Investment Corner

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!

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4 Responses to Investment Corner

  1. p.t. dismal says:


    i watched to the end, yet i fail to experience the hope you felt. i just can’t get my TR mojo up, i guess. that was depressing. i’m gonna go read some poetry.


  2. Kamper says:

    Sure, how about ‘The Wasteland’?

    Or perhaps some Robinson Jeffers will cheer you right up.

    Shine, Perishing Republic

    While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening
    to empire
    And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the
    mass hardens,
    I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots
    to make earth.
    Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence;
    and home to the mother.
    You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly
    long or suddenly
    A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains:
    shine, perishing republic.
    But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening
    center; corruption
    Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster’s feet there
    are left the mountains.
    And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant,
    insufferable master.
    There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught – they say –
    God, when he walked on earth.

  3. p.t. dismal says:

    kamper, you literate bloggin’ fool (except for misspelling “The Waste Land”). the RJ does cheer me up:

    “there are left the mountains”

    but, a more appropriate Jeffers poem would be his follow up, “Shine, Republic”–not a better poem, for sure (“Shine, Perishing Republic” is one his finest political poems, probably his best). “SPR” was written during the 1920s, when the US of A was on a Fitzgeraldian bender–the bubble was yet to burst.

    “SR” was written in the 1930s–post-bubble, bread-lines, brother-can-you-spare-a-dime (deja-vu anyone?).

    I guess we could think of it as cranky, conservative ol’ Robbie’s response to the bailout (he warn’t to happy about the New Deal) (stay tuned for his WWII follow-up when he just freaking gave up on USA–it’s called “Shine, Empire”):

    The quality of these trees, green height; of the sky, shining; of water, a clear flow; of the rock, hardness
    And reticence: each is noble in its quality. The love of freedom has been the quality of western man.

    There is a stubborn torch that flames from Marathon to Concord, its dangerous beauty binding three ages
    Into one time; the waves of barbarism and civilization have eclipsed but have never quenched it.

    For the Greeks the love of beauty, for Rome of ruling; for the present age the passionate love of discovery;
    But in one noble passion we are one; and Washington, Luther, Tacitus, Eschylus, one kind of man.

    And you, America, that passion made you. You were not born to prosperity, you were born to love freedom.
    You did not say “en masse,” you said “independence.” But we cannot have all the luxuries and freedom also.

    Freedom is poor and laborious; that torch is not safe but hungry, and often requires blood for its fuel.
    You will tame it against it burn too clearly, you will hood it like a kept hawk, you will perch it on the wrist of Caesar.

    But keep the tradition, conserve the forms, the observances, keep the spot sore. Be great, carve deep your heel-marks.
    The states of the next age will no doubt remember you, and edge their love of freedom with contempt of luxury.

  4. Kamper says:

    Au contraire, Mr. Smartypants. I did not misspell The Wasteland as I was referring to ‘Warriors of the Wasteland’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, excerpted below.

    It seems to be that the powers that be
    Keep themselves in splendour and security
    Armoured cars for megastars
    No streets, no bars, yours wealth is ours
    They make the masses, kiss their asse(t)s
    Lower class jackass, pay me tax take out the trash
    Working for the world go round
    Your job is gold, do as you’re told
    The pay you less the run for congress

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