Monday, December 22, 2008

WE'VE Been had bad . . . again!


By l.t. Dravis


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sunday, December 21, 2008 – We’ve been had bad . . . again!

The Associated Press reports that two supposedly smart guys, Treasury Secretary Henry (Hank) Merritt Paulson, Jr. (B.A. in English from Dartmouth and an MBA from Harvard and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs) and his bagman, Neel Kashkari (Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, University of Illinois; Master’s degree in Engineering, University of Illinois, and Master’s degree in Business Administration, Wharton School of Business) have handed out nearly 1.6 billion taxpayer dollars to banks that used the money for cash bonuses, chauffeurs, company jets, country club memberships, multi-million dollar executive pay packages, salaries and stock options.

Remember last September 21, when Treasury Secretary Paulson so somberly urged Congress to move quickly to give him 700 billion taxpayer dollars to bailout financial firms?

Paulson went on MEET THE PRESS and justified the historic bailout by saying, “Credit markets are still very fragile right now and frozen. We need to deal with this and deal with it quickly.”

The Treasury Secretary also said, “I am convinced that this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative – a continuing series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets unable to fund economic expansion. The financial security of all Americans depends on our ability to restore our financial institutions to a sound footing.”

‘Hank’ didn’t say a word about giving banks $1.6 billion for cash bonuses, chauffeurs, company jets, country club memberships, multi-million dollar executive pay packages, salaries and stock options.

George W. Bush, the man who has all the financial expertise in the free world at his fingertips said, “My first instinct (sic) was to let the market work.” But then, according to White House insiders, Bush actually listened to some of his financial advisors, evidently changed his mind, and said, “a robust and strong bailout was necessary.”

Bush went on to explain to all of us who wouldn’t otherwise understand by saying, “It is a big package because it was a big problem.”

And, then, if that wasn’t enough, the 43rd President made sure we were able to understand the complexity of his thought process by letting us know that “The risk of doing nothing far outweighed the risk of the package.”

Thank you, Mr. President, for explaining this very complex set of financial machinations so we can understand, too.

But, wait a minute . . . there was nothing in Bush’s statement about giving banks $1.6 billion for cash bonuses, chauffeurs, company jets, country club memberships, multi-million dollar executive pay packages, salaries and stock options.

Hmmm.

Okay, let’s give these guys the benefit of the doubt and take a hard look at where we are now . . . perhaps I’m being too picky about Paulson and Kashkari handing out $1.6 billion so banks could pay for cash bonuses, chauffeurs, company jets, country club memberships, multi-million dollar executive pay packages, salaries and stock options.

Three months after Paulson urged Congress to give him $700 billion, Paulson and Kashkari have handed out $350 billion.

How much better off is our economy today?

Paulson said the bailout was necessary to prevent a ‘series of financial institution failures’?

How’s that working for us?

Since Paulson got his $350 billion, the following financial institutions failed: Franklin Bank (Houston), Security Pacific Bank (Los Angeles), Community Bank (Loganville, Georgia), Downey Savings & Loan (Newport Beach, California), PFF Bank and Trust (Pomona, California), First Georgia Community Bank (Jackson, Georgia), Haven Trust Bank (Duluth, Georgia), and Sanderson State Bank (Sanderson, Texas).

Okay . . . but, surely, the inflow of $350 billion in taxpayer money into bank coffers has eased the credit crunch, hasn’t it?

Yes or no?

No.

Why?

Because nothing in the bailout bill requires banks to lend a red cent to any one, any time, under any circumstance.

I know it sounds nutty, but it’s true.

So . . . why on earth would any bank risk loaning ‘found’ money when the Treasury Department doesn’t require them to?

Does anyone believe bankers have the character it takes to use the bailout money to help anybody but themselves?

Of course not.

So, I wondered, why would supposedly ‘smart guys’ like Paulson and Kashkari hand out hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to prevent bank failures and free up credit markets without conditions to prevent bank failures and free up credit markets?

But then, I remembered the great words of wisdom left us by an equally great American, Forrest Gump, who said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

And then I knew.


Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.


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1 Comments:

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