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September 25, 2008

What To Do Today

• Find an action near you saying NO to the Bush bailout.

• Read and sign Bernie Sanders' petition. Sanders' views on this are nothing radical—just basic common sense. Hence he is twelve million miles outside acceptable political discourse.

• Call your Senators and Representative at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to say NO to any plan without the strongest possible protections for taxpayers and homeowners. Don't be afraid to tell them how angry you are. Ian Welsh is reading the tealeaves and suspects Barney Frank may have already cut a deal with Bush, selling us all out. But if so, it may still be possible to stop it if members, both Democrats and Republicans, keep hearing (as they have for the past few days) how many of their constituents are extremely pissed off.

• Read Billmon's post from Tuesday about the dire possibilities the US economy now faces. The collapse of the housing bubble would be troublesome by itself, but probably not catastrophic. The danger is that it comes on top of our gigantic foreign debt, itself exacerbated by the trillion-dollar Iraq war and ever-higher oil prices. Getting out of this will require a type of enlightened worldwide leadership (and followership) that humans have displayed approximately zero times in history.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at September 25, 2008 07:00 AM

The Dem money trail

Posted by: me at September 25, 2008 07:50 AM

Back when I was Ted or angry, in a comment discussion, one of the regulars said that economic resets wasn't feasible based on the size and girth of the us economy.

I can't recall if it was buermann or saurbah, but I'd sorely like to get an update on what they think now.

Nice analysis by Billmon (as always), but I can't believe that our guns and nukes can't get us out of our fix. They've always done so well in the past.

You know what's different now? Widespread technological and social globalization. Our brains think like nationalists but our actions are those of transnationalists -- ooh, but that's a recipe for a lifestyle of self-delusion.

Posted by: Labiche at September 25, 2008 09:57 AM

Pelosi @1-202-225-0100 I called today now its YOUR turn.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 25, 2008 11:54 AM

a small ( or BIG ) quibble..
it is not Bush'e bailout . donks were and are as much complicit .
house ansd senate can simply say NO !
do you think all that wall street money which really sustained Barry O ( and donks ) in the beginning ( and continues now ) was from pure goodness of heart ?
just saying...

Posted by: badri at September 25, 2008 12:43 PM

the fed is CAUSING the liquidity crisis. just look at the slosh report.

just so that they can gain power over our money ..

calls to the gov are running 300-1 against the bailout. they are ignoring the will of the people.

we have already paid out many many thousands of $$$ per person. enough is enough. see for details on how to truly solve the real problem.

"Note that this is an intentional drain of "slosh", or liquidity, from the banking system. $125 billion in the last four days drained?

You wouldn't be trying to intentionally cause a bank failure or two to bolster your call for the $700 billion "bailout" plan, or perhaps intentionally lock the short-term credit markets, would you Ben?

If the market has a liquidity crisis, why would you be intentionally draining reserves from the banking system? Don't you think you ought to explain that to Congress?"


it is truly outrageous that the us taxpayers should be forking over OUR $$$ for Toxic paper at higher prices than it is ever going to be worth.

here is a reuters pic of what WE have already paid out.

Posted by: cliff at September 25, 2008 01:11 PM

I don't believe any amount of constituent complaints will outweigh major contributors' approval -- unless those complaints are backed up in the voting booth, the ONLY place where voters have any real power in numbers. And even if such a fantastic action (rejection of D and R candidates in November) became reality, action on the bailout today and until January '09 would be unaffected.

More likely, as always, the numbers preceded by a dollar sign will prevail, because the voters' only power will maintain the status quo despite their dissatisfaction -- because they don't use their sole power.

Here's former Democratic operative and current MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O'Donnell:

"If you want to pull the party--the major party that is closest to the way you're thinking--to what you're thinking, YOU MUST, YOU MUST show them that you're capable of not voting for them. If you don't show them you're capable of not voting for them, they don' listen to you. I promise you that. I worked within the Democratic Party. I didn't listen, or have to listen, to anything on the left while I was working in the Democratic Party, because the left had nowhere to go."

I appreciate this quote, because it's such a precious, vanishingly rare thing for a DP operative to tell the truth. He's correct in everything but the last bit: "...the left had nowhere to go." If he had said "due to a century of expensive and effective establishment propaganda, most on the left believed they had nowhere to go", I'd agree without reservation.

Posted by: nasrudin at September 25, 2008 02:10 PM

This one is on how the numbers don't add up: the author suggests the amount of actual sub-prime debt is about half the amount requested before taking into account the value of the assets backing it.

Posted by: me at September 25, 2008 02:27 PM

you are a fool if you think this is a 'sub-prime' problem. look at alt-a, get YOUR house appraised .. are YOU underwater?! if you bought a home in many markets any time in the last 5 years you are likely to be owing more money than your home is worth.

the problem is derivatives and credit default swaps..

this guy has the data if you care to listen:

oh and have a look at the foreclosures tab:

feel free to zoom in to the problem areas.

these are families.
these are real people who have been forced out of their homes.

we are doomed, there is no chance that the gov can save this economy.

11.3 trillion dollars debt, how the .... is that going to be paid off when everyone is homeless?!

Posted by: cliff at September 25, 2008 03:51 PM

It wasn't me Labiche, but I think I agree with whoever suggested it. Maybe after our foreign creditors finished carving us up we could start talking about resets.

"the amount of actual sub-prime debt is about half"

A) It's not just subprime.

B) The national average foreclosure rate was 1% last year, this year it's over 2%, and we're only about halfway through the revaluation back to the historic trend. People who bought recently created larger mortgages because of the asset inflation, and are likely to have almost the entire mortgage left to pay off, so simply assuming that an eventual 6% of total foreclosures are going to only trim off 6% of the 11 trillion in mortgage debt is a significant underestimate. The diarist is doing the math wrong, it's more like 10-20%.

Posted by: buermann at September 25, 2008 04:48 PM

I called that number all I heard was laughing on the other end.

Posted by: RTT at September 25, 2008 06:49 PM

RTT: Can't expect them to cry while U hand out billion dollar bills, do YOU? At least they suspect U of caring.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 25, 2008 09:22 PM

"There will be efforts to raise your taxes. There will be efforts to have a single-payer big government solution by . . ." --John McCain, "There will be efforts to raise your taxes. There will be efforts to have a single-payer big government solution by . . ." --John McCain,

"House Republicans, in some kind of arrangement with McCain, went off to wherever. I don't know whether they're ready to negotiate this. Their thing was some totally different mortgage insurance plan ... that would clearly delay this for a week or more." -- Barney Frank

Posted by: none at September 25, 2008 11:46 PM

I just can not trust a 700 billion dollar bailout over something on just someones word. I have not seen any proof that we need to fork out that kind of money have you? The last time we trusted the Government on their word we went to war in IRAQ over weapons of mass distruction that they did not even have. With that in mind, tell me why we should fall for what could be another false hood? I think it is time the AMERICAN PEOPLE STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT and take our Government back. We need to impose term limits on every office held so not one person can gain in power over another and this even means the Supreme Court Judges, as well. WE NEED TO GET IT DONE NOW!

Posted by: GWIZARD at September 26, 2008 02:06 AM

Start making those calls, pwoggies! The phone companies need the money.

Posted by: AlanSmithee at September 26, 2008 09:01 AM
Here's former Democratic operative and current MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O'Donnell...

I saw Bill Richardson on the telly this morning (re: $700B negotiation session at the WH). Summary:

Well, sure that's a lot of money and we're not happy with the deal, but we're so used to fellating everyone that comes along, that out of habit we just take on all comers...we don't know how to say no. Self-loathing? What's that?
Posted by: Labiche at September 26, 2008 09:02 AM