Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« The Poor Dear Hasn't A Thing To Wear | Main | Pakistan And The Taliban/Al Qaeda Migration »

February 25, 2009

Comments

kim

Demagogues, the whole Goddamned bunch of 'em.
================================

kim

Isn't what she said a tort?
============================

Fresh Air

Oh dear. Maureen Dowd is beclowning herself. When will the horror end? I hold Michael Douglas responsible for this.

Topsecretk9

My conclusion, which I suspect Ms. Dowd could have reached with minimal effort

I don't think she would have understood it even if she took the time.

Thomas Collins

OK, I'm going to go Devil's advocate this afternoon. As a policy matter, I think executive comp limits are counterproductive. I also think that government and MSM types have better things to do than monitor parties of banks, whether or not they receive TARP money. But let's focus on bank execs, even execs of banks who don't need to be on the federal dole. We are in a recession. People are bummed out. Perhaps as a matter of internal discipline, cool it on the lavish parties. Spend the money that would have been spent on some entertainer for extra food and drink from a local catering outfit. Have your retreat at a conference center, but make sure folks pay out of their own pocket for the spa treatment.

Now, I understand the counterargument. It is actually workers and small and medium sized businesses that supply the massages and whatever the au courant bass or salmon happens to be, and the transportation services and the sound system and everything else that goes with big bashes. But perhaps there is a way to have functions in a more discrete, less ostentatious way.

Matt

I think Ms. Dowd reads only the New York Times, and so can be excused from actually having an original idea in her head.....

clarice

This is so good, you should send it to whatever sap is this week's NYT' ombudsman.

Jane

YOu know Congress is just one big ongoing, never ending TARP investment, and they have private planes and outings and more perks than we could use in a year. Why doesn't Maureen take a jab at them?

John Kerry is equally incensed at Northern Trust. And equally as dumb. LUN

Michael J. Myers

Since when did anyone expect MoDo to know what she was talking about?

bad

Isn't this the bank that holds the Obama mortgage?

Matt

So now Obumble is proposing $630 Billion in tax increases on the "rich" to help fund his frivolities. In addition, Congress just passed another $410 Billion in spending programs larded with pork.

Are these people such fools that they think the taxpaying public will not notice? This is hubris on an epic scale.

bad

I believe Northern Trust execs were also on the Woods Fund board, with Obama and Ayers and the Chicago Public Schools Fund, the CAC spinoff that Obama, Tom Ayers and John Ayers all served as members on.

bad

LUN to AT article on the Obamas and their mortgages from Northern Trust.

MayBee

Perhaps as a matter of internal discipline, cool it on the lavish parties

You know, I could agree, but...
One of the entertainment groups at the Northern Trust party was Earth Wind and Fire. Who must have flown to LA after performing at the White House.
Where Our Lady of the Taxpayer's Dollar wore this.

bad

Tapper: LUN

A White House official tells ABC News that in his budget tomorrow, President Obama will introduce a $634 billion health care reserve fund dedicated towards health care reform.

Approximately half of the funding, the official says, will come from improved efficiencies in Medicare and Medicaid: attacking overbilling, introducing competitive bidding processes, and incentivizing better health care that reduces lowering readmission rates.

The other half, the official says, would come from altering a provision in the tax code.

Here it comes

bad

Annie Leibovitz taking extraordinary measures for her mortgage.

LUN

Mo MoDo

Dowd doesn't dig too deeply into the details, but she does seem to be tapping into a populist vein that resonates with the general public.

MayBee

Dowd doesn't dig too deeply into the details, but she does seem to be tapping into a populist vein that resonates with the general public.

Sadly, it does. And our President is encouraging it. Those rich bankers are kind of pigs, aren't they?
I expect to see Michelle making the Bernadine Dohrn fork sign at his next big speech.

Thomas Collins

Oh, MayBee, I agree that the politicians have continued their lavish junkets and soirees, and that they are beyond hypocrites. But I am beyond hope that Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Dodd et al could exercise any internal discipline. The only discipline effective in their cases would be externally imposed (namely, being voted out of office).

Pofarmer

Congress just passed another $410 Billion in spending programs larded with pork.

Was this just an omnibus spending bill? Are we even on the Federal Budget yet?

ROA

Did they serve $100 a pound wagyu steaks at the Northern Trust party, like Obama did to celebrate the passing of his stimulus package?

jdp

Tom I usually find myself agreeing with your takes, but not this one. First, if you (and MoDo) know that Northern Trust is a healthy bank, how does its taking fed money fool anybody about which banks are healthy and which aren't? Second, if the idea here is to hide which banks are healthy from the public, is that itself a good thing? If the feds know the healthy ones from the unhealthy ones, wouldn't it be better if they just, um, told us poor schlock investors which is which before we go ahead and make more bad decisions with our money?

Pofarmer

If the feds know the healthy ones from the unhealthy ones, wouldn't it be better if they just, um, told us poor schlock investors which is which before we go ahead and make more bad decisions with our money?

The whole point of the excercise is that you're not supposed to know. More of that openness and transparency.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

Was this just an omnibus spending bill?

Yes. Mere chump change. If it doesn't start with a T it's hardly worth voting on any more.
I think it was to fund the remaining unappropriated parts of the budget until Sep 30.

Pofarmer

So, in the last two weeks, we've approved deficit spending of something like 2 TRILLION dollars????

Wasn't the whole budget last year just over 2 TRILLION??????

WTF?????

MayBee

The whole point of the excercise is that you're not supposed to know. More of that openness and transparency.

Also, if some of the banks didn't take the bailout money, it would have killed Obama's populist message about greedy bankers partying on the taxpayer dime.

RichatUF

Pofarmer-

Wasn't the whole budget last year just over 2 TRILLION??????

Yes. And that included Iraq and Afghanistan funding (which really isn't that much of a line item anyway). The budget deficit came it around $475 billion which included the first round of TARP funding. President Bush actually got the deficit under control (though those on the "no earmark" crusade didn't notice) considering that Bush had 2 major US cities nearrly destroyed, 2 wars, one of the worst string of hurricane seasons from 04-05 (Florida was hit by 4 Cat 4 during that time) any sitting president has had to deal with, the bankruptcy of the entire US steel industry, and the 03 Brazil bailout.

Obama is spending our money on windmills and community organizers.

Doug in Fremont

Just a thought - In a recession, when most other banks have their hands tied, a profitable bank can aggressively market to gain share. Plus, they market to the wealthy, and like Wells Fargo, they were forced to take the money. What do people expect, that they're going to serve Costco party platters?

RichatUF

bad,

Your links explain why Northern Trust has been doing so well and the reason why this story will be forgotten before the sun comes up tomorrow.

Pofarmer

Obama is spending our money on windmills and community organizers

Oh, gee, how could that go wrong? I mean, really, the list of accomplishments by community organizers is huge. Here, let me start compiling one.........

bad

Thanks Rich, transparancy indeed

mel

Oooohh.

I've been called to diner. This will be a fun one.

jorod

Northern was forced to take the money. If their competitors took the money and they didn't, they would be at a competitive disadvantage.

If they didn't take the money people might also think they were in too bad a shape to qualify for the money.

Either way they lose.

But the demagogues are having a field day. And Barney Frank caused the entire mess, and he has the nerve to point fingers at other people.

Disgusting.

mel

"The Northern", which is how it's known here, may have been forced to take the money under the TARP (what other lumps are underneath that thing anyway, John Thain?) but they do have tin ears, and you know Congress loves a foil of Eeeeviiil bankers.

The Northern has a chock full load of their own problems. PR is just one of them. How about a law suit from major institutions that the bank was lending out their customer's custodial securities arfter being denied permission to do so? They collect the interest (margin rates folks, close to car loan territory) on the securities lent. Ordinarily, this would be largely paid to the lending customer, minus an execution fee. In this instance, the Northern kept the whole shebang.

How, pray tell, was this little scam unearthed? The University of Washington, being justifiably nervous about the rapaciousness of short selling after June '08, rescinded its lending agreement with the bank. The bank, however, overrode that decision and kept lending the securities out. This happened three times. Total loss? $7.5 million. Settled in October.

Not before it went to class action status.

They are notorious for charging 6.5 to 8.5% on trust accounts, for assets held per annum. The legal limit is 8.5%, by the way.

There has long been talk that Mr. Potter was based upon the Smiths that own the Northern.

bad

Good to know, mel.

bad

Fred Thompson is on "Life on Mars."

Pofarmer

I now see they're working on 600 more BILLION for healthcare. Apparently there's no end to other peoples money. Who knew there were so many wealthy Americans?

bad

Not for long, Po.

TCO

You RINOs are idiots. You Bush Paulson types have been at the forefront of confusing the term "bank" of having little nitwits like Kim run around saying something must be done. So eatr your crap sandwich, RINO bailout fuckers.

kim

You could contribute a lot more on the climate threads than the financial ones, TCO. And you still haven't addressed why a two hour half a trillion dollar run on the banks shouldn't have been addressed.
============================================

kim

Nitwit, huh? TCO must have noticed that bender allowed that I 'comment substantively'. Envy can eat you up, TCO. Isn't it some kind of sin?
============================================

TCO

a. It didn't help.

b. It is a wealth transfer from taxpayers to people who made bad bets.

c. If assets are undervalued, the market must adjust.

d. The term "bank" is being confused on purpose...so that Goldman Sachs and AIG can get bailed out...when FDIC style deposits were fine.

e. The increased socialization of the economy by financial bailouts has caused more damage by leading to an industrial recession (based on good estimates of future and current socialization).

f. "Crisis" and "panic" are misused words. The assets (derivatives) are NOT high value. The issue is not that irrational, short term devaluing is occuring, but instead that rational mark downs are happening. And the government is just wasting money trying to beat the free market.

g. etc. etc.

----------------------------

I HAVE explained this to you before Kim. You're just in Rumsfeld unknown unknown land. You're not even smart enough to know where you're not smart. Go join the Democraps. You don't even know how to think for yourself. If Bush and McCain had gone against bailouts, you would have as well. Try to think.

TCO

h. There is still plenty of credit available...just that risks have increased and more return is demanded.

i. It's like an alcoholic taking hair of the dog...to try to increase credit when we had a period of too easy credit.

j. There are plenty of legal structures and computer setups and administrators available to move money around. We don't have a shortage of financiers, but too many. And new financial entities are easy to create. This is not some capital manufacturing asset that is disappearing or specialized R&D going away...when an investment bank goes tits up.

TCO

Bottom line: The bailout hurt more than it helped. This should not surprise you. Markets are better than governments. Milton Freidman would tell you the same thing.

TCO

Kim: You're a nice lady...and I'm glad that the bender attaboy made you feel good. But you should seriously question your own level of questioning.

kim

Ah, substantive, finally. See, I knew you had something in you besides "RINO crap sandwiches'. Excellent effort.

Where would we be if Bush and Paulson had done nothing?
=====================================

kim

Basically I'm asking you to support your contention that the bailout hurt more than it helped. We'll never know for sure, so you can speculate at will.
=========================================

kim

Besides, Obama and Geithner are screwing up far worse than anything Bush and Paulson did. Attack the living vulture, not the dead duck.
======================================

Pofarmer

e. The increased socialization of the economy by financial bailouts has caused more damage by leading to an industrial recession (based on good estimates of future and current socialization).

We were gonna have an industrial reccession either way. This thing is led by LEVERAGE both on the banking/investment side and the consumer side. The only way to get out of it is to de-lever. The Fed and Treas think they can take the nut off and the spring won't hit em in the face, we'll see, but I doubt it.

Other than that, I've pretty much always agreed with you, FWIW. Just halt with the insults and you'd do a lot better.

kim

Heh, bender did say that the commenting was on other boards, not climateaudit.org

We're sort of at an impasse, TCO. You can't prove that the Bush/Paulson action did no good. The banks that have snatched on to that money might argue differently. That their work didn't make the problem magically disappear doesn't mean it did no good. kim, that might be a little straw there in your construction. TCO never claimed that.
===========================================

kim

I certainly do wonder, Pofarmer, where we would be had Bush and Paulson not intervened. I can't help but believe the destruction would have been more devastating that what we have now.
==============================================

TCO

Po:

I haven't done a quantitative analysis, but I watched it unfold at a large industrial conglomerate. I'm living it.

Theory also supports my point of view (that rather than having certain "bettors" take a loss with less damage...that we have spread a general expectation of more government spending depressing demand...rationally). Also, my personal observation supports this as well.

Markets react to implied future situations. Once the US showed a massive public switch in sympathy for drilling, it "cracked the cartel" of OPEC. Same thing with industrial markets with the expectation of future socialism from the bailouts.

I'm glad that you always supported me or came quick to supporting me. Scratch that. To supporting the point of view. You can be the good cop and I'll be the bad one. We need to square the RINOs away.

I think they actually did MORE damage than the Democraps. Because they conceded the issue. Conceded intervention being better than markets. And did it with a lack of either numerical or theoretical evidence. But now the gate is opened.

In all seriousness, I believe that kim types would have backed a Palin anti-bailout ticket just as much as she backed a McCain pro-bailout ticket. It would have won by the way (Reagan plays better than Ford). And it would have been much better for the country. The silliness of listenting to people say that they went along with the bailout so that Repugs wouldn't get blamed for a recession is just pathetic. It's pathetic morally. And even operationally it has not worked.

I'm a bad person with the insults, I know. It's just that I get so angry. And I actually have a pedantic streak. More of a boxing coach pedantic streak. That's how I'm used to pushing things forward. But I'm a bad person. But I'm still right. It doesn't matter if I'm drunk and have 20 em-effs in my comment. The key points are same regardless of the wrapper. I want to shake the baby so it learns something...

kim

A thoughtful post. We can agree to disagree because we can't prove or disprove your basic contention that the bail-out did no good.
======================================

Pofarmer

In all seriousness, I believe that kim types would have backed a Palin anti-bailout ticket just as much as she backed a McCain pro-bailout ticket.

Part of McCain's problem has ALWAYS been his muddleheadedness. That whole deal really confused the voters, and totally undermined the Palin pick.

Jonathan-2

Taking taxpayer money (whether you "need" it or not) comes with very serious responsibilities. And using ANYBODY's money -- SHAREHOLDER or TAXPAYER dollars -- to finance hot-shot parties and golf tournaments is yesteryear's dead-as-a-dinosaur approach to management. I don't invest in Northern Trust stock (or in funds that hold it) to finance golf games. And I patently don't buy the "that's-the-way-we-make-money" rationale. That's a lame argument and about as healthy as speculating in real estate in California. Let's get back to fiscal sobriety! As a SHAREHOLDER and TAXPAYER, I want better stewardship of my bucks!

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

It doesn't matter if I'm drunk and have 20 em-effs in my comment.

Grown ups know that it does matter, because virtually no one listens to people who express themselves like foul mouthed brats.

I want to shake the baby so it learns something...

Shaking babies causes brian injury not learning and generally results in a prison sentence for the shaker.
Is that the large institution you're living in?

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

make that *brain* injury

TCO

2 plus 2 eguals 4 even with a motherfucker combined. And it doesn't equal 5 even if I suck you off. But most of you little Harriet Mieiers textualist pussies don't get that. You need to box with the unformed mouthpiece in your mouth and...get that little piece of skin in your top lip ripped apart and...feel the salt...taste it baby. You little commie democraps.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

You little commie democraps.

Dumbass. I'm one of the guys who agrees with you and has from the start.

But you're kind of like Napolean; it doesn't matter how good a general you are, everybody knows if they're on your side sooner or later they're gonna get in the neck just for standing too close to the assbite everybody else in the world is shooting at.

TCO

I don't fucking care, bitch. And I didn't see your cherry ass when I was fighting it out at Austerlitz.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

And I didn't see your cherry ass when I was fighting it out at Austerlitz.

LOL. Considering the content of your posts I can just see you in the library at the state hospital typing furiously away with one hand, the other one resting in your coat buttons, your little general's hat cocked slightly askew over your fevered brow. Hope they gave you a plastic sword.

TCO

Enought joking around. Bailouts are ripping the country's economy apart.

kim

I'm not a commie democrap, I'm just a confused little nitwit.
===============================

Carol Galle

OK, I agree elected officials should not be sunning themselves in the Caribbean at the taxpayer's expense, but there is considerable value in face-to-face meetings. Events, meetings and travel can be strategic cost effective ways to retain and develop employee talent, build engagement, generate ideas, and share knowledge that drives business growth. As a professional meeting planner, I see it every day.

Unfortunately, because a few executives displayed incredibly poor judgment by hosting flashy gatherings while receiving TARP funds, the meeting industry’s reputation has taken a significant hit.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, meetings and events are responsible for 15 percent of all travel spending and generate more than 1 million jobs and nearly $40 billion in tax revenue. Our industry does not deserve to become the sacrificial lamb of this recession.

Face-to-face meetings and idea sharing can help move this country forward. Given a chance, professional meeting planners can help their clients make responsible decisions and host events that generate significant ROI. I hope our government leaders will take this into consideration before passing any legislation that stifles this growth and shuts down a viable industry.

TCO

Companies are cutting travel like crazy. It has little to do with TARP. It is just one of the easiest levers to pull.

OSR

In the course of availing themselves of her wisdom I do hope these officials remind her that these TARP funds are investments, not grants, and that eventually Northern Trust will be paying it back, with interest.

Uh-huh, just like our $45 billion "investment" in Citicorp, which is getting converted into a gift as a we speak.

doc

MAUREEN DOWD is an ass clown

please, i have always hoped that if you typed MAUREEN DOWD/ ass clown into Google..

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame