Archive for taxpayers

Citigroup Three Card Monty Policy on Executive Compensation

One would think that under the Obama administration of “greater transparency and accountability” that the 36% government owned Citigroup would wise up to the fact taxpayers are no longer tolerating huge compensations for, well absolutely nothing in return for shareholders but massive risk taking and losses.
Today, the NY Times reported that many of the bailed out banks who have received and continue to possess taxpayers’ money are looking for ways to divert previous “bonus” money to their base salaries.  No matter how they funnel money into the pockets of Wall St fat cats, they are simply raping their shareholders and taxing people who struggle to keep their jobs, their homes and pay their taxes.
Then why wouldn’t President Obama, Treasury Secretary Geithner, Senator Dodd and Congressperson Barney Frank do something about?
Even at the behest of taxpayers not to bailout failed businesses, the previous and current administration also failed to elect directors to the board of Citigroup!  How can that be?  36% shareholder and no representation on the Board of Directors.
Say what?
Doing a little research, you can easily detect the international political underpinnings to Citigroup.  Citigroup is made up of large concentration of foreign investors, mainly Middle East and Far East money.  A royal Saudi prince is the single largest shareholder as well as other various investment groups in the Middle East and Singapore.
So it is this writer’s opinion that because of the money ties to the Middle East, the current administration have no issue in bailing these people out with taxpayers’ money and at the same time, let them decide what to do with that money, even if it means it never makes it back to the taxpayers with interest.

One would think that under the Obama administration of “greater transparency and accountability” that the 36% government owned Citigroup’s Board and senior executives would wise up to the fact taxpayers are no longer tolerating huge compensations for, well absolutely nothing in return for shareholders but massive risk taking and losses.  Wrong!

Today the NY Times reported Citigroup as well as other banks that received and continue to possess taxpayers’ money are looking for ways to divert previous “bonus” money to their base salaries.  No matter how they funnel money into the pockets of Wall St fat cats, they are simply raping their shareholders and taxing people who struggle to keep their jobs, their homes and pay their taxes.

Then why wouldn’t President Obama, Treasury Secretary Geithner, Congressional leaders such as Dodd and Frank do something about it given the tough rhetoric during campaigning?

Even at the behest of taxpayers not to bailout failed businesses, the previous and current administration also failed to elect directors to the board of Citigroup!  How can that be?  36% shareholder and no representation on the Board of Directors of Citigroup?

Say what?

Doing a little research, you can easily detect the international political underpinnings to Citigroup.  Citigroup is made up of large concentration of foreign investors, mainly Middle East and Far East money.  A royal Saudi prince is the single largest shareholder as well as other various investment groups in the Middle East and Singapore.

So it is this writer’s opinion that because of the money ties to the Middle East, the current Obama administration has no qualms in bailing these foreign investors out of failed Citigroup with taxpayers’ money but simultaneously let Citigroup decide what to do with that money, even if it means taxpayers’ money never making it back to the taxpayers with interest.

How’s that for fiduciary responsibility post Madoff and Stanford?

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US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson Three Page Memo to Congress – Drafting Original TARP Plan

By popular demand, we wish to provide our readership the fond memory of former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who have led us down the road of mass taxpayer money infused into failed American businesses.

But testifying before Congress is not new to Hank Paulson prior to September 2008 when the US financial meltdown had occurred.  Back in 2000, Hank Paulson was the CEO of Goldman Sachs and often influenced the regulatory decisions that Congress were to make.  Goldman Sachs ultimately received nearly $14 billion of taxpayer funds that was pumped into AIG for the purpose of keeping the US financial system intact.  Conflict of interest anybody?  In addition, since Goldman Sachs received TARP funding, couldn’t Congress have negotiated how much Goldman Sachs received at something less than face value of the Credit Default Swaps?  Because, if AIG was put into bankruptcy, Goldman Sachs would have received very little of the $14 billion from AIG.

Now to be fair to Congress and its oversight accountability, there were many questions asked and the desire for better understanding of what they were getting US taxpayers into.  But we all know how bureaucracy works in this country.

From the New York Times:

September 21, 2008

Text of Draft Proposal for Bailout Plan

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL FOR TREASURY AUTHORITY

TO PURCHASE MORTGAGE-RELATED ASSETS

Section 1. Short Title.

This Act may be cited as ____________________.

Sec. 2. Purchases of Mortgage-Related Assets.

(a) Authority to Purchase.–The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.

(b) Necessary Actions.–The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:

(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;

(2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts;

(3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;

(4) establishing vehicles that are authorized, subject to supervision by the Secretary, to purchase mortgage-related assets and issue obligations; and

(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act.

Sec. 3. Considerations.

In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for–

(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and

(2) protecting the taxpayer.

Sec. 4. Reports to Congress.

Within three months of the first exercise of the authority granted in section 2(a), and semiannually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committees on the Budget, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate with respect to the authorities exercised under this Act and the considerations required by section 3.

Sec. 5. Rights; Management; Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.

(a) Exercise of Rights.–The Secretary may, at any time, exercise any rights received in connection with mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act.

(b) Management of Mortgage-Related Assets.–The Secretary shall have authority to manage mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act, including revenues and portfolio risks therefrom.

(c) Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.–The Secretary may, at any time, upon terms and conditions and at prices determined by the Secretary, sell, or enter into securities loans, repurchase transactions or other financial transactions in regard to, any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act.

(d) Application of Sunset to Mortgage-Related Assets.–The authority of the Secretary to hold any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act before the termination date in section 9, or to purchase or fund the purchase of a mortgage-related asset under a commitment entered into before the termination date in section 9, is not subject to the provisions of section 9.

Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.

The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time

Sec. 7. Funding.

For the purpose of the authorities granted in this Act, and for the costs of administering those authorities, the Secretary may use the proceeds of the sale of any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and the purposes for which securities may be issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, are extended to include actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses. Any funds expended for actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses, shall be deemed appropriated at the time of such expenditure.

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Sec. 9. Termination of Authority.

The authorities under this Act, with the exception of authorities granted in sections 2(b)(5), 5 and 7, shall terminate two years from the date of enactment of this Act.

Sec. 10. Increase in Statutory Limit on the Public Debt.

Subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof $11,315,000,000,000.

Sec. 11. Credit Reform.

The costs of purchases of mortgage-related assets made under section 2(a) of this Act shall be determined as provided under the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, as applicable.

Sec. 12. Definitions.

For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) Mortgage-Related Assets.–The term “mortgage-related assets” means residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before September 17, 2008.

(2) Secretary.–The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Treasury.

(3) United States.–The term “United States” means the States, territories, and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia.

Here’s are videos of the testimony and the afterward public opinion.

US Treasury Secretary Urging Bailout of US Financial Institution

BBC Surveys Public Opinion

Comments

Team Obama’s Summers & Geithner’s “White” Wash of Bailout Banks to Avoid Bankruptcy Proceedings

While President Obama is jetting throughout Europe, more bad economic news have hit the fan.  Joblessness continue to be on the rise with sign of slowing, services provided by states such as unemployment benefits previously extended are quickly depleting, state and local taxes on the rise with fiscal budget deficits, and retirement and pensions plans are under pressure due to drop in value and the lack of contributions.

Critics continue to berate the Team Obama economic plan and its ability to solve the crisis as home prices continue to fall and there is lack of marketability of toxic assets to investors other than the banks themselves.  In the latest critical comments offered by experts, the supposed bank stress test move is nothing more than a “scam”, a white wash placebo to calm the American people.  This critique comes quickly on the heels of the news that FASB will relax and make changes to their “mark to market” accounting rules.

How long will American voters and taxpayers wait for results despite trillions of their money are going out the door to failed private corporations?  Take this poll.

The bank stress tests currently underway are “a complete sham,” says William Black, a former senior bank regulator and S&L prosecutor, and currently an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. “It’s a Potemkin model. Built to fool people.” Like many others, Black believes the “worst case scenario” used in the stress test don’t go far enough.

He detailed these and related concerns in a recent interview with Naked Capitalism. But Black, who was counsel to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board during the S&L Crisis, says the program’s failings go way beyond such technical issues. “There is no real purpose [of the stress test] other than to fool us. To make us chumps,” Black says. Noting policymakers have long stated the problem is a lack of confidence, Black says Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is now essentially saying: “’If we lie and they believe us, all will be well.’ It’s Orwellian.”

The former regulator is extremely critical of Geithner, calling him a “failed regulator” now “adding to failed policy” by not allowing “banks that really need desperately to be closed” to fail. (On Saturday, Geithner said on Face the Nation, if banks need “exceptional assistance” in the future “then we’ll make sure that assistance comes with conditions,” including potentially changing management and the board, but did not say they’d be shut down.)

Black says the stress test must also be viewed in the context of Geithner’s toxic debt plan, which he calls “an enormous taxpayer subsidy for people who caused the problem.” The fact bank stocks have been rising since Geithner unveiled his plan is “bad news for taxpayers,” he says. “It’s the subsidy of all history.”

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