Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Geithner's "power grab."

Read about it here.

Here's the summary:

The crisis surrounding the American International Group was a near-tragedy that underlines the need for broad new government authority to regulate or even take control of financial institutions other than banks, the government’s top fiscal officials told lawmakers on Tuesday.

Geithner claims that if this power existed back in September, current measures such as endless bailouts and seven-figure bonuses for mentally-questionable financial fuck-ups would not have happened.

He clearly doesn't remember who was President back in September.

But in a way, he has a point. Right now, the two big options are "do nothing and hope it doesn't all fall to shit" or "throw tons of money at it and hope it doesn't all fall to shit."

Or, as Barney Frank put it:

Mr. Frank said the different fates of Lehman Brothers and A.I.G. illustrate the need for options beyond the “all or nothing” approach. “One was the Lehman Brothers example, where they were allowed totally to fail and there was no help to any of the creditors,” Mr. Frank said. “The other is the A.I.G. example, where there was help for all of the creditors. Neither one is what we should be doing going forward.”

I don't know about you, but I'm not exactly brimming with consumer confidence.

So, we have Geithner asking for power that could feasibly have helped last year but probably wouldn't have helped because Bush only succeeds at failure. This sort of enhanced power that he's asking for could seemingly put grown-ups in charge of failing institutions. Maybe this would prevent endless bailouts on our dime for the shitbags who screwed everything up and frankly, I am willing to extend a little faith Obama's way. I'm not thrilled with it, but anyone can see that these bailouts are doing nothing except letting the gamblers off the hook while we owe the money to the casino.

Geithner doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but this is all way the hell over my head. All I know is that middle America and the poor are getting beast-fucked while the people who made it happen are getting off the hook. So far.

It's tough to find comedy or a light side in situations like this. I mean, with so many people losing their homes, their savings, not knowing how they can make ends meet or survive, it's nearly impossible to find anything to laugh about in situations such as--

But Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican minority leader, said the new authority would be “an unprecedented grab of power,” Reuters reported.

Thank the gods for Republicans and their supreme dedication to hypocrisy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Late to the party.

I've been on a bit of a break from news and politics as I got settled into my new job and the various routines that must inevitably come with it (for example, no more "Bar Night!" every day of the week), so I missed a lot of news and happenings last week and over the weekend.

I know I'm a bit late to the party, but let's take a look at this anyway:

Leaders of the White House economic team and the Senate's top Republican bellowed about bonuses at a bailed-out insurance giant and pledged to prevent such payments in the future.

From one Sunday talk show to the next, they tore into the contracts that American International Group asserted had to be honored, to the tune of about $165 million and payable to executives by Sunday — part of a larger total payout reportedly valued at $450 million.

That's a lot of money that's going to the employees largely responsible for AIG's collapse. It really makes me think that I got into the wrong profession.

I think it's funny that Mitch McConnell is all upset about this shit. For all his posturing and arm-waving, this shithead misses the boat completely. Anyone with any honesty can see that this is a direct result of the deregulation his fellow Republicans clamored for and received. How's that working out for you, Mitchy? Probably much better than the people who lost everything.

Anyway, this compensation should surprise no one. Corporations who have in the past received bailout money turned around and spent it on extravagant getaways, resorts and obscene bonuses. Handing over billions of dollars with no oversight turns out to have been not so smart after all.

I understand why Americans are pissed off, but the government? Mitchy? The President's Economic Team? Are they all that fucking stupid? They gave billions of dollars to criminals and shitheads and promised no oversight or regulation as to how they used those funds.

What did they think was going to happen?