Perhaps the next step would be to put government limits on the profit margin a company or an individual is able to realize for their product or service? The only obscenity about this whole thing is the way our legislators on both sides of the aisle are continually misleading and hiding pertinent facts, padding cost estimates by omitting things they don't think are relevant, and continually spending money they (we) don't have. Vote them all out at the first chance you get.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I hear that Rush Limbaugh doesn't need anyone to demonize him as he's quite capable of that himself. Web Link At least we can rest assured that the majority of his ranting can be brushed off as drug-induced paranoia.
Posted by Political Moderate, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2009 at 7:08 am
Did you know that these SAME Senators and Congressmen are exempt from these Public Options? They get to continue to enjoy their luxury medical care. Obama himself refused to answer that question! I wonder what is going on????????? As citizens of this great country, we have the right to demand an answer from them! The Obamacare is good enough for the people but not good enough for the politicians?????
Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community, on Oct 26, 2009 at 10:12 am jimf01 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Stacey - Try another punching bag or a different attack on Limbaugh, or at least link up a different article. This one is quite fair in that it sympathizes with prescription pain-killer addiction, but quite unfair in that it states that 14 years ago, when Barack Obama was 8 years old, Rush made comments about drug users and then demanded harsh penalties for drug TRAFFICKERS, but the headline is the hypocritical item here, saying that he demanded harsh penalties for other drug users.
Further hypocrisy in that Limbaugh was never convicted of any drug related crime, not even Dr shopping, which is the charge he surrendered on, and pled not guilty to.
Why not go back to fake racist quotes as well, while you are at it?
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2009 at 12:25 pm
Where do you see evidence that Obama is demonizing investment bankers? He needs to do that. I voted for him so that he would do that. So far, he seems happy with half baked, window dressing PR measures, like capping salaries, but exempting companies like Morgan Stanley and Goldman.
Please tell me, if you can, what vital service companies like AIG, Morgan Stanley, and the like provide for society? Why was what they did so important that when they ran their companies bankrupt that George Bush called on the middle class to bail them out with tax payer dollars? Why didn't the CEOs of these wonderful corporations resign rather than take bailout money? What is it they actually do? Why did they deserve a bailout, but not the middle class? Do the rules of capitalism not apply to the wealthy? As far as I can tell these companies are nothing more than corrupt casinos. Their employees were writing bets that the companies could not pay, all the while giving themselves large bonuses. Now some of those very same employees are collecting record pay checks.
Posted by Ken in South Pleasanton, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2009 at 1:06 pm
reply to 'a reader'
I suppose you also support the choice of Timothy Geithner as a trusted member of the Obama administration. The same Timothy Geithner who admitted to 'overlooking' taxes he should have paid and who also made millions on Wall Street before joining the untouchables of the Obama administration? If you were truly a "reader" you would have read about this many times over. I think you are more of a 'repeater' than you are a reader.
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2009 at 1:33 pm
Where did I say I supported anything but "demonizing investment bankers". I did say I supported that, but Obama isn't doing that. I wish he would. I thought Timothy Geithner was a rotten choice.
Sounds like you don't want to answer any of my questions. Should I assume from that you support bailing out investment bankers when they fail. George Bush bailed out all the large investment banks except Lehman. McCain/Palin supported that. Why? Is socialism only for the wealthy, but capitilism is for the lower classes? Is that what the being Republican is all about?
Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community, on Oct 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm jimf01 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
The AIG bailout isn't socialism, the CEO of AIG did resign, and the taxpayers stand to make a great deal of the money back, if not actually profit off of this deal, therefore this is not socialism. The WSJ article gives you more info --> Web Link
Allowing credit default swaps to be handled the way they were was what brought the roof caving in. Allowing AIG to be an insurance company and an investment bank, and allowing all of the subprime lending is what started the death spiral. I agree with the WSJ article that AIG was too big to fail.
And how do you expect to get away with saying socialism is only for the wealthy? How much of the stimulus has gone directly to individuals or plowed into government programs for wealth redistribution?
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2009 at 3:10 pm
That article reads like comedy now. Did you check the date on it. You say.
"and the taxpayers stand to make a great deal of the money back"
Find me anyone who reasonably believes that these days, regarding AIG. Even if it were true, I don't see how you can say it isn't socialism. It is the redistribution of wealth for the successful and productive to the unsuccessful. That is not capitalism. The bailout of AIG is up to $180 billion now with many expecting much more.
" CEO of AIG did resign"
Well, he really was fired. That is to the government's credit. Unfortunately many top executives are still there.
"And how do you expect to get away with saying socialism is only for the wealthy? How much of the stimulus has gone directly to individuals or plowed into government programs for wealth redistribution?"
That is exactly what I'm saying. Republican socialism is for the wealthy (TARP). Democrat socialism applies far more broadly, like the stimulus package, expanded health care, and the like. Republicans were against the other stuff, but for TARP.
Republicans telling people to trust the market when they were losing their jobs. But when it hit wealthy Wall Street firms, the government was there to save them.
Anyone care to tell me what these investment bankers do that is so important to society that they need massive socialist bailouts from the middle class?
Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community, on Oct 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm jimf01 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Apparently the GAO and the stockholders, according to this CNN article --> Web Link
Bernanke has been steering this program, and Obama reappointed Bernanke. So there are a few people for ya.
When AIG turns a small profit and starts paying back money, it is a positive sign. They received $182bil and still owe $120 bil. . Since I have answered your questions, now you show me who the "many expecting much more" are, exactly?
The situation is just as unstable as the overall economy the way I understand it.
Republican socialism is for the wealthy (TARP). Democrat socialism applies far more broadly.
You say that like it is a good thing. AIG is paying money back, that is documented. Health care reform, as proposed, has promise of tossing $1T down a rat hole and chasing that with more (given the government record on spending for existing entitlements), and it doesn't even ensure everyone gets healthcare.
If you really really want to know what "investment bankers do that is so important to society ", you are going to have to do your own research. It just cannot be answered in a blog posting
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2009 at 6:54 pm
I don't see anything in that article you provided that said Bernanke, Obama, or the GAO believed that AIG would pay off all of its loans, much less at a profit to the government. What is said was:
"Still, GAO said it is too soon to determine if the insurer's stability is a trend or simply an anomaly. Until AIG can demonstrate stability over the long haul, it will be unable to pay its loans back."
In fact look at this headline regarding the same report:
So even if you believe the government is simply making prudent investments with tax payer money, this amounts to a rejection of capitalism. Why bail out wealthy failures and not poor or middle class ones? It is wealth redistribution. It is socialism.
"you are going to have to do your own research"
You're kidding, right? Why not just say I'm so important that I need a tax payer bailout. Just do the research on your own, but bail me out first. As far as I can tell investment bankers scammed the tax paying public and redistributed wealth to themselves from the middle class. They provided no valuable service to the public. They did not create wealth or improve the standard of living. Why should they be entitled to public funds when they failed?
Posted by poster boy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2009 at 7:29 pm
wonder what old obambi is going to do when GM has gone through the 50 billion given them. rumor has it they have already gone through about 30 and nothing is selling because of safety concerns and quality. many lines are idle because they did not pay their suppliers and they will not ship to gm again. think they are building good safe vehicles? think again
Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community, on Oct 26, 2009 at 8:24 pm
reader - in response you give info from newsmax and divert to Bernie Madoff. If I tried to back up my arguments with newsmax articles I would be laughed off the board entirely, they are not highly credible as a news organization.
If you continue to think that bailouts that get paid back are wealth redistribution, then I cannot help you any further. What was the last unemployment check, welfare check, or EIC credit that got paid back? That is wealth redistribution. I am not saying we do not need a safety net, so don't go there.
Thanks for the link Stacey, the airlines, Chrysler, Lockheed and NYC paid the govt back.
And yes you do need to do research, if you really think investment bankers create nothing and provide no service.
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2009 at 8:48 pm
Bailouts that don't get paid back a certainly wealth redistribution, and I would argue that bailouts that do get repaid are also wealth redistribution -- They take money away from other useful investments. Opportunity cost is lost when money is tied up that way.
My point about Madoff is that AIG hasn't demonstrated anything by paying back a small portion of the government's money. Anyone could have done that.
Regarding investment banking, all I've heard from that industry is vague talk about "wealth creation" and are now paying themselves record bonuses. Whose wealth were they creating? Have our retirement savings increased? Have the values of investments and real estate increased? Has our income risen? Why should they get record bonuses with our tax money and the rest of us get less?
Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community, on Oct 26, 2009 at 9:19 pm
And all of those comments show your lack of fundamental knowledge of that industry, the pay structure in the industry, and the bailouts. AIG and investment banks do not exist for any of those purposes. The money was loaned less than a year ago, and 30% was paid back already, that is a good trend. That is not a small portion.
I am not even trying to defend AIG's actions, or the TARP program necessarily, you just lack knowledge of the subject. Do you know, for instance, how many of the companies that received TARP money have paid it back in full?
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2009 at 9:39 pm
"just lack knowledge of the subject."
Show me where I'm wrong. I'll be happy to admit that.
"how many of the companies that received TARP money have paid it back in full"
That changes every day. Goldman and Morgan Stanley paid it back, but a better question is why did they take it in the first place? I thought they were all about free markets and capitalism and profits. They were the great titans of Wall Street. Why did they need government money?
"AIG and investment banks do not exist for any of those purposes."
Well the Goldman CEO sure claims it is about "those purposes":
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:45 pm
Maybe you mean that I was wrong about TARP being socialism or wealth redistribution if some portion of it may get paid back in the future and some other portion may not? How is that not wealth redistribution? Money is taken from tax payers who actually earned and given to failed companies (like AIG) who didn't earn it.
Bye the way, have you listened to Rush Limbaugh talk about TARP? What about Mark Levine or even George Will? They all used the term socialism to describe it.
Maybe it is about what the companies claim to do? But I backed that up with direct quotes from the CEO of Goldman. That was a direct quote and given in full context. Are you denying it?
Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community, on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:56 pm jimf01 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
TARP money wasn't "given" to failed companies. It wasn't a welfare check. It had conditions and expectations of repayment, with interest. At least 10 companies have done so, in full. The US government also took stock positions and other controls over those companies, they are limiting executive pay, for instance.
The Goldman CEO made reference to some things you said, but he didn't say what you said, even in that article.
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:58 pm
Did I read you right in that you were saying AIG share holders thought the government would get repaid its money. How do you work that out? AIG has a market capitalization of about $4.5 billion. That is what share holders say the company is worth. Yet they owe the government about $120 billion. How is AIG going to sell enough assets to pay a $120 billion debt.
I don't get why you don't want to associate the terms wealth distribution or socialism with TARP. I'm by no means the first to do so. Is that what you're disagreeing with mainly? Or is it that I can't see what investment banks do that provides some great benefit to society?
Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community, on Oct 28, 2009 at 9:34 am jimf01 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Please provide one where it isn't two snippets of two separate conversations, taken out of context. I agree with the Democratic Congressman, if the money is not paid back, then we are talking about something different. Let's agree to let the process work out, shall we? As Stacey's earlier link showed us, there have been many large scale bailouts which were very successful, when the money was paid back, with interest.
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2009 at 9:57 am
Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the government get its money back. I just haven't seen anyone say that we expect to get all of the AIG money back, with interest. I see opinions ranging from "uncertain" to "unlikely".
I don't think Republicans should be given a free pass on all the wealth redistribution talk because they are doing it too. They were bailing out the very companies who told us all to embrace capitalism and reject government control. Then as soon as those same companies get into trouble they find the big government religion. Also remember that Republicans resisted pay caps for bailed out companies also. On top of that, most people can't understand how these companies provide any benefit to society.
If you want, I can send you more links with the socialism tied to TARP, but they are pretty easy to find.
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:39 am
No, I mean most Americans. Didn't you see that link above? Are you claiming that investment banks do provide some great benefit to society, and most Americans understand that benefit? I'm asking about investment banks like Goldman Sachs, not commercial banks. Why is it that you can't explain or list just one benefit these companies provide?
Strange the you ask for links, but say that " you are going to have to do your own research."
Maybe I should just say that you need to do some of your own research to figure out how George Bush redistributed wealth to the wealthy and used big government to help keep wealthy investment bankers employed.
Please, maybe you can just give a summary as to what tremendous benefit these companies provide that they required the biggest tax payer bail out in history?
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm
" Investment banks profit from companies and governments by raising money through issuing and selling securities in capital markets (both equity, debt) and insuring bonds (e.g. selling credit default swaps), as well as providing advice on transactions such as mergers and acquisitions. A majority of investment banks offer strategic advisory services for mergers, acquisitions, divestiture or other financial services for clients, such as the trading of derivatives, fixed income, foreign exchange, commodity, and equity securities."
I don't see how any of that is so important that we need to abandon free markets to save investment banks that fail.
Posted by a reader, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm
This should be interesting.
"Why the Goldman Sachs-AIG Story Won’t Go Away"
"The public might get some answers soon. Next month, the inspector general for the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky, is scheduled to release a report on whether AIG overpaid the banks, and the extent to which the counterparties’ own financial problems may have been at issue. "