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28 Nov 2011 23:23


Politics: Barney Frank’s legacy: Three major achievements beyond Dodd-Frank

  • one Barney Frank is one of the most prominent gay U.S. representatives, and as a result, he’s long been a champion of gay rights; he long opposed the recently-repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
  • two Frank was a lead Democrat who helped to build and implement the $700 billion bailout passed in 2008 under George W. Bush; he became a key figure of the financial crisis.
  • three He also worked to end the practice of redlining, a process that banks used to place difficult lending conditions on people and businesses located in low-income neighborhoods. source

20 Jul 2011 23:20


U.S.: Federal Reserve slaps Wells Fargo with puny $85 million penalty

  • $85 millionpaid by Wells Fargo for its role in the subprime mortgage fiasco; the penalty was issued by the Federal Reserve
  • $25 billion received by Wells Fargo from the Troubled Assets Relief Program, colloquially known as the bailout source
  • » This is both the largest consumer protection fine ever levied by the Fed and the first time the institution has punished a bank for nudging customers into subprime loans. There’s more to come, too; in addition to the fine, the order also “requires that Wells Fargo compensate affected borrowers,” although it’s unclear how this will work. It’s better than nothing, but $85 million just seems a bit low; as a point of comparison, the bank made $2.5 billion in the first three months of 2010 alone.

18 Jul 2011 23:23


World: The US Treasury is running low on cash

  • 29 companies have more money than the United States Treasury
  • 7 of those companies are based in America source
  • » The American companies include: Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Freddie Mac. Two of the top three companies on the list are Chinese. On the upside, the Treasury has as much money as Google, so that’s kind of a nice consolation prize.

28 Feb 2011 10:11


Biz, U.S.: Bailouts: Remember TARP? It’s almost entirely recouped, kids.

  • $700B the amount the U.S. spent on the Troubled Asset Relief Program back in 2008
  • $341B the amount it looked like taxpayers were going to lose on the bailout deal back in mid-2009
  • $25B the amount it looks like we’ll lose on TARP; this is because we gave the money to banks source
  • » Not all is rosy in Bailoutville: One of the biggest issues we still face are the dual sinkholes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have reportedly cost taxpayers $150 billion and we like to think of as dual sinkholes. And some legislators feel that the effect has set us up for having to bail out unsuccessful companies in the future.

07 Dec 2010 23:14


Biz: Did we really profit off Citi, or are we still in the danger zone?

  • So assuming that the banking sector doesn’t suffer another crisis in the next two years, taxpayers might be okay after all. Indeed, even if there is some loss on these guarantees, the assets would have to be pretty rotten to eat up the government’s entire $12 billion profit on the equity sale.
  • The Atlantic associate editor Daniel Indiviglio • Offering some more context on the Citi bailout numbers. While the U.S. no longer owns any shares in Citi, we do have other stakes in the company – most notably, we’re still backing a lot of their debt right now due to a program called the “Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program,” which isn’t as easy to acronym as TARP. But by the end of 2012 at the latest, we’ll be off the hook for that. Still, though, the fact that we might make any money off of TARP is impressive. “Citi was viewed by many as the big bank with the most serious problems,” Indiviglio notes, suggesting that the profit would prove that their bailout in 2008 was warranted by panic and general FUD, not “too big to fail”-type concerns.  source

07 Dec 2010 22:54


Biz: The U.S. sold off its last Citi shares; how’d we do on that bailout?

  • 0 the number of Citi shares the U.S. owns as of today; good riddance
  • $45B the amount of money the U.S. infused in Citi during the great bailout crisis of 2008
  • $57B the proceeds the U.S. made on the bailout investment (golf clap; good show, chaps)
  • $12B the amount the U.S. has profited from Citi – wait, we made money on a bailout? source

01 Dec 2010 20:27


Biz: This bailout number is easily the biggest we’ll post today

  • $9 trillion in emergency overnight loans made during the crisis source
  • » Whoa! Did your heart just stop? Ours did too. It actually created a short delay in posting this. *whew* Now that we’ve caught our breath, let us explain. After Bear Stearns went under in early 2008, a special plan was put in place to offer emergency, quickly-paid-back loans to banks during the financial crisis to ensure they continued to run smoothly. All loans required collateral, all were low-interest, and all have already been paid back. The program also ended in May of last year, so no worries about any residual effects. But yeah. Have you ever seen $9 trillion? It would probably require dozens of Scrooge McDuck’s money vaults.

27 Nov 2010 13:10


Biz, World: Angry Irish people take to streets to protest tough austerity plan

  • We’ve seen this song and dance before. First in Greece, then Belgium, then France, then in Britain, but it’s still not any more frustrating to watch – especially in Ireland’s case. The Irish had a solid decade of economic growth, only to see the economy go into freefall and be forced to take upon tons of bailout money in the span of about two years. So that’s why these people are protesting in Dublin today. They’re angry because of the insane cuts they’ll be forced to swallow – the worst of any European nation so far. (Photo by Marcus Swan) source

21 Nov 2010 11:27


Biz, World: Ireland willing to take bailout money … VERY begrudgingly

  • Hey, yo, Ireland. ShortFormBlog here. We just wanted to commend you for coming to your senses and deciding to take a loan from the European Union. But there’s still a problem – you’re remaining way too timid about accepting help. You guys don’t want to end up like Greece or Iceland, do you? While we don’t know how much you’ll be willing to take (all you’re on the record for is saying €100 billion would be “too much”), but with that crappy housing market and contracting economy of yours, you might be wise to work on improving your economic stability with a bailout, not trying to figure out how little you can get. Again, if you don’t want the bailout money, we’ll take if off your hands. source

18 Nov 2010 10:15


Biz: GM hopes for, but can’t promise, a full bailout repayment

  • I don’t know where the market is going to be a year or two down the road, so I can’t make such a bold statement. Sure, I’m hopeful, and I’m not saying it can’t happen. I think the company is well positioned … so things look good for General Motors.
  • GM CEO Dan Akerson • Not committing to a full repayment of the taxpayers’ money from the bailout. It sounds like a hedging of the bets, honestly. If he says it now and the stock goes south, he’s on the record offering a promise he can’t keep. For what it’s worth, though, GM’s stock is doing boffo so far in its first day of trading, already up six percent in early-morning trading. source