Obama And The Democrats Never Met A Borrowed Dollar They Couldn’t Squander

Remember the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that was originally passed to purchase toxic assets from banks but then, in a classic bait and switch, was spent on bailing out troubled banks instead? Well, the good news is that some of the banks, to escape onerous government interference and micromanagement, are actually paying back their TARP funds, with interest, and it looks like the American taxpayer won’t take as big a hit in the shorts as previously thought.

The bad news is that, instead of using the recovered TARP funds to pay down part of our record $12 trillion national debt, as the original legislation required, Obama and the Democrats now want to squander it on a new “stimulus” program. It seems they just can’t help themselves. Of course, once they waste the recovered TARP cash on even more useless Democrat pet projects, the money will be gone forever, the American taxpayer will never see it again and be even deeper in debt.

Bernanke speech: financial stability is returning

It’s welcome news for US taxpayers: The cost of the great bailouts of 2008 is coming in smaller than some forecasters had predicted.

Exhibit A this week is the financial rescue program called TARP – the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Fund. The money paid out in loans or investments to banks and other corporations is being paid back faster than expected, the Obama administration says. Although the US Treasury still expects a loss rather than a profit from the program, it now predicts that the 10-year cost will be no more than $141 billion, which would be $200 billion less than the administration predicted as recently as August.

Using TARP funds for job creation: creative or reckless?

President Obama and congressional Democrats haven’t even announced their latest job creation plans, but already they’re stirring controversy with an idea on how to pay for it – by tapping the Treasury’s so-called TARP funds.

The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created by Congress 14 months ago to save the financial system from a collapse that threatened the whole economy. Now, as many banks are repaying money that the government had invested, Democrats say the unexpected windfall can be used to finance a jobs bill that may cost $50 billion or more.

But Republican lawmakers argue that the plan still expands the deficit, whether or not TARP is cited as the source of money. They put it this way: Borrowing less on the TARP bailout doesn’t mean the Treasury should then borrowing more for a jobs program.

The spin from both sides regarding the TARP funds could shape the broader debate over a jobs package. Mr. Obama and congressional leaders could try several tactics to boost employment. The possibilities include a new infusion of federal infrastructure spending, additional aid to state and local governments (to reduce planned layoffs), and tax incentives for businesses to hire.

See also:
Obama: Use TARP for job creation
Obama’s Setup
Obama May Use TARP for Jobs
US bank bail-out money could boost jobs, says Obama
Use of Cash From TARP Hits Hurdle
Tarp travels down a hazardous road
US Sen Gregg:Using TARP Cash For Jobs Package Would Be Illegal
TARP makes a profit! Washington immediately blows the profit!
How’s That Trillion Dollars In “Stimulus” Working Out?
Setting Records
You Can’t Stop Them, You Can’t Even Hope To Contain Them
Spending Like A Drunken Sailor On Crack

So far, less than 25% of the original trillion dollar “stimulus” has even been spent and now Obama and the Democrats want to spend another few hundred billion dollars on more “stimulus”? HELLO? What’s wrong with this picture? If their first “stimulus” was so wonderful, why do they need a second “stimulus”?

I’ll tell you why. Their first “stimulus” sucked big time, it’s not doing [expletive deleted] except flushing money down the toilet, and now Obama and the Democrats are panicking because unemployment is at 10% and the 2010 midterm elections are looming in the not so distant future.

/doubling down on their original “stimulus” mistake by squandering even more borrowed money on Democrat pet projects will only exacerbate our national debt and the inflation that’s eventually coming down the road, but don’t expect long term economic reality to stop them, they think they can buy 2010 votes through constituent targeted deficit spending, it’s the Democrat way

Your Government, Totally Out Of Control

Barney Frank: Let’s spend TARP profits before taxpayers can get them

When President Obama announced on June 9 that some financial institutions would be allowed to repay Troubled Asset Relief Program dollars, he said the massively expensive TARP bailout had made money for the federal government. “It is worth noting that in the first round of repayments from these [TARP recipients], the government has actually turned a profit,” the president said. Indeed, TARP supporters have long held out the hope that the program might be profitable.

But now Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has come up with a proposal to spend any TARP profits before they can be returned to the taxpayers. Last Friday, Frank introduced the “TARP for Main Street Act of 2009,” a bill that would take profits from the program and immediately redirect them toward housing proposals favored by Frank and some fellow Democrats.

In exchange for receiving TARP money, financial institutions were required to hand over shares of preferred stock that paid a dividend for the government. In theory, if a financial institution paid the dividend faithfully, and then repaid the TARP money, then the government would turn a profit. Last month, the General Accountability Office (GAO) reported that, through June 12, 2009, the government had received $6.2 billion in dividend payments. The original TARP legislation required that money made from the program “shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt.”

Frank, however, wants to spend the money before it can be used to pay down anything. First, the “TARP for Main Street” proposal would take $1 billion “from dividends paid by financial institutions that have received financial assistance provided under…the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act” and apply it to a trust fund that Frank has long wanted to create for low-income rental housing. (The measure, unfunded, was part of last year’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.) Next, Frank would take $1.5 billion from TARP dividends for a so-called “neighborhood stabilization” fund. Republican critics have charged that both measures might allow federal dollars to be distributed to activist groups like the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, or ACORN.

The “TARP for Main Street” bill would also spend $2 billion, apparently from remaining TARP funds, to subsidize people who are delinquent on their mortgages, and another $2 billion to “stabilize multifamily properties that are in default or foreclosure.”

Congress’s Travel Tab Swells

Spending by lawmakers on taxpayer-financed trips abroad has risen sharply in recent years, a Wall Street Journal analysis of travel records shows, involving everything from war-zone visits to trips to exotic spots such as the Galápagos Islands.

The spending on overseas travel is up almost tenfold since 1995, and has nearly tripled since 2001, according to the Journal analysis of 60,000 travel records. Hundreds of lawmakers traveled overseas in 2008 at a cost of about $13 million. That’s a 50% jump since Democrats took control of Congress two years ago.

The cost of so-called congressional delegations, known among lawmakers as “codels,” has risen nearly 70% since 2005, when an influence-peddling scandal led to a ban on travel funded by lobbyists, according to the data.

Mortgage-Rescue Plan to Cover More Borrowers

The Obama administration is expanding the number of borrowers who can refinance home loans under its housing-rescue program, an acknowledgment that more needs to be done to help people who are upside down on their mortgages.

The administration said Wednesday that borrowers with mortgages worth up to 125% of their home’s value will now be eligible to refinance under its program, up from a 105% limit.

To be eligible, borrowers must be current on their mortgages and have loans owned or backed by government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

/had enough Hope and Change yet?

The Banks And Car Companies Are Not Enough!

Obama must have more power, more control! He must reign over everything, the entire U.S. economy belongs to him! You cannot be trusted with capitalism and free markets. Obama knows best and Obama has spoken.

New Foundation, New Stability

Over the past decades, government has often haphazardly weakened and jettisoned the regulations on the financial sector that were designed to bring stability to the economy. The result has been what the President refers to as a “bubble and bust” economy, leaving American families at the whim of greed and excess far beyond their control and hundreds of miles away. As the President said today, it is indisputable that this peril was a leading contributor the economic breakdown America has seen over the past years.

Today marked a culmination of a months-long process in which the President consulted with the most expert and experienced regulators, leaders in Congress, and his entire economic team to craft a revamping of the system, a “new foundation” on which our economy can grow for decades to come. Many of them joined him today as he announced the principles they had agreed upon.

The President began his remarks by diagnosing the problem:

In recent years, financial innovators, seeking an edge in the marketplace, produced a huge variety of new and complex financial instruments. And these products, such as asset-based securities, were designed to spread risk, but unfortunately ended up concentrating risk. Loans were sold to banks, banks packaged these loans into securities, investors bought these securities often with little insight into the risks to which they were exposed. And it was easy money — while it lasted. But these schemes were built on a pile of sand. And as the appetite for these products grew, lenders lowered standards to attract new borrowers. Many Americans bought homes and borrowed money without being adequately informed of the terms, and often without accepting the responsibilities.

Meanwhile, executive compensation — unmoored from long-term performance or even reality — rewarded recklessness rather than responsibility. And this wasn’t just the failure of individuals; this was a failure of the entire system. The actions of many firms escaped scrutiny. In some cases, the dealings of these institutions were so complex and opaque that few inside or outside these companies understood what was happening. Where there were gaps in the rules, regulators lacked the authority to take action. Where there were overlaps, regulators lacked accountability for their inaction.

. . .

The President concluded by making clear the necessity of the solution:

There’s always been a tension between those who place their faith in the invisible hand of the marketplace and those who place more trust in the guiding hand of the government — and that tension isn’t a bad thing. It gives rise to healthy debates and creates a dynamism that makes it possible for us to adapt and grow. For we know that markets are not an unalloyed force for either good or for ill. In many ways, our financial system reflects us. In the aggregate of countless independent decisions, we see the potential for creativity — and the potential for abuse. We see the capacity for innovations that make our economy stronger — and for innovations that exploit our economy’s weaknesses.

We are called upon to put in place those reforms that allow our best qualities to flourish — while keeping those worst traits in check. We’re called upon to recognize that the free market is the most powerful generative force for our prosperity — but it is not a free license to ignore the consequences of our actions.

This is a difficult time for our nation. But from this period of challenge, we can once again tap those values and ideals that have allowed us to lead the global economy, and will allow us to lead once again. That’s how we’ll help more Americans live their own dreams. That’s why these reforms are so important. And I look forward to working with leaders in Congress and all of you to see these proposals put to work so that we can overcome this crisis and build a lasting foundation for prosperity.

And, of course, Obama has a detailed plan for tightening his grip on the free market system.

Financial Regulatory Reform: A New Foundation

We must act now to restore confidence in the integrity of our financial system. The lasting economic damage to ordinary families and businesses is a constant reminder of the urgent need to act to reform our financial regulatory system and put our economy on track to a sustainable recovery. We must build a new foundation for financial regulation and supervision that is simpler and more effectively enforced, that protects consumers and investors, that rewards innovation and that is able to adapt and evolve with changes in the financial market.

In the following pages, we propose reforms to meet five key objectives:

(1) Promote robust supervision and regulation of financial firms. Financial institutions that are critical to market functioning should be subject to strong oversight. No financialfirm that poses a significant risk to the financial system should be unregulated or weakly regulated. We need clear accountability in financial oversight and supervision. We propose:

• A new Financial Services Oversight Council of financial regulators to identify emerging systemic risks and improve interagency cooperation.

• New authority for the Federal Reserve to supervise all firms that could pose a threat to financial stability, even those that do not own banks.

• Stronger capital and other prudential standards for all financial firms, and even higher standards for large, interconnected firms.

• A new National Bank Supervisor to supervise all federally chartered banks.

• Elimination of the federal thrift charter and other loopholes that allowed some depository institutions to avoid bank holding company regulation by the Federal Reserve.

• The registration of advisers of hedge funds and other private pools of capital with the SEC.

(2) Establish comprehensive supervision of financial markets. Our major financial markets must be strong enough to withstand both system-wide stress and the failure of one or more large institutions. We propose:

• Enhanced regulation of securitization markets, including new requirements for market transparency, stronger regulation of credit rating agencies, and a requirement that issuers and originators retain a financial interest in securitized loans.

• Comprehensive regulation of all over-the-counter derivatives.

• New authority for the Federal Reserve to oversee payment, clearing, and settlement systems.

(3) Protect consumers and investors from financial abuse. To rebuild trust in our markets, we need strong and consistent regulation and supervision of consumer financial services and investment markets. We should base this oversight not on speculation or abstract models, but on actual data about how people make financial decisions. We must promote transparency, simplicity, fairness, accountability, and access. We propose:

• A new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to protect consumers across the financial sector from unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices.

• Stronger regulations to improve the transparency, fairness, and appropriateness of consumer and investor products and services.

• A level playing field and higher standards for providers of consumer financial products and services, whether or not they are part of a bank.

(4) Provide the government with the tools it needs to manage financial crises. We need to be sure that the government has the tools it needs to manage crises, if and when they arise, so that we are not left with untenable choices between bailouts and financial collapse. We propose:

• A new regime to resolve nonbank financial institutions whose failure could have serious systemic effects.

• Revisions to the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending authority to improve accountability.

(5) Raise international regulatory standards and improve international cooperation. The challenges we face are not just American challenges, they are global challenges. So,as we work to set high regulatory standards here in the United States, we must ask the
world to do the same. We propose:

• International reforms to support our efforts at home, including strengthening the capital framework; improving oversight of global financial markets; coordinating supervision of internationally active firms; and enhancing crisis management tools.

Nowhere in the President’s remarks or in his new regulation plan will you find any mention, let alone an admission, of the government’s primary role in causing the latest financial collapse. Fortunately, IBD tells it like it was.

Regulation Nation

Regulation: The White House wants to impose sweeping new rules for the financial industry to prevent another meltdown. Unfortunately, it was government — not the private sector — that was to blame.

Citing a “culture of irresponsibility” that it says helped cause last year’s financial crisis, the White House on Wednesday released an 88-page report that proposes major changes in America’s financial system. The Associated Press aptly called it “the greatest regulatory transformation since the Great Depression.”

Among the reforms put forward were a new, pumped-up Federal Reserve with greater powers to regulate and oversee the entire financial system, a new consumer credit watchdog to oversee home loans and credit cards, and new rules and oversight for hedge funds and exotic securities, such as credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, which some blame for making the financial crisis worse.

It’s nice to see that our government is so concerned about not repeating the errors of the past. But our advice comes from an ancient proverb:

“Physician, heal thyself.”

The White House’s financial regulation proposal blames “gaps in regulation” for our financial crisis. Wrong. It was in fact government misregulation and miscalculation that created our financial crisis — not private businesses. The record on this is quite clear.

As economic historian Lawrence White of the University of Missouri has written:

“The expansion in risky mortgages to underqualified borrowers was encouraged by the federal government. The growth of ‘creative’ nonprime lending followed Congress’ strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act, the Federal Housing Administration’s loosening of down-payment standards, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s pressuring lenders to extend mortgages to borrowers who previously would not have qualified.”

Add to that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — created and regulated by acts of Congress — which together at one point controlled nearly half of the nation’s $12 trillion mortgage market. The two quasi-private entities served as the grand financial engine by which Congress would boost homeownership.

It worked well for a while. And we can’t fault the intent to help people. But the failure was one of too much government — not too little, which is the rationale for the new financial regulation regime sought for Wall Street and the banks.

As for the Fed’s new powers, we happen to believe the central bank has done a reasonably good job responding to this crisis — though as many others have noted, the vast expansion of the U.S. money supply in the last year poses a future inflationary threat.

But we don’t think the Fed needs enhanced powers. Far from it. It’s too powerful already. Giving it virtually unbridled control over our financial system without having to directly answer to the people is a danger to free market capitalism.

Many have argued that the Fed’s slashing of interest rates from 6.25% in 2001 to 1% in 2003 — following a stock market meltdown, a recession, the 9/11 attacks and the start of the War on Terror — was too much and led to the housing market bubble.

Now, strangely, many of the same people advocate giving the Fed even more power. It makes no sense.

If the White House really wants to fix our ailing financial system, it would do well to start by repealing what remains of TARP, undoing the government’s takeover of our auto industry and halting the fraudulent and wasteful $787 billion “stimulus” program.

Then you might see a real economic recovery take place.

See also:
Obama Defends Financial Overhaul
Geithner: Govt. Needs Better ‘Crisis Management’ Tools
In huge change, Obama’d strip Fed of credit card oversight
Obama: ‘A sweeping overhaul’
Historic Overhaul of Finance Rules
Obama Lays Out ‘Sweeping Overhaul’ of Financial Rules (Update3)
Not Everyone Is Cheering Fed’s New Role
New financial rules: Major changes for big, small
Obama unveils ‘sweeping overhaul’ of financial regulations

The truly ironic part is that most of Obama’s free market control plan has to go through Congress to become law, those most responsible for the financial mess in the first place. Can you just imagine what hideous manner of bull[expletive deleted] regulation will come out the other end? How much additional U.S. government oppression can free enterprise take before major corporations will just say enough already and reincorporate in another country with a more business friendly environment?

/one thing I know for sure from daily first hand stock trading experience, between Obama’s encroachment into the private sector economy and his out of control government spending, he’s spooking the ever loving [expletive deleted] out of the markets

Not So Fast There Obama

Supreme Court Delays Chrysler’s Swift Sale

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday held up the sale of Chrysler’s assets to Italian automaker Fiat, at least temporarily interrupting the Obama administration’s massive and speedy restructuring of the U.S. auto industry.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 53-word order did not hint at what she thought of an appeal led by a group of Indiana pension and construction funds, which stand to see their investments in Chrysler reduced with no say in the process. Instead, she instructed simply that the transaction is “stayed pending further notice.”

The decision buys the court time to consider objections filed over the weekend, and it comes as the clock is ticking. Fiat can back out of the deal if it is not finalized by Monday, and the government has warned that the only alternative would be to force the nation’s third-largest automaker into liquidation, throwing the industry in turmoil and leaving tens of thousands of people without jobs.

The stakes may be higher for the Obama administration: If the court backs some of the claims, it could disrupt plans to rescue General Motors and weaken the government’s hand in stabilizing the troubled economy.

“Every day that Chrysler remains in bankruptcy without consummating the sale threatens to postpone the resumption of production even further and to prolong the period of $100-million-per-day losses” financed by taxpayers, Elena Kagan, the U.S. solicitor general, said in a 26-page filing with the high court.

A host of business and conservative groups applauded Ginsburg for standing up to what one called the Obama administration steamroller. And Congress is beginning to stir. Legislation is being drafted to reverse decisions by Chrysler and GM to close thousands of dealerships. The Senate Banking Committee, meanwhile, is preparing to hold a hearing this week on the government’s role in the auto rescue.

The significance of the court’s action remains to be seen. The language Ginsburg used in her order usually signals a delay of short duration.

There could be several explanations, not the least of which is that the justices may not have had time to fully consider the request. Court filings from those opposing the deal began arriving over the weekend and into Sunday. The government’s response in opposition did not arrive at the court until shortly before justices convened yesterday at 10 a.m.

The petitions are directed at Ginsburg because she is the justice responsible for the circuit that includes New York, where the suit was filed. She may decide the stay issue on her own or refer the question to the full court. If it’s the latter, that could explain the need for more time. The full court would have to vote on whether to hear the merits of the case.

See also:
High court blocks Chrysler sale to Fiat
Supreme Court delays Chrysler sale
Chrysler sale on hold, but for how long?
Supreme Court asked to block Chrysler sale to Fiat
Supreme Court Asked to Block Chrysler Sale to Fiat

Of course Ginsburg’s stay doesn’t mean that the Supreme Court will take up the case, it only means that she wanted more time to decide. However, the Supreme Court should take on this case and take a good long look at the legality of the Chrysler/Fiat deal that Obama’s Car Task Force is trying to ram down the taxpayers’ throats. What’s the rush, are they trying to hide something?

The government’s first argument as to why this shotgun wedding must be rushed through is that the deal with Fiat is necessary to stop Chrysler’s “$100-million-per-day losses”. Well, gee, let me get this straight, Fiat gets Chrysler’s assets and suddenly Chrysler miraculously stops losing money. How does that work, exactly, magic?

The government’s other equally bogus argument for steamrolling the Chrysler bondholders is that “the clock is ticking, Fiat can back out of the deal if it is not finalized by Monday, and the government has warned that the only alternative would be to force the nation’s third-largest automaker into liquidation, throwing the industry in turmoil and leaving tens of thousands of people without jobs.”

Really, are they sure Fiat will back out? That’s not what the Fiat CEO said earlier today.

Fiat Will ‘Never’ Walk Away From Chrysler, CEO Says (Update1)

Fiat SpA will “never” walk away from its deal with Chrysler LLC, Fiat Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in an interview.

“We should just be patient and let the system work,” Marchionne said by telephone today moments after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ordered a delay of Chrysler’s planned sale to the Italian carmaker while the U.S. Supreme Court considers a request for a longer postponement that might scuttle the deal.

A federal appeals court in New York last week allowed the sale, while putting its decision on hold until 4 p.m. today to let opponents, including Indiana pension funds, seek Supreme Court intervention. The Indiana pension funds hold $42.5 million of $6.9 billion in Chrysler’s secured loans.

“We would never walk away,” Marchionne said in response to a question about whether Fiat would pull out of the deal if it isn’t completed by the June 15 deadline. “Never.”

So, there’s no good excuse not to slow this deal down and let the Supreme Court take a careful look at the legality of it. The real reason the Obama administration wants to cram this down the taxpayers’ throats, without any meaningful scrutiny, is to cover up their abhorrent, thuggish behavior, motivated by the single minded purpose of protecting the UAW, whatever cost to the taxpayers be damned. The Obama Auto Task Force wants to get this deal done because the unseemly details concerning their extremely questionable tactics and purpose are starting to see the light of day and honest people are starting to ask some hard, honest questions.

U.S. Pushed Fiat Deal on Chrysler

The Obama administration rushed an alliance between Chrysler LLC and Fiat SpA despite Chrysler’s worries about Fiat’s financial health and its willingness to share technology, according to internal company emails.

The emails show Fiat ignoring requests for documents and trying to change contract terms late in the talks. A Chrysler adviser at one point said the deal risked looking as if the U.S. auto maker and the Treasury Department, which helped broker the pact, were “in bed with a shady partner.” In another note, an official referred to the Treasury Department as “God.”

The documents, filed in the Southern District of New York as part of Chrysler’s bankruptcy proceedings, provide a glimpse at the tense debates that shaped Chrysler’s final days as it raced to find a suitor.

On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld Chrysler’s Fiat deal, dismissing a challenge by dissident Chrysler debt holders. But the court also issued a stay until 4 p.m. Monday — leaving a small window for Thomas Lauria, the lawyer pursuing the case, to appeal to the Supreme Court. One judge on the three-judge panel suggested the Supreme Court should have “a swing at this ball.”

Mr. Lauria’s persistence led one government lawyer in the Chrysler case to dub him a “terrorist” in an email to a Chrysler adviser.

See also:
Obama’s man called shots on bankruptcy
Chrysler-Fiat Deal: U.S. Government as “God”

UPDATE: Indiana vs. Chrysler: Was TARP Used Illegally?

A quick scan of the 169-page legislation detailing the purpose of the Troubled Asset Relief Fund doesn’t say anything about automobile companies. Nor does it say anything about using the government’s money to bail out nonfinancial institutions generally.

On its face then, it might appear the Indiana pension funds have a solid argument in challenging the U.S. Treasury Department’s use of TARP funds to finance Chrysler’s restructuring. That point is at the heart of the pension funds’ effort to persuade the Supreme Court to issue a stay the Chrysler-Fiat deal. The stay asks for a temporary hold on the deal until the Justices can decide whether to hear the case.

See also:
Why the Legality of the Chrysler Bailout Won’t Matter
Senate panel to question Obama auto task force

Like a dead, flattened skunk on a hot asphalt road at high noon on a sunny 950 day, this Chrysler/Fiat deal stinks to high heaven. Just a few of the serious problems with it include the government coercion of a private corporation, the trammeling of first lien secured creditors’ legal rights in favor of unsecured creditors, the abrogation of well settled bakruptcy law and established capital structure, and the possible illegal use of and wasteful spending of taxpayer money. And these same legal concerns are also cropping up in the GM banruptcy.

/all I can say is that if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t take on this case and sort through these very important legal issues threatening the existing rule of law in this country, they’ll be shirking their duty as a coequal branch of government and shame on them

We’re From The Government And You’re Screwed

Bailout Man Turns the Screws

Late on New Year’s Eve, , a Treasury Department official, sat waiting impatiently for documents to arrive from Citigroup Inc. He’d just been told by the bank’s chief financial officer that Citigroup couldn’t reach some executives who needed to sign the paperwork, including one woman whose husband was in the hospital with a heart attack.

“Well then, you know where to find her,” Mr. Lambright replied to the finance chief, Gary Crittenden, according to three accounts of the call. “Put someone in one of your fancy black cars and get her to sign the document.”

As the government continues to pour cash into the economy, Mr. Lambright, 38 years old, has become one of the most powerful men in American finance. Unknown to most outside the Treasury building, he’s an embodiment of how power in the economy has shifted — for good or ill — to Washington.

. . .

After the government agreed to help, Mr. Lambright’s team had to put flesh on the deal, including compensation curbs for bank executives. Bank of America officials were rankled by the proposed pay restrictions and the 8% interest rate the government planned to charge.

On a conference call with top government and bank officials, Bank of America’s chief financial officer said the deal seemed punitive. Mr. Lambright spoke up. He reminded the CFO that his firm was bleeding outside the emergency room and was seeking help from a government with only blunt instruments at its disposal, according to three people familiar with the call.

“You’re in pain and you have to decide: Does it hurt more to come in or stay out?” Mr. Lambright said, according to those people.

Government officials agreed that they needed to impose restrictions, and in the end, pay limits were set.

See also:
Treasury continues image control
Export bank chief James H. Lambright joins financial rescue team
Treasury Names Interim Chief Investment Officer for TARP
TARP leader Lambright wields power in Washington
James H. Lambright
James H. Lambright

/is it any wonder these banks regret taking the money and can’t pay back the TARP funds fast enough?

She Said With A Permanently Straight Face

What color is the sky in Nancy’s world?

Speaker Pelosi: I am not partisan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is denying Republican claims that she is partisan, saying she has been open to GOP ideas.

In an interview with Charlie Rose on Friday, Pelosi was asked what is the most unfair and misleading impression of her. Pelosi initially said she doesn’t think about it, but when pressed, the Speaker took on her Republican critics.

“There seems to — some people think there seems to be a market for saying that I am very partisan, and that I don’t give the Republicans their opportunity. That simply is not true. They know in this recovery package that we had, we ask them what they wanted. They wanted certain things in there.”

Many Republicans in the House maintain that Pelosi is one of the most partisan figures in the lower chamber. One GOP lawmaker who requested anonymity told The Hill on Thursday that working with Pelosi on legislation is nearly impossible.

“She’s an ideologue,” the Republican lawmaker said.

Pelosi suggested that Republicans are playing political games: “If you can’t win on policy, then you go to process. If you can’t win on process, then you go to personality. And that’s how they have decided they would make up stories about me and the rest…but you know what? I’m in the arena. We have big issues. I can’t be bothered about what they say about me. All I’m interested in is getting the job done. And I really want to get it done in a bipartisan way.”

See also:
Pelosi Denies She’s Partisan, Accuses GOP of ‘Process’ Politics
Pelosi: I’m not partisan

Nope, no way, she’s not partisan at all, she’s the leader of the Get Along Gang. Remember this classic rant that single-handedly derailed the first attempt to pass the first TARP bill?

You see? She loves Republicans and diligently works with them to incorporate Republican ideas in important legislation.

Pelosi Defends Democrats’ Vetting of Stimulus Plan

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) parried GOP assaults on Democrats’ $825 billion stimulus package Thursday and refused to slow the bill down to give more time for Republican input.

“Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes we won the election, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want sustainability or Republican support,” Pelosi said.

But the Speaker showed little room for compromising the overall direction of the package, saying: “We’re going in a new direction because the direction the Republicans have taken us has led us to this brink.”

Yep, Nancy Pelosi is the most nonpartisan Speaker of the House this country’s ever had.

/and the Pope’s not Catholic and bears don’t [expletive deleted] in the woods