Archive for the ‘bailout’ Category

Republican criticism has increased lately concerning the $787 billion economic stimulus and it’s ineffectiveness in the U.S. economy. Now talk is turning to a second spending stimulus plan.

Nearly five months after Democrats used their majorities in Congress to push through the stimulus, the two-year package has had little impact. Americans have watched the country’s unemployment rate surge to 9.5 percent, and it is expected to go higher.

Although we have been asked to have patience, when you have no job, no money, no food to feed your family or a home to provide shelter, it is difficult to wait and hope for the best. Continually being asked to wait raises doubts that the first stimulus package was implemented properly and about its ability to stimulate the economy. Constitution

The Obama administration expected the U.S. unemployment rate to peak at around 8.0 percent when it pushed through the $787 billion plan. But unemployment could hit 11 percent and the country may need a second stimulus package, according to news reports.

It has been reported that only about $100 billion of the $787 billion has been spent so far, and in the coming months a more rapid pace of funds may be released. It cannot come soon enough!

Warren Buffett, the billionaire founder of Berkshire Hathaway, said in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America that we have suffered “a shock to the system” from the economic problems in the last quarter of last year but felt we had started to rebound.

“We’re not in a free fall, but we’re not in a recovery either,” he told Good Morning America.

“I think a second one may well be called for. It is not a panacea. A stimulus is the right thing. You hope it doesn’t get watered down,” he said.

“We’re going to come out of this better than ever. The best days of America lie ahead but not next week or next month,” Buffett concluded.

Maybe we need a different approach. Maybe this second stimulus package, if selected, should be given directly to the people: you and me and every other tax-paying American. I’ve shared this before, but perhaps we should consider a simpler approach like the one described in an article in the St. Petersburg Times.

The Business Section asked readers for ideas on “How Would You Fix the Economy?” Here is one of the responses: Piggy Bank

Dear Mr. President,
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America’s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan.

There are about 40 million people over the age of 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.

It can’t get any easier than that!

Well, here we go again. After an incredible $170 billion dollars has already been given to AIG for their bailout, they add fuel to the fire and a slap in the face to every American with their bonus payout program. To the tune of $165 million dollars! Their reasoning is that they are contractually obligated,  and that they do not want to lose the best and brightest from the industry. Where are these so called bright people going to go? Who will hire them? Are they not the same individuals who participated in creating this mess in the first place? I believe they are. CEO

 

The bonuses will be paid to executives in their Financial Products division. This is the same unit that wrote trillions of dollars’ worth of credit-default swaps that protected investors from defaults on bond backed by subprime mortgages.

Remember, of all financial institutions that have been supported by taxpayer bailout money, AIG has received the most dollars, and honestly it is infuriating as to how the executives are handling this situation. So, what’s next? Who is next and where will it end? Stack of money

Seriously, at what point do you stop rescuing companies and greedy CEO’s and executives that really care nothing about the average person?

Speak up and out, and let me hear your thoughts. We should all be outraged! Write your Congress person and make your thoughts known to this Administration. It is time to use your voice and influence to get America back on track.

I am just saying….”Just let me vent!”

To confront the serious economic challenges our nation faces, there have been some bold initiatives presented to this country. And of course, Wall Street to Main Street is watching impatiently to see what will work and what will fail. Wall Street

It has been presented as a new era of responsibility and cooperation. So, do we look beyond the short term political calculations and rhetoric to reinvest back into this country our hard earned cash? And these days it is definitely hard earned. We are promised if we do, our investments will make America stronger and more prosperous moving forward.

Through the Recovery Act, the Stability Plan, and the Housing Plan, we are told that immediate measures are being made to assist families and working people. And we are told there will be transparency in every thing that is done and that we can track all monies given as bailout remedies at www.Recovery.gov

 

We are promised a renewed commitment to transparency in government and after what we have seen thus far with taxpayer money being wasted on greedy CEO’s and banking institutions, I hope we see changes immediately. And if transparency shows that the American people are still getting ripped off, who will hold these institutions accountable? We should all take the opportunity of holding our representatives fully accountable for the decisions they make.

 

So, as I am venting I hope you join with me and really make an effort to be watchful of monies being wasted and make others aware that we are all in this together, and we need to really stay conscious of what is said and presented by both parties and this administration, CEO’s and the banks that hold our money hostage. money

 

Please stand up and speak out. Let me know what you think about the bailout plans, the Recovery Act, and other plans. Will they work? Why or why not? Will the process and results really be transparent? Share your thoughts and vent your feelings. If we really want change, let’s create it together.

 

Vent, Baby, vent!

We will see if this recent stimulus package and second round of the  bailout  money to shore up the banking institutions will have some oversight to make sure that the money will be used as intended.

Post your thoughts and comments.

 

 

I have to say, I’m less than impressed with the way the $700 billion bailout has been handled. Didn’t this whole mess start with a complete failure of the mortgage industry due to its prolific writing of really bad loans to people who they knew couldn’t possibly pay them back? And when those loans (many of them interest only) adjusted, wasn’t it the mortgage industry that insisted they get money from the government (or taxpayers) to pay their own bills, while the homeowners who were defaulting on the badly written loans are just left to fend for themselves? (Nevermind that they are the same taxpayers that the mortgage companies are taking money from.) NYSE

 

Well, I have a solution to the issue that I believe is simple, direct and gives everyone what they need. (President Obama, you can take this idea as your own. I don’t mind.)

 

First, loan the banks what they need in increments. Let’s say $100 million to start. But don’t just hand over the money. Instead, make the lender sit down with the borrower and figure out what they need to be whole. For example: Let’s say Joe Citizen bought a home for $200,000, interest-only loan, no money down. Now that home is worth $150,000. Then Joe gets $50,000 of the $100 million to pay down his mortgage, but the money goes from the government to the lender. The lender is then required to write a new mortgage for Joe, at current rates and NOT interest only.

 

Only after the lender can prove in writing that they have spent $100 million assisting individuals with their mortgages, and that new mortgages have been written at current market rates (low), and that the homeowners are capable of repaying, will the lending institution be given any additional funds. And they must prove that ALL of the money went to help homeowners – no bonuses, big raises, or conferences at swanky hotels.

Washington bill 

If the first $100 million isn’t spent within a year then whatever money is left over goes back into the pool of money earmarked to help homeowners stay in their homes. In other words, if the lending institution wants to hoard the money instead of using it for good, then they get nothing. They will fail, and a bank that is more willing to help Americans stay in their homes will be there to pick up the slack.

 

What’s the result? People have mortgages that they can afford. Banks aren’t left holding the bag for the correction in the housing market. Individuals will have more cash at the end of the month to spend on rebuilding the economy. Banks will have the cash flow they need to feel more secure about lending to businesses again. Businesses will feel more secure and be able to expand and hire more workers. And on and on.

 

Don’t tell me it’s more complicated than that – I know it isn’t. The issue is to get money flowing, and this solution is designed to do just that. It really is that simple.

AIG – Bah Humbug!

GM – Ford & Chrysler – Bah Humbug! General Motors

Banks – Bah Humbug!

It seems everyone today is in search of a bailout. Everyone is asking, but the people who really need it -people – everyday, hardworking people like you and me are not! Yes, there is something wrong with this picture.

Yes, I agree there are many industries that are hurting, but the bailout money cannot go very far if everyone keeps putting their hands in the cookie jar. Especially when everyone wants to get their piece of the cookie and then not have any regulation or oversight as to what happens with the money once they have it, like AIG. A company that has hidden where the money is really being spent on lavish outings and retreats, all at the taxpayers expense. How far are they willing to go in paying out bonuses this year for high level executives? I sincerely do not believe they are going to come clean and be open about where the money is really going.

It is a shame…..I mean it, a real shame that it has come to this. But, here we are and what we need to do is decide what we are going to do next about the situation. What’s next? Who is next?

The “Big Three” automobile manuafacturers have all been in Washington with their hands out begging for a bailout, but not one of the companies have a plan to make any changes with their companies to get back on the right track or to get financially stable. It is not that anyone wants the automobile industry to crumble in America, nor do we want to have any ancillary businesses and suppliers to go bankrupt, but at some point, until the automobile industry get’s it, there will be a continual spiral downward. But, if a bailout of any kind is to be given there must be changes. Big changes with oversight on every dollar spent so that the taxpayers do not take another bath without any benefit like we have been doing. crossfire_chrysler_automobile

Spend some time contacting your elected official to add some voice to this situation. Yes, many companies are in trouble, but if you want a handout there has to be some oversight and not just a free ride for failing miserably in their responsibility of fiscal financial obligations.

Speak out! Please!

What a mess! Not only is the economy crumbling around us, but the government bailout that was supposed to help homeowners stay in their homes, has become an unprecedented one-two punch that is taking the wind out of taxpayers.

 

No one wants to see the financial crisis worsen, but the idea behind a bailout was to help the people who were ending up in foreclosure or without a job because businesses couldn’t borrow even enough money to make their payrolls. Now it seems as if the bailout – which was railroaded through Congress – may not be designed to help those in real need at all.

 wallet of credit cards

Blogger Amey Stone (www.BloggingStocks.com) hit the nail on the head with her list of “Eight ways the Wall Street bailout is adding insult to injury”. According to Stone these are a few of the egregious ways that the companies benefiting from the bailout, keeping taxpayers from benefiting at all (heavily edited – see full text here):

 

·        Not only are Wall Street financial firms getting bailed out but they get to keep their big bonuses too. Estimates anticipate that as much as $70 billion (of the $700 billion bailout money) will get paid out in bonuses to bankers this year.

 

·        After getting an $85 billion bailout, AIG sent salespeople on a lavish retreat at the St. Regis resort in Monarch Beach, Calif. It cost AIG $440,000 but AIG execs should have put a stop to such unnecessary spending, not just because it was a potential public relations nightmare, but because it was the wrong thing to do for a company that could not make ends meet without burdening taxpayers.

 

·        Some Lehman executives got signing bonuses to stay at the banks that acquired their divisions in bankruptcy proceedings. Nomura, which bought Lehman’s European and Asian divisions, gave bankers cash equal to last year’s bonus if they agreed to stay at Nomura for a year, for example. Shouldn’t keeping their jobs have been compensation enough given the massive firings on Wall Street?

 

·        CEOs of failed financial firms still get a golden parachute to soften the blow. Even though their firms’ profits have been essentially wiped out, most will still be making millions at taxpayers’ expense. Five dollar bill

 

·        Banks that are sharing in the $700 billion bailout money are supposed to use it to keep the economy humming, right? Nope. It turns out that banks can use the money however they want. Banks that are getting government bailout money are contemplating using it for other things — like buying other banks — not adding it to the lending pool so they can make more loans and end the credit squeeze.

 

So, the question is: What can be done about this entire situation that has become a train wreck for every taxpayer?

 

Where does the greed and corruption stop? Who will be held accountable in government and at every corporation that now has its greedy hands out begging for more so they get their lavish trips, bonuses and golden parachutes?

Enough is enough!

 

As a taxpayer, are you fed up with this? Please, share your thoughts.