Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby Moderator » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:23 am

More bailout news. Looks like the government will again make a profit on monies lent to a bank. As promised.

The government gave Citigroup $45 billion in loans and agreed to protect losses on nearly $300 billion in risky investments. Wells Fargo & Co. remains the last national bank that has yet to pay back its bailout money.

Citi is selling $20.5 billion in stock and debt to repay the government. It only has to pay back $20 billion because the remaining $25 billion was converted into a 34 percent ownership stake in the bank earlier this year. The government plans to sell that entire stake — which has risen in value by more than 20 percent — during the next year. The loss-sharing agreement will also end as part of the plan.

The Treasury Department is in line to earn about $13 billion in profit on its support for Citigroup depending on how much it makes selling the stock, said a Treasury official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of President Barack Obama's meeting with bank officials.



(And if I'm not mistaken, selling the government's interest also deals a blow to those harpies who cried "nationalization!".)
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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby Moderator » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:46 am

From Yahoo News.

The Federal Reserve generated record profits last year, reflecting money made off its extraordinary efforts to rescue the country from the worst economic and financial crisis since the 1930s.

The central bank announced Tuesday it logged a record windfall of $52.1 billion. Of that total, a record of $46.1 billion gets turned over to the Treasury Department.

It marks both the biggest profit and payment to Treasury on records dating back to 1914, when the Fed began operating. The previous record payment turned over to the Treasury -- of $34.6 billion -- was registered in 2007. In 2008, the Fed reported a payment of $31.7 billion.

The Fed's efforts to end the crisis are separate from the $700 billion taxpayer-funded financial bailout program authorized by Congress in 2008 and overseen by the Treasury Department.


(In other words, the Bush portion of the two bailout packages)

Originally set up to shore up banks, money from the publicly-derided program also has been doled out to rescue other types of companies, including General Motors, Chrysler and GMAC. President Barack Obama is weighing a levy aimed at recovering tax dollars from government-rescued financial institutions.

The bigger profit reported by the Fed came from $46.1 billion in earnings from the securities it held last year.

Such income went up as the Fed's holdings of securities mushroomed.

The Fed launched several securities-buying programs last year to help revive the economy. Its goal is to drive down rates on mortgages and other consumer debt.

Under one program that ended last year, the Fed snapped up $300 billion worth of government debt. Under another program, the Fed is on track to buy $1.25 trillion in mortgage securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and an additional $175 billion in debt issued by the mortgage giants. Those programs have boosted the value of securities held by the Fed.

The Fed faces a risk, however. The Fed could lose money if the central bank had to sell those securities and their prices were to fall. The Fed might need to sell the securities to sop up some of the unprecendented amount of money pumped into the economy during the crisis.

The Fed is funded from the interest earned on it vast portfolio of securities. It is not funded by Congress.

After covering its expenses, the Fed gives what is left over to the Treasury Department.

Besides the income from its securities, the Fed said it earned $5.5 billion from holdings related to the takeover of investment firm Bear Stearns and insurance company American International Group. The Fed also earned $2.9 billion from loans extended to banks, investment houses and others.
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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby diane bartels » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:15 pm

With all my heart, I know and admit I am in no way, shape or kind a genius. Most especially at math or finance. But I really do not get this. How can our government be making billions of dollars of its own money and our country is broke? Broke to where vital programs are being cut, broke where people cannot keep their homes, the University of Illinois may close temporarily, my doctors don't get paidcause Medicaid is broke, daycare programs gone. Where is the missing piece? Where is the missing money?

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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:02 pm

Diane, Democrats fell for the con of smaller government, which is always a code for cutting programs for poor people. The rich get bailed out, R&D get subsidized by government largesse and the patents given free to corporations. You have tax breaks for home mortgages, especially the high enders. Tax havens, private banks, insider information the poor sap with the job doesn't connect with, because he is too busy working to get the golden ticket.

In effect, crime pays.

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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby diane bartels » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:11 pm

Oh Frank I am so mad at myself. First I was mad at our government .I went to the White House site, read the current press briefing, suddenly had a rapid and intense growth in my math and finance skills, put two and two together and came up with a government/business ponzi scheme that fucks totally you and me and Harlan and Susan And Steve and Cris and anyone that is not a Fortine Five Hundred millionaire or a fucking politician. And I wrote a whole page almost over how they have it working, why it is so wrong, why our country is bleeding dying,why we the people have to do something, have to, and I went to post it and I pushed the wrong fucking button. Shit, fuck, piss, damn. I know Ezra and Steve Evil will not concede me a God but they have to admit to a devil, Satan huge and ugly and smelly with awful horns and a nasty tail. Who now loves dwelling next to the flipping post comment key.
Because I'm serious about this. With all my mind and heart, I believe America is in a shit load of trouble. We need help.
And I now have to go. I am having a little medical issue and my brother is coming and Im not sure Ill be back soon tonite. One of those well dr decides he wants to see my beautiful face today rather than later. If you guys get a chance look at the White House briefing. Tell me if you think the amount is just a coincedence.
Computer illiterate and angry American citizen Diane signing off

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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby diane bartels » Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:51 am

The White House press briefing which so discombobulated me was Jan 11th's of Gibbs. Way way down, there is an announcement that some of the Wall firms are now giving a total of 47 Billion dollars worth of bonuses to their employees. Is this not scarily close to the sum of the government just made? How can they give these people bonuses at all? Did these same people not just almost bankrupt these firms? And our same government is going to tax the union's health plans? I truly don't know if that is a good idea or not as I have not read about it. But giving these Wall Street bozos bonuses is not. They should be fired. As their new employers, the American people should demand it.
Cause my brain is still having difficulty with this, here's my recap. The execs at the Wall Street firms make years of bad decsions, some fradulent. Meanwhile pocketing gigantic salaries and bonuses, expense accounts. Their firms subsequently cause the economy to lose a way whole shit load of money. People's pensions, including my dad's before he passed, lost big bucks. The housing market hitsbottom. People start losing their homes where they live with their kids. Unemployment goes up. Very few of these clowns lose their jobs. Fewer go to jail or are sued for return of money.
Then these same folk, the execs, (after W, as Robin Williams calls him, admits to the recession,) scare us, our valiant press corps and our dutiful Congress into to giving them billions of dollars and buying significant portions of their bad debt. States are broke, programs disappear. Except the billions to the war, the FBI, CIA and others who failed to stop 9/11 which was, after all their job. Then because Wall Street is now financed by the US government, Wall Street firms start trusting each again, and some of their bad debt rebounds, increases its value( because it's now, so to speak, backed by the US gold in Ft. Knox, our gold.)They weasle out of taxes, worm out of debt, including employee pensions and health care. Virtually no accountability, a lot if not most idiots still there, maybe a couple pay back the government a bit, and now they get billions in bonuses. Not only do they not leave the bailout money in their firms, they do not reinstate pensions, do much rehiring that Ive heard about,
start bailout programs for the lowly employees, nada. I am sure this cash is going only in their pockets or their travel agents. Or Harvards or Yales for their kids tuition. While the administrators at U of I wonder if they can finish this semester. I'm not kidding about that last one. Do I have this about right? In 21st cen. America? Not ancient Egypt, Tudor England or Tsarist Russia? WE ARE SO SCREWED By the way, Im going back to Dr today for tests. So wish me luck. Diane

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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:05 am

No illusions here. Obama was a moderate Wall Streeter at heart.

He should have liquidated the big banks, gave the money to smaller community banks, who do a better job. The toxic stuff should have died on the vine. Alas.

Obama needs a Dean Baker conference call.

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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby David Loftus » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:46 pm

The wife and I were just sharing a fear over dinner that Obama could become the next Jimmy Carter: good man, intelligent guy, but almost a total loss as a President. IF he doesn't start getting a little tougher with everybody. He's fast losing what little liberal consituency he had with him through the election by being too polite to the snarling dogs of the Congress and airwaves.

Carole said he should handle them more the way LBJ did. Not possible, I replied, sadly; Johnson came IN to the office already knowing where all the bodies were buried, so he had the kind of clout you need to really get things done.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby Moderator » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:38 am

Just read this excellent OpEd piece in the NY Times. It deals with the "decline and fall" great powers, and whether the US is suffering the same fate.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/opinion/25brendon.html
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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby Jan » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:08 pm

"Michael Moore Disowns Democrats"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7gauja-d70

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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby Steve Evil » Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:45 am

diane bartels wrote: Ezra and Steve Evil will not concede me a God


Actually I rather hope you are right and I am wrong about God, as long as he's actually as nice as you say he is. Pastor Hagee's God would be quite unthinkable. . .

And there is a devil, which is exists in all of us, and allows all this to happen. But we can't give up yet my friends. We have to stick together and do what we can.

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Re: Barack Obama - 44th President of the US of A

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:43 pm

Adolph Reed, a progressive African American activist said that he knew of Obama in 1996 and thought he was a fraud even back then.

I still say Obama can be convinced--I see a gleam there. Hope is all we have left.


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