Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bank Watch

Three more banks closed by the FDIC this week, now 9 banks gone this year, 33 since January 2008.
Three banks, two in California and one in Georgia, were seized by regulators, bringing this year’s tally of closings to nine as a recession and record foreclosures extend the biggest financial crisis in more than 70 years.

County Bank of Merced, California, with deposits of $1.3 billion and assets of $1.7 billion, was shut yesterday by the state’s Department of Financial Institutions, according to an e-mailed statement from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Westamerica Bancorporation, holding company for Westamerica Bank, acquired all the assets and deposits.

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance closed McDonough-based FirstBank Financial Services Inc., which had $337 million in assets and $279 million in deposits as of Dec. 31, the FDIC said in a statement. The California Department of Financial Institutions shut Culver City-based Alliance Bank, with assets of $1.14 billion and $951 million in deposits.

The FDIC was named receiver of the institutions, which will resume business as branches of the acquiring banks. Regulators seized six banks in January, the largest monthly toll since 1993, including Salt Lake City-based MagnetBank, which the FDIC closed Jan. 30 after being unable to find a buyer. The FDIC shuttered 25 banks last year, matching the total for 2001 through 2007.

The FDIC, other U.S. bank regulators and Congress are taking steps to help banks avoid losses as the administration of President Barack Obama readies a stimulus package that may include guarantees for toxic assets, according to people familiar with the plan.

Three last week, too. Pretty soon this is going to start adding up, folks. When that adding up gets to "more than the FDIC has in its fund for covering bank failures", Obama's going to have to address it.

The Thunder Rolls

I don't know how many times I have to say it, but I'll say it again: The GOP must destroy America's economy by any means necessary in order to regain political power. How quickly America has forgotten that when Democrats raised the idea of a stimulus plan eight months ago, the GOP laughed and said our economy was fine. They killed it in the House. Bush immediately threatened a veto saying there was no need for it because our economy was the strongest it had ever been.

But now, these same Republicans are the ones taken seriously by the Village, while the "clueless liberals" and "inexperienced President" fumble around while the "brave GOP insurgency" kicks into action blocking more stimulus. The Democrats have been rolled again, and this time it's going to cost millions and millions of us our jobs, our health insurance, our livelihoods, our way of life, many of our freedoms and eventually our country.

It starts by assuring the stimulus package fails, it continues with the shifting of blame to Obama, it ends with the Village writing the narrative. The GOP control of the Village got us into two wars, it got us into this mess in the first place, and soon it will get us into a full-blown economic depression.

Then the fun really begins. Then the real long knives will come out for Obama and the Democrats. The Village and the hatemongers on the right will see to that. They will come for Obama with blood in their eye, folks. You thought they did a number on The Hick From Hope, Arkansas? You thought they did a number on The Jawja Peanut Farmah? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Well, some of you have. Back in November, 1963 in Dallas. Back in April, 1968 in Memphis. Back in June, 1968 in Los Angeles.

The storm is coming, folks. America is going to be a much different country in just a few short years. I've been talking about worst case scenarios now for over a year both at the Frog Pond and now at my own place, and I just do not see this game of chess playing out in a way where the good guys win.

In fact, I see chess pieces on both sides of the battle turning on the Black King. "Shat mat", the Persians said when they won this game they invented thousands of years ago..."The King is dead."

We get the term "checkmate" from that phrase.

Checkmate is all but upon us now. Mate in 6 moves? Mate in 8? Mate in 2?

In the end, you still lose.

Kroog On Centrists

Another cheerful bit of analysis from the Kroog.
My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years.

The real question now is whether Obama will be able to come back for more once it’s clear that the plan is way inadequate. My guess is no. This is really,really bad.
Hahaha, back for more? By the time it's clear we need more spending, the GOP already will have pinned the Pelosi/Obama/Reid Recession Depression squarely on this bill for having spent government money in the first place. That is the plan all along, to assure whatever passes is far too weak to slow our descent and then scream bloody murder at the Democrats for wanting to spend more when it becomes painfully clear this weak-ass bill isn't nearly enough.

Still Unable To Comprehend The Problem

Arizona Republican Jon Kyl on the stimulus bill:
"If you knew a bill in the U.S. Senate would cause a recession in 10 years, would you support it?" asked Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona. "That's what the Congressional Budget Office, the bipartisan office that supports our efforts in the Congress, says about this legislation. ... There will be negative [gross domestic product] in this decade as a result of this legislation."
In which case I have a couple things to say to the Distiguished Asshole from Arizona.
  1. Yes...the CBO report says we'll suffer negative point three percent growth in 2019. Worst case scenario if we fail to do anything about the debt in ten years. Also, the CBO report says the stimulus will in fact add millions of jobs.
  2. We're already IN a recession NOW, you moron.
  3. The last time we were in a recession, we tried your way: massive tax and interest rate cuts and got a housing collapse, a much worse recession, and a near collapse of the financial system in just five years, not ten.
  4. You're a moron. Still.
Ergo, shut the hell up.

Picking Sides

The first real test of the Obama administration's new foreign policy comes as India's ruling party is demanding the international community declare Pakistan a terrorist state.
India's Congress Party on Saturday said the international community should consider declaring Pakistan a terrorist state in light of the latter's release of a scientist who sold nuclear secrets around the globe.

"It is time for the international community to think whether to declare Pakistan a terrorist country," Manish Tewari, the Congress party spokesman said in New Delhi, in reference to the end from house arrest of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.

India's Congress Party rules in a coalition, and the call to the world community was from the party, not from the Indian government.

Khan, the man at the center of the world' most serious nuclear proliferation scandal, was released Friday after five years of house arrest.

This is a pretty ugly situation here. Obama cannot allow Pakistan to be labeled an international terrorist state, having been an ally of the US. At the same time, he cannot afford to alienate India's ruling party, either.

But, the Indian Congress Party has a valid point: Pakistan's A.Q. Khan is a both serious and proven nuclear proliferation threat, and with Pakistan turning him loose after Mumbai, the Indians have every right to be nervous. Pakistan is a major problem, and eventually Obama is going to have to pick a side: India or Pakistan.

Yes, this may be campaign rhetoric for the ruling party as elections in India are approaching. But, India's concerns are valid. We'll see how Hillary handles this one.

Let Slip The Wingnuts Of War

Meanwhile, today's news that the stimulus actually has some Republican votes in the Senate has thrown the Wingnuts into a frothing madness. They have decided to take down any Republican who dares vote for this.
Spector is done, and so is any other Republican that votes for this bill. We will mass opposition against any further run for office against any traitor to the party, who in spite of overwhelming constituency disgust, continue to side with socialist democrats.

I am calling on all true conservative bloggers to take a stand and help me ensure that these RINOS do not get reelected to office and to further help support true conservatives to take their place.
Yes, because the best thing possible to do about America hemorrhaging 500,000 jobs a month is oppose anything but tax cuts and blame the Democrat in the White House for the last 2.5 weeks eight years after he destroyed this country!

It's time to rise up against our Democrat oppressors! WOLVEREEEEEEEEEEENS!

The Already Failed Obama Presidency Continues

Newtie and Sam Donaldson are already explaining how President Obama Carter has been unable to lift America's malaise after two and a half weeks and has failed America.
"Reagan would never have allowed himself that level of partisanship and that kind of aggressiveness in that kind of setting," said Gingrich. "So you could either have a strategy that says, 'I'm going to go over and I'm going to be bipartisan and I'm going to prove it and here's how I'm going to it. In which he case he wouldn't have gone down last night. He would, in fact, have invited Pelosi and Boehner and he would have invited Reid and McConnell down to the White House to collectively hammer out the bipartisan compromise. That's one strategy. Or there's the strategy … that's perfectly reasonable, that says, 'I won, we won and we're running over you but we're going to deliver. … What he's doing now is Carter-ism because he's trying to live out both strategies and you gotta figure out which morning it is by which strategy he's using today. And what that will do is totally clutter who he is."

Panelist Sam Donaldson of ABC News agreed with some of Gingrich's critiques.

"He's making the mistake of not knowing how this town works,” said Donaldson. “He hasn't dealt with Congress well.”

I think President Obama has not yet demonstrated the kind of leadership Reagan demonstrated time and time again with a smile, affability,” he added. “He hasn't found his sea legs yet and I don't know whether he will or not."
Obama's not Reagan, and being a former Senator he has no clue how Washington works. Very un-Presidential! And Michael Steele is hot on the trail, pointing out how after an interminable 18 days the power-mad Democrats have destroyed this country with their Spendulus Bill.

The Democrats have controlled the Congress and the White House for less than a month, the chairman of the Republican Party says, "and you have to wonder if all that power has gone to their heads...

""For the last two weeks, they've been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief,'' Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, says in a Saturday address.

The address comes on a day in which the Senate is debating a compromise economic stimulus that negotiators from both parties have produced - but the Republicans don't appear too enamored with it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is saying today that the agreement looks more like $827 billion than the $780 billion that negotiators have represented. Add interest costs, he complains, and it's still $1 trillion.

The GOP is still promoting tax cuts as the solution.

"All of us - Republicans and Democrats - agree the government must act to kick-start the American economy. American families are doing their best to balance their own budgets and pay their mortgages,'' Steele says. ""The fastest way to help those families is by letting them keep more of the money they earn. Individual empowerment: that's how you stimulate the economy.''

The GOP is winning this game by leaps and bounds. Democrats will never get any respect unless they start demanding it...because in the eyes of the Village, they'll never earn it. Nobody in the Village is calling the GOP out on this idiotic behavior because the Village is part and parcel of it. They're the ones saying Obama hasn't shown any leadership yet and never will. Your liberal media is doing this.

How long before the word "impeachment" is uttered? Seriously? The Republicans will always run this country as long as the Democrats let the Village get away with it.

I'm Just A Bill

The stimulus bill will go to a Senate vote on Tuesday. If it passes, the real work begins: reconciling it with the House version for another set of votes as BooMan explains.
Congressional procedure is painfully opaque. It's difficult for me to determine Senate procedure on a conference committee report and that is making it hard for me to predict what is going to happen next on the stimulus bill. So, let me lay out what I know and also what I'm not sure about.

The House passed their stimulus bill a couple of weeks ago. It was a good bill and would have made a fine final product. It cost about $820 billion. The Senate has made numerous amendments to the House bill. Some of those amendments were good, like adding a lot of money for the National Institute of Health. Others were not so good, like stripping out a lot of education spending. In the end, however, the bills will both wind up costing around $820 billion. The big difference is that the Senate version includes $70 billion to address the Alternative Minimum Tax issue. So, the Senate version has roughly $70 billion more in tax cuts and roughly $70 billion less in direct stimulative spending. I think almost all economists would agree that the House version is better, but neither of them will become law.

What happens now is that the House and Senate will elect conferees who will meet together in a conference committee. They will work together to make one piece of legislation that both houses can support. And then those bills will go back to each house for a final vote.

So honestly, who knows. Obama wants this thing on his desk by the President's Day holiday a week from Monday, but the odds of that seem lower and lower daily to me. The GOP will want to stall this as long as possible before not voting for it, and quite possibly another round of negotiations may take place after the vote magically fails on Tuesday (with Harry Reid, you never know.)

Meanwhile, Americans have been losing their jobs at roughly the rate of 125,000 a week now for the last five months straight, so clearly we must take as much time as possible in order to make sure the stimulus has enough tax cuts.


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