All Posts Tagged With: "Troubled Asset Relief Program"

Politicians, Bailouts and Bank-Owned Houses

Around the corner from my former apartment in Newton was a house that was taken in foreclosure. The “For Sale” sign had been there for a very long time, the lawn wasn’t mowed regularly and the shrubs had died in the winter but hadn’t been removed.

Walk around your own neighborhood and see how many houses are for sale. Sometimes the sign openly states that it is bank-owned, other times you might have to search on the county assessors website. There are plenty of bank-owned houses in Iowa; there are many, many more in California, Nevada, Michigan and Illinois.

The point is this: With such a large supply of bank-owned houses, of course houses will continue to fall in price. When a store has excess …


Washington’s Shrewd Investment

Today the headlines read something like:  Government Stands to Reap $7.5 Billion Profit from Sale of Citi Stock.  This was reported in both the Wall Street Journal and our local rag, the Des Moines Register, and while estimates vary as to the extent of this transaction, the range of the government’s take is somewhere between $7 and $7.5 billion.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this.  The federal government bailed out Citigroup in the fall of 2008, and took an ownership interest in the company in exchange for TARP (or is it TRAP?) funds.  The purpose of TARP was to shore up the banking system, and in the process, the economy.  While many of the banks that took TARP money claimed to not need it, …


Hope for a Change

Or is it change for a hope?  I admit my confusion on this issue.  The American public was told during the 2008 Presidential campaign that things would be different.  So far, it’s more of the same, only worse.  It seems like the entire country has gone stark, raving mad.

To wit, as the Obama Administration’s Cabinet nominees wind their way through the approval process, we find that not one, not two, not three, but four have a prior history of not paying their taxes.  What is going on here?  The best thing to come out of this mess is that the American taxpayer, at last count, is ahead some $176,000.  Could this be President Obama’s plan to fund this massive “economic stimulus” package that is …


Two Weeks

Two weeks ago today, the Obama Nation was gloating.  Sweeping victories in the general election, Democrats now control the White House and both houses of Congress.  Well, it’s been two weeks, so that means it’s time for me to get out of my fetal position, stop throwing up, an assess what’s transpired since then.

In the last two weeks, there has been a steady stream of companies lined up at the Treasury Department’s door to obtain “equity stakes” from the American taxpayer.  I admit that I was one of the first (and few) to defend Treasury Secretary Paulson’s and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s bailout/rescue/money grab in an effort to shore up a global economy on the verge of total economic collapse.  This was, and is, …


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