Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fed Audit and Greece Bailout

The Senate passed a bill calling for a one time audit of the Federal Reserve to scrutinize the $2 trillion in emergency loans that the Fed provided to some of the nation’s biggest banks.

The bill was a very watered down version of bill that passed in the House, which would have enabled the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit every item on the Fed’s balance sheet, including all credit facilities and all securities purchase programs. An amendment to expand the Senate bill to match the House's failed to pass. Still, this is a good first step as it would enable the GAO to audit at least some Fed actions for the first time in history.

The government's bailout of Wall Street points to a huge problems in our financial system and even larger problems with the control that Wall Street has over politicians in both parties.

Conceptually, Wall Street exists to support the needs of other businesses. When businesses need capital to start up or expand, they can get the money in one of three ways: A.) from their own savings, B.) through borrowing (debt), or C.) by selling a portion of the business to others (equity).

What does this have to do with derivatives, credit default swaps, or even the whole concept of "selling the market short"??? The short answer is nothing whatsoever. All of these things are nothing more than gambling. Goldman Sachs and their ilk have turned our financial system into Las Vegas. Like Vegas, the system is rigged so that the House wins 98.5% of the time.

The one difference between Las Vegas and Wall Street is when a casino in Vegas goes belly up, Washington doesn't rush in with our money to bail them out.

Unfortunately, the situation is about to get even worse. The U.S. government is taking part in the $1 TRILLION Greek bailout both through the IMF and also through the Federal Reserve, which is shipping dollars to Europe to help stabilize the Euro. Of course the money won't be used to put the country on the right path. Instead, it will be given to lazy union members who'd rather sit arounding sipping Ouzo, while bad mouthing America, than work.

I've been to Greece a couple of times. It's a beautiful country that has been completely destroyed up by decades of political corruption.

Why is it our responsibility to pay for their mistakes? Oh, because the country might "melt down". GOOD. The country SHOULD melt down because maybe then the politicians will be forced to confront their problems and eliminate the costly welfare state that has been sucking the life blood out of their country.

We have our own problems too. They are on a much grander scale than Greece's.

17% of our workforce is unemployed or under employed. Our official debt has reached $13 trillion, which is a whopping 90% of GDP -- almost as bad as Greece's. Unfunded entitlements in Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, and government pension plans top $130 trillion -- more than $438,000 per person. Government spending at all levels is approaching 40% of GDP, which is not far behind "socialist" France at 44%.

With all of these problems confronting us, how dare the politicians hand our money to Greece. How dare they?

Greece and the rest of the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) caused their own problems. It's time for them to deal with it.

We created our own problems too. It's time for us to boot the SOBs out of office who are making things worse.

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