Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Bailout Hoax

A lengthy but good editorial. Here's part of it:

Using the "too big to fail" scare tactic, the U.S. government has kept a number of terminally ill Wall Street gamblers on an expensive life-support system that is estimated to cost taxpayers $8.5 trillion. In light of the fact that (according to IRS Data Book) there were 138 million taxpayers in 2007, this figure represents a burden of $61,594.20 per tax payer. Or, to put it differently, it represents a burden of $28,333.33 per man, woman and child for the entire U.S. population.

This massive giveaway of public money has been devoted to a wide range of fraudulent programs, including asset purchases of insolvent institutions, loans and loan guarantees, equity purchases in troubled financial companies, tax breaks for banks, assistance to a relatively small number of struggling homeowners, and a currency stabilization fund.

The rationale behind this unprecedented taxpayer rip-off is that the current economic crisis is largely due to the ongoing credit crunch in financial markets; and that government injection of money into financial institutions will help unfreeze the credit market by absorbing toxic assets off their balance sheets.

Despite the massive infusion of public money into the coffers of Wall Street giants, however, the banking industry has shown no interest in lending. Government's showering mega banks with taxpayers' money is thus very much like throwing people's money into a black hole without any questions asked as to where it all ended up, or how it was spent. Not surprisingly, the credit crunch continues unabated and economic conditions deteriorate out of control.

The question is why? If "illiquidity is the core economic problem," as policy makers argue, why is then the government's injection of enormous amounts of liquidity failing to unfreeze the credit market?

The answer is that government policy makers, Wall Street financial gamblers, and the mainstream media are misrepresenting the ongoing financial difficulties as a problem of illiquidity or lack of cash. In reality, however, it is not a problem of illiquidity or lack of cash, but of insolvency or lack of trust and, therefore, of hoarding cash. The current credit crunch is a symptom, not a cause, of the paralyzed, unreliable financial markets....

One thing is certain, however: the amount of these toxic assets is in terms of trillions or (as some experts point out) tens of trillions of dollars. There is simply not enough money -- in the United States or in the entire world -- to bailout these toxic assets. Although not many people know of this fraudulently kept secret, the banks of course know it. And that's why inter-bank lending has come to a standstill, as the banks do not trust each other or, for that matter, businesses and consumers.

This explains what happened to hundreds of billions of bailout dollars that government bestowed upon Wall Street mega banks: they simply grabbed the loot and stashed it into their coffers, without dispensing a single penny of it as credit to businesses or consumers.

It also explains the continued freeze of credit markets and the ongoing financial or market stalemate: neither the giant financial institutions (in collusion with government policy makers) are willing to accept the consequences of their gambling policies and submit to their deserved fate of bankruptcy; nor is there enough money to bailout all of their toxic assets...

(more here..)

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