Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mushroom Cloud over Wall Street as US Constitution Burns

Our Utah congressional delegation exhibits that familiar "deer in the headlights" look

These are dark times. While you were sleeping the cockroaches were busy about their work, rummaging through the US Constitution, and putting the finishing touches on a scheme to assert absolute power over the nation's financial markets and the country's economic future. Industry representative Henry Paulson has submitted legislation to congress that will finally end the pretense that Bush controls anything more than reading the lines from a 4' by 6' teleprompter situated just inches from his lifeless pupils. Paulson is in charge now, and the coronation is set for sometime early next week. He rose to power in a stealthily-executed Bankster's Coup in which he, and his coterie of dodgy friends, declared martial law on the US economy while elevating himself to supreme leader.

The Market Oracle
Mushroom Cloud over Wall Street as US Constitution Burns
September 22, 2008

Outside Independence Hall when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franlin Quotes
1787


Top notch rant from The Market Oracle Website. Read it and weep:

Mushroom Cloud over Wall Street as US Constitution Burns

This morning's Salt Lake Tribune reports that our Utah Congressional delegation publicly expresses some slight discomfort about the wisdom of the Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's "mother of all bailouts":

Utah delegation dubious about $700B bailout

Who wants to bet Congress won't be steamrolled into turning over our nation's financial markets and the country's economic future to the unfettered control of Paulson's U.S. banking cartel... (probably by the end of the week)?

We urge you to contact your Congresscritters right now; and let them know what the lumpencitizens think.

Don't let the prospect of a national crisis trick you into giving up your freedom, America.

23 comments:

danny said...

Astonishingly, as more information comes out, it is clear the Paulson plan is a true bailout for Wall Street scum, of whom Paulson is obviously one, having raped a billion dollars off Goldman Sachs clients when he worked for that carpetbagger firm, doing exactly the sorts of things that got the country in this mess in the first place.

Even if you feel unqualified in financial matters, you should email your senator and congressman today, expressing outrage at the greatest train robbery in history now taking place, as well as the greatest transfer of freedom to the federal government in history.

Google Senator Orrin Hatch, Senator Robert Bennett, and Congressman Rob Bishop, and follow the links.

Just tell them how you feel. That's all it takes. Do your part for our great country.

Karl said...

Here is the Dave Ramsey Plan...

How We Can Clean Up A Lot of the Economic Problems

Maybe its time for our Federal Government to start acting their Wage.

Southsider said...

Then there's the Republican Study Committee proposal:

Two-Year Suspension of the Capital Gains .... By encouraging corporations to sell unwnated assets, this provision would unleash funds and materials with which to create jobs and grow the economy.

Let's see: sell "unwanted assets" that are worth less then you paid for them (a capital loss.) No tax there anywhere, is there?

Are they that dumb, or do they just think we are?

RudiZink said...

It's hopeless, I think, Karl and Southsider.

I've had my eyes glued the senate hearings all week.

Watching this, it's obvious to me that 95% of the U.S. Congress are economics morons.

It was interesting today watching Bernanke being "grilled" by various senators.

Lots of semi-concealed "rolling of the eyes," on Bernanke's part.

Yes... Bernanke is definitely a shill for the Banking Cartel...

But I shared his pain as to the totally off-point flat ass dumb questions and statements uttered by most legislators from the senior legislative body in the USA.

It's frightening, frankly to have most of these morons plotting the future destiny of the U.S. economy.

We're in deep doo here; and there are only a handfull of congressmen who have the financial expetise and acumen to offer the needed help.

RudiZink said...

Here's an interesting anecdote. I called Senator Bennet's office yesterday to register my opposition to the "Big Bailout"

I called Senator Bennett's local Ogden office (you know... to save the price for a Washington call.)

Talked to the bitch who runs Bennett's Ogden City phone line.

This little twit actually hung up on me when i complained that Se. BNennet has never responded to ANY of my letters over the years

Curmudgeon said...

Rudi:

You wrote: This little twit actually hung up on me when i complained that Se. BNennet has never responded to ANY of my letters over the years.

I know people... I have the password... I can get you safely across to the Democratic lines... come over....

zip code 84403 said...

Senator Bennett has no class nor charm so the natural pattern is that his staff would be the same type.

The phone numbers to call are:
Orrin Hatch 801-524-4380

Bennett 801-524-5933 (Got a mchine)

Rep. Rob Bishop 625-0107 (Ogden office)

Interestingly enough, the persons in both Hatch's office and Bishop's office actually discussed the problems. It was quite refreshing.

danny said...

Rudi,

After your post on the hearings, I asked my nurse to reduce my medication and apply sufficient voltage so I could watch the hearings myself.

I agree the traitorous Paulson and Bernanke appear smarter, but whether they actually are is in question.

But I like the fact that so many of the congressmen are ripping on the Bush Administration scumbags. It seems very populist to me. Now, if they just have the sand to vote this monstrosity down.

Paulson has said time and again, in effect, let's push the $700 billion to Wall Street, then take care of all the other BS later.

He knows where his bread is buttered. Do our congressmen know where theirs is?

Jason W. said...

Rudi, can you, in some small measure, put this crisis in local terms I can understand? I mean, I did not graduate from Bonneville High School, sell ski clothing at Wolfe's and become a high-adventure industry titan, like some other community saviors. My question is: will the severe recession force THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE into trimming down his $8-per-week expenditure on used sports jackets at the DI and Saver's to around $5? And how will this affect the local onion growers?

THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE

Midas said...

If there is a bailout, the American taxpayer should reap any money payback. They could do that by putting it into the almost bankrupt Social Security fund! If there would be any good from this fiasco, this may be it.

Monotreme said...

The way I see it, we have two choices here.

1. We spend $700B and the economy goes to Hell in a handbasket;

or

2. We don't spend $700B and the economy goes to Hell in a handbasket.

Personally, I choose option #2. I refuse to believe the nonsense Bernanke and Paulsen are selling, any more than I believe Val Southwick would have paid back all those dear people if we just left him alone.

Put another way, we will either have high inflation (option 1) or high unemployment (option 2). I'd rather keep control of my share of the $700B (about $10K, they say) and, provided I have a job during the Second Great Depression, I'll give my share to the Marshall White Center to expand their soup kitchens and beds for the homeless.

ozboy said...

This idea sounds just crazy enough to possibly work, so naturally it won't be given serious consideration. How great is our bureaucracy!!

Hi Pals,

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.
So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.
A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.

Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads

Put away money for college - it'll be there

Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car - create jobs

Invest in the market - capital drives growth

Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves

Enable Deadbeat Dad s to come clean - or else

Remember this is for every adult US Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( 'vote buy' ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it.n Sell off its parts. Let American General go back to being American General.

Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.

Sure it's a crazy idea that can 'never work.' But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion

We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,

Birk


PS - When told the reason for Daylight Saving time the old Indian said...

'Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.'

danny said...

For those who were planning to vote for the reprehensible McCain because Sarah Palin is a true conservative who will sway him, think again.

NEW YORK (AP) - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said Wednesday that the United States could be headed for another Great Depression if Congress doesn't act on the financial crisis. Recent surveys have shown that Palin's popularity, while still strong, has begun to fade.


That's right, the most "conservative" candidate in the race sees the most massive power grab in history by the government as our only salvation. Whew! I guess now that "conservative" and "socialist liberal counterfeit worthless politician" mean the same thing, we can feel good that the two parties are finally working together! Things should start getting better real fast now, right?

Ogden Resident said...

In 1929 the government in a very similar situation made the decision to let the bastards that got themselves in this mess suffer the consequences. They did and so did the entire US population until 1933 when the government finally put together a bail out package. Least that's what I've read. If I read the history right then some type of bail out package needs to be crafted and crafted soon.

When respected, trusted and successful business people like Warren Buffet and Jack Welch recommend the immediate passage and state that the entire economy (Wall Street and Main Street) are at risk then I start to understand the need. Now is not the time to worry about who is responsible for poking a big hole in the bottom of the boat, now is the time for everyone on board to start baling water and keep the boat afloat.

Maybe Curmudeon could shed some light on the matter from a historical perspective as to how events unfolded back them.

Monotreme said...

Electoral-vote.com surmises that the whole operation is political; he speculates that Bush is trying to hamstring the next administration by saddling them with a bailout package so huge that they won't be able to spend money on new initiatives.

Curmudgeon said...

Og Res:

You wrote: Now is not the time to worry about who is responsible for poking a big hole in the bottom of the boat, now is the time for everyone on board to start baling water and keep the boat afloat.

To which I'd reply that that is true. But it is also true that now is not the time to put repairing the boat back into the hands of the people who poked the holes in it in the first place.

Historically speaking, we have been here, more or less, twice before. The Republican-embraced philosophy of laissez faire ["leave alone" meaning government should stay out of the business of regulating business and let the devil take the hindmost as God intended] dominated the US Congress, Presidency and courts in the Gilded Age... the late 19th Century. The result was the greatest concentration of wealth at the top and poverty at the bottom of American society ---- the greatest proportion of wealth owned by the top five percent of the population compared to the wealth owned by all the rest --- in American history... until the past two years when we again, incredibly to me, reached the same level of concentration of wealth at the top as existed in the Gilded Age. What also resulted were the horrific working conditions you [I hope] learned about in history books --- rat dung and dead rats swept into the hoppers in meat packing plants and included in sausage and chopped meat; child labor on a massive sacle... six and seven year olds picking slate out of coal for mines; working in cotton mills. We're talking ten hour days six days a week. Courts ruling that people injured on the job as a result of management or owners mismanagement had no recourse because owners or managers malfeasance was "a cost of doing business" the worker accepted when the took the job. And so on.

These conditions led, finally, to the Progressive Movement, and the Pure Food and Drug Act [gasp! government regulation of business!] and the first child labor laws, and so on. And successful union drives that brought wages up and brought some benefits with it. Like workmen's comp if you were injured on the job.

The second time something like the Gilded Age happened in The Roaring Twenties, another period of Republican dominance and the re-emergence of "get government off the backs of business" philosophy in Congress and the courts. With similar results. Wealth distribution shunted toward the top yet again. Massive speculation permitted by institutions and individuals with no oversight or regulation. Speculative purchases of massive amounts of stock on only 10% margin... 5% sometimes. And then of course, following the Great Bull Market [read "stock bubble"], the crash in 1929 and The Great Depression. The Democrats came in in '32, and the New Deal, which included new laws against child labor, new laws ending legal restrictions against unionization, new laws --- like Glass Steagal banking act --- to separate commercial banking from investment banking, and to keep community banks from speculative gambling with depositors money. And the creation of the FDIC to insure depositors money in banks so they'd start depositing again. And the like.

This, plus massive government spending during WWII [at union rates of pay], and the growing unionization of the American work place in post-war America, and the GI Bill [putting home ownership in the hands of hundreds of thousands of families for the first time, and higher education too, for vets] created middle class America --- meaning we became predominantly a middle class nation [most people middle class] in the decades following WWII. For the first time ever.

And a prospering, well paid and expanding middle class drove the nation to levels of prosperity up and down the social scale undreamed of before.

Then, like night follows day, the right, awash in prosperity and growth, began yet again to preach the doctrine of laissez faire.... Newt Gingrich and Reagan and Phil Gramm and others began the drumbeat of "get the government off the backs of business." And passing laws making unionization more difficult [so called "right to work laws."] We started stripping the New Deal bank regs off to "free up" capital, starting with the S and Ls. The result was the S and L meltdown as those banks engaged in an orgy of speculation until they collapses and the taxpayers had to bail out the depositors [thanks to the New Deal FDIC] to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. [One of the failed S and Ls, Lincoln Federal, was run by the crook and good friend of John McCain, Charles Keating. McCain and four other congressmen intervened to keep the federal regulators from "harassing" Lincoln Federal for the last two years before it collapsed, costing the taxpayers in the end several million more.]

Union-hostile congresses and presidents began to erode union labor... and so more people were working for lower wages, and lost health care and pension protections. And middle class income began to shrink significantly. To maintain a middle class life, now wives had to go to work, providing a second income. And still it wasn't enough. Recently, wealth distribution became so skewed to the upper end, that we reached the same level of distribution that existed back in the Gilded Age.

And of course, Phil Gramm and John McCain and the Republican party kept stripping off regulations on the power industry [Enron followed] and the banks. They repealed the Glass Steagal act thus permitting commercial banks to engage in the same kind of speculative gambling that sank the S and Ls when regulation came off them. You are seeing the results now in your morning newspaper. And of course the gas price and energy shocks have just made things worse.

Well... you asked. [Grin.]

Solution? Don't know. But a good start would be voting Democratic across the board in November. A perfect solution? Of course not. But I can tell you I absolutely do not trust the rapacious sons of bitches who created this mess to fix it in any way that helps anyone but themselves. Every time I hear one of them explain, in his damned Armani suit, that we have to bail out the big investment banks and their stockholders and executives with hundreds of billions in taxpayer money, but that it would be immoral to help a family struggling to pay a mortgage because that would create a "moral hazard" and encourage them to borrow unwisely in the future, I want to pick up a pitch fork, a torch... and maybe a rope... and join a mob heading for the bastard's office. The feeling passes... but it takes a little longer each time.

Monotreme said...

Curm:

You forgot to add that, during the Golden Age, at least the Rockefellers and the Carnegies and their ilk had enough conscience to set up foundations to fund the arts and sciences, as if they owed the society something.

This concept of noblesse oblige, sadly, seems to have been completely lost in translation. The smartest guys in the room seem to feel it's their God-given right (both puns intended) to make as much money as they want, for as long as they want, and Devil take the hindmost.

I'm personally sick of this "beggar thy neighbor" policy being applied to individuals, what we might properly call "bugger thy neighbor".

When Congress rushes through a job, the results are usually botched. Millions of soldiers and civilians died in WWII because Congress inserted language into the war authorization that said "unconditional surrender" which locked Roosevelt into a policy that he really didn't want. (At least in that instance, time was of the essence so we can excuse Congress for their error, but error it was.) More recently, we have the ill-advised Patriot Act and the Iraq War authorization legislation, both of which were "rush jobs" that got messed up in the process.

The 110th Congress should take stopgap measures to react to the immediate crisis, adjourn, and then leave the eventual disposition of the problem to the 111th Congress.

Monotreme said...

I meant "Gilded Age".

ozboy said...

I'm a bit disappointed that no one caught the gross error (three decimal points) in my above post that was picked off a right wing radical blog!

My purpose in posting it was to see if drivel like that really does go unchallenged in the blog world. Apparently it does! No one on the blog I picked it off from challenged it either, and they have tens of thousands of readers.

Just goes to show you there is a whole lot of bull shit floating around the blogosphere and one should never take anything you read on the net as gosple!!!!!

dan s. said...

ozboy,

I caught it! Honestly. I only just got around to reading this comment thread, but the factor-of-1000 error jumped right out at me, before I got down to your last post. Disappointing that nobody commented on it sooner.

Ogden Resident said...

Curmudgeon,

From what I have read, in 1933 the government under FDR (after letting the market in 1929 take out most of the bastards that caused the problem and also taking out the US economy with it for 4 years) created the Home Owner's Loan Corp. that bought defaulted mortgages from banks and then refinanced then by issuing lower than prevailing rate loans on those homes. Back then 1,000 homes per day were falling into foreclosure and 1 in 10 home owners eventually took advantage of the program.

Was this not the start of the recovery action by the government to the economy and if we are in a similar situation today could we not learn from history and should we start that recovery program immediately and thus spare the main street the 4 or whatever number of years of suffering just to make sure that those responsible for the disaster are punished?

I am with everyone else in wanting to string these bastards up and hopefully some of the language that is being put into the rescue package for our economy will address these issues such as stripping executive compensation from the perpetrators. But also I am for saving main street first and thinking of revenge second. We must re-write back into our laws protection and regulation regarding the investment and banking system. We also need to question whether we are benefitting by letting any one companies get so large that their existence or lack there of could possibly threatens our national economy.

I’d be interested in your thoughts.

Curmudgeon said...

Oz:

What you're proposing is, pretty much, the Paulson plan I think. The fedgov would buy the junk CDO paper [which means the fedgov would be buying all the mortgages underlying each of the CDOs it bought]. Presumably, once it owned the mortgages, it would renegotiate them with individual troubled homeowners. But it still ends up in the fedgov bailing out Wall Street by buying up the bad mortgages [by buying up the bad CDO paper based on them].

The big problem in all of this, and this is probably at the bottom of much of the dispute, is what the government should pay for a mortgage-backed CDO it buys. Nobody knows now what those CDO's are actually worth. There is a market for them. The ones that have been sold, by big investment houses seeking cash and to shed junk paper, have gone for 22 cents on the dollar. Paulson's plan suggests [nobody's really sure] that the fedgov should pay full face value for the paper when it was issued, eating the loss and thus bailing out the investment firms. Or at least some percentage significantly above the current market rate for that paper. Say 50% on the dollar instead of 22%. Still a rescue of Walls Street, but not as costly a one, and the investment houses would have to swallow at least half the loss of the junk mortgages they bought.

But seems to me, basically, the plan you outline is the Paulson plan.

Hell, Oz. All this is above my pay grade, and a lot more complex than I pretend to understand. I'm just viscerally opposed to bailing out with my tax money the greedy pontificating bastards who've gotten us into this mess, and who've been lecturing us for years about what god damn experts they are and how government needs to stay off their backs, since they're so damn smart and they know what they're doing, and government is always the problem, never the solution.

Not unlike the auto industry which spent fortunes over the past eight years buying Congressmen, Senators and the President to prevent Congress from raising fleet mileage standards for American car manufacturers. Now the same smarmy bastards who poured all their futures into gas guzzlers and Hummers and such, are back asking for a 50 billion bailout from the taxpayers to help tide them over until they can retool and begin producing the smaller gas efficient cars they insisted Americans did not want.

I know I've said this before, Oz, but I just keep finding so many places just now when it seems appropriate: Tis' enough to gag a maggot.

ozboy said...

Mr. C

Again, I don't know why your directing your reply to me.

Hell man, I don't have a clue as to what you or any of the other nabobs on this thread are talking about. All I know is that if you put your dough in ice cream, vasoline and diapers you will be OK here in Zion. Lickin, screwin and crappin our pants is what's happening around here.

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