Monday, February 09, 2009

Obama Administration’s “Public Be Damned” Attitude

From Blomberg today - - -

The stimulus package the U.S. Congress is completing would raise the government’s commitment to solving the financial crisis to $9.7 trillion, enough to pay off more than 90 percent of the nation’s home mortgages.

The Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have lent or spent almost $3 trillion over the past two years and pledged to provide up to $5.7 trillion more if needed. . . ..

Only the stimulus package to be approved this week, the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program passed four months ago and $168 billion in tax cuts and rebates approved in 2008 have been voted on by lawmakers.

The remaining $8 trillion in commitments are lending programs and guarantees, almost all under the authority of the Fed and the FDIC. The recipients’ names have not been disclosed.

“We’ve seen money go out the back door of this government unlike any time in the history of our country,” Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, said on the Senate floor Feb. 3. “Nobody knows what went out of the Federal Reserve Board, to whom and for what purpose. How much from the FDIC? How much from TARP? When? Why?”(all emphasis added. . .

Bloomberg News tabulated data from the Fed, Treasury and FDIC and interviewed regulators, economists and academic researchers to gauge the full extent of the government’s rescue effort. .. .

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner postponed an announcement scheduled for today that was to focus on new guarantees for illiquid assets to insure against losses without taking them off banks’ balance sheets. The Treasury said it would delay the announcement until after the Senate votes on the stimulus package.

The Federal Reserve so far is refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return.
Collateral is an asset pledged by a borrower in the event a loan payment isn’t made.

Bloomberg requested details of Fed lending under the Freedom of Information Act and filed a federal lawsuit against the central bank Nov. 7 seeking to force disclosure of borrower banks and their collateral. Arguments in the suit may be heard as soon as this month, according to the court docket.

Bloomberg asked the Treasury in an FOIA request Jan. 28 for a detailed list of the securities it planned to guarantee for Citigroup and Bank of America. Bloomberg hasn’t received a response to the request.

The Bloomberg lawsuit is Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

The entire Bloomberg article’s here.


My comments:

Do you believe President Obama’s given up on “Hope” and “Change we can believe in?”

I do.

What he’s providing now is “Fear” and “Massive government expansion the left can believe in."

Treasury Secretary Geithner refuses to discuss “new guarantees for illiquid assets to insure against losses without taking them off banks’ balance sheets” that taxpayers are responsible for, until after the Senate votes on the latest stimulus package.

What Bloombarg reports today and what Geithner is doing amount to a “public be damned” attitude on the part of the Obama administration.

Yes, I know Obama will be out in Indiana today "talking to the people;" and it’s Florida tomorrow, with a press conference tonight.

But what Obama says in the next few days won't change the fact that his governance to date can be summed up as steamrolling, fear-mongering, and catering to his special interest supporters, all wrapped in a public-be-damned, “I won” attitude.