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Citigroup Bailout Blasted

Our Readers Who Comment are up in arms this morning about the news that the government will protect Citigroup against potential losses on a $306 billion pool of troubled assets.

Those readers have hated bailouts from the moment they were first proposed, and that anger has not diminished in the weeks since. They complain that huge banking companies who stiff them with astronomical interest charges for being a day or two late on their credit cards are getting help, but they're not. They wonder why government seems less willing to assist the auto industry and its threatened workers than it is in saving bankers.

One reader suggested a taxpayer strike, and several more cheered the idea. But as Neil Irwin and David Cho wrote, the government's help to Citibank would not come without conditions.

We'll start with Christopherjhan, who wrote, "Thank god this government doesn't believe in "spreading the wealth around." I'm terrified of socialism. It feels much better to know that the government will just take my money and give it to the upper 1% without any pretense of caring what I think about."

askgees suggested that "...The Gov. is funded by the tax payers. We can stop the madness. Simply do not file taxes in 2009. The only way to put an end to the mismanagement is to take away their toys (MONEY)"

And debraf66 said "Now that is about the best idea I have heard so far. Instead filing a tax return if you owe money send them a nice polite letter that due the unforseen circumstances of their inability to control they money we place in their hands we have decided to hang onto it until such a time as they are deemed reliable enough to have that control back."

ok4u wrote, "Let them go into chapter 11 like you republicans want the auto industry to go. Get rid of the top management. I bet they have a lot of company jets."

ianalathrop agreed, saying, "It's incredibly fascinating that Congress can whip something like this together overnight, to rescue a banking institution littered with poor choices and inefficiencies, and yet grill the automakers about their practices and failures in their operations."

cleancut77 wrote, "I remember going through a tough time I missed some payments on my credit cards. I was willing to pay but could only muster up the minimum...The debt was not going down much. I called Citibank...I was told nothing could be done... They should face the same bitter pill they dished out to millions of American consumers looking for a break on onerous rates..."

Larryw21 said, "Citigroup should be allowed to fail. Failing that, they should be given a loan at 24 percent interest, which is what they did to a loan agreement I have with them after I was two days - count them, TWO DAYS - late on a payment. The previous interest had been 3.5 percent. I hope Citibank goes crashing into the floor with all aboard."

ghostmoves asked, "And what form of EQUITY do the taxpayers get for this windfall to the Citi stockholders?"

And bjackson1 said, "Didn't Secretary Paulson just last week say that the TARP plan was being changed because buying toxic assets wasn't working? So why are we going to buy the toxic assets of Citigroup?"

MPatalinjug was one of the very few to write, "It makes a lot of sense for the government to come to the rescue of troubled Citigroup. Letting an 800-lb gorrilla of a financial institution like Citigroup... go belly up would have horrendous financial, economic and social consequences for the whole country--with ripple effects even beyond..."

nofluer suggested, "Bail it out, stabilize it, then take it apart. If it's too big to be allowed to fail, it's too big to exist and presents a danger to the country."

winfamly stated a question many have asked in recent weeks: "...why wasn't the bail-out given to Citi extended to Lehman Bros?"

AKIndependent2 said, "Congress has been fiscally irresponsible too. They write checks to these companies like it is raining money. No more bail outs. If the CEO's made poor business decisions it is not the American TaxPayer that should be bailing them out..."

We'll close with sfmaster. who succinctly summed up what many of our readers wrote in saying, "Citi should be allowed to fail - after all; they're the ones who made those lousy loans."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  November 24, 2008; 7:47 AM ET
Categories:  Auto Industry , Bailout , Economy Watch , Taxes , Treasury  | Tags: Economy Watch, bailout  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: No Sympathy for GM, Ford, Chrysler
Next: Readers Debate the Perfect Car

Comments

This is not the first bail out for Citigroup. Citigroup is on bailout number three since 1998. Citigroup was responsible for the creation of the "shadow banking system", history will show that this was the cause of the financial crisis of 2007/8. The Citigroup bailouts started about the middle of the banking deregulations that removed the Glass-stegal restrictions on ownership and size of financial institutions.
To bail out or not? What choice do we have? Maybe we can get Citigroup to bail out the auto industry? If we can just hold out a few years before destroying all of these jobs, maybe it will delay the food riots and violent demonstrations. I wonder if people still beleive that can't happen here? I used to think that the Pentagon couldn't be attacked. Didn't you?
I wonder if American soldiers will fire on American citizens? Yeah. Probably. At least at first.

Posted by: realityvision | November 24, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Dwight Collins you are an idiot...

Bush is the one passing out the money before he leave office...

Paulson = Bush appointee

Nancy and Co. told the Big 3 auto makers to take a hike just last week. Made them redo their "homework" and sell their corporate jets...

Posted by: -CMAC- | November 24, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Credit card reform needs to be built into the bailout! If Wall Street is drowning in debt, so are Americans.

Posted by: JohnnyU2Berry | November 24, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

the reason is simple, nobody at lehman bros were friends of paulsen and they were probably rivals when paulsen was in wall street...
please note that Republicans want all these companies that are getting bailouts to go into chapter 11 bankruptcy...
but since these are friends of pelosi, reid, edwards, gore and corzines buddies they get bailed out...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 24, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"winfamly stated a question many have asked in recent weeks: "...why wasn't the bail-out given to Citi extended to Lehman Bros?""

the reason is simple, nobody at lehman bros were friends of paulsen and if I have it right they were probably rivals when paulsen was in wall street...

please not that Republicans want all these companies that are getting bailouts to go into chapter 11 bankruptcy...
but since these are friends of pelosi, reid, edwards, gore and corzines buddies they get bailed out...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 24, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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