On last Sunday's "Up With Chris Hayes" there was a discussion about political calculations for Republicans. The question was whether to work with Democrats or go with straight obstructionism. At one point Hayes said:
Bob Bennett was a fairly conservative senator from Utah, right, of long standing, he was not some super lefty heterodox guy, right? And his huge heterodoxy was that he had cosponsored a health care bill with Ron Wyden. It was not the health care bill that actually got passed. It was called the Wyden-Bennett, and in fact, a lot of Republicans later said, well, we really like Wyden-Bennett, right? But what happened to Bob Bennett just for cosponsoring this health care bill? He went back to Utah and got booted out in that state's Republican convention after serving, what, two or three terms, OK. Read below the fold...
It’s a good cop-bad cop charade. The Republicans are playing the role of the bad cop. Their script says: “You cannot raise taxes on anybody. No progressive income tax, no closing of tax loopholes for special interests, not even prosecutions for tax fraud. And we can get a lot of money back into the economy if we give a tax holiday to the companies and individuals that have been keeping their money offshore. Let’s free the wealthy from taxes to help us recover.’
Last Sunday, my son asked me what I thought about the WaPo article “Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner tackles five myths about TARP.” Here's my reply.
There's a lot of truth to the specifics, but his overall evaluation is way off because he looks at it by cherry-picking specific points, and also restricting his evaluation to the bank situation alone, and assuming that the proper goal was to save the big banks at low cost rather than to save the economy. So here are things the Administration and Geithner could have done if they had ended TARP and taken a different course. Read below the fold...
Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. units were sued by homeowners in Kentucky for allegedly conspiring with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. to falsely foreclose on loans.
The lawsuit, filed as a civil-racketeering class action on behalf of all Kentucky homeowners facing foreclosure, also names as a defendant Reston, Virginia-based MERS, the company that handles mortgage transfers among member banks. The suit claims that through MERS the banks are foreclosing on homes even when they don’t hold titles to the properties.
Over at New Deal 2.0, Nomi Prins, a former Goldman insider, thinks the answer's no:
But, the question is, would the massive bailout of the financial sector have occurred, had women been at its helm? Indeed, Davos economists this year speculated that the presence of more women on Wall Street might have averted the downturn.
She lines up the likes of Elizabeth Warren, Sheila Blair, Brooksely Borne against some of the more prominent vampire squid -- Bernke, Paulson, Geithner, Lloyd Blankfein (of we're doing "God's work" fame) et al and thinks the gender split may be not just coincidental.
Goldman Sachs and its ilk, who received billions in taxpayer money through TARP to keep them in business, have recently posted high quarterly profits. But what do the taxpayers get for our largesse? This is not a non-sequitur, as a post in naked capitalism today makes clear; and at least 6 House Democrats want to do something about the situation. That is the PROFIT act, which Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) and six others (Reps. Brad Sherman, John Boccieri, Betty Sutton, Jackie Speier, Marcia Fudge and Alan Grayson) introduced to little fanfare last week. Read below the fold...
Mary Jo Kilroy, a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, and 6 other co-sponsors file legislation to increase profit for Americans, increase transparency and remove any secrecy from ongoing negotiations between Treasury and banks
The proposal is to "stretch" (the NYTimes' word) the bailout funds by converting the existing loans to the biggest banks into common stock. This turns the loans into capital for the banks, thus improving their balance sheets, and good things ensue (or so we are told). Because, uh-oh! the stress test are expected to show that some big banks, including my own personal parasite BoA, are in need of more capital. (I know the feeling!)
A congressional panel overseeing the U.S. financial rescue suggested that getting rid of top executives and liquidating problem banks may be a better way to solve the economic crisis.
The Congressional Oversight Panel, in a report released yesterday, also said the Treasury may be relying on too rosy an economic scenario to guide its $700 billion bailout, and declared that the success of the program after six months is “mixed.” Three of the group’s members disagreed with at least some of the findings.