Category Archives: bailout
It looks like GM might avoid liability for some lawsuits over it’s ignition switches. The bankruptcy judge ruled the company can’t be sued for anything that happened before the government bailout.
What good is quantitative easing if Ben Bernanke can’t get a loan? The former Fed chairman confided last week that he was unable to refinance his $850,000 home mortgage. It’s true he’s out of a job but ex-government swells are never out of the money. Bernanke is still making the stuff from thin air (or hot air) by cranking out speeches at more than $200,000 a pop.
Helicopter Ben Bernanke
IBD notes that even Barney Frank now lays some blame on the government for the 2008 banking crisis. It forced banks to lend to risky home buyers and now Dodd Frank is overcorrecting by putting the clamps on the banking industry. Banks have been forced to close branches to pay penalties. They’re sitting on piles of free money but they’re reluctant to lend, even to Helicopter Ben.
In that same speech he also discussed how the government can always avoid deflation by printing more dollars and referred to a statement made by Milton Friedman, a Nobel Prize winning economist, about using a helicopter drop of money to fight deflation. Since then, Bernanke has had the nickname of “Helicopter Ben.”
The Chevy Cobalt is being recalled because the ignition shuts off while the vehicle is running! None of the solutions to fix it represented an “acceptable business case“, according to General Motors. Thirteen people have died so far. GM warns this can be caused by too heavy a key ring.
So, as your life passes before your eyes while barreling downhill at 80mph without power, or airbags, please keep in mind… your key ring is too damn heavy.
Acceptable Business Case
On the other hand you could have kept your key ring and GM could have fixed the problem with a 57 cent part.
At least they’re not blowing your bail out money.
The farm bill includes insurance against “adverse price movements”. Isn’t that what the credit default swaps were supposed to do for subprime loans before the great recession?
Bipartisanship on Farm Bill
It’s all too much for the editors of National Review who note that:
Many crop prices are near all-time highs, and if they drop as expected, new loss-protection programs could — likely will — cost billions more than the CBO calculates.
In an even rarer case of bipartisanship the Washington Post editorial board agrees:
Supposedly necessary to secure the nation’s food supply at a time of record farm income and epidemic obesity, this federal largess flows almost regardless of how much money its recipients already have.
The Post then calls on President Obama to use his pen to veto the bill.
More Bipartisan Farm Bill Update:
Bloomberg reports the Senate threw out a requirement that members of Congress would have to publicly report if they receive federally subsidized crop insurance.
Janet Yellen’s Senate hearing for approval to succeed Ben Bernanke began yesterday.
Backdoor Wall Street Bailout
Andrew Huszar, a former bond buyer for the Fed, wrote an interesting apology in the WSJ this week for his role in “quantitative easing”.
He says that the Fed never bought a mortgage bond in its 100 year history until he was hired in 2009 to buy $1.25 trillion of the things! In a single year. According to Huszar Bernanke spun the scheme as a plan to help Main Street but it was really “the biggest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time”.
Chairman Ben Bernanke made clear that the Fed’s central motivation was to “affect credit conditions for households and businesses”: to drive down the cost of credit so that more Americans hurting from the tanking economy could use it to weather the downturn.
QE may have been driving down the wholesale cost for banks to make loans, but Wall Street was pocketing most of the extra cash.