Tarp Two: New deal or no deal?

February 10, 2009

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner speaks during a news conference in the Cash Room of the Treasury Department in Washington, February 10, 2009.

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday unveiled a revamped financial rescue plan to cleanse up to $500 billion in spoiled assets from banks’ books and support $1 trillion in new lending through an expanded Federal Reserve program. But initial market reaction reflected investors’ doubts about the plan, with stocks falling around 3 percent after the announcement by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

“For all the rhetoric that this is a new plan, they’ve done nothing but rehash and expand the old procedures,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA.

Carl Lantz, U.S. interest rate strategist at Credit Suisse in New York, said details of a proposed public-private investment fund for mopping up toxic bank assets were “very vague”.

“It sounds like for this public-private investment fund they are still exploring a range of different structures for the program or seeking input from market participants,” he said. “That’s the the kind of stuff we heard on TARP One and suggests that given all this time they still don’t have anything very specific nailed down.”

James Ellman, president of Seacliff Capital in San Francisco, criticized the proposals. “Investors want clarity, simplicity, and resolution. This plan is seen as convoluted, obfuscating, and clouded. We know that Geithner was able to overrule many other Obama administration people, and said we should not be tough on bank equity holders or bank management. So equity holders got a better deal, and it’s still not a good deal.”

Do you have confidence in Geithner’s plans? Debate the announcement below. We’ll update this post with fresh comments from analysts and other market participants as we get them.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Throwing bad money after bad money.

Posted by Peter of Lone Tree | Report as abusive

The banks created this mess – let them mop it up.

Posted by sukhbir | Report as abusive

Sounds like the same old plan with more smoke and whistles.

Posted by Robert Vysther | Report as abusive

This was the long awaited bank bailout plan? I heard nothing but a bunch of pie-in-the-sky promises about programs that were still in the “collaberative” stage or had been rejected as unworthy of funding in TARP I. Not to mention that the initial estimate is somewhere north of $2.5 trillion. What a joke!

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Dear Great Leader,

Up till now, the sum total of your attempts to fix this financial crisis had been to give hand-outs to banks. And the banks, in turn, have responded by changing nothing. Nada. Zipp. Bingo. Squat. Except to ask for more money. And more. And more.

So here’s a suggestion. This may not be working. You may be relying on ‘Clueless in the Financial Industry’ to make something of the opportunities you are handing out – and maybe he is… after all, he still gets his bonus, doesn’t he?

So why don’t you try something different? Why don’t you invest that money in job creation schemes for the man in the street. So that he can start earning again. So that he won’t default on his mortgage repayments. Which will benefit the banks anyway? That way, the bankers will still get his bonus (except he’ll have to work for it as us lesser mortals do) *and* your voters benefit as well.

Figure it out… it shouldn’t take you too long.

Posted by Quintin | Report as abusive

No wonder the market is in free fall – a trust me from Tim Geithner, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Posted by r will | Report as abusive

Unfortunately I have lost complete confidence in what anyone in Washington DC does. All that they want to do is self deal and fill their friends pockets with pork barrell money! They have destroyed the banking industry due to lack of oversight. With the possible exception of former President Bush they have destroyed the domestic auto industry by dragging their feet on helping them while letting bankers and insurance companies run amok!

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Does anyone else feel sick?

Posted by Lil | Report as abusive

this new government are good at slogans but have yet to prove that they have a solution to a world that changed;
our industrial front, our environmental concerns, it needs an economic renaissance on multiple levels of our society.
(old) consumer society (new) sustainable culture…and working out how to ensure prosperity through that. yes, its a toughie. meanwhile can someone allow me to have chickens and goats in my urban backyard?

Posted by pat r | Report as abusive

The shareholders are also victims of bank greedy management and regulatory incompetence. The bank shareholders are in large part the pension plans and other institutions that hold the savings of all, and the garantees for their life insurance. Why should we punish them more??? so much money has already disappeared, where will our pensions come from???

Posted by RichardInFlorida | Report as abusive

Forget about cajoling the banks, baiting them, begging them to start lending again. Why don’t we expand the SBA mandate and funding, to help funding the small- to medium-sized companies who are struggling most, but had contributed nothing to current mess that the big banks created??

Posted by tiddle | Report as abusive

Banks don’t like anything that makes them toe the line like the rest of America.

Posted by mike pierce | Report as abusive

Audit the US Federal Reserve. See your money crated and sent off to God knows where and whom (the US Fed knows, but they aren’t telling, just summaries of minutes and plans. They won’t even tell our US Congress, let alone submit to an external audit like a public corporation should do as least once per year). No taxpayer money to banks (they loan, or what is their value?). They create money if they could just find someone that would creditably promise to pay it back. You know banks can create money by just accounting entries? True.

Stimulous? No, just spending money beyond ridiculous. Taxpayer are hard pressed to pay their own bills. The US Government bills are headed for infinity.

There are many fiscally responsible people; please listen to them. Keynes Economics is really beyond silly at this point. Tell me how Keynesian muliplier effect works when taxpayers are tapped out and cannot repay their own debt, let alone the federal debt.

Look at all big banks: tier 1 is low. Tier 2 is sad. Tier 3 (risky, unknown market value, likely zero in bankrupcy). If big bank balance sheets were balanced (assets = liabilties + equity) a year ago, then assets went down 40%, then big banks are so far negative, in the trillions, close shop. Audit. Empty the trash. Clean up the rules (CDS, CDO, MBS, SIV, Fannie and Freddie, SEC, Commondities, Gambling on Wall Street, US Fed).

Lest we will need to sell Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Mt. Rushmore.

Road to Recovery:
Step 1 – Listen to Ron Paul
Step 2 – Listen to other responsible people you trust.
Step 3 – put your money in safe responsible places. Don’t bother investing in what you do need.
Step 4 – Vote for the most responsible candidates and propositions you can find.
Step 5 – Vacation in Yosemite, Yellowstone, or Mt. Rushmore. Think deeply about how wonderful life is (even though our monetary system is rather sad).

Posted by skinner | Report as abusive

and now for some out-of-the-box thinking—-

what causes the economical crisis?
The collapse of the housing market.
While admittedly the mortgage system needs to be re-structured and the concept of subprime mortgages replaced by something less prone to speculation, the housing market is doing poorly because there is too much supply…too many houses on the markets.

So go and fill the houses…. and lower the supply.

The US administration is planning to re-structure the economy by switching over to solar energy, by putting computers in all classrooms, by modernising local administration and natioanl healthcare.

Needed to do so, are many many skilled people, probably a lot more then currently available in the US.

Offer immediate US citizenship to programmers, solar panel experts etc…etc…and bring in a few hundred thousand of them.
If you put up an ad in Bangalore, (for those who dont know, the equivalant of Silicon Valley in India), probably half the city will come over.

Offer all these high-skilled, highly motivated people housing in the too many houses currently on the market.

(the US gov. could purchase them).

The housing market will pickup because of lower supply, the economy will kickstart due to influx of highly skilled inviduals.


Posted by Al | Report as abusive

I think we should give the new plan a try. All the naysayers are just sitting on their hands, but not putting up any money.

Buy the bad debt, sell it at fire sale prices, and get the lost money from future bank profits. Maybe the taxpayer can get some of their money back before the money lenders take it for bonuses.

Get the lobbyists out of the picture in Washington. They are the people who bought the votes to get us into this mess, and get the senators and representatives out of office who got us into this mess. We can get this thing fixed, but the same people who screwed up the system surely do not have the brains to fix it.

Posted by Fred Belz | Report as abusive

Of course the banks and markets will oppose this plan. They remind me of a bunch of middle schoolers who suddenly find themselves with new rules forbidding throwing food in the cafeteria. Nobody wants to accept new restrictions, but given the unrest among those of us who do not have $500,000 salaries and $5,000,000 houses, the wisest course for those spoiled brats is to gracefully accept that their day of greed is over. They had their chance, and they totally flubbed it. Now, as Obama has said, it’s time for adult supervision.

Posted by Louise H | Report as abusive

Put your money in safe responsible places. Don’t bother investing in what you do NOT need. In my prior post, I left out the word, “NOT.”

I sincerely hope our economy and my spelling improve. I will work on both.

Posted by skinner | Report as abusive

No. This financial plan is created by the same Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan players that de-regulated toxic derivatives in the first place, gutted the SEC, lost trillions and they’re now telling us how much taxpayer money they should be given to bail them and their cronies out.

Obama appointing Summers, Geithner et al because they are “experienced” is like bringing Donald Rumsfeld back to head Defense because he is “experienced” in Iraq.

First, clean house. Get credible financial managers in both Washington and at the banks, then create a new plan that puts our economy first and the bankers last.

Posted by JimF | Report as abusive

Treasury Secretary Geithner’s speech laying the groundwork for the new financial stability plan stressed that credit availability is essential to economic recovery and restoring jobs. He noted that banks are critical to this challenge and highlighted three important principles the Obama Administration believes are critical to success: size, leverage and accountability.

First, Geithner indicated that the size and comprehensiveness of the plan must be sufficient and sustained for it to succeed. Second, and perhaps the most important part of the plan, is the emphasis on getting private capital back in the game. Although not stated, the Administration clearly understands that the government does not hold the keys to the long-term solutions. The stakes are very high with the overall success of the plan hinging on the ability to restore the flow of credit and the confidence of investors. Finally, the Administration appears ready to take all necessary steps to ensure that accountability and transparency are integral to the plan; otherwise, the confidence of the American people will not be there to support it.

Generally, the overall success of the plan still appears to hinge on figuring out how to effectively address the troubled asset issue. Failing to address the troubled asset problem currently plaguing the industry will likely perpetuate, if not exacerbate, industry problems for many years to come. Regarding the details of the plan, there were no surprises. It has three major components: (i) ensuring any additional TARP funding goes into banks that are healthy (unclear is whether the stress test includes a too-big-to-fail systemic risk component); (ii) establishing an aggregator bank (i.e., bad bank) in which Treasury will bring in private capital to leverage government monies and help stabilize troubled banks by buying their toxic assets; and (iii) expanding the Federal Reserve’s Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) to increase consumer and small business lending. The Federal Reserve released details of its expanded TALF program simultaneous with Geithner’s speech, and details are yet to come on the aggregator bank proposal.

Two additional items that Geithner stressed are increasing small business lending through the Small Business Administration and a housing/foreclosure prevention plan that will be rolled out in the next few weeks. At least $50 billion is expected to be earmarked for foreclosure prevention efforts.

Kevin Petrasic
Senior associate, Banking and Financial Institutions Group, Paul Hastings (international law firm)

Posted by Kevin Petrasic | Report as abusive

Everyone is criticizing the government steps to intervene but what else can we do to turn the tide?

We need a major economic injection to flip the economy, greater stringent methods as to credit availability and provide culture where work ethic and industry will be stimulated in, not condoned. The persons/institutions largely responsible for this mess must not be allowed to participate in a new deal but must be brought to account. It is time to roll up our sleeves and start making the economy a vibrant system of empowerment.

Posted by Gavin | Report as abusive

The guy didn’t even know to pay his own taxes, sorry I’m not thinking he can solve this one. But hey, Obama will save us. Let’s spend our way to prosperity.

Posted by 5026 | Report as abusive

At least they are trying to repair the massive damage, and right the ship. Imagine how daunting this must really be. They know far more than the average citizen, and the pressure must be enormous. The people should give them sufficient time to succeed.

And America wake up and start saving your money. If you can’t find a job, start a landscaping business; do at home computing, or be a personal assistant. Do something.

America needs to stop thinking somebody else is going to pay the tab, if you can’t find a job; make your own job.

Posted by phoenix1 | Report as abusive

The key element in this situation is trust and confidence, if we don’t trust this administration, why we all participated in the election with such excitement. Please show some confidence….
Aig, bank of America, citigroup, goldman… All these giants will survive and we will have a win-win situation. GOD BLESS AMERICA

Posted by charbel | Report as abusive

It may be a good thing that Wall Street is upset; Regulation! Oversight! Pay Caps! These are precisely the types of things the Corporate community has banded together to eradicate for the last three decades. If the Mega-Bankers had a solution and could fix the mess they created, they would. We know that beggars cannot be choosers; absolute power corrupts absolutely; and anything at its extreme changes to its opposite.
I don’t trust Fed Officials to fix oue economy, for their paradigmes are too limited, and will never imagine a solution without themselves and their fractional lending schemes

Posted by S Peterson | Report as abusive

What a formula! Tax citizens to pay for corporate cronism, all while flooding new money in from the federal reserve to devalue what scraps they left behind. Get ready for feudalism.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Spending is what got us into this mess. When you artificially create a bubble, cause and effect dictates that bubble will eventually come back down. Every time the previous bubble wants to break, they create a newer, bigger bubble to keep the flood at bay. They are only ensuring that we are completely screwed, instead of allowing the natural harmonization occur. A true market does not need interference to function because it will dictate its own supply and demand. Down with the federal reserve. Down with corporate cronism and the CFR.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

The economy is currently drowning in debt.
NO action that increases public or private debt will improve the current delema.
Only two solutions are possible.
ONE: Cause wage inflation to reduce the debt burden.
TWO: Offer debt write-offs of significent size, to reduce the debt load significantly.

Posted by steve | Report as abusive

I think we all agree that the credit markets are not working – both the banks and the securitization markets. The government wants/needs to become a 3rd banking avenue by buying or otherwise supprting the purchase of toxic assets. The problem is that no one can come up with the price – and so way too little gets done. Clearly we need to augment banking loan capacity – so why not force the banks to sell a certain percentage of all new loans to the government: the price is par; private business has backed and checked the credit risk; and the extra banking avenue is immediately effectuated. Even the deficit-worriers would agree that absent the banks’ ability to reverse cherry-pick the loans to be partially sold, the monies “spent” are really just invested – and with the real expectation of par repayment.

Posted by J Buettgen | Report as abusive

They don’t get it in Washington. I do not want to borrow any money. Will there be a job next week? Will my company even exist. I’m not stupid, why should I go out and borrow anything or buy anything other than food and fuel.

Posted by tom | Report as abusive

This latest attempt at stealing more of our money just proves again that Geithner is just another front-man for the ‘bankster’ cabal out to destroy – and then consolidate and take over – the world banking system. These ‘banksters’ are certainly not stupid and refuse transparency and accountability for a reason. Just like in their take over (“consolidation”) of Wachovia by Wells Fargo after we gave them $40 billion – the last “stimulus” – it’s now obvious that we’re going to see more of the same. And Obama’s “stimulus plan” proves that he’s in on it and won’t stand up to them and that it’s just ‘business as usual’ all over again. We voted for “change” (I voted for Obama) but make no mistake, Obama’s “change” was only clever propaganda to win election, and he’s backtracking as fast as humanly possible, and now he’s just as active as his ‘handlers’ in helping to fleece the citizens of the world. Unless Obama proves he’s willing to stand up to the pirates (salary limits??, what a joke!!!) and take them on to create some trust, we’re in for the depression that none of them seem willing to avert.
Today’s world-wide stock market sell off is an indication that many other smart people, those not in on the scam – think and feel the same…
And Obama is out to help steal even more of our money with his new “stimulus” plan. It’s no surprise that he used all his considerable charm to get his plan passed (sold) through the Senate before the unveiling of Geithner’s debacle; in fact, he even postponed Geithner’s unveiling so that the Senate plan would first be ‘in the bag’.
If Obama and his ‘in on it’ administration (and Congress except for Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul) aren’t willing to stand up for the American people and the citizens of the world and take on the ‘banksters’ and the cabalist Federal Reserve, then the the greatest depression in the history of the world is sure to follow…
Make no mistake: it’s all by design…and the snowball is rolling ever faster…!!
How can anyone with half a brain believe/trust any of these people after all they’ve done and continue to do???
PREPARE for the WORST unless we get REAL “CHANGE”!!!
Folks, it doesn’t get any scarier than this….!!!!

Posted by Peterboy | Report as abusive

Print, baby, print! Make sure there is plenty of green going round!
The choices are between crippling deflation and runaway inflation. Guess which one is worse? Deflation=Great Depression. And there will be time to deal with inflation later when the economy starts growing.
In a way, it’s good we have a Democratic Administration and Democratic majority at the Capitol Hill. Republicans are much more cautious in spending money, especially if it’s a deficit spending. In the times of normalcy Republican approach is more prudent. But now is time to spend (but not to tax – it’s better to give the taxpayers a break).
Our infrastructure needs updating – use the moment, spend on it! Give a piece of it to all construction companies, big and small, who want it. As a result, we’ll get safer bridges and wider highways – and thousands of construction workers being able to pay bills.
Pentagon screams about lack of headcount and equipment – throw the money at them! [Higher pay]=[Higher Enlistment]. Order more planes and tanks – that’ll make Boings, Lockheeds, and General Dynamixes of military-industrial complex hire more workers.
Detroit begs for money – let them have it! Though in this case attach some strings – the money must be spent on R&D to make new cars desirable to the buyers, not to cover their current legacy costs.
States and towns are in the red – help them out.
And so on – whenever and wherever a worthy project pops up – fund it.
One would ask what would happen to the greenback? The answer is simple – it will lose value. But is it such a bad thing?
Yes, the prices will go up. But so will the wages, so whoever works will not be affected. The important thing is – because of inflationary spendings there’ll be more jobs around.
The recipients of Social Security will be OK as well – the benefits are indexed to inflation.
The homeowners will be only benefited – housing prices will go up again, and many of today’s underwater mortgages will become reasonable. Also higher income numbers (though in cheaper dollars) will make payments easier.
US exporters will be benefited because cheap dollar makes American exports more price-competitive.
Stock investors will be benefited because the stock market will absorb a lot of these newly printed dollars and will grow in step with inflation, maybe even faster.
Surely somebody will have to pay for it. Who could be that? The ones who sit on piles of dollars. Fixed income will be hurt – and the ones depending on it. I really feel for them – but weren’t they told to diversify? And many of fixed income holders are also stock holders (directly or via mutual funds), so for them it’d be a mixed bag.
But mostly will be hurt foreign hoarders of dollars. First of them is Chinese government – but they deserve it as a punishment for years of currency manipulating. The Arab oil sheiks will be hurt too – they’re sitting on piles of cash from last year’s oil price spike. They wanted oil above $100/barrel – they can have it, but only if dollar is worth a quarter of today’s value. Nobody’s heart would bleed for them.
And as if a subliminal message – the security word is “WAY”. The printing press is the way. Print, baby, print!

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

I am mortgage lender that has watched this whole fiasco unfold, an I am truly amazed at how little the creditors have done to help resolve the mess that they created. I am not a CEO, but even I have developed a workable solution that would have help to head off this crisis. The solution is so simple that I am amazed that no one above a common loan officer has figured it out. The lenders should have looked at their portfolio and addressed all of their ARM loans and simply reforecast them into a rate and term that would have allowed the homeowner to stay in their homes. The loans could have been structured on a 50 year term and at a fixed interest rate that would have allowed the mortgage holder to stay in their, while the had market had time to correct itself. In the short term everyone would have been in a win/win situation,later on the loans could have been re-written after the correction at a rate and term that would have worked for all parties. This would have eliminated most of the foreclosures and it would have saved billions of dollars. Because of their slowness to react, the CEO’s have caused everyone nothing but grief. This wouldn’t have solved all of their problems, but it sure would have been a step in the rigth direction.
As for the bailout and stimulus plan,this administration needs to look to the immediate past. The economy was jump started post 9/11/2001 by the FED cutting the rates, so that people would refinace their homes and purchase new ones, which helped to stimulate the economy. So far the FED hasn’t done enough, the rates are too high and most people are not thinking about refinancing or purchasing,but if the rates were in the 3.5% range there would be another round of refinancing, because even the subprime loans of three years ago were in the 6to 6.5% range. I know that if I could save a couple of hundred dollars every month that I would definitley refinace my home.

Posted by James Bussey | Report as abusive

Look, i dont think so, helping the badly bruised banks will be of no use. they try to garner more resources which has been lost in the sub-prime crisis. next is that don’t compare this crisis with the great depression of 1930’s as it was more supply and less demand in the economy. here, the whole financial system of the world is battered upon. Leave banks, let them survive themselves. Consumers must be protected by helping them paying mortgages etc, but dont give them as charity, make them work. Create jobs in sectors where employment can be high. this will create productivity. $2 trillion to be invested in banks will be utter foolishness. U.S will be in more fiscal deficit. Invest in R & D’s, schools, upgrade education, build modern roads, parks where we can give more employment, which will be coming back to the market by consumption. purchase foodgrains from farmers and distribute it at lower prices, which will control the coming inflation. Invest in R & D in pentagon and defense activities. Exchange stocks with bonds and GOvt must revamp the money invested in banks or let them pay dividend.More can be done for the future. export more with subsidies

Posted by prof. subin chandran | Report as abusive

There is no way the American People should buy into this
new ‘Bail OUT. There is something missing and it smells
like a “Washington Wall Street Cover Up”.Like any Buisness
it is time to perform an Audit on each and every Bank
individualy. If they made bad loans then they should be
made to downsize now. If they can’t make it on their own
then shut them down. It is just a matter of time until
we learn the truth, and lets not waste anymore time and
money. Lets stand up America and face the truth. We let
these people run our Banks and Government into this Mess.

Posted by Clyde Preston | Report as abusive

Wall St was the financial centre where the brokers got extreme
bonus for shuffling paper. When disaster comes, everybody is ducking for cover, nobody knows what to do. The UK was decisive, nationalize the banks and dump the toxic assetts to the silly shareholders. They should also confiscate the Ferrari and the beach houses of the stupid bankers who got us into this sorry mess

Posted by nick | Report as abusive

I think it’s time to accept the cruel reality that much of the financial sector is effectively bankrupt. It’s time to deal. Put in place mechanisms to acknowledge the fact of bankruptcy, take over the failed institutions, sell off the assets to any sound enough to make the purchase. We have attempted to avoid this reality for some time for reasons that are perfectly understandable, eg, the sheer herculean character of the scale of the bankruptcies and the likely ramifications echoing through the world’s economy. We ought not have allowed ourselves to get in this fix, but we’re in it, and it’s time to accept that fact. Nationalize if necessary, liquidate the toxic assets, look to mitigate the damage in the broader economy to the extent possible, and move on from a sound base. It’s wake up and smell the reality time.

Posted by Big Al | Report as abusive

They should just let the banks drop dead, they proved their system wrong. Take over BAC Or Citygroup and let the goverment take over the lending to people and business for a period. When finances stabilize the goverment can sell their Banking.

Posted by Henrik Olsen | Report as abusive

This plan is just one strategy for rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. In the end, the ship is going down and it’s going to take many of the elite with it. It’s cold comfort to the rest of us to know we’re all in the same boat.

Posted by Spastica Rex | Report as abusive

Until the Senate gets rid of the filibuster rule by insisting on a simple majority by the presider, Congres will be of little or no help to the Administration. “Working closely with the Congress” will be meaningless. A small number of Republicans will dictate the compromise terms in order for any legislation at all to pass.

Posted by James Bachmann | Report as abusive

Decrease the size of all of our fat bloated governments by just 17% and save the $2 trillion. Fire all the government unions which are grossly overpaid and nonproductive. And speaking of jets – Pelosi can fly commercial airlines while the rest of us are looking for jobs to buy food. Politicians have given up nothing while they mortgage our childrens future. Fat bankers and corporate executives get bailouts that reward corruption and incompetence. Not one Board of Directors, which represents shareholders interests, has been charged with breach of duty. Give every citizen a check for $10,000 for instant economic results. Now thats a plan which will work.

Posted by JJ Beenthere | Report as abusive

I have absolutely no confidence that any financial plan is going to work–sooner of later money is going to have to be printed and we will be worse off–better to give the American people as many dollars the system can afford and let us determine the outcome.–if someone wants to borrow from a bank and has no paycheck what is the outcome?–Big deal that the banks have money to lend–who are they going to lend it to?

Posted by ilaboo | Report as abusive

Momma always said,” You have to lay in the bed you make. It makes you a better person.” I think Momma should be President.

Posted by David Crosby | Report as abusive

The stimulus and the new Treasury plan must be implemented. The political showmanship must end. All the politicians who only think of their careers, advancing stale talking points instead of solutions, must be driven out of office. We cannot fix the past; we must concentrate on the future. To that end, the Obama administration needs to go to the American people and advocate an even more aggressive plan. The current situation is not a normal business cycle; radical measures must be taken, and all options must be explored. Let pragmatism and realism carry the day.

Posted by Scott Prichard | Report as abusive

Just as a head coach for a sports club is ultimately responsible for the performance of his team, so are corporate CEOs responsible for the performance of their company. However, the head coach may not be the person calling the plays that cause the team to lose. Having the CEO removed from the corporation and then dumping billions of dollars of taxpayer money into that company is not the answer. The people who were making the daily business decisions that lead to the crisis we find ourselves in are still in a position to continue making decisions. If part of the plan is to sell off the bad debt to relieve the financial pressure in the banking industry, that debt should be sold to corporations that have proven to have sound business policies and decision making procedures. The rest should be allowed to wither on the vine and take what may come. Backing people who have made poor decisions in the past with government money is bad business. Haven’t we seen enough of that already?

Posted by Matthew Huff | Report as abusive

although i doubt my comments will make a difference or say anything that has not already been said, i suspect i am do so anyway because frustration and anger is all i have. i am retired, married, and have raised three daughters. my daughters went to state colleges since the cost was within my means. i receive a modest pension and employer was paying 50% of premium for health coverage. company has recently terminated contribution for health coverage. wife and i received cost of living increase with our social security payments and the increase will go toward payment of health coverage. all this talk about billions/trillions of dollars for a stimulus is meaningless to us. it is unlikely my wife and i or others in our situation are going to see any benefit when all is said and done.

Posted by george buleza | Report as abusive

Geithner is a laughable fraud who needs to resign. He has zero moral authority.

Look, I don’t know anyone who is looking to spend any more money than they have to, no matter what. As the President has reassured us, disaster is just a breath away… who dare waste a penny until we are years out of this problem. The President’s rhetoric is just making this mess scarier and scarier and the scars of his words are going to last a long time. More proof Obama is a total amateur. Perhaps the banks can just lend money to each other since they are going to be the only ones with any liquidity.

Add to this, all the crap the Dems have tried to slip by the public in this fraud stimulus bill. 1) the earmarks 2) the anti-religious nature of who the money will go to. or won’t 3) this hideous medical bill and all its ramifications. What a joke. What a sad pathetic joke of a government.

Posted by IMPEACH GEITHNER | Report as abusive

NO TO STIMULUS. How could the American public possibly have confidence in the ”so called” oversight and transparency, coming from someone who only pays taxes when he’s found out? Give capitalism a chance to work. Where there is chaos, there is opportunity. No question, there would be correction in the marketplace, it would be painful, but the companies to survive would be stronger and acting in ways that would sustain their business profitabily. They wouldn’t have to be told–no bonuses because their business wouldn’t sustain it unless they were profitable.

Posted by cjones | Report as abusive

Democrats know nothing about economics or finance. Their mantra is “steal from the rich, give to the lazy parasites”. Everything they ‘know’ they learned from Karl Marx and it has all been debunked many times over the last century, but Democrats never learn. Putting a Democrat in charge of rescuing banks is like putting Hitler in charge of a nursery school for Jewish children. Keynesian economics is garbage,it has never been proved, because recessions have a natural cycle, and if anything, Keynesian spending made them worse than they otherwise would have been. But it’s a moot point. The liberal fascists have no intention of rescuing banks – they are busting them out, like the Mafia, because they want totalitarian state control. Geithner is a communist like the rest of the Democrat liberal fascists. Geithner is a traitor who is destroying the economy in order to establish totalitarian international marxism. The government is our enemy! Get your money out of the banks and buy gold or starve!

Posted by Rick LaBonte | Report as abusive

They are letting the same people who created the problem fix the problem. The Goldmans, Lehman, Smith Barney folks need to give back the money. The government can print more money all they want but all they do is destroy it’s value.
Bring back the Glass Stegall act, the uptick rule, and kill mark to market accounting. Let the survivors continue and anyone closely associated with any of this barred for life. That includes all greedy CEO’s. Take back the fortunes sitting on the sidelines

Posted by robert m | Report as abusive

Heck, it’s only money and if we need more, we can just fire up the print presses. Give the guy a chance.

Posted by Mile High Signs . Com | Report as abusive

I’m not sure that Geithner is up to the task. You can like or hate Paulson. Good or bad. But one thing that he had was self-confidence. Geithner just doesn’t have that. He’s up to a huge task but he needs to develop himself, FAST!

Posted by Ahmet Armagan | Report as abusive

Rick needs to get into comedy “Democrats know nothing about economics or finance”?? …Ha-ha-ha, HO-ho-ho, Hee-hee-he!!!..Yeah lets get that ace pilot George whats-his-face back to fly this plane. At least with Obaama I know we got a chance at landing in the Hudson.

Posted by firedean | Report as abusive

The government can continue to print money forever. The final outcome of that will be that the US dollar eventually (short period of time ) will be worth nothing. The US is rapidly becoming the laughing stock of the earth. Banks will only steal the TARP funds for themselves.
You can bail out ( so said ) banks and auto makers, however until the average person and daily worker has a paycheck to spend and to purchase, the so called bailout will continue to spiral down down down.
What the decesion makers have failed to acknowledge is that the american workers paycheck does not cover the price of inflated car and home ( or anything else ) prices. Naturally the consumer has to resort to purchases on credit to make ends meet. No matter how much $$$$ is poured into any system , the economy will never turn until people have jobs and the items they purchase are not inflated in price for the soul purpose of corporate greed.
If and when banks t
do begin to lend again the language of there contracts will negate the need for a purchase. A consumer will be a fool to borrow funds on the language that will be coming in future loan contract agreements. Talk about citizen rape , you will have it. 41trojan

Posted by 41trojan | Report as abusive

I’m not always very swift, but I’m uncomfortable about printing money to throw it down a black hole. All it takes to implement the “bad bank” solution is a branding iron. It’s not like nobody ever started a new bank before. But then, is anybody in this country good for a loan? I would set up a model, and assume natural resource extraction rates of a couple of years ago and that everybody is working with the skills they have, but for whatever the market will bear, take what’s produced and distribute it among those who want it, according to how much they produce, and that is reality. Then we just prod the system into agreement with reality. Yes, Americans will generally have less than they did, but there’s no sane way around that.

Posted by Pete Cann | Report as abusive

I began watching the Geithner press conference and with the buildup in prior days was expecting big things to be announced. About half way into the speech, I realized that this whole mess is even bigger then the Federal Govt. You could see in his eyes a total lack of confidence in what he was saying. The fix for this is going to be time and lots of it along with a load of pain. Maybe that’s what I was really seeing in Geithner eyes.

Posted by John Mead | Report as abusive

With the Stimulus, Tarp I & II, countless bailouts, expect hyperinflation and a run on the dollar. I am concerned about North Korea’s counterfeit operation, as a devalued US Dollar will hurt them tremendously. Do they have paper and technology to diversify to the Euro or other currency should we get a run on the Dollar ?

Posted by James Witherspoon | Report as abusive

TARP Two is nothing more than sweat off the backsides of our corporate and government ruling elite.

Posted by RFL | Report as abusive

As a law librarian who has seen my 401K plummet and who has worried that my CDs and money market funds may evaporate thru inflation or just bank collapse, I read financial news eagerly.

So far, I am skeptical of all talk of overseers, czars, regulators, etc., because we have not seen regulators regulate — they are always neutralized by those they are supposed to regulate.

Secondly, I sense the dilemma of mark to market accounting: If we value assets at the low end, the Dow could plunge to 2,000 and our 401Ks would lose more value. But, keeping inflated value on overleveraged “junk” just maintains an unsustainable bubble.

I am encouraged by Mr. Geithner’s idea of having hungry entrepreneurs buy up toxic assets. Let THEM take the risks and reap the rewards. And let THESE entrepreneurs deal with overly greedy home buyers who knew they couldn’t pay for their homes and who now have their hands out.

Posted by Sarah Dowson | Report as abusive

And I’m waiting to see Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Franklin Raines, Angelo Mozillo, Richard Fuld and all of the other thieving liars and boobs in stripes…

Posted by RFL | Report as abusive

Capitalism at it’s worst

If a small business owner can not make a profit and it is unable to make it, what does it do ? It folds, loss taken. It should not be any different here. The goverment needs to stay out of it and let the private sector absorb everything.

If someone goes into a candy store and takes all the candy without paying for it, what happens ? The robber goes to jail. If the candy store owner did not pay his bills then what happens to the store owner ? He too should go to jail. The bottom line is banks and consumers are equally at fault so they both should suffer the consequences. The government is trying to play Lord and savior and to be honest, all it is doing is rewarding thugs.

Posted by Brad | Report as abusive

Wait, Fred…President Obama is ONE OF THOSE senators that GOT US INTO THIS MESS. You are contradicting yourself.

I believe that the current Congress and administration will have made such as mess of things by 2012 that we will, indeed, throw the bums out. But how do we avoid just appointing more bums? What happened to the concept of “statesman?”

American voters need to become educated on Congress’ financial failings, economic issues and look to other political options, such as the Libertarians, which support liberty in your lifestyle, Demo style, and Americans making their own financial decisions and retaining their earnings, Repub style.

Posted by Elegia | Report as abusive

While I concur with the prevailing sentiment that the irresponsible banks should fail, I disagree with how most suggest doing it. The problem is that we are teetering between two harsh realities. The first is collapse of the financial sector with outright failure of the banks. Both TARP plans will lead to that outcome. The second is almost as unthinkable: nationalization of the banks with most lending consolidated with the US government. AKA, communism. I don’t like either prospect, but I don’t see any other alternatives. Either way, we are about to see a massive restructuring of our political and economic environment towards a more socialist system. I’m not particularly warmed by the thought.

Posted by James Stroud | Report as abusive

No, nationalization of banks are socialism. Not communism. And frankly, I do not see what is a big issue. France is socialism and it worked for them. Look how it turned around Renault. And what we have is not capitalism anyway.
We are clinging onto 200 year old ideals in 21st century. Socialism does not mean death of Democracy. One is economic system and the other is social. But again, don’t you think all these ideals… socialism, communism, and capitalism are outdated? Are these systems the best the humanity can come up with?

Posted by Brian Choi | Report as abusive

The problem is very complex. Because the law allowed those that create the mortgage turn around and sell the instrument while slicing and dicing it up with other instruments it becomes very convoluted. Huge amounts of the mortgage assets are owned all or in part b foreign investors. This is why when the US housing bubble broke it sent the world into panic. Here is what happened.

The Oil industry gouged the world (mostly the US) economy for hundreds of billions of dollars siphoning off disposable income at the exact worst time, when the housing bubble was breaking. This caused the collapse to accelerate and the corporate aristocracy (CEOs and Board Members) began to panic. This led to the last administration and Congress to knee jerk a plan into action that dumped hundreds of billions into the financial sector to keep these institutions from going under and protecting the life styles of that corporate aristocracy. This was illustrated by how these institutions used the money. The corporate aristocracy didn’t loosen lending instead they bought up smaller institutions that were sinking and gave themselves bonuses in the process. These arrogant asses didn’t care about the industry for they felt that the industry was doomed anyway. As the last administration screamed the sky was falling the world shuddered. Banks private and public quaked under the weight of the collapse of these financial instruments. This in turn caused credit to dry up which in turn cause companies to miss payroll which in conjunction with consumer panic cause spending to dry up which is causing more business to fail due to lack of sales which causes more people to default on their mortgages. How ever now they are defaulting on solid 30 yr flat rate mortgages. What is the answer?

I believe we will have to stop the defaults by buying them and the government will have to restructure the loans so the people can afford to pay even if that means waiting for sometime in the future for the first payment is made after the individual gets a job. Of course the government better figure out how to make about 4 million real jobs by year end. To do this they will have to put a tunicate on the current economy to slow down the rate at which jobs are lost. To span the time until the private sector construction can get back on its feet the government will need to create about 1 million construction jobs across the nation. At least 2 million permanent jobs need to be created in new industries. Right now the best suggestions are in scientific R&D that has been neglected over the last 8 years and green industries (new power plants, alterative fuels, distributed power generation). Lastly 1 million new permanent jobs needs to be created in the public sectors. Under the Regan era the FBI’s financial crime branch was dissolved and to date has not been rebuilt sufficiently. Combine this with expanding old and creating new watchdog agencies; bringing back the systems series of positions; expanding the Boarder Patrol and Coast Guard and we could put a million people to work.

The next thing we need to do is slow the flow of jobs out of this country. I am not talking about protectionism. I am talking about putting tariffs on US companies that ship their manufacturing out of this country then think they can turn around and reap the benefits of selling those products in US markets. Put tariffs on their imports and make it unprofitable for them to manufacture outside the US. Give big breaks to foreign manufacturers that move their manufacturing to the US. In the long run this will bring permanent jobs to the US.

The next thing we need to do is slow the flow of money out of this country. Today Billions flow out of this country through one Black Market, the Illegal Drug Market. The War on Drugs has done nothing but waste even more billions in trying to stem the flow of drugs to this country or the billions of dollars out. We waste money on incarcerate offenders and we are incarcerating offenders at a rate that is swamping our public and private prison systems. It is time to stop this stupidity and decriminalize at the very least marijuana which makes up 80% of all illegal drugs used in this country. This would cut heavily into the flow of money out of this country and would financially hurt the thugs south of the boarder. Cocaine and opium may be another matter but other societies have decriminalized without a collapse of their society. If done properly, the US could lead the way with the EU following which would lead to large amounts of money staying right here in the US and not ending up in the hands of criminals or terrorists. This keeps more money in the system right here and creates jobs and credit. And for those of you who think an inanimate substance can create an addict you are incorrect. Addiction is a physical and psychological illness and should be treated as such. Alcohol does not create an alcoholic. The vast majority of people that partake of Alcohol are not alcoholics. Just like the vast number of people that use marijuana, cocaine and opium are not addicts. Treat addiction as the illness it is. Right now we are spending so much on the War on Drugs that if we applied that money to treatment it would pay for it many times over. We cannot afford that kind of waste any longer.

Lastly, with oil prices crashed with deep drops in demand, with drops in the demand for foreign recreational drugs, with advances in energy technology we could stop our involvement in the Middle East and bring our soldiers home and stop the flow of wealth into that money pit. With oil and drugs no longer funding the terrorists the Afghan and Iranian forces could handle the insurgents and our military presence would no longer be needed.

Ok, this is a very sketchy and high level overview of how I think this Administration and Congress should proceed and there is a lot of very complex work to get down these roads but it is necessary that we do and lead the rest of the world in doing the same. The last Administration and Congress blew that bubble up until it burst. That kind of growth is not natural nor can it be sustained and I think they knew it but were hoping it would not burst until they were out of office. Growth should be slow and steady. That is why it may take 8 to 10 years to get out of this.

Well folks that is my story and I am sticking to it. Have fun.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

Oil companies didn’t gouge the prices. Wall street gouged them by speculating on oil shortage and raising future oil price. And oil price certainly didn’t help but wasn’t that big of issue either. Average Americans drive 20 miles a day and if you drive a car that goes 20 miles per gallon, you’re spending 365 gallons of gasoline per year. That $1460 per year at $4 a gallon versus $730 per year at $2 a gallon. Difference of $730 per year or $60 per month. If extra spending of $60 a month put you in crisis, you were already in crisis.
Sub-prime mortgage and credit default swaps were where it all began and it now spread far beyond that.
At this point, priority is not to create jobs but retain jobs. Prevent more layoffs. And restoring confidence will be next step but all these negative articles are not helping in that department. Tax the religious groups? Heck, that’ll eliminate deficit in 4 years. And let’s face it, they’re not “non-profit”

Posted by Brian Choi | Report as abusive

The problem may be complex but the solution should be simple. Get rid of the poison. If you don`t get rid of the snake bite or get an antidote you will die. Last year Jim Rogers was asked a question. What should the world leaders do about the financial crisis? The answer was so simple but so honest. They should go to the bar and have a drink. The world has intervened so much that the problem has become much worse. The stimulus package, bad bank solution blah, blah, blah is not addressing any of the problems. We have to get rid of the poison from our system. Bankrupt banks have to be allowed to fail. Companies that cannot cope have to be helped by Chapter 11. Stop the intervention. Only then will we be able to return to business as usual in the whole world. Why do we want banks to lend money when this is what got us into this mess in the first place. Give us a break. Stop wasting outrageous amounts of money on meaningless projects before it`s too late.

Posted by Neil Sharpe | Report as abusive

I’m surprised to see some people with no understanding of bankruptcy. This is not the board game Monopoly and bankruptcy means losing. People including some ignorant Republican congressmen say the Big 3 in Detroit have failed so they should file for chapter 11. If they file chapter 11, they will restructure and survive. In fact, their executives probably will receive bonus. But it will devastate the creditors which includes the suppliers most of whom will go under. Most of tier 1 suppliers haven’t been paid for 3~6 months already. This will literally put millions of workers out of job which is not what we need.
Banks same thing. If they file for chapter 11, they will survive but it’ll hurt the creditors which includes individual investors and retirement funds. And FDIC can cover only so much. Bankruptcy law must be reworked.

Posted by Brian Choi | Report as abusive

Mr. Choi, thank you for bring that to my attention. I can see how you were misled by statement. I was not speaking of Mr. Smith’s gasoline expense for his daily round trip to work but the entire cost of transportation fuel doubled and in some cases tripled (diesel) causing everything Mr. Smith purchased to increase. Most product moves by truck in this nation and their biggest monthly cost is fuel. When diesel more than doubled it had a direct effect on the end product cost. This uncontrolled economic drain didn’t cause the housing industry bubble to burst. It just accelerated the foreclosure rate which fed the panic. I mention this because the current stimulus package has money for oil research and development and in my opinion this is not, in any way, needed. The oil companies have plenty of profit and they do not need any help from us.

At this point the priority regarding jobs is the do both; preserve jobs and create new jobs. Is it correct to save the current Auto industry or the Zombie banks? I do not believe so. I believe the money would be better spent on social safety nets and creation of new permanent jobs. As the Auto, and banking industry restructures (which would not take long) people would be re-employed and those that failed would not be rewarded. The Corporate Aristocracy would learn that they are not impervious to the economy and that their actions have consequences that will reach into their bank accounts. Maybe the phoenix rising from the ashes of the Auto industry would be more responsive to the needs of the US people than to the oil companies. Maybe the banking industry would not push financial instruments that are only viable during upturns in the housing industry and turn toxic during downturns. Greed must be tempered with what is best for our society not just what is best for the Corporate Aristocracy that like terrorists shields themselves with the small investor and Ma and Pa retirements. Many in this nation have lost more than half of their retirements. Who will save them? Not one mention in the stimulus package. Not one dime for them. The little guy who believed in corporate USA, who invested his golden years and now must look at going back to work in an economy that has no jobs. Sorry, I think the billions spent on the banks and the auto industry could have helped more by helping these people and the people who lose their jobs. Putting money in the hands of the people is the only way this economy will get back on its feet. Consumers must consume in a capitalist economy. How long can you spend hundreds of billions to prop up an auto industry in an economy where the consumer is not spending? How many hundreds of billions will we give to a banking industry that is not lending?

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive