Hundreds of Hands, Billions Of Dollars

Two months ago, the United States Congress passed, and the President signed, the “Great Bailout of 2008”. The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, was created to provide up to $700 billion of taxpayer money for use by the Treasury Secretary.

Administration of the TARP includes the purchase of mortgage backed securities as well as a program to purchase whole loan packages from regional banks to free up credit on the regional level. According to the Treasury Secretary, these programs will ensure homeownership preservation as well as increase the availability of credit to small businesses and individuals. The TARP also includes an equity purchase program and a program to establish insurance for troubled assets.

While lawmakers in Washington and members of the mainstream media want you to focus on the AIG bailout, the rescue of Bear Stearns, the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the latest bailout of Citigroup, I think you should take a look at the list of banks that have received funds or are in the process of doing so.

I find it quite ironic that some banks, which purchased other banks recently, are now on the list for a government handout. Would they have needed the handout if they hadn’t spent all their money purchasing banks that needed to fold in the first place?

The list below, which I found at the CNNMoney website, includes a list of the companies that plan to take part in the government’s TARP program. It’s a massive list of approximately 130 banks, and you’ll be shocked by some of the names on the list.

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Milking The Teet Of America

aigbailout.jpgOn September 16th, 2008, the United States government agreed to ‘bailout’ American International Group (AIG). The reason given to taxpayers for this decision was to “save financial markets and the economy from further turmoil”. Since that day in September, all we have seen are sluggish financial markets and economic turmoil. The American taxpayers have been left wondering if they really needed to bail out AIG in the first place.

AIG is the world’s largest insurer, and we were told that allowing the company to fail would have had a detrimental affect on financial markets. Over the past few months, the government has bailed out big companies like Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG, yet they allowed one of the largest investment banks, Lehman Brothers, to go belly up. How did they decide which companies were worth saving and which ones were not? We have no way of knowing how each decision was made, but it’s clear that the government was not interested in spending money on every business that needed help and we are to trust that they made those decisions in the name of financial market stability.

Less than a month later, the U.S. Congress passed the “Great Bailout of 2008”. That bailout, unlike the others, required congressional approval, but like all the others, was passed with the promise to restore confidence in the credit industry, stabilize the market, and save us from even greater financial ruin. Only this time it cost a heck of a lot more than all the others combined.

When Congress passed the Great Bailout the American people were re-assured there would be transparency so they would know how much of their money was being spent, and where that money was being spent. So far, that hasn’t happened.

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The Warning Signs Were There

Tell the truth now. Did you know there was trouble brewing in the housing market? Did you see the coming economic storm? We’re you shocked when not-so-smart people in our government started espousing the need to ‘bailout’ certain financial companies? Seriously?

The signs have been there for a couple of years. If you’re one to keep your head in the sand (like many politicians on the House Financial Services Committee) you might not have seen those signs, but for those of us who happen to have more than a pea for a brain, we saw the signs. We knew it was just a matter of time before lending institutions would begin to crumble, and now it has happened.

Financial institutions are crumbling and it’s all because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have imploded. Maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so bad if Fannie and Freddie were not required to purchase all of those bad loans in the first place. Then again, things could be much worse. The American people could lay blame on Congress, where it belongs, because they failed to take action that could have prevented this whole mess.
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Barney Frank’s Reality Issues

Something is wrong with Barney Frank. I’ve suspected for years now that he’s not all there. I don’t know if it has something to do with serving in the House as long as he has, or not, but he’s just not right.

As the discussion of a possible bailout started circulating Washington, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who just happens to be the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was “instrumental” in working to amend the plan so it had a chance of passing on the Hill.

The question is, why would the man who holds a large part of the responsibility for this mess in the first place be allowed to participate in the negotiations for fixing it? It doesn’t make sense. He spent years blocking all attempts to increase oversight at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He spent years working against the best interest of his constituents, his party, and his country.

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Do You Have Any Idea What Congress Is Doing?

Our Congress has let us down once again, and soon, so will our President.

Congress approved mortgage relief for 400,000 struggling homeowners Saturday as part of an election-year housing plan that also aims to calm jittery financial markets and bolster the sagging economy. President Bush said he would sign it promptly, despite reservations.

I don’t think you realize how much this “housing bill” is going to cost the American taxpayer. I don’t think you realize exactly what this bill will do. This bill will not help 400,000 struggling homeowners, I do know that.

This bill allows the FHA to spend $300 million to back new mortgages (where the homeowners showed they could actually afford a new loan anyway).

This bill allows Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to buy home loans as high as $625,000. It also allows them to buy mortgages at a rate 15% higher than the median home prices. This section alone will cost the taxpayers billions of dollars. Just watch.

This bill allocates $180 million in “pre-foreclosure counseling” for struggling homeowners.

This bill includes $3.9 billion to “fix up” neighborhoods.

This bill gives $15 billion in tax cuts to first time home buyers, and a tax-credit of $7,500 for people who purchased their homes after April 9th of this year. Funny, I thought it was the people who bought their homes before this year that had issues. Huh, silly me.

Oh yeah, and the powers that be in Congress increased the limit of our national debt by $800 billion to $10.6 trillion dollars. TRILLION.

Do you know how much a trillion is? 1,000,000,000,000. That’s a huge number.

If you go back 1 trillion seconds, you would be in the year 29701BC.

If you had a spaceship with enough fuel to travel 1 trillion miles, you could travel to the sun and back 10,752 times.

With the current population of the United States standing at just over 300 million people, if our national debt was $1 trillion, each citizen would owe more than $3,320.

Then again, we don’t have a national debt of one trillion dollars, right now, it’s almost $10 trillion and Congress just made it worse.

Break out the checkbooks people. You elected these morons, and now you’re paying for it.