Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

AIG Bailout Infuriates Readers

The Fed's bailout of AIG yesterday has created a large but unhappy bunch of Readers Who Comment. Some seem to be liberals, who wonder why health care or troubled homeowners can't get help while giant insurance companies can; others seem to be conservatives who stand on the principles that government should leave well enough alone.

Our readers started posting the minute the news broke yesterday, continued the conversation through the night and picked up steam again this morning and have posted more than 500 comments at this hour.

Of course, since we're in the middle of a heated and close presidential campaign, many Democrats are blaming Republicans for opposing or eliminating regulations that, in their view, might have precluded the necessity of the bailout. Many others are angry at the reported compensation packages various corporate executives will get. Some wonder what's next. Some seem grateful that action was taken. And some call for an investigation. You can bet there will be congressional hearings.

We'll start with barbnc who wrote, "Socialism is only bad when it applies to people... Its okay for the government to bail out corporations but not okay to bail out its citizens. People can lose their homes and jobs because hey, they made bad decisions!... But corporations - well that is a whole different story...The new Republicanism - Privatize the Profit; Socialize the Cost."

republicant said, "This is what 8 years of a Republican administration and its complete dereliction of duty will get you, yet we have enough tobacco-chewing, SUV-driving, Bible-beating, flag waving dim-wits in this country who are prepared to elect another GOP administration. We reap what we sow."

jak2 wondered "Are these really my only two choices - bail out these losers, or lose a ton of my investment income (or worse) in a Great Depression like scenario?"

merrylees suggested that "The next time someone argues against universal health care or other government programs using "socialist" as dirty invective just remember if welfare is good enough for companies that pay their CEO's $20 million a year it is good enough for the american people."

vatownsend wrote, "...Come on all you liberals... why aren't you screaming for an investigation like the 9/11 investigation? What are you afraid of?... If you think the war on terror is expensive, wait until you see the bill for this one."

branfo4 wrote, "Maybe Piggy Paylin can sell it on ebay."

But Diogenes asked, "What if the Fed kept its hands off these companies and allow them to solve their own problems? After all, for years they've lobbyied the Fed to allow the free market to work without federal regulation... Let them eat cake."

But Jmcjojo said, "I am a public school teacher with an AIG retirement account. If we can afford BILLIONS for Bush's pre-emptive war, then we can afford billions to bail out AIG!! Remember, it's not just "fat cats" that benefit from the bailout."

KHMJr added, "If taxpayers are going to have their money put up to bail out these SOBs then at least we deserve to own the SOBs..."

But ander204 wrote, "I emailed our senators and representative that I don't think taxpayers should bailout millionaires."

logcabin1836 asked, "Where are the true conservatives in this Republican Party....hundreds of billions of dollars to bale out greed mega-insurance companies! Good grief! And all this just to insure John McCain gets into the White House!"

zumbafan said, "So let me get this straight...government bailouts that protect the Wall Street big boys are economically necessary. But when we regular folks want national health care, decent social security payments for seniors, college tuition assistance, or foreclosure prevention, we're dirty pinko communists. That's fair."

wrstx wondered "...Will the management of these companies that are failing be held accountable for their poor management? Will the executives still get their large bonuses just because the bonus is guaranteed in their contracts? What stocks,grants,deferred loans, etc. will they get as they leave the failed companies. My answer is "not one red penny"."

infuse said, "With the money the Fed has spent in the last ten days, Bush could have funded Iraq at present levels for another two or three years! Or we could have had roads, bridges, health care, teachers, infrastructure jobs ... all paid for up front."

shanthi1 was one of the relative few who supported the move, in writing, "Well $85 billion may be much but not when it is compared to the Iraq war expenses. At least it is trying to save something at home - jobs for people etc. and may be stability for the financial system."

thardman was one of several who shouted, "LEAVE NO INCUMBENT SEATED."

jamesfoto said, "So Paulson played chicken and lost. He confirmed our worst fears that there are really two standards - one for the democrats and ordinary business entities and the other for republicans and close business associates of those in power. I guess the message is: you better vote republican or we will bankrupt you and yours..."

jantigard wrote, "...what a good bargain our government made for us!!!! These are the same idiots who voted for deregulation in the first place and caused this mess. It's time to kick out of office the bums who started this mess..."

But TheodoreRoosevelt said, "Looks like socialist minded democrats are finally getting what they want a government that owns and runs everything. Can't understand why they are so unhappy in their posts..."

watsond25 wrote, "Lesson here is if you're going to screw up, do it on a grand scale. It makes you and all the paper (vs. something of real value) you've created over all those years invaluable to this 'sound' economy of ours..."

bunkerhill said, " is time to send the hockey moms, phony patriots, those who speak in tongues, and Wall St. mavericks to the sidelines... This fiscal wreck is now spreading to money market funds and what that means is trouble with a capital "T". You gotta love a country where 40% of its citizens still want to keep the party in power who lost their money."

We'll close with tropedoabad who wrote, "So Much For Private Enterprise verses Government. Are these the hot shots that have been telling the American people that private industries do a much better job than government? I guess they must be referring to just the CEOs who are leaving the broken firms with their millions of dollars in benefits..."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  September 17, 2008; 7:37 AM ET
Categories:  Economy Watch , Fed  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Battleground States Will Pick the Winner
Next: Economy Bites McCain


My auto was insured by AIG until 9/20/08. The
reason it is no longer in affect is that they
increased the premium by 25%? When I asked them the reason they said that they were raising the rates for everyone in my state? I quickly switched my insurer to a company without AIG's financial problems (Erie).AIG is an awfully big company and I guess they figured that if they increased EVERYONE'S
premium by 25% they might squeek by without
going bankrupt. I was against their bailout
from the get-go. If I went bankrupt, who would bail me out? In the current administration the big guys always do well
and to hell with the little guys.

Posted by: BarneyBear | September 22, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

How ugly, abusive, repressive a "trickle down" economy is. Nothing uglier than the supercapitalism that has been given free run. Hooray for socialism, the end result of obscene capitalism.

Nationalize big oil!

Posted by: 360 | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

How ugly, abusive, repressive a "trickle down" economy is. Nothing uglier than the supercapitalism that has been given free run. Hooray for socialism, the end result of obscene capitalism.

Nationalize big oil!

Posted by: 360 | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

How ugly, abusive, repressive a "trickle down" economy is. Nothing uglier than the supercapitalism that have been given free run. Hooray for socialism, the end result of obscene capitalism.

Posted by: 360 | September 22, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The Government is not bailing out AIG, they are keeping the credit markets, banks, and the ability of the US to borrow money on the word stage from failing.

I know it is easy to find an enemy and picking on AIG, Lehman brothers or the big shots on wall street is attractive.

The ones to blame are the voters who put their faith in people who instead of crafting solid policies from laws to regulations were able so sell dreams designed to get them elected rather than govern.

The problem is not with any political party but the voters who support what they want to hear without understanding or questioning the soundness of the promises being peddled.

You want to know who to blame for this mess, look in the mirror.

Posted by: geek | September 21, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

They are right to angry! I am angry too.
All your headlines suddenly favor Bush McCain or Palin and put Obama on the back pages. Krauthhammer & Gerson!!???
I used to write newspaper copy and I can see what you're doing.
Did they make you an offer you couldn't refuse, or what.?
This administration is trying to look good to get themselves elected again - by bailing out the coporations with our taxpayer money. It may fool some, but it shouldn't fool a national newspaper. For shame.

Posted by: George Kuhn | September 19, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

There are untold numbers of homeless people, children without anything to eat, and elderly who will die long before their time because their children can't afford quality elder care. Not to mention the multitudes of people who work the same or more only to see their life savings depleted by the second. Who bailed them out? Oh, right, no one. Businesses must be bailed out while people must pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The phrase "too big to fail" seems to have an opposite in "too small to succeed."

Posted by: sheila | September 18, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm an independent voter who has voted for members of both parties in the past.

In fairness, it seems to me that if these bailouts would have occurred under the Clinton Administration, the Republicans would be looking for ways to impeach him again.

As far as those who want to say it's not a bailout... In exchange for the huge loan, the federal government now owns warrants for a 79.9% interest in AIG. Warrants are instruments issued by the company (not the market) to purchase stock at a guaranteed price (guaranteed by the company, not the market).

If you want to say that's not a bailout, more power to you. In essence, you're wrong. The federal government can exercise the warrants at any time.

Posted by: gruden | September 18, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

“First of all Government did NOT!!! bailout AIG. ..Government gets the keys from the Company. In reality it means that 85% of company now belongs to the Government.”

So what you're saying is we didn't bail it out, we bought it?
We're socialists?

"AIG getting 11% interest loan from the Government. "
AIG can't make payroll, how are they going to make an 11% loan payment?

This is getting out of hand...

Posted by: dijetlo | September 17, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Now, I must to admit that I’m not the most enlightened when it comes to economics and policy but from reading the posts today I sense a lot of hostility towards what this administration or the past (pretty much the same folks) have done to crumble this economy. However, the fact is that WE are all responsible for this mess. If WE didn't buy into the BUSH tactics and vote for him the second time or believe that the treat that wasn't there was something to be so afraid off, we wouldn’t be in this mess. Folks, the terrorists do not have to attack us anymore, they've accomplished the very thing they set out to do which was TERRORIZE us and CRUMBLE our economy! We are now frightened at the mere mention of a possible terrorist attack on our country. Our financial market, which is the backbone of this economy and the target of the attacks on 911, has completely crumbled. I can only imagine what’s next in line...Ever since that horrible day in N.Y; this country has never been the same. I hate to say this but did they win or did they win???? we can kill the perpetrators and innocent mothers, fathers and children over in IRAQ and act like we are really fighting a war, but hey - news flash- Osama bin laden and his loyalists didn’t exactly like Saddam either. We are now the laughing stock of all the other nations, all we have left to run on is past glory. Our dollar is weak against the currencies that matter around the world, the Asian students are actually going back home after getting their MBA at our colleges and getting paid way more money working in Asia. We are way behind in technology compared to parts of the world that matter........ Yet, all this country has been concerned about the last few years is how they can F**** us at the pumps while Corporate America screws us AGAIN and AGAIN!! These corporate giants made millions during the housing boom and they are making millions again now that the bubble burst, with the exception of Lehman not being bailed out, but will still walk away with millions! and maybe the same players will come back in a few years and F**** us again. So we shouldn’t be mad at them at all, George W. is only looking out for his buddies just the same way we would ours if we are in a position to....but at least when I look out for my buddies I tell them not to F**** me, but hey who am I and why should Barack, Bush or McCain care about me? I’m just a working class American who is behind on his mortgage and can barely afford to fill his gas tank each week. All I ever got for months of hardship caused by the same people I now have to bail out was a $600 check when Gas prices were at $4.50 a gallon. So what was i supposed to spend it on??

Country First!

Posted by: Tech Generation | September 17, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Again, i couldn't stop questioning myself, what is happening to the people of this Great Nation? When you discuss the topic, why don't you get familiarize with the problem first? Or, left wing bios completely made you blind?
First of all Government did NOT!!! bailout AIG. AIG getting 11% interest loan from the Government. In exchange Government gets the keys from the Company. In reality it means that 85% of company now belongs to the Government. All Executives laid of without severence pay. During 2 years period AIG must recreate itself to make profit. All possible regulation will be imposed on them now. If, from the other hand, Goverenment have not take those measures and let situation go as is, it would affect hundred of thousands, if not millions of people, and you, liberals first will start screaming "why Government didn't take care of AIG?"
Even now, when everybody already knows, that Lehman Brothers wasn't bailout you still screaming pretending that it was. Shame on you! You talking about regulations, when Senate and Congress, dominated by Democrats for the last two years didn't lift a finger to improve situation. Ask your idols Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxter (or Baxter?), Ted Kennedy why they didn't do anything about it? Those people are very bright. They know how to put country back on rails, they know everything. The only thing they don't know, how to make Senat and Congress work.
Then approval rating for them may improve a little bit, because now approval rating of Congress lesss than 24%. Even George W. Bush approval rating is much higher. So, before say something think about it and you not going to look like ignorant morons.

Posted by: Alek | September 17, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which is the institution that insures individual bank deposits up to $100,000, has only $45.2 billion in its DIF fund, which backstops those insured deposits. This amount is down 8.9 billion from a few months ago, because of the bailout of IndyMac depositors. That was a large bank, but there are literally dozens, if not scores, more that are exposed because of the deregulated folly of the past nine years. What if Washington Mutual, and a hundred other banks, also fail? There were some 4000 banks that failed between 1930 and 1932 (which led to the creation of the FDIC in the first place). But, how many banks can fail before the FDIC itself becomes insolvent?
And who will come to the rescue of the FDIC, if it can no longer backstop depositors' guaranteed 100k deposits? The taxpayers, of course. But tax revenues have been depleted, while we gave tax credits away, hemmorraged our budget (and our military) in Iraq, transferred manufacturing jobs out of the US, so that we are now running the highest budget deficits in history (and just 10 years ago, the budget deficits of the 1980s were finally erased).
So the taxpayers pay for all of this, but what if large numbers of taxpayers lose their jobs? At what point do Treasury bonds become just a piece of paper with no backstop?

Posted by: Fear Itself | September 17, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm an independent and everyone can grouse on about which party is responsible for what, but the single most important cause for the mess we're in is Alan Greenspan and a decade plus of reckless monetary policy and experiments to end the business cycle. Every time we went near any kind of economic slowdown or financial crisis, he jacked the money supply. Broad money has been growing WAY faster than the economy since '95. When you do that, you get asset bubbles because the excess money has to go somewhere. They've been easy to see and Greenspan did nothing. When you make the real cost of money zero, everyone tends to take on too much risk. The size of the US bubble and associated debt makes Japan and the Asian bubbles look like a raindrops. Hunker down for several years of economic hardship and amazing revelations of financial irresponsibility. Get ready to put aside the partisan junk and get ready to work together for--survival. It's going to get really ugly.

Posted by: Wizard | September 17, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

More came out about Palins affair today.

Trooper gate is unravelling

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I think it's way past time for the citizens of this country to revolt (peacefully of course)! Honestly we should...that is how they got the government to act in the 60s and 70s...why not now? I honestly believe the government is supposed to serve the citizens, we the people. Unfortunately this current administration has done everything to IGNORE the constitution, which should be unconstitutional!

Posted by: Yam | September 17, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I think it's way past time for the citizens of this country to revolt (peacefully of course)! Honestly we should...that is how they got the government to act in the 60s and 70s...why not now? I honestly believe the government is supposed to serve the citizens, we the people. Unfortunately this current administration has done everything to IGNORE the constitution, which should be unconstitutional!

Posted by: Yam | September 17, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Dear Americans,

S U C K A s !


World Person

p.s.Thanks for the cash!

Posted by: World Person | September 17, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

What happend to government by the people, for the people....? Our forefathers are turning over in the grave. The Republican government is, government by the large corporations, for the large corporations, and, this is the cincher, government for war for no reason.

Posted by: mzbond | September 17, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

More came out about Palins affair today.

Trooper gate is unravelling

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse


Tax-payes, via the government, have to bail out Coporate Banks - LEHMAN'S; and Corporate Insurance Companies - AIG.

But they reign free unregulated?
FULL GOVERNMENT BAIL-OUT?? (At our, the tax-payers expense)

There should be a law that prescribes tax-payer bail-outs in proportion to regulation.


Posted by: Ending Hypocrisy | September 17, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

So let's clarify. The Feds are bailing these thieves out by owning them, and no new regulation has been applied. So this could easily happen again and again. And in the end, what do we have? A crooked Executive as master over a pit of thieves all wonderfully sustained by all of our money with neither obliged to throw us a measly bone. This isn't a rescue. This is yet another scandal!! Where's the regulation to prevent another failure? Could it be that the Bush's boys want more failures so they can essentially get the entire American financial system under their thumb. Why has McCain said nothing about a single thing he will actually do to reverse this mess? He simply throws out some cliche about cleaning up the greed or forming a commission. Could he be in on it? Wake up America. The Admin that raped our budget is saving those that raped our mortgages and retirement funds and no one has been held accountable. The worse we do, the more powerful they get. This isn't a coincidence. This is by design. Perhaps those they choose to rescue are those that agree to completely sell their souls to them, company and candidate alike. Can anyone say The Department of Homeland Security? Fema and all the rest had to hand over their budgets to this supposedly necessary mega-department which functions on the premise that as things get less secure in the world, they get more powerful. Let Iraq go to hell for awhile, don't get Osama, let Afghanistan degenerate. As long as we feel unsafe against terrorists or Wall Street they get stronger, bigger, and more shielded from scrutiny. Is this the Neocrat's promised land? Think about it. Which candidate would they like to win? I can't help but remember Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" where the terrible Mr. Potter snatches up virtually the entire town's banks on the cheap when the markets crashed. If it weren't for our hero, Pottersville would the town's fate. Which small town do you want America?

Posted by: chibi | September 17, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

MOS, I sure would not be admitting that I am a double dipper at this point in time,
And also part of the problem.

Posted by: totallycrazy | September 17, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hey where is our good old boy President, George W Bush . Now I know he wants to investigate his backyard in Texas to see the damage that the hurricane wrought, but what the F...!
Can a few Whitehouse correspondents do their job and stick a microphone in front of this guy's mouth and ask a few probing questions like..

1. Do you get it yet?
2. Is it the economy stupid?
3. What did you learn from the ENRON debacle?
4. What the heck are you doing to assure the USA that you know what you and your administration are doing?
5. How did we get into this gigantic mess in the first place?

Seems to me that old Georgie boy is MIA (missing in action). If we lived in medieval times this dumbo would be in a stockade and people would be throwing rotten fruit at him by now.

Please make this guy own upto the hole we are now in.

Thanks for a great forum

Posted by: Peter - San Rafael, CA | September 17, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Just remember what Thomas Jefferson said to
John Adams "every generation we need a revolution to keep the government in check"
I think it's time for a long overdue revolution. Are we close yet. After all this we should be.

Posted by: totallycrazy | September 17, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Best get that lawyer's degree right away. I think they're going to be in big demand in the coming years. Gonna be fun !

Posted by: jime | September 17, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

So this is what this country has come to. So much greed that the goverment can't see straight. Why should it care about providing health care and assistance to it's citizens while they can put that money where it is really needed... in the hands of multi-billion dollar companies who have screwed up royaly. The saying "Government by the people FOR the people" can officially be changed to : "Government by the rich and well connected FOR the rich and well connected". What a shame... it is disgusting.

Posted by: workingirl | September 17, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm a retired Federal employee now working for a private sector company contracted to a Federal agency. It has always irked me that the Federal government comes under constant criticism for being inefficient, incompetent, etc., the implication being that the private sector in comparison is a panacea. I won't defend the Federal government, but the private sector has its own set of negatives that rival the Federal government. They take advantage of people, they pollute the environment, and when they fail, like AIG was about to, they hurt untold numbers of people because of their far reach. Other than more Federal oversight of key industries, I don't know what the answer is. But no one can tell me that the private sector has it all over the Federal government, because they don't.

Posted by: MOS | September 17, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

They should have let the sucker go into bankruptcy, chop it up into pieces and sell the value, at least then you're creating value buying opportunities. Then they should have allowed shareholders to to pierce the corporate veil and to initiate derivative suits for gross malfeasance against management and controlling investors. This would have been a natural correction. Those that assumed the risk would pay the cost. It does seem improper that a bunch of managers can get rich off of overleveraging and overselling, and then get out with fat retirements while passing the bag to the larger economy while saddling every consumer, investor, and business (even those smart enough to stay away) with the burden of paying for their luxuries.

There is also money stagnating in the market. By buying out yet another company, the message is clear: you cannot trust this economy. If everyone packs up their investment dollars and goes home, there will be no opportunity for growth of wealth or income. A correction this is not, we are creating stagnation.

Posted by: Mike | September 17, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm a retired Federal employee now working for a private sector company contracted to a Federal agency. It has always irked me that the Federal government comes under constant criticism for being inefficient, incompetent, etc., the implication being that the private sector in comparison is a panacea. I won't defend the Federal government, but the private sector has its own set of negatives that rival the Federal government. They take advantage of people, they pollute the environment, and when they fail, like AIG was about to, they hurt untold numbers of people because of their far reach. Other than more Federal oversight of key industries, I don't know what the answer is. But no one can tell me that the private sector has it all over the Federal government, because they don't.

Posted by: MOS | September 17, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

HHBob, whatever the right thing to do regarding this situation with AIG - I want those people who were responsible for AIG management to PAY for their mismanagement. I not only want them fired, I want them fined of all their wealth and jailed.

I want these guys in prison for their crimes.

Posted by: death | September 17, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The moment I heard about the bailout (around $500 per taxpaying household) I wanted to send an email to someone in government that big heads better role in exchange for that loan, both in the business and among regulators.

I live in central AZ. Whom do I contact? My congressional rep Rick Renzi (R), indicted and on his way out? My senator Kyle, an ultra-"conservative" who loves deregulation? My senator McCain who's a little busy right now, and says he doesn't know much about economics except he's always liked deregulation? My president who's head should role too and who never pays any attention to what his constituents want anyway (as in ignoring the massive anti-war protests before the war).

Maybe if Obama gets the full extent of how much this angers people he can carry that knowledge into the White House.

I generally consider blogs a kind of pointless catharsis. Who reads these who is of any influence, and who doesn't already have a strong opinion on the topic of the blog? But here I am catharting. Hope I didn't get any on you.

Posted by: Tom C. | September 17, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm an old fashioned liberal who has spent his career in banking. The simple truth is that Not bailing out AIG will cost more to ordinary folks than saving it. Hopefully, this will spell the end of Reagan/Republican's deregulate, deregulate, borrow & borrow philosophy. Government is not evil and regulation is not bad. Certainly there can be too much but there can, and now is, too little.

This crisis can be ended by: (1) Uncle Sam borrowing money at 3.5% (current 10 yr T rate) to buy up troubled floating rate mortgages and lending it to homeowners at 6% regardless of the home value. As long as the borrower can make the payments everything is fine. The only time you are concerned with the home's value is when the loan defaults. (2) Balance the Federal Budget for FY 2010 staring in October 2009. This will take demand out of the credit markets helping them stabilize. Item (1) is a net wash to the credit markets because Uncle Sam is borrowing money to repay debt: i.e. replacing government debt for private debt.

Posted by: HHBob | September 17, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

totallycrazy I don't absolve Clinton of his stupidities, I didn't vote for that sleezeball.

No, it is the chronology of guilt to which I refer.
The republican congress brought up this bill, and passed it. Clinton's guilt was omission, the republican guilt was commission.

The problem we're in today arises as a result of the republican philosophy of government. After taking over all three branches of government in 2001 they were able to implement their philosophy unfettered by any opposition, and certainly unfettered by any self-examination.

Lastly, unfettered by any intelligence.

Posted by: demoron | September 17, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Your correct, the last I checked though Clinton had to sign it to finish it off.
It still takes a 2/3 rd majority to over ride a veto and that has not been done in a long time. So why did he not veto it.

Posted by: totallycrazy | September 17, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

How do you fix a problem you've caused? The first thing to do is to admit that is a problem, next that you caused it.

What are the republicans doing today? Their entire effort at this point is to fix the story.
I see no admission of the problem and no admission of culpability.

I'll remember this.

Posted by: trust | September 17, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

We are not a capitalist country anymore. Many taxpayers, including myself, hold Lehman Brothers through various mutual funds in our 401ks. How is the market truly free, if my fund's value gets destroyed by Lehman going bankrupt, while the guy in the next office over doesn't take as big a loss because he happens to be in funds holding a lot of AIG stock? I understand life isn't fair, but C'MON!!! All I ask is a free market with the same risks and rewards for all potential stockholders. As of this week we no longer have that in this country.

Posted by: Eric | September 17, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

totallycrazy that act was repealed by a REPUBLICAN congress. You know, the one that we the people tried to throw out in 2006?
You know, the one that spent all that money impeaching clinton for that blow job?

And from there we get the Bushies, more republican philosophy managing the same economy, only now it also has the power to run the regulatory agencies.

So it's basically this - the republicans voted to remove regulation, then had Monica Goodling hire republican faithful to run the regulatory agencies.

Posted by: dermoron | September 17, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Dear Secretary Paulson:

I have too much debt for the amount of money I am bringing in. I need a bail-out. AIG and those other Wall Street guys got one, I deserve one since I am a taxpayer who is now bailing out these morons. Like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) I also purchased some bad equipment and didn't do my homework on contract services. Like DHS I will still pay for this stuff even though I should not. After all if DHS pays for incompetence on my dime, I should be able to get your office to pay off my bad decisions and debts too.

I read the Washington Post and NY Times so I know you have more money to bail me out. If you help me and thousands, if not millions of American taxpayers, you will be showing all voters that the Republicans do understand the economic hardships of regular Americans. Otherwise what will we think on Election Day? That your BIG TENT is only big enough for the rich, the well-off, and your friends? Also I have land in FL that could become more valuable if you start drilling off-shore. Right now it is a Super Fund location. But once drilling starts in FL most of the land will become a Super Fund site so I could make money and start paying my own way again. If not FL where else should we drill? I mean honestly - watching Hurricane IKE run through the Gulf Coast oil rigs made me think of only one thing - DRILL BABY DRILL.

Please make all check payable to my offshore Cayman Bank so that it cannot be traced, again I am just following what others in this situation do - at least those with friends in Washington.

Thank you so much for helping me out this time. Please keep my account balance funded as I suspect I will need another bail-out in December. It will be the holidays and I will be buying too many expensive gifts for family and friends than I can afford. I have my eye on a piece of land in FL that I can buy for you!


Ann Grim

Posted by: Ann Grim | September 17, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Ms. Palin was an unattractive, 50 year old lady, but, very QUALIFIED, would the American people be so enthralled by her. This is a sad commentary for America, and a sadder day for middle class Americans. Wake up America!!

Posted by: Marian | September 17, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Who is going to pay for this 85 billion for AIG? Where is this money to be found?
It appears it won't be in the Federal Budget.
It appears it won't be new taxes.

I guess we're just going to borrow it from the Chinese once again. With all the money they have invested in our economy they have a vested interest in keeping it going.

So let's blackmail the Chinese into buying even more of our companies, owning even more of our country.

Posted by: payment due | September 17, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I checked to see when the Glass_Stegall Act was repealed. It was 1999. How can you blame the present Administration for the problems that the Clinton Adminsitration
brought on by repealing this Act. This is the same thing that happen right before the Great depression when the Big banks
were using their assest to play in the stock market. "Oh the tangled webs we weave when we practice to decieve."

Posted by: totallycrazy | September 17, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

TruthMaverick -- well done! Secondly, the Feds HAD to help AIG. It is a GLOBAL company with over 40,000 workers world-wide in over 100 countries. The failure of AIG would have had a GLOBAL impact on all the world markets and industries. AIG is well established in all of the large countries (Russia, England, France, China) as well as the smallest African & third world nations. It could not be allowed to fail. AIG will downsize and reorganize and repay this loan within its two year limit.

Posted by: swat68 | September 17, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Wow, and people really want to elect the old man, and the young Ladie. Or the Obummer. I just dont know.

More came out about Palins affair today.

Trooper gate is unravelling

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The Great Depression Part duex is Apon us!!!!!

Load up and move to canada.

I cant believe that in this economy the best to candidates we have to choose from are McCAin and Obama. I will probably skip 08.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The brunt of this cost will be paid by the middle income tax payers. John McCain doesn't think the millionaires who made out like bandits during the past decade should pay their fair share. They still have their profits despite the stock downturns. They are far better off, even paying higher taxes. The middle class have lost, lost, lost ground on annual income and worse, on their pensions and annuities for retirement. Corporations continue to pay the CEO's but shed all responsibility for pensions to the "fundamentals" of our economy.

Why is the media refusing to teach an important history lesson to voters? They never even whisper the phrase, "The Keating Five." Why are they still protecting John McCain and misleading the voters? McCain himself admits his involvement in the Keating Savings and Loan scandal was the worst thing in his entire political career. Reminders of his behavior 20 years ago is absolutely critical to voters, now. They don't know his involvement in one of the worst financial debacles of the last century. We surely don't need is poor judgement calling the shots, now! His penchant for unregulated investments, outrageous profits and payoffs should certainly get voters to say, "Stay away from my money, John! We don't need your kind of money maverick non-sense!"

The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators, Alan Cranston (D-CA), Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), John Glenn (D-OH), John McCain (R-AZ), and Donald W. Riegle (D-MI), were accused of improperly aiding Charles H. Keating, Jr., chairman of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which was the target of an investigation by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB).

The U.S. Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s was the failure of 747 savings and loan associations (S&Ls) in the United States. The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around $160.1 billion, about $124.6 billion of which was directly paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.[1].

The concomitant slowdown in the finance industry and the real estate market may have been a contributing cause of the 1990-1991 economic recession. Between 1986 and 1991, the number of new homes constructed per year dropped from 1.8 million to 1 million, the lowest rate since World War II.[2]

The Keating Five scandal was prompted by the activities of one particular savings and loan: Lincoln Savings and Loan Association of Irvine, California. Lincoln's chairman was Charles Keating, who ultimately served five years in prison for his corrupt mismanagement of Lincoln.[3] In the four years since Keating's American Continental Corporation (ACC) had purchased Lincoln in 1984, Lincoln's assets had increased from $1.1 billion to $5.5 billion.[4] Such savings and loan associations had been deregulated in the early 1980s, allowing them to make highly risky investments with their depositors' money, a change of which Keating took advantage.[4] Lincoln's investments took the form of buying land, taking equity positions in real estate development projects, and buying high-yield junk bonds.[5]

McCain and Keating had become personal friends following their initial contacts in 1981.[8] Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received $112,000 in political contributions from Keating and his associates.[14] In addition, McCain's wife Cindy McCain and her father Jim Hensley had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before McCain met with the regulators. McCain, his family, and their baby-sitter had made nine trips at Keating's expense, sometimes aboard Keating's jet. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Keating's opulent Bahamas retreat at Cat Cay. McCain did not pay Keating (in the amount of $13,433) for some of the trips until years after they were taken, when he learned that Keating was in trouble over Lincoln.[6][15]

The core allegation of the Keating Five affair is that Keating had made contributions of about $1.3 million to various U.S. Senators, and he called on those Senators to help him resist regulators. The regulators backed off, to later disastrous consequences.

Posted by: Truth Maverick | September 17, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The problem is that the US has little choice but to bail out AIG. I am a Democrat, I support Obama. I am very concerned that McCain simply does not get it.

Over two decades in Washington and the GOP Presidential Candidate only realized a few hours ago that our economy is in crisis?

We do need to look at the failing companies on a case by case basis. For Lehman they did the right thing by letting it go into bankruptcy. AIG is another matter.

But in the end the Government has a responsibility to all the American people not just a select few who are GOP donors. Obama represents that view, John McCain does not. John McPain is out of touch with the real world.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | September 17, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone audit the books of the Federal Government? Okay, the GAO does, kinda, but with what authority? Paulson looked good Monday morning, but now he's looking soft again... seems as though the government is spending A LOT OF CAPITAL on a bunch of projects right now... someone's gotta pay those bills, right? I don't even know where to start. AIG got a "loan" from the Fed - what are the terms? Is it like a credit card? Do they have to pay back at 15% annual interest? That's $12 billion the first year! That could actually make the government some money... maybe this was a good move?

Posted by: Auditor | September 17, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

It is not "Readers" who are furous, we are Citizens of the United States. Tax Payers!!!! Government of the people for the people.....Joke. It is now: Government of the Corporations; Health Industry; Politicians; Oil; Greed; Ignorance; Selfishness; Churches; Cars; the People are no longer considered first.

Posted by: linda521 | September 17, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: Helen | September 17, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company