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View Diary: Bill Halter comes out swinging - SLAMS (!!) Lincoln for bailout vote (193 comments)

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  •  Just a wild guess, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Stark, joanneleon

    but I doubt that will be the final accounting.

    •  Well I'm Not Sure How Effective a (3+ / 0-)
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      Mike Stark, Tuscarora, psilocynic

      "Bill Halter's wild guess is that this will have been a bad idea," ad will run, but I don't know Arkansas politics very well either.

      •  If you believe that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike Stark

        the bailout will be profitable for America, more power to you.

        PS I have some ocean front property for sale in Arkansas, a buyer like you would be perfect.

        •  Ahhhh An Attack on My Intelligence (8+ / 0-)

          I was merely suggesting there are plenty of angles to go after Lincoln that do NOT involve predictions of the future, in areas where there is already evidence that she has made awful decisions.

          Peace to you, I hope you have a good day and a good week.

          •  TARP will be a loser (1+ / 0-)

            You are either mistaken or deliberately misrepresenting the real costs. Yes, banks who want pay their executives obscenely are paying back now, but that does not mean that the entire program will be a money maker.

            •  I saw on MSNBC today (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wader, TooFolkGR, no puma

              that the TARP cost actual went from an adjusted $267 Billion to $85B... but that of course doesn't talk to what the Fed did in TRILLIONS of $.

              •  And that $89B Cost (7+ / 0-)

                Does not factor in the costs of doing nothing... in other words it's just "what did we put in compared to what will we get back?" as opposed to "What did we put in vs what will we get back vs what would have happened WITHOUT TARP."

                Which is why I said that there must be something more straightforward that can be used in campaign ads, at which point lgcap explained that I was merely stupid.

                Though that has now been clarified: I am either stupid or a liar.

                As for the Fed Trillions, they did that with existing powers, not with a congressionally authorized bailout (though I'm sure you already know that).

                •  Wait, I need to catch up (0+ / 0-)

                  A minute ago you were saying that it's a profitable venture. Now you seem to believe that there will be a slight loss, but it's just the administrative costs? If that's right, doesn't a profit account for administrative costs?

                  Please tell me you're pulling my leg, you just can't be serious.

                  •  Actually No (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I said the return thus far has been 8.5%, not that it would ultimately be a profitable venture.

                    Which is why in the case of the Arkansas campaign (which is what we're talking about) it isn't the best line of attack for a "black and white"/"This is why I'm better than my opponent" type ad.  Beyond that almost the entire Democratic Caucus supported the TARP legislation, with MOST of the exceptions being conservative Democrats.

                    I also believe in the end, considering the actual total cost (which as we mentioned above you aren't talking about) it will be a net gain -- just not purely in the sense of return on the money.  

                    The thing is--it isn't the US Government's job to make a profit on taxpayer money.  TARP specifically was about preventing an almost unimaginable catastrophe in the economy (specifically the commercial paper market)... which is the Government's job.

                    My god... just imagine if the only spending government was allowed to do required a net cash return.  I think literally every government program (including defense, welfare, regulations) etc. would be eliminated immediately.  What a nightmare.

                    And now you are open to the possibility that in addition to being (a) Stupid or (b) Dishonest, it might also be that I am trying to be funny.

                    Well, at least you're open minded.

                  •  Actually, I'm pretty sure TooFolk... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    ...said that he read that TARP has turned a profit so far. And then that a small projected cost figure didn't include the cost of doing nothing. These points aren't mutually exclusive, and both add to what seemed to be the main point: this is an issue where the is a lot of uncertainty about what the actual costs and benefits are and will be, so why not go after Lincoln on something more clear cut?

                  •  $85B to prevent Great Depression 2.0 is a bargain (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tuscarora, zbbrox

                    The costs of doing nothing was far to high.  Blanche is is a tool, but Halter is just pandering

                    •  If that's what it did (0+ / 0-)

                      and it doesn't cause worse problems than a depression.

                      •  Most economists seem to think it did. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        It probably wasn't the best way to do that, but I don't see any real reason to think it was a bad way to do that, except that it got all our populist instincts riled up 'cause the bankers didn't pay for what they did.

                        •  Most economists didn't see (0+ / 0-)

                          the housing bubble. It's hard to believe they have special insight now.

                          •  So what about Krugman? (0+ / 0-)

                            Who did see the housing bubble, and does think TARP averted a second Great Depression.

                          •  What about him? (0+ / 0-)

                            He's wrong all the time.

                          •  Really. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm certainly not going to claim Krugman's perfect, but he called housing, which was your reason for not trusting "most economists". What exactly do you find unpersuasive about the arguments by him and others that TARP prevented a systemic collapse? Or are you just disregarding the opinion of experts entirely? And if so, exactly what are you basing your judgments on?

                          •  Please document that (0+ / 0-)

                            TARP is a money maker, include all the funds, not just the ones that have been repaid.

                          •  Good lord. (0+ / 0-)

                            Are you just having trouble following the thread of conversation? TARP being "a money maker" isn't even a little bit what we're talking about. Re-read the thread to catch up or something.

                          •  The discussion started with this claim: (0+ / 0-)

                            Almost Anyone But Blanch Lincoln (14+ / 0-)

                            Though I'm not sure that TARP is the best thing to use to go after her.  I read a week ago or so that so far, the U.S. Taxpayer has realized an 8.5% return on TARP funds.  

                            That's kind of inside baseball though.  It might be enough to just say, "She loves banks, I hate banks," and try to get votes that way which I'm guessing is his general idea.

                            Once it was debunked the subject changed.

                          •  Actually, that claim was not "debunked"... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...rather the important words "so far" were ignored.

                            Regardless, you're right, the subject did change. In this instance, to whether or not TARP helped to prevent a second Great Depression. You still have yet to outline your reasons for believing otherwise.

                          •  Please link to (0+ / 0-)

                            any support for the claim that TARP will ever produce a net gain. The fact that some portion is paid back profitably is irrelevant when compared to the total amount given away.

                          •  Again, you don't seem to follow. (0+ / 0-)

                            No one ever claimed it would produce a net gain. Nor did anyone say that the fact that it may have produced a net positive so far is important in of itself. The point was that these kinds of figures make the issue muddy and make attacking someone for supporting the program potentially less effective than other lines of attack. This has been explained to you at least twice, I don't know why we need to go into again.

                            And, again, you utterly fail to substantiate your reasons for dismissing arguments that TARP was effective in averting depression.

                          •  You refuse to address the (0+ / 0-)

                            fundamental issue. TARP failed, it was an unnecessary transfer of wealth.

                            Please explain how TARP succeeded, if you believe it did.

                          •  How did it succeed? (0+ / 0-)

                            It prevented massive bank failures, which would have resulted in a total shut down of credit, massive contractions in the economy as businesses went out of business, 'causing more businesses to go out of business, etc. causing a deflationary death spiral. That's not exactly controversial, it's the mainstream economists' view. Why do you so consistently refuse to address why you think TARP failed to do this? Have you just not thought this out?

                            As far as I can tell, you have a couple of options. You can claim:

                            1. There was never going to be a major collapse.


                            1. There was going to be a major collapse, but something other than TARP prevented it.

                            So pick your poison and defend your choice already.

                          •  You have faith that (0+ / 0-)

                            TARP prevented disaster, nothing more. The GAO sees it differently, but there is no arguing with a True Believer. You simply have no substance for your position.

                            It is probably true that some major banks would have failed without it, that probably would have been a good thing, because what did will not stop that eventuality. Now we must have permanent TARP, the collection of money by the government to enrich a small group. There is nothing to prevent the perpetuation of the bubble bust cycle. It sucks, it's hard to believe people don't realize what TARP does, but obviously, there are quite a few that don't.  

                          •  Okay, I'm sorry-- (0+ / 0-)

                            --But you absolutely just crossed the damn line. True believer? What in the hell do you base that on? Faith? I just told you the reasoning. TARP saved banks. Failing banks lead to credit shocks and deflation. Deflation leads to depressions. I have no substance? You have yet to say a single thing that repudiates the idea that TARP helped prevent a depression! Apparently all that's left to you is to ignore my arguments and then claim they don't exist so you can throw epithets at me. Frankly, I'm ashamed of you.

                          •  Oh my (0+ / 0-)

                            Turnabout isn't fair play? Who knew?

                            I've linked to my position all through this diary, to reputable sources, such as the GAO. Your is almost invariably unresponsive, and never supported with links to authoritative sources. Your most recent post is a perfect example, you have nothing to say, so you change the subject. As much as you believe the world would have come to an end without TARP, you can't demonstrate it.

                            The published information available reports a debacle of massive proportions. If you believe TARP was our salvation, you should be able to show it.

                          •  Are you out of your mind? (0+ / 0-)

                            Your sources have yet to say anything about the topic we're discussing. Sources that say "The TARP is bad because of this" have nothing to do with whether or not the TARP actually succeeded in averting catastrophe. Are you just utterly incapable of actually having this debate? Let me try and simply one final time.

                            You contend that TARP did not help avert a second great depression. This means, by necessity, that either:

                            1. There was no actual threat of a second depression, or
                            1. It was averted through other means.

                            Give me that data. My argument is simple. If you want to contend with any point of that argument, feel free, but so far you have not. None of what you show denies that the TARP saved large banks. Nor that the fall of large banks leads to credit shocks. Nor that credit shocks and falling banks leads to deflationary spirals. Nor that deflationary spirals lead to depressions.

                            Pick a contention there and deny it and I'll prove you wrong--because every damn one of them is a simple, non-controversial point on which there is near universal agreement. But you are refusing, again and again, to actually engage in the debate, instead throwing out any anti-TARP fact you can think of. You repeatedly resort to arguing points no one has contended, you seem to constantly lose the actual thread of the argument, you rely on calling me names instead of supporting your arguments, the list goes on. Unless you can actually construct an argument on point in a logical manner, I am going to have to utterly give up on you.

                          •  Sigh, still no authority (0+ / 0-)

                            I know you believe TARP saved the world. Despite my repeated requests, you have offered nothing but your faith.

                            I'm an atheist.

                            There isn't anything but propaganda to show it prevented a depression, and you know it.  

                          •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

                            That is utterly pathetic. You are presented with a logical argument, and you cannot name a single flaw in it? You can't even name a single point of contention? And yet you dismiss it as faith? No authority? Again, look at anything Krugman's written about TARP. But you've already dismissed him as being "wrong all the time", despite his accuratley predicting the phenomenon you claimed so few economists had predicted...

                            You have offered absolutely no rebuttal of my claim. None. How is it someone with absolutely no logic or evidence backing them up can sit there claiming others are faith-based?

                          •  Whoops! (0+ / 0-)

                            I thought you didn't like the personal attacks. Oh, yeah, you only mind them when they're directed at you.

                            If you review my posting history in this diary you'll find abundant, documented, support for my position. You've provided nothing but your belief that TARP was super-special-life-saving. If you chose not to read the information I've posted, well, then, you can accuse me of anything. I can explain it to you, but I can't make you understand it.

                            If you'd like to document your reasoning, it would help. Otherwise, you can just continue to scream how much you disagree, but it means nothing.

                          •  Personal attacks? (0+ / 0-)

                            Because I called it pathetic that you refuse to criticize the argument you're dismissing? How is that a personal attack? It's an attack on your total failure to debate.

                            I have read your links. They do not address the point at all. They are a laundry list of bad things about the bill--none of which in any way question its effectiveness in preventing a deflationary depression. It's that simple.

                            If you are so incapable of responding to an argument without someone making an appeal to authority, then here:

                            "Even so," the panel concluded, "there is broad consensus that the TARP was an important part of a broader government strategy that stabilized the U.S. financial system by renewing the flow of credit and averting a more acute crisis."

                            It added, "Although the government’s response to the crisis was at first haphazard and uncertain, it eventually proved decisive enough to stop the panic and restore market confidence."

                            And if you look at your own evidence from the GAO, you'll see that their criticisms of TARP stem from the fact that it didn't increase loans as much as it could have--*not* that it failed to prevent a wide, systemic shock. Because it did help to prevent a wide, systemic shock.

                            Again, there is a very simple argument here: Banks were going under. TARP prevented that. Preventing a bank crisis prevented a much more severe economic downturn. You have yet to name a single part of that argument that's wrong.

              •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

                It is shocking to me, and I'm not easily shocked, that anyone here would attempt to seriously argue that TARP is going to make a profit. Of coarse it is going to be at least a trillion, I used the link I did because it was the WSJ so, naturally it's an absurdly low figure.

                •  It seems to me like you're conflating.... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wader, TooFolkGR

                  ...TARP and the Fed's bailout actions, which aren't the same thing.

                  •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

                    TARP Loss Revised Down to $89B

                    .....However, the number may just be an accounting sleight of hand, as it fails to include the estimated $370 billion in losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through 2020. At least the government is getting ready to end its entanglement with AIG: The Wall Street Journal says the government could start winding down its 80 percent stake in the insurance giant as early as next year.

                    •  So where did your trillion figure come from?(n/t) (0+ / 0-)
                      •  So you agree that there will be some cost? (0+ / 0-)

                        I'll withdraw my trillion dollar guess, the truth is we'll never know, except that it will be costly.

                        •  I agree there probably will. (0+ / 0-)

                          It's hard to know exactly. One of the reasons we bought the toxic investments in the first place was because there was so much uncertainty about their actual value. We will very probably lose money on them, but it's hard to tell, as of yet, how much. So far things seem to be going better than expected.

                          •  Oh, hogwash. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            We bought the toxic assets to protect the too big to fail banks.

                          •  the rest was an excuse (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            to get the Gov't to buy at 100% value

                          •  Err. (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes. And the reason buying them helped was because there was so much uncertainty over their value. Again you seem to be reading mutual exclusivity into an area where two things are both true.

                          •  All kinds of real estate have declined since, (0+ / 0-)

                            but you say that the deal made money? Show me.

                            If it was a winner, it wouldn't have needed a bailout. It's a black hole, we don't know the loss because the decline hasn't even stopped, and because propaganda has the True Believers bamboozled.

                          •  I beg your pardon? (0+ / 0-)

                            I never said the deal made money. You're developing quite a habit of arguing points people didn't make.

                          •  Excuse me (0+ / 0-)

                            The debate started with that claim, it wasn't made by you. At least we agree that it is a financial black hole.

                            The Office of The Special Inspector General for The Troubled Asset Relief Program

                            ‘Many of TARP’s stated goals, however, have simply not been met. Despite the fact that the explicit goal of the Capital Purchase Program ("CPP") was to increase financing to U.S. businesses and consumers, lending continues to decrease, month after month, and the TARP program designed specifically to address small-business lending — announced in March 2009 — has still not been implemented by Treasury. Notwithstanding the fact that preserving homeownership and promoting jobs were explicit purposes of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 ("EESA"), the statute that created TARP, nearly 16 months later, home foreclosures remain at record levels, the TARP foreclosure prevention program has only permanently modified a small fraction of eligible mortgages, and unemployment is the highest it has been in a generation. Whether these goals can effectively be met through existing TARP programs is very much an open question at this time. And to the extent that the Government had leverage through its status as a significant preferred shareholder to influence the largest TARP recipients to carry out such policy goals, it was lost with their exit from TARP."

                            To the extent that huge, interconnected, "too big to fail" institutions contributed to the crisis, those institutions are now even larger, in part because of the substantial subsidies provided by TARP and other bailout programs.
                            • To the extent that institutions were previously incentivized to take reckless risks through a "heads, I win; tails, the Government will bail me out" mentality, the market is more convinced than ever that the Government will step in as necessary to save systemically significant institutions. This perception was reinforced when TARP was extended until October 3, 2010, thus permitting Treasury to
                            maintain a war chest of potential rescue funding at the same time that banks that have shown questionable ability to return to profitability (and in some cases are posting multi-billion-dollar losses) are exiting TARP programs.
                            • To the extent that large institutions’ risky behavior resulted from the desire to justify ever-greater bonuses — and indeed, the race appears to be on for TARP recipients to exit the program in order to avoid its pay restrictions — the current bonus season demonstrates that although there have been some improvements
                            in the form that bonus compensation takes for some executives, there has been little fundamental change in the excessive compensation culture on Wall Street.
                            • To the extent that the crisis was fueled by a "bubble" in the housing market, the Federal Government’s concerted efforts to support home prices — as discussed more fully in Section 3 of this report — risk re-inflating that bubble in light of the Government’s effective takeover of the housing market through purchases and guarantees, either direct or implicit, of nearly all of the residential mortgage market.

              •  The Fed made a 230 Billion dollar profit in 2009. (0+ / 0-)

                God has no religion. - Gandhi

                by OIL GUY on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 12:09:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  It's profitable except for AIG (0+ / 0-)

                Which is a big sinkhole that puts the whole thing into the red.  A lot of the bank stocks have tripled or so since the US government bailed them out.

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