“Gimme all your money or I’ll burn down
your house!”

The claim by the conservative dirtbags in the House that their “insurance” plan is kinder and gentler to the taxpayers seems to me to be a rancid stream of raw sewage being marketed as chocolate fondue. Without the full details of either plan, I could be wrong, but, in general, it seems that the “insurance” model is simply a way of giving more taxpayer money to the companies that created the mess.

The difference between the dirtbag proposal and the White House proposal is that under the dirtbag proposal, the distressed company holding a troubled mortgage-based asset gets a taxpayer-funded insurance policy for the full value of the asset in exchange for a small premium payment. Under the White House proposal the federal government pays an amount to the distressed company that will, at least temporarily, assuage the company’s financial woes in exchange for the troubled mortgage assets and an equity interest in the company.

Now compare the two results. Under the dirtbag proposal, if the mortgage-based asset performs, all the upside goes to the distressed company, and if it doesn’t, the taxpayers bear the full downside, potentially the entire “face value” of an otherwise worthless asset. Under the White House proposal, if the mortgage performs, the taxpayers may get more than they payed for the asset plus an appreciation in the government-held equity interest; if it doesn’t perform, the taxpayers’ liability is limited to the amount paid to buy the asset. The dirtbag proposal potentially costs the taxpayers more and gives the taxpayer no upside.

Granted the final dirtbag plan might continue provisions that mitigate or eliminate some of these problems. But the point is that on its face the insurance model will cost taxpayers more and provide all the upside to distressed companies. Or am I missing something here?


Comments: 25


The true problem with what both types ofg dirtbags are trying to do is they aren’t separating the people who caused the problem from the companies that reputedly must have the cash or we’ll all have to eat rats. They could give a fuck about how hard or easy it is for you or me to get a loan, buy groceries or whether or not we keep our jobs. Nope, just hand over the cash to the guys who caused the problem and hope they’re so happy they cut us some slack. If not, yank on those bootstraps some more and quit bitching.

If our CongressCritters are going to offer any sort of assistance they need to start by making it a condition that every single jackass on the executive boards of the screwed-up companies GtFo without any sort of compensation, return their stocks and (assuming they aren’t convicted of fraud) promise to stay the hell away from any corporation for at least ten years. If anyone wants to argue that’s not fair because they might have to sell a private jet or a vacation home to survive, there’s always tar and feathers.

And is anyone doing anything to make sure those companies’ pension funds are protected? If the answer is no I will be utterly not surprised.


No blinkin’. Reform. Maverick. Taxpayers ill, ill taxpayers! Maverick! Reform! Blinkin’? No!


“Or am I missing something here?”

Yes, you presume that the Republicans are serious when they say that they want a plan that doesn’t burden the taxpayers. They never fucking have, never fucking will. You must always, Always — ALWAYS — assume they are lying and that there is a way that their rich, fat cat cronies will benefit and the taxpayers will be left holding the shit end of the stick. The trick is to simply figure out how the rich will get richer, because that is always their goal. Always.

You simply figured this one out.


You’re not missing a damn thing, and that’s exactly what this plan is.

It will be sold as “Wall Street pays for it, not the taxpayer.”

It’s the same frackin plan that got us into this mess, only the taxpayer will be on the hook if the company fails and won’t see a dime if the company makes it. It is the socialization of debt and privatization of profit for every financial sector company on Wall Street.

And yet the only hope to stop the plan is for the Dems to A) go with the Bush-Paulson plan and get killed in 39 days at the polls, or B) fold like they have on everything else.



The AP has a fancy interactive summary of executive compensation.

I want to see some people in chains over this. If we can’t send anyone to prison for causing us to spend 100s of billions of dollars in Iraq and killing untold thousands, can we at least get some Armani-suited fuck-ups in cuffs for precipitating a financial calamity of the same scale as the war?

Warren Buffet supposedly called this the financial Pearl Harbor. Can’t we kill the people who caused it? Really.


Pukes NEVER, EVER negotiate in ‘good faith.”
They’ve ALWAYS got their fingers crossed, and await only the proper moment to stick their shit-encrusted thumbs in you eye.
You cannot run a ‘democratic’ system–one which depends of good faith compromise–when one side will ALWAYS fuck you in the ass if you look away.

Bottom line, of course, is you cannot EVER ‘negotiate’ with people who wish you dead and will do nothing to sop your demise, and will hurry it if they can without seeming to.

The USofA as was imagined by the Founders died the day Raygun took office. Since then, we’ve just been rolling around in the decaying offal.


Shorter House Republicans (in conjunction with Wall Street): (Pointing guns at their own heads)
“Nobody move or the n!gger gets it.”

I said it before, I’ll say it again, Mel Brooks deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award for Documentary Filmmaking.


I agree with Annie Altenhaus. It’s like she took the words right out of my mouth.


There absolutely needs to be disciplinary action and consequences (the more painful, the better) at the Executive levels of these corporations. Heads must roll, or no deal.

Maybe I haven’t been watching closely enough, but has anyone seen a breakdown of the ‘benefit per bank’ in this situation? It would be nice, if not a wise and ethical mandate, to know who’s getting this money and how much. The idea of giving $700B to “the Banking Industry” doesn’t exactly inspire confidence or stand as an example of “good governance.” Another thought is, why does this need to be a one-time, blanket payment? Why can’t it be done on a case by case basis? “Show us your books, we’ll reach an agreement to solidify your bank’s operations, then we’ll move on the next institution.” Or is that crazy talk?

And, more to the point of the post, I wouldn’t trust any deal that Congressional Republicans proffer, even if the banks really, truly promise not to cum in our mouths this time.


How ’bout plan C? A lot of economists are pointing to the fact that the “cash for trash” plan to buy bad paper does nothing to keep defaulting homeowners in their houses. Foreclosures drive down housing values, leading to more foreclosures and more bad paper.

Why not when Harry and Harriet can’t meet the mortgage and default, then Uncle Sam buys the property at foreclosure and sells it back to H&H at terms they can afford. Uncle takes an equity lien so that when the house goes up in value and is sold, Uncle and H&H split the appreciation.

Because mortgages have a US guarantee, no more impossible-to-value bad paper. Banks assets re-liquified and banks willing to lend. Communities more stable and home values more stable. Uncle Sam and homeowner both vested in caring for and improving property. The only losers are holders of outrageously leveraged derivatives that are trash regardless of the quality of the underlying mortgage assets. But those guys — mostly hedgefunds — can (and should) be left on their own. That’s what high-risk bondholders are for.


“What’ll that asshole think of next? Somebody’s gotta go back and get a shit load of dimes!”


A Brief Guide to Republican Proposals

– There is no problem a tax cut for corporations or the rich cannot solve. This tax cut is always called “relief” and its purpose is “to create jobs” (the likelihood of the latter is proportionate to the wealth of the recipient.)

– The sole intent of setting up a commission or “blue-ribbon panel” to study a problem is to find ways to blame Democrats for causing it. If Democrats cannot be blamed, then the purpose is to delay discovery of GOP wrongdoing until the problem is forgotten, or the election is over, whichever comes first.

– “Reform” is a word that has no meaning in the GOP lexicon. When used by Republicans it should be understood as a symbolic punctuation mark to signify that the sentence or paragraph in which it appears is absolute bullshit.

– “Oversight.” when referring to Republican policy disasters, means “look the other way.”

– When Republicans talk about doing something for “the good of the country,” or “to benefit the American people,” don’t for a minute think they are talking about you.


The disingenuous nature of this stunt by the House Republicans is amazing. They pull this thing out of their butts without raising it during the House hearings with Paulson and Bernanke or during any prior negotiations? Its obviously just a political stunt to give them a way to run against Bush.

McCain parachutes into DC after not bothering to vote in the Senate since April, contributes zilch to the negotiations until the very end when he raises vague dissatisfaction with the Bush/House Dem/Senate Dem/Senate Rep compromise. He doesn’t even say clearly if he supports the Hose Republican plan either.

Senator McCain still hasn’t yet decided whether he will permit the country to conduct the presidential debate. Throughout the campaign this man has exhibited a pattern of bad, impetuous, self-interested judgement leaving a trail of chaos wherever he goes.

He nearly ran his campaign into the ground then got out of it by gaming the electoral finance system he once pledged to clean up. He hired the very same scumbags that conducted a vicious attack against his family in 2000. He bizarrely and cynically picked a ridiculously unqualified running mate. He melodramatically cancelled the first day and a half of the GOP convention to minimize the association between himself and his own rotten party. He has put out a series of TV ads that are universally considered the most dishonest in US history. His melodramatic bullshit reached a peak this week when the rest of the government (save the incumbent Republicans) are trying to deal with the most serious crisis since WWII.

This guy is so clearly unfit to be president.


This is Obama’s golden opportunity. Economic conservatism with its mythology of government-is-the-problem, free markets are god, tax cuts cure everything, is gasping its last breath. Time for Barak to drive the stake in.

Stand up in Miss, and tell us: “Government is not the evil alien to be feared, unless we turn it over to people who see selfishness as a virtue. Government is simply a way we have invented to do the right thing. It is how we are able to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and care for the least among us in a large and complex society. Not to mention keep out communities safe from attack, with clean air and water, and schools for our children.

“But we need to work to make this work. If we sit back and expect good things to happen automatically, we will fall asleep. And the corrupt and the selfish will again ruin our best hopes.”

It is 1932 again. If ever there was a time for eloquence and inspiration, this is it.


Palin/McCain: chaos you can believe in.


Hey, stop with the insulting comparisons to Republican Cogresswhores!


Privatizing profits and socializing losses — what’s not to love?


I could accept this bailout if it was accompanied by forgiving the debts of every single homeowner in this country who took out a subprime loan to buy a house. Short of that, fuck off, pigs.


Just in case anyone’s still confused, even the $700B number is a scam; the Treasury spokescritter even admitted as much to Forbes:

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy. “It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

Also, keep in mind that any bailout moneys are probably going to go at least partially to funding enormous bonuses for some of these dirtbags.


Clif: You’re not missing anything; you’ve hit the nail on the proverbial head.

woody, tokin librul: My sentiments exactly. St. Ronnie’s entire political philosophy, as embraced and endorsed by “conservatives”, as is now becoming painfully clear to most Americans with an IQ above room temperature: “I got mine, so fuck you.”

For an example of how to do it reasonably fairly, and efficiently, take a look at what the Swedes (gasp!) did in the 1990s with a similar problem:

Damn socialists may have even made a profit for the taxpayers from their plan


Rich Lowry experiences a rare Corner moment of a hint of clarity.

No shit, Sherlock.


No, I think you’ve got the distinctions pretty much spot-on … the GOP House Plan is a blatant scam, possibly intended to kill the bailout entirely (for which the Dems will naturally be the sacrificial scapegoats) … or at least stall it long enough to nuke the economy & open up MANY trillions in distressed post-crash capital for the Usual Vermin to sink their vulturish beaks into, once the prices bottom out. It worked like a charm for them in 1929 & it can work for them again – if Amercans let them pull it off.

Do NOT assume the rich-powerful-fuckhead contingent sincerely wants the McCapitalism Cardhouse to stay upright. They can get exponentially richer faster in the wake of a crash (in terms of dirt-cheap capital & infrastructure) than they can in even the most pork-saturated high-cost bull OR bear market.

Senator McCain still hasn’t yet decided whether he will permit the country to conduct the presidential debate. Throughout the campaign this man has exhibited a pattern of bad, impetuous, self-interested judgement leaving a trail of chaos wherever he goes.

In other words, he’s acting presidential already.

One angle I haven’t seen brought up just yet … I don’t think the GOP wants ANY action to halt or reduce foreclosures, to put it mildly … because those legions of newly-displaced homeowners (who’ve just been given the best reason in the world to vote “D” in November) can then easily be vote-caged en masse to swing the elction for McNutbar.

This is The Mother Of All Ratfucks.

Their problem is that after 8 long painful years of this ugliness, heaps of regular folks know their scuzzy MO by heart by now, & this could turn off the fully franchised voters in droves – in fact, it already looks like that’s just what it’s doing.

Dirty pool is the only game they know how to play any more.
But Americans are getting very tired of a game where they always pick up the tab.


gaming the electoral finance system

I had completely forgotten about that. Wasn’t that a kind of way to use the expectation of guaranteed federal money to make shaky loans more secure and hence get through a cash-flow crisis?


I already wrote my Congresscritters screaming (all caps, lotsa !!s): not one friggin’ penny for Wall Street. Let the “magic of the free market” handle the collapsing banks, since the thieving, greedhead Rethugs prate about it so much. They ARE thieves; they’re not trying to save the economy, they’re trying to loot the Treasury on their way out of office.

It’s not that I expect my representatives and Senators to pay any attention, but I understand that every letter they get is counted as representing at least ten people, so maybe they’ll get the idea that I’m at least ten times angrier about this than I have been about all the other Rethug malfeasance — and my head’s been on the point of exploding for most of the last 8 years, so….


Yes, you forgot the tax cuts in the dirtbag offer


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