ITWASSOOTED: Why is there no interest in where that trillion dollars went?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Why is there no interest in where that trillion dollars went?

Breaking the Bailout

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post

This week the bailout went from outrageous to stupefying. As in, “half the value of everything produced in the nation last year”. If it was not already obvious that the show Congress put on for us last week was a complete charade, the illusion did not survive the weekend. Aside from the dollar totals there are almost no details, but keep in mind deregulation by Washington gave Wall Street free rein to indulge its worst instincts. The major players have every reason to minimize how bad the situation really is, so don’t use the $20 billion actually spent - use the amount guaranteed. Further, that likely represents the largest number Citigroup executives were willing to own up to after they decided to offer taxpayers this once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity. In other words, it’s a floor and not a ceiling. Keep in mind too that the giveaway is coming from an administration that casually lies about the cost of its initiatives in order to make them more politically palatable (most famously recall the threat to fire Medicare’s chief actuary when he prepared to go public with a higher estimate - as it turned out still less than half the real total - than the White House considered convenient). So let’s just double it and call it a nice round $600 billion that we will be on the hook for.

Pruning Shears
Pruning back the power of the executive branch
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