l am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message about job growth and the spirit of America. … If Obama or any other politician wants to run with the spirit of that ad, go for it.Clint Eastwood • Speaking to Bill O’Reilly about the “It’s Halftime in America” Super Bowl ad he did for Chrysler, which has sparked speculation as to whether he intended a specific political endorsement for the ad. He did not. It’s worth noting that, no, he did not support the auto bailouts, and he’s a lifelong Republican who has only voted for one Democrat as far as he can remember: Former California Gov. Gray Davis in 1998. The effective ad, a political fireball reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s “It’s Morning in America Again” ad from 1984, has drawn scrutiny from some on the right — Karl Rove suggested the Obama administration was using Chrysler to make indirect political ads for them. With Eastwood’s comments, it’s clear things are more complicated than that.
On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs. We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.
Was this the right thing for us to do, seeing the success we’ve had? (more here)
» How they worked: These banks took advantage of a set of emergency loans from the Federal Reserve distributed between August 2007 and April 2010. Bloomberg Markets magazine did the math on the numbers and figured out that, by looking at the companies’ net interest margin, you could see how the companies took advantage of the below-market rates they got on the loans to earn a profit. The companies that scored the biggest paydays? Citigroup, which earned $1.8 billion, and Bank of America, which earned $1.5 billion.
Defendants were engaged in a massive scheme to manipulate and deceive investors, like AIG, who had no alternative but to rely on the lies and omissions made.A legal complaint filed by AIG • Revealing that the company, which still has a freaking massive taxpayer bill to pay off, plans to sue Bank of America for $10 billion dollars, claiming “massive fraud” on the mortgage debt AIG insured while the companies Countrywide and Merrill Lynch were still independent. (To put it simply, AIG feels that the companies lied about the quality of the debt, making them sound better than it was.) AIG is still working on paying back roughly $182.3 billion in bailouts, so the $10 billion would help. source (via • follow)
» Coming today — the request: Portugal’s current caretaker government plans to solicit the European Union for bailout money today. However, the fact that it is a caretaker government complicates things, because some argue that they may not have the proper authority to take on such a task. To put this in perspective, Ireland’s outgoing government made a similar bailout request, only to have to the new government ask for changes after they got into office — something that the people handing out the money didn’t like. Gift horse, mouth, all that stuff.
America is not broke. Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich. Today just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans combined. Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.Michael Moore • Check out Moore’s interview on GRITtv. (via ericmortensen and azspot)
This is a plan for fundamental reform — to wind down the GSEs, strengthen consumer protection and preserve access to affordable housing for people who need it.Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner • Explaining how he wants to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-owned mortgage-securities organizations which helped fuel the housing bubble and were ultimately felled by the subprime mortgage crisis. Geithner laid out three different ways to solve the Fannie and Freddie problem, all of which involve getting them off the taxpayer’s dime. The solutions rank in varying degrees – one is completely privatized with government guidance, one plays middle ground, and the third is a more-regulated version of Fannie and Freddie. The current organizations would pay off their massive debts, though. source (via • follow)
So assuming that the banking sector doesn’t suffer another crisis in the next two years, taxpayers might be okay after all. Indeed, even if there is some loss on these guarantees, the assets would have to be pretty rotten to eat up the government’s entire $12 billion profit on the equity sale.The Atlantic associate editor Daniel Indiviglio • Offering some more context on the Citi bailout numbers. While the U.S. no longer owns any shares in Citi, we do have other stakes in the company – most notably, we’re still backing a lot of their debt right now due to a program called the “Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program,” which isn’t as easy to acronym as TARP. But by the end of 2012 at the latest, we’ll be off the hook for that. Still, though, the fact that we might make any money off of TARP is impressive. “Citi was viewed by many as the big bank with the most serious problems,” Indiviglio notes, suggesting that the profit would prove that their bailout in 2008 was warranted by panic and general FUD, not “too big to fail”-type concerns. source (via • follow)