Government Motors

Government Motors

GM? Today they get their final lifeline… 30 billion more in Taxpayer dollars, but still bankrupt:

But the officials said Sunday they would try to steer clear of getting involved in the automaker’s day-to-day operations, though the government will maintain the right to set upfront conditions for providing assistance in “exceptional cases.”

The administration expects company CEO Fritz Henderson will continue to serve in that capacity, officials said, though they added that Henderson serves at the pleasure of the board — some of whose members would be replaced. Those new members have not yet been identified, though administration officials said there would be some continuity between the old GM and the new GM.

The administration said it will also avoid involvement in determining which dealerships are closed as the automaker continues downsizing, nor will the administration seek to name members to an oversight board determining the company’s compensation for executives.

Also, just a couple of things to remember if you are seeing the astroturf spam about “Republican Dealers being picked on” that’s been making the rounds the past two weeks:

  1. Correlation is not cause
  2. 88 percent of Car Dealers are Republican donors anyway, a strong correlation was bound to be there, if they didn’t find a strong majority of Republicans in the data, something would be wrong. The difference between 92 percent and 88 percent is statistically insignificant with the small sample size of closing dealers.

Drowning the Taxpayer in Debt: Priceless

Drowning the Taxpayer in Debt: Priceless

There are some things your tax dollars shouldn’t buy…

Pork Bubbles: Graphic Representation of the Stimulus Bill

Pork Bubbles

Now that the porkathon in Congress is over and the Stimulus bill certain to pass, it’s time to look at what your congresscritters hath wrought. There’s a great graphic representation of it over at the Washington post that breaks it down into proportionally representative bubbles. A quick glance will show you that Health and Human Services gets a lion’s share, while military spending is a small bubble, and from the labeling it looks like “lights on” maintenance, and nothing new for the military. Please stop by to take a look.

Meanwhile, Washington Times points out how recipients of previous bailout dollars keep donating to politicians with your tax dollars. Isn’t there something morally wrong with that, if not legally?

A Washington Times analysis found that executives and employee-funded political action committees of banking companies that received bailout money have donated more than $2 million to members of Congress and other politicians since lawmakers approved the federal rescue of America’s financial system in October.

Over the next few years most conservative bloggers are going to be obsessed with Obama – you aren’t going to see me focuing there too much. Instead I think it better to keep the heat and light on Congress, because that’s where the next generation’s problems will arise from.

Automakers Get 17.4 Billion of Our Money

I’m a confirmed, committed capitalist but the 17.4 billion dollar bailout of Detroit is not capitalism at all — it’s corporate socialism, or you could call it Union Welfare as well. This is sickening beyond belief so I will reprint the new Chrysler/GM/Ford ad, h/t Virginia Postrel:

bigthree

Update: the Term sheet for GM bailout. (.PDF link)

Update: Ford is not getting bailed out, hat’s off to them, and perhaps my next car purchase will be a Ford, although that’s sacrilege in this family.

Washington Changed Dennis Moore

Nick Jordan points out Dennis Moore’s culpability in the current fiscal crisis, and for the bailout package:

The Democrats are Burning Down the House and Wallstreet

We must fix or rollback the securitization provisions of the Community Reinvestment Act or we will simply be back here in ten or fifteen years wailing about another near Trillion dollar bailout. This must stop, neither housing nor credit is a right, and neither banks nor Government Sponsored Agencies like Fannie and Freddie should be required by congress to carry ridicoulously large percentages of SUBPRIME loans. They are called subprime for a reason.

Any candidate for any office who does not make reform of draconian CRA requirements on Fannie and Freddie and banking in general part of their platform should be receiving letters now, and I am including McCain in that.

What Just Happened???

What really did happen? Who enabled Countrywide to loan money on houses over the heads of many? Who created the atmosphere in which banks were often picketed if they turned down loans? Who made their campaign cry the last decade and a half “Redlining! Predatory Lending!”. If you don’t get the predatory lending part it’s pretty simple … people with bad credit used to have to pay higher interest rates and fees on their loans. To the Dems, that was redlining and predatory. Here’s the tape:

More on Barney Frank’s ties to Fannie at Fox  News

Bailout Plan General Agreement Reached: Plan Being Written Now

The new plan puts caps on exective pay and golden parachutes, it also allows foreclosures to proceed (and this is a must – some people have walked away from their homes,) and it stops money from going to Acorn and other Democrat activist groups that led us to this crisis. So on the surface it looks good.

Over the next thirty years many of these mortgages will be paid off, producing potential profit, and those that aren’t are still backed by houses and property in the US, still one of the best countries in the world to live in. The bill will be posted for 24 hours before the vote, and you can bet that bloggers will be going over it with a fine tooth comb. I intend to read it, but won’t plan on commenting unless there is something egregiously wrong with it (beyond just the fact that we have to do this.)

Right now on paper these bundles of mortgages appear to have little value, but over time they will regain their worth. The similar period we saw in Japan took about ten years, if we build the energy sources we need and build our economy it could happen quicker than that here.
Much more on the deal at Washington Post:

  • The money would be dispersed in segments, with Paulson receiving $250 billion immediately, $100 billion upon White House certification of its necessity and the final $350 billion only after Congress has been given 15 days to object.
  • Firms participating in the bailout would be required to grant the government warrants to obtain nonvoting shares of stock, so taxpayers can benefit if the companies return to profitability.
  • Firms taking advantage of the bailout would be required to limit compensation for senior executives, with especially severe limits on “golden parachutes” at failing firms. The compensation limits will be enacted primarily, but not solely, through the tax code by reducing tax deductions for firms that pay executives more than $400,000 a year.

I like it that they are metering the money with checkpoints, I like it that there are these and other limits. What I don’t like is that there will be fees on the financial services industry as part of the agreement if they don’t turn this around in five years. Without seeing the details of how this all knits together, it’s really impossible to comment more on the plan. I await the posting of it.

Update: Also now note that President Clinton also pins this blowup directly on House and Senate Democrats.
Update: More at Big Lizards
UPDATE: The bill is posted, and it looks better than previously stated. The House Republicans have a fact page up on it. I got tied up at work today and have not yet had time to read it, but I will on the morrow. If anything pokes me in the eye I will be writing about it. Otherwise, for now I support this move.
Here’s Boehner thanking McCain for his assistance on the bill.

John McCain on the AIG Bailout

ARLINGTON, VA — Today, U.S. Senator John McCain issued the following statement on the situation in the financial markets and AIG:

“Today, the government was forced to commit $85 billion to stop the collapse of AIG, another in a growing series of events that includes Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These actions stem from failed regulation, reckless management, and a casino culture on Wall Street that has crippled one of the most important companies in America. The focus of any such action should be to protect the millions of Americans who hold insurance policies, retirement plans and other accounts with AIG. We must not bailout the management and speculators who created this mess. They had months of warnings following the Bear Stearns debacle, and they failed to act.

“We should never again allow the United States to be in this position. We need strong and effective regulation, a return to job-creating growth and a restoration of ethics and the social contract between businesses and America. Important questions remain to be answered by Wall Street. Did executives mislead investors and regulators about the severity of the problem? We must investigate whether or not there was misrepresentation on part of the company executives. If there was, there must be penalties. We need to change the way Washington and Wall Street does business, and as President I will.”