The Plunge Protection Team
  • Intervention in the gold, currency markets, and bond markets
  • Bear raids, naked short selling, and credit default swap holders driving companies into bankruptcy

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Cost Of Bailout Hits A Whopping $24 Trillion Dollars

July 22, 2009

source: Global Research

According to the watchdog overseeing the federal government’s financial bailout program, the full exposure since 2007 amounts to a whopping $23.7 trillion dollars, or $80,000 for every American citizen.

The last time we were able to get a measure of the total cost of the bailout, it stood at around $8.5 trillion dollars. Eight months down the line and that figure has almost tripled.

The $23.7 trillion figure comprises “about 50 initiatives and programs set up by the Bush and Obama administrations as well as by the Federal Reserve,” according to the Associated Press.

In testimony which will be delivered to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee tomorrow, Neil Barofsky, the inspector general for the TARP, will tell Congress that “the Treasury Department has repeatedly failed to adopt recommendations aimed at making the TARP program more accountable and transparent.”

According to Barofsky, taxpayers are in the dark as to who has received the money and what they are doing with it.

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Alan Grayson grills Ben Bernanke on Foreign Lending

July 22, 2009

source: Marc Gallagher

Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat who has been very critical in the past of Fed actions takes it to Bernanke today regarding foreign central bank lending. If the 90 or so Democratic cosponsors of Ron Paul’s HR1207 bill doesn’t convince you that Fed transparency is bipartisan then Grayson’s grilling of Bernanke should.

What I find especially horrid about this is that the U.S. is bankrupt and the Fed is not only printing money and handing it out to U.S. financial institutions, but is handing it out to foreign central banks so they can hand it out to their own financial institutions. Meanwhile the value of the dollar takes more of a hit exacerbating the “hidden” inflation tax on every person in the world who holds dollars.

Editor’s note: Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has no idea when the Federal Reserve was established

“Government Sachs” Strikes Gold … Again

July 16, 2009

source: Truthdig

New headline related to this story: JPMorgan Chase posts 2nd-quarter profit of $2.72 billion 

Also, local headline for Sonoma Co. residents: Stimulus funding still a trickle (7 youths begin work on creek as one of few tangible results of Obama’s $787 billion bailout.) -ed

By Robert Scheer

Connect the dots: Goldman Sachs made $3.44 billion in profit this past quarter, while the U.S deficit topped $1 trillion for the first time in the nation’s history and appeared to be headed toward doubling that figure before the budget year is out. Since most of the increase in the federal deficit is due to bailing out the banks and salvaging the greater economy they helped destroy, why is the top investment bank doing so well?

Well, because that was the plan, as devised by Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Remember that Lehman Brothers, Goldman’s competitor, was allowed to go bankrupt. The Paulson crowd wouldn’t let Lehman change its status to that of a bank holding company and thus qualify for federal funds; soon afterward, Goldman was granted just such a deal, worth a quick $10 billion. Much is now made of Goldman paying back part of its bailout money, but forgotten is the $12.9 billion that Goldman got as its cut of the $180 billion AIG payoff. That is money that will not be paid back.

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