This Week in Business, June 8-12, 2009

Posted: June 12, 2009 in Business & Economics, Main Articles & Blog News, The Responsible Citizen's Bullhorn

For the week ending June 12, 2009, these are the most important or newsworthy reels to hit this blog’s radar, summarized in 1,000 words (give or take a few thousand):

TARP Repayments Begin…

After a nightmarish eight months which saw bank after bank bleed money or go bust, and a much-needed government intervention, repayments of up to $68 billion of the Troubled Asset Relief Protection (TARP) will begin next week. The Federal Reserve authorized 10 banks, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman-Sachs and others, to pay back a portion of their loans and frees them from some government obligations such as… executive compensation. Notice that this post made no mention about whether or not these banks were really in the clear or not. Even after nearly going to Hell, where they should have been allowed to fall in the first place, these ingrates haven’t learned their lesson and wanted to pay back the loans, for all the wrong reasons.  Some are even complaining, calling TARP a ripoff. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Next time these knuckleheads fail, the government should let them twist in the wind. We don’t need to bail out any more idiots who have no appreciation for help when they get it. Let them bleed to death, for all we care.

On that note, Tim Geithner and the Treasury Department began what turned out to be a half-assed measure to try and curb executive compensation, on the heels of the bloody Countrywide fleecing by disgraced ex-CEO Angelo Mozilo.  Unfortunately, at first glance it is nothing more than talk.  The only way the government will ever have a say on corporate excesses is when they wind up intervening in their respective businesses; this is why the banks that are able to rebound are trying to pay back the money as fast as they get them – just to get the government’s prying eyes out of the way.

This part of the post is a rant: I’m not a big fan of government intervention as these so-called conservative morons claim they aren’t. But like it or not, it’s good to have a safety net to be able to bounce back from; that’s what they call insurance. Our taxes pay to keep this government running, and last I checked, even bankers were taxpaying citizens. So why resent it when the government browbeats you for it? That’s their job, as caretakers of the nation’s resources.  Neither could any of this lending to restore banks be called socialist, as what these idiots claim.  First off, TARP was initiated by a Treasury Secretary under a Republican Administration, Henry Paulson. Obama and the current Congress simply facilitated it. So anyone mouthing off on so-called socialist policies should read how this whole thing started in the first place.

I find it really, really amusing that right-wing Republicans resort to attacking Obama and Democrats with the Socialist label. Fine, then I call these dogs Nazis. Wasn’t it a commentator or two on Fox who agitated all these shooters into killing a doctor at an abortion clinic and the Holocaust Museum? If they want to continue the abrasive, isolationist attacks that alienated America from the rest of the world and ourselves, then all I gotta say is, “Bring it on.” Bitch.

and Otherwise

It’s been a quiet week. The sale of Chrysler to Fiat was finalized this week, with Fiat acquiring a 20% majority stake in the remnants of the former great. However, lawsuits and angry appeals from bondholders and spurned dealers will no doubt slow down any progress in business – much like a swarm of bees choking a hornet.  About the only other interesting thing other than TARP repayments and the ongoing restructuring of the automakers is a Treasury Bond rally that seems to be catching on. Treasury yields have been going low, as a result of mortgage rates going up, maybe prematurely As a result, 30-Year bonds are being gobbled up while they hover at their highest levels that’s been seen in a while, around the 4’s. So who needs stocks, when you can put them in good ol’ fashion bonds? With things the way they are right now, no volatility and a guaranteed gain on your money is better than none at all.

Looks like the bond rally hasn’t hurt Wall Street, either. At week’s end, the Dow Jones finally gained enough points to close at a positive, compared to its close at the end of 2008. That’s a sigh of relief for some, who see a comeback as soon as this month.  When we’re back to the 9,000 level, we’ll know for sure.  Except millions of us still have to find work, and pay off our bills. For now, though, any good news will have to do, like the markets starting to rebound.

Copyright Anabasius 2009

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