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The CEO’s of our biggest banks sojourned to the White House, there to supplicate and assure our President and all of us, that “we’re all in this together” and they’ll do their damnedest to help get us out of the fix we’re in.   That’ll be a good many billions bucks in “bonuses” for their great services to our country.   For example the house of Merrill-Lynch shelled out a mere 3.6 billion US greenbacks to its upper echelons in 2008, just before it was taken over by Bank of America.   As comprehending these sums is a bit difficult, here is a graphic to explain just a little.  This is what one million dollars looks like, if made in packets of $100 bills, the below being $10,000 in a little packet:

And1 billion, so packaged, is something like this:

pallet_x_10.jpg

For a gander at one trillion, see here.

Meantime Joseph Stiglitz, like Krugman a Nobel Prize winning economist, says this, regarding the newest deal proffered by Mr Geithner, former employee of Goldman Sachs, present US Sec of the Treasury, or is it Usury:

“Quite frankly, this amounts to robbery of the American people. I don’t think it’s going to work because I think there’ll be a lot of anger about putting the losses so much on the shoulder of the American taxpayer.”

For a more complete explication from Mr. Stiglitz, read this.

John Thain, former CEO of Merrill Lynch

and BofA

(a criminal, though unindicted)

The Merrill bonuses were 22 times larger than those paid by AIG ($3,620 million versus $165 million). They were also very large relative to the TARP monies allocated to Merrill. The Merrill bonuses were the equivalent of 36.2% of TARP monies Treasury allocated to Merrill and awarded to BOA after their merger. The bonuses, awarded mostly as cash, were made only to top management at Merrill. To be eligible for the bonuses, Merrill employees had to have a salary of at least $300,000 and attained the title of Vice President or higher.

While the numbers lately tossed around – billions and trillions – seem beyond understanding, they represent only the visible aspect thus far of our current economic crisis.  A year ago you would have never believed the Cassandra’s in our midst who had suggested this was the imminent future, just as today it is difficult to believe that it is far worse than what thus far has been exposed to light – ah, but it is far worse.  And however desperately Geithner and friends, including Obama, who indeed has been taken for “a sap”, attempt to shovel newly minted numbers at the gaping hole in our “system” it won’t really matter much in the long run.   We, or more exactly, “they,” constructed a vast and complex house of cards, and it is  now tumbling down, a piece at a time, its structural defects shown ever more clearly with each passing day.  The present matter of trillions will seem small when its all done.   And who are “they” and why is it not really “we”?   Though the American public largely went along smilingly with the scam until recently, or at least a majority did, as things appeared to be going fine, with easy credit, bigger houses, $4 Starbuck coffees, and as it went on, ever longer work hours for the same pay, and then diminishing pay, and now, well, no pay, now they seem to be wising up.   If far too late.

The following table details how the Fed and the government have committed the money on behalf of American taxpayers over the past 20 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

===========================================================

                                  --- Amounts (Billions)---

                                   Limit          Current

===========================================================

Total                            $12,798.14     $4,169.71

-----------------------------------------------------------

 Federal Reserve Total            $7,765.64     $1,678.71

  Primary Credit Discount           $110.74        $61.31

  Secondary Credit                    $0.19         $1.00

  Primary dealer and others         $147.00        $20.18

  ABCP Liquidity                    $152.11         $6.85

  AIG Credit                         $60.00        $43.19

  Net Portfolio CP Funding        $1,800.00       $241.31

  Maiden Lane (Bear Stearns)         $29.50        $28.82

  Maiden Lane II  (AIG)              $22.50        $18.54

  Maiden Lane III (AIG)              $30.00        $24.04

  Term Securities Lending           $250.00        $88.55

  Term Auction Facility             $900.00       $468.59

  Securities lending overnight       $10.00         $4.41

  Term Asset-Backed Loan Facility   $900.00         $4.71

  Currency Swaps/Other Assets       $606.00       $377.87

  MMIFF                             $540.00         $0.00

  GSE Debt Purchases                $600.00        $50.39

  GSE Mortgage-Backed Securities  $1,000.00       $236.16

  Citigroup Bailout Fed Portion     $220.40         $0.00

  Bank of America Bailout            $87.20         $0.00

  Commitment to Buy Treasuries      $300.00         $7.50

-----------------------------------------------------------

  FDIC Total                      $2,038.50       $357.50

   Public-Private Investment*       $500.00          0.00

   FDIC Liquidity Guarantees      $1,400.00       $316.50

   GE                               $126.00        $41.00

   Citigroup Bailout FDIC            $10.00         $0.00

   Bank of America Bailout FDIC       $2.50         $0.00

-----------------------------------------------------------

 Treasury Total                   $2,694.00     $1,833.50

  TARP                              $700.00       $599.50

  Tax Break for Banks                $29.00        $29.00

  Stimulus Package (Bush)           $168.00       $168.00

  Stimulus II (Obama)               $787.00       $787.00

  Treasury Exchange Stabilization    $50.00        $50.00

  Student Loan Purchases             $60.00         $0.00

  Support for Fannie/Freddie        $400.00       $200.00

  Line of Credit for FDIC*          $500.00         $0.00

-----------------------------------------------------------

HUD Total                           $300.00       $300.00

  Hope for Homeowners FHA           $300.00       $300.00

-----------------------------------------------------------

The FDIC’s commitment to guarantee lending under the

Legacy Loan Program and the Legacy Asset Program includes a $500

billion line of credit from the U.S. Treasury.

If these numbers don’t sufficiently numb your brain, then they have failed in their job.  As a mere spectator in this sport, you should curl up and sigh in resignation, admitting you simply don’t understand a fucking thing. And probably you don’t, which makes the likes of Mr Thain happy. They can then continue on with the scam. No different than the guy down on the corner with his walnut shells. He has an accomplice, and he has suckers. You are the latter.  It appears, whether unwittingly or not, that Mr Obama is the accomplice right now.   We’ll have to wait and see if he’s really playing a long game, and suckering these guys in, in order to turn around and do a Wagoner to Mr.  Geithner and friends, once the wave of populist revulsion has built some more; or if indeed, as our political system would normally have it, he’s an insider and this is just another con job, though laced with palliative measures to soften the fuck-job.  Once again, “they” are out to “save the system.”   Which means, should they succeed, you can spread ’em again….

And, in case it isn’t clear:

U.S. private sector axes 742,000 jobs in March

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2 Comments

  1. Good post–the bailouts and related become more disturbing each day.


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