Liberalscum Buster

December 2, 2008

WHAT WENT WRONG IN THE US ECONOMY?

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 1:00 pm

1. “Deep Throat” of Watergate fame said it best. FOLLOW THE MONEY ! Some people have gotten much richer lately. Look there for what went wrong.

2. Former Senator and present lobbyist Phil Gramm , a PhD in economics, could talk about economics in simple terms and in an interesting way. If he had stayed at Texas A&M teaching Economics 101, he would have made a positive contribution to society.

3. In Congress and as a lobbyist, he used his didactic gifts to push deregulation resulting in the S&L failures in the ’80s and ’90s, ENRON (his wife was a Director), harmful oil futures trading and the subprime mortgage meltdown.

4. This is the same Phil Gramm who said Americans were a nation of whinners.

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December 1, 2008

Bush’s Recession, Rooted in Self-Interest

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 10:57 am

HUFFINGTONPOST BOB BURNETT NOV. 28,2008
Bush’s Recession, Rooted in Self-Interest

While George Bush ran for President as a born-again Christian and “compassionate conservative,” his behavior indicated he was guided not by the principles of Jesus but rather by a narcissistic morality of personal advantage. While making a revealing documentary about the 2000 Bush campaign, filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi asked the candidate why she should vote for him; Bush replied. “It’s in your interests.” Pelosi observed, “He didn’t push my country’s interest – but rather, my own.” Bush’s primary consideration was what’s in it for me?

As President, Bush conflated his personal interests – strengthening his power – with those of the United States and political considerations governed all White House decisions. In late 2001, after leaving his appointment as head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, John DiLulio observed: “There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you’ve got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm.”

Presidential decisions were determined by the toxic alchemy of power and greed. Major legislative initiatives – energy and healthcare – were written by corporate lobbyists to benefit their interests at the expense of average Americans. And the President’s self-centered attitude influenced both Main Street and Wall Street.

Bush promoted a national culture of profligacy. After 9/11, when asked how Americans should respond, he advised us to “go shopping.” Rather than call on our patriotism, the President appealed to consumerism; citizens responded by running up huge credit card debts and dipping deeply into their home equity. During the Bush Administration, Americans borrowed $6.2 trillion, doubling their debts and causing the U.S. to have a negative savings rate.

At the same time, the President expressed absolute confidence in the wisdom of the free market and expanded the dangerous deregulation begun during the Clinton era. Among the consequences of Bush’s extreme laissez-faire ideology were the accelerated flight of decent-paying jobs from the U.S. and pillaging of the environment. As Americans shopped until they dropped, financial-sector profits surged: by 2007 the finance industry represented a record 25 percent of US stock-market capitalization.

Aided by the loosening of regulations, banks such as Citgroup, broadened their scope of business and began to engage in a wide variety of financial activities. With this expansion came problems of control and oversight. The increased size of financial institutions made them more difficult to manage as executives were pressed to make profits beyond the range historically associated with banks.

At Citigroup, earning pressure caused bond traders to increase their participation in risky markets, particularly collateralized debt obligations (CDO’s), which repackaged mortgages – notoriously sub-prime mortgages – for resale to investors. The expansion of this niche business was fueled by its profitability – fees were unusually high and, therefore, traders made million in bonuses – and the lack of oversight. Because of deregulation, there was no Federal oversight of the CDO marketplace. Financial industry supervision supposedly came from rating agencies, such as Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, but they failed to exercise the required due diligence. So did internal auditors, such as Citigroup “risk managers;” who were impeded both by the Byzantine nature of CDO’s and their perceived value as major earnings generators.

As the credit bubble grew, two pernicious moral propositions blinded top managers at Citigroup and other greedy banks to the ever-increasing probability of calamity: everyone else is doing it, so it must be okay and the ends justify the means . Over the course of the Bush Administration, the worldwide CDO market grew to near $500 Billion, resulting in gigantic executive bonuses and corporate earnings. Understandably, none of the participants was eager to jump off the gravy train.

Lurking behind this frenzied momentum was a naïve faith in the wisdom of the marketplace: the belief that whenever excesses occurred, the market would gracefully adjust. Recently, financier George Soros criticized “the prevailing theory of financial markets, which… holds that financial markets tend toward equilibrium and that deviations are random and can be attributed to external causes.” He observed: “This theory has been used to justify the belief that the pursuit of self-interest should be given free rein.”

The President of the United States has a dual responsibility to make key decisions and set a moral tone. By promoting a climate of unfettered self-interest, George Bush precipitated the current economic meltdown. American’s eagerness for the onset of the Obama presidency indicates our need for a leader who will establish a public morality that emphasizes the common good.

November 20, 2008

IT WAS BAD ENOUGH WHEN WALL STREET BECAME A CASINO

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, life, news, politics — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 12:53 pm

NOW IT HAS BECOME A CASINO WHERE GAMBLERS CAN NOT ONLY KEEP THEIR WINNINGS BUT THEY CAN ALSO HAVE A “RICH?” BENEFACTOR PAYING OFF THEIR GAMBLING DEBTS.

Individuals in lending institutions got rich building houses of cards with mortgages are now holding the US economy hostage as they show up in Washington holding tin cups.

Money and capital markets have a necessary function in an economy but I have always questioned the fact that they have taken on lives of their own.

Maybe government IS the problem. A goverment that allows unrestained mischief and greed and profiteering to take place is problematical.

If the justification for financial types making huge profits is because they take great risks in order for free enterprise to take place, then the risk must be real.

What I am seeing here is a perversion of Capitalism, which is just as unworkable as Communism.

Some part of Wall Street needs to die a natural death. We have forgotten the lessons learned from The Great Depression. Maybe we have learned from the experience from our fathers but not from our grandfathers.

I have some big problems with a Washington bailout of financial institutions and the automobile industry. Bankrupcy is a time tested remedy. Maybe we need to create a chapter 15.

November 17, 2008

I tend to agree with Ted Turner about the bailouts.

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, hillary clinton, life, news, politics — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 12:53 pm

The banks made dumb loans and the auto companies made dumb cars and we want to give them money so they can keep on producing dumb goods and services. Turner said they should be making blades for wind farms and solar panels. I say that if we are keeping those enterprises open just to prevent massive unemployment. Would’nt it be cheaper and more meaningful to send them unemployment checks while they are retraining to do something else. I think that the financial function has taken on a life of its own and some of it should be allowed to die a natural death.

November 16, 2008

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS SCREWED UP MAKING BAD LOANS SO WE GIVE THEM MORE MONEY TO MAKE MORE LOANS?

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 4:34 pm

AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY SCREWED UP MAKING THE WRONG CARS SO WE GIVE THEM MORE MONEY TO MAKE CARS.

If Detroit does not know how to make cars ,maybe they should be making windmill blades and solar panels.

If we are worried about unemployment, would it not make more sense to give them unemployment payment rather than to support a system that only knows how to make junk.

Some of the he finanncial sector needs to die a natural death. too much of out effort and talent goes to pushing money around.

October 2, 2008

John McCain, Deregulation Hawk, Criminal

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 6:23 pm

POLITICOR
Political News, Opinions, Ideas

John McCain, Deregulation Hawk, Criminal
Aug 4, 2008 in Uncategorized

John McCain’s affinity for supporting the deregulation of major industries puts him in league with the worlds most notorious corporate criminals. Deregulation is the tool of the super rich corporate criminal class, and John McCain is their poster child.

First McCain supported deregulation of the Savings and Loan industry. All the while accepting lavish gifts and trips on private jets from Charles Keating who would benefit directly form the legislation. This led to rampant theft of customer savings. The Savings and Loan industry then crashed costing the American taxpayers $30 Billion. McCain was indicted for corruption and Keating went to prison.

Then McCain followed that mess with deregulation of the energy industry. This created kaos in the energy markets, the Enron scandal, and cost rate payers across the country $20 billion in manipulated energy costs. Within a year all competition for gas and oil was gone and prices began rising. Further deregulation of the energy commodities market closed the deal. Now the giant energy conglomerates could own the gas stations, the oil rigs, the refineries, and thanks to John McCain, they now could create their own hedge funds to manipulate supply, demand and the financial markets. A sweet deal for Exxon Mobile who this year raked in more profits than any company in the history of the world, and payed their CEO $500 million in bonuses, while spending less that 2 million to develop new sources of oil from the more than 10 million acres of undeveloped US oil leases Exxon holds.

That was not enough for our hero John McCain. He then supported deregulation of the Mortgage industry which led to rampant lender abuse and the current mortgage crisis. Now with the just passed bailout legislation this will cost taxpayers $150 Billion.

See any pattern here? The next time you hear John McCain spouting his support for deregulation remember, deregulation is the tool that corporate criminals use to steal tax payer money. Anyone supporting it is by default either a fool or a con man trying to pick your pockets.

The real problem with ignorant politicians like John McCain is not the erroneous bloviations on policy that they rehearse and spout whenever the audience fits the message. It is that the real intellectual criminals, Charles Keating in the case of the Savings and Loan scandal, Ken Lay in the case of the Enron scandal, and Senator Phil Graham the architect of the Mortgage meltdown, can twist and manipulate these weak minded political tools to their own ends, with the fools like McCain never even realizing they being manipulated.

Let’s all see John McCain for the wimpy say anything to appease voters, corporate tool that he is. No on McCain 2008, No more tools in politics.

McCain, The Deregulation Hawk

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, ECONOMY, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: , — gasdocpol @ 5:39 pm

John McCain was instumental in our present financial crisis ? Deregulation reduces oversight.

Everyone seems to agree that the current financial crisis was caused by lack of oversight in financial markets.

Google McCain deregulation
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One could argue, quite accurately, that John McCain is responsible for the Nation’s economic crisis. McCain has worked his entire career to deregulate the financial industry – with disastrous results.

In the 1980’s McCain was a key figure in deregulating the savings and loan industry. McCain parlayed it into highly profitable graft for himself. That led to wholesale theft and the collaspe of many S&Ls. McCain got caught in the the ensuing scandal but successfully used his POW line to wiggle free.
McCain’s economic guru, Phil Gramm, slipped the “Enron Loophole” into legislation in the year 2000. This deregulatory loophole was used by that infamous company to game the electricity markets so egregiously that it led to Enron’s own collapse. Since then, McCain has blocked every effort to close the loophole which is now being used by energy traders to game gasoline prices.
The current banking crisis traces back to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. Again Phil Gramm get direct blame for deregulating banks. Again, John McCain followed Gramm like an servile puppy in the effort. The effect is an economic crisis the world has not seen in 75 years.

McCain has said he will make Phil Gramm Treasury Secretary.
McCain’s son, Andrew, ran an Arizona bank into bankruptcy earlier this year under curious, at least, circumstances.

Not content with fucking the nation’s economy, McCain is campaigning on a platform of deregulating health care.
It is true that, as of today, John McCain is urging reregulating the financial markets. Of course that would mean undoing his life’s work. But, John McCain wouldn’t lie, would he? He wouldn’t say one thing now to get elected and do another thing after he gets in office, would he?

October 1, 2008

McCAIN ECONOMICS GURU LINKED TO SUBPRIME CRISIS

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — Tags: — gasdocpol @ 3:53 pm

Phil Gramm stood by John McCain in his worst days last summer when his campaign went broke and his candidacy was all but written off by political observers.

McCain guru linked to subprime crisis
By LISA LERER | 3/28/08 2:06 PM EDT

The general co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign*, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), led the charge in 1999 to repeal a Depression-era banking regulation law that Democrat Barack Obama claimed on Thursday contributed significantly to today’s economic turmoil.

“A regulatory structure set up for banks in the 1930s needed to change because the nature of business had changed,” the Illinois senator running for president said in a New York economic speech. “But by the time [it] was repealed in 1999, the $300 million lobbying effort that drove deregulation was more about facilitating mergers than creating an efficient regulatory framework.”

Gramm’s role in the swift and dramatic recent restructuring of the nation’s investment houses and practices didn’t stop there.

A year after the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed the old regulations, Swiss Bank UBS gobbled up brokerage house Paine Weber. Two years later, Gramm settled in as a vice chairman of UBS’s new investment banking arm.

Later, he became a major player in its government affairs operation. According to federal lobbying disclosure records, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department about banking and mortgage issues in 2005 and 2006.

During those years, the mortgage industry pressed Congress to roll back strong state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers to place homeowners in high-cost mortgages.

For his work, Gramm and two other lobbyists collected $750,000 in fees from UBS’s American subsidiary. In the past year, UBS has written down more than $18 billion in exposure to subprime loans and other risky securities and is considering cutting as many as 8,000 jobs.

Gramm did not respond to an e-mail and was unavailable for comment, according to a UBS spokesman. The bank has no official position on the subprime crisis, the spokesman said, but is a member of the Financial Services Roundtable and other industry groups that are actively lobbying Congress on the issue.

Now, some housing experts and economists see Gramm’s thinking in the recent housing proposal from McCain, the Republican Party’s presumed presidential nominee. Gramm is often a surrogate for the Arizona senator, particularly in meetings focused on the economy. And McCain has hinted he’d consider the former Texas senator for Treasury secretary in a McCain administration.

McCain delivered an economic speech Tuesday that had Gramm’s input, but it was written by domestic policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

“Sen. Gramm was one of dozens of folks whom Sen. McCain has consulted on the housing issue, including Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman from eBay,” said McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers. “They’ve been friends for years, and he values Sen. Gramm’s advice.”

In the speech, McCain rejected the type of aggressive government intervention in the economic meltdown that has been embraced by his Democratic opponents — and even some Bush advisers.

“I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers,” McCain said. “Government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and the economy.”

McCain’s campaign later clarified that he would support programs for “deserving” homeowners and reforms that would improve transparency and accountability in capital markets.

Andrew Jakabovics, a housing expert at the liberal Center for American Progress, said McCain’s interpretation of the crisis puts little blame on investment banks for their role in packaging the subprime loans into dangerously complex and ultimately hard-to-value financial instruments.

“I’d characterize this as the deux ex machina theory of financial products,” Jakabovics said. “He views this as a market problem that manifests at the local level as housing, meaning he’s more likely to argue in favor of these guys when they argue for deregulation.”

Wall Street firms are increasingly under scrutiny for contributing to the economic downturn by packaging and selling risky mortgage securities. When the home loans tied to the mortgages defaulted, investors and the banks lost billions, contributing to a widespread credit crunch.

“I think [McCain’s] attitude is the market can basically handle this and government doesn’t need to be heavily involved,” said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard and Poor’s.

McCain and Gramm have a long political history. The two became close when they worked together as senators to defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 1993 health care plan, holding meetings at hospitals and clinics across the country.

In 1996, McCain was national chairman of Gramm’s unsuccessful presidential bid.

In 2000, the duo had a rare parting when Gramm backed his home-state governor, George W. Bush, for president instead of McCain. But they’ve reunited in this presidential race.

Gramm stood by his former Senate colleague in his worst days last summer when his campaign went broke and his candidacy was all but written off by political observers.

Gramm, who had joined the campaign in March as a domestic policy adviser, was among those who helped cut staff and shrink the budgets. He traveled with McCain in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and stumped for him in Georgia.

Staff writer Victoria McGrane contributed to this story.

* Until he recently said the USA was a nation of whinners and was forced to resign from his official position as McCains co-chairman .

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