Ford posts another quarterly profit as sales climb

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. posted a strong second-quarter profit Friday but trimmed its U.S. sales forecast and predicted weaker results in the second half as the economy slowly recovers.

The automaker surprised Wall Street, making $2.6 billion in the quarter as it continued to grab sales from rivals. Ford’s U.S. sales rose 28 percent in the first six months of this year. That’s almost double the pace of industrywide sales.

It was Ford’s fifth straight quarterly profit, and the No. 2 U.S. automaker predicted a strong 2010 and even better 2011. But it said it will make less money in the second half of this year because of seasonal plant shutdowns, costs for new product launches and rising prices for raw materials like aluminum.

The automaker said U.S. sales, which hit a 30-year low in 2009, remain weak, with many shoppers not yet confident enough about the economy to buy new cars. Ford cut its forecast for total U.S. auto sales to a range of 11.5 million to 12 million. The company had predicted sales of 11.5 million to 12.5 million cars and trucks. Ford held its third-quarter production forecast steady at 1.27 million cars and trucks worldwide.

Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally said the company is making money in the challenging environment because of strong new products and a leaner, global structure in which more vehicles around the world share parts.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/07/23/general-specialized-consumer-services-us-earns-ford_7792381.html?boxes=marketschannelwires

I Guess The Economy Is Just Peachy Now – The Sixth Month In A Row That The Recession Has Ended

U.S. jobless rate seen highest since 1983

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy likely shed a further 355,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate hit a 26-year high, but for a nation mired in its deepest recession since at least World War Two that may be good news. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090702/bs_nm/us_usa_economy_payrolls_1

However, ADP has reported, “Private employers shed another 473,000 jobs in June, according to ADP’s National Employment Report released this morning. http://jan.freedomblogging.com/2009/07/01/adp-reports-473000-job-cuts-in-june/16721/

One out of 6 US workers underemployed

It’s not just the unemployed who are hurting.

If you include people who involuntarily are working part-time and those who want a job but have given up looking, the so-called underemployment rate for the nation was 16.4% in May, say the experts at the Economic Policy Institute. The rate for just those who were unemployed was 9.4%. http://economy.freedomblogging.com/2009/07/01/one-out-of-6-us-workers-underemployed/

Watch for the Government’s upward revision on the under-reported unemployment numbers – The Obama Administration has had to revise upward the numbers it reported 4 months in a row. Today’s report will “estimate” unemployment at 9.6% – that number will later be revised upward to 10% – however the revision will take place on page 12 of your local paper and not be reported by the Main Stream Media.  

Mortgage Applications Fall to 7-Month Low

NEW YORK–U.S. mortgage applications plunged to a seven-month low last week as demand for home refinancing loans tumbled 30%, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

The drop does not bode well for the hard-hit U.S. housing market, which has been showing some signs of stabilization, with sales rising and home price declines moderating in many regions of the country.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, for the week ended June 26 decreased 18.9% to 444.8, the lowest reading since the week ended Nov. 21, 2008.

“Rising unemployment, concerns about job security, potential buyers’ inability to sell their existing homes and problems with appraisals coming in too low are all weighing on demand,”  http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/mortgage-applications-fall–month-low/

U.S.  Auto sales for June 2009 are off an additional 28%.                                                                                                     http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070102167.html 

In June 2008 auto sales were only off 18% not this months 28%, however, the pre-election headlines one year ago described that decline this way ….

Auto sales plunge“, http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/01/news/companies/auto_sales/index.htm?cnn=yes , and “June Car Sales: U.S. Buyers Almost Veer Off the Road”,  to describe the fact that G.M.’s sales were off 8%, Ford’s sales were off 19% and Chryslers sales were off 28%  this time last year. http://www.autoobserver.com/2008/07/june-car-sales-us-buyers-almost-veer-off-the-road.html.

I’d agree with Mike Karagozian at Examiner.com, an inside the industry publication, when he says,   “Down is the new Up, apparently. In the Sunday business section of one of Detroit’s surviving daily newspapers, a headline proclaims, “Forecast has signals of auto recovery,” with this hopeful sub-head: “Annual rate expected to top 10 million.” Don’t bet your 401k on auto industry stock, however. We have entered a new era in mainstream media journalism where bad news is good news; where the glass is always half full. The sales numbers don’t justify a headline that blares “signals of auto recovery.” Auto manufacturers will announce their June sales figures this week and they will be up slightly from May, but down significantly from June 2008. That should come as no surprise. To spin industry sales projections of 10.3 million units as good news or reason for hope, however, is totally bogus. It’s worse than bogus. It’s downright irresponsible. By any standard of measure, a 10.3 million unit sales year is an absolute disaster — unless being at rock bottom is considered good news, which, apparently it is.

Worst-case scenario
According to a recent J.D. Power and Associates press release, “new-vehicle retail sales for the month of June are expected to come in at 789,400 units, which represent a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 9.2 million units. This is down by 9 percent from one year ago, but up by 14 percent compared with May 2009.”  Except May 2009 was a disaster compared to May 2008. If the J.D. Power projection is correct, a 9.2 million-unit year is worse than any worst-case scenario anticipated by senior management at GM, Chrysler or Ford. Or the Asian and European manufacturers.  If 9.2 (or even 10.3) million sales is sign of recovery, consider that last year (2008), industry sales were 13.2 million and in 2007 sales were 16.1 million. The glass that was half empty is now half full
This bad-news-is-good-news style of reporting has affected the way unemployment figures are portrayed. In January 2009 the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent and the media were apoplectic. The nation’s unemployment rate for May 2009 topped 9.4 percent and is now approaching Europe’s unemployment rate. Instead of predicting economic disaster, we get stories that portray homelessness as an alternative lifestyle choice for hip urban sophisticates who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Don’t take my word for it. Google “homeless lifestyle” and read for yourself. The glass is half empty but we are being asked to believe it is half full. http://www.examiner.com/x-6173-Ford-Examiner~y2009m6d29-June-auto-sales-expected-to-be-down-due-to-weak-economy-unemployment

In 2007, a horrific year in vehicle sales, vehicle sales topped 16.1 million. Last year, 2008, vehicle sales slipped to 13.2 million. The 2009 projection for vehicle sales is between 9.2 million and 10 million, an additional 30% drop, if the the projection proves accurate and sales are not worse.

2009 home sales figures are down from 2008 (If 2008 numbers were a “disaster” why are the 2009 numbers viewed so optimistically?). In 2008 4.68 million homes were sold – in 2009 we are on pace for 4.55 million sales. That represents an additional 3% drop off some very dismal numbers in 2008. http://www.realestateabc.com/outlook.htm

Mortgage foreclosures in 2009 have already topped 1 million (the 1,000,000 mark was passed over Memorial Day Weekend). The currently projected total for 2009 is 3.6 million. http://www.mortgageloan.com/new-foreclosures-top-1-million-in-2009-3320  Don’t forget that a “moratorium” on foreclosures was in place for 90 days in 2009. 

I’m just overjoyed that everything is just peachy now …… and here I though we were just getting more of the same old crap.

Watch for next months claims that things have bottomed out and everything is fine ……… don’t pay any attention to the fact that the “ship of state” is still sinking – you know the ship is sinking just a bit slower now. So what if you get wet, isn’t it a nice day for a swim. Pay no attention to those fins, the “fish” don’t eat much.     

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK – THE AUTO BAILOUT – 30 DAYS PAID VACATION

$17 Billion Dollars of Taxpayor Money for Two of the “Detroit 3” – General Motors and Chrysler are to receive $17 Billi0n Dollars in Taxpayor money. Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Company of American, Hundai USA, KIA USA, Honda of America, Volkswagon of America, nor any of the other Automobile Manufacturing Companies in the United States will, as a group, receive nothing in support of their activities in this Country.

What are GM and Chrysler doing for this $17 Billion Dollars?

Here is what they are not doing: They are not scheduling meetings with the UAW to work out a “NEW BUSINESS PLAN” that will allow the Companies to survive and prosper. They are not scheduling discussions with their supplier chain or sales and distrubution networks. They are NOT USING THE TIME TO FINALIZE THE SHUT DOWN OF THE “JOBS BANK PROGRAM” – THE PROGRAM THAT PAYS WORKERS NOT TO WORK, FOR UP TO 4 YEARS.

What are General Motors and Chrysler doing with your tax dollars – they a re closing their plants and shutting down production for 30 days – USING YOUIR TAX DOLLARS TO PROVIDE THEIR EMPLOYEES A 30 DAY PAID VACATION AT TAX PAYOR EXPENSE.

I wonder if you cab double dip – collect your “Job Bank Pay” not to work and get your 30 day paid vacation at the same time. I’m sure the UAW would consider that reasonable.    

Let your Congressperson know how you feel about this use of taxpayor dollars.

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

What Bailout Transparency? Banks Refuse To Disclose Where Money Is Going

IS THE AUTO BAILOUT NEXT?

Where’d the bailout money go? Shhhh, it’s a secret

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer

 

WASHINGTON – It’s something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where’s the money going? But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation’s largest banks say they can’t track exactly how they’re spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.

“We’ve lent some of it. We’ve not lent some of it. We’ve not given any accounting of, ‘Here’s how we’re doing it,'” said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. “We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to.”

The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what’s the plan for the rest?

None of the banks provided specific answers.

Some banks said they simply didn’t know where the money was going.

“We manage our capital in its aggregate,” said Regions Financial Corp. spokesman Tim Deighton, who said the Birmingham, Ala.-based company is not tracking how it is spending the $3.5 billion it received as part of the financial bailout.

The answers highlight the secrecy surrounding the Troubled Assets Relief Program, which earmarked $700 billion — about the size of the Netherlands’ economy — to help rescue the financial industry. The Treasury Department has been using the money to buy stock in U.S. banks, hoping that the sudden inflow of cash will get banks to start lending money.

There has been no accounting of how banks spend that money. Lawmakers summoned bank executives to Capitol Hill last month and implored them to lend the money — not to hoard it or spend it on corporate bonuses, junkets or to buy other banks. But there is no process in place to make sure that’s happening and there are no consequences for banks who don’t comply.

“It is entirely appropriate for the American people to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent in private industry,” said Elizabeth Warren, the top congressional watchdog overseeing the financial bailout.

But, at least for now, there’s no way for taxpayers to find that out.

Pressured by the Bush administration to approve the money quickly, Congress attached nearly no strings on the $700 billion bailout in October. And the Treasury Department, which doles out the money, never asked banks how it would be spent.

“Those are legitimate questions that should have been asked on Day One,” said Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., a House Financial Services Committee member who opposed the bailout as it was rushed through Congress. “Where is the money going to go to? How is it going to be spent? When are we going to get a record on it?”

Nearly every bank AP questioned — including Citibank and Bank of America, two of the largest recipients of bailout money — responded with generic public relations statements explaining that the money was being used to strengthen balance sheets and continue making loans to ease the credit crisis.

No bank provided even the most basic accounting for the federal money.

“We’re choosing not to disclose that,” said Kevin Heine, spokesman for Bank of New York Mellon, which received about $3 billion.

Others said the money couldn’t be tracked. Bob Denham, a spokesman for North Carolina-based BB&T Corp., said the bailout money “doesn’t have its own bucket.” But he said taxpayer money wasn’t used in the bank’s recent purchase of a Florida insurance company. Asked how he could be sure, since the money wasn’t being tracked, Denham said the bank would have made that deal regardless.

Others, such as Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Carissa Ramirez, offered to discuss the matter with reporters on condition of anonymity. When AP refused, Ramirez sent an e-mail saying: “We are going to decline to comment on your story.”

Most banks wouldn’t say why they were keeping the details secret.

“We’re not sharing any other details. We’re just not at this time,” said Wendy Walker, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based Comerica Inc., which received $2.25 billion from the government.

Heine, the New York Mellon Corp. spokesman who said he wouldn’t share spending specifics, added: “I just would prefer if you wouldn’t say that we’re not going to discuss those details.”

Lawmakers say they want to tighten restrictions on the remaining, yet-to-be-released $350 billion block of bailout money before more cash is handed out. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the department is trying to step up its monitoring of bank spending.

“What we’ve been doing here is moving, I think, with lightning speed to put necessary programs in place, to develop them, implement them, and then we need to monitor them while we’re doing this,” Paulson said at a recent forum in New York. “So we’re building this organization as we’re going.”

Warren, the congressional watchdog appointed by Democrats, said her oversight panel will try to force the banks to say where they’ve spent the money.

“It would take a lot of nerve not to give answers,” she said.

But Warren said she’s surprised she even has to ask.

“If the appropriate restrictions were put on the money to begin with, if the appropriate transparency was in place, then we wouldn’t be in a position where you’re trying to call every recipient and get the basic information that should already be in public documents,” she said.

Garrett, the New Jersey congressman, said the nation might never get a clear answer on where hundreds of billions of dollars went.

“A year or two ago, when we talked about spending $100 million for a bridge to nowhere, that was considered a scandal,” he said.

___

Associated Press writers Stevenson Jacobs in New York and Christopher S. Rugaber and Daniel Wagner in

WHEN CONGRESS PASSED “TARP” THEY PROMISED THE AMERICAN TAXPAYOR COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY – CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSPERSON AND DEMAND TO KNOW WHERE YOUR TAX MONEY IS GOING !  NO MORE BAILOUT FUNDS !

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

 

Lame Duck Bush Caves In To Auto Bailout / Bush Places His Legacy Ahead Of Country’s Best Interests

Outgoing Presdient Bush sealed his legacy with Republicans and Conervatives today when he caved into his own self impoosed pressure to complete a “bailout” of the “Detroit 3” against the wish of the American Public.

Public opinion polls show resounding opposition to a “Bailout” of the “Detroit 3” and despite this opposition, Bush choose a path he believes will improve his “legacy” with the American people.

Once again, Bush has failed to consider the unintended consequences and ultimate costs his decisions will have for  the American taxpayor.

BUSH HAS PLACED HIS CONCERN FOR HIS OWN LEGACY OVER THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

The Political Bull Shit is just unbelievable. The “Bailout” is referred to as a “loan”, yet no one believes the ‘Detroit 3″ can “repay” the loans if the meaningless conditions imposed on the “loans” are not met. The “Auto Bailout” blueprint has been borrowed driectly out of the “TARP” plan and fund – none of the conditions placed on the “TARP” program have been implemented.   http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28311743?GT1=43001

Bush promised the “Detroit 3” 17 Billion in Taxpayor money – to be provided from the “Troubled Asset Relief Program” or TARP – a fund never intended to provide such funding. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28311743?GT1=43001  So instead of buying “troubled assets” or mortgages the “TARP” will not be used to pay UAW members 85% of their salaries not to work …. Brillant, just brillant!    

Bush stated that “letting the Auto Companies collapse is not a responsible course of action”.  What a ridiculous proposition. Letting failed companies collapse is exactly what the Government does every day – The US Government does not guarantee the success of failed businesses – nor should it support failed business at the expense of successful businesses as Bush now proposes.

Bush pretends to propose a whole new set of “conditions” for receiving the “loans”, “conditions” which are identical to the unkept promises made by Congress when they passed the “TARP” legislation. The “conditions” are nothing more than “political window dressing” to limit the public criticism of this failed President and his failed Congress.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is to provide the funding from the “TARP”, this despite the fact that Paulson refuses to account for the spending that is being undertaken under the “TARP” program ……

Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, the Chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the “TARP”, continues to express her frustration over Paulson’s failure to account for how he is spending the Billions of dollars of Taxpayor money under  ‘TARP”.   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/18/bailout-watchdog-wheres-spending-plan/    

AND THIS IS THE MAN WHO WILL PROVIDE AN ORDERLY “BAILOUT” TO THE “DETROIT 3” – AS OPPOSED TO THE ORDERLY ADMINISTRATION OF THE BANKRUPTCY COURTS.

I DOUBT PAULSON WILL  EVEN BE ABLE TO PROVIDE AN ACCOUNTING OF  WHERE THE MONEY HAS BEEN SPENT.

The Bush “handout” pays “lip service” to the “Detroit 3” completing a “restructuring program” – the same “restructuring programs” Congress demanded from the “Detroit 3” when they returned to Congress on December 2 –

You might recall that the “Detroit 3”  returned “empty handed”  to Congress in December  – that is right, they retruned without any type of plans – just renewed requests for taxpayor money.

The penalty for not having completed a plan to justify the requested loan – nothing – Bush granted $17 Billion in loans without any type of “reorganization plan”. A “take the money first” and come back with a plan later, if you like, approach. No wonder the “Detroit 3” can’t get a loan in the public market place – the Banks want to see the “restructuring plan” upfront.  

This is just incredible. Do you know that the amount loaned to the “Detroit 3”  is equal to every family in the Country making a $5,000 personal loan to the “Detroit 3”. If the professional lenders wouldn’t ake the loan with an “upfront” restructuring plan” why did Bush make that commitment on our behalf.   

I, like the the rest of the overwhelming majority of Americans, are opposed making such a loan.

WHY DOESN’T CONGRESS STEP IN AND STOP THIS?

THE UAW IS ALREADY STATING IT WILL MAKE NO FURTHER CONCESSIONS, GEE WHAT A SURPRISE.

The UAW has idled “Detroit 3” plants with strikes twice in the last 14 months. The UAW lies to its membership when it failes to admit the “true” hourly “all in costs” of its labor contracts. Neither the UAW nor its membership believe that concessions are necessary. It is no wonder that the ‘Detroit 3″ is stuck with a failed business model.  

Don’t you think that if a “voluntary” means of spanning these differences was possible, that path would have already been taken. Throwing $17 Billion down the drain while the Detroit 3/ UAW continue on as usual is a ridiculous path to follow. 

So what happens in 3 months after $17 Billion of “good” taxpayor money has been trown down this rathole – and the “Detroit 3” have produced no restructuring plan …… Does anyone really think the Detroit 3 will suddenly find the money to repay the loans – of course not. Everyone in Washington knows the money will be “lost”. No one is predicting that the economy is going to turn around in 90 days – in fact – the predictions correctly predict a continued worsening of the economy for the next 12 months – maybe longer if the Government continues to prusue the failed “Bailout” and “Loan”  policies.  

Do you think there will be a sudden demand for the product currently being produced by the “Detroit 3”. To imply that will happen is simply fiction. Gee, is the American public lining up to buy a “Volt” –  GM’s electrical car that won’t even come to market for 2 years and then the owners of the Volt can look forward to recharging their vehicle every 30 miles.  Is this is the vehicle that will save GM in the next 90 days?

So what happens in 90 days? Is GM or Chrysler going to be economically viable? NO they won’t! Will the American Taxpayor be robbed of additional funds to continue  to pay UAW members 85% of their salaries not to work? (YES, THE JOB BANKS ARE STILL OPERATING AT FULL STEAM).

Bush’s bailout of the “Detroit 3” is really nothing more than an adoption of the Plan proposed by House Democrats, the same Plan that was rejected by the American People and the Senate Republicans. 

This “Bush Bailout” does nothing to “demand” or require any changes by the ‘Detroit 3″/UAW – changes necessary for the “Detroit 3” to survive and prosper.

Listen closely to what the “Detroit 3/UAW are saying – they don’t really believe fundamental change is required – thus they are doomed to fail – it will jst be a matter time and of how many Taxpayor dollars are spent making “political paybacks” before the American public says enough is enough.

So the curtain comes down on the last term of Bush’s Presidency. As the curtain closed Bush choose a path he thought might improve his legacy, not the path that was best for America or the “Detroit 3”.

When it really mattered most for the American public, Bush placed his concern for how he might be remebered in the short term over what was “right” for America in the long run. A final serving serving act of a failed Presidency.

This “Auto Bailout” will not improve the “Bush legacy”. Unfortunately the “Auto Bailout”, like the “TARP” or “Bank Bailout” will prove to be a failure. By ignoring the American Public’s opposition to this bailout, Bush has succeeded in alienating his last group of supporters.

The “Bush Legacy” is certainly one of his own making.

The Current $17 Billion Dollars Fails to Provide Loan Guarantees for Ford Motor Company – The Proposal Provides An Immediate $9.4 Billion to General Motors (Over 3 times the present value of  GM – The Government could have bought General Motors for 1/3 of  the loan amount). The Plan calls for an immediate  $4 Billion For Chrysler (an amount over 3 1/2 times the current value of Chrysler company – again the Government could have bought the Chrysler for 1/3 the loan amount   

Providing loan amounts in excess of 300% of a Company’s Market Value Would Never Happen In The Private Marketplace.   

Paulson To Oversee Auto Bailout – What The Hell Are They Thinking?

Paulson has Proved A Failure At Banking Bailout – Why Put Him In Chanrge Of A Second Bailout –

Are Powers Gratnted To Paulson Unconstitutional – Is Auto Bailout Circumventing A Proper Bankruptcy – Where Are Creditor Protections?

Where Are Taxpayor Protections? Where is the “NEW BUSINESS MODEL” for the “DETROIT 3”?

Bailout Watchdog: Where’s the Spending Plan?

Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, the chairwoman of a congressional oversight panel, traveled to Washington Thursday to get answers on how Treasury is managing the unprecedented bailout.

 

The top congressional watchdog overseeing the nation’s financial bailout said Thursday she’s frustrated by the Treasury Department’s refusal to explain how it is doling out billions in taxpayer money.

Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, the chairwoman of a congressional oversight panel, traveled to Washington to get answers on how Treasury is managing the unprecedented bailout.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the Democratic appointee said she doesn’t understand why it’s taken so long for the Bush administration to explain its plan. Warren said she doesn’t want to believe it’s because there never was a plan for spending $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue banks.

“I don’t buy a winter coat without a plan,” she said. “I can’t imagine how someone could think they were going to repair a failing economy and undertake spending billions of dollars in taxpayer money without a plan.”

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson originally intended to use the money to buy risky loans from banks, freeing them to make new, safer loans. Shortly after the funds were approved, however, Paulson announced that $250 billion would instead be used to buy stock in U.S. banks.

“We’ve reversed directions more than once here, without any description of an overall strategy,” Warren said. “It’s not to say there’s not one, but I don’t think it should be such a well-hidden secret.”

Treasury spokeswoman Brookly Mclaughlin had no comment on Warren’s remarks. Treasury officials have said they are working toward several objectives, including stabilizing the financial markets, supporting the housing market and protecting taxpayers.

Nevertheless, the bailout has drawn criticisms from Republicans who oppose the huge new government program and from Democrats who want some of the money to be used to rework mortgages so homeowners can keep their houses.

The congressional oversight panel criticized Treasury last week for not saying exactly what problems they’re trying to fix or how the investments will fix them.

While Warren placed the blame squarely on Treasury for not laying out a clearer plan, she tempered any criticism of Congress, which placed few restrictions on the money as it hurriedly passed a law giving Treasury historic power to make multibillion-dollar decisions. Such requirements were omitted, she said, because the Bush administration pressured Congress to approve the bill quickly.

Paulson “was telling the Congress of the United States, ‘Do this right now,”‘ she said.

The five-member oversight panel is made up of three Democratic appointees and two Republicans. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky named outgoing Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire to the panel Tuesday. Sununu has echoed Warren’s comments that taxpayers deserve to know how the money is being spent.

The panel is one of several entities monitoring the bailout, in addition to a special inspector general and the Government Accountability Office, a congressional auditor.

The GAO said in a critical report earlier this month that Treasury should toughen its monitoring of the bailout fund to ensure that banking institutions limit their top executives’ pay and comply with other restrictions.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/18/bailout-watchdog-wheres-spending-plan/

CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSPERSON AND TELL THEM TO END THE BAILOUTS: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF AMERICANS OPPOSE THE BAILOUTS – INSIST THAT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES ACT ACCORDINGLY.

Top Bailout Watchdog Says Treasury Is Out Of Control

Bailout Watchdog: Where’s the Spending Plan?

Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, the chairwoman of a congressional oversight panel, traveled to Washington Thursday to get answers on how Treasury is managing the unprecedented bailout.

The top congressional watchdog overseeing the nation’s financial bailout said Thursday she’s frustrated by the Treasury Department’s refusal to explain how it is doling out billions in taxpayer money.

Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, the chairwoman of a congressional oversight panel, traveled to Washington to get answers on how Treasury is managing the unprecedented bailout.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the Democratic appointee said she doesn’t understand why it’s taken so long for the Bush administration to explain its plan. Warren said she doesn’t want to believe it’s because there never was a plan for spending $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue banks.

“I don’t buy a winter coat without a plan,” she said. “I can’t imagine how someone could think they were going to repair a failing economy and undertake spending billions of dollars in taxpayer money without a plan.”

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson originally intended to use the money to buy risky loans from banks, freeing them to make new, safer loans. Shortly after the funds were approved, however, Paulson announced that $250 billion would instead be used to buy stock in U.S. banks.

“We’ve reversed directions more than once here, without any description of an overall strategy,” Warren said. “It’s not to say there’s not one, but I don’t think it should be such a well-hidden secret.”

Treasury spokeswoman Brookly Mclaughlin had no comment on Warren’s remarks. Treasury officials have said they are working toward several objectives, including stabilizing the financial markets, supporting the housing market and protecting taxpayers.

Nevertheless, the bailout has drawn criticisms from Republicans who oppose the huge new government program and from Democrats who want some of the money to be used to rework mortgages so homeowners can keep their houses.

The congressional oversight panel criticized Treasury last week for not saying exactly what problems they’re trying to fix or how the investments will fix them.

While Warren placed the blame squarely on Treasury for not laying out a clearer plan, she tempered any criticism of Congress, which placed few restrictions on the money as it hurriedly passed a law giving Treasury historic power to make multibillion-dollar decisions. Such requirements were omitted, she said, because the Bush administration pressured Congress to approve the bill quickly.

Paulson “was telling the Congress of the United States, ‘Do this right now,”‘ she said.

The five-member oversight panel is made up of three Democratic appointees and two Republicans. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky named outgoing Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire to the panel Tuesday. Sununu has echoed Warren’s comments that taxpayers deserve to know how the money is being spent.

The panel is one of several entities monitoring the bailout, in addition to a special inspector general and the Government Accountability Office, a congressional auditor.

The GAO said in a critical report earlier this month that Treasury should toughen its monitoring of the bailout fund to ensure that banking institutions limit their top executives’ pay and comply with other restrictions.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/12/18/bailout-watchdog-wheres-spending-plan/

WHERE IS CONGRESS?  WHO WILL DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY?  AND NOW CONGRESS WANTS TO SPEND BILLIONS ON AN AUTO INDUSTRY BAILOUT?

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