Cash-n-Go: TARP Gone

September 26, 2009

Naomi Klein talked with Michael Moore on his new documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story.”
The interview in The Nation online examines the lust-for-dollars.
Says Moore:

“Well, people want to believe that it’s not the economic system that’s at the core of all this.
You know, it’s just a few bad eggs.
But the fact of the matter is that, as I said to Jay, capitalism is the legalization of this greed.
Greed has been with human beings forever.
We have a number of things in our species that you would call the dark side, and greed is one of them.
If you don’t put certain structures in place or restrictions on those parts of our being that come from that dark place, then it gets out of control.
Capitalism does the opposite of that.
It not only doesn’t really put any structure or restriction on it.
It encourages it, it rewards it.”

Hear, hear!

And away the money goes.
Yesterday from HuffPost, an interview with Neil Barofsky, who tracks last September’s big-ass bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.
Some Barofsky observations:

1. He found hundreds of banks capable of tracking their use of the TARP money – despite claims by the U.S. Treasury that the task was impossible.
2. If the purpose of the TARP rescue was to increase lending, it has failed.
3. The U.S. financial system, now dependent on bigger and fewer banks, is shakier than ever.

And this (via ABC News) from Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP:

“In the last year, the apprehension that pervaded this country has turned into something else: frustration and anger. Today’s fragile stability has come at an enormous cost to the American people.”

“The toxic assets remain on the books of the banks…
“The commercial real estate mortgages are a coming crisis. Small banks are continuing to fail. We were talking a year ago about too big to fail.
We are now facing an industry that’s more concentrated than it was a year ago and too big to fail is up on us now in a much larger sense.”
“Until we get down to dirt, to something that’s solid, that we can put our feet on, our financial institutions are standing in a secure place, we can’t rebuild and know that we are safely past this crisis,” Warren said.
“The question about how we’re going to get these toxic assets out of here at a time when the real estate mortgage market is still in trouble and the commercial real estate mortgage market may be getting into more and more trouble — I’m not hearing the plan,” she said.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.
Via the financial factoid site,, on the employment contract for Freddie Mac’s new CEO includes:

annual compensation of $3.5 million (this includes $675K in salary, $1.6 million in something called “additional annual salary” and $1.1 million in a target incentive
a $1.95 million signing bonus
immediate buyout of Kari’s house (or perhaps houses)
reimbursement for travel between Washington D.C. and Kari’s residences in Ohio, Washington and Oregon

Needless to say, none of this — and certainly not the ridiculous sounding additional annual salary — was included in the press release that Freddie put out earlier this week…

Still, you don’t have to be a tea-bagger to wonder why something like Freddie, which is being propped up by the government to the tune of billions of dollars, is able to hand out such a generous welcome package to a new executive.

Ain’t all this shit just a giant pisser?
We’re all F.U.C.K.ed.

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