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Author Topic: Is the700 billion dollar bailout really needed?
wallymac
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quote:
Originally posted by Propertymanager:
777 Points - BIG DEAL!!! I thought the Wall Street crowd said that we were going over a cliff. That would have been about 3,777 points. I've been saying for a long time that the market is irrationally high. I'm still predicting 7,700 on the DOW - for STARTERS!

If we really have a depression, I'm hoping that all these Fatcats on Wall Street that played these huge risks go out of business. I'm also hoping that we get back to reality and understand that we can NOT afford all the entitlements we have promised. Time to take a meat cleaver to those also!!! BACK TO REALITY!

Back to your entitlements BS. What is happening right now has nothing to do with entitlements. Which by the way you have not had a problem utilizing to rent your properties.
What are you going to do when the government can't pay for Section 8 and nobody can afford to rent your properties?
*************************************************

Many here have posted in the past about the looming problem, to no avail. Some as yourself have posted that the market should fail. We are not just talking about the U.S. market now but about the global market. I wonder how happy you all will be in the near future if in fact we do expirence a worldwide recession or worse yet depression.

Action needed/needs to be taken. Political posturing in order to have something to be elected or re-elected on is the only reason no action is being taken, thanks to the many that won't look at the bigger overall picture.

Individuals that don't depend on the market for income feeling that Wall St is getting their comeuppance will see that what is happening will affect everyone, including main street.

I'm not saying that I understand all the ramifications but I think I understand enough to see where this is headed.

PM: you saying 3,777 shows your lack of understanding. The whole market would have been halted prior to it ever hitting that in one day. Today's drop is just the beginning if action isn't taken and it will go lower since nothing will happen in the next day or 2. Watch what happens tommorrow. Many everyday people who are retired or were looking to retire are losing most if not all of their retirement.

Yep, let's privatize Social Security so that their is no safety net at all. Great idea. NOT!!!

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glassman
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don't take him too seriously wally...
IMO? the bailout was voted down becuase it wouldn't have worked anyway,

the 700 billion wouldn't fix half the bad loans, but the bad loans are only part of the problem...

CDS's amount to a 42 TRILLION dollar market, that's where the "mulitplier effect" is hammering the banks and the insurance co's...

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CashCowMoo
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Gingrich: 'Final collapse of the Bush administration'

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said the Wall Street bailout plan pushed by President Bush signaled the "final collapse" of the current administration.

"The Bush administration has now provided three case studies in arrogance, isolation and destructiveness: Michael Brown during Hurricane Katrina, Ambassador Jerry Bremer in Baghdad and Secretary Henry Paulson at Treasury," Gingrich said. "It is a tragic and very expensive legacy. No conservative and no Republican should doubt how much it has hurt our cause and our party."

The former Speaker reiterated his call for the resignation of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

"?As long as Secretary Paulson is in charge, it is impossible to get a creative or significantly better solution," Gingrich stated, adding that the Treasury chief was "an even greater obstacle to a good bill than the liberal Democrats who run the House and Senate."

####thehill.com/leading-the-news/gingrich-final-collapse-of-the-bush-administrat ion-2008-09-29.html

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glassman
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CCM, i didn't want this bailout either but the no vote by the GOP's will most likely lead to them losing their jobs too as the next few weeks play out...

tar and feathers for everybody!!!!

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Propertymanager
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quote:
IMO? the bailout was voted down becuase it wouldn't have worked anyway,
No, the bailout was voted down because literally MILLIONS of average Americans called their idiot congressmen and told them that they were mad and that they wanted the bailout voted down. The congressmen didn't want to lose their jobs, I called and sent e-mails for 3 straight days and will start again tomorrow! Keep those phone calls coming and let these idiots in Congress know what you think!
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glassman
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quote:
Originally posted by Propertymanager:
quote:
IMO? the bailout was voted down becuase it wouldn't have worked anyway,
No, the bailout was voted down because literally MILLIONS of average Americans called their idiot congressmen and told them that they were mad and that they wanted the bailout voted down. The congressmen didn't want to lose their jobs, I called and sent e-mails for 3 straight days and will start again tomorrow! Keep those phone calls coming and let these idiots in Congress know what you think!
yeah and as the depression hits? they'll be blamed, the Dems know this too, and they'll be twisting the knife...the GOP gets to shoulder the whole mess now.. Bush and the House GOP... the Dems can honestly say they tried but were blocked..

i told you the other day it's a lose/lose for the GOP..

i wasn't/am not for a bailout, i assumed they'd do it because they have no choice...

but i've also shown you figures that show the bailout would cover much less than half the bad mortgages...

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Propertymanager
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quote:
i told you the other day it's a lose/lose for the GOP..
The GOP DESERVES TO BE BLAMED!!! As I said before, Bush's "Homeownership" initiative is largely responsible for thes entire mess. In addition, EVERY CONSERVATIVE that voted for this bailout should be voted out of office. Furthermore, NO ONE should be bailed out with taxpayer money: NOT AIG; NOT BEAR STEARNS; NOT FANNIE AND FREDDIE; NOT GOLDMAN SACHS; NOT THE AIRLINES; NOT THE AUTO INDUSTRY; and CERTAINLY NOT PEOPLE WHO TOOK OUT A BIGGER MORTGAGE THAN THEY COULD AFFORD!
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glassman
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and the Dems will twist this knife for all it's worth.

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Don't envy the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise.

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wallymac
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quote:
Originally posted by glassman:
don't take him too seriously wally...
IMO? the bailout was voted down becuase it wouldn't have worked anyway,

the 700 billion wouldn't fix half the bad loans, but the bad loans are only part of the problem...

CDS's amount to a 42 TRILLION dollar market, that's where the "mulitplier effect" is hammering the banks and the insurance co's...

Oh, I agree that the bailout will not fix the overall situation but taking no action at all won't fix it either.

The problem I have is that IMO, it was voted down for purely political reasons. The Congressional Republicans finally say no to Bush. Too little too late. And they claim Country First. What a joke. Don't get me wrong the Dems aren't much better.

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Propertymanager
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quote:
and the Dems will twist this knife for all it's worth.
Fine with me!!! The GOP needs a complete house cleaning. No, not a house cleaning - more like a complete REHAB.
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ohio_trader
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the real bailout number is estimated between
$5-7 TRILLION- now how on earth does anyone with a brain thinks we have that kind of dough. it would surely dilute are money to being worthless in time. this is ridiculous might as well send every homeowner a check for $50,000, it would do us more good than bailing them out.

the real solution to congress- we stop paying interest on the national debt instantly- the new interest rate will be zero percent- no bailout will be needed and our taxes could go down


also on the mortage side- allow anyone with a clean payment history in the last 12-24 months to refinance existing balance only, if they are at a higher rate, no appraisal necessary

this would help about 25% of mortgage holders now, their balances would not increase, they could lower their rate even though they've take a bath on loss of equity( which is why they can't get a loan now)

All I can say is this country, and world is in one hell of mess over this- and this ain't going to be an easy fixing.

Why i believe it was voted down- a bandaid over a bullet wound doesn't work so well, they want to pass something, to put the focus back on the election- why?so this problem is back at us by spring and even worse.. stupid

and where were these same politicians, secretary of treasure, federal reserve at 1-2 yrs ago????

all the sudden we need 700 billion, 2 trillion, 5 trillion whatever...where were you clowns when it hit 50 billion, 150 billion...oh, thats right you were stripping your funds from the stock market and real estate assets, before the saps caught wind of what was going on....

i will still continue making calls, as i feel they are working, they can't handle the heat you know with elections around the corner

NOTE: do not be influenced by their pack of lies

i.e the stock market will crash, you lose, your house, will go into a recession, all these lies being propagated by congressman, bernanke, paulson, bush

first off the stock market has been a rocky ride since 9/11, second most of the country is already in a recession and had been for awhile , 3rd the real estate market is going down regardless if this passes or not and won't turn until 2013+ anyways at best

GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY, divine intervention may be are only hope on this one....

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glassman
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the real estate market is going down regardless if this passes or not

that's because people can't/couldn't afford the prices...

two years ago? the median home price went to almost 240K$ and the median household income was 48K$...

anybody trying to pay more than 1/3 of their after tax income on their mortgage payment is going to lose eventually...

this was inevitable...

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glassman
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the real bailout number is estimated between
$5-7 TRILLION-


is that for bad mortgages only or does it include CDS payouts and resulting BKRPTcy's too?

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ohio_trader
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includes most all- but not much allotting for future failures, which are surely going to continue to come down river

700 billion is only a fraction of whats necessary, but is 5-7 trillion enough, god only knows.....

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glassman
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quote:
Originally posted by ohio_trader:
includes most all- but not much allotting for future failures, which are surely going to continue to come down river

700 billion is only a fraction of whats necessary, but is 5-7 trillion enough, god only knows.....

OK, from what i have been able to discover?

there were about 3.25 trillion$ in mortgages issued in '06...

so i beleive the three years '04, '05 and '06 should be about ten trillion$ total... about 20- to 30 percent of them are sub-prime...

keep in mind that not all sub-primes are failing,
and,
don't forget that alot of non-prime's (above sub, but still below prime) are failing too...

so let's GUESS at 20%.... that's 2 trillion...

the problem is that CDS's were inusrance polices against the mortgage backed bonds failing and the issuers don't have the money, never did..
they just the collected insurance payments on notes and were never capitialised to actually pay off the notes if they failed..

to add to that? the mortgage note holders used the motgage notes as colateral to borrow at 40 to one and BUY MORE mortgages which they again re-colateralised... or they bought stock which tanked too [BadOne]

they were "safe" doing this because they had CDS (insurance) on them right?


2 trillion sounds good [Eek!] when you start considering that everybody that's agreed to swap credit defaults has to sell all of their assets just to go bankrupt because they cannot actually pay the claim against the CDS...

now do you see why they wanted the bailout?

all of these hedges and banks have shared the risk..

i dunno how JP Morgan (the actual inventors of the CDS) managed to have so little downside exposure to them (so far anyway)

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ohio_trader
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i dunno how JP Morgan (the actual inventors of the CDS) managed to have so little downside exposure to them (so far anyway)


John Pierpont Morgan (April 17, 1837 – March 31, 1913) was an American financier, banker and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time. In 1892 Morgan arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thompson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric. After financing the creation of the Federal Steel Company he merged the Carnegie Steel Company and several other steel and iron businesses to form the United States Steel Corporation in 1901. He is widely credited with having saved or rescued the U.S. national economy in general—and the federal government in particular—on two separate occasions. He bequeathed much of his large art collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and to the Wadsworth Atheneum of Hartford, Connecticut. He died in Rome, Italy, in 1913 at the age of 75, leaving his fortune and business to his son, John Pierpont ("Jack") Morgan, Jr.(his son)

Jack Morgan took a prominent part in the financial aspects of the World War I. Following its outbreak, he made the first loan of $12,000,000 to Russia. In 1915, a loan of $50,000,000 was made to the French Government. All of the munitions purchased in the United States by the British were made through one of his firms. Mr. Morgan organized a syndicate of about 2200 banks and floated a loan of $500,000,000 to the Allies.

After the war, Jack Morgan made several trips to Europe to investigate and report on financial conditions there. On July 4th, 1915, a Frank Holt, (AKA Eric Muenter) tried to assassinate Morgan at his home at Glen Cove on Long Island. The night before, Holt had detonated a bomb in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol. After traveling to New York by train, he attacked Morgan the next morning, shooting him twice in the groin. The stated purpose of both acts was to get the U.S. to stop shipping munitions to France and Germany during World War I. After being arrested, Holt committed suicide in his jail cell several days later.

It should also be noted that Jack Morgan is also one of the signers of the Federal Reserve. He resembled his father in his dislike for publicity and in continuing his father's philanthropic policy. In 1920 he gave his London residence to the U.S. government for use as its embassy and later created the Pierpont Morgan Library as a public institution in 1924 as a memorial to his father.

(one of his 2 sons)
Henry Sturgis Morgan was an American banker. He was the son of John Pierpont ("Jack") Morgan Jr. and Jane Norton Grew.

His father was the eldest son of renowned banker John Pierpont Morgan, Sr., founder of J.P. Morgan & Co.. His mother was the daughter of Boston banker and mill owner Henry Sturgis Grew, and was the aunt of Henry Grew Crosby.

Henry Sturgis Morgan co-founded the company Morgan Stanley in 1935, together with Harold Stanley and other former members of JP Morgan & Co., which was forced to split its Commercial and Investment Banking divisions following the Second Glass-Steagal Act of the same year.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a global financial services provider headquartered in New York City, New York, United States. It serves a diversified group of corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals. Morgan Stanley also operates in 33 countries around the world with 600 offices, with an approximate employee workforce of 45,000.[2] The company reports US$779 billion as assets under its management[3].

The corporation, formed by J.P. Morgan & Co. employees Henry S. Morgan, Harold Stanley and others, came into existence on September 16, 1935. In its first year the company operated with a 24% market share (US$1.1 billion) in public offerings and private placements. The main areas of business for the firm today are Global Wealth Management, Institutional Securities and Investment Management.

The company found itself in the midst of a management crisis in the late 90s[4] that saw it lose a lot of talent and competence[5] and ultimately saw the firing of its then CEO Philip Purcell in 2005. Since then Morgan Stanley has been undergoing a massive restructuring which also involved job cuts across various of its units.

On September 21, 2008, it was reported that the Federal Reserve allowed Morgan Stanley to change its status from investment bank to bank holding company in order to survive the American economic meltdown of 2008. [6]

On September 22, 2008, it was announced that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan's largest bank, plans to take a stake of up to one-fifth in Morgan Stanley as part of a strategic alliance.

these guys are very very connected-they speak, u.s. govt jumps

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IWISHIHAD
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777 i thought 7 was suppose to be a lucky number.

Would like to see that combination of 777 on a slot machine but did not look so good on the stock market today.

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ohio_trader
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quote:
Originally posted by IWISHIHAD:
777 i thought 7 was suppose to be a lucky number.

Would like to see that combination of 777 on a slot machine but did not look so good on the stock market today.

lol

yeah thats the ticket for the bailout we all get to hit 777 in vegas on a $25 slot machine

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wallymac
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http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2008/0917_financial_crisis_rogoff.aspx?p=1

America Will Need a $1,000Bn Bail-out

Financial Institutions, U.S. Economy, Financial Markets, Banking, Governance

Kenneth Rogoff, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development

The Financial Times

September 17, 2008 —
One of the most extraordinary features of the past month is the extent to which the dollar has remained immune to a once-in-a-lifetime financial crisis. If the US were an emerging market country, its exchange rate would be plummeting and interest rates on government debt would be soaring. Instead, the dollar has actually strengthened modestly, while interest rates on three- month US Treasury Bills have now reached 64-year lows. It is almost as if the more the US messes up, the more the world loves it.

But can this extraordinary vote of confidence in the dollar last? Perhaps, but as investors step back and look at the deep wounds of America's flagship financial sector, the public and private sector's massive borrowing needs, and the looming uncertainty of the November presidential elections, it is hard to believe that the dollar will continue to stand its ground as the crisis continues to deepen and unfold.

It is true that the US government has very deep pockets. Privately held US government debt was under $4,400bn at the end of 2007, representing less than 32 per cent of gross domestic product. This is roughly half the debt burden carried by most European countries, and an even smaller fraction of Japan's debt levels. It is also true that despite the increasingly tough stance of US regulators, the financial crisis has probably already added at most $200bn-$300bn to net debt, taking into account the likely losses on nationalising the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the costs of the $29bn March bail-out of investment bank Bear Stearns, the potential fallout from the various junk collateral the Federal Reserve has taken on to its balance sheet in the last few months, and finally, yesterday's $85bn bail-out of the insurance giant AIG.

Were the financial crisis to end today, the costs would be painful but manageable, roughly equivalent to the cost of another year in Iraq. Unfortunately, however, the financial crisis is far from over, and it is hard to imagine how the US government is going to succeed in creating a firewall against further contagion without spending five to 10 times more than it has already, that is, an amount closer to $1,000bn-$2,000bn.

True, the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve have done an admirable job over the past week in forcing the private sector to bear a share of the burden. By forcing the fourth largest investment bank, LehmanBrothers, into bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch into a distressed sale to Bank of America, they helped to facilitate a badly needed consolidation in the financial services sector. However, at this juncture, there is every possibility that the credit crisis will radiate out into corporate, consumer and municipal debt. Regardless of the Fed and Treasury's most determined efforts, the political pressures for a much larger bail-out, and pressures from the continued volatility in financial markets, are going to be irresistible.

It is hard to predict exactly how and when the mega-bail-out will evolve. At some point, we are likely to see a broadening and deepening of deposit insurance, much as the UK did in the case of Northern Rock. Probably, at some point, the government will aim to have a better established algorithm for making bridge loans and for triggering the effective liquidation of troubled firms and assets, although the task is far more difficult than was the case in the 1980s, when the Resolution Trust Corporation was formed to help clean up the saving and loan mess.

Of course, there also needs to be better regulation. It is incredible that the transparency-challenged credit default swap market was allowed to swell to a notional value of $6,200bn during 2008 even as it became obvious that any collapse of this market could lead to an even bigger mess than the fallout from subprime mortgage debt.

It may prove to be possible to fix the system for far less than $1,000bn- $2,000bn. The tough stance taken by regulators this past weekend with the investment banks Lehman and Merrill Lynch certainly helps.

Yet I fear that the American political system will ultimately drive the cost of saving the financial system well up into that higher territory.

A large expansion in debt will impose enormous fiscal costs on the US, ultimately hitting growth through a combination of higher taxes and lower spending. It will certainly make it harder for the US to maintain its military dominance, which has been one of the linchpins of the dollar.

The shrinking financial system will also undermine another central foundation of the strength of the US economy. And it is hard to see how the central bank will be able to resist a period of allowing elevated levels of inflation, as this offers a convenient way for the US to deflate the mounting cost of its private and public debts.

It is a very good thing that the rest of the world retains such confidence in America's ability to manage its problems, otherwise the financial crisis would be far worse.

Let us hope the US political and regulatory response continues to inspire this optimism. Otherwise, sharply rising interest rates and a rapidly declining dollar could put the US in a bind that many emerging markets are all too familiar with.
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glassman
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i think the reason that the US dollar has remained strong is because other countries have "lifted it" by issuing more of their own debt/currency... they are just taking advantage of the opportunity...

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Don't envy the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise.

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andrew
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is it true that the amount of money we are talking about.....It is enough for 33 million people to each get $21,000? It is hard to even fathom that much money.
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Machiavelli
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He'll give it to us and forget Wall Street lol We'll spend it right back into the economy which would better for all of us.

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Let the world change you... And you can change the world.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna

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Highwaychild
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Well, I guess they are about to bend us over. Better grab those ankles realllly tight.

I sent my constresssman and suckutor a e-mail and never got so much as a phone call, e-mail, noththing...

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Ace of Spades
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quote:
Originally posted by Highwaychild:
Well, I guess they are about to bend us over. Better grab those ankles realllly tight.

I sent my constresssman and suckutor a e-mail and never got so much as a phone call, e-mail, noththing...

I got my KY jelly ready...do you?

[Good Luck]

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CashCowMoo
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The vote is about to be on....turn to CSPAN. They are voting on some india nuclear bill right now. The bailout is next for vote.

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It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.

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Highwaychild
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A lot of yes votes so far... y16-4n.
McCain y, Obama y.

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Highwaychild
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41y-14n

Jim Bunning NO.

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T e x
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quote:
Bank of America settles lawsuit over bad mortgages

By CHRISTOPHER WILLS, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 50 minutes ago

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Facing a lawsuit over deceptive mortgage practices, a Bank of America Corp. subsidiary has agreed to modify tens of thousands of loans to keep people in 11 states from losing their homes, the Illinois attorney general's office said Sunday.
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Borrowers stuck with Countrywide Financial mortgages that they can't afford could see their interest rates reduced or have the loan principal cut. Some might qualify for having to pay nothing but interest for a decade. Even people who can't afford to keep their homes with such changes will be able to get help moving to a new home.

"This is going to provide a tremendous amount of relief," said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Her office and officials from California negotiated the settlement. Nine other states have also joined the settlement, and other states could sign on, said Deborah Hagan, chief of Madigan's Consumer Protection Division.

If all 50 states were to join, the settlement could provide $8.7 billion in relief to 400,000 borrowers, Hagan said.

In California alone, the settlement will offer $3.5 billion in relief. For Illinois, that would translate to $190 million. The total for the 11 states was not immediately available.

The settlement applies to people who obtained their mortgages through Countrywide Financial Corp., which Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America purchased in June, at the same time Illinois and California sued the company.

"Countrywide's lending practices turned the American dream into a nightmare for tens of thousands of families by putting them into loans they couldn't understand and ultimately couldn't afford," California Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr. said in a statement Sunday.

The other states joining the settlement are Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

Bank of America will launch the new mortgage aid program in December, said Barbara Desoer, president of Bank of America's mortgage, home equity and insurance services. In a statement, she called it "a comprehensive program that provides more solutions than ever before to assist troubled borrowers and put them back on the path to sustained home ownership."

The mortgage aid includes revising customers' payments so they don't exceed 34 percent of income. Other options include reducing interest rates and adjusting principal so that borrowers don't wind up actually losing equity under some payment plans.

Countrywide will not charge loan modification fees and will waive prepayment penalties.

Madigan said she hopes the settlement could serve as a model for steps that other lenders could take to make up for misleading mortgage practices. She stressed that the agreement involves no tax money but will help people keep their homes and keep money flowing to lenders

"This settlement will help homeowners stay in their homes, which ultimately helps investors and also helps communities," said Madigan, a Chicago Democrat.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081006/ap_on_bi_ge/mortgage_lawsuit

wow, now some creative thinking...AFTER thousands have already gone through foreclosure.

seems like all states could go after all bad lenders, doesn't it?

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Nashoba Holba Chepulechi
Adventures in microcapitalism...

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raybond
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Now IMHO that is the way to handle the forclouser problem.Not only are we using the trickle up economy but they are helping the realestate market firm up

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Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

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Congress hears Lehman sought millions for execs
Monday, October 6, 2008
WASHINGTON - Days from becoming the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, Lehman Brothers steered millions to departing executives even while pleading for a federal rescue, Congress was told Monday.

As well, executives who feared for their bonuses in the company's last months were told not to worry, according to documents cited at a congressional hearing. One executive said he was embarrassed when employees suggested that Lehman executives forgo bonuses, and cracked: "I'm not sure what's in the water."

The first hearing into what caused the nation's financial markets to collapse last month, precipitating a $700 billion bailout, opened with finger-pointing and glimpses into internal company documents from Lehman's chaotic last hours.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the giant investment bank was "a company in which there was no accountability for failure." Lehman's collapse set off a panic that within days had President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asking Congress to pass the rescue plan for the financial sector.

Richard S. Fuld Jr., chief executive officer of Lehman Brothers, declared to the committee "I take full responsibility for the decisions that I made and for the actions that I took." He defended his actions as "prudent and appropriate" based on information he had at the time.

"I feel horrible about what happened," he said.

Waxman questioned Fuld on whether it was true he took home some $480 million in compensation since 2000, and asked: "Is that fair?"

Fuld took off his glasses, held them, and looked uncomfortable. He said his compensation was not quite that much.

"We had a compensation committee that spent a tremendous amount of time making sure that the interests of the executives and the employees were aligned with shareholders," he said. Fuld said he took home over $300 million in those years - some $60 million in cash compensation.

Waxman read excerpts from Lehman documents in which a recommendation that top management should forgo bonuses was apparently brushed aside. He also cited a Sept. 11 request to Lehman's compensation board that three executives leaving the company be given $20 million in "special payments."

"In other words, even as Mr. Fuld was pleading with Secretary Paulson for a federal rescue, Lehman continued to squander millions on executive compensation," Waxman said before Fuld appeared as a witness.

The government let Lehman go under Sept. 15, only to bail out insurance giant American International Group the next day, in a cascading series of financial shocks and failures that put Washington on track for the multibillion-dollar rescue starting the end of that week.

Waxman described that plan as a life-support measure. "It may keep our economy from collapsing but it won't make it healthy again," he said.

That sentiment echoed on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrials sank below 10,000 on Monday for the first time in four years. Investors fear the crisis will weigh down the global economy and the bailout won't work quickly to loosen credit markets.

The rescue plan, now law, was so rushed that the usual congressional scrutiny is only coming now, after the fact.

"Although it comes too late to help Lehman Brothers, the so-called bailout program will have to make wrenching choices, picking winners and losers from a shattered and fragile economic landscape," said Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, the committee's senior Republican.

Waxman said that in January, Fuld and his board were warned the company's "liquidity can disappear quite fast."

Despite that warning, he said, "Mr. Fuld depleted Lehman's capital reserves by over $10 billion through year-end bonuses, stock buybacks, and dividend payments."

Waxman quoted Fuld as saying in one document, "Don't worry" to the suggestion that executives go without bonuses.

That suggestion came from Lehman's money management subsidiary, Neuberger Berman. Waxman quoted George H. Walker, President Bush's cousin and a Lehman executive who oversaw some Neuberger Berman employees, as responding with a dismissive tone to the idea of going without bonuses.

"Sorry team," he wrote to the executive committee, according to Waxman. "I'm not sure what's in the water at 605 Third Avenue today.... I'm embarrassed and I apologize."

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said: "I wonder how he sleeps at night."

Fuld said in his statement that the company did everything it could to limits its risks and save itself.

"In the end, despite all our efforts, we were overwhelmed, others were overwhelmed, and still other institutions would have been overwhelmed had the government not stepped in to save them," he said.


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U.S. may take ownership stake in banks: NYT

By MarketWatch
Last update: 10:51 p.m. EDT Oct. 8, 2008Comments: 291SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- In another attempt to loosen credit markets and restore confidence in the financial system, the Treasury Department is considering a plan to take ownership stakes in many U.S. banks, both healthy and troubled, according to a media report Wednesday night.
Treasury officials say the just-passed $700 billion bailout bill gives them the authority to inject cash directly into banks that request it, and the right to take ownership positions in those banks, the New York Times reported in its online edition in a story citing unnamed government officials.
Such a move would quickly strengthen banks' balance sheets and, officials hope, persuade them to resume lending, the Times said.
The Treasury plan, still preliminary, resembles one announced on Wednesday in the U.K. See story
The American recapitalization plan, officials say, has emerged as one of the most favored new options being discussed in Washington and on Wall Street, according to the Times.
The gloomy market response to Wednesday's globally coordinated interest rate cuts by central banks sent policy makers and outside experts on a scramble for additional remedies to stabilize the banks and reassure investors, the Times said.
Treasury officials worry that aggressive government purchases, if not done properly, could alarm bank shareholders by appearing to be punitive or could be interpreted by the market as a sign that target banks were failing, the Times said.
The idea is gaining support even among longtime Republican policy makers who have spent most of their careers defending laissez-faire economic policies, according to the report.

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