Bailout Watch 244: Where's OUR $27b?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The Bush Administration’s decision to release $27b from the Troubled Assets Recovery Program to prop-up Citigroup has pissed-off Motown’s bailout brigade but good. “Financial industry rescue criticized as double standard” the Detroit Free Press‘ headline kvetches. “While the pending bailout of Citigroup is absolutely necessary because they’re too big to fail, it’s the height of hypocrisy of the outgoing administration and the treasury secretary to not make a more robust effort to do the same with Detroit,” said Anthony Sabino, a professor of business and law at St. John’s University in New York (chosen especially for his non-Detroit residency). “One cannot sit here in America and say Citigroup is more important than any one of the Big Three, let alone all of them together.” On the bright side, the funds directed Citi’s way have played straight into the hands of MSM class warriors like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who see Congress’ reluctance to spread the national debt to Detroit as a classic triumph of evil champagne-swilling bankers over Bud-drinking blue collar builders. Paper shufflers vs. honest folk who make “stuff.” The meme is picking-up a head of [non-hybrid] steam– despite the fact that the banking system IS more important than Detroit’s stuff makers, and two wrongs don’t make a right, and where do you draw the line and who do you think you’re foolin’ (I got the presidential seal)? Never mind. Hubris will get you every time. Bank on it.

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  • Jaydez Jaydez on Nov 26, 2008

    I work for Citigroup. I know the bailout has protected my (non-income producing and likely to be cut) job for a few more weeks/months. Though I would have much rather seen GM or Ford get the money. At least they have a plan (kind of) to save themselves. Pandit just insists that things are "fundametaly" great(!) with Citi. The fact that Pandi said fundamentaly strong so many times in the last town hall meeting scared the crap out of me. It is the same way both Bush and McCain described the economy when they had no clue what was happening and were utterly clueless. So far there has been no mention as to how they are going to correct the ship other than to cut 53,000 jobs. Cus we all know that unemployed people will help the economy.

  • Olddavid Olddavid on Nov 26, 2008

    SS, many kudos for an insightful comment. I agree completely. I have been the recipient of the largesse of the car business, and a more democratic (small 'd') group you would be hard pressed to find. There will be blood in the streets from the wounds the dealers are going to receive before this is over, and this is the tragedy of this mess. These people have poured their sweat, dreams and toil into their businesses, only to watch their equity and blue sky evaporate. My Father would routinely work 70-80 hours at his 200 annual planning volume store, and loved it because of the promise it showed to him. He, at 91, says he doesn't recognize the business anymore. He wasn't a Hall-Dobbs or Wayne system store, just an honest small town businessman with his whole family working the counters. These types, while far fewer in number than in my day, will be the fatalities of this crisis, not the bonus babies at the GM tower. I guess the American dream I grew up with truly is dead. What a shame.Because of foolish unchecked greed. How many billions does it take to satisfy these selfish accumulators? Thank God for dual citizenship.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Nov 26, 2008
    when the high school grad, at best, screwing in component parts is making more than the engineer you know the company is doomed No class bias here, nope, none at all. I know a few automotive engineers. While they're not thrilled with unions and their work rules, I've never heard an engineer complain that he or she was paid less than an assembler.
  • No_slushbox No_slushbox on Nov 26, 2008
    Ronnie Schreiber: Well the engineers should be mad that high school drop outs get better pay and benefits. And the UAW workers are scumbags for throwing new workers under the bus giving them half the wages and less benefits just to keep their fat contracts. I make less than six figures, and I didn't drop out of high school and walk down the street to the GM plant. I actually have to invest in an IRA account, I don't have a defined benefits pension. I'm the first person in my family to go to college. My father was a union carpenter, and I hate the disgrace that the UAW is to unions. To be clear I'm not anti-union, I'm anti UAW. My dad actually paid for trade school, and his union exists to provide pensions and healthcare and to assure skill levels. There was no job bank, and any company that didn't like a carpenter could fire him that day. Good for the UAW for extorting as much as they have out of the big-3 for slackers that haven't even gone to trade school; but now that they've helped destroy those companies my tax money isn't going to their speed boats.