Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
RJ

Trillion Dollar Baby - Mo Dowd, NY Times

Rate this topic

7 posts in this topic

Trillion Dollar Baby - Maureen Dowd, NY Times

2/11/2009

 

So much for the savior-based economy.

 

Tim Geithner, the learned and laconic civil servant and financial engineer, did not sweep in and infuse our shaky psyches with confidence. For starters, the 47-year-old's voice kept cracking.

 

Escorting us over the rickety, foggy bridge from TARP to Son of TARP by way of TALF - don't ask - Geithner did not, as the president said when he drew on the wisdom of Fred Astaire, inspire us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.

 

The Obama crowd is hung up on the same issues that the Bush crew was hung up on last September: Which of the potentially $2 or $3 trillion in toxic assets will the taxpayers buy and what will we pay for them?

 

Despite the touting, the Treasury chief unveiled a plan short on illumination, recrimination, fine points and foreclosure closure. The Dow collapsed on its fainting couch as Sports Illustrated swimsuit models rang the closing bell.

 

It wasn't only that Geithner's own tax history - and his time as head of the New York Fed when all the bad stuff was happening on Wall Street, and when he left with nearly a half-million in severance - makes him a dubious messenger for the president's pledge to keep the haves from further betraying the have-nots.

 

It wasn't only that Americans' already threadbare trust has been ripped by Hank Paulson's mumbo-jumbo and the Democrats' bad judgment in accessorizing the stimulus bill with Grammy-level "bling, bling," as the R.N.C. chairman, Michael Steele, called it.

 

The problem is that the "lost faith" that Geithner talked about in his announcement Tuesday cannot be restored as long as the taxpayers who are funding these wayward banks don't have more control.

 

Geithner is not even requiring the banks to lend in return for the $2 trillion his program will try to marshal, mostly by having the Fed print money out of thin air, thereby diluting our money, or borrowing more from China. (When, exactly, can China foreclose on us and start sending us toxic toys again?)

 

There's a weaselly feel to the plan, a sense that tough decisions were postponed even as President Obama warns about our "perfect storm of financial problems." The outrage is going only one way, as we pony up trillion after trillion.

 

Geithner is coddling the banks, setting it up so that either we'll have to pay the banks inflated prices for poison assets or subsidize investors to pay the banks for poison assets.

 

As Steve Labaton and Ed Andrews wrote in The Times on Tuesday, Geithner won an internal battle with David Axelrod and other Obama aides who wanted to impose pay caps on every employee at institutions taking the bailout and set stricter guidelines on how federal money is spent. Geithner prevailed over those who wanted to kick out negligent bank executives and wipe out shareholders at institutions receiving aid.

 

In a move that would have made his mentor, Robert Rubin, proud, Geithner beat back the populists and protected the economic royalists. The new plan offers insufficient meddling with Wall Street, even though Wall Street shows no sign that the hardscrabble economy has pierced its Hermès-swathed world.

 

Wells Fargo, for instance, which has leeched $25 billion in bailout money, bought an inadvertently hilarious full-page ad in The Times to whinge about the junkets to Las Vegas and elsewhere it was forced to cancel because of public outrage. (The ad in The Times on Sunday could have cost up to $200,000, which may count as a bailout for our industry.)

 

"Okay, time out. Something doesn't feel right," John Stumpf, the president and chief executive of Wells Fargo wrote in an open letter defending their two decades of four-day employee recognition "events." Calling them junkets or boondoggles is "nonsense," he protested, adding about his employees: "This recognition energizes them."

 

In this economy, simply having a job should energize them.

 

Geithner is wrong. The pay of all the employees in bailed-out banks, not just top executives, should be capped. And these impervious, imperial suits who squander taxpayers' money after dragging the country over the cliff should all be fired - preferably when they come to D.C. on Wednesday in a phony show of populism on Amtrak and the shuttle to testify before Barney Frank.

 

Wall Street cannot be trusted to change its culture. Just look at the full-page ads that Bank of America (which got $45 billion) and Citigroup (which got $50 billion) are plastering in newspapers, lavishing taxpayer money on preening prose.

 

We don't want our money spent, as Citigroup did, to pat itself on the back "as we navigate the complexities together." Bank of America cannot get back our trust by spending more of our cash to assure us that it's "getting to work" on getting back our trust.

 

Just get back to work and start repaying us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just about spit my coffee onto the keyboard when I read this earlier in the morning. Three weeks into his Presidency Obama's managed to turn Uber-Lib Maureen Dowd into Michelle Malkin? This is going to be a fun four years!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
View PostMaureen Dowd is an uber lib?

 

I thought she was on RJs C&P rotation?headscratch.gif

 

Don't take my word for it - from the Huffpo, January 14:

 

 

 

Tuesday night, President-elect Barack Obama sat down with some prominent conservative authors for dinner. Wednesday, Politico's Michael Calderone
, he's paying a visit to
the liberal side of the commentariat:
The group included the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson, the Wall Street Journal's Gerry Seib, National Journal's Ron Brownstein, the New York Times Frank Rich and
Maureen Dowd
, and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, among others.

Today's meeting was held at the transition headquarters, and unlike dinner at George Will's house, I'm told there weren't refreshments. But similar to last night's, the discussion was off the record.

The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, one of the meeting attendees,
:

Lots of emails from readers asking about the chat with the president-elect this morning. It was totally off the record and I'm a stickler for those rules. I can say, however, the following: it's hard to express the relief I feel that this man will be the president soon. I realize that's what I feel above all else: relief.

I may disagree with him at times, and criticize him at times, but his great gift is showing that he does not expect people to change their convictions in order to find common areas of agreement. That's the challenge he's presenting all of us with, wherever we come from ideologically. The challenge is as real for a Krugman as for a Kristol, for Rick Warren as well as Gene Robinson.

Meanwhile, Johnathan Chait points out that even before the new meeting was announced,
:

They know that Obama understands far more about policy than any of his right-wing dinner companions, is used to being exposed to opposing ideas, and won't come out of that dinner telling his staff, "Hey, did you know we cut half the capital gains tax and raise more revenue?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
View PostTrillion Dollar Baby - Maureen Dowd, NY Times

2/11/2009

 

So much for the savior-based economy.

 

Tim Geithner, the learned and laconic civil servant and financial engineer, did not sweep in and infuse our shaky psyches with confidence. For starters, the 47-year-old's voice kept cracking.

 

Escorting us over the rickety, foggy bridge from TARP to Son of TARP by way of TALF - don't ask - Geithner did not, as the president said when he drew on the wisdom of Fred Astaire, inspire us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.

 

The Obama crowd is hung up on the same issues that the Bush crew was hung up on last September: Which of the potentially $2 or $3 trillion in toxic assets will the taxpayers buy and what will we pay for them?

 

Despite the touting, the Treasury chief unveiled a plan short on illumination, recrimination, fine points and foreclosure closure. The Dow collapsed on its fainting couch as Sports Illustrated swimsuit models rang the closing bell.

 

It wasn't only that Geithner's own tax history - and his time as head of the New York Fed when all the bad stuff was happening on Wall Street, and when he left with nearly a half-million in severance - makes him a dubious messenger for the president's pledge to keep the haves from further betraying the have-nots.

 

It wasn't only that Americans' already threadbare trust has been ripped by Hank Paulson's mumbo-jumbo and the Democrats' bad judgment in accessorizing the stimulus bill with Grammy-level "bling, bling," as the R.N.C. chairman, Michael Steele, called it.

 

The problem is that the "lost faith" that Geithner talked about in his announcement Tuesday cannot be restored as long as the taxpayers who are funding these wayward banks don't have more control.

 

Geithner is not even requiring the banks to lend in return for the $2 trillion his program will try to marshal, mostly by having the Fed print money out of thin air, thereby diluting our money, or borrowing more from China. (When, exactly, can China foreclose on us and start sending us toxic toys again?)

 

There's a weaselly feel to the plan, a sense that tough decisions were postponed even as President Obama warns about our "perfect storm of financial problems." The outrage is going only one way, as we pony up trillion after trillion.

 

Geithner is coddling the banks, setting it up so that either we'll have to pay the banks inflated prices for poison assets or subsidize investors to pay the banks for poison assets.

 

As Steve Labaton and Ed Andrews wrote in The Times on Tuesday, Geithner won an internal battle with David Axelrod and other Obama aides who wanted to impose pay caps on every employee at institutions taking the bailout and set stricter guidelines on how federal money is spent. Geithner prevailed over those who wanted to kick out negligent bank executives and wipe out shareholders at institutions receiving aid.

 

In a move that would have made his mentor, Robert Rubin, proud, Geithner beat back the populists and protected the economic royalists. The new plan offers insufficient meddling with Wall Street, even though Wall Street shows no sign that the hardscrabble economy has pierced its Hermès-swathed world.

 

Wells Fargo, for instance, which has leeched $25 billion in bailout money, bought an inadvertently hilarious full-page ad in The Times to whinge about the junkets to Las Vegas and elsewhere it was forced to cancel because of public outrage. (The ad in The Times on Sunday could have cost up to $200,000, which may count as a bailout for our industry.)

 

"Okay, time out. Something doesn't feel right," John Stumpf, the president and chief executive of Wells Fargo wrote in an open letter defending their two decades of four-day employee recognition "events." Calling them junkets or boondoggles is "nonsense," he protested, adding about his employees: "This recognition energizes them."

 

In this economy, simply having a job should energize them.

 

Geithner is wrong. The pay of all the employees in bailed-out banks, not just top executives, should be capped. And these impervious, imperial suits who squander taxpayers' money after dragging the country over the cliff should all be fired - preferably when they come to D.C. on Wednesday in a phony show of populism on Amtrak and the shuttle to testify before Barney Frank.

 

Wall Street cannot be trusted to change its culture. Just look at the full-page ads that Bank of America (which got $45 billion) and Citigroup (which got $50 billion) are plastering in newspapers, lavishing taxpayer money on preening prose.

 

We don't want our money spent, as Citigroup did, to pat itself on the back "as we navigate the complexities together." Bank of America cannot get back our trust by spending more of our cash to assure us that it's "getting to work" on getting back our trust.

 

Just get back to work and start repaying us.

 

 

This a lot like the election. We're in crisis so there's no time for you to figure out what I'm talking about. Just vote or we awl gun die!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FnM - Mo Dowd is a liberal journalist. She just started swinging towards the right when Bill Clinton said nasty things about Jesse Jackson in 2008. And she musta been diss'd by Hillary cause she took her scalp in October while smearing Palin and Mc Cain tow days later. She is an equal opportunity attack dog.

 

She is definately in my "rotation" if she continues to squeeze the pimples that seem to be erupting on any given day in the Obama Administration.

 

She laid Biden out in December with a one two punch about his big mouth and his lack of common sense in public.

 

Joan Venocchi of the Boston Globe is a much better liberal reporter than Dowd. Dowd enjoys the "Death of a Thousand Cuts" technique when she is not happy with the subject of her ire. Joan reports the facts and points out the defects in some of the silly ways Democrats and/or Republicans screw up. She takes no pleasure in the pointed, personal attack that is Mo Dowd's signature style.

 

I's galdly sit down and by Joan a drink in Bean Town, but Dowd is not my idea of someone to have a relaxing drink after work with. Too driven!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.