Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Jack Krugman also writes, "Mr. Obama has apparently settled on a financial plan that, in essence, assumes that banks are fundamentally sound and that bankers know what they’re doing. It’s as if the president were determined to confirm the growing perception that he and his economic team are out of touch, that their economic vision is clouded by excessively close ties to Wall Street. And by the time Mr. Obama realizes that he needs to change course, his political capital may be gone."
Krugman also says, Let’s talk for a moment about the economics of the situation. Right now, our economy is being dragged down by our dysfunctional financial system, which has been crippled by huge losses on mortgage-backed securities and other assets. As economic historians can tell you, this is an old story, not that different from dozens of similar crises over the centuries. And there’s a time-honored procedure for dealing with the aftermath of widespread financial failure. It goes like this: the government secures confidence in the system by guaranteeing many (though not necessarily all) bank debts. At the same time, it takes temporary control of truly insolvent banks, in order to clean up their books.
That’s what Sweden did in the early 1990s. It’s also what we ourselves did after the savings and loan debacle of the Reagan years. And there’s no reason we can’t do the same thing now.
But the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, apparently wants an easier way out. The common element to the Paulson and Geithner plans is the insistence that the bad assets on banks’ books are really worth much, much more than anyone is currently willing to pay for them. In fact, their true value is so high that if they were properly priced, banks wouldn’t be in trouble.
And so the plan is to use taxpayer funds to drive the prices of bad assets up to “fair” levels. Mr. Paulson proposed having the government buy the assets directly. Mr. Geithner instead proposes a complicated scheme in which the government lends money to private investors, who then use the money to buy the stuff. The idea, says Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser, is to use “the expertise of the market” to set the value of toxic assets.
But the Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn’t really about letting markets work. It’s just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets.
The likely cost to taxpayers aside, there’s something strange going on here. By my count, this is the third time Obama administration officials have floated a scheme that is essentially a rehash of the Paulson plan, each time adding a new set of bells and whistles and claiming that they’re doing something completely different. This is starting to look obsessive.
But the real problem with this plan is that it won’t work. Yes, troubled assets may be somewhat undervalued. But the fact is that financial executives literally bet their banks on the belief that there was no housing bubble, and the related belief that unprecedented levels of household debt were no problem. They lost that bet. And no amount of financial hocus-pocus — for that is what the Geithner plan amounts to — will change that fact.
You might say, why not try the plan and see what happens? One answer is that time is wasting: every month that we fail to come to grips with the economic crisis another 600,000 jobs are lost.
Even more important, however, is the way Mr. Obama is squandering his credibility. More HERE
AAPP: Yes, Mr. Obama just may be squandering his credibility with black folks. He also seems to be squandering his credibility with a number of middle class black organizations such as the National Urban League. You see, the Urban League President recently said, "President Barack Obama should specifically address disparities in black unemployment, foreclosures, education and health care, the "National Urban League" in its annual “State of Black America” report.
Yes, finally middle class black folks are seeing the facts, and speaking up and out. Yes, the election of the first black president is great, yet, black folks, as the Urban League reports, are twice as likely to be unemployed, three times as likely to live in poverty and more than six times as likely to be incarcerated.
Marc Morial, president and CEO of the 99-year-old Urban League. has pointed out that Barack Obama has said that the way for government to help minorities is by improving things like education, employment and health care for all Americans. The 288-page report includes policy discussions and essays from academics, elected officials and average citizens. Among its 31 specific recommendations:
_ Ensure that the stimulus package’s green job creation includes poor urban communities.
_ Increase funding for job training and placement for disadvantaged workers.
_ Guarantee full-day schooling for all 3 and 4 year olds.
_ Expand the school day to account for working parents and families without nearby relatives to help with after-school care.
_ Fund mortgage counseling and education programs for minorities.
_ Implement universal health care and a “comprehensive” system to provide blacks with health education, prevention and intervention.
AAPP: It seems to me that the Trillion dollar give away, and other bail plans supported by Barack Obama, will have an end result of giving away American homeowners hard earned equity back to big business interest, will gentrify urban communities, and make sure that black and latino urban dwellers will not be able to afford to live in urban cities across America.
Maybe the American people, particularly African Americans need to watch the film Obama Deception. Take some time to watch the film, it may just open your eyes...
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
File this under, Can't we just get along! There seems to be a lot of commentary on the planned World Conference on racism.
Get this, first the US withdraws from 2nd World Conference against Racism, now word is, Germany may boycott UN racism talks critical of Israel. The Folks at Monsters and Critics are reporting on how Germany may boycott a UN conference on racism, over concerns that a preparatory document is singularly critical of Israel, daily Berliner Zeitung reported Saturday. As reported by the The NY TImes, The United States will not attend the second World Conference Against Racism in Geneva unless the conference’s main document improves, according to a State Department official, though the Obama administration sent a delegation to preparatory talks in Geneva.
The NY TImes, reports the long, unwieldy document seeks to ban criticism of religion, calls for slave reparations and attacks Israel as racist. Israel and some American Jewish groups urged a boycott of the April conference, and several close American allies, including Canada, said they would not go. The United States walked out of the first Conference Against Racism, in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, as a protest against an effort to compare Zionism to racism. More HERE
At the same time, reports Monsters and Critics a German organization promoting ties with the Jewish state is appealing for Germans to moderate their criticism of Israel's role in the Middle-East conflict.
'Germany should not yield to a UN conference that wants to accuse Israel unilaterally,' German Human Rights commissioner Guenther Nooke said of the anti-racism talks, due to take place late April in Geneva.
'We should initially try everything to change the text of the final document,' Nooke told the newspaper. 'But there will be no participation at all cost,' he added.
Several countries have criticised the fact the preparatory document specifically accuses Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territories.
Other misdeeds, such as the atrocities committed in the Darfur conflict, are not specifically named.
Meanwhile, the President of the German-Israeli Society Johannes Gerster has appealed for Germans to show greater solidarity towards Israel, in the face of the continuing Mid-East crisis. More HERE
AAPP says: I guess the Obama administration will have to decide whether it's stands against color aroused bigotry and racism or will it stand with Israel, Canada and Italy who have announced they will boycott the forum in Geneva.
The first conference, held in Durban in 2001, ended up with the US and Israel walking out, upset over statements of some delegates.
Maybe, just maybe, William Reed is right, when he wrote in EUR web recently, "Reparations for slavery is a proposal that some type of compensation be provided to descendants of enslaved people in consideration of the labor provided for free over several centuries, which has been a substantive and influential factor in the nation's development. The prospect of payment is not new." William Reed goes on to say:
In 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Orders, No. 15 granting each freed family forty acres of tillable land in the Georgia Sea Islands and around Charleston, South Carolina for the exclusive use of black people who had been enslaved. The army gave mules to settlers. President Andrew Johnson reversed the order after Lincoln was assassinated and the land was returned to its previous owners.
Black slaves built America for free, including the nation's Capitol and the White House. It's important that the nation's 44th President do what the 17th President did not do to properly atone for the ills of slavery - A system that gave rise to poverty, landlessness, underdevelopment, as well as to the crushing of culture and language, loss of identity, inculcation of inferiority among blacks, and the indoctrination of whites into a racist mindset - all of which continue to this day to affect the prospects and quality of Black People's lives.
America, and its companies, were "unjustly enriched" by a system that enslaved and exploited blacks. The Wall Street banks, and its investors, that the nation is writing checks to built America's infrastructure on the backs of blacks. The number of legal claimants for compensation is undetermined, but Obama could consider a $10,000 annual "slavery tax credit" to Americans who can show themselves descendents of slaves. Some two dozen members of Congress are co-sponsors of legislation to create a commission that would study reparations - that is, payments and programs to make up for the damage done by slavery.
The bill, US House of Representative Resolution 40 "Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act" should be addressed so that such a commission will address who, what and how much is due. The NAACP supports the legislation. Cities around the country, including Obama's home of Chicago, have endorsed the idea, and so has a major union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The old dog-eared adage that "the nation couldn't afford to pay" has been eliminated with the Wall Street buyouts.
If Obama has the confidence to think outside the box, he'll realize what economic stimulus reparations payments would be. The question has always been about how America would raise money to pay reparations, but if they can bailout the infrastructure's entrepreneurs to save America, what about bailing out the people who built it? Article HERE
Cross Posted on African American Political Pundit.com