Archive for September 20th, 2008

People Unclear On The Concept

“Chutzpah” is too mild a word.

[Barney] Frank, who has been in phone discussions with Paulson, said the secretary appeared receptive to adding some foreclosure-relief language. The second Democratic proposal — to impose compensation limits on Wall Street executives — is meeting more resistance.

“Hank says it’s a poison pill,” Frank said. “I say I don’t  think it’s very patriotic for someone to not give up his golden parachute when we’re trying to save the markets.”

Oh yeah, because if there’s any one single indispensable element of the bailout, it should be to preserve golden parachutes and astronomical pay packages for the executives who destroyed our economy.

But wait, there’s more!

House Republican staffers met with roughly 15 lobbyists Friday afternoon, whose message to lawmakers was clear: Don’t load the legislation up with provisions not directly related to the crisis, or regulatory measures the industry has long opposed.

“We’re opposed to adding provisions that will affect [or] undermine the deal substantively,” said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable, whose members include the nation’s largest banks, securities firms and insurers.

A deal killer for the group: a proposal that would grant bankruptcy judges new powers to lower the principal, interest rate or both on a mortgage as part of a bankruptcy proceeding.

Yes, that’s right.  They are dictating terms.  And the Republicans are listening, just like they always do.  I sure hope the Democrats aren’t.

September 20th, 2008 at 11:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Republicans,Wankers

It’s Really Quite Spectacular, If You Think About It

The Republicans have managed to completely and utterly discredit themselves on not just foreign policy, but domestic policy as well – all in the span of one disastrous presidency. What an amazing, total, epic fail.

(Photo from Pundit Kitchen)

September 20th, 2008 at 08:03pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Iraq,Republicans

The Biggest Blank Check In Human History

…For the worst president in American history.  Yes, that sounds like an excellent idea.  Who needs oversight?  Just give the Bush administration $700 billion (at least) with no strings attached, and I’m sure they’ll use it wisely.

I’m certainly not opposed to a bailout of some kind – just not one of, by, and for the people who created the mess in the first place.  I’d much rather see one that stabilizes the economy in the short term, prevents further abuses in the long term, and that forces the financial malefactors to suffer some stiff financial consequences for their recklessness. (Dean Baker and Ian Welsh have the right idea.)

Interestingly, Sebastian Mallaby compares the bailout to the invasion of Iraq:

….In 1989, there was no choice. The federal government insured the thrifts, so when they failed, the feds were left holding their loans; the RTC’s job was simply to get rid of them. But in buying bad loans before banks fail, the Bush administration would be signing up for a financial war of choice. It would spend billions of dollars on the theory that preemption will avert the mass destruction of banks. There are cheaper ways to stabilize the system.

In the 1980s, the government did not need a strategy to decide which bad loans to take over; it dealt with anything that fell into its lap as a result of a thrift bankruptcy. But under the current proposal, the government would go out and shop for bad loans….

It’s the Bush Doctrine applied to the economy, and it doesn’t sound any better than it did the first time.  The Bushies are even using the same OMG-we-must-act-right-away-or-we’re-all-DOOOOOMED gameplan to stampede Congress into going along.

It is different in one respect, though.  When the C-Monkey invaded Iraq, he used a minimal invasion force that was too small to secure the country.  Now that he wants to invade the financial market, he intends to go massive rather than surgical – but I suspect the outcome will be the same.

(Image by Blueshifting)

September 20th, 2008 at 05:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Republicans

The Death Of Conservatism

Bonddad writes about how Republicans completely fail to live up to their own supposed values, and former National Review publisher Wick Allison explains that he’s voting for Obama because Democrats are now the ones who best embody the conservative ideals he believes in (i.e., realism and a commitment to policies that have a proven track record).

Unfortunately, the death of conservatism has very little bearing on the health of the Republican party…

September 20th, 2008 at 12:15pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,McCain,Obama,Republicans

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