Monday, December 7, 2009

Forked tongues

Greetings good citizen,

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, we experienced the first snowfall of the season (just a dusting) here North of Boston and it snowed a little more earlier this evening. I guess that’s the ugly reality of winter, once it starts snowing it doesn’t stop and if it rains on top of the snow it only makes things worse.

While many fret over ‘global warming’ we only had one ‘heat wave’ in Boston this summer and I was, er, restricted to my (hospital) bed (freezing my ass off) for the entire time. Add that to a spring that was so wet most crops rotted in the fields due to lack of sunshine and you’ve captured the general mood of the nation good citizen.

Things are grim and getting grimmer…except for the damn ‘Stupidity Index’ and I suspect that is frightening more people than it’s providing ‘cover’ for.

Anyway, tonight’s offering is yet another example of a corporate owned media spewing ‘happy talk’ that has zero basis in fact.

U.S. Forecasts Smaller Loss From Bailout of Banks

Published: December 6, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department expects to recover all but $42 billion of the $370 billion it has lent to ailing companies since the financial crisis began last year, with the portion lent to banks actually showing a slight profit, according to a new Treasury report. [What $370 billion was this? The Tarp was $700 billion and the ‘total’ tally of funds either lent or guaranteed by the ‘Treasury/Taxpayer’ is roughly $24 Trillion, so what’s this psycho-babble about only losing $42 billion? This thing is only just getting started so it’s a little early to be estimating losses…]

[The caption beneath an accompanying photo of GW Bush said:]

The bank bailout has been unpopular since it was created in October 2008 by former President George W. Bush and (the, by that time, Democratically controlled) Congress. [WTF! Clarification: Gegner is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, Gegner is an Anarchist who believes in ‘rules without rulers!’ The elimination of the individual from the decision making process IS tyranny!]

Treasury officials said the government had lost roughly $30 billion to the insurance giant American International Group. The new assessment of the $700 billion bailout program, provided by two Treasury officials on Sunday ahead of a report to Congress on Monday, is vastly improved from the Obama administration’s estimates last summer of $341 billion in potential losses from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. That figure anticipated more financial troubles requiring intervention. [Um, wait a minute Slim, Obama didn’t take office until January of this year…yes Summer is over but it looks like they are talking about the year before the administration came to power…which would be pretty freaky.]

The [unidentified] officials said the government could ultimately lose $100 billion more from the bailout program in new loans to banks, aid to troubled homeowners and credit to small businesses. [Which is really bad news considering ‘the government’ when framed this way, means you and me…not Biff & Buffy Fatcat.]

Still, the new estimates would lower the administration’s deficit forecast for this fiscal year, which began in October, to about $1.3 trillion, from $1.5 trillion. [The ‘qualifier’ here is ‘optimistically speaking’…a lot of things have to go exceedingly well to achieve that $200 billion dollar savings…and it looks a lot tougher to hit when phrased that way, doesn’t it?]

The report could tamp down some of the public anger directed against both parties over the bailouts. [More unwarranted optimism] Congressional leaders are already planning to use some of the program’s money for economic stimulus and job creation. [Although not one of them has a clue how to go about it.]

Of course, the government’s potential losses extend beyond the Treasury program. The Federal Reserve, for example, still holds a trillion-dollar portfolio of mortgage-backed securities whose market value is unknown.

The improved picture of the Treasury program is the result of higher-than-expected returns on the loans and the fact that, as the financial sector has recovered from its free fall last year, the government has not had to use much more of its $700 billion in lending authority this year, according to the Treasury officials, who declined to be identified as discussing the report before it was presented to Congress. [I don’t know about you but the whole damn thing looks like a ‘strategic leak’ (read ‘intentional misdirection’) to me.]

Last week, Bank of America became the latest big bank to say that it was raising private capital and would soon repay its $45 billion bailout loan. Once that payment is made, Citigroup will be the last big bank tethered to the state. [Um, notice how there is zero mention of the ‘shellac’ing’ the taxpayer took on these so-call ‘preferred stocks’ the got in exchange for ‘interest free’ loans from John & Jane Q Public…]

The estimated $42 billion in losses is a net figure that accounts for some profits to offset the losses. The Treasury officials said the government had lost about $60 billion, roughly half to Chrysler and General Motors and the other half to the insurance giant American International Group. [Some of you will remember how AIG was going to sell itself to a private equity firm for $40 billion…right before the government (Hank Paulson) stepped in with $80 Billion from you and me…and now they’re into us for what…$120 billion? Probably more…]

But the government is projecting a $19 billion profit and perhaps more on the $245 billion lent to banks, through interest, dividends and the sale of warrants the government received as collateral. [Wait a minute Slim…here they go again, we, the taxpayers, are on the hook for $24 Trillion dollars…so a $19 billion ‘profit’ is actually ‘chickenfeed’ and more like chicken shit.]

Aside from the rare good news for the federal deficit, the latest bailout accounting could have political and legislative ramifications.

Politically, the Treasury program has been unpopular ever since it was created in October 2008 by former President George W. Bush and a Congress controlled by Democrats. It has grown only more reviled over time as a symbol for many Americans of the government’s perceived favoritism toward Wall Street, which is making money, over Main Street, which continues to struggle and shed jobs. [Only ‘perceived’ good citizen? You don’t suppose Mr. Calmes’ job is hanging in the balance here, do you?]

An anti-Washington anger is disturbing both parties as they approach a midterm election year, and some Republican lawmakers have drawn primary opponents largely because of their votes last year in favor of the bailout program. [Wouldn’t possibly have anything to do with their persistent obstructionism and their complete failure to act in the public’s interest, would it?]

It was unclear how that climate might be altered as taxpayers realize they did not actually lose $700 billion to help big banks. At most, the Treasury officials said, the ultimate losses will be one-fifth of that amount and probably less. [This is ‘moving the goal posts’ big time! The public got screwed on both sides of the bailout and now they’re back to using ‘creative accounting’ in a feeble attempt to turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse! Again, good citizen, I remind you that this is nowhere near being over…if anything, it’s only getting started!]

Democrats in Congress have already decided to divert about $70 billion from what is left in the bailout fund to the cost of additional road-building and other construction projects, credit to small businesses and further aid to state and local governments. [A much larger problem than this exercise in wishful thinking acknowledges…]

The administration had wanted to dedicate unspent bailout money to the deficit but signaled to Congressional leaders late last week that it would not oppose their plans. President Obama is expected to touch on those ideas and others in an economic speech on Tuesday. [Just one more ‘dangerous’ (and reckless) ‘about face’ for the Obama Administration.]

The bailout program is due to expire at the end of the year, but the Treasury has indicated it will use the authority it was granted by Congress to extend it into 2010. [Um, is anyone else wondering why we bother to elect a ‘president’?]

The Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, testified last week to a Senate committee that “nothing would make me happier than to end this as quickly as possible,” but he added, “we’re not quite there yet.” [What Timmy is really waiting for is the day he steps out of the limelight and into the Shadows known as Goldman Sachs, never to be heard from again.]

Mr. Geithner, who has become the administration’s lightning rod for anger among both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, said “there are parts of the system that are still very damaged” — in banking, housing, commercial real estate and credit-starved small businesses. [So why aren’t you and Ben doing anything to help these crucial sectors of the economy? Is it because the only place where the US remains ‘competitive’ is in ‘financial products’…even if they do blow up?]

He said the administration would propose within weeks when and how to end the program safely. [You know and I know that HE KNOWS this isn’t over, they aren’t ‘ending’ anything, they’ve simply run out the clock, the crap is about to hit the rotational device and the only thing left to do is stand clear!]

At that hearing, he hinted at the Treasury’s improved forecast for the program, saying “we’re going to be able to return very, very substantial amounts of money to address the critical economic needs, long-term fiscal needs, of this country.” [What is this retard babbling about? Isn’t he supposed to say ‘Hocus Pocus’ either before or after making these wildass claims?]

That prediction contrasts with the administration’s planning soon after Mr. Obama took office in January. Fearing that additional bank failures could exhaust the entire $700 billion fund, they proposed up to $500 billion more in federal lending authority in the administration’s first budget in February.

Instead, just $7 billion more in bailout money has gone out to banks since Mr. Obama became president, making a second loan authorization unnecessary. Meanwhile, banks have raised 16 times as much, $114 billion, in private capital, according to the Treasury. {Um, again, I didn’t see no ‘hocus pocus’…nor should there be as there was no magic involved…the gun and the mask have even become optional in case you’re wondering where that $114 billion came from.]

Since the Treasury subjected big banks to “stress tests” last winter to determine how much private capital they must raise to withstand future financial shocks, the financial institutions have been eager to do so, in order to repay the government and thereby exit the Treasury’s rescue program — not least to escape the restrictions on executive compensation that come with it.

Mr. Geithner now says that banks will repay $175 billion by the end of next year. To date, counting Bank of America’s promised payment, banks have repaid $116 billion, according to the Treasury. Also, in coming weeks the Treasury will sell more of the government’s bank warrants to investors.

At last look the Dow was up but the S&P and the Nasdaq were down…and that was a couple of hours before the close. All three European exchanges closed in negative territory…I could go look but it wouldn’t matter. Market performance tells as much as the ‘happy talk’ in this article does, would that it were!

Perhaps more disturbing is the growing reliance on ‘happy talk’ and ‘positive thinking’ while both fly in the face of actual conditions.

In fact, if you want to see some grim realities you can visit this link over at Financial Armageddon or this story over at Jesse’s Crossroads CafĂ©.

Me…this crisis is still very ‘fixable’ but the first step towards putting our species back on the right track is to wrest control of our nations from the self-interested bootlickers who have sold us out for their own enrichment…a la ‘Adam Smith’.

Personal greed seldom ends well for anyone, especially the society that fails to stop it.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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