Attention Right-wingers: Sorry About AIG

News item: The Treasury Department said on Tuesday that it had sold its remaining stake in the American International Group, earning about $7.6 billion from the sale. With the latest sale, taxpayers have gained about $22.7 billion from a bailout that many predicted would prompt a staggering loss. In an effort to stabilize the global banking system, the government rescued A.I.G. just days after the failure of Lehman Brothers.

…just saying

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22 thoughts on “Attention Right-wingers: Sorry About AIG

  1. In 2008 I voted for McCain* because I didn’t think Obama had enough experience. He sure handled that crisis a hell of a lot better than someone else might have.

    * It never dawned on me that McCain would choose a nut for the Vice President slot.

    1. Thank you for your confession, my son. For your penance write 100x: “I must use my brain before making political decisions!”

    2. That’s a good point NON. The good news is what Muddy posted. America will gain over 22 Billion in this bail out. That’s a great return. The bad news is that if the Treasury sold it’s stake in GM today. It would stand to lose more than 24 billion. Tax payers would still be out 2 Billion. But I love it when the bottles half full.

      BTW NON, if memory serves. You are well acquainted with taxation. A quick question. Does the Treasury have to pay 15% gains tax on that 22.7 Billion? LOLOLOLOLOL

      1. Government agencies, like most “churches” are exempt from taxes on passive income.

  2. That statement may hold true Mud. But industry and Government officials will be meeting on Thursday.Many officials are expecting AIG to be designated as an SIFI. If AIG is so designated, it would be historic, marking the first time that an insurance company would be federally regulated. I believe this is what Conservatives feared the most.
    What is your opinion on Federally regulated Insurance companies.

    1. J.O.B., I think I’ll take that question too. Back in the middle 80’s, then President Reagan implemented widespread deregulation as part of his “free enterpriser trickle down” economy plan.

      Remember that strong union called the Teamsters? Well, Reagan first deregulated the trucking industry. In case you missed it, that resulted in chaos. It did become cheaper to ship by truck, but at the expense of the more economical train system. It also brought into the mix a bevy of inexperienced truck drivers. Many (most?) professional drivers (aka Teamsters) left the industry and America’s goods are now being moved by mostly “independent contractor” (aka nonunion) drivers. Translated, that means guys making a lot less pay with a lot less benefits and a whole lotta less training.

      Then Reagan turned his attention to the banking industry. Remember when we used to have Savings & Loan institutions? Remember when banks only operated within the boundaries of the states where they were located? The mortgage banking industry I worked in no longer exists. Banks started to buy up their competitors and expand nationally. These larger banks started to underwrite insurance. They also got into the stock market. And wallah! You have the financial industry mess of today with banks (different meaning today) too big to fail, that taxpayers have to bail out over and over again.

      Bottom line, most of the big money is controlled by a very small group of people. And because of their power, they get to make the rules that affect us. Have you noticed the widening chasm between the haves and the have nots?

      1. NON, you sly dog. Of course I know the Teamsters, but keep in mind I was only 4 when Reagan took office. My Father and a bunch of other Teamsters were not happy with Carter. He always told me Carter was responsible for the trucking deregulation. So which one was it?

        So what are you saying in regards to regulating the insurance industry? You agree with it? We need it?

        1. Glad you asked about deregulation of the trucking industry. It was Carter who actually signed the initial bill in July of 1980. However it was excessive anti-deregulation after that which really screwed things up. When I research things on the web, I try to look at both sides of an issue. Wow, is there a lot of disagreement on who is to blame. And to my own amazement, it seems to run right along party lines. With the recent action on Michigan, I had to really review how I felt about unions. I have had my own bad dealings with unions, including the Teamsters, but my final analysis is that unions are required to maintain the balance of power in the private sector. When unions get too big and powerful, they tend to go overboard, but when they are weak most business owners will really screw the workers.

          As far as regulating the insurance industry, it’s not the insurance industry anymore. The big banks, investment houses and insurance underwriters are basically all interconnected. And that is a really dangerous combination without some sort of control over them. Remember how bad the Citizens United case screwed up our last presidential election? Just imagine that mentality getting lose on us.

  3. JOB- re regulation of insurance industry, is it necessary? There ought to be a strong reason for regulations. Note that T. Roosevelt was a heavy regulator of U.S. business. He saw it as a societal need to protect the citizens.

    Do YOU think it needs to be regulated?

    1. Not sure how I feel about it Muddy. I think the biggest difference between today’s politicians and the politicians of Roosevelt’s era is that today, they have shown a willingness to screw the American citizen. So do I think the industry needs to be regulated? Possibly, but not by any committee I’ve seen in Washington.

  4. JOB, I find it interesting that you try to put the differences between the politicians of Teddy Roosevelt time and today onto a fictionalized mythological pedestal and the canonize them as “more pro gosh darn just plain old American people and principles”. You know this was not the case. This was the out of control rapacious atmosphere that created the oppressive conditions of the emergent modern industrial American reality that made the Unions necessary! The operating system our original constitution had to deal with 100 years earlier had radically changed in a very short time. Basic human nature dictates that any system will be hacked and corrupted. Regulations and modifications are like upgrading your computer operating system. The financial industry, if left unchecked? You are blowing a lot of wind here, but you are making me laugh, because I know you can’t be as naive as your dogmatic rhetoric makes you appear…

    1. “You are blowing a lot of wind here, but you are making me laugh, because I know you can’t be as naive as your dogmatic rhetoric makes you appear…”

      You know I love ya Buddy, but in my opinion you are wrong and the one being naive. If memory serves, Roosevelt was the first “Progressive” president. Are you trying to tell me there was no difference between him and, President Obama. I deeply disagree with you. In that era, we saw the first “Big Money Donor” type President in McKinley. Bought and paid for by the Carnegys, Morgans, and Rockefellers of the world. When he was assassinated Teddy came into office. What happened when these industrialists tried buying Roosevelt at his election? He said no. Roosevelt was truly for the working man.
      How much money do you think Obama’s campaign accepted from banks this last election? Now, you want him to appoint people to regulate that industry? You’re kind of making me laugh with that one.
      So, when it comes to the politicians of the Industrial era, maybe you’re right. Especially if you want to compare McKinley with someone like Romney. But the problem I see with the Democratic party of today? There is a world of difference between Roosevelt and someone like Obama.

      In closing, after some thought. I would say that Insurance and financial industries do need to be regulated. However, no elected official should have anything to do with appointing anyone to regulate it. So, there is the problem my friend. Or, maybe if we elected law makers that would pass laws that would not allow these institutions to become the conglomerates they have become. We wouldn’t need to talk about regulation.

      1. I would say that Insurance and financial industries do need to be regulated. However, no elected official should have anything to do with appointing anyone to regulate it.

        Did you assume that I expected an ‘elected official’ to be in charge of the regulation? Which of the U.S. regulatory commissions consists of ELECTED OFFICIALS?

        1. “Did you assume that I expected an ‘elected official’ to be in charge of the regulation?”……….Of course not.
          “Which of the U.S. regulatory commissions consists of ELECTED OFFICIALS?”…………None.

          But that’s not what I said was it? I said,”no elected official should have anything to do with APPOINTING anyone to regulate it.”
          Of course we do not elect the members of regulatory committees. But our elected Presidents appoints them. So what would prevent these regulators from doing the President’s bidding? Considering how much in donations our President received from the banking and insurance conglomerates this past election What would prevent POTUS from doing there bidding?
          It may seem a little too much like a conspiracy theory. But I still think these questions hold some validity.

  5. I’m not dissing Roosevelt and his progressivism in the context of the age he was in…in fact, Teddy was an incredibly progressive thinker and as a human? Your comments only seem to put my thoughts in focus…he saw the need to insure the rights of workers and the need to regulate the natural rapacious greed of unfettered medieval capitalism that was unleashed u=in the modern industrial era….read Dickens if you want to see how nasty it could be… Well, I’m in absolute awe of Roosevelt on so many levels..I read his masterful book on the importance of the Naval dominance…just for his lifetime willful self struggle against his own infirmities, I am in absolute awe…I suffer from a life time struggle that involves denying and overcoming the same problems he had. He has always been an inspiration to me…that was not my point and I’m glad you agree with me. And when you say that perhaps we need to pass laws to deal with these problems, you seem to agree with also. I told you earlier, that though we may be taking different roads, we seem to looking at the same horizon. I’ll walk with you if you walk with me. Actually, I need someone to inspire me to keep doing my ab crunches everyday in the midst of winter! My socialist doctor just wrote me a prescription for a free membership in the big pool and gym complex up in St. Yriex-la-Perche! It’s hard to keep bike riding in the rain and snow…

    1. The irony of it all, Microdot is that T. Roosevelt was a REPUBLICAN. Today the statement, “Teddy was an incredibly progressive thinker and as a human,” does not at all meld with today’s version of the REPUBLICAN Party. In deference to Roosevelt and Lincoln [and Eisenhower] today’s GOP ought to be renamed so that one does not connect those men with the loons currently holding the party hostage.

      1. “The irony of it all, Microdot is that T. Roosevelt was a REPUBLICAN.”

        Very true Muddy, but George Wallace was a Democrat. Renaming parties would be a cop out. We should work towards purging ourselves of lunacy. Not running from it, or renaming it. That of course is just my opinion, but I think EOK would agree.

        1. JOB- one man does not determine a party’s identification [Wallace] whereas 250 House Republicans and 47 Senators do set a trend.

  6. I’d walk with you any day Dottie. As for your abs, there is an exercise that I think would benefit your abs and hamstrings. Over all great lift for your biking. Stiff-legged dead lifts. Google the lift, I’m sure there’s a video showing the proper technique. I could explain, but it would take to long.
    My understanding is that IOC strength trainers have just started realizing the benefits to the abs that this lift has. Until recently, it was looked at as a hamstring and lower back exercise.
    Finally, what Dickens book would you recommend?

  7. Dickens was writing at the dawn of “the industrial revolution” in England, so even his classic, Oliver Twist graphically portrays the exploitation and environmental destruction, urban pollution that was being wrought on Britain at this time because the newly emerging capitalist aristrocracy was not bound by any law, moral or legal in their exploitative greed. He depicts the oppressive urban blight of London and the abject misery of the underclass very graphically. I’d say that he had a lot to do with the awakening of society to the emergency they were facing ecologically and socially from these trends, plus he was at the forefront of the modern novel, he wrote episodically, the work was serialized to be popular literature in magazines. He was an reporter so to speak. There are a number of essays by Dickens on his trips to the USA. His reportage on his visit to the 5 Points neighborhood of Manhattan is pretty interesting. Did you see the Scorcese film, Gangs Of New York? That was written about by Dickens in the 1850’s.
    Interestingly enough, there is a great book called Gangs of New York by an American author, Herbert Asbury which was published in 1928.I bought the book used in 1981 and it is still on my bookshelf! The Asbury book provides the historical material that Scorcese used to make his movie…Still one of my favorite books!
    But if you want a good read about exploitation of workers by a truly brilliant writer, Try Germinal by Zola…I’ve read it in both French and English. Zola was a truly modern writer. He depicted reality as a photographer…in fact he was a pretty accomplished photographer in his own right back in the 1880’s. His novel, La ventre de Paris, (English: The Belly Of Paris) is another adventure into the underworld of the exploited working class, but seen from the perspective of the markets and his descriptions of food, the sensual visual and almost olfactory quality of his writing make his work unique. You are there, you can imagine the smells, the look of the place…Zola was a genius.
    This, is the birth of modern democratic socialism. This is the birth of the ideal society, where we all contribute to our own enobelment by participating in raising those lower than us…I’m not claiming that this is a magic solution, but this is how we begin to create a better society a better world. We make a better world for ourselves by making a better world for every one in our society. You are never alone! If you exist anywhere at anytime, then you are a part of the reality you exist in and you can either be a positive of negative force.
    I choose something that I consider greater than the closed blinder focus of libertarianism. I adore the writer George Sands…another French writer, before Zola, she didn’t write much political literature, but it was more about her life and the people she encouraged…she was a bridge, literally from the age of aristocracy to modernity.
    So, I googled dead lifts and ab training….now I think I have the physical means to do this a few times a week in a comfortable environment…much better than my icy cold hay loft. I am absolutly convinced that the stomach stuff I have been concentrating on in the last 2 years has changed my life. I look too damn good for a 63 year old dude and my wife is getting worried….. Thank you for the link….

    1. I’ve heard of Germinal. I think that will be my pick. As for the Dickens classics, I guess I need to reread those eventually. I was so young when I read them, that I didn’t pick up on any true meaning. But considering you didn’t steer me wrong with your last suggestion (Honeybee Democracy), I’ll go with Germinal first.
      One thing I need to advise you on. Patriocracy. It is a documentary I recently watched on Net Flix. Try to find it, and check it out. I think you’ll like it
      Dead lifts are good, but check out the Stiff-Legged version as well. I think those will add to your bicycling abilities a little better. ;-)

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