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View Diary: The politics of Matt Taibbi's big con (105 comments)

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  •  I agree that (3+ / 0-)

    [almost] "[e]very single citizen k diary is instigation to a pie fight."  And most of his theses are crap.  MB is right about the red baiting.  Now Taibbi is not sacrosanct in my view, but his crtique of Taibbi geets lost in all the other stuff he brings.  

    That all said, I disagree with this:

    It would serve this site well for citizen k to confine his crap to The People's View.
    He has the right to post here so long as he obeys the rules, and as far as I can see, he has.  I doubt I have ever agreed with him, but he has apoint of view and it is part of the mix that is the Democratic Party, even if it is misguided.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:25:43 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Those who were purged were known for coming (0+ / 0-)

      here simply to stir up shit. That seems to be the only reason that citizen k shows up as well.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:24:37 PM PST

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      •  It's hilarious that you constantly recommend (0+ / 0-)

        The Authoritarians while being so deeply disturbed that people who disagree with you are permitted to express their opinions.

        favorite band: twisted gloating

        by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:37:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And it's typical for you to make judgements (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          such as this based on misperception.  Your behavior on this site is a perfect example of what Dr. Bob characterizes as Right Wing Authoritarianism. Your attacks on anyone who dares to publicly criticize the president, your attempts to push a conformity of thought based on what the powers that be proclaim to be so - these are the hallmarks of the authoritarian follower.

          My complaint with you is not your disagreement, it is your behavior. There is a difference. You are welcome to believe whatever you wish. You are welcome to express those opinions as well. What you're not welcome to do is repeatedly twist meanings, twist people's words, selectively quote, and generally use disingenuous rhetorical devices to provoke fights at this site. You are very clever with words. You also use them dishonestly. This is also typical Right Wing Authoritarian  behavior. The ends justify the means, defending the status quo trumps honesty.

          You're not welcome to play enforcer of orthodoxy any more than I or any other member of this site. But that's what you consistently attempt to do, shout down and demean progressives and liberals while proclaiming that your political "pragmatism" is superior. Of course, for the past several years, pragmatism has been code for Democrats pre-compromising their positions, and then giving away more in the subsequent "negotiations" after which people like you crow about what an incredible victory the president has won. Meh.

          You might wish to actually consider READING The Authoritarians. It might open your eyes.

          Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

          by kbman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:02:31 PM PST

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          •  Were it not for the fact (0+ / 0-)

            that citizen k is correct about this issue, you would have a point. The people who are being dishonest here are Mr. Taibbi and his defenders. If you care to read them, I've posted multiple links in the comments to this post that show that, rather than being a scam that permitted community banks to lower their TARP payments, as Mr. Taibbi would have us believe, SBLF was designed to provide an incentive for those banks to lend to small businesses. They used the SBLF funds to pay back their TARP loans because the program includes specific measures to allow for it. Those small banks that took SBLF loans have increased the amount they lend to small businesses by significant amounts relative to banks that didn't, regardless of whether they used the SBLF money to pay back TARP loans or not.


            •  Do you even read what you write? (0+ / 0-)

              " rather than being a scam that permitted community banks to lower their TARP payments,"

              "They used the SBLF funds to pay back their TARP loans because the program includes specific measures to allow for it."

              So, the program was structured to allow banks to use funds that were claimed to be for small businesses to actually use those funds to repay TARP loans INSTEAD OF loaning that money to small businesses ... Isn't that essentially what Taibbi claimed?

              All told, studies show, $2.2 billion of the $4 billion ended up being spent not on small-business loans, but on TARP repayment. "It's a bit of a shell game," admitted John Schmidt, chief operating officer of Iowa-based Heartland Financial, which took $81.7 million from the SBLF and used every penny of it to repay TARP.
              The fact that some of those banks also made some loans to small businesses does not change this. It is another example of the banks being given perks in the guise of helping ordinary Americans - again, the point that Taibbi was raising. Yet citizen k's diary here would have us celebrate the whopping $1.8 B in loans as being an example of extreme largesse to the public when it was, in reality, table scraps in comparison to the $700 B bailout, and paltry in comparison to the $1.4 T the banks are sitting on.

              There used to be a time when banks were actually in the business of loaning money. They didn't need "incentives" to do their business, it was how they made their money. Now making loans is considered a burden? This is just another example of how the financial industry has gained inappropriate power in our economy and society. Another of Taibbi's points.

              As far as your "source" it is the government publication about this program - all 32 pages of it. If you have a specific point you'd like to raise from this publication, please provide the relevant section. Just throwing out the link for the PDF is similar to citizen k's methods - giving the impression of backing up your argument while not really doing so. It is akin to being in an argument over a constitutional issue and giving a link to the constitution as your proof.

              Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

              by kbman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:37:57 PM PST

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              •  so (0+ / 0-)

                providing a source for my claims is bad now?

                I'll spell it out as clearly as I can:

                1. Banks were not making many loans, especially to small businesses, in 2010. Regardless of how you or I feel banks should do their job, they weren't lending money to small businesses. That was part of the reality we all lived in. Here's a link to remind you.

                2. To encourage banks to loan to small businesses, a program was set up to provide incentives for banks to make those loans. Namely, if banks raised the level of loans they made relative to a baseline (quarterly avg of loans made during the year ending on June 30,2010), the interest they paid on SBLF loans would go down to as little as 1%. If they didn't, the interest would remain at 5%. The SBLF loans were not meant to be used only for small business loans. That's a misunderstanding on your part, probably because you unquestioningly accepted Mr. Taibbi's word on the matter.

                3. Community banks could refinance their TARP loan with a SBLF loan. Any such bank that didn't increase their small business lending would pay the same interest as they were paying on their TARP loan for 9 quarters. If at that time, they still hadn't increased their small business lending, the interest that they paid would go up and they would be charged a 2% annual fee on top of that. Again, this was done to encourage those banks to lend to small businesses, something they were not doing at the time.

                The program has been largely successful in meeting its stated goals. You can read the Overview (p.1) and Background (p.2) of that onerous 32 page! document to see the figures backing my claim. Those banks that took SBLF loans have increased their lending to small businesses by significantly greater percentages than those that did not. In particular,

                •  SBLF banks that refinanced CPP funding have increased business lending by a median of 27.2 percent since their initial receipt of CPP funding from Treasury versus a 14.0 percent increase for the peer group and a 6.6 percent increase for the comparison group over the same period.

                CPP = Capital Purchase Program, part of TARP

                I found this on page 1 of the source I linked to.  Remind me, what sources did Mr.Taibbi provide?

                •  Why call it the Small Business Lending Fund (0+ / 0-)

                  if it's purpose was actually to enable small banks to repay their TARP obligations? When more than half the funds end up being used in this manner, it makes the program appear to be a case of bait and switch. And again, the point of Taibbi's article was that the bank bailout was far more of a giveaway to the banks than has been admitted to the public. Throughout these comments, citizen k has made a big deal about this whopping $1.8 Billion, as though that were some hugely significant figure that shows that Taibbi is wrong and/or lying about the bailout. "Look! There was a kernel of corn in this pile of shit!" Here is what Taibbi wrote:

                  Using small-business funds to pay down their own debts, parking huge amounts of cash at the Fed in the midst of a stalled economy – it's all just evidence of what most Americans know instinctively: that the bailouts didn't result in much new business lending. If anything, the bailouts actually hindered lending, as banks became more like house pets that grow fat and lazy on two guaranteed meals a day than wild animals that have to go out into the jungle and hunt for opportunities in order to eat. The Fed's own analysis bears this out: In the first three months of the bailout, as taxpayer billions poured in, TARP recipients slowed down lending at a rate more than double that of banks that didn't receive TARP funds.
                  Yes, there was SOME lending, and some of the money in this program did actually go to small businesses. But that doesn't mean that the program wasn't used as a cover to transfer even more money to the banks than what was loaned. You may feel this is appropriate, I do not.

                  And yes, I'm reluctant to wade into the government report.  I don't see much point in reading that the administrator of the program thinks that it went just great. So yes, at some point I choose to rely on people who have researched the topic. Taibbi has been following this story for quite some time, and has revealed information that had previously remained hidden. His take on things is also not all that different from others who have looked into Wall Street and the banking industry since 2008. Meanwhile, given his track record, citizen k is among the last people I would choose as an authority on anything. He has posted a long string of diaries over the past few years which could be given the collective title, "Liberals and Progressives Suck". For some reason he seems to have much more of a problem with those on the left than with those on the right.

                  Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                  by kbman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:38:08 PM PST

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                  •  it did increase small business lending (0+ / 0-)

                    which is why they called it the small business lending fund.

                    favorite band: twisted gloating

                    by citizen k on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:50:56 AM PST

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                  •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                    1) You find the name misleading. Sure, I'll give you that. They could have called it Small Business Lending Encouragement Fund and saved Taibbi and the rest of us all of this confusion.
                    2) Matt Taibbi's article brought up the SBLF. He used it as evidence for his position. He also used the "Fed's own analysis" to bolster his point (apparently Mr. Taibbi has a higher opinion of government reports than you do). It wasn't citizen k who focused on it.
                    3) You accuse citizen k of being an "enforcer of orthodoxy," yet when presented with data that contradicts your position, you simply refuse to consider it. You just don't see the point in reading it. I submit you and the rest of the people here that ignore the content of the diary and simply attack citizen k have your own orthodoxy you enforce.

          •  apparently you regard my few diaries on this (0+ / 0-)

            absurd blog to be "enforcement of orthodoxy", while the vitriolic responses, none of which ever honestly address the issues I discuss are perhaps free-spirited thinking.

            Good lord.

            favorite band: twisted gloating

            by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:35:31 PM PST

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    •  Agreed. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:02:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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