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Son of TARP returns from the undead in Obama's budget


Word on the street today is that the Obama administration's proposed budget includes a $250 "placeholder" for support of the financial system. (ht Economics of Contempt, Calculated Risk) President Obama made an admirable commitment "to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget". However, his administration has failed to live up to that commitment with respect to financial system support. Unusually for government expenditures, the budgeted $250 billion dollars represents an estimated "net cost". It presumes recovery of a substantial fraction of funds "invested" and actually enables cash payments that might amount to $750B. (See EoC, Marc Ambinder.). In plain English, buried in a $3.55 trillion dollar budget as a $250 billion dollar placeholder is a plan to more than double the controversial and unpopular TARP program, whose original enactment nearly tore the political system apart ....

President Obama's obvious intellect, idealism, and diplomacy are a breath of fresh air for a nation whose economic and political institutions have suffered a near catastrophic collapse. But the President cannot put his imprimatur on continued financial obscurantism and expect to retain a reputation for honesty and transparent government. It is wonderful that the President intends to come clean and account for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on-budget. But Mr. President, past and proposed expenditures to support the financial system dwarf the total financial costs of both those wars combined. This is not a small thing. You can't hide the terms of these transfers in fine-print befitting a credit-card agreement and expect to retain your reputation with the American people for forthrightness.

Double fucking All-Star "Come on Down!" fucking pony bonus Bingo.

Or, I might add, giving Big Money a sloppy wet kiss with more billions, while stiffing the rest of us on single payer and mortage relief and all that "sacrifice" shit.

NOTE This site seems a propos: Buy now and earn big brains!

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Submitted by jawbone on

"placeholder" of $250B in the budget was confusing to me, but, hey, what do I know? Admin/Treasury people were saying it was bcz the WH expected to recoup the balance. As in, give out the $750B and count on definitely getting $500B of it repaid...or something like that.

Very confusing. Reporters didn't really follow up that I heard.

Now, reading your link, it appears to be one majorally stinking piece of bamboozlement crap.

Then there's the strange date for pricing common stock. If the more conspiratorial hypothesis is anywhere near being accurate there's clearly illegal crap going on. Tinfoil hat time.

Back to how Obama is handling the Banksters--is it just a blind spot? A special interest? Strange.

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Submitted by Davidson on

We're in a $2-plus trillion hole over the next few years and all we got was the $787 billion dollar, tax cut infested, stimulus bill which was hijacked by absolute dipshits (Props to Obama for including much-needed family planning in the '10 budget). Mind you, this was after the TARP looting. The writing was on the wall back then, before Obama and his team made it clear that they're gunning for $ocial $ecurity.

On another note, I'm glad others are also noticing Obama's sometimes casual ability to say one thing and do the opposite. I have stopped watching Obama's speeches and don't even bother with how people respond to it because it seems many are still holding the faulty assumption that Obama actually means what he says. Look to Geithner, Summers, and Orszag instead.

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Submitted by Valhalla on

It looks like the family planning budget for Medicaid recipients for '10 and '11 is only $5 million. That does not seem like very much, although I admit I'm not sure how far it would go or the scope of the coverage. Am I reading p.127 correctly?

On another topic, is anyone else starting to suspect the fact that no commentator/pundit can discuss Obama's speeches or actions without describing his 'obvious' brilliance and intelligence and geniusness at every opportunity means that they don't actually believe it ? If it's obvious, why say it at all? They don't throw 'and the sky is blue' into every analysis. Or are they trying to convince us? themselves?

Submitted by lambert on

... thirty years of Republican policies."

When both Pravda and Izvestia are chanting that, you can probably translate that to "reversing as few of Reagan's policies as possible." See under, "Rents."

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Submitted by BDBlue on

That's essentially what the Obama Administration has revealed itself to be this week. They are going to continue to bleed the American taxpayer to death on behalf of their undead friends, the Zombie Banks. Only they're going to do it slowly and hope nobody notices. In other words, Obama is an incrementalist. Heh.

The 250 billion figure is just more "fake" transparency. Like not taking money directly from lobbyists, but letting every member of their family donate. In fact, since Obama came to power, the Fed and Treasury have combined to commit much more money than this to the banks.

You have the new CAP Program from Treasury to inject capital into banks (gee, wonder where that's going to come from?). My favorite part is that the bank shares will be priced as of Feb. 9th. Sounds kind of like an arbitrary date, doesn't it? Not if you know that's Citi's highest stock price this month. But, of course, Treasury doesn't say that. What they're going to do is suck money from the Fed so as not to have to go to Congress to get it and risk any kind of populist wrath. And that's not all we're doing for Citi. We're also taking our crappy current position and making it worse.

We may be now lining up to back AIG's CDS losses. See here. Not that anyone knows what such potential losses are.

Krugman nails the Administration this morning, but I think he's being too kind. They aren't late and wrong, they're doing exactly what they want to do, which is save Wall Street no matter the cost. He is right about them being dishonest.

Kind of makes it hard to care about what progress is being made on other issues. Because a country that continues to rob the worker to pay the rich is a country that, in the end, is an authoritarian one. And so this continued hijacking of the American public undermines every other aspect of freedom and government. It's like having a carjacker give your car a tune up. The tune up is nice and everything, but doesn't change where you're fundamentally at.

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Submitted by BDBlue on

is seething anger. Or couldn't you tell? Heh.

Yes, I guess you could put me in the shrill column. Or have I surpassed shrill?

I cannot believe that there isn't some massive protest over this. But then I'm not exactly protesting in the streets either, am I? So I don't know who I'm angrier at, them or me.

Which brings me back to a question I've asked often, how exactly does one organize a protest? I was thinking about talking to that guy organizing them in Connecticut.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm thinking of just the same sort of thing up here, but I'm having a failure of the imagination. Heads on pikes has a really bad history. Humor and non-violence.

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Submitted by BDBlue on

I think what we need are outreach efforts that extend beyond the internet. That's hard to build overnight. But if we could get unions, etc., involved then it might work. The problem is that I don't really know any of those kind of folks. Plus, real life keeps slamming me. I keep thinking next week is the week I come up for air and DO something, but next week always seems to be busier.