The Geithner AIG Scandal

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's answer on the the question of why AIG counterparties (most prominently Goldman Sachs) is laughably absurd:

Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, excoriated the New York Fed’s decision to pay 100 cents on the dollar to A.I.G.’s counterparties, including $2.5 billion to Goldman Sachs. “Isn’t it true that the New York Fed gave Goldman Sachs a better deal than it could have ever expected from A.I.G. or any other market player?” Mr. Kucinich asked.

Mr. Geithner replied: “Under the laws of the land, we did not have the ability. So we faced a very simple choice: Let A.I.G. default, or prevent it. And there was no way — financial, legal or otherwise — we could have imposed haircuts, selectively default on any of those institutions, without the risk of downgrade and default.” Mr. Geithner added that the negotiating position of A.I.G. was weak. With the ability to threaten default or allow A.I.G. to restructure in bankruptcy, negotiators were not in a position to make banks to take less on their contracts.

This is ridiculous. I'll explain why on the flip.

Geithner could have provided any number of answers to this question (in the national interest, etc.), but a lack of bargaining power on the part of the federal government in that situation is not one of them.

Geithner disingenuously couches the question as one of whether the federal government had the legal power to require haircuts from the AIG counterparties. That was not the issue. The issue was was the federal government going to come in and back AIG. Geithner argues that the counterparties could threaten the federal government in this situation because they could force AIG into default and bankruptcy. Excuse me? That was as much a threat to the AIG counterparties as the federal government (accepting the theory that an AIG failure would lead to a depression.) Think of it this way - how much of a haircut would the AIG counterparties have had to take if AIG went into bankruptcy? That was the bargaining power held by the federal government.

Geithner's answers are a disgrace. I do not believe them. He is an abject failure as Treasury Secretary.

He should resign.

Speaking for me only

< Counterintuitive | Geithner's Gift To Goldman Sachs >
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    More believing their own hype. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 12:55:48 PM EST
    They really think that people don't have a clue about how the threat of bankruptcy factors into negotiations like these?  

    Most autoworkers in this country would understand how that works.  Threats of bankruptcy are how they've been pursuaded to take haircuts in their salaries and benefits for decades now.

    I am not listening to Geithner.  Can't.  The guy is just too creepy.

    Nothing but a conartist (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 01:42:16 PM EST
    I'm not sure I think he's even that (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:02:59 PM EST
    clever.  At least, Greenspan had his schtick where he would say a lot of totally incomprehensible stuff (incomprehensible because he was speaking in gibberish) and the media was so taken by the fact that nothing made any sense that they called him a genius.  That's a great con artist!

    Geithner seems to be a rather unimaginative and clumsy conartist.  He needs to do a lot of work on the "artist" part.


    My generation turned out a bunch (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:16:36 PM EST
    of Geithners.  Business administration types really did think that money grew on magic trees in the financial orchards.  I never did buy into that though, but man everybody else did and when I said that I thought it was bull$h*t and it wasn't even original bull$h*t, just the same that they were selling before the first great depression....well, I wasn't very popular in such conversations.  I was often accused of just being a negative person because couldn't I see how wonderful everything was?  While everyone popped a Prozac with their martini :)

    Yeah... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:13:59 PM EST
    at least con-artists of the past actually had style...nowadays its just thuggery, taking from the have-nots with a gun in your hand and giving it to the have-mores...reverse Robin Hood.

    I always compared GHW Bush to Junior (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:20:12 PM EST
    in the following way: The senior was only more palatable to people because he was a gifted, light-fingered pick-pocket.  While junior was a heavy-handed thug who'd tackle an old lady in broad daylight in front of a bunch of witnesses without even the tiniest bit of apparent remorse.  

    Ummm, who controls property post-bankruptcy? (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by beowulf on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 12:17:18 PM EST
    A corporation that goes into bankruptcy becomes federal property until its discharged by the bankruptcy court.  What's more, the bankruptcy court has the power to void existing contracts and/or clawback payments (whether to employees or creditors) two years prior to the filing date.  

    So Geithner's position is US government was powerless to use its 80% ownership rights to control AIG because the counterparties were threatening to give the US government 100% control (the DOJ-appointed US Trustee would be tasked by the bankruptcy court to sort out the mess) and leave themselves exposed  to tremendously expensive payment clawbacks.

    Honestly, when freakin' James Baker was out arguing in favor of the government taking over insolvent banks and requiring creditors to take a haircut, there is no benign explanation for Geithner (and Obama) rolling over on AIG and the bank bailouts.

    bank boards of directors and senior management should be replaced and, unfortunately, shareholders will lose their investment. Optimally, bondholders would be wiped out, too. But the risk of a crash in the bond market means that bondholders may receive only a haircut... As president Ronald Reagan's secretary of the Treasury, I abhor the idea of government ownership - either partial or full - even if only temporary. Unfortunately, we may have no choice.


    Especially (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 12:58:40 PM EST
    Spitzer says Geithner (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 01:15:04 PM EST
    "displays lack of experience in his dealing with the financial community. He doesn't know how to negotiate, doesn't understand what cards he holds, and doesn't understand the need for fundamental reform."

    More likely the opposite is true: Geithner represented entities that benefitted from the swindling of taxpayers in the deal the government brokered. Geithner knew exactly what he was doing.


    Geithner knows exactly (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:21:04 PM EST
    what he is doing, but he has no sense of how heinous it is or what he has destroyed.  He only knows what he has saved and what he saved was the only world he ever "belonged" to.  And what he also doesn't comprehend is that that world is also already gone, and it will never return again in any form that he will recognize as what he came to power in in his entire lifetime.

    Both Spitzer and you are right. (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by robotalk on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:27:31 PM EST
    Spitzer is right that Geithner has no idea what do with the power of the government--if he even understands what the function of the government is and wanted to do the right thing.  You are right, that the AIG deal was a deal struck between frat brothers.

    Geithner rightly points out that the (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 01:05:49 PM EST
    American taxpayer would not have been better off it the govt let AIG fail. The $85 billion dollar bailout saved the day. But the real question isn't whether we/the federal govt should have done something, the question is why were they allowed to make so much money off the public. A simple standard for bailouts requiring profits to come back to the public would have solved the problem. Taxpayers wouldn't mind paying the bill if we earned huge profits by doing so.

    The created a similar problem with health care reform. Instead of facilitating better health care for most Americans, the Dems and Obama want to force us to support the very thieves who brought us this crisis. More poor people would have free health care, but those who pay for the own would be screwed.

    The solution is temporary socialistic takeover of the institutions who are destroying our economy. When the federal support results in huge investment returns, those who paid for it benefit.

    We need a real People's Hero and instead we have a guy who seems to be hoping trickle down economics will satisfy us. As if helping the rich get richer will somehow stop the bleeding the rest of us have to deal with.

    But your information (none / 0) (#6)
    by standingup on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 01:33:31 PM EST
    is not correct.  The initial $85 billion (Sept 2008) is not the issue.  The settlement for par with the counterparties on the credit default swaps was part of a subsequent loan to AIG to facilitate the settlement of the CDS in the months following the initial panic in September.  

    Also, profits earned by the Fed on the CDO's that were purchased as part of the CDS settlement will come back to the Treasury.  The big question is if there will be a profit, especially when the Fed paid par for the CDO's.  


    Excitement over profits from junk CDOs? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 01:48:03 PM EST
    Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow's ass.

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by standingup on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 01:58:09 PM EST
    There was a reason there was no market for those CDOs.  I am sure the Treasury and Fed will find a way to report the rosiest returns on them possible too.

    The bailouts would be better (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 01:54:26 PM EST
    if they were structured as temporary takeovers. The public would reap the benefits and the CEO's who created the problems would take a financial hit.

    Obama and our Party would be viewed as helping the taxpayers, even though the returns haven't been realized yet. Instead, Democrats are seen as supporting the Masters of the Universe, hence the Republican win in Mass.
    When Republicans get mad, they vote. When Democrats get mad, too many of them sit out elections. The TARP tax proposed by the Prez is worthless without support in Congress. Elected Dems better start standing up for the little guys or midterms will be a repeat of the Mass election.


    A generation of MBAs were taught: offloading risk (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:44:32 PM EST
    ... was the first acceptable step to achieving profit. Combined with gouging and predation as a default, the corporate mentality of entitlement to profits at any cost (to the suckahs) passed for heroism during Bush/Cheney, and now Obama's not even pretending there are other approaches.

    Spending freeze after the outrageous corporate giveaways? Oh come on.

    (I didn't make this economy; I just live in it.)

    And you obviously don't remember the Clinton (1.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:27:11 PM EST
    years, Enron, Internet bubble, etc.....

    Ellie, the only way out of this is for the Left to quit acting like the world started when Bush was elected.


    I did just fine during the Clinton years (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:35:52 PM EST
    And eight years of outright predation can't be batted away like it's some kind of gnat.

    I did fine during the Clinton years. (2.00 / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 09:49:20 AM EST
    Part of the Internet bubble and I enjoyed that $1.00 a gallon gasoline...

    But what does that have to do with the NASAQ falling 50% from March 2000 to March 2001?

    What does that have to do with the economy tanking after 9/11?


    Enron was a Bush fiasco and Ken Lay a croney (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:46:06 PM EST
    ... not even the formidable coverage of GOP wagons could hide which party (and president) that viper pit's political allegiances.

    You're talking not to one (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 04:04:24 PM EST
    whose imbibed, you're talking to the Koolaid itself.

    Be diplomatic and play your cards right, and he'll tell you about how the problem REALLY started when the far Left treacherously took control of the Democratic Party back in 1968.

    Or do I exaggerate, Jim?


    First you are going to have to (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 10:03:00 AM EST
    define the problem.

    Losing the Vietnam war? Yes.

    Setting the stage for the eventual housing bubble burst? Yes.


    Having actually been an adult (none / 0) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 10:21:35 AM EST
    purchasing a home through a S&L I can tell you that the problem started with the inflation of the Carter years.....  S&L's were having to pay more to get deposits than their outstanding mortgages were bringing in, despite new mortgages rocketing to 12% and above by mid 1979... You can guess what that did to the housing market...

    As for the housing bubble, I refer you to this NYT article from 9/30/99....

    Published: September 30, 1999

    In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

    Of course that was just a continuation of the policy:

    ''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer.


    Of course Bush did try to slow it down from the NYT on 9/11/2003:

    The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

    Of course the Demos shot it down.

    ''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''



    I've noticed... (none / 0) (#61)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 11:14:46 AM EST
    ...that a certain someone also completely ignores the very personal, active role of Neil Bush and the rest of Bush crooks in the S&L crisis.  



    Nope (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 11:23:06 AM EST
    I just don't have any information on Neil going to jail, or Billy Carter.... but didn't Clinton's brother do some time?

    You're reaching when you bring in family members..


    And sub prime loans (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 11:29:17 AM EST
    backed by Fannie and Freddie were just a figment of our imagination..


    As always, you protest too much!


    Your defense (none / 0) (#68)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 12:36:55 PM EST
    of Barney Inc is expected.

    ENRON (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 09:59:16 AM EST
    tanked as part of the Internet bubble...

    Enron grew wealthy due largely to marketing, promoting power and its high stock price. Enron was named "America's Most Innovative Company" by "Fortune magazine" for six consecutive years, from 1996 to 2001

    Did Bush "know" Lay? Probably. Hard for a politician in Texas to not know him.

    Heck, I even met him myself... I just wonder where all that money rubbed off on me.... can't find it. ;-)


    Wow (none / 0) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 11:26:10 AM EST
    Bush knew Ken Lay.......

    Ken Lay contributed money to Bush...

    What's next? Cheney worked for Halliburton?

    And you sneer at people who want to see Obama's birth certificate...



    Yawn... (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 12:39:18 PM EST
    Got any more 1000 worders you want to dump onthodr folks in the peanut gallery?

    on the (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 12:39:38 PM EST
    Obama's birth certificate lol (none / 0) (#74)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 02:14:42 PM EST
    and "Ah thank he's a Arab".

    I think all that teabagging each other must do something to the frontal lobes after a while.

    How else can you explain a mentality that expects to be taken seriously when it equates tracing the lines of influence between Enron and Bush with ludicrous racist folklore about furners-in-the-Whitehouse?


    Brilliant comment (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:50:57 PM EST
    {blush} ... but since we're in this econ. together (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:31:36 PM EST
    ... during GWB the Sequel I laboriously went through every bill I paid and noticed how many "little" things had crept into my finances:

    Practices like a ten-day lag between my bank acknowledging a solid deposit (eg, a direct cash transfer) and my payment, on the same day, of a credit card bill.

    Practices like "convenient" online services that aggressively begin siphoning off $$$ from your credit card but require multiple steps, within a teensy monthly window, to cancel.

    Practices like alterations to the Terms of Service without proper advance notification to the customer (unless burial within haystacks of paragraphs in a size-2 font counts as notification).

    This movement to transfer funds to smaller community banks &or outright cancel "convenient" services -- eg, redundant sources of media downloadables -- gave me more control of my money once I wrangled my shocked eyebrows back down from around my hairline.


    I do wonder, (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 05:06:36 PM EST
    Ellie, if business schools taught any "business ethics" classes.  I tend to doubt it.  I sincerely hope that they do now, but I' not holding my breathe.

    Beyond ethics how sensible is it to create blight? (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 06:02:53 PM EST
    It stinks just from the standpoint of basic business, you know, two parties shake hands, each gets something they wanted, see ya later.

    I have no problems with capitalists making a buck if they assume the risks and the incompetents are the first to suck it up when they play hard and fast but lose big.

    I'm strenuously opposed to the high stakes gambling done over a guaranteed, tax-payer funded safety net cause they're "too big to fail".

    I mean, what's the selling point here to employees, customers and shareholders? What value do they add to taxpayers' lives? "If you hated getting screwed by larceny alone, wait till you see the extortion we've woven in for your convenience!"


    I second your motion (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 12:57:16 PM EST
    And how many others in similar positions would answer just as disgracefully?

    Far too many for this great nation to countenance.

    The Geithner lack of respect (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 01:45:34 PM EST
    for taxpayers has always been so obvious, there are no boundaries or rules for him and his ilk and there never were and that is how we got into this fricken mess that destroyed the present generation at the nation's helm's retirement.  He belongs in jail a hell of a lot more than Bernie does!  

    What we should be hearing. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Radix on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:06:21 PM EST
    Timmy has told us all we need to know. If we listen we can hear him use words like leverage. What was the governments leverage, these CEO's companies would go bankrupt, so what? It's not those guys would have suffered from that, they're rich after all. There wasn't much of a downside for them in holding out for 100%.

    Question for registered Dems... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:09:10 PM EST
    why don't y'all ever vote for Kuch in the primaries...personality oddities aside, he's more on the ball than the lot of corporation & media appointed frontrunner Dems every 4 years...what gives?  

    Is it just the whole Machiavellian can't vote for the best person because the Repubs might win thing or something else?

    I voted for (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Emma on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:51:51 PM EST
    Kucinich in the primaries in 2004.  I would've done it again in 2008 but for the hideous misogyny leveled at Hillary Clinton.  I couldn't sit by and let that go unanswered.

    I DID (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:01:38 PM EST
    vote for Kucinich in the primaries, kdog.  Mr. Zorba and I had a huge argument about it.  He said it would be wasting my vote because Dennis didn't have a prayer of a chance of winning the primary, and even if he did, he wouldn't win the general election.  My answer was that if everyone thought like that, we'd never get any truly progressive candidates to win primaries, so it was moot whether they would win the general or not, but we'd better start trying something new or this country was going to continue to go down the toilet.  I was right, but I take absolutely no satisfaction in it.  (And, BTW, he voted for Obama in the primary because he's never liked nor trusted the Clintons.)

    Thats why I love ya Z:) (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:18:23 PM EST
    I too can't stand the "he/she can't win" argument...its total self-defeating country-killing bullsh*t.  If you get more votes you win, period.  Vote for the person who most closely matches your views and come what may.

    It's not defeatist (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Emma on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 05:35:42 PM EST
    It's because that's how the Dems tell everybody to "be a winner!"  The Left and the Democratic Party is populated by people who want to be Jr. Political Pundits and think that participating in Democracy = handicapping candidates based on things like how much the press likes them, or not.

    The Democrats have, time after time after time, told their constituents that in order to get any meaningful change in their lives they have to vote based on some convoluted political calculation that takes into account whether the Repubs are going to be able to wear purple heart band-aids at their next convention or not.

    It's what the Dems want us to do.  So, we do it.  Everybody does, b/c that's what makes us important participants in Democracy and so much smarter than the other side.


    Love back (none / 0) (#37)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:53:52 PM EST
    at ya, kdog.  The whole problem we have here in this country is the defeatist attitude of "Well, we can't change things, so we have to accept them."  If we don't try, it's true, we can't.  So what is the harm in at least trying?

    And we're not even talking about any... (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:57:00 PM EST
    actual elbow grease being required here...just one hour one Tuesday a year pulling a lever for the guy the man says "can't win".  

    You're old man was right to distrust the Clinton brand, wrong in thinking the Obama brand was any different...but nobody is perfect, and he hooked up with you so I know he's a smart dude:)


    Well, I happen to think so (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 04:57:59 PM EST
    But then, I'm not sure he agrees.  OTOH, we've been married for almost 40 years, so I'm guessing that he's pretty much used to me badgering him.  ;-)

    Almost 40... (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 05:04:24 PM EST
    sun god bless you guys.

    There is room for ya both on my pirate ship when it comes time to show the Bush/Obama/Paulson/Geihner bunch what a free market reaction is to a protection racket that screws one too many people.


    Oh, sweetie, (none / 0) (#48)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 05:18:20 PM EST
    We're both on your pirate ship, kdog.  Mr. Zorba and I have our disagreements in recent years about how to deal with the current mess, but we were both absolutely together on the anti-Viet Nam War, pro-Civil Rights, pro-feminist agenda back-in-the-day, and we both marched/protested/voted for same.  I love him fiercely..... even though he and I disagree on the particulars, we agree on the ultimate outcomes.  We're both not happy with the way things are going now.  

    You pegged it (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:23:50 PM EST
    I am realizing more and more that there is no difference, but assuming I believe that in general it is better to have a Dem pres than a Rep one...I can't think of any Rep that Kuch could beat in a general election.

    Wonder why that is... (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:34:03 PM EST
    I mean I know there are a lot of rightwingers in this country and all...but if Kuch was given the coverage by the media (big if), I would hope his ideas could and would grow on people.  

    Maybe by 2012 things will have gotten sh*tty enough for people to open their eyes & ears to some new ideas.


    He needs to run some kind of third party (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:49:16 PM EST
    A third party candidate could make some headway in the next Presidential election, but how do you control Congress when you don't hold their reelection strings (not that Obama is willing to make anyone sweat one iota).  I'll be very honest and tell you that he isn't macho enough to stand up there with the macho and excite enough of us.  Sadly Joe Biden excites us more.  I think it has to do with the fact that people still have a lot more of the jungle in us than civilization, but  we won't acknowledge that.

    Idea for controlling Congress... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:00:36 PM EST
    get in front of the microphone everyday and shame them into shape...hold nothing back, spill the dirt and be a real American hero.

    But then you gotta worry about an assasination attempt...CIA backed or otherwise.  Seems like anybody who reached the "hold nothing back" stage in the past wound up dead.

    As for the macho factor...we could get him some HGH:)


    HGH doesn't make you taller. (none / 0) (#31)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:30:08 PM EST
    At 5'7", he's at a bit of a disadvantage.  Americans generally go for the taller candidate.  In fact, there have only been 3 presidents shorter than DC.  

    HGH... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:33:49 PM EST
    and some of Tom Cruise's lifts?

    If that little dude can play a tough guy, so can Kuch:)


    OTOH (none / 0) (#39)
    by Zorba on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 04:00:55 PM EST
    his wife is a total fox- maybe Dennis could get her to campaign for him.  The idea being, if he can attract a foxy wife like that, maybe height doesn't matter.  Sorry to be so antediluvian here, but if it works for votes.......I know, absolutely shameless.   ;-)

    Why not just vote for her? (5.00 / 0) (#41)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 04:16:01 PM EST
    She's every bit as intellegent and passionate about the issues as she is foxy.  One very impressive woman.

    Good enough for Kuch... (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 04:41:27 PM EST
    good enough for me, lets nominate her.

    If I'm right about elections being the spitting image of professional wrestling, she could most definitely win, and hence win the Machiavellian Left vote.

    And Team R would all but be forced to nominate Palin to compete for the all important horndog male demographic...lock it up for Mrs. K!  

    When we TL'ers put our heads together boy...no problem is too big:)


    Dennis Kuccinich & Rachel Maddow in 2012! (none / 0) (#21)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 02:47:15 PM EST

    At the very LEAST (none / 0) (#35)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 03:45:20 PM EST
    get him, or Ralph -- and for the Libertarian right, Ron Paul -- in the national debates.

    It's obvious at this point that the establishment Dems and Repubs, have, by common agreement, decided to mutually pretend that a few 800 lb gorillas in the room just dont exist.

    I almost had to laugh though, when Lehrer or whoever it was, tried at one point to frame Kucinich as the 'weird little man' by asking him if it was true that he claims to have seen a UFO. Just the way they dealt with Perot.

    Only candidates already under consideration for membership to the club need apply.


    Kuch (none / 0) (#43)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 04:51:15 PM EST
    My answer was that if everyone thought like that, we'd never get any truly progressive candidates to win primaries

    When some news gasbag asked Kucinich if he was electable, Kucinich snapped, "I am if people vote for me." Gotta love the guy.

    I voted (to my eternal shame) for Edwards in the primary, and Green in the GE. But Dennis Kucinich will get my vote every time from now on. I used to like him and now I love him! (Oh Dennis, please don't cheat on your beautiful wife and especially don't videotape it!)

    And his wife... (none / 0) (#44)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 04:53:53 PM EST
    ...yes she is beautiful,and the kicker is, she , from all accounts, is the one who pursued him--pretty relentlessly in fact. Not that he would have needed much arm twisting, I'm sure.

    Perspective (none / 0) (#50)
    by Chaz on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 05:35:48 PM EST
    In his defense, in this situation Geithner and Paulson and Bernanke and Bush and Obama were faced with problems not acknowledged by BTD.  1.  Time.  When some of these decisions were made, the financial world was burning.  You simply have very little time.  I'm sure promises were made.  If later broken you better hope the fire doesn't reignite.  2.  The free rider problem, hand grenade on the desk analogy, assymetrical info problem, and the risk of assuming all rational players.  Some may have refused and forced AIG into bankruptcy.  This would have complicated and compromised an already dangerous (extremely) situation.  You assume that the Treas and Fed have a great deal of power because - hey what would the counter parties do. What the feds are offering is better than a bankruptcy for the counterparties.   Well the feds have the same problem.  The counterparties know that paying them off is a much better option to the feds than allowing AIG to fail or go into a bankruptcy or otherwise risk a systematic failure.  So even if you think 90% will cooperate with a reduced payout it only takes a couple of holdouts (free riders, irrational player etc) for the feds to lose.  This problem greatly increases when you are short (very) of time.  3.  You need some healthy survivors.

    I don't know AIG's book but I assume it was not just insured US banks and included directly or indirectly everyone from foreign institutions and foreign banks to pension funds in the US (likely also including GMAC).

    However, I am not saying that I completely buy his position.  A problem with academics in govt and as commentators is that they often propose solutions that can't be achieved with the actual time and resources available.  But a problem with bankers such as Paulson is that they have an action (particularly deal by deal) bias and they are too confident in their deal making abilities.  Geitner may be suffering from the consequences.

    Also - this "I was powerless" argument is usually either lame or at least always sounds lame.  Yet politicians love it so.  I think because on low profile problems it works and thus has worked for them in the past.  But it really never sells (even if true) on higher profile matters.

    As to time (none / 0) (#52)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 07:14:06 PM EST
    they had months during the transition to prepare; lots of things were effectively worked out then & put in place following inauguration.