AIG Bonus Backlash – Politicians Fake Indignation

As the American Public becomes outraged over an additional set of Executive Bonuses at AIG and the Governemnt continues to break its promise of “transparency” on how our tax dollars are being spent -what are the Democrats in Washington doing?

They are lying to the American people, again and again and again.

Obama’s top economic advisor, Larry Summers, called the bonuses and retention payments “outrageous”. http://blogs.abcnews.com/george/2009/03/summers-on-aig.html . On Sunday, Summers, Chairman of the White House National Economic Council, said, “”There are a lot of terrible things that have happened in the last 18 months, but what’s happened at AIG is the most outrageous.”  Gee, you might think he didn’t know the bonuses were coming. That he hadn’t been told about tthe payments in advance, months in advance. Did you know that 11 of the Executives who will receive $1 Million plus “retention payments” have already left their employment with AIG? http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck-schumer.html

In a phone call Wednesday to AIG CEO Edward Liddy, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said it was unacceptable for the company to give out tens of millions of dollars in bonuses for senior executives after the government committed $180 billion to keep the struggling company afloat. http://blogs.abcnews.com/george/2009/03/summers-on-aig.html. Gee, one might think that Timmy Geitner hadn’t received advance notice of the payouts, the specifics in fact, of whom, where and how much. The information supplied in detail by AIG months ago.

Obama even chimed in pledging to “pursue every legal avenue” to get AIG to roll back the $165 million in bonuses.  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aGpBlzh8xoXY&refer=economy  Harsh language to use towards one of his biggest political contributors, specially in light of the fact that his Administration was fully informed, in advance, of the upcoming bonuses and even supported Democratic Senator Dodd’s amendments to protect these payouts. (The Obama Administration now refers to the Amendments as the “Dodd Amendments”).

So now Obama, after having had advance notice of the bonuses, pledges to “pursue every legal avenue” to get AIG to roll back the $165 million in bonuses As if he, Obama, a Harvard trained Attorney, doesn’t know the attempt has no legal basis, already. First year law students all over the Country must be rolling their eyes back in their heads after hearing this. Political spin is one thing, but why not be straight with the American public and stop the blatant lies. Didn’t the President previously call such bonuses “shameful” and promise to eliminate them.  http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102×3713683 Then why didn’t he do so when he had the chance? 

If you remember the President’s past empty promises in this regard and thought they had become law prior to the last two AIG Bailouts (the 3rd and 4th) – you’d be wrong.

Politico reports the following today, 03/17/09, ”The furor over bailed-out insurance giant AIG is adding urgency to President Barack Obama’s longtime plan to tighten regulations on financial firms, with an administration plan now set for unveiling next week.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20089.html

I am one of many who recall the President telling all of America that this was a done deal. A deal signed, sealed and previously sold to the American people as delivered. No more “bonuses”, no more “perks”, caps on “compensation”.

“The plans will take shape at a hearing by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who will take the lead on the complex, heavily lobbied issue.”  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20089.html

Just what the American Public needs, another “secret plan” to be developed over the next several months and then poorly implemented by this Administration. Reminds me of the highly touted “bank stress test” that was being developed behind closed doors – a test whose specifics have never been released for public review.  Remember the “new stress test” was not to be confused with the standard “stress test” previously employed by the Treasury Department.

Democrats, who have an overwhelming majority in Congress and who, despite their attempts to blame Bush – were the party to pass not only the first bailout bill, but the second, third and forth, not to mention the passage of a stimulus package 0f $700 Million and that nearly $4 trillion dollar budget bill. In total the Democrats have spent nearly $9 Trillion Dollars – an amount that could pay, in round numbers, $79,000 to every family in this Country.  

Now the Democrats pretend to be outraged! Why is that?  They knew the bonuses were coming months ago.

Why the sudden political farse over a miserly $450 Million in bonuses and retention payments for employees who may no longer work at AIG. (After all we are not talking billions or trillions here). http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

Simply put – the Congress is blowing smoke in your eyes and up your ***. Congressional actions claiming that the AIG bonuses will be taken back in “special tax laws” are solely intended to mislead the public. Any such attempt will be found to be unconstitutional and end up costing the American Taxpayers, not only the bonus money but Attorneys fees, Court costs and interest when the aggrieved AIG employees demonstrate just how silly such an action would be at the closest available Court House. In a few days, after the Democrats believe they have bought all the available “cover” they can muster over this travesty, they will quietly let the idea of a “special” and “discriminatory” tax die.  http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck-schumer.html  

Just how far does this obfuscation go? Lets examine Senator Dodd, Democrat, Connecticut. Dodd is one of the Democrats in Congress calling for a the enactment of what would be a discriminatory tax against AIG employees. http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck-schumer.html  

Doesn’t Dodd know such action would be struck down as discriminatory? Of course he does. If he did not he would not be fit to hold his office, would he?  Then why is he raising such a fuss over such a non-starter of an idea. (I’m sure the Senate research staff is scratching their heads and saying, “they suggested what?’). Dodd is trying to deflect the public from noticing that he, himself, opened the door for these very bonuses.  

The proof of cuch a claim – right here. Dodd’s office recently announced that, “Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate banking committee, demanded a full briefing from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury on why clauses weren’t attached to the four various AIG bailouts to halt bonuses.” http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck . Yet the Senator well knows that while the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to that very bill. The provision, now called “the Dodd Amendment” by the Obama Administration, provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” — which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax. http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

Obama & Dodd Were Friend’s Of AIG Before AIG Was Their Enemy

Obama may be grandstanding about AIG’s bonuses now, but it’s worth noting that Obama himself is the second biggest benefactor of AIG political contributions.  Second only to Senator Chris Dodd, who is quietly trying to tip-toe away from legislation he inserted into Obama’s “stimulus” spending spree that protected AIG’s bonuses. http://www.kxmb.com/News/Nation/346030.asp

“Senator Barack Obama received a $101,332 bonus from American International Group in the form of political contributions according to Opensecrets.org. The two biggest Congressional recipients of bonuses from the A.I.G. are – Senators Chris Dodd and Senator Barack Obama.” The A.I.G. Financial Products affiliate of AIG. gave out $136,928, the most of any AIG affiliate, in the 2008 cycle.  I would note that AIG’s financial products division is the unit that wrote trillions of dollars worth of credit-default swaps and “misjudged” the risk. http://www.kxmb.com/News/Nation/346030.asp

On Monday, Obama lambasted the insurance giant for “recklessness and greed” and pledged to try to block payment of the bonuses. http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=D96VUNH00&page=2&cb=0  Gee, I wonder if Obama will return the AIG political contributions in the same way he returned convicted felon Tony Rezko’s contributions after they became public knowledge?

Why are the Politicians acting surprised now?

China’s Xinhua News Agency Reports that, “However, the bonuses for AIG executives were paid legally, part of a program that had been disclosed in advance in filings that the insurer made with the government, the U.S. media reported. Sharp questions have been raised about what the administration knew about the bonuses, and when.”   http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/18/content_11028286.htm

How is it that the major American News organizations did not lead with this story on tonight’s news broadcasts. Bloomberg reorted on these payments last December, “Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc., whose bonuses and perks drew fire from lawmakers after the insurer accepted a federal bailout, will make special retention payments that more than double the salaries of some senior managers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Some executives among 130 recipients will get more than $500,000, about 200 percent of their salaries, to stay through 2009, said the person, who declined to be named because the information hasn’t been publicly disclosed. An undetermined number of lower-paid employees will also get cash awards to dissuade them from quitting, the person said.” http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aGf.YgVHEPYQ&refer=home  

This article appeared months prior to Senator Dodd’s “amendment” that specifically allowed for the bonuses he now “rants about.

The publication “Canadian Business” reports, “The bonuses were paid under legal contracts, part of a program that had been disclosed in advance filings that American International Group Inc. made with the government.” http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=D96VUNH00

The Article is titled, “Democrats threaten strong action to recoup AIG bonuses through new taxes”. The article highlights the idle nature of the Democratic threats. Specifically, the publication noted that, “Even though AIG’s bonus plans were disclosed last year, outrage and threats poured forth from Capitol Hill on Tuesday.”  Does the word hypocrisy come to mind?http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=D96VUNH00

These very same Politicians who now pretend outrage knew of these planned bonuses and retention payments 6 months ago. Why Senator Dodd authored the amendment that protected these very payments! The White House was kept fully informed by the Senator’s staff.

UPDATE – Senator Dodd Admits He Knew About Change In Bonus Language Prohibition – Blames Obama White House And Treasury Department For Change

hypocrite (definition)

 

1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.Origin: From the Greek Language –  a stage actor, hence one who pretends to be what he is not

As an additional note: Did you know that an alternative amendment was offered to the one authored and passed by Senator Dodd and the Democrats, however, the Democrats lack of bi-partisanship prevailed. ”Republicans said Democratic leaders last month killed a plan that would have forced financial institutions to compensate taxpayers if they paid their executives large bonuses after receiving federal bailout money. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, a co-sponsor of the amendment to Obama’s stimulus bill, said striking it “left open an escape hatch of golden parachutes for top executives on Wall Street.” Snow is one of the Republican Senators to consistently cross party lines to support Obama’s initiatives.” http://news.aol.com/article/congress-threatens-to-tax-aig-executives/386132

AOL news also reports that, “Though AIG’s bonus plans were disclosed last year, Congress’ outrage and threats have begun pouring forth only recently.” http://news.aol.com/article/congress-threatens-to-tax-aig-executives/386132

So despite the fact that Democrats in Congress new, since last fall, that 73 AIG executives were to be paid in excess of $1 Million in bonuses (11 no longer work for the company) and that certain Executives would receive multi-million dollar bonuses, nothing was done. Well almost nothing was done – Senator Dodd authored and the Democrats passed an amendment that protected these bonuses.

Now that the facts have become public the political theatre has started.

AIG POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS IN 2008

Democrats   $442,996                Republicans    $142,792           Independents   $0        Total: $442,926

House of Representatives:                # of Members                      Ave Amount               Total Amount

Dems                                                                        34                                             $3,069                                $104,350

Reps                                                                          21                                              $1,223                                     $25,693

Senate

Dems                                                                       18                                              $17,906                                 $322,322

Reps                                                                         15                                               $6,816                                    $102,249

Senator Chris Dodd   $103.100

Senator Barack Obama $101,332                      

Obama and Dodd received $204,000 of the $443,000 in total political contributions made by AIG last year – almost half of the total amount spent by AIG.  http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

Obama Admin: Veterans To Pay For Service Injuries With Private Insurance

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

No official proposal to create such a program has been announced publicly, but veterans groups wrote a pre-emptive letter last week to President Obama voicing their opposition to the idea after hearing the plan was under consideration.

The groups also cited an increase in “third-party collections” estimated in the 2010 budget proposal — something they said could be achieved only if the Veterans Administration started billing for service-related injuries.

Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under “consideration.”

“A final decision hasn’t been made yet,” he said.

Currently, veterans’ private insurance is charged only when they receive health care from the VA for medical issues that are not related to service injuries, like getting the flu.

Charging for service-related injuries would violate “a sacred trust,” Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis said. Davis said the move would risk private health care for veterans and their families by potentially maxing out benefits paying for costly war injury treatments.

Eleven of the most prominent veterans organizations have been lobbying Congress to oppose the idea. In the letter sent last week to the president, the groups warned that the idea “is wholly unacceptable and a total abrogation of our government’s moral and legal responsibility to the men and women who have sacrificed so much.”

The groups included The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

At the time, a White House spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the option was being considered.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/10/veterans.health.insurance/index.html

AIG Bonuses – Obama & Dodd Fake Indignation – Administration Had Advanced Notice Of Bonuses

As the American Public becomes outraged over an additional set of Executive Bonuses at AIG and the Governemnt continues to break its promise of “transparency” on how our tax dollars are being spent -what are the Democrats in Washington doing?

They are lying to the American people, again and again and again.

Obama’s top economic advisor, Larry Summers, called the bonuses and retention payments “outrageous”. http://blogs.abcnews.com/george/2009/03/summers-on-aig.html . On Sunday, Summers, Chairman of the White House National Economic Council, said, “”There are a lot of terrible things that have happened in the last 18 months, but what’s happened at AIG is the most outrageous.”  Gee, you might think he didn’t know the bonuses were coming. That he hadn’t been told about tthe payments in advance, months in advance. Did you know that 11 of the Executives who will receive $1 Million plus “retention payments” have already left their employment with AIG? http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck-schumer.html

In a phone call Wednesday to AIG CEO Edward Liddy, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said it was unacceptable for the company to give out tens of millions of dollars in bonuses for senior executives after the government committed $180 billion to keep the struggling company afloat. http://blogs.abcnews.com/george/2009/03/summers-on-aig.html. Gee, one might think that Timmy Geitner hadn’t received advance notice of the payouts, the specifics in fact, of whom, where and how much. The information supplied in detail by AIG months ago.

Obama even chimed in pledging to “pursue every legal avenue” to get AIG to roll back the $165 million in bonuses.  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aGpBlzh8xoXY&refer=economy  Harsh language to use towards one of his biggest political contributors, specially in light of the fact that his Administration was fully informed, in advance, of the upcoming bonuses and even supported Democratic Senator Dodd’s amendments to protect these payouts. (The Obama Administration now refers to the Amendments as the “Dodd Amendments”).

So now Obama, after having had advance notice of the bonuses, pledges to “pursue every legal avenue” to get AIG to roll back the $165 million in bonuses As if he, Obama, a Harvard trained Attorney, doesn’t know the attempt has no legal basis, already. First year law students all over the Country must be rolling their eyes back in their heads after hearing this. Political spin is one thing, but why not be straight with the American public and stop the blatant lies. Didn’t the President previously call such bonuses “shameful” and promise to eliminate them.  http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102×3713683 Then why didn’t he do so when he had the chance? 

If you remember the President’s past empty promises in this regard and thought they had become law prior to the last two AIG Bailouts (the 3rd and 4th) – you’d be wrong.

Politico reports the following today, 03/17/09, ”The furor over bailed-out insurance giant AIG is adding urgency to President Barack Obama’s longtime plan to tighten regulations on financial firms, with an administration plan now set for unveiling next week.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20089.html

I am one of many who recall the President telling all of America that this was a done deal. A deal signed, sealed and previously sold to the American people as delivered. No more “bonuses”, no more “perks”, caps on “compensation”.

“The plans will take shape at a hearing by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who will take the lead on the complex, heavily lobbied issue.”  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20089.html

Just what the American Public needs, another “secret plan” to be developed over the next several months and then poorly implemented by this Administration. Reminds me of the highly touted “bank stress test” that was being developed behind closed doors – a test whose specifics have never been released for public review.  Remember the “new stress test” was not to be confused with the standard “stress test” previously employed by the Treasury Department.

Democrats, who have an overwhelming majority in Congress and who, despite their attempts to blame Bush – were the party to pass not only the first bailout bill, but the second, third and forth, not to mention the passage of a stimulus package 0f $700 Million and that nearly $4 trillion dollar budget bill. In total the Democrats have spent nearly $9 Trillion Dollars – an amount that could pay, in round numbers, $79,000 to every family in this Country.  

Now the Democrats pretend to be outraged! Why is that?  They knew the bonuses were coming months ago.

Why the sudden political farse over a miserly $450 Million in bonuses and retention payments for employees who may no longer work at AIG. (After all we are not talking billions or trillions here). http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

Simply put – the Congress is blowing smoke in your eyes and up your ***. Congressional actions claiming that the AIG bonuses will be taken back in “special tax laws” are solely intended to mislead the public. Any such attempt will be found to be unconstitutional and end up costing the American Taxpayers, not only the bonus money but Attorneys fees, Court costs and interest when the aggrieved AIG employees demonstrate just how silly such an action would be at the closest available Court House. In a few days, after the Democrats believe they have bought all the available “cover” they can muster over this travesty, they will quietly let the idea of a “special” and “discriminatory” tax die.  http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck-schumer.html  

Just how far does this obfuscation go? Lets examine Senator Dodd, Democrat, Connecticut. Dodd is one of the Democrats in Congress calling for a the enactment of what would be a discriminatory tax against AIG employees. http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck-schumer.html  

Doesn’t Dodd know such action would be struck down as discriminatory? Of course he does. If he did not he would not be fit to hold his office, would he?  Then why is he raising such a fuss over such a non-starter of an idea. (I’m sure the Senate research staff is scratching their heads and saying, “they suggested what?’). Dodd is trying to deflect the public from noticing that he, himself, opened the door for these very bonuses.  

The proof of cuch a claim – right here. Dodd’s office recently announced that, “Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate banking committee, demanded a full briefing from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury on why clauses weren’t attached to the four various AIG bailouts to halt bonuses.” http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck . Yet the Senator well knows that while the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to that very bill. The provision, now called “the Dodd Amendment” by the Obama Administration, provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” — which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax. http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

Obama & Dodd Were Friend’s Of AIG Before AIG Was Their Enemy

Obama may be grandstanding about AIG’s bonuses now, but it’s worth noting that Obama himself is the second biggest benefactor of AIG political contributions.  Second only to Senator Chris Dodd, who is quietly trying to tip-toe away from legislation he inserted into Obama’s “stimulus” spending spree that protected AIG’s bonuses. http://www.kxmb.com/News/Nation/346030.asp

“Senator Barack Obama received a $101,332 bonus from American International Group in the form of political contributions according to Opensecrets.org. The two biggest Congressional recipients of bonuses from the A.I.G. are – Senators Chris Dodd and Senator Barack Obama.” The A.I.G. Financial Products affiliate of AIG. gave out $136,928, the most of any AIG affiliate, in the 2008 cycle.  I would note that AIG’s financial products division is the unit that wrote trillions of dollars worth of credit-default swaps and “misjudged” the risk. http://www.kxmb.com/News/Nation/346030.asp

On Monday, Obama lambasted the insurance giant for “recklessness and greed” and pledged to try to block payment of the bonuses. http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=D96VUNH00&page=2&cb=0  Gee, I wonder if Obama will return the AIG political contributions in the same way he returned convicted felon Tony Rezko’s contributions after they became public knowledge?

Why are the Politicians acting surprised now?

China’s Xinhua News Agency Reports that, “However, the bonuses for AIG executives were paid legally, part of a program that had been disclosed in advance in filings that the insurer made with the government, the U.S. media reported. Sharp questions have been raised about what the administration knew about the bonuses, and when.”   http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/18/content_11028286.htm

How is it that the major American News organizations did not lead with this story on tonight’s news broadcasts. Bloomberg reorted on these payments last December, “Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc., whose bonuses and perks drew fire from lawmakers after the insurer accepted a federal bailout, will make special retention payments that more than double the salaries of some senior managers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Some executives among 130 recipients will get more than $500,000, about 200 percent of their salaries, to stay through 2009, said the person, who declined to be named because the information hasn’t been publicly disclosed. An undetermined number of lower-paid employees will also get cash awards to dissuade them from quitting, the person said.” http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aGf.YgVHEPYQ&refer=home  

This article appeared months prior to Senator Dodd’s “amendment” that specifically allowed for the bonuses he now “rants about.

The publication “Canadian Business” reports, “The bonuses were paid under legal contracts, part of a program that had been disclosed in advance filings that American International Group Inc. made with the government.” http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=D96VUNH00

The Article is titled, “Democrats threaten strong action to recoup AIG bonuses through new taxes”. The article highlights the idle nature of the Democratic threats. Specifically, the publication noted that, “Even though AIG’s bonus plans were disclosed last year, outrage and threats poured forth from Capitol Hill on Tuesday.”  Does the word hypocrisy come to mind?http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=D96VUNH00

These very same Politicians who now pretend outrage knew of these planned bonuses and retention payments 6 months ago. Why Senator Dodd authored the amendment that protected these very payments! The White House was kept fully informed by the Senator’s staff.

UPDATE: Senator Dodd Admits Advance Notice – Blames Obama White House & Treasury Department For Engineering AIG Bonuses:

hypocrite (definition)

 

1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.Origin: From the Greek Language –  a stage actor, hence one who pretends to be what he is not

As an additional note: Did you know that an alternative amendment was offered to the one authored and passed by Senator Dodd and the Democrats, however, the Democrats lack of bi-partisanship prevailed. ”Republicans said Democratic leaders last month killed a plan that would have forced financial institutions to compensate taxpayers if they paid their executives large bonuses after receiving federal bailout money. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, a co-sponsor of the amendment to Obama’s stimulus bill, said striking it “left open an escape hatch of golden parachutes for top executives on Wall Street.” Snow is one of the Republican Senators to consistently cross party lines to support Obama’s initiatives.” http://news.aol.com/article/congress-threatens-to-tax-aig-executives/386132

AOL news also reports that, “Though AIG’s bonus plans were disclosed last year, Congress’ outrage and threats have begun pouring forth only recently.” http://news.aol.com/article/congress-threatens-to-tax-aig-executives/386132

So despite the fact that Democrats in Congress new, since last fall, that 73 AIG executives were to be paid in excess of $1 Million in bonuses (11 no longer work for the company) and that certain Executives would receive multi-million dollar bonuses, nothing was done. Well almost nothing was done – Senator Dodd authored and the Democrats passed an amendment that protected these bonuses.

Now that the facts have become public the political theatre has started.

AIG POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS IN 2008

Democrats   $442,996                Republicans    $142,792           Independents   $0        Total: $442,926

House of Representatives:                # of Members                      Ave Amount               Total Amount

Dems                                                                        34                                             $3,069                                $104,350

Reps                                                                          21                                              $1,223                                     $25,693

Senate

Dems                                                                       18                                              $17,906                                 $322,322

Reps                                                                         15                                               $6,816                                    $102,249

Senator Chris Dodd   $103.100

Senator Barack Obama $101,332                      

Obama and Dodd received $204,000 of the $443,000 in total political contributions made by AIG last year – almost half of the total amount spent by AIG.  http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

AIG Bonuses Truth Stranger Than Fiction – The Politicians New The Payments Were Coming For Months – Why are They Lying To The American Public

UPDATE: Senator Dodd Now Admits That Democratic Leaders Not Only Knew Of The Upcoming Bonuses – But That Obama White House and The Treasury Deprtment Insisted On The Amendment That Engineered The AIG Bonuses:

As the American Public becomes outraged over an additional set of Executive Bonuses at AIG and the Governemnt continues to break its promise of “transparency” on how our tax dollars are being spent -what are the Democrats in Washington doing?

They are lying to the American people, again and again and again.

Obama’s top economic advisor, Larry Summers, called the bonuses and retention payments “outrageous”. http://blogs.abcnews.com/george/2009/03/summers-on-aig.html . On Sunday, Summers, Chairman of the White House National Economic Council, said, “”There are a lot of terrible things that have happened in the last 18 months, but what’s happened at AIG is the most outrageous.”  Gee, you might think he didn’t know the bonuses were coming. That he hadn’t been told about tthe payments in advance, months in advance. Did you know that 11 of the Executives who will receive $1 Million plus “retention payments” have already left their employment with AIG? http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck-schumer.html

In a phone call Wednesday to AIG CEO Edward Liddy, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said it was unacceptable for the company to give out tens of millions of dollars in bonuses for senior executives after the government committed $180 billion to keep the struggling company afloat. http://blogs.abcnews.com/george/2009/03/summers-on-aig.html. Gee, one might think that Timmy Geitner hadn’t received advance notice of the payouts, the specifics in fact, of whom, where and how much. The information supplied in detail by AIG months ago.

Obama even chimed in pledging to “pursue every legal avenue” to get AIG to roll back the $165 million in bonuses.  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aGpBlzh8xoXY&refer=economy  Harsh language to use towards one of his biggest political contributors, specially in light of the fact that his Administration was fully informed, in advance, of the upcoming bonuses and even supported Democratic Senator Dodd’s amendments to protect these payouts. (The Obama Administration now refers to the Amendments as the “Dodd Amendments”).

So now Obama, after having had advance notice of the bonuses, pledges to “pursue every legal avenue” to get AIG to roll back the $165 million in bonuses As if he, Obama, a Harvard trained Attorney, doesn’t know the attempt has no legal basis, already. First year law students all over the Country must be rolling their eyes back in their heads after hearing this. Political spin is one thing, but why not be straight with the American public and stop the blatant lies. Didn’t the President previously call such bonuses “shameful” and promise to eliminate them.  http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102×3713683 Then why didn’t he do so when he had the chance? 

If you remember the President’s past empty promises in this regard and thought they had become law prior to the last two AIG Bailouts (the 3rd and 4th) – you’d be wrong.

Politico reports the following today, 03/17/09, ”The furor over bailed-out insurance giant AIG is adding urgency to President Barack Obama’s longtime plan to tighten regulations on financial firms, with an administration plan now set for unveiling next week.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20089.html

I am one of many who recall the President telling all of America that this was a done deal. A deal signed, sealed and previously sold to the American people as delivered. No more “bonuses”, no more “perks”, caps on “compensation”.

“The plans will take shape at a hearing by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who will take the lead on the complex, heavily lobbied issue.”  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20089.html

Just what the American Public needs, another “secret plan” to be developed over the next several months and then poorly implemented by this Administration. Reminds me of the highly touted “bank stress test” that was being developed behind closed doors – a test whose specifics have never been released for public review.  Remember the “new stress test” was not to be confused with the standard “stress test” previously employed by the Treasury Department.

Democrats, who have an overwhelming majority in Congress and who, despite their attempts to blame Bush – were the party to pass not only the first bailout bill, but the second, third and forth, not to mention the passage of a stimulus package 0f $700 Million and that nearly $4 trillion dollar budget bill. In total the Democrats have spent nearly $9 Trillion Dollars – an amount that could pay, in round numbers, $79,000 to every family in this Country.  

Now the Democrats pretend to be outraged! Why is that?  They knew the bonuses were coming months ago.

Why the sudden political farse over a miserly $450 Million in bonuses and retention payments for employees who may no longer work at AIG. (After all we are not talking billions or trillions here). http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

Simply put – the Congress is blowing smoke in your eyes and up your ***. Congressional actions claiming that the AIG bonuses will be taken back in “special tax laws” are solely intended to mislead the public. Any such attempt will be found to be unconstitutional and end up costing the American Taxpayers, not only the bonus money but Attorneys fees, Court costs and interest when the aggrieved AIG employees demonstrate just how silly such an action would be at the closest available Court House. In a few days, after the Democrats believe they have bought all the available “cover” they can muster over this travesty, they will quietly let the idea of a “special” and “discriminatory” tax die.  http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck-schumer.html  

Just how far does this obfuscation go? Lets examine Senator Dodd, Democrat, Connecticut. Dodd is one of the Democrats in Congress calling for a the enactment of what would be a discriminatory tax against AIG employees. http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck-schumer.html  

Doesn’t Dodd know such action would be struck down as discriminatory? Of course he does. If he did not he would not be fit to hold his office, would he?  Then why is he raising such a fuss over such a non-starter of an idea. (I’m sure the Senate research staff is scratching their heads and saying, “they suggested what?’). Dodd is trying to deflect the public from noticing that he, himself, opened the door for these very bonuses.  

The proof of cuch a claim – right here. Dodd’s office recently announced that, “Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate banking committee, demanded a full briefing from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury on why clauses weren’t attached to the four various AIG bailouts to halt bonuses.” http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/politics/2009/03/17/aig-bonus-checks-may-be-taxed-at-up-to-100-says-sen-chuck . Yet the Senator well knows that while the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to that very bill. The provision, now called “the Dodd Amendment” by the Obama Administration, provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” — which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax. http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

Obama & Dodd Were Friend’s Of AIG Before AIG Was Their Enemy

Obama may be grandstanding about AIG’s bonuses now, but it’s worth noting that Obama himself is the second biggest benefactor of AIG political contributions.  Second only to Senator Chris Dodd, who is quietly trying to tip-toe away from legislation he inserted into Obama’s “stimulus” spending spree that protected AIG’s bonuses. http://www.kxmb.com/News/Nation/346030.asp

“Senator Barack Obama received a $101,332 bonus from American International Group in the form of political contributions according to Opensecrets.org. The two biggest Congressional recipients of bonuses from the A.I.G. are – Senators Chris Dodd and Senator Barack Obama.” The A.I.G. Financial Products affiliate of AIG. gave out $136,928, the most of any AIG affiliate, in the 2008 cycle.  I would note that AIG’s financial products division is the unit that wrote trillions of dollars worth of credit-default swaps and “misjudged” the risk. http://www.kxmb.com/News/Nation/346030.asp

On Monday, Obama lambasted the insurance giant for “recklessness and greed” and pledged to try to block payment of the bonuses. http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=D96VUNH00&page=2&cb=0  Gee, I wonder if Obama will return the AIG political contributions in the same way he returned convicted felon Tony Rezko’s contributions after they became public knowledge?

Why are the Politicians acting surprised now?

China’s Xinhua News Agency Reports that, “However, the bonuses for AIG executives were paid legally, part of a program that had been disclosed in advance in filings that the insurer made with the government, the U.S. media reported. Sharp questions have been raised about what the administration knew about the bonuses, and when.”   http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/18/content_11028286.htm

How is it that the major American News organizations did not lead with this story on tonight’s news broadcasts. Bloomberg reorted on these payments last December, “Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc., whose bonuses and perks drew fire from lawmakers after the insurer accepted a federal bailout, will make special retention payments that more than double the salaries of some senior managers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Some executives among 130 recipients will get more than $500,000, about 200 percent of their salaries, to stay through 2009, said the person, who declined to be named because the information hasn’t been publicly disclosed. An undetermined number of lower-paid employees will also get cash awards to dissuade them from quitting, the person said.” http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aGf.YgVHEPYQ&refer=home  

This article appeared months prior to Senator Dodd’s “amendment” that specifically allowed for the bonuses he now “rants about.

The publication “Canadian Business” reports, “The bonuses were paid under legal contracts, part of a program that had been disclosed in advance filings that American International Group Inc. made with the government.” http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=D96VUNH00

The Article is titled, “Democrats threaten strong action to recoup AIG bonuses through new taxes”. The article highlights the idle nature of the Democratic threats. Specifically, the publication noted that, “Even though AIG’s bonus plans were disclosed last year, outrage and threats poured forth from Capitol Hill on Tuesday.”  Does the word hypocrisy come to mind?http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/article.jsp?content=D96VUNH00

These very same Politicians who now pretend outrage knew of these planned bonuses and retention payments 6 months ago. Why Senator Dodd authored the amendment that protected these very payments! The White House was kept fully informed by the Senator’s staff.

hypocrite (definition)

 

1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.Origin: From the Greek Language –  a stage actor, hence one who pretends to be what he is not

As an additional note: Did you know that an alternative amendment was offered to the one authored and passed by Senator Dodd and the Democrats, however, the Democrats lack of bi-partisanship prevailed. ”Republicans said Democratic leaders last month killed a plan that would have forced financial institutions to compensate taxpayers if they paid their executives large bonuses after receiving federal bailout money. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, a co-sponsor of the amendment to Obama’s stimulus bill, said striking it “left open an escape hatch of golden parachutes for top executives on Wall Street.” Snow is one of the Republican Senators to consistently cross party lines to support Obama’s initiatives.” http://news.aol.com/article/congress-threatens-to-tax-aig-executives/386132

AOL news also reports that, “Though AIG’s bonus plans were disclosed last year, Congress’ outrage and threats have begun pouring forth only recently.” http://news.aol.com/article/congress-threatens-to-tax-aig-executives/386132

So despite the fact that Democrats in Congress new, since last fall, that 73 AIG executives were to be paid in excess of $1 Million in bonuses (11 no longer work for the company) and that certain Executives would receive multi-million dollar bonuses, nothing was done. Well almost nothing was done – Senator Dodd authored and the Democrats passed an amendment that protected these bonuses.

Now that the facts have become public the political theatre has started.

AIG POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS IN 2008

Democrats   $442,996                Republicans    $142,792           Independents   $0        Total: $442,926

House of Representatives:                # of Members                      Ave Amount               Total Amount

Dems                                                                        34                                             $3,069                                $104,350

Reps                                                                          21                                              $1,223                                     $25,693

Senate

Dems                                                                       18                                              $17,906                                 $322,322

Reps                                                                         15                                               $6,816                                    $102,249

Senator Chris Dodd   $103.100

Senator Barack Obama $101,332                      

Obama and Dodd received $204,000 of the $443,000 in total political contributions made by AIG last year – almost half of the total amount spent by AIG.  http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/dodd-cracks-aig—time/

Senator Chris Dodd’s Latest Ethics Investigation – By The London (England) Times

Top Democrat in holiday home intrigue

Senator Christopher Dodd bought a share of the house in Galway 15 years ago

The purchase of the home by Senator Christopher Dodd is being examined by the US Senate ethics committee after allegations that Edward Downe Jr, a businessman convicted of insider trading, acted as a “middle man” in the deal.

Eight years ago Dodd, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination against Barack Obama, lobbied Clinton, the then president, to grant Downe a pardon. This has prompted further questions about the financier’s involvement with the Galway house.

Dodd bought a one-third share of a 10-acre property on the island of Inishnee, near Roundstone, in 1994 for $53,000 (about €41,000 at today’s rate). He is still a regular visitor there. William Kessinger, a business partner of Downe’s, purchased the remaining two-thirds for $107,000. Downe witnessed the transaction and signed the deed.

Questions have now been raised about Downe’s role, by both journalists and Republicans in Connecticut, the state Dodd represents. The year before Dodd bought the Galway property, Downe pleaded guilty to insider trading and agreed to pay the government $11m in a settlement. In 2001, near the end of Clinton’s term of office, Dodd successfully lobbied the White House for a pardon. Unusually, the pardon wasn’t first sanctioned by the US Department of Justice.

In 2002 Kessinger sold his two-thirds share of the property to Dodd for $127,000, a profit of only $20,000 from an eight-year period during which property prices doubled in Roundstone, a popular second-home location with rich Dubliners.

Dodd said the price agreed between himself and Kessinger was based on a “recent valuation”. In financial-disclosure documents after his outright purchase of the property, Dodd claimed that the 1,700 sq ft house and surrounding land was worth between $100,000 and $250,000. At the time, similar properties in Roundstone were selling for more than twice this figure.

John Moore, an Irish business partner of Downe’s, also lobbied Galway county council to approve a planning application by Dodd to extend and renovate the property soon after it was bought in 1994.

Moore said: “I didn’t write to the council on behalf of Edward Downe. I was involved with Galway Chamber of Commerce at the time and had got to know Senator Dodd. I asked the council to look favourably on his planning application because I thought he might be able to help attract US businesses to Galway. ”

The deal between Kessinger and Dodd has attracted attention in America because of its similarity to another property transaction involving the pair that has also come under scrutiny. In 1986, they purchased a condominium in Washington for $159,800. A little over three years later, Downe transferred his share of the property to Dodd, who later sold it for $310,000.

Dodd is already under investigation for receiving what a former mortgage broker claims was preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial, one of the largest sub-prime lenders in the US, on two re-mortgage deals in 2003. Dodd denies that he received “special treatment”.

Last week The Wall Street Journal questioned why Kessinger handed over his share of the Connemara property “for a song” and called on Dodd to reveal what role Downe might have played as a “middle man”. Kevin Rennie, a former Republican state legislator in Connecticut, said that controversy surrounding Dodd’s Irish holiday cottage was damaging his hopes of re-election.

“He is on the Senate banking committee and is a very vocal critic of Wall Street excess. But these latest allegations show that he had very close ties to a number of controversial figures,” he said.

A spokesman for Dodd said Downe never had a financial interest in the purchase of the Roundstone property.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article5908908.ece

WHY DOES THIS REMIND ME OF THE OBAMA – RESKO PROPERTY DEAL

Bank Failures On Rise in 2009. How Is Your Bank Doing? Rating For Every US Bank Provided

U.S. banks suffer 149 percent rise in bad loans

New data on each of 8,000 banks show the breadth of recession’s impact

[WHEN WILL THEY LEARN – A BAD CREDIT RISK IS A BAD RISK FOR A REASON]

While a large majority of banks were still healthy, 163 ended the year with more troubled loans than capital, up from only 13 a year earlier, according to the analysis of data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. by msnbc.com and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University in Washington, D.C.

Foreclosures and bad loans raced through the banking industry in 2008, with the more than 8,000 U.S. banks registering a 149 percent increase in troubled assets, according to a new analysis of bank financial reports to the federal government.

Nationwide, seven out of every 10 banks were less well prepared to withstand their potential loan losses than a year earlier. The analysis relies on information reported quarterly to the FDIC, calculating each bank’s troubled asset ratio, which compares troubled loans against the bank’s capital and loan loss reserves.

Although attention has focused on the largest banks, which hold the lion’s share of deposits, the analysis shows how widespread the problems in the banking industry became in 2008 as the mortgage meltdown and broader recession unfolded. Msnbc.com is publishing information on the nation’s 400 largest banks as well as all banks with high ratios of troubled loans at year’s end. And the American University group has created a new Web site, BankTracker, to provide information on the financial health of every bank in the country.

The American Bankers Association opposes the publishing of such figures for mainstream consumption. It said that no single figure can capture the complexity of the rapidly changing financial situation at an individual bank, and that the public may not be prepared to handle that information.

“Frankly, you could cause a run on a bank unnecessarily,” said John Hall, ABA spokesman. “By widely publicizing this ratio, while the analyst community often uses it, when it’s put in the general public’s hands often they get confused and don’t understand that this doesn’t necessarily mean the bank can’t come back.

‘People may not understand the context’
The ABA’s chief economist, James Chessen, agreed, saying, “In this environment where confidence has been shaken, it’s easy to play into those kinds of fears, where people may not understand the context.”

But a representative of the Independent Community Bankers of America, which represents 5,000 mostly smaller banks, said he didn’t oppose the publishing of such figures.

“As far as caring about the health of your institution, or the institution you do business with, I think it’s prudent for any consumer to have a basic understanding of how the bank is doing. Banks are required to report their statement of condition on a quarterly basis. People just have to understand that it’s only a snapshot in time, and literally the day after that snapshot was taken, conditions could change positively or negatively.”

This troubled asset ratio isn’t a predictor of the future. It doesn’t show “who’s next to fail.” Bankers and regulators point out that some unhealthy banks have quietly gotten healthier, through state or federal supervision, better management, injections of additional capital, or because borrowers who were behind have been able to get current on their payments. Although the FDIC keeps a “troubled bank list,” it does not make that list public, for fear of starting a panic among customers.

The numbers don’t reveal certain exotic troubled assets that have contributed to the problems at the larger banks, such as mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations, meaning the ratios may underestimate the size of the problem at certain banks.  

But like a high cholesterol level, it and similar ratios have been commonly used by regulators and analysts as one indicator of banks in need of closer scrutiny. It offers insight into a major problem that more banks are facing: the general risk of the deepening recession, combined with risky lending by certain banks.

‘Horrendous decisions’  [Many mandated by Congress or under threat of lawsuit]
Fine, of the community bankers association, said he expects about 120 banks to fail this year. Over two years, that would make about 150.

The community bankers have tended to portray the banking problems as isolated among the big banks, with their creation and use of mortgage-backed securities and other non-traditional instruments. [A very accurate protrayal – ask your local community banker – while your at it ask him how he fees about the Government charging his “safe” bank higher FDIC fees – which she/he must pass on to his customers to pay for the mistakes made in Congress and on Wall Street]  The small banks have an advertising campaign, comparing Wall Street’s recklessness with Main Street’s quiet conservatism. As Fine says, “We’re getting hit by the shrapnel of the explosions on Wall Street. That’s wounding some of the banks and killing some of the others.”

“You’ve got good bankers and you’ve got bankers doing not so good. Was there a percentage of banks that got caught up in the go-go hysteria? I’m sure there was. You had bankers who made horrendous decisions in community banks, and we’ve seen what the management of the larger banks did, which is a train wreck. But the vast majority of the 8,000, well into the 90th percentile, are doing well, or are victims of the general economic funk we’re in, or happen to be in an area where the economy went to hell in a hand basket.

“When I look at the banks closed by the FDIC, about half of those that have failed would have failed in a very mild recession, because they just weren’t very well run banks,” Fine said. “They were barely hanging on anyway.”

What’s the trend?

  DOING THE MATH
How the ratio is calculated

The troubled asset ratio compares the bank’s troubled assets against its ability to withstand losses.

Here’s how it’s calculated:

Banks are required to report detailed financial results to the FDIC at the end of each quarter. The FDIC is required to make that information available to the public.

First we calculated the total troubled assets at a bank. That adds together three elements: loans that are 90 days or more past due; loans that are in “non-accrual status,” meaning the bank is no longer adding interest from the loan to its income; and real estate that the bank already owns, usually from foreclosure. Excluded are loans which are wholly or partly guaranteed by the U.S. government, such as FHA and VA loans, because the banks bear little or no risk.

That total is divided by the bank’s ability to withstand losses. That’s a sum of two elements: what’s called Tier 1 capital (which is mostly money invested in the bank by shareholders) and loan loss reserves, or money set aside to cover losses.

The result is reported as a percentage. So a bank with $100 million in capital and reserves, and troubled assets of $10 million, would have a troubled asset ratio of 10 percent.

There was a significant deterioration in 2008 in the ability of banks to withstand potential losses from troubled loans.

If a ratio of 100 is a sign of severe stress, then an additional 150 banks moved past that level in 2008, for a total of 163. That’s 2 percent of the nation’s banks.

Some analysts have said that any ratio over 20 percent is an early warning sign. An additional 1,349 banks moved past that level, for a total of 2,308. That’s 28 percent of the nation’s banks.

Most banks still have relatively low levels of troubled loans. But there was a doubling of the median troubled asset ratio for all banks in the U.S., to 9.87 from 4.94 a year earlier.

For banks with two years of data, the total of troubled assets rose to $235.29 billion at the end of 2008. A year earlier, for the same banks, it was $94.62 billion. That’s an increase of 149 percent.

Out of 8,198 banks for which we have two years of data, 5,784 — or 71 percent — had a higher troubled asset ratio at the end of 2008 than a year earlier.

Only 1,974 banks, or 24 percent, showed improvement over the period. And 440 banks, or 5 percent, stayed the same.

The picture was worse for the largest 100 banks: 90 showed declining strength. Only seven improved, and one maintained the same ratio. (Two did not report data that could be compared: IndyMac Bank failed in July 2008 and was opened by the FDIC under a new name, IndyMac Federal Bank. Bank of China, in New York, did not report capital and reserves.)

The largest bank with a ratio over 100 is AmTrust Bank of Cleveland, which had a ratio of 130 at year end, or 30 percent more troubled loans than capital and reserves. AmTrust missed a year-end deadline set by its regulator to raise more capital. A spokeswoman, Donna Winfield said Monday in an e-mail, “We have, as previously reported, developed a comprehensive risk-reduction strategic plan that is designed to assure our long-term viability. We have every confidence that we can implement this plan successfully. In addition we are looking at opportunities to raise capital through actions such as our recent agreement to sell our Columbus branches.”

Who calculated the ratio?
Wendell Cochran, senior editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop, devised the ratio. A former business reporter for the Kansas City Star, the Des Moines Register and Gannett News Service, Cochran may have been the first journalist to create this measure of bank health. He did that while covering banking for the Des Moines Register in the early 1980s. Later, at Gannett News Service, he was involved in projects published at USA Today and elsewhere that calculated this ratio for every bank and savings and loan in the nation. Cochran now teaches journalism at American University.

Others do similar calculations. The most widely used is the so-called Texas Ratio, created during the 1980s by a banking consultant. You can find various formulas for calculating a Texas Ratio, but they are all attempts to measure a bank’s ability to cover potential losses.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29619163 

READ ABOUT THE NEW “MORTAGE CRISIS” – “New” Mortgage Defaults at record levels – “Modified” Mortgage Defaults at record levels.

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/mortgage-rescue-program-the-new-scam-quick-defaults-new-purchasers-defaulting-prior-to-1st-payment-reports-fha/  

Obama Proposes Income Test For Medicaid Drug Benefits –

Well so much for universal health care – take from one group to give to another? How is that “Universal”?

From the Washington Post;

“Obama’s proposal for Medicare means testing has received surprisingly little attention so far. The debate over an income scale was especially heated when Congress created the Medicare drug benefit, known as Part D, during President George W. Bush’s first term. As a senator, Obama voted against a Medicare means-testing proposal in March 2007.

But times have changed, said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who also voted no two years ago. The growing consensus among Democrats that health-care costs must be contained, and that coverage must be expanded to everyone, has redrawn the battle lines. “In the past, we’ve dealt with Part D on its own, and that tends to be polarizing. So the thought here is, that’s much less likely if people think we’re all in this together,” Baucus said.  [Apparently, we are all in this together – unless of course – your not in “it” because your income is too high. My question remains – how is it “universal” when income qualifiers are used in any portion of the programs]

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29609567

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