Seems there are bailouts and there are bailouts.
First, the bailout.
The big one.
The Wall Street bailout.
What is the total cost of THE bailout for the hedge funds, investment "banks" and banks?
That is 3.92 times 1,000,000,000,000.
That is almost four million times million.
And for what?
The rationale for this orgy of money printing was to save the economy, because (supposedly) without banks lending money our economy grinds to a halt.
That was the original reason for the big bailout.
Think on that for a few seconds.
That 3.92 times million times million is so banks can lend YOU, the Joe Schmoe American, your own money back - with interest payable to the bank when you repay the loan, of course.
What is the word we are looking for here - could it be parasite?
How big is this number?
Lets go to boingboing.net:
In doing the research for the "Bailout Nation" book, I needed a way to put the dollar amounts into proper historical perspective.
If we add in the Citi bailout, the total cost now exceeds $4.6165 trillion dollars.
People have a hard time conceptualizing very large numbers, so let’s give this some context. The current Credit Crisis bailout is now the largest outlay In American history.
Crunching the inflation adjusted numbers, we find the bailout has cost more than all of these big budget government expenditures – combined:
• Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
• S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
• Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
• The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
• NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion
TOTAL: $3.92 trillion
Let me hammer the point home here - because that is my style, after all.
The bailout costs more than the combined Marshall Plan (rebuilding Europe after World War II), the Louisiana Purchase, the S&L Crisis (this is when a previous bush stole American money - hey, if somebody is an idiot, or an American, and refuses to learn from history, it will repeat itself - you betcha!), Korean War, The New Deal, Invasion of Iraq, Vietnam War and NASA.
Of course, to save Wall Street thieves and conmen, both parties cooperated to quickly pass the "give my money to banks bill". Obama made personal calls to hesitant democratic congresscritters, and republican elders did same.
This had to be passed, the money given to the conmen because oh my gawd, the economy would die and we would all go live in a Mad Max world.
Funny enough, if you followed the news, you read (probably with your mouth gaping open, with your jaw on the floor) that the idiot in charge of the bailout has said that he picked the original number of 700 billion out of his ass, because, am paraphrasing "we were looking for a big enough number to inspire confidence in the market".
Don't believe me?
In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.
"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."
The amount of money given to the bank is scientifically based on pulling a number out of Bernanke's ass.
But our fantastic government (both parties - this should bring you closer to realizing that both parties are paid by the same lobby groups, and do the bidding of their masters - both corporate and extra-national - diligently and without fail) in a rare bout of cooperation passed this ASAP.
No partisan rhetoric here, no democrat vs. republican - both parties elders' worked overtime, calling their lesser congress people to goddamn pass this bill - or else!
Isn't it great that finally, we have achieved a government in which both parties cooperate so well and work efficiently and diligently?
No ugly partisanship here!
It's almost as if both parties had one paymaster (or several lobbies) who told them how to vote, regardless of the wishes of their American constituents... hmmmm?
The elders of the Yoo Ess of Ey omitted one teeny tiny detail in all of this though - there was no oversight put into any of this.
So, in effect, the billions, the million times million times 1, 2 or 3.92 (who really knows at this point?), was just handed over to Wall Street CEO's and the banks.
With no accountability, with no oversight, with nothing to stop the banks doing with this money (OUR money, MY money) to do as they please.
Which is what they did - or, rather, didn't do.
You see, the banks decided to keep the money and not lend it out.
More - the bigger banks, which were 'too big to fail', used this money to buy smaller banks, which were NOT given this bailout money. They bought them to make themselves bigger, to have an even better lobby (a lobby is basically an organization which gives Congress people money so that the said Congress people vote and make laws to benefit the lobby's paymasters - in effect, legalized corruption), they bought them because that is what capitalism in its pure form is all about.
Eliminating your competition.
When you get this big, you effectively achieve the dream of a capitalist - a monopoly.
Meaning you rule the roost, there is no one competing with you.
And all this happened with nary a peep from the media.
Oh, we the citizens were angry.
We blogged, we posted comments, heck, some of us even protested.
This was noticed, and so the media propaganda machine had to take action to assuage the unwashed masses.
Congress had to be shown that yes, they do work for our, Joe Schmoe and his wife and kids, benefit.
Fortunately, a good target was found for the media and politicians circus to open its session and to stupify the horde of ignorant Americans - the automakers, GM, Ford and Chrysler, seeing that the Wall Street parasites were just given money, also asked for some money.
Not much, mind you.
Only $34 billion.
Remember this point - perhaps I need to hammer this point home otherwise it might get lost in my wordiness.
The automakers asked for $34 billion in loans.
While the parasites were given this money, the automakers want to pay it back.
And why do the automakers need this money?
Simply, to keep in existance.
According to autoblog.com, the automakers employ 378,250 workers.
That is 378,250 American workers.
Whose health insurance the automakers also pay.
So the media propaganda machine very swiftly, glibly deflected the American criticism of the Wall Street parasites theft of our money (which they are NOT loaning out back to us and businesses anyway, even at interest, but using this money for buying competitors and the rest for hoarding) and put the American anger into the automakers bailout.
Stories appeared that the American automakers are inefficient, that the cars are bad, that the unions are the spawn of the devil, that the workers get paid $70 on average.
I do not know about the previous points (maybe unions are satanic in this country - I wouldn't know), but the last point is false.
No auto maker is paid 70 bucks an hour (except of course the ruling class, the CEO's and their ilk - CFO's, and company directors and board members - who get paid a LOT more per hour).
The automakers pay health insurance of their employees, something which no other country's business does, because in every other country the health care is the responsibility of the government.
Let me hammer this point home because it might get lost in my wordiness.
In every other country, healthcare is the responsibility of the government - only in the United States of America is a business responsible for its employees health needs.
You can perhaps see how that makes foreign manufacturers have a BIG advantage over our, American businesses?
Because while paying an auto maker $20 or $40 per hour, adding the health benefits to the complete package really does make it $50, $60 or $70 or more per hour to an employee.
But of course, that is a non issue, an Orwellian unmentionable (the health insurance lobby is extremely strong in congress).
The US automakers are inefficient and the unions - spawn of demons!
So remember - this money, this (rather small, compared to the Wall Street bailout - more on this in a paragraph or two) sum of money is to be used to keep 378,250 workers employed, working, making American cars. Each of those workers has a family they support - think wife, and one of more kids.
Not saving these American businesses is equivalent of putting these people on the street.
But first, of course, they would have to be paid unemployment before they start living with their (still poor, but almost able to afford a house) relatives.
And health benefits for unemployed.
And the economy would topple, REALLY plunging us into a depression.
This would be a world wide calamity.
And I dare say, the big three automakers failing would cost us much, MUCH more than the $34 billion.
And lets crunch the numbers here.
Lets compare the bailouts.
3,092,000,000,000 vs. 34,000,000,000.
Do you know how much bigger the Wall Street parasite theft is as opposed to the automakers loan?
90 times bigger.
Let me hammer this point home because, when we are hearing of billions, trillions, millions, we (at least I) get confused, our mouths open, we start drooling and really, we do not comprehend exactly how much money we are talking about.
The Wall Street parasite theft with no oversight is 90 times bigger than the automakers loan.
Do you see how this game was played?
How we are no longer talking about the Wall Street trillions but instead are arguing about a much smaller, piddly number (relatively speaking) of a few billion?
And we Americans can be counted on to be guided, steered and led by the big media propaganda machine.
Because we are envious.
After the $70 per hour stories appeared, as expected, the Americans bit hook, line and sinker.
Whyyyy, I am only making (insert your per hour number here), and these union scum are making this much? Unions are lazy, fuck them, they deserve to fail.
Whyyy, the automakers are inefficient - they made SUV's and did not make economy cars (which DO NOT SELL in America, by the way - SUV's SELL). Fuck them!
Whyyy, if they fail, other companies will just create themselves and replace them
Yes, this is how libertarian idiots really think, that due to the magic hand of the "free" market, in a few days or perhaps months new, smaller, leaner automakers will be created out of thin air and employ those 378,250 Americans - and of course, pay their health insurance. And their retirement. While successfully competing with foreign auto makers who DO NOT pay health insurance and DO NOT pay their retirees anything (government does that using tax monies). And also purchasing machines to manufacture these much better cars (remember - banks are NOT lending money, and these machines cost billions), and I guess whose engineering design will take a few days. Yup, new, better, leaner auto makers will just magically appear due to the maaaagical hand of the free market.
Libertarians are so deluded and have such a staggering amount of idiocy in their so called movement I do not know whether to be contemptuous of them (I am), or to pity them (I am - a bit), or to laugh at them, or to wonder how such idiots can live and survive in our modern world (if I hear one more mewling about going back to the gold standard I will die... of laughter).
Envy, spitefulness (egged on by the very, very skillful media propaganda) and libertarian idiocy.
Welcome to the Yoo Ess of Ey.
American manufacturing, that almost dead, dying, on the floor coughing blood part of this once proud nation, is to be dealt the final blow from which it may never recover.
We are now roughly a 2/3 service economy - meaning it is a bullshit economy, as nothing is produced, and the economy is based on printing money and handing it to us, Americans, and then a barber going to a restaurant, a waitress going to the barber, and both shopping for cheap, poisoned products made in China in a Walmart store, whose Walmart employee cannot go to either a barber nor a restaurant - they are not paid enough money.
And that is our service economy in a nutshell.
And the death of that last big bastion of American manufacturing will go for the trifecta - the almost 3/3 service economy.
But that is a point I will explore in my next post - where I will try to explain what is the real story of the housing and the oil bubbles.
I think I made an error.
The Wall Street "bailout" is 115 times greater than the automakers' loan. Sigh.