Thursday, April 09, 2009

$10.9 Trillion Economic Rescue Bill?

  That is the figure that  the people over at Reuters have come with thus far.

April 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. government has launched an
unprecedented array of actions to salvage the economy and
stabilize the financial sector that could put up to $10.903
trillion of taxpayers' money at risk.
However, much less has been disbursed and a considerable
amount of those funds could be recouped.
Following is a rundown of the total amount of known public
funds that could be at risk -- either spent, loaned, allocated
or pledged, based on the programs' upper limits. Some programs
have no specified limit; in these instances, the total reflects
amounts actually pledged, loaned or disbursed.
The total does not include a potential $750 billion in new
aid to banks that was in President Barack Obama's budget plan
on Feb. 26 but not formally requested.
* Up to about $1.9 trillion in Federal Deposit Insurance
Corp guarantees for banks, including $1.4 trillion in senior
unsecured debt issued by banks and $500 billion in
transaction deposit accounts typically used by businesses to
pay employees and vendors.
* Up to $1.6 trillion in Fed support for mortgage and
consumer credit markets, including purchases of up to $600
billion in debt and mortgage-backed securities issued by
government-sponsored enterprises. The Fed is now launching,
with U.S. Treasury backing, a $200 billion loan facility to
support consumer credit, such as auto, credit card and student
loans, that is expected to grow to $1 trillion.
* Up to about $1.8 trillion in Fed purchases of top-rated
U.S. dollar commercial paper under a facility launched in
October. The Fed said it does not intend to buy anywhere near
this amount, which represents what eligible issuers could sell
at up to $1 billion per issuer. As of April 2, the Fed's
holdings in this facility were $249.73 billion.
* Unlimited commitments to lend through discount window to
banks and broker dealers. Credit extended under these
facilities totaled $133.08 billion on April 2.
* Up to $600 billion in Fed purchases of U.S. dollar
commercial paper and certificates of deposit under a Money
Market Investor Funding Facility. As of April 2, the Fed held
nothing in this facility.
* Up to $600 billion in Fed Term Auction Facility loans are
offered through twice-monthly $150 billion auctions. On April
2, $467.28 billion in TAF credit was outstanding.
* Up to $200 billion in loans to primary dealers for up to
28 days against all investment-grade debt securities as
collateral. The Fed plans to auction this amount through seven
auctions in April.
* Unlimited temporary Fed currency swap lines with the
European Central Bank and central banks in England, Japan and
Switzerland. The Fed also maintains swap lines with 10 other
central banks. On April 2, the Fed held $308.79 billion in
foreign currency under these agreements.
* Obama signed into law on Feb. 17 a $787 billion fiscal
stimulus plan, including $287 billion in temporary tax breaks
and $500 billion in spending on infrastructure, research
facilities, energy projects and aid to states, the unemployed
and the poor.
* $700 billion for the U.S. Treasury to shore up the
financial system: Nearly $200 billion in bank preferred stock
investments, $29.8 billion in aid to automakers, their
suppliers and their finance companies, and $110 billion in
additional rescues for American International Group (AIG.N),
Citigroup (C.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N). For details, click
on [ID:nN05338459].
* In addition to $70 billion in capital investments under
TARP, AIG has been granted a $60 billion government credit line
and up to $52 billion in loans for assets shifted to the Fed's
balance sheet.
* The Treasury intends to launch a public-private
investment fund that would buy $500 billion to $1 trillion in
distressed assets from banks, establishing benchmark prices.
Details are still being developed, but officials have said the
government would provide loans to private investment funds to
buy the assets.
* Up to $400 billion to backstop Fannie Mae (FNM.N) (FNM.P)
and Freddie Mac (FRE.N) (FRE.P). The Treasury will inject up to
$200 billion into each institution as needed to maintain a
positive net worth. Freddie's capital draw is expected to grow
to as much as $49 billion in coming weeks, while Fannie has
said it will draw $15.2 billion.
* Expansion of loan portfolios to allow Fannie and Freddie
to increase MBS purchases by up to $244 billion since the
government took control of them in September 2008.
* The Treasury has directly purchased at least $106.89
billion in Fannie/Freddie mortgage-backed securities since
September to aid the housing market. It has pledged to continue
these purchases.
* $300 billion for the Federal Housing Administration to
refinance failing mortgages into new, reduced-principal loans
with a federal guarantee, passed in July 2008.
* $25 billion modification costs for loans held directly by
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of a foreclosure prevention
plan that also uses $50 billion in TARP funds.
* $6 billion in grants and "stabilization funds" to local
communities to help them buy and repair homes abandoned due to
mortgage foreclosures.
* $1.5 billion in relocation aid for renters displaced by
* Up to $50 billion from the Great Depression-era Exchange
Stabilization Fund to guarantee principal in money market
mutual funds to boost confidence in them. The Treasury collects
premium payments from participating funds.
* $29 billion in Fed financing for JPMorgan Chase's (JPM.N)
government-brokered buyout of Bear Stearns & Co in March. The
Fed agreed to take $30 billion in questionable Bear assets as
collateral, making JPMorgan liable for the first $1 billion in
losses, while agreeing to shoulder any further losses.
(Compiled by David Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Teabaggers: Fuck Off

  While making the round I have discovered that a sect of conservatives are planning on having “ tea parties “ on April 15th to whine about the prospect of actually having to pay more taxes if you are rich. Oh, the nerve!

  I also found this piece over at Kos which I now share with you.

Dear Conservative Teabaggers

by Hunter  Wed Apr 08, 2009

Nobody is trying to stop you from holding your "tea parties." Please stop saying you're oppressed when you're clearly not oppressed. You want to have a tea party? Go ahead! Get to it! Take to the streets, pleasantly aromatic baggies in hand!

We've had a president who decided that he could revoke the citizenship of Americans based on his own say-so -- and no conservatives were worried about their loss of rights. We've had a government assert that it could spy on any communications, without warrant or cause -- and no conservatives took to the streets, alarmed at the threat to their Constitutional protections. We found out we went to war over a weapons program that didn't exist -- oops. We found out that we subjected innocent, though brown, people to imprisonment without recourse, and others to torture so cruel that it rendered them mentally incompetent. We buried the nation in a mountain of debt -- well, them's the breaks. We forked over billions of dollars in giveaways to oil companies that were already making larger profits than any other companies in the history of the world -- hell, gotta keep John Galt in caviar. None of it raised a peep from any of you, you were all fine with it. The government could do no wrong -- except not going far enough.

But if returning to the tax policies that existed before Bush is the thing that's got a bee in your bonnet, claiming the end of the republic is at hand -- go for it. If you've suddenly decided that preventing government efforts to stave off a second Great Depression is the thing you're going to hang your collective hats on, or that saving one of the prime manufacturing sectors still left in the country is a bridge too far, by all means protest. Who's stopping you? Who's intimidating you?

On the contrary, the rest of us find your "tea bagging" to be superbly instructive. It's increasing taxes that gets your goat, and absolutely nothing else. The only Constitutional crisis possible is one that might possibly affect your wallet; offenses to other people's freedoms don't rouse a tenth of the same emotion.

And it stands as a dramatic act of solidarity with conservative leaders in government. Bloviate at every opportunity; remain steadfastly in opposition to everything; suggest nothing; claim that it is not even your responsibility to suggest anything. Like House and Senate Republicans, who have declared sitting on their hands to be an act of supreme virtue and who, when pressed, can only come up with a few terse pages of declarations that the only path forward is to give big businesses more tax breaks, and rich Americans more tax breaks, and eliminate even more regulations on financial behavior -- and that will work this time for sure, in spite of those same exact things bringing the country debt and corruption every other time they have been tried, finally leading to this current brink of economic ruin. No, it seems hard to compete with any acts of leadership as impressive as that.

So teabag your little hearts out, my noble friends! Take to the streets, and demand the conservative dream -- absolute inaction on every front! Turn the economic crisis into an opportunity to finally, at long last, give a damn about the actions of your leaders, who we have just now noticed might be of an opposing political party! Yes, take to the streets on behalf of the John Galts of the world: that's what Fox News Corporation has told you to do, and what the stock traders of CNBC demand of you! Take a day off work and wave those little white bags so that an executive responsible for financial crisis will not find their yearly bonus jeopardized by scandalous government intervention, or people making one hundred times your annual income will not be taxed a Stalinesque three percent more (marginal rate) than they presently are! Throw your little pouches of aromatic leaves high into the air, shout your grievances, demand the factories close and the government remain unresponsive, because that's what conservatives everywhere want to see!

By all means.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What’s Your Home Worth?

  With all of the home price declines and the other mortgage bullshit, I thought that it would be interesting to check out the latest Rasmussen Reports to see how you feel about your current home value. Is your home worth less than your mortgage payment? Worth more?

Fifty-four percent (54%) now say their house is valued for more than they owe, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Thirty percent (30%) say their houses are worth less than the rest of their mortgage payments, and 16% are not sure.

  54% may sound good, but when compared to December, it is a 7% drop.

In early December, 61% of homeowners said their houses were worth more than what they still owed on their mortgages.

  Oh but wait! There’s more!

Among those whose homes are no longer worth as much as the mortgage, expectations remain bleadk--36% expect the value of their home to fall even further over the next year. In fact, even looking out over the next five years, just 44% of those in this difficult situation believe their homes will gain any value at all.

Among those whose home value exceeds their mortgage, there is also a significant level of short-term concern--28% say the value of their home will decline over the coming year.

Overall, homeowners’ views on how long it will take the housing market to recover remain largely unchanged over the last four months. Fifty-five percent (55%) of homeowners say the value of their home is likely to go up over the next five years, but over the next year, just 16% say the value of their house is likely to go up.

Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe the value is more likely to go down in the next 12 months, while only 13% expect a decline in value over five years.

Upper income Americans are far more likely than others to believe that their home is worth more than the mortgage. Among homeowners who earn less than $40,000 a year, just 39% have that confidence.