Hey fellow US taxpayer, do you remember that $45 billion that former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson dumped into Citigroup?
Take a guess what the market value of that $45 billion investment is right now, a mere three and a half months after the initial investment.
Answer: Just over $1 billion.
And what is Treasury’s response? It just increased its stake in Citi.
Without a trace of irony, Citi CEO Vikram Pandit called the deal a “bridge to profitability” but I think we’ve seen this bridge before.
Question: Where are the stockades when we need them?
Update: Forget the stockades, it’s time for the guillotine.
From Bill Moyers’ interview with Simon Johnson of The Baseline Scenario.
BILL MOYERS: Geithner has hired as his chief-of-staff, the lobbyist from Goldman Sachs. The new deputy secretary of state was, until last year, a CEO of Citigroup. Another CFO from Citigroup is now assistant to the president, and deputy national security advisor for International Economic Affairs. And one of his deputies also came from Citigroup. One new member of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board comes from UBS, which is being investigated for helping rich clients evade taxes.”
Is it naive to believe that we are not going to begin to dig our way out of this mess until we cease taking advice from the same people (operating within the same system) who got us into it?
Transcript and video here. Do watch this, and watch to the end, because it gets slightly more hopeful. I believe that the model of Teddy Roosevelt breaking up the monopolies should be our model going forward. Time to smash some oligarchies!