Dear Friend and Reader,
Writing about American election politics in 2008 is making me more and more an aficionado of Spanish surrealistВ film directorВ Luis BuГ±uel.
Film still from Un Chien AndalouВ (An Andalusian Dog),В a surrealist film from 1928 by Luis BuГ±uel.
It seems as though we are in a Dada universe, where logic has escapedВ and that lack is celebrated. Considered par for the course. If we put an eye inВ the martini glass and drink from it, would people notice that something is wrong? In this movie called America 2008, IВ guess not.
Observing theВ current economic climate and trying to connect the dots between job losses in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and around the country where people are losing homes,В the bailout of AIG by your American taxpayer dollars defies conventional logic, not just wisdom. It’s beginning to paintВ the absurdistВ picture of our American world in the era of regulation-free conservatismВ more clearly.
Around the blogs, I found these gems that so beautifully summarize our currentВ economic and politicalВ conditionВ in a Daily Kos post entitled В Long Live the New Union of Socialist Republicans:
Now that the People own a major insurance company, it’s fair to ask how the People’s Insurance Company, along with the People’s Mortgage Companies and the People’s Investment Banks, will benefit the People who Own them. Can we expect lower premiums, equity sharing and corporate perks for our hundreds of billions of dollars? Should we start checking our mailboxes for dividend checks? Who gets paid first: claimants, bondholders, stockholders, or we the new taxpayer owners? We the Owners, want to know, and the Union of Socialist Republicans better damn well tell us, fast.
The Total Bailout Bill=$900 billion.В Think about that for a minute. В
$900 billion dollars, racked-up before your very eyes. This at a time when the federal government is already bleeding money. В Note the following numbers from the Bureau of the Public Debt:
– $200 billion for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The deal puts the two housing finance firms under government control. В
– $300 billion for the Federal Housing Administration to refinance failing mortgages into new, reduced-principal loans with a federal guarantee, passed as part of a broad housing rescue bill.В
– $4 billion in grants to local communities to help them buy and repair homes abandoned due to mortgage foreclosures.В
– $85 billion loan for AIG which would give the Federal government a 79.9% (ownership)В stake and avoid a bankruptcy filing for the embattled insurer. AIG management will be dismissed. В
– At least $87 billion in repayments to JP Morgan Chase for providing financing to underpin trades with units of bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said over the weekend he was adamant that public funds not be used to rescue the firm. (In this instance, I suspect the government felt it untenable to bail out more thanВ one failed mega-financial business in one day, so they opted toВ do a pass-through using JP Morgan Chase-FB).В В
– $29 billion in financing for JP Morgan Chase’s government-brokered buyout of Bear Stearns in March.В
All of the profits have been privatized. В Now the US taxpayer is responsible for all the losses.В В
So now, after years of taking advantage of the little guy, unregulated,В to make obscene profits from untenable housing loans and mortgages that were never realistic, theseВ corporations are going straight to the public trough to bail them out for screwing up while they were screwing us. We can muse that this is all very interesting and perhaps funny. But its unfortunateВ this is also the same government that we pay for with taxpayer dollarsВ that can’t seem to move very quickly when a natural disaster, not a financial one, takes place. As said before, this seems like a country whose government comes right out of a surrealist art film. Its priorities are absurd.
I thought for a moment The Onion made this next piece up, but its for realВ andВ falls under the category ofВ Cosmic Irony:В
In an interview with CNN this summer, (Lynn Forester de Rothschild)В did not hide her distaste for eventual Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
‘This is a hard decision for me personally because frankly I don’t like him,’ she said of Obama in an interview with CNNвЂ™s Joe Johns. ‘I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him.’
Forester is a member of the DNCвЂ™s Democrats Abroad chapter and splits her time living in London and New York.
Forester is the CEO of EL Rothschild, a holding company with businesses around the world. She is married to international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.