Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Don't Bailout Banks, Buy Them!
Kudos to Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL) for taking Citibank to task for their so-called "insurance policy" -- giving US taxpayers $7 billion in shares in exchange for some $250 billion in guarantees. Grayson is thinking with at least half his brain, which is more than can be said for the majority of Congress.
Here's what you need to know about the bailouts. It's very simple. October's TARP spent $350 billion with another $350 billion left to Obama to disperse. February's bailout is $787 billion. The Federal Reserve loaned another $2 trillion between September and the end of 2008, but refuses to say to whom or what for. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got guarantees of several trillion.
According to Bloomberg News, the total cost of the bailouts thus far is 9.7 trillion dollars.
Congress called the CEOs of the eight major banks for a collective pee pee whack. They rolled their eyes and admitted that not only had they wasted the original $350 billion TARP, but they used the money to pay bonuses and buy up the competition.
Well, I took a quick look at Yahoo Finance and came up with a total market capitalization of these eight banks of $278 billion. That's right. We spent $9.7 trillion on banks worth $278 billion.
I'm not making this up. According to Wall Street investors, you can OWN ALL EIGHT BANKS for $278 billion. If you own something, you get to make all the rules. You set how much CEOs make. You set lending terms. You control everything. Of course, you're on the hook for any losses but we appear to be on that hook without any upside, anyway. And we are trillions in debt to boot.
Here's an idea -- give the shareholders a 25% profit -- pay $350 billion for all eight in a hostile takeover. The money is already allocated by the unspent second half of the original TARP. Buy them out and set new lending terms of ZERO percent interest with a small fee. Appoint new directors at pay rates no higher than the Vice President of the United States ($208,100) and make them government employees (GS-Whatever.)
Once the eight major banks start lending at zero percent, it won't be long until their competitors get with the program. If they don't, buy them out as well. Yes, nationalize the banks.
Once this idea hits the mainstream, it won't be long until the public understands the scam the Federal Reserve has been running and demands its dissolution. The IRS can't be far behind.
We have the opportunity, right now, to solve the economic crisis and create a new monetary system that rewards value producers instead of parasites.
Let's do it!
Goldman Sachs 39.58B
JP Morgan Chase Co 80.82B
Bank of New York Mellon 26.56B
Bank of America 24.59B
State Street 10.02B
Morgan Stanley 21.23B
Citigroup INC 16.68B
Wells Fargo 57.89B
Total $277.37 billion.