After $$$$$$$ Years: US $$ SEPTEMBER

Haggling Over US Bailout Plan Rattles Markets
23/09/2008 12:44

World markets slid Tuesday amid mounting concerns over a massive bailout for the US financial system, as haggling over the fine print sparked investor impatience and a spike in oil and gold. With US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson due to testify before the Senate banking committee, global markets were impatient for quick results to throw a government lifeline to struggling financial institutions. The uncertainty — with wrangling … Details

Top Democrats Skeptical of Bush Bailout Package
21/09/2008 10:24

Two powerful Democrats in the US Congress expressed skepticism Saturday over the 700-billion-dollar plan President George W. Bush has proposed to rescue the country’s beleaguered financial sector. The top Senate Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, blamed the crisis on Bush’s laissez-faire policies, and then called on the president to better explain why such a sweeping program was needed as the country prepared for a presidential vote in less … Details

US Administration Proposes 700 bln, 2-yr Rescue Plan
20/09/2008 17:32

US President George W. Bush’s administration has proposed a 700-billion-dollar bailout of the troubled financial sector over a two-year period, CNN reported, citing a three-page draft sent to Congress. The plan would give Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sweeping authority to buy up to 700 billion dollars of tainted mortgage-related assets to stem a grave financial crisis, US media reported. Bush said earlier on Saturday a … Details

Judge Approves Lehman, Barclays Pact
20/09/2008 15:33

A U.S. bankruptcy judge approved a revised version of British bank Barclays Plc’s deal to purchase the core U.S. business of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. In a Manhattan court hearing that started on Friday and lasted past midnight, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Peck approved the sale, saying he had found no better alternative for the assets Lehman sought to sell. “This week more than any other week since I was appointed to the bench … Details

McCain, Obama Tangle over Wall Street Crisis
20/09/2008 15:30

Republican nominee John McCain, seeking a lift in the U.S. presidential race, proposed stricter Wall Street regulation on Friday and assailed Democrat Barack Obama for not offering a plan to deal with the financial crisis. While McCain outlined a package of proposals, Obama took a more cautious approach as they both jockeyed for position in the November 4 election. Obama, who regained a slight lead over McCain in public opinion polls this … Details

U.S. Launches All-Out Attack on Credit Crisis
20/09/2008 15:01

The United States surged into action on Friday to launch an all-out attack against the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, readying a plan to tap hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds to buy up toxic mortgage-related debt. Capping a week that has reshaped Wall Street, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urged Congress to quickly agree on a program for huge purchases of bad debts held by banks and other financial … Details

US Announces Debt Plan to Ease Financial Crisis
19/09/2008 8:31

The United States said it was putting together a rescue plan to clear away the mountains of debt that have weighed down banks and caused the worst financial crisis in decades. The announcement came as leading central banks moved to flood markets with cash while British and US regulators put the brakes on short-selling shares, as nations banded together to try to end the turmoil on global markets. US stocks staged a dramatic rally … Details

Bush Vows He Will Meet Challenges of Financial Crisis
18/09/2008 18:46

US President George W. Bush vowed Thursday that his administration would meet the serious challenges facing markets amid a fast-deepening global financial crisis. “The American people are concerned about the situation in our financial markets and our economy. And I share their concerns,” Bush said at the White House. “The American people can be sure we will continue to act to strengthen and stabilize our financial … Details
Organization (WTO) is now in question. “And so too is … Details

Obama, McCain War over Deepening Financial Crisis
18/09/2008 10:51

Democrat Barack Obama ridiculed his White House rival John McCain Wednesday as a lifelong member of the “old boys’ network” that the Republican said had driven the US economy into crisis. McCain vowed to take on Wall Street’s “casino culture” after the US government’s 85-billion-dollar bailout of giant insurer American International Group, the latest shock of a horrific fortnight for the financial industry. Both candidates indicated the … Details

Bush Cancels Trips to Address Financial Crisis
18/09/2008 9:58

US President George W. Bush has canceled two domestic trips to stay in Washington Thursday and consult with top economic advisers on the struggling US economy, the White House said. Bush was scheduled to attend political fundraising events in Florida and Alabama, but “will instead remain in Washington to continue to work with his economic advisers on the serious challenges confronting our financial markets,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto … Details


The Bush Administration’s Banking Rescue Plan

by Rodrigue Tremblay
(professor emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal)
Global Research,
September 23, 2008″

…..If I may simplify somewhat the situation, (but only slightly) we can say that over the last quarter of century, Wall Street firms bought out Congress and the White House (and paid at wholesale prices). Now, they want the U.S. government to buy them back (and they want to sell at retail prices)…..There is something surreal and profoundly immoral that the individuals who were front and center in creating the subprime financial meltdown are also those who have been entrusted by the government to solve the mess they have created. Are there not independent economic and financial experts in the United States who could have been assigned this task?……” Details

By Robert Scheer”Does it really matter which party is in charge when it comes to bailing out the Wall Street hustlers whose shenanigans have bankrupted so many ordinary folks? Not if the Democrats roll over and cede power to the former head of Goldman Sachs, the investment bank at the center of our economic meltdown…..” Details

Decline and Fall
It’s the autumn of our old republic

By Justin Raimondo”…..Power breeds arrogance and quickly becomes an overweening pride.

In Washington, they imagine they can legislate their way out of the crisis and once again conjure up a convenient reality: this, they believe, is their prerogative as history’s actors. The rest of us, you see, are only acted upon.Their failure is inevitable, but there’s a way out for them, if they can manage to pull it off. Yes, you guessed it: another war, another foreign “enemy,” a heretofore undetected threat to the Homeland that will divert us – and keep the engines of the economy running.Of course, it will be a different sort of economy.

You can forget all that rhetoric about the “free market” and the joys of “globalization.” In the global division of labor, America has chosen the niche of the world’s policeman: the undeveloped world provides agricultural and unfinished goods, the East is the world’s factory, and the U.S. “protects” the whole arrangement, putting down insurgencies when they erupt and toppling “rogue” regimes that don’t go along with the program. Any nation that defies the will of the “benevolent global hegemon” faces an American military colossus, which feeds upon a budget equal to the combined defense budgets of all the other nations on earth, by some measures more than equal.

The problem with this arrangement is that an empire, far from being a benefit, is nothing but a burden. Our $3 trillion war with Iraq is ample testimony to that. And the bill will only get larger. It is a cliché that America no longer produces anything. Yet we do produce something, in these latter days of our perishing republic – wars, and plenty of them…….”

4 Responses to “After $$$$$$$ Years: US $$ SEPTEMBER”

  1. uprooted Palestinian Says:

    Bush: Our Entire Economy is in Danger US President George W. Bush rang the alarm bell late on Wednesday as he announced in a television address to the US public that “our entire economy is in danger.” “We are in the midst of a serious financial crisis,” he said from the White House’s ornate East Room a day before hosting unprecedented crisis talks. The US President’s announcement on the US economy comes as Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said he would now … … More

  2. uprooted Palestinian Says:

    Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck25/09/2008 The United States will cease to be the economic “superpower” because of the financial crisis, and Wall Street and the world “will never be the same again,” Germany’s finance minister said Thursday.”The long term consequences of the crisis are not yet clear. But one thing seems likely to me: the USA will lose its superpower status in the global financial system. The world financial system is becoming multi-polar,” Peer Steinbrueck said in a speech to parliament.”Wall Street will never be the same again. A few days ago there were two Mohicans left remaining out of the investment banks. Now they no longer exist,” Steinbrueck said, referring to the change in status of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley into bank holding companies.”The world will never be the same as it was before the crisis. The whole world over we must adjust ourselves to lower rates of growth and — with a time lag — unfavorable developments on labor markets,” the centre-left minister said.He added that what was needed is “stronger international regulation agreed at international level” in order to “re-civilize” financial markets so that such a crisis was never repeated.

  3. uprooted Palestinian Says:

    America Pays the Piper, Big Time By Robert ParrySeptember 24, 2008After a 28-year binge of drunken optimism and blind nationalism – often punctuated by chants of “USA, USA!” and “We’re No. 1!” – Americans are waking up with a painful hangover, facing a grim “morning in America,” not the happy vision that Ronald Reagan famously sold them on.As the United States begins to assess how the nation got into its trillion-dollar bailout mess, a true understanding must go back three decades or so when Reagan deployed his well-honed communications skills and the Republican Right mastered the dark arts of propaganda to get the American people to shed the annoying strictures of rationality.In the 1970s, there had been stumbling efforts by three presidents – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter – to begin confronting stubborn structural problems, such as a growing dependence on foreign oil, environmental damage, and excessive military spending which had sapped resources away from a productive economy.Nixon helped create the Environmental Protection Agency; he imposed energy-conservation measures; he opened the diplomatic door to communist China; and he initiated “détente” with the Soviet Union. But his presidency foundered on the rocks of his political paranoia that led to the Watergate scandal.President Ford tried to continue many of Nixon’s policies, particularly winding down the Cold War with Moscow and slimming down the bloated Pentagon budget, which had fed what President Dwight Eisenhower dubbed the “military-industrial complex.”However, confronting a rebellion from Reagan’s Republican Right in 1976, Ford abandoned “détente”; he let hard-line Cold Warriors (and a first wave of young intellectuals called neoconservatives) pressure the CIA’s analytical division; and he brought in a new generation of tough-minded operatives, such as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.After winning in 1976, President Carter injected more respect for human rights into U.S. foreign policy, a move some scholars believe put an important nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union, leaving it hard-pressed to justify its repressive internal practices.At home, Carter proposed a comprehensive energy policy and warned Americans that their growing dependence on foreign oil represented a national security threat of the first order, what he called “the moral equivalent of war.”However, powerful vested interests managed to exploit the shortcomings of all three of these presidents to sabotage any sustained progress. For instance, Carter’s prescient energy address was widely mocked as the “MEOW speech.”Soon, the American people were persuaded to turn away from their real-world challenges and enter a land of make-believe. Don’t worry, they were told. Be happy.Reagan as PiperThe lead piper in this parade away from America’s tough choices was Ronald Reagan who insisted in his First Inaugural Address in 1981 that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”As President, Reagan attacked the federal regulatory system and cut taxes so recklessly that his budget director, David Stockman, foresaw red ink “as far as the eye can see.” Reagan also justified fattening the Pentagon’s budget by citing dire warnings that the Soviet Union was on the rise (despite CIA analysis at the time that it was in sharp decline).To marginalize dissent, Reagan and his subordinates stoked anger toward anyone who challenged the era’s feel-good optimism. Skeptics were not just honorable critics, they were un-American defeatists or – in Jeane Kirkpatrick’s memorable attack line – they would “blame America first.”Under Reagan, a right-wing infrastructure also took shape, linking new media outlets (magazines, newspapers, books, etc.) with well-financed think tanks that churned out endless op-eds. Plus, there were attack groups that went after mainstream journalists who dared disclose information that poked holes in Reagan’s propaganda themes.Significantly, too, Reagan credentialed a new generation of neocon intellectuals, who pioneered a concept called “perception management,” the shaping of how Americans saw, understood – and were frightened by – threats from abroad.Many honest reporters saw their careers damaged when they resisted the lies and distortions of the Reagan administration. Likewise, U.S. intelligence analysts were purged when they refused to bend to the propaganda demands from above. [See Robert Parry’s Lost History.]In effect, Reagan’s team created a faux reality for the American public. Civil wars in Central America between impoverished peasants and wealthy oligarchs became an East-West showdown. U.S.-backed insurgents in Nicaragua, Angola and Afghanistan were transformed from corrupt, brutal (often drug-tainted) thugs into noble “freedom-fighters.”While Reagan played the role of the nation’s kindly grandfather, his operatives refined their skills at dividing the American people, using “wedge issues” to deepen grievances especially among white men who were encouraged to see themselves as victims of “reverse discrimination” and “political correctness.”Yet even as working-class white men were rallying to the Republican banner (as so-called “Reagan Democrats”), their economic interests were being savaged. Unions were broken and marginalized; “free trade” policies shipped manufacturing jobs abroad; old neighborhoods were decaying; drug use among the young was soaring.Wall Street GreedMeanwhile, unprecedented greed was unleashed on Wall Street, fraying old-fashioned bonds between company owners and employees.Before Reagan, corporate CEOs earned less than 50 times the salary of an average worker. By the end of the Reagan-Bush-I administrations in 1993, the average CEO salary was more than 100 times that of a typical worker. (That CEO-salary figure is now more than 250 times that of an average worker.)The era’s financial imbalances had other effects. Bloated with hundreds of billions of new dollars, the military-industrial complex recycled some of that money back into right-wing and neocon think tanks, which then justified more spending on “defense.”The super-wealthy finance industry kicked back money to both Republicans and Democrats – as well as to friendly think tanks – to ensure that “free-market” ideology flourished and regulatory “barriers” were removed in the name of progress.Much of this momentum continued through Bill Clinton’s presidency. Indeed, some of Clinton's biggest achievements involved collaborating with congressional Republicans on deregulation and trade agreements initiated during the Reagan-Bush-I era.In the 1990s, the Republican Right also continued building its media infrastructure, expanding into talk radio, TV and the Internet.By contrast, the American Left mostly ignored building media, making the Right’s investment even more striking since defense of liberal positions nearly disappeared from large swaths of the nation. [See Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]The consequences of this imbalance became more obvious when the right-wing media and the Republican congressional majority harassed Clinton through the final years of his presidency. Increasingly, the mainstream press joined in, bending to the dominance of the conservative message.Although Clinton still managed to turn the gigantic federal deficit into a surplus, his presidency was rated as a disappointment, if not an embarrassment.In Campaign 2000, the media’s hostility was transferred to Democrat Al Gore, with distortions about Gore appearing in the New York Times and the Washington Post as well as the New York Post and the Washington Times. [See Neck Deep.]Meanwhile, Republican George W. Bush – though a plutocrat born to privilege – was pitched to the voters as some sort of everyman. He was praised, too, for surrounding himself with “adults,” such as Cheney and Rumsfeld.When Gore still managed to beat Bush in the national popular vote and stood a good chance of overcoming Bush’s narrow lead in the swing state of Florida, much of the U.S. press corps acted as if Bush deserved the White House and that Gore should concede.An unprecedented intervention by five conservative Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court stopping a court-ordered recount in Florida was welcomed by much of the American news media, which saw its principal role as protecting Bush’s fragile “legitimacy” and uniting the country behind his presidency.That attitude grew stronger after the 9/11 attacks when the major news organizations wanted to demonstrate their “patriotism” in line with rank-and-file Americans. The Bush-Cheney power grabs after 9/11 received scant media criticism as did the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.Like in the Reagan era, the neocons played a key role with their “perception management,” painting the “war on terror” as a frightening conflict between good and evil, in which Islamic militants “hate our freedoms” and seek to hem in the United States with a “caliphate” stretching from Spain to Indonesia.The hyping of this Islamic threat fit with the neocon exaggerated depiction of the Soviet menace in the 1980s – and again the propaganda strategy worked. Many Americans let their emotions run wild, from the hunger for revenge after 9/11 to the war fever over Iraq.When old allies like France urged caution, angry Americans poured French wine into gutters and renamed “French fries” as “Freedom fries.” When the rare expert dared question Bush’s case for war – as former weapons inspector Scott Ritter did – the major media joined in attacking the skeptic’s patriotism.Arguably, the descent into this dark fantasyland – that Ronald Reagan began in the early 1980s – reached its nadir in the flag-waving early days of the Iraq War, but the journey continued. It carried the country through Campaign 2004 when John Kerry’s Vietnam War heroism was mocked and he was dismissed as “looking French.”Reality began to reassert itself with the bloody insurgency that resulted from Bush’s conquest of Iraq and with his administration’s inept response when Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans.Gradually, Americans were waking up from a long sleepwalk, but the nation still stumbled from disaster to disaster, from an exploding federal debt to the bursting of the real-estate bubble to the fact that the anti-regulatory fervor has left the country on the brink of a new Great Depression.Ironically, many of the same Wall Street hotshots who had so disdained government – whose high-flying lifestyle was built on Reagan’s ideology that “government is the problem” – now found themselves turning to Washington for a $700 billion bailout.But the future remains unclear. One might think that the American people would now be wide awake, having learned their lessons and eager to throw out both the neocons, who engineered the foreign policy debacles abroad, and the anti-regulators, who precipitated the economic catastrophe at home.Yet the perception managers appear to have at least one more trick up their sleeves. They are turning John McCain, the self-proclaimed foot soldier of the Reagan revolution who championed the neocon cause overseas and the deregulators’ schemes in the domestic economy, into a reformer who can change the system.If recent opinion polls are to be believed, tens of millions of Americans still want to believe.Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.To comment at Consortiumblog, click here. (To make a blog comment about this or other stories, you can use your normal e-mail address and password. Ignore the prompt for a Google account.) To comment to us by e-mail, click here. To donate so we can continue reporting and publishing stories like the one you just read, click here.

  4. uprooted Palestinian Says:

    The Insanity of the $700 Billion GiveawayThe Big Bank JobBy MICHAEL HUDSONCounterPunch”…..What it can do is provide a one-time transfer of wealth to insiders who already have been playing the debt-credit system and siphoning off its predatory financial proceeds to themselves. The Wall Street bankers, brokers and fund managers to whom I’ve been speaking for many decades all know this. That is why they pay themselves such large annual bonuses and large salaries each year. The idea is to take as much as you can. As the saying goes: “You only have to make a fortune once in a lifetime.” They have been salting away their fortunes year after year, mainly in hard assets: real estate (free of mortgages), fine furniture, boats and trophy art. One last $700 billion heist and they can make their getaway.”

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