If you think the CitiGroup bailout was a breeze, writes Jeff Koopersmith, you need to look at the facts and think again.
November 28, 2008 – Geneva (apj.us) – Citibank went crying to Hank Paulson the weekend before Thanksgiving, and the next thing we know the U.S. Taxpayer is on the hook for as much as $300 billion of corporate cornucopia bailout.
What you may not know is that former Texas governor George W. "Lame Turkey" Bush and Hank "Plunder" Paulson are scrounging around the Persian Gulf asking the potentates for another $300 billion in cash “injections” to keep the whole mess afloat.
Citi lied from the start. First, they went weeping to Uncle Sam about their poor-mouth real estate loans and their portfolio in general. Then they turned the spigot on the tears about their credit card debt. Then Citi claimed it would eat another $18 billion from its “structured investments” (another term for “cheating the owners' investments”).
This week they told us they were laying off 50,000 people.
What on earth did all those people do in the first place?
Of course, we can also laugh at the dimwit Citi chairman Win Bischoff, who to my mind must have known that every mortgage that Citi “packaged” for sale to unwary or just plain stupid buyers was a fraud.
As someone recently said, we shouldn’t be looking for a bailout for these jokers — they should be looking for bail!
Citi has more than $3 trillion in paper assets, both on and off “the books”. I ask you this: how on earth would that first $25 billion they received help them? That was more than two months ago. What happened to that $25 billion?
Now, under the latest damn fool plan from the U.S. Treasury (read: Hank Paulson), Citi will cover only losses of near $30 billion. Then you, the taxpayers, will take on 90% of the other Citi losses. So far more than $300 billion is Citi assets have been fingered as near worthless. Late history tells me that there’s probably another few hundred billion hanging around on Citi’s mail room floor that has not been “discovered”.
On top of that, most of the $300 billion at risk over at Citi is credit card debt. We all know how safe credit card debt is – it’s not even collateralized. Oh well, I guess Mr. Paulson believes we can afford to pay another $250 million for that. And guess what? CitiGroup gets to keep the profits on any loans that are actually paid.
Is that astounding or what? Hank Paulson looks like either a genius, corrupt, or a moron. You choose.
According to law the United States’ credit limit – and it has one – is about $11.5 trillion. Right now we owe $10.7 trillion.
For all intents, the United States is bankrupt under law. Of course, we can continue to print money as the Treasury in now doing – most likely night and day.
The sad fact is that almost every business on earth is urging you to spend, spend, spend, not save, save, save – and the truth is that if you don’t spend almost everything you have – the world will sink into a depression far worse than we’ve ever seen.
Bottom line? Checkmate – for the corporate moguls. We lose. They win.
Jeff Koopersmith is an internationally renowned political consultant, opinion research authority and policy analyst. He has lobbied for causes including the alternative fuel sector and women's health, and is an expert on the international real estate market. He lives in Philadelphia, Washington and Geneva.