Daily Archives: December 21, 2009

Send Senators a Howler!

Read my post from yesterday here. Read the “Cash for Cloture” deals here. Lawmakers used your money to bribe other lawmakers to enact legislation you don’t want. Look below for some of the items in this health insurance reform bill which will just usher the way for single payer (gubmint take over).This is just the junk that Harry Reid put in his 383 page “manager’s amendment” that NO ONE got a chance to READ. From Heritage here:

Here are a few highlights from the manager’s amendment:

  • More federal rules and regulation over health care benefits and services. A one-size-fits-all system is incapable of appreciating the unique needs or personal choices of individuals and families and re-enforces the concentration of power over benefit and services to faceless bureaucrats and Washington politicians.
  • Federally-approved multi-state health plans. While technically not a public option, this scheme will have the same results. By giving unprecedented power and authority to the Director of Office of Personal Management, these multi-state plans will simply administer the government plan.
  • Insufficient segregation of taxpayer funds from abortion. Despite the inclusion of the Nelson amendment, when the federal government’s role over the financing and delivery of health care grows, as it does under this bill, a requirement to segregate premiums that cover abortion services would be merely cosmetic in practice.
  • New adjustments to the federal Medicaid payments to the states with special treatment for some states. New federal funds for the states only shifts the costs from state taxpayers to federal taxpayers and the sweet-heart deals for certain states, like Nebraska, only exacerbates state disparities.
  • Repeal of the Physician Payment Updates. The House and Senate continue to try to hide the true cost of these bills through budget gimmicks, creating the illusion that costly provisions (like the physician payment changes) are not applicable. But, in reality, these cuts will get “fixed” through other must-pass bills as they have every time before.
  • Sundry of new programs. The amendment leaves nothing behind. For instance, the bill includes new programs, such as funding to support pregnant and parenting teens and women.
  • New Taxes. The underlying bill already includes over a dozen new taxes, many of which apply to Americans at all income levels. This amendment adds yet another tax — an excise tax on tanning beds!
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Too Big to Fail, The Sequel

by Pete the Banker
CNBC in it article “4 Big Mortgage Backers Swim In Ocean of Debt” (HERE) suggests that the following four firms have been deemed Too Big Too Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and GMAC.  They are all drowning in massive debt and operating at significant losses .   Isn’t it time for Senator Sanders, Secretary Geithner, and the Congressional Democrats to prove their concern over their claim that some firms are Too Big Too Fail and consequently are a threat to the economy?
A year after failure Fannie Mae’s (HERE) accumulated losses are expected to climb to over
Congress will have to increase maximum limit of capital that the Treasury is allowed to fund to the GSEs.  In order to do so, Congress and the Administration will have to accept an increase the capital infusion limit originally approved by Congress under the Conservatorship.  This is a dilemma for the Treasury and the Administration not only politically but also since in exchange for the first $200 Billion for Fannie and Freddie the Federal Government received perferred stock in both firms.  And the value of the remaining “equity” in these firms available to provide additional security for the Governments (taxpayers) additional funding is substantially less than the preferred stock value originally pledged under the agreement last year?$200 Billion by next year requiring it to draw additional funds as capital from the Federal Government over and above their original commitment under the Conservatorship agreement  
AIG similarly was provided some $180+ Billion in Federal Aid much of which will never be recovered (HERE).    Yet, the Federal Government will reduce the existing legal obligation of AIG from it’s current $40 Billion to less than $20 Billion when AIG sells its profitable Insurance Company subsidiaries to the Federal Government in excahnge for the debt reduction,  And yet operationally, AIG continues to leach red ink and once it sells its most profitable subsidiaries it will likely show even larger losses.
GMAC, now under minority ownership by GM (the majority owner is now Cerberus), similarly is drowning in debt and red ink.   The Government feels GMAC is crucial to the success of GM’s and Chrysler’s revival (perhaps subsidized interest rates), and as a result the Federal government has invested funds in excess of $12.5 Billion and is considering an additional $5.5 Billion by the end of the year.   
All of above firms are demonstratively failed enterprises, of substantial size and all  easily qualifying as candidates for Too Big Too Fail, as defined by Senator Sanders, Treasury Secretary Geithner and the Administration.  These are firms that need to be pared back or eliminated since they are of a substantial size (“Too Big Too Fail”) and have demonstrated an incompetent operational history. 
Isn’t it time for the Democrats and the Administration to live up to their rhetoric concerning mitigating those firms Too Big Too Fail by discontinuing their financial support of these four failed firms?  Isn’t it time for Democrats to lead by example and quit spending taxpayer funds to support large financial firms who where instrumental in the collaspse of the capital markers and who have demonstrated that they are incapable of operating successfully and independently?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bernanke, Should He Stay or Go?

By Pete the Banker

On Thursday, December 17, 2009, the Senate Banking Committee approved the nomination of Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman for a second term, forwarding it to the full Senate for a final confirming vote.  The vote was 16 to 7 to confirm.  Senator Merkley joined with 6 Republicans to vote in opposition.

The renomination of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke by President Obama in August was a surprise.  A recent Rasmussen poll (HERE) showed that only 21% of Americans think Bernanke should be reappointed.  A much larger percentage 39% weren’t sure if he should be renominated and 41% thought the President should name someone else. 

The WSJ laid out a strong case for his reappointment on August 25 (HERE).  They basically feel that his renomination is good news because he now possesses significant experience and he has been active, creative and aggressive in the past year in dealing with the financial crisis.  They also suggest that his continuity will prevent uncertainly in the capital and credit markets. 

Senator Jim Bunning eloquently lays out the case against Bernanke and concluded his Senate statement (HERE) by saying, ““I will do everything I can to stop your nomination and drag out the process as long as possible. We must put an end to your and the Fed’s failures, and there is no better time than now.”   In summary, Bunning feels that Bernanke was too intimately involved in the Alan Greenspan easy money policy which led to the housing crisis and subsequent failure of the capital and credit market. He faults Bernanke for his role in lax regulation and ignoring massive financial risks of derivatives.  He also criticized Bernanke for not displaying sufficient independence from the Treasury.  Bunning also stated at one point, “…the A.I.G. bailout alone is reason enough to send you back to Princeton.”  Bernanke’s apparent failure to forward answers to many of Senator Bunning’s confirmation hearing questions to Senators in time for the confirmation vote has further enraged Bunning.

Larry Kudlow of CNBC suggests that Bernanke has lost the confidence of the Senate and even those on the Committee voting in favor of Bernanke were unenthusiastic about their support and that regardless of final Senate vote that Ben Bernanke should consider stepping down.  He notes that a Federal Reserve Chair has never received fewer than 80 votes on a renomination vote on the Senate floor.  Kudlow states,

“So I think Bernanke’s reconfirmation could be in trouble on the Senate floor. I’m going to bet that most of the 40 Republicans will vote against him, and that they will be joined by a number of Democrats. If Bernanke were to be opposed by as many as 35 or 40 votes, it would substantially undermine his credibility….Unless he thinks he can garner a truly bipartisan vote in the weeks ahead, I wonder if he should consider withdrawing his name.”

 
Is it time for Bernanke to resign?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Send Senators a Howler!

Read my post from yesterday here. Read the “Cash for Cloture” deals here. Lawmakers used your money to bribe other lawmakers to enact legislation you don’t want. Look below for some of the items in this health insurance reform bill which will just usher the way for single payer (gubmint take over).This is just the junk that Harry Reid put in his 383 page “manager’s amendment” that NO ONE got a chance to READ. From Heritage here:

Here are a few highlights from the manager’s amendment:

  • More federal rules and regulation over health care benefits and services. A one-size-fits-all system is incapable of appreciating the unique needs or personal choices of individuals and families and re-enforces the concentration of power over benefit and services to faceless bureaucrats and Washington politicians.
  • Federally-approved multi-state health plans. While technically not a public option, this scheme will have the same results. By giving unprecedented power and authority to the Director of Office of Personal Management, these multi-state plans will simply administer the government plan.
  • Insufficient segregation of taxpayer funds from abortion. Despite the inclusion of the Nelson amendment, when the federal government’s role over the financing and delivery of health care grows, as it does under this bill, a requirement to segregate premiums that cover abortion services would be merely cosmetic in practice.
  • New adjustments to the federal Medicaid payments to the states with special treatment for some states. New federal funds for the states only shifts the costs from state taxpayers to federal taxpayers and the sweet-heart deals for certain states, like Nebraska, only exacerbates state disparities.
  • Repeal of the Physician Payment Updates. The House and Senate continue to try to hide the true cost of these bills through budget gimmicks, creating the illusion that costly provisions (like the physician payment changes) are not applicable. But, in reality, these cuts will get “fixed” through other must-pass bills as they have every time before.
  • Sundry of new programs. The amendment leaves nothing behind. For instance, the bill includes new programs, such as funding to support pregnant and parenting teens and women.
  • New Taxes. The underlying bill already includes over a dozen new taxes, many of which apply to Americans at all income levels. This amendment adds yet another tax — an excise tax on tanning beds!
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Bernanke, Should He Stay or Go?

By Pete the Banker

On Thursday, December 17, 2009, the Senate Banking Committee approved the nomination of Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman for a second term, forwarding it to the full Senate for a final confirming vote.  The vote was 16 to 7 to confirm.  Senator Merkley joined with 6 Republicans to vote in opposition.

The renomination of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke by President Obama in August was a surprise.  A recent Rasmussen poll (HERE) showed that only 21% of Americans think Bernanke should be reappointed.  A much larger percentage 39% weren’t sure if he should be renominated and 41% thought the President should name someone else. 

The WSJ laid out a strong case for his reappointment on August 25 (HERE).  They basically feel that his renomination is good news because he now possesses significant experience and he has been active, creative and aggressive in the past year in dealing with the financial crisis.  They also suggest that his continuity will prevent uncertainly in the capital and credit markets. 

Senator Jim Bunning eloquently lays out the case against Bernanke and concluded his Senate statement (HERE) by saying, ““I will do everything I can to stop your nomination and drag out the process as long as possible. We must put an end to your and the Fed’s failures, and there is no better time than now.”   In summary, Bunning feels that Bernanke was too intimately involved in the Alan Greenspan easy money policy which led to the housing crisis and subsequent failure of the capital and credit market. He faults Bernanke for his role in lax regulation and ignoring massive financial risks of derivatives.  He also criticized Bernanke for not displaying sufficient independence from the Treasury.  Bunning also stated at one point, “…the A.I.G. bailout alone is reason enough to send you back to Princeton.”  Bernanke’s apparent failure to forward answers to many of Senator Bunning’s confirmation hearing questions to Senators in time for the confirmation vote has further enraged Bunning.

Larry Kudlow of CNBC suggests that Bernanke has lost the confidence of the Senate and even those on the Committee voting in favor of Bernanke were unenthusiastic about their support and that regardless of final Senate vote that Ben Bernanke should consider stepping down.  He notes that a Federal Reserve Chair has never received fewer than 80 votes on a renomination vote on the Senate floor.  Kudlow states,

“So I think Bernanke’s reconfirmation could be in trouble on the Senate floor. I’m going to bet that most of the 40 Republicans will vote against him, and that they will be joined by a number of Democrats. If Bernanke were to be opposed by as many as 35 or 40 votes, it would substantially undermine his credibility….Unless he thinks he can garner a truly bipartisan vote in the weeks ahead, I wonder if he should consider withdrawing his name.”

 
Is it time for Bernanke to resign?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Too Big to Fail, The Sequel

by Pete the Banker
CNBC in it article “4 Big Mortgage Backers Swim In Ocean of Debt” (HERE) suggests that the following four firms have been deemed Too Big Too Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and GMAC.  They are all drowning in massive debt and operating at significant losses .   Isn’t it time for Senator Sanders, Secretary Geithner, and the Congressional Democrats to prove their concern over their claim that some firms are Too Big Too Fail and consequently are a threat to the economy?
A year after failure Fannie Mae’s (HERE) accumulated losses are expected to climb to over
Congress will have to increase maximum limit of capital that the Treasury is allowed to fund to the GSEs.  In order to do so, Congress and the Administration will have to accept an increase the capital infusion limit originally approved by Congress under the Conservatorship.  This is a dilemma for the Treasury and the Administration not only politically but also since in exchange for the first $200 Billion for Fannie and Freddie the Federal Government received perferred stock in both firms.  And the value of the remaining “equity” in these firms available to provide additional security for the Governments (taxpayers) additional funding is substantially less than the preferred stock value originally pledged under the agreement last year?$200 Billion by next year requiring it to draw additional funds as capital from the Federal Government over and above their original commitment under the Conservatorship agreement  
AIG similarly was provided some $180+ Billion in Federal Aid much of which will never be recovered (HERE).    Yet, the Federal Government will reduce the existing legal obligation of AIG from it’s current $40 Billion to less than $20 Billion when AIG sells its profitable Insurance Company subsidiaries to the Federal Government in excahnge for the debt reduction,  And yet operationally, AIG continues to leach red ink and once it sells its most profitable subsidiaries it will likely show even larger losses.
GMAC, now under minority ownership by GM (the majority owner is now Cerberus), similarly is drowning in debt and red ink.   The Government feels GMAC is crucial to the success of GM’s and Chrysler’s revival (perhaps subsidized interest rates), and as a result the Federal government has invested funds in excess of $12.5 Billion and is considering an additional $5.5 Billion by the end of the year.   
All of above firms are demonstratively failed enterprises, of substantial size and all  easily qualifying as candidates for Too Big Too Fail, as defined by Senator Sanders, Treasury Secretary Geithner and the Administration.  These are firms that need to be pared back or eliminated since they are of a substantial size (“Too Big Too Fail”) and have demonstrated an incompetent operational history. 
Isn’t it time for the Democrats and the Administration to live up to their rhetoric concerning mitigating those firms Too Big Too Fail by discontinuing their financial support of these four failed firms?  Isn’t it time for Democrats to lead by example and quit spending taxpayer funds to support large financial firms who where instrumental in the collaspse of the capital markers and who have demonstrated that they are incapable of operating successfully and independently?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com