Sunday, February 01, 2009

No More for Wall Street!

February 1, 2009, 2:00 p.m.; February 2, 2009, 12:20 p.m. (addition of quotes/links to analyses by Ralph Nader and Paul Krugman, and reports of banks seeking liquidity from illegal drug cash, and hiring from abroad while laying off 100,000 American citizens the last three months)

Not One More Damn Dime!
(brought to you by FromDC2Iowa.blogspot.com*)

Disgusted, discouraged, depressed -- and very, very angry.

Those are the reactions of millions of Americans to what Washington institutions -- the Bush and Obama Administrations, the Treasury, Federal Reserve, House and Senate -- have done (and are now apparently preparing to do -- again!) with what will be trillions of taxpayers' dollars wastefully lavished on the greedy, ignorant, sociopaths supposedly leading our Wall Street, investment, and banking corporations.

I share these reactions of my fellow Americans, for reasons developed further down this blog entry.

The good news.

But I want to begin with some of President Obama's positive accomplishments (from my perspective) during, not his "first 100 days," but "first 10 days." I remain impressed with his intelligence and potential for positive accomplishment -- notwithstanding his approach to the financial community and his disastrous Afghanistan policy (what Newsweek's February 1 cover story describes as "Obama's Vietnam") -- and want to keep such concerns as I have in a balanced perspective.

Following an unprecedented public turnout for his inauguration, in his first ten days President Obama (among other things) loosened restrictions on public access to presidential records and public records requests under FOIA generally, strengthened ethical standards for executive branch personnel, put a pay freeze on White House staff pay, indicated he wanted Guantanamo closed within a year, banned torture (which his new Attorney General later explained includes waterboarding), reversed Bush's ban on stem cell research and the "Mexico City Policy" (thereby making possible assistance to NGOs offering voluntary family planning), tightened the CAFE automobile fuel efficiency (mpg) standards, permitted California (and other states) to raise emission standards above those in the federal Clean Air Act, signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and supported the Senate's expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP.

His Interior Secretary is already going after the Bush scandal involving Department of the Interior civil servants literally in bed with oil company employees. And his Treasury Secretary is cracking down on corporations using taxpayer money to lobby Congress for more bailouts. And during this time Obama reached out -- to the Arab world with his interview on Al Arabiya TV ("Americans are not your enemy"); Republicans, with his trip to the Hill, cocktail party at the White House, and invitations to join him for a Super Bowl party; and top corporate CEOs with a meeting in the White House. (See generally, White House.gov, and especially its "The White House Blog.")

That's quite a ten-day record of accomplishment. And so far as I know he didn't even rest on the eleventh day, let alone the seventh. Whether it portends a pace that will be sustained over the next few months, or is only a starting gun sprint to placate what Senator Paul Wellstone used to call "the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party," only time will tell.

Meanwhile, . . .

"There's a Bailout Coming, But It's Not for You"

Neil Young's pretty well got this Wall Street buddies bailout nailed in his new "Fork in the Road" song, "There's a Bailout Coming, But It's Not for You":



"Neil Young Debuts Hilarious Clip for New 'Fork in the Road," Rolling Stone/Rock&Roll Daily, January 13, 2009.

It's Not Their Behavior, It's What It Reveals

What follows are some examples of investment community and other corporate CEOs' behavior. They range between the merely outrageous to the seriously criminal. But the point of listing them is not the individual examples of private planes and excessive bonuses.

The point is what these examples reveal about these CEOs' stupidity, arrogance, insensitivity, ignorance, greed, sense of entitlement, sociopathic tendencies, inability to run their businesses ethically, legally and profitably -- in short, why they simply cannot be relied upon, or trusted, to use trillions of taxpayer dollars to get us out of the mess they created. "Conditions" on future bailouts requiring them to repay some unearned "bonuses" or sell some private jets won't change those underlying problems.

On January 31 President Obama's message to the nation included, "Soon my Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, will announce a new strategy for reviving our financial system that gets credit flowing to businesses and families. We'll help lower mortgage costs and extend loans to small businesses so they can create jobs. We'll ensure that CEOs are not draining funds that should be advancing our recovery. And we will insist on unprecedented transparency, rigorous oversight, and clear accountability -- so taxpayers know how their money is being spent and whether it is achieving results." President Barack Obama, "Moving Forward," Address of the President to the Nation, January 31, 2009.

No, no, no, Mr. President. Not on my dime. "A new strategy"? "Ensure that CEOs are not draining funds"? "Rigorous oversight, and clear accountability"? I don't think so.

It may have been Bush's Secretary of the Treasury, Paulson, who offered the three-page $700 billion plan for bailing out his Wall Street friends, but it was the Democrats in Congress who voted for it, and President-elect Obama who endorsed it. And now the speculation is that New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg -- who "was the GOP's chief negotiator for the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry" -- is high on the list of those under consideration for Secretary of Commerce. Philip Elliott, "Sen Judd Gregg Considered for Commerce Secretary," Associated Press/Yahoo! News, January 30, 2009.

One of the President's problems is that he has surrounded himself -- exclusively so far as I can tell -- with former Wall Street executives and economists who think the solution to the economic woes of laid-off workers and homeless former homeowners is giving trillions of taxpayers' dollars to the guys who created the problem. There are other economists out there, but it's not clear they are being heard. For the details see, Steve Clemons, "No Economic Team of Rivals On Obama Staff: Rubin's Manic Neoliberals Dominate," January 28, 2009 (Clemons is Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation).

Another problem involves our president's ties to the Wall Street community. I am not for a minute suggesting that campaign contributions would play a role in his decisions. But I do think that they contribute a public relations problem of appearances. Among his largest contributors were those associated with:

Goldman Sachs . . . . . . . . $955,223
JPMorgan Chase & Co . . $642,958
Citigroup Inc . . . . . . . . . . . $633,418
UBS AG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $505,017
Morgan Stanley . . . . . . . . $483,523
"Barack Obama's Top Contributors," OpenSecrets.org. And those figures don't even include (I assume) their contributions to the Democratic National Convention and the Inauguration (which can sometimes run into millions) -- "soft money" contributions unlimited by "campaign contributions" caps.

So now, lest we forget, let's review the behavior of these corporate CEOs and others who believe that "trickle down" will work better (for them) than a "trickle up" effort to relieve more human misery, and put more money in the hands of the laid-off workers, and homeless former homeowners, most likely to spend it immediately.

"For some people at AIG, the insurance giant rescued last month with an $85 billion federal bailout, the good times keep rolling. Joseph Cassano, the financial products manager whose complex investments led to American International Group's near collapse, is receiving $1 million a month in consulting fees. Former chief executive Martin J. Sullivan, whose three-year tenure coincided with much of the company's ill-fated risk-taking, is receiving a $5 million performance bonus. And just last week, about 70 of the company's top performers were rewarded with a week-long stay at the luxury St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif., where they ran up a tab of $440,000." Peter Whoriskey, "AIG Spa Trip Fuels Fury on Hill; Pressing Executives to Concede Mistakes, Lawmakers Blast Them About Bonuses," Washington Post, October 8, 2008, p. D1.

"There are 24 daily nonstop flights from Detroit to the Washington area. . . . [T]he chief executives of the Big Three automakers opted to fly their company jets to the capital for their hearings this week before the Senate and House -- an ill-timed display of corporate excess for a trio of executives begging for an additional $25 billion from the public trough this week. 'There's a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands,' Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.) advised the pampered executives . . .." Dana Milbank, "Auto Execs Fly Corporate Jets to D.C., Tin Cups in Hand," Washington Post, November 20, 2008, p. A3.

"The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral." Mark Pittman, "Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion," Bloomberg.com, December 12, 2009.

"The United Nations' crime and drug watchdog has indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat . . . UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said . . . drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year. . . . '[D]rug money is currently the only liquid investment capital, . . . In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor.'" "UN crime chief says drug money flowed into banks," Reuters, January 25, 2009.

"Beleaguered Citigroup is upgrading its mile-high club with a brand-new $50 million corporate jet -- only this time, it's the taxpayers who are getting screwed -- even though the bank's stock is as cheap as a gallon of gas and it's burning through a $45 billion taxpayer-funded rescue . . .." Jennifer Gould Keil and Chuck Bennett, "Just Plane Despicable; 'Rescued' Citi Buying $50M Jet," New York Post, January 26, 2009.

"[That] John A. Thain, the fallen boss of Merrill Lynch, spent $1.2 million redecorating his office as Merrill hurtled toward its end seemed only to confirm people’s worst suspicions about money and the hubris it can breed. His $35,000 'commode' might strike some as a bit over the top." Andrew Ross Sorkin, "The Titans Take It on the Chin," New York Times, January 26, 2009.

"Merrill Lynch lost $27 billion last year, and yet still managed to rush through $4 billion worth of year-end bonuses in the days before it was taken over by Bank of America. . . . Merrill Lynch is not the only irresponsible institution out there. Despite a year of record losses, despite all the taxpayer money being injected into our financial institutions, bonuses for 2008 were, in some cases, down less than 50 percent from those the previous year. . . . [S]ome institutions that begged for taxpayer aid to stave off bankruptcy — simply to stay alive — made 2008 compensation packages their first order of business after receiving their bailouts. . . . [I]t’s one thing to reap great rewards when creditors are being repaid and shareholders are earning a return; it’s quite another to reward failure almost as well." Dave Krasne, "Money for Nothing," New York Times, January 26, 2009.

"Andrew Cuomo, New York’s attorney general, said Tuesday that he has subpoenaed John A. Thain, the former Merrill Lynch chief executive, over bonuses paid out by the firm just before it was taken over by Bank of America. . . . 'The fact that Merrill Lynch appears to have moved up the timetable to pay bonuses before its merger with Bank of America is troubling to say the least and warrants further investigation,' Mr. Cuomo said in a statement." Andrew Ross Sorkin, ed., "Cuomo Subpoenas Thain Over Merrill Bonuses," New York Times/Deal Book, January 27, 2009.

"The New York Times reported that some big banks receiving government bailout money were still lobbying the government — giving the appearance, at least, of using taxpayer money to lobby for more taxpayer money . . .." Brian Knowlton, "Geithner Cracks Down on Bailout Lobbying," New York Times/The Caucus, January 27, 2009.

Because the recently revealed $18 billion in executive bonuses has been one of the most outrageous of the excesses, and has received some of the greatest attention, here is a little more on that one than the others:

"[E]mployees at financial companies in New York, the now-diminished world capital of capital, collected an estimated $18.4 billion in bonuses for the year. . . .

Some bankers took home millions last year even as their employers lost billions.

The comptroller’s estimate . . . excludes stock option awards that could push the figures even higher. . . .

'[T]here needs to be an accounting about whether there was any taxpayer money used to pay bonuses or to pay for corporate jets or dividends or anything else,' [The state comptroller, Thomas P.] DiNapoli said in an interview. . . .

At many banks, those payouts were based on profits that turned out to be ephemeral. . . .

According to Mr. DiNapoli, the brokerage units of New York financial companies lost more than $35 billion in 2008, triple their losses in 2007. . . .

Wall Street is betting that the Obama administration will move swiftly to buy some of banks’ troubled assets . . ..

Financial industry executives argue that they need to pay their best workers well in order to keep them, but with many banks cutting jobs, job options are dwindling, even for stars.

Lucian A. Bebchuk, a professor at Harvard Law School and expert on executive compensation, [said bonuses] are meant to reward good performance and retain employees. But Wall Street disbursed billions despite staggering losses and a shrinking job market.

'This was neither the sixth-best year in terms of aggregate profits, nor was it the sixth-most-difficult year in terms of retaining employees,' Professor Bebchuk said.

Echoing Mr. DiNapoli, Professor Bebchuk said he was concerned that banks might be using taxpayer money to subsidize bonuses or dividends to stockholders. 'What the government has been trying to do is shore up capital, and any diversion of capital out of banks, whether in the form of dividends or large payments to employees, really undermines what we are trying to do,' he said."
Ben White, "What Red Ink? Wall Street Paid Hefty Bonuses," New York Times, January 28, 2009.

"During the last three months of 2008, the largest banks that received taxpayer loans announced more than 100,000 layoffs. . . . [Meanwhile, the] dozen banks now receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers . . . for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households. . . . [B]anks that accepted federal bailout money also enlisted uncounted foreign workers, often in technology jobs, through intermediary companies known as 'body shops.' . . . Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, . . . [observed] 'In this time of very, very high unemployment . . . these banks . . . [are] playing the American taxpayer for a sucker.'" Frank Bass and Rita Beamish, "AP Investigation: Banks sought foreign workers; Bailed-out banks sought to hire 21,800 foreign workers in past 6 years," Associated Press/Yahoo! Finance, February 1, 2009.

"Bankers have done the equivalent of stuffing the mattress in the last few months, despite being prodded by the government to lend the hundreds of billions in cash being pumped into the banking system by the Federal Reserve and other regulators. They've been hoarding cash at the Federal Reserve . . .. Banks have to stash away a minimal level of reserves, but they can keep extra reserves. Last year at this time, excess reserves totaled $1.7 billion, according to Fed data. . . . Excess reserves went from $2 billion in August to $267 billion in October. As of the middle of January, they had mushroomed to $843 billion . . . currently accruing interest at 0.25%, the Fed's benchmark short-term rate." Liz Moyer, "Banks Promise Loans But Hoard Cash," Forbes, February 3, 2009.

"Until it came to light Tuesday [February 3], Wells Fargo, which received $25 billion in federal funds, was blithely planning a series of 'employee recognition outings' to Las Vegas luxury hotels this month.

As ABC reported, Bank of America took its $45 billion in bailout funds and sponsored a five-day carnival outside the Super Bowl stadium, and Morgan Stanley took its $10 billion in bailout money and held a three-day conference at the Breakers in Palm Beach. (Morgan Stanley had also still planned to send top employees to Monte Carlo and the Bahamas, events just canceled.)

The New York Post revealed that Sandy Weill, former chief executive of Citigroup, took a company jet to fly his family for a Christmas holiday to a $12,000-a-night luxury resort in San José del Cabo, Mexico. No matter that the company just got a $50 billion federal bailout and laid off 53,000 worldwide.

The interior of the 18-seat jet, as described by The Post, is posh, with a full bar, fine-wine selection, $13,000 carpets, Baccarat crystal glasses, Cristofle sterling silver flatware and — my personal favorite — pillows made from Hermès scarves." Maureen Dowd, "Well, That Certainly Didn't Take Long," New York Times, February 4, 2009; and see, Daniel Wagner and Matt Apuzzo, "Wells Fargo defends, then reconsiders Vegas junket," Associated Press/Yahoo! News, February 3, 2009.

Commentary

As Maureen Dowd earlier observed, "At least the old robber barons made great products. When you make money out of money, unmoored from morality and regulators, it must unhinge you. How else to explain corporate welfare queens partridge hunting in England, buying French jets and shopping for Lamborghinis?" Maureen Dowd, "Disgorge, Wall Street Fat Cats," New York Times, January 31, 2009.

Ralph Nader has provided one of the most informative descriptions of how we got here, and what we can do to fix it, in Ralph Nader, "Wither Wall Street," Nader.org, January 30, 2009, in the course of which he asks, "First, do Wall Street Institutions do anything so vital for the national interest that they justify trillions of dollars to save them from the consequences of their own excess? Second, is it possible that the whole Wall Street edifice is built on an illusion of phantom wealth that carries deadly economic, social, and environmental consequences for the larger society? Third, are there other ways to provide needed financial services with greater results and at lesser cost?"

And to repeat from Nicholas Johnson, "Economic Sorrows and Solutions," January 27, 2009,

"Given these attitudes and behavior, this fraud and sense of entitlement, it would be unconscionable to simply hand over more taxpayer money to this crowd -- not just because they have now demonstrated that 'they don't deserve it' (though they don't), not just because they should be punished with prison sentences rather than rewarded financially (though they should), but because we're now into a 'fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me' scenario in which it should be abundantly clear to all that this approach hasn't, and won't, work.

"Does this mean that more banks will fail? Yes. Just like more auto dealerships and retail stores will fail. But any company that's 'too big to fail' is simply too big. Capitalism, 'the market,' contemplates failure as well as success. It will take time to calculate, but require the banks to put a marketplace value on those 'toxic assets.' They're worth something. And at that point offer those assets -- or the entire bank itself -- for sale in the marketplace. It will fetch something. And once it's fairly valued there will be buyers, there will be investors, there will be capital, there will be loans -- and it will all have been done with market forces and without additional taxpayer dollars."

Dowd also shares with us Senator Carl Levin's reaction:

"Senator Levin said that the financiers will not be able to change their warped mentality, but will have to be reined in by Geithner’s new leashes. 'I have no confidence that they intend or desire to change,' Levin told me. 'These bankers got away with murder, and it’s obscene that close to nothing is being asked of financial institutions. I get incensed at the thought that a bank that’s getting billions of dollars in taxpayer money is out there buying fancy new airplanes.'" Maureen Dowd, "Wall Street’s Socialist Jet-Setters," New York Times, January 28, 2009.

I agree with almost everything Senator Levin told Dowd. Why "almost"? Because -- for the reasons outlined above -- I don't believe that being "incensed" (without prosecutions) is enough, or that Treasury Secretary Geithner has the ability (on the assumption he even has the desire) to come up with any "new leashes" that could keep "the financiers . . . reined in."

If, perchance, you are among those who don't find Maureen Dowd, Ralph Nader and Nicholas Johnson persuasive sources of economic analysis, here are excerpts from what Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has to say:

[T]he administration’s plans for a banking system rescue . . . are shaping up as a classic exercise in “lemon socialism”: taxpayers bear the cost if things go wrong, but stockholders and executives get the benefits if things go right. . . .

[A] Washington Post report based on administration sources says that [Treasury Secretary Tim] Geithner and Lawrence Summers, President Obama’s top economic adviser, “think governments make poor bank managers” — as opposed, presumably, to the private-sector geniuses who managed to lose more than a trillion dollars in the space of a few years.

And this prejudice in favor of private control, even when the government is putting up all the money, seems to be warping the administration’s response to the financial crisis. . . .

[B]ank stocks are worth so little these days — Citigroup and Bank of America have a combined market value of only $52 billion — that the ownership [by taxpayers, in exchange for the bailout funds] wouldn’t be partial: pumping in enough taxpayer money to make the banks sound would, in effect, turn them into publicly owned enterprises.

My response to this prospect is: so? If taxpayers are footing the bill for rescuing the banks, why shouldn’t they get ownership . . .. But the Obama administration appears to be tying itself in knots to avoid this outcome. . . .

[I]n return for what is likely to be a huge subsidy to stockholders, taxpayers will get, well, nothing.

Will there at least be limits . . . to prevent more of the rip-offs that have enraged the public? President Obama denounced Wall Street bonuses in his latest weekly address — but according to The Washington Post, “the administration is likely to refrain from imposing tougher restrictions . . .." Mr. Obama’s tough talk is just for show. . . .

There’s more at stake here than fairness . . .. [R]escuing the financial system, even if it’s done right, is going to cost hundreds of billions more. We can’t afford . . . huge windfalls to banks and their executives, merely to preserve the illusion of private ownership.
Paul Krugman, "Bailouts for Bunglers," New York Times, February 2, 2009.

We are dealing here with the Wall Street equivalents of Dr. Evil, men and women who have distorted the free private enterprise system into "if we make a profit it's all mine; if we have losses they're all yours" -- socialism for the rich and free private enterprise for the poor. As with Dr. Evil, give them millions and they'll ask for billions; give them billions and they want trillions. There's no leash made, for man or beast, that can rein them in. The only solution is to give them nothing -- notwithstanding their Dr. Evil-style threats of imminent doom.


President Obama may call their behavior "shameful," and say he wants Secretary Geithner to send them that message, but you'll note he then goes on to confront "the possibility of having to ask Congress for additional large sums of money, beyond the $700 billion already authorized, to prop up the financial system . . .." Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Stephen Labaton, "Obama Calls Wall Street Bonuses 'Shameful,'" New York Times, January 29, 2009.

What part of "no more!" and "enough already!" don't you understand, Mr. President? We're your fans. We worked to put you in the White House. We respect and admire you. We want you to succeed. Giving more billions to Wall Street is not the way to turn around this economy (as has already been proven), nor to ensure your political and historical success. Just say, No; just don't do it.

The Stimulus Package

Although beyond the scope of this blog entry, I must concede I have some concerns about the stimulus package as well.

I believe the Republicans are wrong to urge tax cuts. See Matthew Yglesias, "The DeMint 'Plan' -- Fewer Jobs, Slower Growth, More Money for Rich People," Yglesias, January 30, 2009.

While I can understand the practical politics of devoting as much as one-third of the package to tax cuts in an effort to work in a bipartisan fashion with the Republicans, I can't understand continuing to do so when the House Republicans voted as a bloc in opposition to the effort.

Not only do tax cuts further increase our deficit and debt, and provide a small fraction of the economic stimulus of spending programs, the bottom line is that there will be something like $300 billion less in the package, $300 billion that would have been able to produce real economic growth.

On the other hand, I think the Republicans are right that the rest of the package is not as narrowly focused as they and I would wish that it was on maximizing the number of jobs per dollar and other immediate boosts to the economy.

(For a variety of understandable graphs regarding where we are now economically, see "January Economic Summary in Graphs," Calculated Risk, January 31, 2009.)

There are few, if any, of the proposals in the package with which I would disagree as a matter of public policy regarding appropriate government expenditures. But that's not the issue.

The issue is what can we do now, to boost the economy now, and what proportion of President Obama's stimulus package is narrowly focused on that goal -- in contrast to the amount that has been diverted to tax cuts and worthy, but long term, programs?

For now, however, I'm most concerned -- indeed, angry -- about the prospect of throwing even more money into a trickle down from Wall Street program to be run by executives who have already demonstrated they are better at destroying businesses for their own selfish gain than at building them, who haven't known what to do with the money -- and seemingly care less.

"Not one more damn dime," Mr. President. Please.
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Related Blog Entries on Global Economy and Bailouts

Nicholas Johnson, "Who's The Reason?" September 5, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "How Much Do You Owe the Chinese?" September 6, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Taxpayer Rescue," September 15, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Global Finance: The Great Fountain Pen Robbery," September 21, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Alternatives to 'The Plan,'" September 28, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Better Alternatives to Congress' Bailout Plan," October 2, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Can We Trust Our Bankers?" October 29, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "It's the Economy," November 7, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Jobs, Not Unemployment, Key to Recovery," November 8, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Trust Your Instincts, Auto Bailout's Terrible Idea," November 14, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Auto Bailout: An Open Letter to Congress," November 19, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "A Trillion Here, a Trillion There," November 20, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "FromDC2Iowa's Weekend Edition," November 21, 2008 ("The Answer to Global Economic Collapse" and "Auto Bailout: 'Show Me the . . . Plan'")

Nicholas Johnson, "Citigroup Deal Stinks," November 25, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Only Select Few Are Thankful for Trillions," November 27, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Auto Loan Makes Too Few Dollars Even Less Sense," December 4, 2008

Nicholas Johnson,"Quick Fix for the Economy," December 12, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "You Know It's Serious When We Start Laughing," December 15, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "A Car in Every Garage," December 16, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Forget Madoff, Focus on Bernanke," December 17, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Of Theaters and Automobiles," December 20, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "There's Bad News and . . . and . . .," December 21, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Et Tu, Toyota?" December 22, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "Revolting Developments," December 23, 2008

Nicholas Johnson, "First Things First," January 8, 2009

Nicholas Johnson, "Why We Should 'Point Fingers' and 'Look Backwards,'" January 13, 2009

Nicholas Johnson, "Fool Me Twice," January 14, 2009

Nicholas Johnson, "Economic Sorrows and Solutions," January 27, 2009

Nicholas Johnson, "No More for Wall Street!" February 1, 2009
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* Why do I put this blog ID at the top of the entry, when you know full well what blog you're reading? Because there are a number of Internet sites that, for whatever reason, simply take the blog entries of others and reproduce them as their own without crediting the source. I don't mind the flattering attention, but would appreciate acknowledgment as the source -- even if I have to embed it myself. -- Nicholas Johnson

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1 comment:

E Pismo Clam said...

You are clueless.

Let the banks fail...thats a good idea. Really.

Also, dont blame any of the lazy ass worthless American public who got loans and houses they had no business getting.