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Yet more weak shit on the banksters from Obama

[pounds head on desk]:

Obama: Time for big banks to help small businesses
"[OBAMA] These are the very taxpayers who stood by America's banks in a crisis, and now it's time for our banks to stand by creditworthy small businesses and make the loans they need to open their doors, grow their operations and create new jobs," Obama said.

Never mind that whatever actual program or policy, if any, that Obama has in mind will be, if results of his mortgage refinancing program are any guide, pathetically weak and unhelpful to those in need. Let's focus on the question of fact:

Here's where the bailout money went and how much of it there was:


These bailout programs for the banksters could add up to as much as $24 trillion, according to Inspector General Barofsky. And these bailouts were done, starting in early 2008, by the Fed and the Treasury acting completely outside the public eye; there was no accountability and transparency whatever.

Only a small portion -- $700 billion -- of that $24 trillion was ever put before Congress: That was TARP, for which Obama whipped, and whose goal in retrospect was to provide retrospective legitimacy and cover for all that had gone before.

In no sense whatever did the American people "stand by" the banksters. Rather, the administrations -- both administrations -- orchestrated the largest transfer of wealth in world history, from American taxpayers to the banksters, without any democratic input.

Obama is, quite simply, lying. Worse, he's lying in a way that shows that either he has no understanding of the issue, or no intention of doing anything about it.

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Submitted by jawbone on


Unless Obama's political gurus realize he's losing it and decide they have to do something tangible for us unterbussen and others who are not wealthy.

Planet Money's Adam Davidson was on the Brian Lehrer Show on Wednesday for a brief interview during WNYC's autumn fund raising, and he actually told the host that Obama et al were essentially doing exactly what the banksters wanted. Brian Lehrer seemed a tad taken aback. Davidson actually stuck to his guns on this.

The first commenter at the link expresses her disappointment in Planet Money's seeming retreat to sucking up to financial power.

(Can't get URL pasted here at the library's PC)

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Obama's request/demand is almost childish. The big banks are into gambling with our money; they stop the nonsense of dealing with money that doesn't have 8 digits. When Simon Johnson and Joseph Stiglitz call for banks to become utilities they want banks to go back to what they used to be 40 years ago. That is, highly regulated classical banks.

Obama who gave the big banks the license to increase their trillion dollar monopoly game must be kidding when he is asking the tiger to be a pussycat.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

according to Barry Ritholz, and do include World Wars I and II, which are left off the graphic, for some reason:

It includes the total outlay for all the bailouts to date. In just about one short year (March 2008 - March 2009), the bailouts managed to spend far in excess of nearly every major one time expenditure of the USA, including WW1&2 (omitted from graphic), the moon shot, the New Deal, total NASA budgets (omitted from graphic), Iraq, Viet Nam and Korean wars — COMBINED.

206 years versus 12 months. Total cost: ~$15 trillion and counting …

And, meanwhile, today, Glenn Greenwald tackles our "demented" priorities in financing our wars with debt while not doing the same with our health care reform because, at least according to the prevailing Beltway thinking, quoting Glenn, "escalating in Afghanistan is an absolute national necessity, while providing Americans with health care coverage is just a luxury that can wait."

So, around the summer/autumn of 2009, future historians will note, it became blatantly obvious to just about everyone that the government of the United States is indeed a kleptocracy, while, all along, during the previous administration, we assuaged our feelings of despair by thinking it was merely a kakistocracy.