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Fed Losing $9.6 Billion in AIG, Bear Stearns
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Fed Losing $9.6 Billion in AIG, Bear Stearns

As of Dec. 31, the Federal Reserve faces $9.6 billion in unrealized losses on $74 billion in assets from Bear Stearns and AIG.  An unrealized loss represents the current value of the asset versus its face value.  The central bank will realize the losses if the principle is not returned.  According to Bloomberg, "The central bank lent $2 trillion to financial institutions and has not disclosed information about most of the collateral backing those loans."  While it's unlikely that all $2 trillion of the collateral the central bank has accepted is as risky as the assets taken from Bear Stearns and AIG, the Fed may still face substantial risk.  

04/24/2009
Dear AIG,
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Dear AIG,

"It is with deep regret that I submit my notice of resignation from A.I.G. Financial Products." The New York Times on Tuesday ran an op-ed entitled "Dear A.I.G., I Quit!."  It's the real letter of resignation of Jake DeSantis, executive vice president of AIG's financial products unit.  Read it here.

03/26/2009
Geithner calls for creation of government protection racket
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Geithner calls for creation of government protection racket

In one of the most brazen, unconstitutional power grabs in American history, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner went before Congress on Tuesday to ask for broad powers to seize non-bank financial firms (such as AIG), power which he could exercise “in consultation” with the Federal Reserve and the President (for whom the Treasury Secretary works.)

03/25/2009
Ron Paul: Bankruptcy is Economic Stimulus
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Ron Paul: Bankruptcy is Economic Stimulus

Here is an interesting column written by Congressman Ron Paul (TX-14), making an extremely interesting case for the necessity of an AIG bankruptcy.

03/24/2009
Jared Polis, in context, warns businesses against getting too close to government
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Jared Polis, in context, warns businesses against getting too close to government

[Update: At about 6:50 of THIS VIDEO CLIP, economist Arthur Laffer praises Jared Polis’ remarks made in the House of Representatives.]

03/21/2009
The AIG tax bill's possible benefits
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The AIG tax bill's possible benefits

In a fit of economic idiocy driven by misdirected populist outrage, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1586 on Thursday afternoon, subjecting to a 90% tax rate any bonus paid to a person who works at any institution which has received at least $5 billion in TARP money whose: (1) family income is over $250,000 (2) individual income is over $125,000 if he/she is married but files a separate tax return

03/20/2009
Our very own Wesley Mouch
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Our very own Wesley Mouch

In Atlas Shrugged, one of the main villains is Wesley Mouch, who is described in the Wikipedia entry on the book’s characters as “Initially Wesley Mouch is the least powerful and least significant of the Looters - the other members of this group feel they can look down upon him with impunity. Eventually he becomes the most powerful Looter, and the country’s economic dictator, thereby illustrating Rand’s belief that a government-run economy places too much power in the hands of incompetent bureaucrats who would never have positions of similar influence in a private sector business.”

03/19/2009
AIG: "A Mistake at the beginning"
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AIG: "A Mistake at the beginning"

The media and political furor of the week is the employee bonuses paid by AIG under contracts that existed prior to the government’s effective takeover of the company. And while the President as well as politicians of both parties are fulminating about the payouts, voter anger should be directed more at those very politicians than at AIG.

03/18/2009
Congress Angry about Irresponsible Use of Taxpayer Dollars
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Congress Angry about Irresponsible Use of Taxpayer Dollars

David Harsanyi of the Denver Post has written an amazing article on Congressional outrage over AIG bonuses.  "Here's an idea: If you stop nationalizing banks, there will be no need to engage in phony-baloney indignation over bonus payments anymore."  He's exactly right!  I can't say it any better than he does: 

03/18/2009