Banks Pay Out Bailout Money to Shareholders
What joy I look upon this story, what ripples of happiness flitter through my consciousness as I get to be Mr. Popularity with my people and Party as I update the screaming clusterfuckastrophe of our pathetic federal bank bailout. The latest twist is that not only are the banks not lending the money given to them, they’re paying our money out to stockholders as dividends.
Before we move on let’s recap this civic meander of joy, shall we? Treasury screamed that it needed $750 billion to prop up debt structures of ailing banks. When the Europeans rightly concluded that was stupid Treasury dropped the idea and followed Britain’s lead by interjecting cash to the finance industry, but because this was never planned Congress never made any rules for it, so Treasury muffed it, of course, and are letting US banks do whatever they want with our money.
So instead of lending it in a frozen credit market they’re writing checks to rich investors with US Treasury funds, even if the freaking bank is losing money, the bank will rationalize it’s temporary, accounting names turn US taxpayer funds into perfect bank numbers, don’tcha know, give away that cash, baby, we can never miss a dividend.
"The government really needs to make up its mind what this program is," chief executive of the American Bankers Association Ed Yingling said.
“Government” is a such a charitable word for this horrible farce. Paulson and Treasury gave permission for this screaming outrage, the day all of senior Treasury leadership get a massive whooshing boot in their asses can’t come soon enough. We’ll just have to wait them out.
In theory Congress can re-convene and fix it, but their behavior in passing this and their atrocious record for following Bush whenever he starts yelling leaves me very little faith of that, even if this sucker goes down right before their very eyes.
[Thank you Binyanim Appelbaum, Washington Post, good reporting.]