Bailout Truth: Inflationary Crony Capitalism

Dead Banks Walking


Senate rounding up votes on bailout the old fashion way

Yahoo! News
by David Espo


Confronted with the defeat of an earlier measure in the House this week and increasingly urgent warnings of economic hardship, they’ve begun rounding up votes the old-fashioned way. They’re buying them. A revised bailout bill includes tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks for the middle class, for homeowners who don’t itemize their deductions, and for property owners in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Add on the $3 billion funding dollop for rural school programs over the next five years. And another $8 billion over the same period in disaster aid, much of it for Midwestern states. And toss in unrelated legislation, far-reaching in its own right, requiring insurance plans to provide better benefits for mental health.None of these has any direct bearing on the problem afflicting Wall Street and the entire economy. Yet in the currency of Congress, each is rapidly becoming part of the solution...

The government bailout: How good are the forecasts?

Heartland Institute
by J. Scott Armstrong and Kesten C. Green


Assume you are considering investing $700,000 and that this is a large sum for you. Experts give you the names of two reputable investment houses of long standing. When you visit the first of these, Benjamin Company, Inc., the manager recommends Bailout Bonds as an excellent investment for you. He gives you what sound like good reasons for his recommendation and reassures you that he is very confident in his advice, which is based on the analysis of top experts. He urges you to act swiftly to avoid missing out...

Bailing on the bailout

by Wayne T. Brough


This week, Wall Street was stunned as the House of Representatives rejected a bailout crafted by Treasury Secretary Paulson. The proposal would provide $700 billion in new spending authority to allow the U.S. Treasury to purchase the assets of failing investment banks. Despite the surprise victory, taxpayers are not in the clear just yet; the administration and Congress have embarked on an aggressive arm-twisting campaign to build the majority required to pass what would be essentially the same bill. The Senate may take up the bill as early as Wednesday...

No morality, no markets

Acton Institute
by Samuel Gregg


Adam Smith had it basically right when he described the essential pre-conditions for widespread economic prosperity. But if the current financial upheaval teaches us anything, it should be how much market capitalism depends upon most people developing and adhering to some rather uncontroversial moral virtues...

Boston Tea Party 2008

by Robert Scheer


How dare you throw that tea into Boston Harbor! Such is the anti-democratic arrogance of the fear-mongering pundits and politicians who tell us if we taxpayers don’t instantly give the Wall Street banking bandits a $700-billion bailout, we are destroying America. Instead of applauding representatives from both parties who, for once, heeded the public rather than the fat cats, the established pundits blasted those who dared get out of line.It was a time for some of the best commentators to fail and, as much as I hate to admit it, for Lou Dobbs, and even Newt Gingrich, to shine. Dobbs called it correctly: The sky is not falling, there is time for reasoned debate, and why isn’t the public being listened to? Gingrich put it best when he said short-circuiting serious congressional oversight over an enormous transfer of taxpayer dollars to an industry is “un-American.” Others, with whom I typically am in far greater agreement, just rolled over to give the bankers what they demanded...

A dial marked “war”

by Justin Raimondo


War, like its progenitor, inflation, is a narcotic that causes us to forget the real problems and their causes and permits all sorts of actions that would not be considered normal under any other circumstances. It is a perfect holiday from the rule of law and is fully taken advantage of by our lawless politicians, who seize on it as a pretext for anything and everything. It emphasizes the worst excesses and encourages their fullest development, so that human behavior is distorted beyond all recognition. Human reason is not merely violated, but inverted: we enter a Bizarro World, where those who made bad investments are bailed out — rewarded — while ordinary folk who live by the rules and pay their bills are taxed to make up the difference...

Remember the fundamentals of the economy are sound?

Information Clearinghouse
by Rand Clifford


Regarding how fundamentally sound our economy was just weeks ago: our leaders are implying that they were either too stupid to know what has been building up for years, or they are liars. Certainly, any pleas of stupidity remain solidly backed up by actions. But even more fundamentally, these people are liars, always have been, always will be. And now they expect to be believed when pleading for a trillion dollars more so everything will resolve itself in the financial markets? — so your retirement funds won’t simply go pppffftt!

Rescue “America Street”

Christian Science Monitor
by staff


Lawmakers who sank the financial rescue package Monday said their phones and e-mails burned with protests that Main Street has to bail out Wall Street. But it’s not helpful, or even accurate, to view this crisis as scrappy alley cats vs. fat cats. In truth, the whole neighborhood is at stake. We cats are all in this together. … Middle-class America is inextricably linked with Wall Street. The stock market’s plunge on the news of the rescue rejection should bring that point home — and bring lawmakers to pass a bipartisan rescue plan. Almost half of US households own stocks and bonds in the form of mutual funds, most of those through retirement plans...

The triumph of crony capitalism

The Weekly Standard
by Fred Barnes

First President Bush, then President Obama poured billions into General Motors and Chrysler to keep the companies alive but barely breathing. That was just for starters. Next came Obama’s creation of an Auto Task Force to oversee the auto companies. To head the task force, the president picked Steve Rattner, a Wall Street investor with no experience in automaking but lots in raising campaign money for Obama and Democrats. GM and Chrysler were quickly restructured, mostly to the benefit of the United Auto Workers, the union which spent millions in 2008 to elect Obama and Democrats. The UAW now owns 17.5 percent of GM and 55 percent of Chrysler — quite a return on an investment of zero dollars. Obama said all parties should ’sacrifice,’ but only bondholders did. They got a fraction of what they were legally entitled to receive. UAW retirees, in contrast, got a gift of $9.5 billion at GM and $14.2 billion at Chrysler. There’s an epilogue. Delphi, the auto parts manufacturer once owned by GM and still its biggest supplier, has been in bankruptcy for four years. To acquire its assets and run the company, Delphi and Obama’s Auto Task Force picked an affiliate of the private equity firm Platinum Equity. There was no auction or competitive bidding, though Platinum stands to make millions in the deal. Why Platinum? The UAW favored it, sources said. There’s a name for all this: crony capitalism... (for publication 07/13/09)

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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