Banking Bailout Party: New Details Emerge

The New York Times has details about the new bailout plan Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is scheduled to talk about later today. Here’s a rundown of what’s on the menu:

  • No “severe limits on executive pay for companies receiving government aid.”

  • Bank executives will stay, shareholders will not be wiped out.
  • There will be “a joint Treasury and Federal Reserve program, at an initial cost of $250 billion to $500 billion, to encourage investors to acquire soured mortgage-related assets from banks.” The FDIC might provide guarantees to investors.
  • A program run by the Federal Reserve to try to unfreeze the market for commercial, student, auto and credit card loans will be expanded from $200 billion to up to $1 trillion.
  • A review of the capital levels of all banks, including projections of future losses, to determine how much additional capital each bank should receive.
  • Next week, the New York Times says a separate $50 billion program to help homeowners facing foreclosure refinance into fixed rate loans will be announced.

The article says that the Treasury Secretary is at odds with top officials in the Obama Administration, who wanted tougher restrictions on executive pay among other concessions from banks.

There will be, however, restrictions on banks using bailout funds to acquire other banks, as well and restrictions on lobbying. The $500,000 pay cap is still in place, but applies only to very senior executives. Some argued that it should be extended to all employees of banks receiving funds.

Bloomberg also notes that TARP will be renamed:

Geithner will also give the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program a new name: the Financial Stability Plan.

Whatever makes you feel better, we suppose.

Geithner Said to Have Prevailed on the Bailout [NYT]
(Photo:The Joy Of The Mundane)

Comments

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  1. Ronin-Democrat says:

    Feelin’ better already.

    Or is it because Michael Phelps is a friend of mine

  2. B says:

    Wooo, party!
    Will there be cake?

    • Pibbs says:

      @B: The cake is a lie. Just like this bs. I don’t necessarily want heads to roll, but I would like to see these execs get hit in the wallet because of the greed and ignorance they have exhibited over the years. It’s not like they need all that (excuse me, our) money.

  3. tailstoo says:

    So last week there was an executive pay penalty and now there is no “severe limits on executive pay for companies receiving government aid”?

    I am confused.

  4. Plates says:

    Renaming it will solve all our problems! Hooray for Washington!

  5. tailstoo says:

    And really, if there are no penalties to executives or shareholders, why should any be responsible in the future? Just grab as much money and profit as you can now and someone else will pay for it later.

    Great message to send to the market. It really sickens me.

  6. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    I swear the next person who uses the buzzword “toxic assets” is going to get punched. Thank you for avoiding this expression.

    I’ll accept “nonperforming assets” or “non-earning assets” or even just “bad assets.” But this media parroting is driving me crazy.

    • HIV 2 Elway says:

      @Ash78: Can we just call them by their actual name, noncurrent assets or loans?

      • Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

        @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: It might get confusing if we go too far

        “The Obama administration is concerned about the increasing levels of bank loans no longer accruing interest, plus those 90+ days past due and still accruing, plus reposessions and other real estate owned, as a proportion of total loans plus reposessions and other real estate owned”

        /npa ratio for the confusion!

        • Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

          @Ash78: Forgot to add “restructured loans with less than 12 months of satisfactory performance under new terms” :D

  7. nighttrain2007 says:

    >>the Financial Stability Plan

    I’d laugh but after the ‘speech’ last night, it’s not even dark humor. So what the banks really need is more intervention from the federal government. On top of previously forcing banks to offer home loans to those not qualified and printing more money than God, the answer to all our prayers is going into more debt, printing more money, and all but nationalization of the banking system

    • thezone says:

      @nighttrain2007: Really, the problem was not forcing banks to offer home loans to those not qualified. That is a myth. The majority of loans made, that went bad, were done by lending institutions not covered by the CRA legislation. Once the larger lending institutions saw the quick profits that could be made some of them starting joining up. But the McMansion craze was not federally mandated. The people that were flipping houses were not federally mandated and the mortgage brokers who were making moving people towards higher commission loans were not federally mandated.

      • HIV 2 Elway says:

        @thezone: Encouraging banks to lend to less qualified debtors was part of the problem. This is a convoluted situation, it may be convenient but its inaccurate to try to point blame at an single individual, group or piece of legislation.

        • nighttrain2007 says:

          @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: >>its inaccurate to try to point blame at an single individual, group or piece of legislation.

          It’s not inaccurate at all. The fault lies mainly with the actions of the US government. The same as it did starting in the late 1920s and going through WWII. Obama is doing nothing but recreating the mistakes of FDR, who extended the Depression of the 1930s

          • HIV 2 Elway says:

            @nighttrain2007: Obama is trying to make the situation look worse than it actually is so he can look like a hero in 18 months when this ship rights itself. If the first weeks of his reign are indicative of things to come, we’re in for a solid 4 years of campaigning and empty rhetoric.

            • ElizabethD says:

              @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected:

              Yay! It’s “Blame Obama” time!

              • HIV 2 Elway says:

                @ElizabethD: I’m not blamming him but he already seems like someone more concerned with getting reelected that, you know, running the country.

                • thezone says:

                  @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: This is nonsense. Obama has moved quicker than nearly every other incoming president. Please tell me how Bush 1 or 2 or Regan did better in their first 2 weeks in office.

                  • HIV 2 Elway says:

                    @thezone: Bush 2 was rightfully criticized for not being visible enough. But Obama is already overexposing himself. Interviews with Al Jazeera, town hall meetings, everything he does being televised. The President doesn’t need to address the nation publicly after every step he takes, save that for big events and get back to work. I don’t need to hear from him everyday and certainly don’t need it multiple times a day.

                    • tailstoo says:

                      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: Probably a reaction to the last administration who didn’t want to tell the public anything and said that anyone who questioned what they were doing was anti-American.

                    • thezone says:

                      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: One of the greatest power the president has is the bully pulpit. Everything the president does is always televised. He has had one televised press conference. Since the GOP has decided to publicly go against Obama’s plan he has had to start going to the public to explain why this is important. This is not campaigning. It is educating the American people.

          • thezone says:

            @nighttrain2007: FDR did not extend the great depression. Another right wing lie. FDR’s programs took us from nearly 25% unemployment to under 15% within 5 years. The only reason there was a brief upturn was FDR listened to conservatives and lowered spending before the rest of the economy had picked up. Please cite one credible economist who says the depression was prolonged by FDR.

          • varro says:

            @nighttrain2007: Someone’s been listening to Rush Limbaugh and repeating what he says over and over!

            Perhaps FDR didn’t encourage *enough* government spending!

            It took a war (one which conservatives insisted we stay out of because Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy were models of well-run countries) to get us out of the Depression.

            People tend to not want to be cheap with the troops – that is, until Bush/Cheney decided that contractors should get pallets of money and the troops in Iraq should have to buy their own body armor.

            • dragonfire81 says:

              @varro: Bottom Line: It wouldn’t matter WHO is in office right now, Democrat or Republican. The economy is a mess and there is NO government action that can fix it completely.

              What drives me mad is that everyone is looking for this magical quick fix that will right the ship, but that’s just not realistic.

              What happens if you break your leg? You have to get a cast on it, wait six weeks or so for the bone to mend, then learn how to walk again and rebuild the strength in your leg before you are completely healed.

              Any economic fix WILL TAKE TIME, it didn’t collapse overnight and it won’t be fixed overnight.

              The government can only do so much to fix the economy, the true engine of the economy are the consumers, you and I, and we’re all feeling pretty burned by corporate america right now.

              In my opinion, in order to recover from this crisis and better manage such crises in the future (seeing as how recessions have occurred pretty regularly in the past 100 years), SIGNIFICANT and LASTING change is need on MANY different levels, government, corporate and individual.

              The quick fix is a myth. Sorry folks, it just isn’t going to happen.

            • nighttrain2007 says:

              @varro: Oh good, the broken window fallacy and the Keynesian lie all in one post!! Yep it took a war to get us out of the depression and if we would have created just a little more debt it would have worked, really it would….sheesh. And for the record Limbaugh is about as useless as the politicians we elect.

    • Pixelantes Anonymous says:

      @nighttrain2007: Oh, the communist boogieman strikes again.

      You really don’t know what nationalization means, do you?

    • Anonymous says:

      @nighttrain2007: You hit the nail on the head! If we HAD regulated banks as in the PAST they would not have sold bundled securities to the world or then bought “insurance” to cover the losses they knew were coming to save themselves and the big bonuses they earned!

  8. rpm773 says:

    I like how everyone’s loosened up about tossing the word “Trillion” around now. There was such a stigma attached to it before.

    Need a few hundred billion? Here, have a trillion instead!

    • narq says:

      @rpm773: Why have a trillion dollars when you can have, one million? Oh hell, let’s just give everyone in America a billion dollars and how about we just make a google dollar bill? Do we want to end up making the dollar equal to dirt in value? History repeats itself, and no one ever learns.

      • m4ximusprim3 says:

        @narq: Next, they’ll just give up and use “bazillion” in place of “we don’t really care, we’re just gonna print till the paper is gone”

      • rpm773 says:

        @narq: @m4ximusprim3:

        I suspect within a few years, one million dollars will still be good enough for a few hour’s worth of fireplace fuel.

      • Ubik2501 says:

        @narq: The Google dollar bill won’t happen until the Great Internet Upheaval of 2025. The googol dollar bill, however, will go into circulation ten years later and feature a rendition of Jesus high-fiving Uncle Sam.

  9. HRHKingFridayXX says:

    If you have a problem with bank executives and their awesomely dumb bonuses, join a credit union. That’s what I’m doing in a few months.

  10. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    They should be forced to have all executive lunches off the McDonald’s Dollar Menu. :P

  11. boomersix says:

    I’m so glad we elected a bunch of chicken little’s. I have a feeling the sky will be falling until they have every dime of our money.

  12. admiral_stabbin says:

    Just when there was an acronym all of the mouthbreathing electorate had memorized. I guess the silverlining is that “FSP” will evoke a different mental image than “TARP”. I thought it was kinda strange that the government was using supplies from Harbor Freight to try and lift the banking industry from self-created ruin…

  13. tailstoo says:

    Blaming the government for the mistakes of the banks is inaccurate. The problems were brought about by pure greed and the desire to make a quick buck.

    What I do have a problem with is the government using tax dollars to prop up these flawed companies with little to no pain to those responsible.

    Why should the banks no go back to their quick profit schemes if they know that they are “too big to fail” and can count on the government to save them when things go bad.

    They should not give a dime to any of these banks until there are safeguards in place to prevent greed from bringing down the economy again.

    I am not going to say that government has all of the answers, but the absence of regulation has proved that these institutions cannot be trusted to govern themselves.

    • enm4r says:

      @nighttrain2007: I think this is also a somewhat inaccurate view. Even FDR’s initial reaction did have a positive affect and only after he began to ease up on the New Deal’s original policies did it become clear there were downsides. Had the economy not initially rebounded so well, he would have stayed the course and perhaps avoided any extension of the depression.

      Suffice it to say, it was much more complicated than saying “FDR did bad things that made teh depression worse.” I do agree the Fed has to shoulder most of this current blame, and rightfully so.

    • vastrightwing says:

      @tailstoo: Can you explain to me in simple terms why we need a “Federal Reserve Bank”? Why?” Because bankers told you and you believed that private bankers in “association” with government would create sound fiscal policy? Oh, ok.

  14. darkryd says:

    They better extend the pay cap to all employees or companies will just skirt the law by giving their CEOs lesser titles.

  15. RStui says:

    I love how everyone is so concerned that the “talent” from these places might “bail” if there is a cap on their pay.

    Bail, away, I say!! Take your sorry butt out to the Marketplace and see if what you’ve got is what anyone wants!!

    • tailstoo says:

      @RStui: Right, where are these people going to go?

      I think the executives are afraid that maybe a CEO could run the company on a much lower salary, and then how could they justify their $10 million compensation? Isn’t that how it’s worked for rank and file workers for years?

    • vastrightwing says:

      @RStui: Tisk, tisk, are we not forgetting who is paying the regulators? I didn’t think we forgot that part.

  16. drdom says:

    We all see what’s happening, but we are powerless to stop it. You can argue all that you want. But at the end of the day, the facts are the facts: government intervention played a role in our current problems. Having the government tell the free market how it can and cannot run their business is not the way our system is supposed to work.

    If somebody goes out and spends too much money because they were extended more credit than they deserved or could afford, the way to fix the problem isn’t to increase their credit limit! That’s what we’re doing here with this legislation. How does that even remotely make sense???

    Call it TARP, call it FSP, call it whatever you would like. It’s government intervention into the system. If banks made bad loans, let them, and their shareholders hold management accountable. If that means some banks go out of business, so be it.

    Everyone carped at the Bush administration about how they were eroding our rights. Read the legislation that the Obama Administration and the allegedly bi-partisan Democrats put on the table to solve the banking and mortgage crisis. It intrudes into your relationship with you and your doctor, rations healthcare, and does all manner of other things which have nothing whatsoever to do with solving the real problem. Most of the legislators who voted on this don’t know half of what’s in the bill. In addition to which, it’s a moving target.

    All this tough talk about limiting bank executives compensation: I call BS on this one. Meanwhile, while no one is looking, we get Tom Daschel’s brand of socialized medicine crammed down our throat.

    • Mary Marsala with Fries says:

      @drdom: Just popping in to call “nutjob!” on this. I know the republicans and everyone out there from the Rich Persons’ Fan Club would love to see the government get out of the way, but THAT is what let this happen in the first place.

      Unfortunately, too much of the government is still concerned with protecting the precious Rich People, so even in lieu of correcting the problem, we get more protectionism for greed.

      • HIV 2 Elway says:

        @Mary Marsala with Fries: Except that we’ve had more banking regulation passed since 1980 than in all the years prior.

        • zirconst says:

          @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected:

          And this crisis didn’t occur in the 80s or 90s. It occurred after de-regulation at the end of Clinton’s administration and during the Bush administration (again, repeal of Glass-Steagal as an example) as well as failure to further regulate investment banks despite the fact that they served the same function as normal banks.

    • vastrightwing says:

      @drdom: No, please don’t call this a “free market” If it were “free”, then the government would not have interfered with the demise of the big bankers and would have let them sleep in the bed they made. The free market you understand is really the government allowing the elite (aka bankers, big money contributors, etc) to keep their profits while also covering their losses. This is like how your parents would fix your mistakes. The only difference is the government only requires the masses to grow up and be responsible.

    • thezone says:

      @drdom: So how exactly did the Bush administration get in the way of business doing what it was supposed to do? Over the last 8 years there has been massive deregulation of the banking industry. This has caused the problems we have today. Banks have been allowed to become way too big. Now we have a few large corporations that cannot be allowed to fail.

      Additionally, please cite a reference to the stimulus bill being passed that will interfere with our relationship with our doctor or will ration health care. These are all tin foil hat conspiracies created by people who don’t want equal access to health care for all Americans.

      • chauncy that billups says:

        @thezone:
        [thomas.loc.gov]
        Search for “National Coordinator of Health Information Technology”

        More info here: [www.bloomberg.com]

        • thezone says:

          @bilups: Did you read the bill? Did you look up the information from the article? Here is Section 3001

          SEC. 3001. OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.

          “(a) Establishment– There is established within the Department of Health and Human Services an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (referred to in this section as the ‘Office’). The Office shall be headed by a National Coordinator who shall be appointed by the Secretary and shall report directly to the Secretary.

          “(b) Purpose– The National Coordinator shall perform the duties under subsection (c) in a manner consistent with the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information and that–

          “(1) ensures that each patient’s health information is secure and protected, in accordance with applicable law;

          “(2) improves health care quality, reduces medical errors, reduces health disparities, and advances the delivery of patient-centered medical care;

          “(3) reduces health care costs resulting from inefficiency, medical errors, inappropriate care, duplicative care, and incomplete information;

          “(4) provides appropriate information to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care;

          “(5) ensures the inclusion of meaningful public input in such development of such infrastructure;

          “(6) improves the coordination of care and information among hospitals, laboratories, physician offices, and other entities through an effective infrastructure for the secure and authorized exchange of health care information;

          “(7) improves public health activities and facilitates the early identification and rapid response to public health threats and emergencies, including bioterror events and infectious disease outbreaks;

          “(8) facilitates health and clinical research and health care quality;

          “(9) promotes prevention of chronic diseases;

          “(10) promotes a more effective marketplace, greater competition, greater systems analysis, increased consumer choice, and improved outcomes in health care services; and

          “(11) improves efforts to reduce health disparities.

          As you can see there is nothing about limiting choices or making doctors consult the government regarding health care. If there is something else in the bill that is ominous please quote it.

      • drdom says:
        • thezone says:

          @drdom: Yes. I read the article. I already had that. I said can you cite a quote about limiting health care but I guess that would be too difficult. Ok I will break it down for you.

          Betsy McCaughey cited “But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). “

          Nowhere on page 442 as I showed above is about guiding a doctor’s decisions. It is about giving the doctor all the information that will guide his decision.

          Nowhere n page 446 does it talk about allowing the government to deem what is appropriate.

          Next quote “Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)”

          None of the pages refer to penalties. In fact when you read 511 it is fairly obvious that they are talking about giving incentives to health care providers between 2009 and 2013. If you read the first part the new laws will be finalized by 2014.

          So once again please give a quote (no a link to a poorly written article written by a hack will not suffice). You may generalize a statement as long as you refer to the page number in the bill (not poorly written article). I would also suggest reading the parts of the bill being referenced before agreeing with the content of the article.

    • chauncy that billups says:

      @drdom: Read this: [www.thedailybeast.com]

      Let the Democrats do what they want. Right now they run everything. If conditions improve (which I doubt), so be it. The country will be better off. If conditions collapse, then the republicans will storm back in 2010/2012. This stuff is cyclical.

  17. zirconst says:

    drdom; Your “facts” need work. LACK of government intervention caused a role in our current problems, ie. the repeal of the Glass-Steagal act, lack of regulations on the so-called ‘shadow banking’ system (investment banks), and so forth. As has been already stated, the majority of bad loans came from banks not regulated by the CRA.

  18. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    …And a paltry $50bn for the millions of homeowners for whom it’s too late to refinance anyway, and for most of whom the problem is now lost jobs and undervalued homes, not adjustable rates.

    Way to define the epitome of “too little too late”, there.

    But thank goodness we’re “saving” the people who comprise banking corporations. They’re TOTALLY the people who need help right now.

  19. Holden Caufield says I'm a phonie says:

    I love the pic used for this story, it brought back so many memories of childhood birthday parties, and those plastic bag hand puppets McDonald’s use to distribute at those things.

  20. kwsventures says:

    I have a strong feeling the federal government has no idea what the heck to do with the economy. I have no confidence in the congress, treasury or administration. Throwing billions of taxpayer money around will only add to the national debt. It reminds me of the guy with too much credit card debt and a negative monthly cash flow who takes on more credit card debt to try to fix the real problem. It will never work.

    • thezone says:

      @kwsventures: I’m sorry you feel that way. But unfortunately, household finances and economics do not work the same way. Our economy is based on 3 factors (consumer spending, business spending and government spending). Right now consumers aren’t/can’t spend. That in turns lowers demand forcing business not to spend. The only entity left to put money into the economy is the government. So the only issue is how to put money back into the economy. Conservatives generally say give tax cuts to the people. Problem is tax cuts don’t help people without jobs. Also, tax cuts generally favor people on the upper end more. Those people are already spending so it may not stimulate the economy as much as it did before. Of course people will talk about the Reagan tax cuts. But he reduced the top rate from 70%. It is not nearly that high now so it’s stimulus effect would be lessened. So the other place you can put money in is infrastructure repair. These things help create jobs while the projects are going on. That in turn will give people more money to spend and help increase consumer demand which will invite business to want to invest more money. But either way the government is the only entity left with money to spend.

  21. Chris Thompson says:

    How the hell do these idiots get to continue going against the wishes of their constituents? I wish I had a drawer full of cash so I could run for congress. They have the easiest job in the world but they forgot they’re there simply to represent their voters. I don’t know why they’re voted based on personal opinions anyway. Shouldn’t whoever is a representative of X state actually represent the wishes of the people living there? gah!

    • RonnieDobbs4President says:

      @Chris Thompson: Nice idea, but I think you fail to realize that most Americans lack the knowledge and education to make wise decisions. I live in Florida and I know I don’t want my Congressional Representative or Senator voting the way the Jerry Springer set would have them vote.

      I’m not saying that people in Congress make wise decisions either, but most of them are at least moderately successful in prior careers before they set about fleecing the country.

      The old saying that the people get the government they deserve is proving true here in the good ol’ U.S.A.

  22. Boulderite says:

    “A program run by the Federal Reserve to try to unfreeze the market for commercial, student, auto and credit card loans will be expanded from $200 billion to up to $1 trillion.”

    I find it interesting that they say “try to unfreeze the market”

  23. jmndos says:

    Is this dude serious.

    The bank execs clearly know the US dollar is gonna go belly up, so the bonuses are basically support funds that are probably being used to buy bullions in swiss banks…

  24. loueloui says:

    This is such a travesty. ‘…encourage investors to acquire soured mortgage-related assets…’ Read almost worthless. That’s why no one wants these loans. They’re secured by crack houses with the plumbing ripped out, and everyone knows it. We are being robbed. Robbed!

    I love my country but I am afraid that we may be moving into a level of debt from which we can never recover.