The Big Bank Job: The Insanity of the $700 Billion Giveaway

By No tags Permalink

Counterpunch The banksters’ plan now is for icing on the cake – to take Mr. Paulson’s $700 billion and run. It’s not a “bailout of the financial system.” It’s as giveaway – to insiders, to sell out all their bad bets. Companies across the board will get rid of their bad mortgages, and also their bad car loans, furniture time payments, credit-card loans, student loans – all the debts that any competent actuary could have told them never could have been paid in the first place. This is not what Treasury Secretary Paulson is acknowledging, and shame on him for it. Last Friday, Sept., he was joined by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke singing in unison an advertising jingle for America’s new kleptocracy ...

A Cautionary Tale About Politicos and Financiers: Mr. Paulson and the New Yazoo Land Scandal

By No tags Permalink

Counterpunch Present discussions of the mortgage mess are lapsing into an unreal world. Advocates of the $700 bailout are now rounding up a choir of voices to proclaim that the problem is simply a lack of liquidity. This kind of problem, we are told, can be solved “cleanly” (that is, with no Congressional add-ons to protect anyone except the major Bush Administration campaign contributors) by the Federal reserve “pumping credit” into the system by buying securities that have no market when “liquidity dries up.” What is wrong with this picture? The reality is that there is much too much liquidity in the system. That is why the yield on U.S. Treasury bills has fallen to just 0.16 percent – just one sixth ...

The Paulson-Bernanke Bank Bailout: Will the Cure be Worse than the Disease?

By No tags Permalink

Counterpunch Saturday’s $700 billion junk mortgage bailout is the largest and worst giveaway since a corrupt Congress gave land grants to the railroad barons a century and a half ago. If it goes through, it will shape the coming century by giving finance unprecedented power over debtors – homebuyers, industry, state and local government, and the federal government as well. But what threatens to be even worse is the government’s move to let the financial sector make even higher, unprecedented gains by working its way out of negative equity to “make taxpayers whole” by repaying the government’s bailout by bleeding the economy at large. Anticipating congressional capitulation in this license to engage in predatory credit, the latest Sunday evening surprise is that ...

Financial Bailout: America's Own KleptocracyThe largest transformation of America's Financial System since the Great Depression

By No tags Permalink

Global Research Nobody expected industrial capitalism to end up like this. Nobody even saw it evolving in this direction. Marxists saw industrialists growing into giant trusts and depriving workers of the wages needed to buy their output, and the post-1980 era of corporate raiding has indeed seen downsizing and outsourcing of the labor force. But the companies being raided – or defending themselves against raids – are themselves being loaded down with debt. As Marxists would say, the parasites have parasites too. Followers of Henry George saw landlords as gobbling up the economic surplus in the form of land rent, and ownership of land and natural resources has indeed grown rather than shrunk even as economies have been industrialized. But real ...

US Seizes Control of AIG with $85 Billion Bailout

By No tags Permalink

A democracynow interview with Nomi Prins and Michael Hudson. Audio of democracyNow interview. A copy of the video can also be downloaded from here. The US government has seized control of insurance giant American International Group in an unprecedented $85 billion bailout. The Federal Reserve made the deal on Tuesday to save AIG from collapse in what the New York Times describes as “the most radical intervention in private business in the central bank’s history.” The move comes as a series of financial crises has altered the landscape of Wall Street. We speak with investment banker turned journalist, Nomi Prins, and Michael Hudson, president of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends. Guests: Nomi Prins, former investment banker turned journalist. She used ...

The Chicago School's long descent

By No tags Permalink

Asia Times As a graduate of the University of Chicago (1959) and also of its Laboratory School (1955-56), I think my experience there confirms the picture portrayed by Henry Liu in his wonderful essay last week on Milton Friedman and the "Money Matters Controversy". (See Friedman's misplaced monument, Sep 5.) My introduction to the University of Chicago (UC) was via the Manhattan Project around 1948. I lived in Chicago neighborhood of Kenwood, just north of Hyde Park. We rented the top floor of our house to a physicist, Shuki Hayashi, who worked on the project at Stagg Field, under whose bleachers the project's atomic pile still continued. To bring me to the Lab School, he would put me on his bike (a ...

The Worsening U.S. Debt Crisis

By No tags Permalink

An interview with Economist Michael Hudson, by Mike Whitney Global Research. Mike Whitney: On Friday afternoon the government announced plans to place the two mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, under “conservatorship.” Shareholders will be virtually wiped out (their stock already had plunged by over 90 per cent) but the US Treasury will step in to protect the companies’ debt. To some extent it also will protect their preferred shares, which Morgan-Chase have marked down only by half. This seems to be the most sweeping government intervention into the financial markets in American history. If these two companies are nationalized, it will add $5.3 trillion dollars to the nation's balance sheet. So my first question is, why is the Treasury ...