Tim Geithner

Timothy Geithner – The Elmer Fudd Of Economics.

Actually, there’s a strain of Chicken Little there too…’The sky is falling, the sky is falling’. It’s the left’s Rocky Horror Show, complete with a gallery of freaks that would make the Rocky cast jealous. It’s the full press of all the Marxists in the government to terrify the American people and stampede the Congressional Republicans into agreeing to raise the debt limit.

Timothy Geithner is a classic example of the incompatibility of the leftist ‘econo-ideologue’ and the American capitalist system. His public advocation of Keynesian economic principles has shown everyone with the wits to see that this man, former head of the New York Fed, little understands what actually drives the economic engine which is America.

The debt is impossibly high and the Fed has pumped billions upon billions of absolutely worthless dollars (meaning borrowed) into a small selected sector of the economy, meaning of course the banks, who instead of having to pay for their collusion in the sub-prime mortgage disasters, were rewarded by the government, who had mandated the sale of sub-prime instruments by the investment banks in the first place. Very few of these guys had their hands clean. Geithner was instrumental in seeing to it that these ‘friends of Obama’ were taken care of. It’s the largest political payoff and money laundering scheme in history.

The most pernicious sellout of the economy has been to the public service sector unions. Timothy was very much in the loop as billions of dollars were pumped into states and municipalities to prop up union jobs. Union leaders were more frequent (and welcome) than the Joint Chiefs to the ‘House That Obama Soiled’. It will be very interesting to see what questions a post El Obama regime Federal Grand Jury would have for Timmy and his cohorts.

The jobless numbers… in a word…. sucked. ObaMao is in deep trouble. El Presidente was confident that John Boehner could be cajoled and conned into the DeMarxists’ carefully laid trap of phased-in cuts, with several dollars to one spending-to-cut ratio over ten years. The problem is… every time in the past that we’ve fallen for that… well, just ask George Bush… he paid for that mistake with his presidency. The Leftists’ promises are, as always, worthless.

John Boehner has seen the light. He’s finally on the program… at least so far. Seems like John was given some spine by a very determined and unwavering freshman class which has wrapped itself in the mandate of the American Patriot Movement.

And then there’s the absolute tidal wave of everyday American patriots, who have been bombarding Congress and our Republican leadership with an unwavering message… Stand up or get out! Keep it up, America. It’s working.

Semper Vigilans, Semper Fidelis

© Skip MacLure 2011

The Economy Falls

by Lance Thompson 

The Dow passed to the good side of 10,000 last week, and celebration was widespread because it was heralded as a sign of better times ahead.  As early as May 27, Treasury Secretary and Turbo Tax tyro Timothy Geithner said the US economy was in the early stages of recovery, and in late August announced “We are back from the brink.”  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the financial equivalent of the Magic 8 Ball, has been saying since March that “signs point to recovery.” Administration spokesmen point to improving home sales, rising stock prices, and make-work jobs programs and credit the stimulus spending for curing the economy from its ills.  They conveniently overlook the virus of unemployment, the contagion of home foreclosures, or the consumptive decline of the dollar’s value.   Here in Idaho, one of our state’s favorite outdoor activities is white water rafting.  The confidence of the various predictors of economic recovery reminds me of a raft full of people that has just gone through a particularly turbulent stretch of river.  After overcoming the challenge of the rapids, they find that the white water subsides, the surface appears smooth, and all are thankful they prevailed over adversity. Yet if this raft was full of economists, and the river was the American economy, they serenely overlook what’s waiting downriver–a waterfall of staggering height which will make the rapids they’ve passed seem insignificant.  The waterfall cannot be passed safely–it is the dead end of a wild ride on the tracherouis waters of financial tumult. The waterfall is the staggering debt that has been amassed with the government bailouts and spending initiatives that began with the TARP bill under President Bush and grew geometrically with President Obama’s stimulus bill, and subsequent massive government programs.  The spending that under Obama has eclipsed that of all previous administrations combined has multiplied the American debt to a level beyond possible repayment.  To ignore this downstream hazard and speak of economic recovery is to blindfold oneself to reality. The government cannot create wealth, a fact which will probably come as a great surprise to Obama supporters who believe in his ability to provide largesse at a whim.  But all the money the government spends and distributes has to come from the American people and American business.  Government consumes wealth, but it is up to us to produce it. The more the government spends, the more we must produce, and the more of it we must surrender to the government through taxes.   So the debt must some day be repaid by us, just as the economic raft must eventually reach the waterfall.  But with each new trillion-dollar spending initiative–health care, cap and trade, or any other massive government program–the waterfall gets higher.  As our economy floats downriver on a temporarily smooth current, there is no cause for complacency.  In fact, our fate grows more dire with each addition to the debt. Unfortunately, we have not yet had to pay the price for this debt.  It will come with the sudden impact of higher taxes–the only way the government can take the wealth from those who produce it.  And those taxes will fall upon all of us–income taxes, consumption taxes, property taxes, fees and licenses will all be raised, and all of us will pay them.  At that point, the economic raft will be over the edge and plunging into the abyss of fiscal ruin.  The damage to our economy, our industry, and our system of government will be too massive to reverse.   So when you hear happy prospects of a recovery that is just around the corner, listen more carefully.  You’ll hear in the background the distant but growing rumble of the coming fall.  As spending multiplies, as the debt continues to grow, as government persists in hobbling our private sector with takeovers and punishing regulation, the roar of the cataract will also grow.  At some point it will be louder than those who are telling us not to worry.  The question is, which sound will we listen to, and which will we believe?

 

Undone

Undo Barack

by  Lance Thompson

My switch from analog to digital photography occurred last summer, and my new computer came with Photoshop, so all this instant photo retouching is a revelation.  Now, instead of waiting for photo processing, the results are immediate.  Retouching can be done in the camera.  Manipulation of the photos is a breeze on the computer.  I can combine elements, erase them, even draw and annotate.  The power is intoxicating.  Reality is mine to shape and distort as I choose. 

Of course, with absolute power comes the temptation to go too far.  Not content with removing red-eye or simplifying distracting backgrounds or improving lighting, my tampering crossed the line of good judgment.  I intensified colors to neon brightness, multiplied waterfalls with reckless abandon, dramatized historical photos with modern special effects.  It was a disaster.

But the makers of Photoshop, in their wisdom, included an insurance policy.  It is a function called “Undo,” and it allows the user to erase all the ill-advised modifications he has made when his good sense catches up with him. 

Similarly, the president’s first legislative initiatives, the stimulus and spending bills, which send the national debt to Marianas Trench-like depths, afforded Democrats the same kind of sudden unlimited power.  The president was selling crisis to the public, Pelosi and Reid weren’t letting anyone read the bills, and there was an opportunity for every Democrat to have his legislative wishes granted.  Cost was not a factor–rub Obama’s magic lamp and your fondest earmark will become reality.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the stimulus and the omnibus spending bills had “Undo” buttons?  A hundred million to ACORN, the organization that creates votes out of thin air and will soon be helping to tabulate the Census.  UNDO.  Insuring honey bees and farm raised fish for another $150 million.  UNDO.  $850 million to bail out Amtrak.  UNDO.   Nine thousand earmarks from Democrats and Republicans. UNDO.

As the nation plunges into record-breaking debt, with the only response from the White House and Congress being to spend more, Americans are beginning to see the onrushing train at the end of the tunnel.  Obama’s own nominee for commerce secretary, New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, compared Obama’s economic plan to that of a banana republic, and called the level of debt that will result “unsustainable.”  Many Americans who supported and voted for Obama may be wishing there was an UNDO button on their ballots.

In fact, there is.  There’s an UNDO function coming in Election 2.010.  The UNDO button won’t apply to Obama–he’s not due for an update until 2012.  But every member of the House and one third of the Senate will be up for re-election in 2010.  It’s not as easy as voting Republican instead of Democrat.  Several courageous Democrats in the House voted against the stimulus bill, and three imbecile Republicans in the Senate voted for it.  So you’ll all have to do your own research.

If the Senator or congressman who represents you voted for trillions of dollars in spending, and is sending you the bill, your choice is clear.  UNDO to others as they have tried to UNDO our economy.  It’s as simple as the push of a button.

Definition of "toxic assets"

 http://www3.merriam-webster.com/opendictionary/newword_search.php?word=tox

toxic asset (noun) :

(1)  a debt that is unlikely to be recovered by a lender (as a bank)  

"My portfolio is full of toxic assets"

 (2) Politicians responsible for the financial system bailout: i.e. Chris Dodd and Tim Geithner

Go to fullsize image Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn...

 

Injury Report: Dodd vs. Geithner Ultimate Foolishness Championship

Today's "tale of the tape" Dodd is flailing away, but seems to be getting whacked by some press people throwing chairs into the ring.

Dodd visited Enfield today to give away some federal dough. The fact it was the largest town in Rob Simmons' old district I'm sure was a mere coicidence. Anyway, what was a routine photo op attracted a media circus.

Channel 3 reported

Dodd Delivers Heated Response To Critics

 "I'm going to do my job," Dodd said

 As I've pointed out on this blog numerous times, we are here facing financial meltdown because Dodd couldn't be bothered to show up for work in 2007 and abandoned his banking chairmanship to campaign for President in Iowa.

andCNN had Dodd thickening the plot about who wrote the "mystery amendment" that enriched the AIG FP employees.

Dodd, who was visiting constituents in Enfield, Connecticut, said he was disappointed that the Treasury officials who asked him to make the legislative changes had not identified themselves.

Jeex, and I thought Geithner had no staff. Now he has anomymous operatives changing bills. Perhaps the Treasury has a branch office at Area 51.

Dodd never practiced law very long, but I suggest he talk to the public defender's office at the local courthouses about how well the "SODDI defense" usually works. It's usually good for a short stay at one of CT's overcrowded correctional facilities.

Dodd did take a more focused shot in the Courant.

Dodd Criticizes Treasury Officials

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd launched sharp criticism of Treasury Department officials today as he continued to try and extract himself from a political furor after his admission that he played a role in crafting a legislative amendment that paved the way for the controversial AIG bonuses.Dodd, a Democrat who chairs the Senate banking committee, has said he agreed to an amendment to the stimulus legislation that had the effect of authorizing the much-criticized bonuses.But Dodd said he agreed only after being persuaded by the Treasury Department that the changes were necessary to speed a national recovery. And he said he was not informed that the amendment would affect AIG specifically.

So lots of whining but no hits on Geithner. That shiner he is sporting came from a backbench Democrat from Queens, NY named Joseph Crowley, whom it was discovered, knew all about the AIG bonus debacle on March 3 and scolded Geithner about it at that day's hearing. 

Too bad Geithner is sticking to March 10 as his date of revelation about the issue. Oops

I don't think either Geithner or Dodd want to deal with the issue that the TARP oversight board is not holding meetings.   Once the oversight provisions in the TARP bill were Dodd's "finest hour", now even though "his fingerprints are all over the bill" neither Dodd nor Geithner seem  the least interested in tracking the hundreds of billions of bailout bucks that have already left the building.

This, of course , is all leading to an inexorable conclusion to observers who have put up with the Senator's incessant "the Dodd ate my homework" excuses for one mishaps after another.

The New Haven Register, in utter exasperation, lambasted Dodd today as a "lying weasel"

I'll keep you posted if the weasel lobby lodges a protest.

 ===Update===

Evidently a bill is kicking around to remove the appointment power from the Governor to cover senate vacancies

This may have been drawn up to keep a Blagomart from occuring in CT. But a) no one thinks Jodi Rell is going to play that game and b) who thought there was going to be a midterm senate vacancy after Lieberman's cabinet bid fizzled election night?

Is there another reason not to allow Governor Rell to fill a senate vacancy? 

 

If you were rooting for injuries on AIG-Gate...

Now we have them!

 Democrats blame each other on AIG bonuses

Red-faced at AIG bonus loophole, Dodd and Geithner blame each other for nixing stricter limits

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The case of the missing AIG bonus limits has become a tale of political intrigue and Democratic infighting that could threaten the re-election chances of a top senator and the credibility -- if not the career -- of one of President Obama's top advisers. 

As the House passed new legislation Thursday to crack down on the outrage-inspiring bonuses, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, the Banking Committee chairman, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner engaged in finger-pointing about who was responsible for Congress' failure to prevent them in the first place.

Dodd, a five-term senator, was already facing a tough re-election contest in 2010. He says the Obama administration insisted he modify his proposal to rein in bonuses at companies getting billions of dollars in financial bailouts so that it would only apply to payments agreed to in the future -- thus clearing the way for the AIG payouts.

Grab the popcorn, this show is just getting started!

Ron Wyden breaks ranks: New info on AIG-gate

H/T Tim White

Last night I pointed out that various Democrats were playing one-upsmanship in who could offer the least plausible explaination for the AIG bonus debacle.  

Well, someone from the Democratic senate caucus has broken ranks from the Obamatons about this farce, and has added a new name to the existing participants in the

The Geithner-Dodd Deception Derby

 

Who in the Administration pressed for the AIG bonuses?FoxNews' Trish Turner offers:Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., all but pointed the finger of blame directly at the "Obama economic team" Wednesday for allegedly stripping a provision from the stimulus package last month that would have slapped a heavy tax on bonuses like the ones doled out at AIG...Asked to whom he spoke with back in February when he was fighting to keep the item, Wyden said, "Secretary Geithner, Larry Summers, and I'll leave it at that." 

OK, Dodd blames "Treasury"  Now Geithner admits he "talked to Dodd".  Funny how this little detail wasn;t mentioned by either gentleman until late this afternoon.  Dodd says he still has confidence in Geithner. Then again he also had confidence in Fannie Mae.

Jeez, if any more people claim not to know what was going on when the Porkulus bill was drafted I'll think this guy works for Obama   

Go to fullsize image

Tonight's's party line seems to be the entire senior management of the Obama adminstration knew about the bonuses, put an amendment in to protect the bonuses, and then a) failed to inform the President and b) acted surprised when the issue blew up like a Roman candle

Go to fullsize image

RRRIGHT!

Well, the President says Geithner is doing "an outstanding job" Then again, while Obama may be the first sitting President on a late night talk show, I doubt he wanted to use the occasion to fire a cabinet officer.  

 Let's just hope this isn;t like the last time a President had to so frequently defend an embattled federal official

Go to fullsize image

The Geithner-Dodd Deception Derby

The Plot thickens.....

From the Corner:

Did Geithner Lie?   [Greg Pollowitz] 

Time: "Treasury Learned of AIG Bonuses Earlier Than Claimed

and Chris Dodd now fesses up and admits he agreed to the loophole amendment to permit grandfathered bonuses.

 

Wolf Blitzer said " viewers are confused".  That's only if you believed Dodd when he said yesterday "I had nothing to do with" changing the amendment. I wasn't fooled by Dodd. he's "amended his remarks" before, like on the Countrywide mortgages..

He still refuses to explain who told him to change the amendment --"I don't know their names"

Start with a "G", Chris.

Looks like the White House and Congress are busy in this competition----the bus throwing derby!.

 Go to fullsize image

This is the initiial reaction in the press from Dodd's duplicitious debacle

 

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) looks like he may be facing a fresh political firestorm.

Dodd just admitted on CNN that he inserted a loophole in the stimulus legislation that allowed million-dollar bonuses to insurance giant AIG to go forward – after previously denying any involvement in writing the controversial provision. .

“We wrote the language in the bill, the deal with bonuses, golden parachutes, excessive executive compensation that was adopted unanimously by the United States Senate in the stimulus bill,” Dodd told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer this afternoon.

“But for that language, there would have been no language to deal with this at all.”

Dodd had previously said that he played no role in writing the controversial language, and was not a part of the conference committee that inserted the language in the bill. As late as today, Dodd’s spokeswoman denied the senator’s involvement.

Only 41% of CT voters considered Dodd "honest and trustworthy" in a recent poll. This isn;t going to make the number go up.

So we have Dodd not telling the truth and Geithner not telling the truth.

Should we start a pool on who's career in Washington ends first?

Most incompetent Banking Committee Chairman. Ever

Trying to keep track of all of Chris Dodd's blunders is like trying to watch the 'Cuse-UConn basketball game every night. It's tiring , time consuming and amazing to behold

Overnight we we treated to the spectacle of the Banking Committee Chairman and the Treasury Secretary throwing each other under the bus over the odious AIG bonuses that somehow were grandfathered in under federal law in the "stimulus" bill.

The Artful Doddger just returned tan rested and ready from a tropical vacation and posted this overnight. 

"The administration blames this all on what they are calling the "Dodd Amendment," the executive compensation amendment to the stimulus bill that included the loophole allowing bonus payments that had already been agreed to prior to February 11. Dodd denies he was the author of that aspect of the provision , but he won't pin it on anyone else, either. 

Dodd's original amendment did not include that exemption, and the Connecticut Senator denied inserting the provision."I can't point a finger at someone who was responsible for putting those dates in," Dodd told Fox. "I can tell you this much, when my language left the senate, it did not include it. When it came back, it did." "

So let's see . The Treasury blames Dodd for writing the clause in the Porkulus bill that protected the greedheads at AIG and then Dodd blames someone else for it, denying his own responsibility.  It's like a Sherlock Holmes mystery; the case of the stimulus amendment that not only did not bark in the night, but slobbered all over the villains.

As 1962 NY Mets manager Casey Stengel saidGo to fullsize image

"Can't anyone here play this game?"

We can't expect a Senate Committee Chairman to keep track of what's in a bill that goes to the President's desk for signature, now can we?

The Senator now vents in outrage . However, the record shows a perpetual state of cluelessness about the AIG issue on Dodd's part which is astonishing in its scope.

Let's consider this exchange from the DC Examiner with Dodd's spokeswoman

Dodd, she said, “was completely unaware of these AIG bonuses,” and it is “categorically false” to suggest Dodd orchestrated the exception to allow the bonuses to be handed out

Maybe Dodd could do what Governor Palin does to stay informed. Hmm, read the paper. I'm sure the Washington Post is delivered to all of the Senator's multiple addresses.

AIG disclosed its retention-payment program more than a year ago, and the amount of the bonuses -- more than $400 million for Financial Products alone -- had been widely reported.

So Dodd's story is as the Chairman of the Banking Committee he was "completely unaware" of hundreds of millions of dollars of bonuses at a firm receiving $170 billion in federal bailout money---when the bonuses were were reported in the press a year ago. Yep. That's his story. Got a new bridge to sell, I see.   And guess what, the folks at AIG (Allies In Greed?) were asked by Geithner to decline the bonuses, but told him to pound sand

AIG’s new management team last year proposed that its employees give up their “retention” bonuses, or at least reduce them. The response from the 370 or so employees set to rake in $450 million in bonuses through 2010?Take a hike.  “We suggested that early on, but there are people who feel this money was due them,” a source close to the company told The Hill.  It apparently didn’t matter that taxpayers have provided $170 billion and counting to bail out AIG. “Quants,” the people who put together the computer-programmed algorithms behind the complicated hedges and trades that brought down the company, pushed back hard against any notion they should sacrifice their bonuses, the source said.   

Well, why should they. Chris Dodd was the Number #1 recipient of AIG cash through the years, and maybe he had their back. And now blames it on his own incompetence. This is what it has come to. When someone accuses Chris Dodd of being evil, his defense is he is only stupid.   It's far past time to shut down Bailout Nation. And its far past time to remove the utter incompetents "managing" the Treasury Department, the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee.

 ====UPDATE====

Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Tim Geithner claims he didn;t know about these bonuses, either

An administration official said that despite having engineered the first two rescues of AIG while president of the New York Fed, Mr. Geithner didn't know about the pending bonuses until last week.

So much for the Democrats being the party of intellectuals. Fire them all.

 

Bonuses at AIG? Don't blame the GOP!

A couple of news items from that noted right wing message machine--MSNBC.

First, this..AIG’s turmoil depletes Obama’s political capital

President Obama's apparent inability to block executive bonuses at insurance giant AIG has dealt a sharp blow to his young administration and is threatening to derail both public and congressional support for his ambitious political agenda.

I notice my own Senator, Chris Dodd, has finally found his voice about this debacle.

I warned them this would be met with an unprecedented level of outrage," Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.),

No, Chris, What should generate an "unprecedented level of outrage" is that you wrote the TARP bill and failed to put appropriate safeguards in the bill to protect the taxpayers.

In October the Hartford Courant wrote 

 And whether you call it a bailout or a rescue of the U.S. economy, the Connecticut senator's fingerprints are all over it. 

Do we need CSI:DC to figure out why there isn't effective compensation limits written into the TARP bill? Oops opensecrets might have an answer. $175,000 in reasons for leaving AIG honchos alone.

Maybe that's why you "pulled a Plaxico

Well, he's not alone "Jive talkin""Brother Gibbs" assured everyone he "was confident" he knew what AIG was doing with its $100 Billion plus in bailout cash. Right.  

You know, maybe properly staffing the Treasury Department might be more important than insulting Rush Limbaugh right about now.

So we know the Obama team is flailing around dealing with AIG.

 We can be sure today's meme is : We inherited this from Bush.

MSNBC offers a different take.   

In a story entitled Congress played major role in AIG bonus mess they point out the roots of the meltdown of AIG were planted before George W. Bush set foot in the White House.  The reason AIG collapsed was it was overexposed in insurance of exotic derivatives that went poof along with the mortgage securities that were their underlying asset. And why was this market so weakly regulated? 

After the 1998 collapse of Long Term Capital Management, a giant hedge fund that pioneered the use of derivatives, the Fed engineered a rescue to prevent the unwinding of risky bets from spreading to the larger financial system. That brought calls for tighter regulation of derivatives, including a push for greater derivatives regulation at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, led by a former Wall Street attorney named Brooksley Born. 

But strong opposition to the proposal from then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and senior Clinton administration officials sank the idea. On Dec. 21, 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which further eased restrictions on derivatives like credit default swaps.

The new law cleared the way for an explosion in credit default swaps. In the first half of 2001, there were $632 billion in credit default swaps outstanding, according to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. By the second half of 2007, that number was up 100-fold — to more than $62 trillion.

So much for the "greatest economy ever". And if I recall correctly Lawrence Summers--now Obama's "adult" on economics policy--was Treasury Secretary then.

I'll make one final point on the "we can't sue. They have a binding contract". This comes from an old banking lawyer.

Yes. You. Can. 

You may lose the suit. You may pay more to the executives. You will pay lots of legal fees (Wall Street law firms are laying people off: think of this as a stimulus program). But a bank can and will undertake litigation for strategic reasons where the chance of success is remote.

Why. Moral Hazard.  

Screw the AIG execs. Let them sue you in a court in Manhattan where half the jury pool are going to be folks laid off from Wall Street. Good luck.

You make the cost of doing things you don't want so high other people don't try it.  That's how you prevent "moral hazard".  The Obama team has set a very dangerous example in the AIG bonus debacle; they are rule bound sissies who let themselves be rolled rather than picking a fight they could lose. 

Hope Vladimir Putin and the mullahs in Teheran weren't watching. 

 

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