Capital Markets

Bailout Blackout

|

$700 billion in taxpayer-funded bailouts, and they're not even going to tell us how they're spending it.

Advertisement

NEXT: Confessions of an Economist

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Shocked, I am.

    I never saw it coming.

  2. Don’t worry, we have top men working on it.

    Who?

    Top men.

  3. Wow! That is fucked up. There isn’t even a “national security” issue!

  4. In some good Radley-related news, Troy Davis has been issued issued a stay of execution

  5. Oh, I see Radley already mentioned the stay at The Agitator. Well, it’s still good news.

  6. The really great part is that we taxpayers are just about guaranteed to be part-owners of the 1 or 2 (at most) banks which are MASSIVELY short silver, with no possible way of physically covering IMO. Thanks, “conservatives”! This is just more proof I owe you my vote and shouldn’t listen to my conscience ever again!!

  7. This is just more proof I owe you my vote and shouldn’t listen to my conscience ever again!!

    That’s right, vote for me and we can all gets what we can gets!

  8. WTF? I mean that. What the fucking fuck is going on in these assholes minds? A goddam contract with Mellon Fucking Bank has to have the financial details blacked the Hell out?

    Are you cocksuckers* shitting me?

    National security?
    Privacy Act?

    I don’t fuckin’ think so!

    * Aimed at the Bush administration, not Reason.com.

  9. Now someone need to Photoshop those redactions with the poorly blacked-out cuss words from the last issue of All Star Batman and Robin.

    http://io9.com/5047662/frank-miller-gives-batgirl-too-dirty-a-mouth-for-dc-comics

  10. Thanks, W, for that one last middle finger to your fellow countrymen.

  11. Here’s what you do: produce a really good looking fake with outrageous numbers in it. Then they’ll have to produce the real numbers to prove you wrong.

  12. You un-patriotic types need to just shut up and pay your taxes.

  13. I’m sure the bailees are as happy to keep the terms secret as the bailers.

  14. sputter @#)$%^!!! God#$%*#)$*#)!!!

  15. I guess this means the GAO won’t get to print another scathing report.

    Not that anyone in Congress reads those things.

  16. They probably just declared it “source selection sensitive” in their porposal. The total amount should be public knowledge, though. I say that assuming they have to follow FAR guidelines, though I don’t know that.

  17. I ran into a woman who left our company for a big insurance outfit, once that didn’t invest in subprime mortgages. They are INCENSED that AIG is being bailed out, as they feel like they could have taken all that business.

    So much for the marketplace rewarding good investment and punishing stupidity.

  18. Talldave,
    You still believe that the people stealing money from us like this are really trying to spread goodwill freedom and democracy to all the poor unfree people in the world? You moron, they are nazis! They would rather spread nerve gas than “freedom”.

  19. These guys are so fired.

  20. Here’s what you do: produce a really good looking fake with outrageous numbers in it. Then they’ll have to produce the real numbers to prove you wrong.

    Why not just use the real ones then? 😛

  21. They say that the left-wing political extremism of the 1960s enabled Ronald Reagan to win the presidency in 1980. In a similar vein, I like to think that these shenanigans of 2008 are ushering in the libertarian revolution of 2020.

    There are grounds for long-term hope amid all the crap, folks.

  22. Ah yes….a BOHICA moment if there ever was one.

    Brian – I’m wishing it will come true….not holding my breath, but wishing.

  23. One hour and 39 minutes to a Godwin. Not even close to a record.

  24. This should suprise no one. It’s SOP for current administration.

    “”””National security?
    Privacy Act?””””

    How about executive privilage.

  25. TallDave,
    “So much for the marketplace rewarding good investment and punishing stupidity.”

    The market DOES reward good investment, and it punishes stupidity. The government; not so much.

  26. (a) What did you expect? It was clear up front that the $700$850B was going to be given with no oversight, because that’s what Paulson asked for. It’s no surprise.

    (b) I like Mother Jones’ headline regarding the as-yet-un-Reason-reported (unless I missed it) story about Greenspan’s quivering upper lip: “Alan Shrugged”

  27. A quick quote from that MJ article:

    While Greenspan did defend his various decisions, he admitted that his faith in the ability of free and loosely-regulated markets to produce the best outcomes had been shaken: “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms.”

    In other words, whoops-there goes decades of Ayn Rand down the drain.

    I don’t think this is too OT because we are essentially discussing a continuation of this line of thought with the bailout. “Just give ’em more cash to solve their ‘liquidity’ problem and things will even out.” Does everyone already know that AIG has already burned through most of BOTH appropriations they have received? This, I believe, is the result of thinking as reflected in the Greenspan quote.

  28. Goddamnit! Is it too much to ask that all articles that I may want to comment about appear in a list filtered so I can easily find them? I see the Reason version of “Alan Shrugged” waaaaay down the H&R list. I’ll leave my comments here, though. Shit!

  29. This is taxation without representation.

  30. J sub D | October 24, 2008, 1:58pm | #

    WTF? I mean that. What the fucking fuck is going on in these assholes minds? A goddam contract with Mellon Fucking Bank has to have the financial details blacked the Hell out?

    A thought here to consider =

    the fed is trying to keep the criteria for their choosing who is ‘at risk’ and will benefit from a recapitalization or bailout versus who is so fucked that it would be throwing good money after bad, “blacked out”, as it were, not necessarily for reasons of simple failure to disclose but out of concern that a rush of institutions will cook their books to make themselves appear investment-worthy to the tune of what the fed is most concerned about. Does that make sense? I am not endorsing the practice, but the idea that you’d want to keep the specifics of near term deals quiet for fear of over-publicizing a single move turning into a shitstorm of political intervention – it actually makes practical sense, even though this is not the job or role of government.

    To be clear, I oppose the whole bailout mechanism writ whole, but if they are going to play angel to the diverse array of institutions in the markets, they can’t be doing press releases on all their deals any more than any other investment agency would be disclosing the terms of single deals.

    I dont know if this rings true for anyone out there, but for a person who is involved in finance, seeing the fed turning into a giganto lender of first resort, this is not terribly surprising, if not terribly good to be seeing government involved in. I think the net-net of my point is that there is more involved here than simple “government obfuscation for self interested reasons”, but actually fairly sound business practice if they are going to throw money around in a targeted way based on whatever critieria they think produces the best use of (horrible and antichrist level of) funds.

    the knee jerk reaction is understood, but given the uniqueness of the situation they’re involved in, keeping a lock on information regarding individual decisions until, say, 6 months from now, actually is probably the best way to do deals without them turning into a tool for politicians to intervene in for publicity and self serving purposes. So there is some reasonable basis for this behavior that may (longer term) be something that libertarian types may view as a less-than-the-worst-possible way of executing this blasphemous use of public funds.

  31. There is nothing more sacred in the Republican party than money. They are without doubt, the party of “I got mine, sorry about your luck.”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.