Tag: Henry Paulson

Jul 29

Subterranean Serfdom Blues


     Bankers in the basement,            

     Mixing up the medicine,

     I’m on the pavement,

     Thinking about the government.

     The pols in the empty suits,

     Acolytes of Abramoff,

     Say we got a deficit,

     Want to get it paid off.

     Look out kid,

     It’s something you did,

     God knows when,

     But you’re a parasite again.

     Better blink away the pepper spray,

     Duck back down the alley way,

     Your job creator master,

     To pay for his disaster,

     Wants ninety dollar bills,

     You only got ten.

     Obama comes fleet foot,

     Asking for our input,

     Talking ’bout transparency,

     Freedom and democracy,

     But taps our phones anyway,

     Get used to it, ’cause many say,

     They must watch us every day,

     Orders from the NSA.

     Look out kid.

     Look out, look out, look out.

Nov 27

Top Ten Reasons: NOT to Trust Wall Street

also posted on dkos

Wall Street is sick. And its illness is Unchecked Greed. … The bug is call OPM.

Their fever has risen so dangerously high, that the Wizards of Wall Street, the Captains of Industry, for the most part see your assets as their “playing chips”.

Your Money, is their Bread and Butter.

Exploiting and Levering OPM (Other People’s Money) is the key to their  Extreme Wealth.

This contagion on Wall Street has reached such a point, that one of those “Captains of Industry” has been speaking out against it.  He has been working to “right the ship” of speculative, reckless investing, using our OPM, as the collateral.

Jack C. Bogle, founder and CEO of the Vanguard Group, is one of those “old school” investors — you know, that we should beinvesting in a better future“, NOT just a “better bank account“.

Jack has listed the symptoms of this wide spread illness — NOW if only we could find some “Doctors” wise enough to quarantine the Damage …

The Damage unregulated greed has done … before they try to “go for broke” AGAIN …


Nov 26

The Invisible Hand: Too Big to Fail, vs Too Small to Notice

The Invisible Hand

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, says: “the reason that the invisible hand often seems invisible is that it is often not there.” [7][8] Stiglitz explains his position:

Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, is often cited as arguing for the “invisible hand” and free markets: firms, in the pursuit of profits, are led, as if by an invisible hand, to do what is best for the world. But unlike his followers, Adam Smith was aware of some of the limitations of free markets, and research since then has further clarified why free markets, by themselves, often do not lead to what is best. As I put it in my new book, Making Globalization Work, the reason that the invisible hand often seems invisible is that it is often not there.

Sep 10

The case of the disappearing billions

Dude, where’s my money?

There’s a scathing report in Vanity Fair right now about how all that TARP money was just thrown into the world with all the responsibility of someone shoveling it out the bank of an armored car while driving down a busy highway.

In other words, nobody knows where the money went.   Any of it.   There was no accountability, no rules for keeping track of it, heck, the banks didn’t have to do anything but take it, like lotto winnings, and do whatever the hell they wanted with it.

This whole crime is going right down the Memory Hole, which is right where the banksters, the guys who “run the place” to quote a few Congresspeople, want it to be.

But once the money left the building, the government lost all track of it. The Treasury Department knew where it had sent the money, but nothing about what was done with it. Did the money aid the recovery? Was it spent for the purposes Congress intended? Did it save banks from collapse? Paulson’s Treasury Department had no idea, and didn’t seem to care. It never required the banks to explain what they did with this unprecedented infusion of capital.

You can bet a lot of it was used for embezzlement “bonuses”, I mean, why not?   If someone gives you a few billion dollars and doesn’t care what you do with it, why not put it in your own little Swiss bank account?  

Exactly one year has elapsed since the onset of the financial crisis and the passage of the bailout bill. Some measure of scrutiny and control has since been imposed by the Obama administration, but even today it’s hard to walk back the cat and trace the money. Up to a point, though, it’s possible to reconstruct some of what happened in the first chaotic and crucial three months of the bailout, when Treasury was still in the hands of Henry Paulson and most of the money was disbursed. Needless to say, there is no central clearinghouse for information about the tarp money. To get details of any kind means starting with the hundreds of individual recipients, then poring over S.E.C. filings, annual reports, and other documentation-in other words, performing the standard due diligence that the government itself failed to perform. In the report that follows, we have no more than dipped a toe into the morass, but one fact emerges clearly: a lot of the money wound up in the coffers of some very surprising institutions- institutions that should have been seen as “troubling” as much as “troubled.”

I don’t really have time tonight to do much more than this, but I wanted to pass this along.   We certainly shouldn’t forget about this, not that it will matter with the Obama administration “putting corporations first” and the American people dead last.   They’re sure never gonna do crap about anything, especially this, and especially since Obama put his full 1000% support behind this crime anyway.  

Oh well.  

Meanwhile, millions more foreclosures are on their way.   But wait, didn’t the TARP money have something to do with mortgages?   Naaaahhhh, it was all about giving it to bankers, pure theft to fatten those cats.   The rest of us are left to melt down, even though the whole lie idea behind the bailout was to help out with the whole mortgage crash, right?

Pardon me while I puke.  

Dec 19

Using $13.4 billion as an excuse to snatch $350 billion more


On Friday morning, George W. Bush announced he would allow the Treasury Department to use a small fraction, $13.4 to $17.4 billion, of the $700 billion financial bailout to help automakers GM and Chrysler.

While normally Bush would have just let the automakers go bankrupt, he explained in a televised speech before the U.S. markets opened. “But these are not ordinary circumstances. In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action,” Bush said.

Then shortly after Bush’s finished his remarks, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced that he needed more money. According to the Washington Post, Paulson noted that “that nearly all of the funds remaining at his disposal have now been committed for a loan to the nation’s automakers.”

The message being crafted is that helping the automakers forced the Bush administration to ask the second half of the bailout money. The message has been developing over the past two weeks.

Nov 10

Paulson repeals tax law to give banks $140 billion windfall

The Washington Post reports that while most of the United States was distracted by the bank bailout legislation in late-September as the markets melted, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson quietly and illegally deregulated the tax law for the U.S. banking industry.

Paulson gave away a Quiet windfall by issuing a five-sentence notice.

The change to Section 382 of the tax code — a provision that limited a kind of tax shelter arising in corporate mergers — came after a two-decade effort by conservative economists and Republican administration officials to eliminate or overhaul the law, which is so little-known that even influential tax experts sometimes draw a blank at its mention. Until the financial meltdown, its opponents thought it would be nearly impossible to revamp the section because this would look like a corporate giveaway, according to lobbyists.

The reason it would look like a corporate giveaway is because it is a corporate giveaway — as much as $140 billion. Most tax lawyers think Paulson acted illegally, but Congress seems unwilling to call foul so not to risk being blamed for worsening the financial mess.

Oct 18

10% of $700 billion bailout to cover Wall Street banker pay and bonuses

One tenth of the $700 billion bailout to be footed by U.S. taxpayers is projected to go to the pay and bonuses of Wall Street bankers. The same captains of finance who sent the world into a financial meltdown are now going to be rewarded handsomely.

The Guardian has found that the Top Wall Street bankers are to receive $70 billion in pay deals.

Financial workers at Wall Street’s top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40.4bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in bonuses, for their work so far this year – despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash…

Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup will pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted widespread criticism. The government cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay will be curbed.

Oct 09

Why the panic won’t stop

Original article, by Lee Sustar, via socialistworker.org:

Tomorrow, tomorrow

I love ya, tomorrow

You’re always

a day away!

– From the Broadway show Annie

SO MUCH for that $700 billion bailout that was supposed to save world capitalism.

Oct 07

Treasury Plans to Outsource the Entire $700 Billion Bailout

There are a couple of stories regarding the $700 billion bailout today that really should raise the eyebrows of Americans who have lived through and witnessed the Bush years. Especially taking into consideration the over-reliance on private contractors, financial mismanagement, and loose accounting practices in Iraq and elsewhere with taxpayer money that have been a hallmarks of the Bush administration.

The NY Times reports Treasury sets timetable to pick managers. “The Treasury Department put its $700 billion bailout on a fast track on Monday, asking companies to submit bids for running the system by Wednesday and announcing its plan to select winners on Friday.”

Yes, the Treasure Department will take only one day to review bids before awarding contracts. Hey, at least Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson didn’t just announce no-bid award to, say, Paulson’s old company, Goldman Sachs. See if this sounds familiar —

Administration officials plan to outsource almost the entire project, which will largely rely on “reverse auctions” in which the government accepts bids from financial institutions that want to sell their troubled assets.

The Treasury said it intended to hire one company as a “financial agent” to set up the basic system, which would include running the auctions, keeping track of the various portfolios and overseeing all the operational issues.

Oct 06

$700 Billion Bailout to be Run by Man with 6 Years Experience

Today, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson appointed Neel Kashkari to oversee the $700 billion bailout of the nation’s financial crisis. That’s right Kashkari is now the interim Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability.


Neel Kashkari, a former banker at Paulson’s old company, Goldman Sachs, who earned his M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002.

Paulson’s move certainly inspires the confidence a panicky financial community needs right now, doesn’t it?

The “Deal Journal” blog at The Wall Street Journal has some background on Kashkari. The post notes, Paulson’s “move essentially puts a new title on what Kashkari he has been doing since he joined Treasury in 2006-examining the consequences of an economic housing fallout.”

So, after two years of watching the collapse, he’s in charge of fixing it?

Come on! Kashkari has only six years of financial experience!  

Sep 23

“Now that we’ve determined just what you are . . .

. . . all we’re doing now is negotiating the price.”

It’s a punchline to an old joke.

And Democrats, as thereisnospoon so ably points out in his diary, are in real danger of becoming the same.

Sep 23

Their desperate gamble with our money

Original article, an editorial subheaded Whether or not Henry Paulson’s rescue scheme works, one thing is already crystal clear: The capitalist system has failed spectacularly, via socialistworker.org:

THE BUSH administration’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, is demanding the financial equivalent of martial law–$700 billion and a blank check to rescue the Wall Street system from the catastrophe caused by the blind greed of the super-rich parasites who run it.

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