Tag Archives: Tim Geithner

Socialism, until it comes to Obama’s Wall Street campaign fundraisers

When it comes to the auto industry, who is more socialist: the United States under Sweden?

The U.S., of course:

Sweden says no to saving Saab – International Herald Tribune
Saab Automobile may be just another crisis-ridden car company in an industry full of them. But just as the fortunes of Flint, Michigan, are permanently entangled with General Motors, so it is impossible to find anyone in this city in southwest Sweden who is not somehow connected to Saab.

Which makes it all the more wrenching that the Swedish government has responded to Saab’s desperate financial situation by saying, essentially, tough luck. Or, as the enterprise minister, Maud Olofsson, put it recently, “The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories.”

The only place Obama seems unwilling to use nationalization is the one place that we have a tradition of using it: to seize insolvent banks and other financial institutions.

I am sure that Obama’s $150 million fundraising record has nothing to do with this.

Since Obama became President, he has consistently attacked “middle class” values by seeking to enrich both the poor and the super-rich at the expense of the Middle Class. From the expanded school year (which helps the poor, but hurt the middle class) to bailing out the zombie speculators (which helps the super-rich, but hurts the middle class), Obama’s hostility to the petite bourgeoisie has been shocking.

How can this be, when the Defense and State Department appear to be better and more harmoniously run under Obama than Bush? And how can this be, when I was looking forward to Obama’s incompetence?

My assumption is that while SecDef Gates and SecState Clinton are actually competent to do their job, Tim Geithner is even more of a naif than Obama is. Hence, in Treasury (and Treasury alone), we are seeing a reflection of what Obama actually wants.

We face a crossroads: we can have the economy that Obama wants, or we can have someone competent at Treasury.

The more Obama defends Geithner, the more I want him out.

eBay or Zombies?

So Tim Geithner’s latest awful idea works like this: put up $1. The Treasury will double it. Then give you $6 dollars. The only catch: you need to bid on securitized debt, such as subrprime mortgage derivatives.

And you need to be a zombie “primary dealer” like Citi, and you can’t hire foreigners, and…

Still, the idea of an eBay for subprimes operating at a perpetual 85% discount is pretty attractive.

If Tim Geithner is serious about upping the market price of these subprime assets, and Obama is serious about “transparency,” and eBay approach should be used. Any investor who registers should be able to get the same terms as any of the zombie companies Geithner has set up, such as Citi and AIG.

Alternatively, the goal is not to inflate the price of these subprime assets, but merely to enrich the zombie institutions. This would be a raid on the Treasury, and should be dealt with accordingly. If the goal is simply to help zombie firms like AIG and Citi avoid bankruptcy, they should be turned into de facto utilities. This should include a 90% marginal tax on all income of the firms involved in the purchase of the securities, as well as on the income of employees and officers of the companies.

News of the Future: Senate Republicans to investigate Obama-era officials

The GOP should be carefully studying what the Democrats do wrt “investigating” officials from the previous administration.

The Weekly Standard
The LA Times reports on the plans for an investigation by Senate Democrats into the CIA under the Bush administration.

Does anyone doubt that this will be a total sham? It will allow the Senate Democrats to “investigate” the evidence they want to look at without considering the national security ramifications. Without having to make a judgment on whether or not the officials broke the law, the Senate Democrats avoid all of the sticky issues concerning whether or not questionable, but not necessarily unlawful, actions were necessary to protect the country. It allows them to cherry-pick the story, present it in a light that is most favorable to them, feeds the base, and keeps alive a “Blame America/Bush/Republicans” storyline indefinitely.

Except for expressing loyalty, the GOP gains nothing out of preventing white house officials from being “investigated,” charged, and so on. However, the GOP can begin laying the groundwork for investigating, charing, and perhaps imprisoning Obama era officials whose work is unpopular (right now, the Treasury Department from Geithner on down).

Of course, this would be anti-democratic, but that does not stop the Democrats. I’m not endorsing such plans, but they should be considered.