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Dude, Where's My $700 Billion?

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has given out almost all of the first $350 billion of the $700 billion bailout fund, and the economy continued to slide down - so where did all those money go? Mike Madden of Salon.com finds out:

The infusion of money may have kept credit from tightening up further, but it certainly didn't jump-start the economy -- banks didn't resume lending to businesses and consumers. Stock prices never really recovered from their early autumn plunges, and more than half a million jobs vanished just last month. With the benefit of hindsight, lawmakers now express regret about the way the bailout was handled -- with few provisions for oversight of the banks or the Bush administration -- and the public hates it more than ever. The feeling that money and political capital were squandered even helped endanger the far cheaper and more popular bailout of the auto industry. So what went wrong -- and where did all that money go?

A lot of it is, apparently, just sitting in the bank. A Government Accounting Office audit released earlier this month showed the Treasury Department doling out buckets of cash: $15 billion for Bank of America, $45 billion for Citigroup, $3.5 billion to Capital One, nearly $6.6 billion to U.S. Bancorp. The feds were essentially taking out the trash -- buying shares in various banks that had gotten themselves into trouble by issuing crappy mortgages using complicated formulas, assuming the cost of many of the mortgage-backed securities that were weighing down the balance sheets of every financial institution in the country. The feds were pumping money into these banks so they would feel free to make more loans -- better, simpler, sounder loans. The epidemic of exploding mortgages and failing institutions would ease. But the banks did not start making new loans. They seemed to sit on their federal windfalls.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/12/17/700_billion/index.html?source=rss

This is the point where I would be remiss if I didn't point out our own T-Shirt on this subject: The $700 Billion T-Shirt


yeah.... great idea: give 700 billion dollars to white collar criminals, swindlers and high rolling con-artists. against the wishes of 90% of the public...
step 2: Expect it to not go disappear into their pockets and stay there forever.

Alchemists have better success transmuting lead into gold.
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The bailout has actually totaled about $8.5 Trillion (and counting) so far. Do some of your own research and find out for yourself. I guess Fox and CNN must still be saying $700 Billion.
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bet it would quickly collapse the dollar if all the pretend computer money was made physical/ put into use. I want to throw my shoes at these people.
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Given that one of the big problems is that banks were overleveraged, they probabably are still holding up money until their leverage situation improves. Adding cash does improve their leverage, but I'm think it's still got a ways to go.

And don't read Atlas Shrugs. The idea of the heroic CEO is silly. CEOs - especially of very large companies - are generally a bunch of highly competitive sociopaths who would sell their mothers for an advantage. They are generally actually selected for those characteristics.
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It would have been better for everyone if they government had given the money to the citizens to pay some of their credit/loan debt. The money would have ended up in the same places, but the citizens would have at least gained some benefit from it.
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Meanwhile, half a million jobs cut last month, credit card interests climb and grocery costs are astronomically high. USA, Land of Fuck the Poors.
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Failout: Ha-ha!!!! All this depressing crap (not the comments by everyone, just the bad news) and then I read the line about wanting to throw shoes at someone! Ha-ha!!!!! Thanks for the laugh, my friend.
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$15 billion for Bank of America? Those crooks raised our interest rate and the minimum payment due so we couldn't pay it, turning a $7,000 outstanding debt from business start-up costs (Which we were paying back at the rate of $1,000 a month already) into a $39,000 "debt" that cost us our credit cards, destroyed our credit ratings and crippled our business! BoA must die.
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The banks are out only for themselves. Whether you had a foreclosure, lost a job, got laid off, got your credit cut, or had your small business shut down, we're all in the same boat. Get those crooks.
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