Tag Archives: TARP

Pirates Attack!

From the New York Comptroller, we learn pirates have ransacked TARP: 

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that total Wall Street bonuses totaled $18.4 billion last year. Though that represented a 44% drop from the previous year, the size of the bonus pool was the sixth-highest ever.
At first I felt outraged, but then I thought, well, this is what public choice theorists have predicted. A vision then came to me.  I saw the United States as an old bitch gone in the teeth, teetering on the brink as a botched civilization.  If TARP was a disappointment, if you think these bonuses are only the beginning, wait till we watch the stimulus funds trickle to every crony, every power-grubbing whore, every brother-in-law of anybody who has a government job. These corsairs–the bankers, the interest groups, the lobbyists, the commissars of public education–these freebooters will once and for all kill the State. They will bring this bitch down. That is my vision. The stimulus package is nothing less than a prescription for slow suicide.  The cure is worse than the disease. Aegrescit medendo!  The government is preying upon the weak: future generations, anyone who can’t vote today, who couldn’t tell you what stimulate means. If you support the stimulus, take a second, and ask yourself how you came to enslave the unborn. That is all. 

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The Death of the Ivy League Journalist

Another Christmas present

Seeking to fortify its core assets, New York Times Co. is actively shopping its stake in the holding company of the Boston Red Sox baseball club…

My favorite bit: 

former General Electric CEO Jack Welch took a serious look at the [Boston] Globe two years ago, when people close to them said they were valuing it at $550-600 million at the time. The Times rebuffed the inquiries. The Globe was recently valued by Barclay’s at $20 million.

Boy, did Neutron Jack dodge a bullet.  That’s a $530 million loss in value over two years.  Mommy!!!  The time has come for the old media to awaken from their dogmatic slumber.  New media is bringing the old Gray Bitch to her knees.  Her arteries, filled with generations of mental cholesterol, have clogged.  I eagerly await the day when all of those former Harvard Crimson writers flee like rats from the headquarters on 43rd Street, scurrying away in every direction before the building collapses in bankruptcy, frantically looking for some other institution to shield their beliefs from confronting reality.  Other credential makers, indifferent to truth seeking, will call out to these souls like sirens.  My guess, applications to PhD programs in English and History increase.  We may even hear calls for universities to subsume newspapers into their mission.  They’ll rehash old arguments the Roman citizens would offer in defense of slavery.  A civilized community is not self-sustaining, they’ll claim.  A barbarous substratum, the capitalists, must be whipped into the social structure so as to support the civilized apex embodied by the Times.  And like the Romans, they’ll say this large slave population is required to perform ancillary services, anything which is deemed unworthy for a truly civilized man to engage in–like creating wealth–all to sustain them, the enlightened taste-makers.  There are books to review, damn it.  We’ll hear all sorts of blather about how investigative reporting is a public good, yada yada yada, and how we need public financing to support it.  Remember the Crimson!  They’ll cry.  The rats will rally around the Crimson idea: a newspaper supported by a nanny who can help them pull their punches.  Maybe newspapers should start calling themselves banks? TARP funds may be in their future yet!

But let’s have a sober moment to reflect on the public good that is the NYTimes.  Ah, yes.  The first person they should fire: Thomas Friedman.  I can’t believe they pay this Horatio Hack a salary, a pension and even health benefits.  Worse, they seem to fly the man around world, at great expense, like some kind of cuddly mascot for mild left wing mediocrity.  Yesterday he wrote: 

Landing at Kennedy Airport from Hong Kong was, as I’ve argued before, like going from the Jetsons to the Flintstones.

In September 2007, he wrote: 

Fly from Zurich’s ultramodern airport to La Guardia’s dump. It is like flying from the Jetsons to the Flintstones.

In May 2008, he wrote: 

we landed at Singapore’s ultramodern airport, with free Internet portals and children’s play zones throughout. We felt, as we have before, like we had just flown from the Flintstones to the Jetsons.

In January 2002, he wrote: 

For all the talk about the vaunted Afghan fighters, this was a war between the Jetsons and the Flintstones–and the Jetsons won and the Flintstones know it.

Now that’s some hard hitting investigative reporting.  Novel use of old TV shows to illustrate a concept.  Hat tip to James Taranto.

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Paulson Yells Mulligan On Bailout


Paulson yells mulligan to Congress.

Paulson yells mulligan to Congress.

The New York Times demands a two stroke penalty on TARP (The Act Rewarding Plutocrats). Gretchen Morgenson reports

While the government still declines to say exactly how it has spent your funds, or who all the beneficiaries are, Mr. Paulson conceded that his huge capital injection hasn’t persuaded banks to lend more money.

Michael Lewis has some more tips before Paulson tees off on the next round of disbursement. 

  1. Embrace rent-seeking. The main qualification for assistance is past incompetence. Instead, give the bailout money to friends, family and struggling authors. So they’re not bankers, you protest. But they haven’t yet been given a chance to prove their financial idiocy. Once they fail, they’ll then have just as much experience as current bankers. GM, Ford and Chrysler have completely mis-framed their appeal for a bailout. Who says they have to make cars? Why not turn the big three into the big lending tree? 
  2. At least give the money away to people who won’t present themselves as obstacles to innovation. Sez Lewis, “By giving money to bankers who have made many stupid loans you have made life harder for bankers who have never made stupid loans. By aiding the dumb banks you prevent the smart ones from replacing them.”

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