Monday, November 24, 2008

When the medicine IS the disease!

The bailout of financial industry has now reached the ridiculous. Genworth, a GE owned insurance company headquartered in Richmond, bought a Minnesota Savings and Loan. This would appear to make no sense, buying a small S+L far from your operations center, and not in your industry, or sphere of expertise. Ah, but that purchase allows Genworth to get TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money from the bailout. Genworth is not alone. Hartford, Lincoln National (Allstate), and Aegon (a Dutch company no less), have all done the same thing. There is a veritable gold rush of companies that were not intended to be included, coming in the back door of 700 billion now. Many years ago, my grandmother said, “where there is money, there is someone trying to get over to get it”. She was right then, as she is now.

My grandmother also used to espouse saving some money back, and if you could not pay for it with cash, only an irresponible fool would buy it (house and car the only exceptions). For years the savings of the US has declined, and even been negative on occasion. Mortgage debt, credit card debt, total consumer debt, auto debt, and corporate debt are all at record levels, AT THE SAME TIME. We all know someone who has made car, house, and grocery payments on a credit card. There are even more ridiculous examples of debt that are common, as well as ridiculous.

We have seen foreign countries not buy bonds or lend us money for fear of not being paid back, or paid in cheap valued dollars. We as a people, and a country used to live independently, and within our means. As a country, we were independent economically, and therefore politically independent. In the 90’s, some decided that this was blase’, and we must move boldly into a global economy, the “new school” of thinking. What has this done for the American people?

We have good times in most of the nineties, and the first 71/2 years of this decade, for the most part. Some rightfully attribute this to the artificial internet bubble of the 90’s, and the housing bubble of this decade. Although both are partially true, and propped up mediocre presidents, the worst bubble has not hit yet. As we boldly moved to a global economy, American companies moved plants overseas. We were told that the profits came back to America. That was true, but profits are only a small percentage of the total microeconomic impact, the wages, supplier lines and other impacts ( a majority), stayed in foreign countries. We had cheap products to consume, cheaper than when made at home. This caused huge trade deficits, and with huge spending on social programs, and the war, we have budget deficits. One can exist without much impact, both can cause deadly economic harm. Both deficits are funded by Treasury bonds. China and others buy them, to insure an American market for their goods. When both deficits go high, and the housing bubble burst, you have the perfect storm economically. The dollar sinks, and gold soars.

We have a country that cannot protect its currency, it’s borders, or win a war. Now we have an elite group of non elected officials in charge of 700 BILLION dollars in bailout money, that everyone out there will lie, cheat, and steal for. We are considering more bailout money for other industries, and an unprecedented stimulus check on top of all that. Two TRILION dollars is not out of the question. Where does this money come from? The government’s debt (credit card), of course. Do you see the connection here? The same behavior by consumers, that caused the mess to begin with, is now being practised by our government! The wrong and ridiculous medicine our government is espousing, is exactly the disease that caused the problem to begin with. Not only is the behavior wrong, so are the people.

Many have called this the Goldman-Sachs bailout bill. Over 80% of the Treasury power posts are former “Government Sachs” executives. According to Gretchen Morgenson of the NY Times “When Henry Paulson convened a meeting two weeks ago at the Federal Reserve Bank to discuss the impending collapse of Lehman Brothers and AIG, the only Wall St. CEO invited was Lloyd Blankfein, the head of Goldman Sachs”. She also points out that the same folks that let Lehman and other rivals die had to save AIG to keep Goldman from a 20 billion problem with its number 1 trading partner. Who are the Government Sachs people? Hank Paulson, Sec. Treasury-Bush. Robert Rubin, Sec. Treasury-Clinton (and Obama advisor). Josh Bolten, Bush chief of staff. Edward Liddy, AIG bailout Czar. Neel Kashkari, bailout Czar, appointed by Ruben Jeffrey, bailout investment officer. And last but not least, Timothy Geithner, NY Fed chief, appointed by Clinton, and Sec. of Treasury designate of Barak Obama. Some change!

As you can see, this is not a Republican vs. Democrat, or Liberal vs. Conservative issue. This is an issue of government out of control in the most fundemental way. Obama was right about special interest groups, but lip service will not change the fundemental problems our country has in relation to economics, way of life, and the very way of life we enjoy now. Get involved, cast a critical eye and get some information on your own, your life, and way of life may depend on it.

Bill McClure

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary

Comments (1)


November 25th, 2008 at 6:32 AM    

Good ideas, but just harsh. What would you do.

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