Bailout Lies – How Americans Were Misled & Why The Bailout Isn’t Working

On September 29, 2008 the original “Bailout Bill” was defeated in the House of Representatives. After adding an amazing amount of additional spending  the revised “bailout bill” passed four days later.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/10440683/1/sweetened-bailout-bill-sails-through-house.html

The Bailout was passed without “Congressional Hearings” because it was said that a “dire emergency” confronted the Nation and that Congress needed to purchase the “illiquid assets from the financial system” or as they were later called “The Toxic Mortgages” that may destroy the economy.

Now forgotten is the fact that a group of 400 internationally respected Economists warned the “Bailout” wouldn’t work. 

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/200-world-reknown-economists-speakout-against-bailout/  http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/john.cochrane/research/Papers/mortgage_protest.htm http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95215972 

These economists warned that an entirely different approach was needed to truly free up the credit markets. ‘At this point I cannot identify a single good reason to do the bailout,’ said Dean Baker, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research. ‘Much of the country’s political and economic leadership has been running around raising the prospect of the Great Depression and a breakdown in the banking system,’ Baker said. ‘These stories are absolutely not true,’ he added. http://ipsnorthamerica.net/news.php?idnews=1729

Current “Bailout” activities maybe having the same affect as “pouring gasoline on a fire”.

What few American’s know, not all Banks supported the Bailout, “Nine of the largest U.S. banks were essentially arm-twisted last week into signing on for the first $125 billion in capital infusions.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081024/bs_nm/us_financial_usa_banks 

Note that “Capital Infusions” were forced on these Banks, the Banks did not sell “toxic mortgage debts” to the FED as advertised.

The Bailout has failed. Between October 4, 2008 and November 12, 2008 the Stock market has dropped 2000 of the 5000 points lost since November 2007. Forty percent of the economic dive has occurred in the 5 weeks since the “Bailout” was approved. (From 13,300 on 12/7/07 to 8,300 on 11/12/08)  

http://www.mahalo.com/Dow_Jones_Industrial_Average     http://www.nyse.tv/stocks/archive/2007_11_01_archive.htm                    http://money.cnn.com/data/premarket/  (DJIA 8313 at 7:15 Am  11/13/08)            

http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/5882

You might recall a promise by Congress that the ‘Bailout” spending would be posted on-line, providing the Taxpaying Public complete transparency and the ability to track where our tax dollars were being spent. Not only have we not received “complete transparency”, but the American public is being denied even the most basic information on where the money is being spent.

http://www.openthegovernment.org/article/articleview/342/1/115/?TopicID=  

One article noted, “The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn’t require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.”                                                                        

http://josh-of-arc.newsvine.com/_news/2008/11/12/2104122-fed-loans-2-trillion-but-wont-say-to-who

In other words, the Congress and the Administration are not implementing any of the “protections” they promised the public for their tax dollars.

BLOOMBERG.COM describes it this way, “Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose”,  The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn’t require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.                                                    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ahdVHk_Ccoeg&refer=home 

 

In addition, few in the American Public realize the “Bailout” money is being used to pay for items never approved by Congress and vehemently opposed by nearly all of the American public during the pre-vote debate. A recent article titled, “Bail-Outrage: Misuse of Funds, Lack of Transparency a National Disgrace”, noted, “Many Americans are understandably outraged by the bailout fever that has gripped Washington this year. But even those who believe the bailouts are a “necessary evil” would have a hard time defending some of the bailout-related items that have come to light in recent days, including:

  • Financial institutions using TARP bailout money to pay executive bonuses. The firms, of course, say it’s “different” money and bonuses are key to retaining top employees. But if you need to come to the government for a handout, shouldn’t your executives forgo a bonus? Or shouldn’t the government make canceling bonuses a condition of getting aid, as is the case in Europe?
  • The Fed refusing to reveal who received almost $2 trillion in non-TARP loans, or what collateral it has accepted from “emergency” loans made to struggling firms, as Bloomberg reports.
  • The Treasury Department providing a tax break to banks involved in acquisitions that could amount to $140 billion. The Washington Post reveals the change to the tax code was issued on Sept. 30, while Congress was debating the $700 billion TARP bill.

The bailouts are bad enough. But this kind of chicanery and lack of transparency makes me recall a line from another time when fear and deceit dominated Washington: Have they no shame, at long last?

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/125352/Bail-Outrage-Misuse-of-Funds-Lack-of-Transparency-a-National-Disgrace?tickers=GS,MS,JPM,BAC,C,WFC,XLF             

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=249779

The only relief seen by the American public has come from private efforts made by the Mortgage Companies. An example is the recent announcements made by Citigroup, “Citigroup to Modify Terms for U.S. Mortgages” as reported by the Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122636776229916053.html 

Citigroup’s actions are unrelated to any bailout activity. Why is Citigroup doing this? Because it makes good business sense for Citigroup, that is why. “The push by the New York Company’s Citi-Mortgage unit marks the latest effort by a financial institution to help ailing homeowners, which also can help lenders reduce loan losses.” [In other words, Citigroup doesn’t lose money when homeowners can stay in their homes and make payments]. “The company ultimately expects to reach 500,000 customers whose mortgages it owns. Roughly 130,000 of those borrowers are likely to see a reduction in their monthly loan payments, Citi-Mortgage said.” Citigroup’s efforts have been matched by J.P. Morgan Chase & Bank of America. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122636776229916053.html

This is being done without the sale of “toxic debt” or “cash infusions”, it is being done by having the bank simply renegotiate its outstanding mortgages – it costs the taxpayer nothing

Contrary to what the public has been told, a very significant portion of Citigroup’s “bad mortgages” involve investment properties and not family residences. “Citi-Mortgage also is halting foreclosures for about 16,000 borrowers who are behind on their loan payments but are working with the company on a loan modification. About 10,000 of those borrowers live in their homes and are likely to get their mortgage terms reworked, while about 6,000 are investors, according to the company.” [Almost 40% of the mortgages in foreclosure are investment properties]. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122636776229916053.html

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Wednesday the $700 billion government rescue program will not be used to purchase troubled assets as originally planned …. He announced a new goal for the program to support financial markets, which supply consumer credit in such areas as credit card debt, auto loans and student loans……. The administration decided that using billions of dollars to buy troubled assets of financial institutions at the current time was “not the most effective way” to use the $700 billion bailout package, he said. ……. The announcement marked a major shift for the Administration which had talked only about purchasing troubled assets as it lobbied Congress to pass the massive bailout bill.”  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/financial_meltdown

The Author of this article is showing their political bias when the fail to mention the roll of the Democratic Congress in this mess.  

The Democratic Congress is “leading the charge” for making the modifications.

The fact that the original legislation only allowed for, “H. R. 1424 As Amended; A bill to provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets” is not being discussed. The current change in direction was not authorized by the “Bailout Vote”.

The Washington Post was just one of the publications to confirm these facts, “Urgently shifting course …….  abandoning the centerpiece of its massive $700 billion economic rescue plan and exploring new ways to shore up not only banks but credit-card, auto-loan and other huge nonbank businesses. Democrats are pressing hard to include a multibillion-dollar bailout for faltering automakers, too, over Administration objections. Unimpressed by any of the talk on Wednesday, Wall Street dove ever lower.” http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/12/paulson-says-troubled-assets-will-not-be-purchased/

So now the “Bailout” money will go to pay bonuses not just for Wall Street Executives but for overpaid UAW & Auto Industry Executives too. Whether “credit card”, “auto loans” or “student loans” should be included in the “original bailout” was discussed by Congress and the Senate just 5 weeks ago. After consideration, the Congress and the Senate rejected proposals to include those items, after being added to the Administrations original “Bailout Proposal” by Democrats in Congress, the items were deleted in an attempt to obtain the necessary Republican support in the House.  The items were added back in by the Democratic Senate. They were not authorized in the original legislation.      

The proposed bailouts to what the Wall Street Journal refers to as “The Old American Industry” will cost taxpayers $375,000 per employee. A $75 Billion Dollar “Bailout” of the “Old” American auto industry will not save it. Chrysler LLC is not even a publicly owned company. It is a privately owned company. So how do we know who will really get the money the Government is being asked to give to Chrysler?

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/stop-the-detroit-3-bailout-375000-cost-per-employee-to-taxpayers/ 

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/obama-granholm-pelosi-waxman-dingell-the-death-of-american-automobile-manufacturing/

Given all the falsehoods about the first “Bailout” package, how can anyone be sure that the money will get to where they say they will spend it.

As to GM, Duetsche Bank stated a “bailout” would be needed to avert a collapse of GM and that even if GM received “bailout funds” and  “… GM succeeds in averting a bankruptcy, we believe that the company’s future path is likely to be bankruptcy-like,” analyst Rod Lache said in a research note, essentially calling the company’s shares worthless with a price target of $0, reduced from $4.”  

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Deutsche-Bank-cuts-GM-sell/story.aspx?guid={CAFEF63F-017D-42E2-874A-14146A6D20A5}

As to Chrysler, it has been reported that, “In the Chrysler-like approach, potentially 98% of the  company’s equity would be transferred to the UAW, VEBA, existing GM debt holders and the government,” Barclays’ analysts noted. VEBA is short for Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, a trust set up for managing health-care benefits to be overseen by the United Auto Workers of America. That would leave little for shareholders.” http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Deutsche-Bank-cuts-GM-sell/story.aspx?guid={CAFEF63F-017D-42E2-874A-14146A6D20A5}

 

Without private investment, how many more “cash infusions” will taxpayers be asked to make to reward bad business management? 

 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis motor vehicles, bodies, trailers, and parts represented less than 1% of the country’s entire gross domestic production in 2007. One half of that total is attributable to the “New Auto Industry” that isn’t asking for a “Bailout” nor is the “New Auto Industry” part of “Bailout” discussions.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Deutsche-Bank-cuts-GM-sell/story.aspx?guid={CAFEF63F-017D-42E2-874A-14146A6D20A5} .  

 

We are talking about Billions in bailouts for the “Old Auto Industry” that is responsible for less than 1/2 a percent of the Country’s Gross National Production. That is simply a bad bet for American consumers and the taxpaying public.

   

How many billions more will Congress throw at a problem they don’t know how to fix. Isn’t it time to stop “throwing good money after bad”. 

Is it time for the American taxpayer to say NO. Contact your Congressperson and Senator and demand that they schedule the hearings we should have had in the first place. CONGRESS IS NOT KEEPING THEIR PROMISES ABOUT THE BAILOUT. WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS NOT WORKING. WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS MAKING THINGS WORSE WHILE RUNNING UP YOUR TAX BILL.

Contact Your Congressperson & Senators here: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home

One Click Access –you only need your “Zip Code” in the “Find Your Officials Tab”

Why isn’t the bailout working? Because the Government has done nothing to correct what caused the financial collapse. What caused the financial collapse? A change in lending rules that gave money to people who could not pay it back. The loans (car, credit card and home mortgages) were then packaged and sold as securities in America and around the world. Mortgages were written at 140% of the “inflated value” of the homes. Individuals were encouraged to “roll over” credit card debt, auto and student loans into their “mortgages”. Now that the “pyramid scheme” has collapsed the Government has done nothing to prevent it from happening again. NINJA & LIAR Loans are still the “law of the land”. Why won’t banks loan, why won’t investors buy the securities? They don’t want to get stuck with another group of “bad loans” or “bad investments”. The bailouts are simply rewarding the bad actors and preventing the tough but necessary changes we need to get the Country back on the right track.

 

WHERE WILL THESE BAILOUTS END – CONSIDER THIS:

AIG’S NEW BAILOUT – November 10, 2008

The U.S. government reached a deal Sunday night to scrap its original $123 billion bailout of American International Group Inc. and replace it with a new $150 billion package, according to people familiar with the matter. Under the terms ironed out late Sunday, the government would give AIG more money, including $40 billion from the U.S. Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. The $150 billion in government aid consists of a $60 billion loan, a $40 billion preferred-stock investment and $50 billion in capital.   

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122627437470412029.html

This is a 20% increase after only 5 weeks.

 

WHERE WILL THIS ALL END – CONSIDER THIS

AIG’S NEW BAILOUT – November 10, 2008

The U.S. government reached a deal Sunday night to scrap its original $123 billion bailout of American International Group Inc. and replace it with a new $150 billion package, according to people familiar with the matter. Under the terms ironed out late Sunday, the government would give AIG more money, including $40 billion from the U.S. Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. The $150 billion in government aid consists of a $60 billion loan, a $40 billion preferred-stock investment and $50 billion in capital.  

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122627437470412029.html 

AND THIS

City Council: Detroit needs $10-billion bailout

The Detroit City Council passed a resolution today calling for a $10-billion bailout for the city of Detroit. Council President Pro Tem JoAnn Watson sponsored the resolution to use the money for public service employment, to fund mass transit plans and to place a moratorium on home foreclosures for two years. The resolution specifically requests the council meet with Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr., Gov. Jennifer Granholm, the state’s congressional delegation, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and officials from President George W. Bush’s office and President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team. 

Mayors want part of auto bailout

The mayors of four large Metro Detroit communities on Monday called for a share of the federal bailout sought by Detroit’s Big Three automakers to help redevelop shuttered facilities and factories.

The mayors of Warren, Sterling Heights, Livonia and Dearborn met at the Sterling Heights Public Library for about an hour to discuss the proposal. The mayors were joined by representatives from Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s office, Michigan’s congressional delegation, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and the Michigan Municipal League.

Let Barack Obama Help Your Neighborhood – The Way He Helped Chicago

Obama’s Grim Record On Housing / Mortgage Crisis – Why We Need To See Obama’s Plan

Posted by: mcauleysworld on: September 23, 2008

WHY WE NEED TO SEE OBAMA’S PLAN TO FIX THE MORTGAGE / BANKING MESS

America doesn’t need a repeat of Obama’s Policies in Chicago

Grim proving ground for Obama’s housing policy

CHICAGO – The squat brick buildings of Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator, hold 504 apartments subsidized by the federal government for people who can’t afford to live anywhere else.

But it’s not safe to live here.

About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale – a score so bad the buildings now face demolition.

Grove Parc has become a symbol for some in Chicago of the broader failures of giving public subsidies to private companies to build and manage affordable housing – an approach strongly backed by Obama as the best replacement for public housing.

As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers. As a US senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies. And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.

But a Globe review found that thousands of apartments across Chicago that had been built with local, state, and federal subsidies – including several hundred in Obama’s former district – deteriorated so completely that they were no longer habitable.

Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama’s close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama’s constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.

Some of the residents of Grove Parc say they are angry that Obama did not notice their plight. The development straddles the boundary of Obama’s state Senate district. Many of the tenants have been his constituents for more than a decade.

“No one should have to live like this, and no one did anything about it,” said Cynthia Ashley, who has lived at Grove Parc since 1994.

The Obama campaign did not respond to questions about whether Obama was aware of the problems with buildings in his district during his time as a state senator, nor did it comment on the roles played by people connected to the Senator.

Among those tied to Obama politically, personally, or professionally are:

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign and a member of his finance committee. Jarrett is the chief executive of Habitat Co., which managed Grove Parc Plaza from 2001 until this winter and co-managed an even larger subsidized complex in Chicago that was seized by the federal government in 2006, after city inspectors found widespread problems.

Allison Davis, a major fund-raiser for Obama’s US Senate campaign and a former lead partner at Obama’s former law firm. Davis, a developer, was involved in the creation of Grove Parc and has used government subsidies to rehabilitate more than 1,500 units in Chicago, including a North Side building cited by city inspectors last year after chronic plumbing failures resulted in raw sewage spilling into several apartments.

Antoin “Tony” Rezko, perhaps the most important fund-raiser for Obama’s early political campaigns and a friend who helped the Obamas buy a home in 2005. Rezko’s company used subsidies to rehabilitate more than 1,000 apartments, mostly in and around Obama’s district, then refused to manage the units, leaving the buildings to decay to the point where many no longer were habitable.

Campaign finance records show that six prominent developers – including Jarrett, Davis, and Rezko – collectively contributed more than $175,000 to Obama’s campaigns over the last decade and raised hundreds of thousands more from other donors. Rezko alone raised at least $200,000, by Obama’s own accounting. (This number now exceeds $500,000).

One of those contributors, Cecil Butler, controlled Lawndale Restoration, the largest subsidized complex in Chicago, which was seized by the government in 2006 after city inspectors found more than 1,800 code violations.

In the 1990’s Chicago chose a dramatic approach to addressing the issue of Public Housing. Under Mayor Richard M. Daley, who was elected in 1989, the city launched a massive plan to let private companies tear down the public housing projects and build mixed-income communities on the same land.

Barack Obama was among those who shared Daley’s conviction that private companies would make better landlords than the Chicago Housing Authority.

Obama once told the Chicago Tribune that he had briefly considered becoming a developer of affordable housing. But after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1991, he turned down a job with Tony Rezko’s development company, Rezmar, choosing instead to work at the civil rights law firm Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, then led by Allison Davis. (Attorney Davis was actually a business partner of Tony Rezko)

The firm represented a number of nonprofit companies that were partnering with private developers to build affordable housing with government subsidies.

Obama sometimes worked on their cases. In at least one instance, he represented the nonprofit company that owned Grove Parc, Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp., when it was sued by the city for failing to adequately heat one of its apartment complexes.

Obama translated his belief into legislative action as a state senator. In 2001, Obama sponsored a successful bill that increased state subsidies for private developers. The law let developers designated by the state raise up to $26 million a year by selling tax credits to Illinois residents. For each $1 in credits purchased, the buyer was allowed to decrease his taxable income by 50 cents.

The developers gave Obama their financial support. Jarrett, Davis, and Rezko all served on Obama’s campaign finance committee when he won a seat in the US Senate in 2004.

Obama has continued to support increased subsidies as a presidential candidate, calling for the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which could distribute an estimated $500 million a year to developers. The money would be siphoned from the profits of two mortgage companies created and supervised by the federal government, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (DOES OBAMA NOW PLAN ON FUNDING THESE ACTIVITIES THROUGH THE PROPOSED TAX PAYER BAILOUT?) 

One of the earliest public-private partnerships supported by Obama took place in the Woodlawn neighborhood, a checkerboard of battered apartment buildings and vacant lots just south of the University of Chicago.

Grove Parc Plaza opened there in 1990 as a redevelopment of an older housing complex. 

The owner, a local nonprofit company called Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp., was led by two of the neighborhood’s most powerful ministers, Arthur Brazier and Leon Finney. Obama had relationships with both men. In 1999, he donated $500 of his campaign funds to another of their community groups, The Woodlawn Organization.

Woodlawn Preservation hired a private management firm, William Moorehead and Associates, to oversee the complex. In 2001, the company lost that contract and a contract to manage several public housing projects for allegedly failing to do its job. The company’s head, William Moorehead, was subsequently convicted of embezzling almost $1 million in management fees.

Woodlawn Preservation hired a new property manager, Habitat Co. At the time, the company was headed by its founder, Daniel Levin, also a major contributor to Obama’s campaigns. Valerie Jarrett was executive vice president.

Residents say the complex deteriorated under Moorehead’s management and continued to decline after Habitat took over. A maintenance worker at the complex says money often wasn’t even available for steel wool to plug rat holes

When inspectors returned in 2006, Grove Parc got a final warning. Three months later, inspectors found there had been insufficient improvements and moved to seize the complex from Woodlawn Preservation.

Similar problems plagued the next generation of affordable housing development in Obama’s district.

One of the largest recipients of the development subsidies was Rezmar Corp., founded in 1989 by Tony Rezko, a man who had no prior development experience.

Over the next nine years, Rezmar used more than $87 million in government grants, loans, and tax credits to renovate about 1,000 apartments in 30 Chicago buildings. Rezmar collected millions in development fees but fell behind on mortgage payments almost immediately. On its first project, the city government agreed to reduce the company’s monthly payments from almost $3,000 to less than $500.

By the time Obama entered the state Senate in 1997, the Rezmar buildings were beginning to deteriorate. In January 1997, the city sued Rezmar for failing to provide adequate heat in a South Side building in the middle of an unusually cold winter. It was one of more than two dozen housing-complaint suits filed by the city against Rezmar for violations at its properties. (OBAMA CONTINUED TO ACCEPT REZKO CASH FOR 7 YEARS AFTER – CLAIMING HE WAS UNAWARE OF REZKO’S PROBLEMS – UNAWARE OF 2 DOZEN SUITS?) 

People who lived in some of the Rezmar buildings say trash was not picked up and maintenance problems were ignored. Roofs leaked, windows whistled, insects moved in.

“In the winter I can feel the cold air coming through the walls and the sockets,” said Anthony Frizzell, 57, who has lived for almost two decades in a Rezmar building on South Greenwood Avenue. “They didn’t insulate it or nothing.”

Sharee Jones, who lives in another former Rezko building one block away, said her apartment was rat-infested for years.

“You could hear them under the floor and in the walls, and they didn’t do nothing about it,” Jones said.

By the time Rezmar asked Chicago’s city government for a loan on its final subsidized development, in 1998, the city’s housing commissioner was describing the company in a memo as being in “bad shape.” The Daley administration still made the $3.1 million loan.

Shortly thereafter, Rezmar switched from subsidized housing to high-end development, fueled by the money it had made in subsidized work. Rezko’s companies also stopped managing the subsidized complexes.

After Rezko walked away the Chicago Equity Fund was obliged to maintain the buildings as affordable housing. The Fund found the buildings in terrible condition. In a 2001 plea to the state to temporarily suspend payments on its mortgages, a fund executive wrote that heating problems, lapsed maintenance, and uncollected rent made the buildings almost impossible to manage.

Most of the buildings have since been foreclosed upon, forcing the tenants to find new housing.

All the while, Tony Rezko was forging a close friendship with Barack Obama. When Obama opened his campaign for state Senate in 1995, Rezko’s companies gave Obama $2,000 on the first day of fund-raising. Save for a $500 contribution from another lawyer, Obama didn’t raise another penny for six weeks. Rezko had essentially paid for the start of Obama’s political career.

As Obama ascended, Rezko became one of his largest fund-raisers. And in 2005, Rezko and his wife helped the Obamas purchase the house where they now live.

Eleven of Rezmar’s buildings were located in the district represented by Obama, containing 258 apartments. The building without heat in January 1997, the month Obama entered the state Senate, was in his district. So was Jones’s building with rats in the walls and Frizzell’s building that lacked insulation. And a redistricting after the 2000 Census added another 350 Rezmar apartments to the area represented by Obama.

But Obama has contended that he knew nothing about any problems in Rezmar’s buildings.

After Rezko’s assistance in Obama’s home purchase became a campaign issue, at a time when the developer was awaiting trial in an unrelated bribery case, Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times that the deterioration of Rezmar’s buildings never came to his attention. He said he would have distanced himself from Rezko if he had known. (Even with 2 dozen suits Obama had no knowledge)

Other local politicians say they knew of the problems.

“I started getting complaints from police officers about particular properties that turned out to be Rezko properties,” said Toni Preckwinkle, a Chicago alderman.

Preckwinkle had previously received campaign contributions from Rezmar.

In the early 2000s, she called Rezko to ask for an explanation. Rezko told her Rezmar was “getting out of the business,” she said – walking away from its responsibility for managing the developments. (This is years before Obama’s run for the US Senate).

“I didn’t see him nor have anything to do with him after that,” she said.

Allison Davis, Obama’s former law firm boss, dabbled in development for years while he worked primarily as a lawyer. He participated in the development of Grove Parc Plaza. In 1996, Davis left his law firm to pursue a full-time career as an affordable housing developer, Davis was aided, on occasion, by Obama himself.

Over the past decade, Davis’s companies have received more than $100 million in subsidies to renovate and build more than 1,500 apartments in Chicago, according to a Chicago Sun-Times tally. In several cases, Davis partnered with Tony Rezko. In 1998 the two men created a limited partnership to build an apartment building for seniors on Chicago’s South Side. Obama wrote letters on state Senate stationery supporting city and state loans for the project. (Contrary to Obama’s Claims he did no Favors For Rezko).

In 2000 Davis asked the nonprofit Woods Fund of Chicago for a $1 million investment in a new development partnership, Neighborhood Rejuvenation Partners. Obama, a member of the board, voted in favor, helping Davis secure the investment.

Chicago’s struggles reached a new height in 2006, when the federal government foreclosed on Lawndale Restoration, the city’s largest subsidized-housing complex. City inspectors found more than 1,800 code violations, including roof leaks, exposed wiring, and pools of sewage.

Lawndale Restoration was a collection of more than 1,200 apartments in 97 buildings spread across 300 blocks of west Chicago. It was owned by a company controlled by Cecil Butler, a former civil rights activist who came to be reviled as a slumlord by a younger generation of activists.

Lawndale Restoration was created in the early 1980s. In 1995, Butler’s company got a $51 million loan from the state to fund additional renovations at Lawndale Restoration. In 2000 Butler’s company brought in Habitat Co. to help manage the complex.

The problems came to public attention in a dramatic way in 2004, after a sport utility vehicle driven by a suburban woman trying to buy drugs struck one of the buildings, causing it to collapse. City inspectors arrived in the ensuing glare, finding a long list of code violations, leading city officials to urge the federal government to seize the complex.

In the midst of the uproar, a small group of Lawndale residents gathered to rally against the Democratic candidate for the US Senate, Barack Obama.

The organizers had a simple message: Cecil Butler had donated $3,000 to Obama’s campaign. Habitat had close ties to Obama and Obama had remained silent about Lawndale’s plight.

Paul Johnson, who helped to organize the protest, said Obama must have known about the problems.

“How didn’t he know?” said Johnson. “Of course he knew. He just didn’t care.”

While Obama has belatedly distanced himself from Rezko, Obama has remained close to others in the development community. Jarrett participates in the campaign’s senior staff meetings. Obama chose another close friend, Martin Nesbitt, as his campaign treasurer. Nesbitt is chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority, one of the key overseers of the shift toward private management and development.

People in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods are torn between a natural inclination to support Obama and a concern about his relationships with the developers they hold responsible for Chicago’s affordable housing failures. Some housing advocates worry that Obama has not learned from those failures.

“I’m not against Barack Obama,” said Willie J.R. Fleming, an organizer with the Coalition to Protect Public Housing and a former public housing resident. “What I am against is some of the people around him.”

Jamie Kalven, a longtime Chicago housing activist, put it this way: “I hope there is not much predictive value in his history and in his involvement with that community.”

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/06/27/grim_proving_ground_for_obamas_housing_policy/?page=full

Taxpayer Alert – The Bailout – What Happens In January

WHICH DEMOCRAT IS PROMISING HER CONSTITUENTS FREE HOUSES COME JANUARY?

Steve
stevem_brown@hotmail.com | 174.153.210.108

I am total agreeing with you in all respects, except for one. There is more ‘debt’ that is not being disclosed from the ‘financial intuitions.’ The anticipated $850 Billion Dollars is just the icing on the cake. I speculate that it will cost the tax payers more to the tune of $1.8-2.5 Trillion Dollars.
Thanks for the insight, looking forward to your blog after the vote.

From Analysis Of Senate Bailout Bill – To Be Considered By House On Thursday, 2008/10/01 at 11:27 PM

mcauleysworld
markdaoust@sbcglobal.net | 69.209.137.126

Steve – I agree –
If you want my estimate of where the “total” might go once the banks can start dumping their bad debt on the public – on Joe Taxpayer – my guess is $7 Trillon – there is $14 Trillion in “late” loans around the world.

Then we have an added unkown – The Liberal Democratic Congress. Did anyone else see Rep Maxine Waters (One of the infamous Fannie Defenders) on Fox Business News last night – Live from the Capital – Representative Waters plans on getting involved further – after the first of the year – when “we have a Democratic President and Congress”. Her plan – forgive the mortgages of her constituents and let them keep their Houses for free”. Free for her Constituents – The Working taxpayer will be picking up the tab.

From Analysis Of Senate Bailout Bill – To Be Considered By House On Thursday, 2008/10/02 at 6:00 AM

CALL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON AND TELL THEM TO VOTE NO

Contact Your Senators Here:  http://www.emailyoursenator.com/senators.html  Click on your Senators, Select the Contact Folder and then  click on the email address.

Contact Congresspeople: http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html You’ll need your zip  code

Analysis Of Senate Bailout Bill – To Be Considered By House On Thursday

The voting on the Senate Version of the Bailout Bill has not started 08:56 PM (est) – but it is expected to be passed and sent to the House where an up or down vote will be required. The last word is that the House will not be given an opportunity to amend or change the bill.

After reviewing all 451 pages of the bill – I’m very surprised – minimal changes were made to the Bill that the House of Representatives defeated two days ago. Very minimal. The additional 331 pages concern completely unrelated items.

The Senate included these unrelated bills in this package to provide “cover” for those Congresspeople  who intend to vote for the passage of the Bailout, but are looking for an excuse to justify their vote. You can expect to hear this spin tomorrow, “Oh I didn’t really support the Bailout, I was voting for – fill in the blank – instead”.

The following items have been included for passage with the “Bailout Bill” when there was no impending emergency that required the items to be passed in the late evening of October 1st,  2008:

Pages 113 –  165  ENERGY SECTION: Energy Tax Credits, Steel Industry Fuel Credits, Carbon Mitigation Credits, Coal Gasification Credits, Black Lung Funding.

Why are these items attached to the “Bailout”, so a Congressperson can tell their irate Constituent, I didn’t really vote for the “Bailout”, I voted for Energy Tax Credits or Black Lung Funding – Of course we know better.

Page 254 – Information Authorization for Covered Securities to Brokers – I’ll bet you had no idea that this was a topic that required immediate attention. I’ll bet that 80 of 100 Senators didn’t know this was an emergency either.

Pages 261 -266  Temporary Relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax. I’d like to see the Alternative Minimum Tax eliminated, however, this section should not be attached to this bill. I can hear the Congressperson now – I was really against the Bailout – but I was voting to end the Alternative Minimum Tax – for a time. If your Congressperson says this, ask them why they didn’t pass this legislation in September?

Page 279 – Rum Excise Tax Relief for Peurto Rico – Ok, truth be told, I’m all for tax relief on adult beverages – but did it really need to be attached to the “Bailout”.

Page 280 – Funding for Mine Rescue Training

Page 288 – Depreciation of Business Property on Indian Reservations (The actual Bill language – I thought our Native Americans were Native Americans and not Indians).

Page 289 – Railroad Track Maintenance

Page 290 – Cost Recovery for Motor Sport Racing Tracks

Page 295 – Duty Suspension on Wool Products

Page 297 – Child Tax Credit Extension – We all favor this – How many Congress people will hide behind this one. The question to ask is this – Couldn’t you vote this through on Thursday and not attach it to this stinker of a Bill. It will be represented and passed if the House Votes the Bailout Bill down again on Thursday Night.

PAGE 298 – Film and TV Production Tax Credits – Limits taxes to the first $15 Million of production costs. (On a $100 Million Dollar Movie – The last $85 Million are tax free. No wonder Hollywood is far left – it pays for them to be there). 

Page 300 – Excise Tax Break for Wooden Arrows used by Children.

Page 301 – Exxon Valdez Llitigation Income Averaging.

Page 310 – 334 Domenici Mental Health Bill – This bill has been debated for 10 years. I will not discuss the merits of the proposal, however, the cost to the American Public might exceed a trillion dollars. After 10 years of debate this bill should have been brought up independent of any other bill. Senator Domenici, the sponsor, is retiring at the end of this term.  

Page 334 – Secure Rural Schools

Page 364 – Special Projects Federal Land

Page 394  – Hurricane Ike Relief

Page 442 – Spending Reductions and Revenue Raisers to Support Tax Relief – I love this Sections name. It reminds me of an earlier life. We called them K-Rats, I believe they are called Meals Ready To Eat now. Now you get three lies, for the price of one. (Actually, MRE’s are much better than Krats ever were).

Now as to the “improvements to the Bailout Bill” that the House defeated. The changes are nothing more than window dressing.

1). Mark to Market – whether you like it or don’t like it – there is no mandated change. There is no specific rule change in this law. The language is identical to the defeated House BIll.

2). FDIC Increase in insured deposit limit from $100,000 to $250,000 – A purely cosmetic change. The “Bailout Supporters” claim it calms the markets. It may calm someone who doesn’t understand that individuals have either placed their money in separate accounts or used one of the “services” that have been available for 3 or 4 years to distribute funds between different banks so that all of a depositors money has always been insured. As far as helping liquidity – the change is irrelevant.

This provision may actually be a tax increase in disguise: Read the Myth of the FDIC Fund, By Bill Isaac, Former FDIC Chairman Here: https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/fdic-insurance-an-accounting-myth-not-a-fund-bill-isaac-former-fdic-ch/

3). Additional oversight – minimal changes.

4). Executive Compensation (pg 30) is essentially unchanged – covers current but not past CEO’s and Executives. Only covers Executives from Companies who participate in the asset sale to the Government. Political claims that this provision covers all Wall Street Executives is false. Most Wall Street Executives won’t be involved in the Program.

Golder Parachutes are eliminated – in participating Companies – for 2 years (that 2 year limitation is found on page 112, 82 pages away from the main section on Executive Compensation). Gee, my bet is that no one is going to qualify for a Golden Parachute in the next two years – but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone’s Parachute opened in two years and one day.    

5) Mortgage Relief – Assistance – Modification: No Change here. The language is unchanged. The Government picks the winners and losers. While not completely defined – the Bailout only provides help to those homeowners who have a mortgage with a failed bank or lending institution. If the bank that holds your mortgage is not participating in the bailout – this plan provides no help.  

6). Fixing what got us here. Suspending the operations of the Communirty Reinvestmant Authority (The CRA is the agency that fostered the development of NINJA & LIAR Loans) removing the Boston Federal Reserve Manual on Mortgage Underwritng Reform from use (The Manual that set the standards for the worst of the sub-prime loans – the Manual that was used to coerce Banks into making these loans) or implementing  the 2003-2004 suggested Accounting and Oversight Reforms for Fannie and Freddie are not even discussed in the Senate Bill.  

The Bailout Supporters claim the “Bailout” will create easier credit (easy money) and improve the economy. They also claim that the “Bailout” will help liquidity. I wonder where that liquidity or money will flow to – the same scams that caused this problem in the first place?

The Senate Bill fails to reduce the burden on Taxpayors – there is no increased use of Insurance or Loan Programs. 

For those of you who are familiar with Dave Ramsey’s Suggested “Fix” – they have failed to adopt any of his suggestions.  

My estimate is that the current “Bailout Program” has an initial “buy-in” cost of $850 Billion Dollars – just for the “Bailout” (Not including Mental Health – etc). Not all of this tax payor cash is to be paid out up front. Of course there is no guarantee that the Government won’t be back for more once we start down this road.

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND LET HIM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL – TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON THE BAILOUT – 

Contact Your Senators Here:  http://www.emailyoursenator.com/senators.html  Click on your Senators, Select the Contact Folder and then  click on the email address.

Contact Congresspeople: http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html You’ll need your zip  code

I reviewed a copy of the Senate Bailout Bill through the FOX Business Channel Web Site:  http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/economy/senate-version-economic-rescue-package/

Tommorows Post: What is wrong with tighter Credit? – Credit Availablity In America Today.

Small Biz No Fan of $700B Rescue Plan

Small Biz No Fan of $700B Rescue Plan  – Gee, and to hear the Main Stream Media – you might think Small Business couldn’t wait for the Bailout.

Dunstan Prial FOXBusiness

The anger out in America triggered by Washington’s proposal to rescue the U.S. financial system to the tune of $700 billion is palpable — almost visceral.

That’s hardly surprising, given the broad knowledge that the executives in charge of the giant now-faltering financial institutions that stand to benefit most from the bailout make more money in a year than most Americans will in a lifetime (or two).

Small-business owners, in particular, are having a hard time reconciling the concept that bosses who essentially gambled big and lost will get another opportunity to play in the casino.

“They screwed up with all that money and they’re rewarded by a bailout from the government,” said the owner of Creative Design & Landscape, a Doylestown, Pa., contractor.

“Can you imagine if any one of us screwed up that way? I wish the government would come bail us out,” he quipped.

Talk to just about any small business owner and the response is virtually the same.

“It think it’s ludicrous. They’re taking my money to bail out these people who made major mistakes with their lending, but they can’t help the little guy — they don’t bail out hard working Americans. It’s not fair,” said 64-year-old Larry Peterson, owner of The Dog House restaurant in Bradenton, Fla.

An unfortunate paradox of these difficult times is that these very same business owners, in the same breath used to condemn the bailout proposal, make strong cases for why some form of action to ease clogged credit markets is so necessary.

The Doylestown contractor said his business is off sharply because his potential clients can’t get the home-equity loans and extra cash from mortgage refinancings typically used for the type of home improvements in which his company specializes.

The credit crunch, he said, has had a “direct affect on our jobs. When they’re not able to raise the money, that directly affects us as contractors.”

He’s not alone.

According to the 2008 Small Business Mid-Year Economic Report from the National Small Business Association, a trade group, 67% of small businesses have been impacted by the collapse of global credit markets brought on largely by the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble. That’s up from 55% in February.

A whopping 79% of small business owners, according to the survey, believe the immediate future doesn’t hold much promise, predicting either a flat economy or an outright recession awaiting on the horizon.

Peterson, proprietor of The Dog House, said the lousy economy forced him to close down earlier this week, and he will remain closed unless he can find an investor to help him pay off $300,000 in loans he’s already carrying.

Banks are no longer an option, he said.

“The economy is killing me and our government is not doing a damn thing about it. It’s terrible,” he said.

In fact, the government is trying to do something. But is it the right thing?

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, in testimony this week before decidedly skeptical members of Congress, argued repeatedly that, while imperfect, the plan to create a government-run haven of sorts for up to $700 billion in bad assets held by financial institutions is the only way to ward off a complete disaster. Hasty approval is needed, according to Paulson, to prevent tighter credit markets, significant job losses and a sharp rise in home foreclosures.

And Paulson assured elected leaders that he’s sensitive to the visceral concerns of the politicians’ constituents.

Are U.S. taxpayers best served by a $700 billion bailout of arguably mismanaged, for-profit financial companies? “This is all about the American taxpayer. That’s all we care about,” he said.

How about the widespread anger at the missteps that brought us to this point? “I share the outrage that people have. It’s embarrassing to look at this, and I think it’s embarrassing to the United States of America,” Paulson said.

But few small-business owners heard the nationally televised daytime testimony. They were working.

President Bush gave a prime time speech last night to address the widespread anger and confusion surrounding the plan.

It was sorely needed, because even some of the strongest detractors of the Bush Administration’s rescue plan acknowledge that doing nothing might be worse.

On Wednesday, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said there’s a consensus in the Senate that “we need to do something,” and that something will get done perhaps as soon as this weekend.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/small-bi-fan–billion-rescue-plan/

An Argument Against The Bailout – By: Cody Willard

It doesn’t take much to get Cody Willard riled up about the $700 billion Wall Street bailout package recently defeated by the U.S. House of Representatives.

“We’ve had 200 years of private ownership of profits and losses, and somewhere, we came up with the idea that we could never have a down year,” Willard said. “Not every year will be an up year.”

Willard, a Ruidoso native who co-hosts the show “Happy Hour” on the Fox Business Network in New York, was in town Monday and Tuesday, working on a feature on his hometown.

The assignment will give him a chance to show off the village he called home until his high school graduation in 1991, but he’s made a name for himself in the concrete canyons of New York City, both as a financial analyst for Fox and as the founder of an investment management company.

As such, when Willard speaks about the state of the national economy – and the government’s attempt to bail out some major investment firms – his word stands to carry some weight.

“If the Depression taught us anything, it’s that government socialism only exacerbates the problem,” Willard said. “This would be the greatest redistribution of wealth upward in the country’s history. There’s nothing beneficial to anyone but the big firms on Wall Street.”

Unsurprisingly, Willard isn’t in favor of the proposal, which was voted down by lawmakers in Washing-ton on Monday, but is likely to be re-introduced soon with significant changes.

“I don’t think we’ll be able to stop it this time,” Willard said. “It will be tough to beat, but then I thought the first bill wouldn’t be defeated, either.”

Willard has written several articles on the proposed bill on the http://www.foxbusiness.com Web site, and has reported about 99 percent of all comments are in agreement with him against the bailout package.

His most recent post was written while in Ruidoso, in which he reported a majority of the locals are against the bill as well.

“I don’t know a single person here who is for the bailout,” Willard writes. “A well-off elderly couple even laughed today when I asked if they thought they’d have trouble getting a loan from the local bank if Wall Street isn’t bailed out.

“I said, ‘what’s funny?’ They said their local bank hasn’t overextended itself and has prepared itself for the just-started local real estate downturn and that they’ve got capital to put down if they wanted to.”

That comment illustrates what Willard believes about the national economy – that it runs not on the backs of major investment firms in New York, but on the hard work and ingenuity of small businesses and small investors throughout the country.

“The small businesses that are the lifeblood of small communities like this are also the life blood of the country,” Willard said. “Taxing them to bail out big banks and investment firms can’t help anybody.”

http://www.ruidosonews.com/news/ci_10603025

You Want Free Market Solutions? You Got ‘Em!

You Want Free Market Solutions? You Got ‘Em!

By Cody Willard

So what’s the alternative to extorting a trillion dollars from middle America for the sole direct benefit of rich bankers and NYC?

1. Suspend FASB 157 which earlier this year, because it requires ibanks to value their mortgage junk that’s being puked at 6 cents on the dollar at places like Merrill Lynch, contributed to the virtuous cycles now turned vicious.

2. Bring back the uptick rule. Shortselling a company is fine and dandy…but pounding down on a stock in an illiquid market by relentless shorting into whatever bids are out there has been a big factor in how quickly Lehman and others failed.

3. Let the billions of brilliant people on this planet take advantage of the concepts of private ownership and the ability to profit therein as this vicious cycle creates huge opportunities for everybody. That’s really the single biggest issue I’ve got with all these fear-mongering socialists who seem to see this economy and the people in it as a static blip on a chart. Take Bill Gross at PIMCO (please take him — I’m talking to you, Communist China, he’ll fit right in with you guys now that he’s a huge advocate of central allocation of capital and all with this bailout bill) has about a trillion dollars under management. He wrote in an editorial that he thought the government would make a ton of money if they’d give the insolvent banks 60 cents on the dollar for that stuff that’s trading at 6 cents on the dollar right now. If he truly thinks that, then I’m pretty sure he could figure out a way to sell enough Treasuries and government bonds back to the government and raise enough capital from private investors that he could make that 60 cents on the dollar bet himself. Privately, without extorting capital from middle America.

4. Moreover, how about we let the little geniuses out there create small businesses that can take advantage of the opportunities now being created in the financial industry instead of expecting the guys with absolutely wild conflicts of interest who are in utter panic mode (Paulson, Bernanke, Bush, Pelosi, Hilary et al) to be productive at fixing the system.

I mean, after speaking for about half an hour offline with true-freedom lover and former Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neil, discussing this stuff the other day, I heard several of the former-freedom-loving rich white dudes you see on TV who have taken to begging you for your tax dollars actually start to discuss some ways they could privately profit off this Wall Street Crisis of 2008.

I personally am thinking about starting a website called “MyUnderWaterMortgage.com” where people can privately pool their underwater mortgages — perhaps by vintage or location or state or something if there’s enough critical mass — and then those underwater mortgages could be packaged and sold to private investors who then pay off the banks who will simply be thrilled to get some cash that’s not 6 cents on the dollar for this mortgages. And I’m just one cowboy who came up with that one idea in just one night. Hey you fear mongering commies who keep telling us that if you don’t have complete control of the industry that we’re going into a Great Depression: LEAVE US ALONE. LEAVE THE SYSTEM ALONE. LET US GET BACK TO WORK!

PS. Here’s an article from my local newspaper with more of my take on this stuff.

http://cody.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2008/10/01/you-want-free-market-solutions-you-got-em/

You can watch Cody at 5:00 PM (est) on Fox Business Channel’s “Happy Hour”.

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