BUSH TRIES TO REASSURE COUNTRY AGAIN
RIGHT SEEKING TO BLOCK BAILOUT
MCCAIN HAS DEBATE PANIC; COURIC BAKES ALASKA
I guess it’s real or at least THEY believe its real what with McCain seeking to postpone the debate to “work on the economy,” but Obama rejected it and said the debate is on. Is it? Stay tuned.
President Bush came out of the Rose Garden to speak to his subjects on TeeVee. He staying up past his bedtime selling THE PLAN to save America and the World. The last time he spoke about the economy, he assured us it was sound. Now the whole economy is at risk. Going, Going…….
This is part of the Administration’s full court propaganda press.
“Without immediate action by Congress, American could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold,” Bush said in a 12-minute prime-time address delivered from the White House East Room that he hoped would help rescue his tough-sell bailout package. “Ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession.”
Said Bush: “We must not let this happen.” AP
BUSINESS AS NOT USUAL
Its all shaking, isn’t it? Forget business as usual and as I have said, STRAP in.
I did 7 interviews today, criss crossing the South on Radio stations and then appearing with some of the usual suspects. I will be doing more tomorrow on WWRL, KOPN in Columbia Mo and then for a TV show on Channel 25 in NYC because they seems to be no shortage of news to spin off of.
Its getting crazy. The right is tying Bush now to Obama:
“The Barack Obama campaign has decided to relentlessly compare John McCain with George Bush. Newt Gingrich was the first conservative to come out against moving forward with this bailout, which has served to rally others, who are being led by Floyd Brown of the National Campaign Fund.
“In reality, this is the ‘Bush-Obama’ bailout,” says Brown, “and Washington, D.C. is being flooded with faxes. We saw how effective that was with a certain immigration bill.”
Brown insists that this bailout, as it has been put forth would serve to benefit many who have acted unethically. “We cannot give those people and entities more of the American taxpayers’ money,” he said.” (Note: This is the tactic the right used skillfully to torpedo the Bush backed immigration bill. My guess is they are also targeting the McCain campaign which may be one reason he shut down and is awaiting instructions from Karl Rove.)
Right, Obama MADE him do it.
THE 700 BILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: WHAT NEXT?
But this crisis can’t be blamed on any one person. It is a system thing. Richard Cook explains on Global Research:
In fact the credit system has started to shut down in the largest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Committee chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Democratic member Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made reference to the private briefing of congressional leaders last Thursday night by Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, when they told lawmakers the “arteries of the financial system were clogged and that a heart attack was imminent.”
The financial system indeed lies in ruins. In the last year, Wall Street has shed 200,000 jobs. The bailout comes on the heels of the failure of the nation’s investment banks, including Bear Stearns (purchased by J.P. Morgan Chase), Lehman Brothers (bankruptcy), Merrill Lynch (purchased by Bank of America), Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs (both converted to bank holding companies).
Over the past two weeks, the federal government also placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship and took over insurance giant AIG. Total federal liabilities from actions taken so far could exceed $1.1 trillion. Already the Bush administration wants to raise the debt
POLITICS: “THE GREAT SHLEP
Off on the Great Schlep:
Jewish grandkids get an earful in Florida as they try to woo relatives toward Obama.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - If you need proof that this is the most important election in a generation, get this: Jewish grandkids are flying to Florida to visit their grandparents — without being guilted into it – to talk their elders out of voting for John McCain.
The Jewish Council for Education and Research — a new pro-Obama political action committee — is organizing “The Great Schlep,” in which hundreds of Jews will make the Southern exodus on Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 10-13. They will travel to the Fort Lauderdale area, where they will visit their grandparents, organize political salons in their condos and eat incredibly bad food. The grandkids also will meet up at a bar one night, which – if the psychological impact of spending a few days with frail, elderly, widowed relatives is taken fully into account — may do more to repopulate the world’s Jews than the creation of Israel.
More than hockey moms or gun-toting God lovers, old Floridian Jews are the most important demographic in this election. They make up about 5% of the voters in a swing state with 27 electoral college votes. They never miss so much as a condo board vote and are normally reliable Democrats.
Barack Obama’s trouble winning over older Jewish voters has been difficult for pollsters to explain, so I came here this week to visit my grandmother, Mama Ann, and find out what the hang-up is. After a long discussion about policy, I asked her if the reason she was leaning toward voting for McCain was because Obama is black. She assured me that it was not. Though during dinner, she did casually mention that her grandfather used to express a superstition that if you ate marrow, you’d date a black man. I had no idea that for so many generations, Jews have hated marrow.
WHAT IS A BILLION?
A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it’s releases.
A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
A billion dollars ago was only
8 hours and 20 minutes,
at the rate our government
is spending it.
Consumer prices will likely accelerate at a 4.5 percent rate this year, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. The U.S. may have to borrow an extra $700 billion to $1 trillion to fund the Treasury plan, according to Michael Pond, an interest- rate strategist at Barclays Capital Inc. in London.
Half a Trillion Bailout For The Creators of the Market Crisis
By Bob Chapman
The House Finance Committee, headed by Rep. Barney Frank, and the Senate Finance Committee, headed by Sen. Christopher Dodd, will give it their usual Boo-Boo, response: “I don’t know, Yogi,” in order to give the clueless sheople the appearance that they are going to protect taxpayers from the slimy bankers, when the reality is, it is already a done deal and has been planned long in advance, probably for many months, if not years, just like the Patriot Acts.
By Tom Eley
The recently released Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans shows that the combined wealth of the aristocracy has increased 2 percent, even amidst the financial breakdown and recession of the economy. “In this, the 27th edition of the list,” Forbes glumly notes, “the assembled net worth of America’s wealthiest rose by $30 billion-only 2%-to $1.57 trillion.”
Insurance watchdog probes into sub-prime impact
By Ding Qi (chinadaily.com.cn)
In the latest move guarding against the US subprime shock, the country’s
insurance watchdog has asked domestic insurers to make an instant but extensive
assessment on potential risks, the Shanghai Securities News reported on
In two directives issued several days ago, the China Insurance Regulatory
Commission (CIRC) asked insurers to report details of their projects reinsured
by US companies, especially the American International Group (AIG) and its
subsidiaries between January and June this year. The items include contract
names, reinsurance recipients and their quotas, shared insurance value or
premiums and others.
The insurance watchdog also asked property insurers and reinsurance firms to
give a general review of the current market risks, their provision sufficiency
and cash flow. They should also disclose the sub-prime impact on their foreign
shareholders, if they have any.
RGE ANALYIS: THE END OF WALL STREET?
By requesting a status change from independent broker dealer to bank holding company, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have officially spelled the end of Wall Street as we know it. Within six months, all five investment banks – Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs – have disappeared or are looking to merge with a commercial bank with a stable deposit base and permanent access to the Federal Reserve’s lender of last resort facilities. The unraveling of the $10 trillion shadow banking system that started with the non-bank mortgage lenders, SIVs and conduits – now with the seizing of major independent broker dealers and money market funds – is in full swing and gathering steam. Highly leveraged hedge funds might indeed be the next in line. See: Hedge Funds Caught Between Deleveraging and Regulatory Crackdown: Are They The Next Victims?
Lehman’s default – a systemic event that forced a systemic solution – was the pivotal event that triggered a rapid succession of interventions. With $613bn of debt and $639bn of assets, the securities house filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. S&P very recently released a report saying the AIG most likely would not have needed to ask the government for immediate assistance if Lehman had not filed for bankruptcy. Lehman was also at the center of the Reserve Primary Funds and Bank of NY Mellon money market funds demise.
DC: NACA–NEIGHBORHOOD ASSISTANCE CORPORATION OF AMERICA MARCHES ON THE SENATE OFFICE BUILDING AT NOON TOMORROW DEMANDING RELIEF FOR HOMEOWNERS
NY: New Yorkers from all walks of life will gather near Bowling Green Park on Thursday, September 25 at 4 pm to voice peaceful opposition to the government’s proposal to use $700 billion of taxpayers’ money to bail out banks that had a central role in creating what has been termed “the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”
The New York event erupted spontaneously from the response of citizens, and has quickly grown to a large convergence. Organizers plan to build a pile of citizen junk in front of the famous Wall Street bull sculpture.
“Since Bush wants to buy up Wall Street’s worthless investments with Main Street’s hard-earned tax dollars, some folks are planning to bring their OWN junk to Wall Street to see if they can get a bailout, too,” said Arun Gupta, the New Yorker whose single email message set off the protest plans.
ACORN AND COALITION MOBILIZING: COALITION TO ANNOUNCE NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST $700 BILLION BUSH-PAULSON BAILOUT
Events planned in more than 130 cities and towns across the nation!
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A coalition of the nation’s progressive groups will hold a telephone press conference to discuss the proposed Bush-Paulson bailout and to announce widespread nationwide protests this Thursday, Sept. 25.
FINALLY: THE BOROWITZ REPORT ON THE LATEST BAILOUT
McCain Supports Bailing Out of Debate; Urges Comprehensive Debate Bailout Package
Saying that “desperate times call for desperate measures,” GOP presidential nominee John McCain announced today that he would personally bail out of Friday’s scheduled presidential debate.
“As of today, I am officially bailing out of the debate,” Sen. McCain told reporters in Washington today. “And I invite Sen. Obama to join me in this bailout effort.”
Sen. McCain said he would be putting together what he called “a comprehensive debate bailout package,” which could include bailing out of the other two scheduled debates as well.
When asked what motivated his dramatic bailout proposal, Sen. McCain said, “When I woke up this morning and I saw those terrible numbers, I knew that a bailout was necessary to keep those numbers from getting worse.”
Mr. McCain refused to answer a reporter’s question about whether he was talking about economic numbers or poll numbers, saying, “I am bailing out of any response to that question.”
GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said that she would join in her running mate’s bailout effort by bailing out of her debate with Delaware senator Joseph Biden.
THURSDAY NIGHT: BENEFIT FOR IRISH AUTHOR DANNY CASSIDY at THE IRISH ARTS CENTER IN NEW YORK. 7:30. READINGS AND PERFORMANCES BY GREAT IRISH AUTHORS AND ARTISTS.
WE ARE STILL REACHING OUT FOR SUPPORT
Thank you for those of you who are responding to our urgent appeal for support for mediachannel. We only have three weeks left/ This is for real. So far I have two volunteers offer to help with Mediachannel. Unfortunately, they live outside the USA. Any New Yorkers interested?
Katie Couric went one on one with Sarah Palin Wednesday Night. Heard Couric was good.
Comments welcome. Contact: Dissector@mediachannel.org
DO THE BANKS NEED A BAILOUT?
Naked Capitalism, an excellent financial site says NO:
Banking Expert: Bailout Not Necessary, Industry Can Take Losses
One of the premises of the bailout bill is that the banking industry must have government help to get back on its feet.
A banking industry expert, Bert Ely, who has a stellar track record in predicting crises and calling false alarms says that the banking industry can handle this mess internally and does not need subsidies.
The comments from Bert come in an interview at Institutional Risk Analytics (the entire newsletter is wide-ranging and very much worth reading), First, IRA’s recap of Ely’s qualifications:
To get some perspective on the evolution of the last remaining large investment banks into commercial banks, we now turn to Bert Ely, one of the leading experts on banking and finance in the Washington policy community. An accountant by training, Ely has specialized in deposit insurance and banking structure issues since 1981. In 1986, he became an early predictor of the S&L crisis and a taxpayer bailout of the FSLIC. In 1991, he was the first person to correctly predict the non crisis in commercial banking. In 1992, he predicted an eventual taxpayer bailout of the Japanese banking system.
The Financial Crisis: How and Why Congress Should Play for Time
By Robert Weissman, Multinational Monitor
Here’s the situation: Thanks to its own inability to control itself, Wall Street is now facing a crisis unmatched since the Great Depression. Unfortunately, a collapse of the financial sector would not only hurt rich investors, it would devastate the global economy. So, government action is imperative.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke say immediate Congressional legislation is imperative. And Congress is adjourning at the end of this week, with Members eager to get back to their districts and states to campaign.
But there is no way to handle the complexity of a $700 billion bailout in a few days.
There are some really hard questions about how to structure a Wall Street bailout program. Financial firms have to be subsidized, but they also have to feel some serious pain. Figuring out who to subsidize, and how much, is tricky. Determining how to ensure taxpayers get the best and fairest payback from the subsidized financial institutions is complicated. And developing a transparent and accountable structure to administer a $700 billion program buying and selling exotic securities is no easy matter.
Meanwhile, it would be unconscionable to bail out Wall Street but not protect homeowners and renters in homes that may be foreclosed on. Between allegedly super-sophisticated Wall Street hot shots and people who were fooled into taking bad mortgages — or who have the misfortunate of renting from a landlord who’s being foreclosed on — it’s obvious who is more deserving of government assistance. But Congress and the President have not been able to agree on plans anywhere near commensurate with the scale of the problem over the past year-plus. It’s very hard to see how a proper and sufficiently scaled system of protection and assistance for homeowners and vulnerable renters is agreed upon in a few days.
GEORGE SOROS IN THE FT: STOP PAULSON
Paulson cannot be allowed a blank cheque
Hank Paulson’s $700bn rescue package has run into difficulty on Capitol Hill. Rightly so: it was ill-conceived. Congress would be abdicating its responsibility if it gave the Treasury secretary a blank cheque. The bill submitted to Congress even had language in it that would exempt the secretary …
MORE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Jackie Calmes and David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times: “One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.”
By Shah Gilani
There’s no time to beat around the bush. Let’s flush out the three credit-crisis catalysts that have remained hidden for too long, thanks to Wall Street protectionism and myopic regulation. Those catalysts - which brought us to the brink of a financial meltdown - are structured collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, and the horrific offspring of the two - credit default swaps on structured collateralized debt obligations.
MATTHEW RAFAT: IN DEBT WE TRUST—IT’S THE DEBT STUPID
Despite the failure of several financial institutions, the decline in worldwide stock markets, and unprecedented foreclosure activity, the average American still has no idea how much trouble we’re in. America has become beholden to the international community’s willingness to lend us money. I haven’t seen anyone coin “OCM” as a phrase, so I am going to do it right now and take credit for it. Whenever you see someone using their credit card, mention OCM - Other Countries’ Money.
OCM means realizing our money isn’t ours because of the massive deficits our government has incurred through its spending. Having a deficit means we are borrowing other countries’ money through the form of Treasury and bond sales. By running deficits and spending more than we make/collect, each cent we make no longer belongs to us - it belongs to our international creditors. As a result, we have lost financial control of our own country. If we had a surplus, for example, national healthcare would be a no-brainer. But after Iraq and the bailouts, we are now a nation of beggars. As the old saying goes, “beggars can’t be choosers.”
How did we get to this point? Less than a decade ago, we had a surplus. In 2001, President Bush inherited a 128 billion dollar surplus. Now, we have almost a half a trillion dollar deficit—and that’s just for the year 2009.
It gets worse. Overall, people agree we have a debt of at least nine trillion dollars, although some entities, like the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, peg our national debt at an even higher number, 52.7 trillion dollars. The numbers have gotten so large, they seem almost imaginary, like Monopoly money, and that’s the danger - at a certain debt and spending level, the American dollar will lack credibility against the Euro, yen, and Swiss franc, not to mention gold (GLD). If the American dollar loses credibility, the entire worldwide financial system will be at risk. If that sounds too “Mad Max” for you, you just need to understand this key concept: we are debtors, and debtors don’t get to make the rules.
NOT ALL MEDIA WILL SURVIVE
All Media Are Struggling for Ad Dollars
All categories of media are battling difficulties due to shifts to the Internet and a dismal economy, according to industry observers. The big problem now is over-supply, says former Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Rich Fine. “Taken one step further, it means not all media will survive.”