Much has been said this week about the so-called USD 700 Billion bail-out plan for banks by the current U.S. administration and finally the right question was asked in congress yesterday – How did you arrive at that USD 700 billion number?
From Marc Ambinder’s blog:
“…Sec. Paulson told congress yesterday that the plan was to spend roughly 50 billion a month,
Sen. Schumer asked: why not $150 billion then, and let the next administration do a re-evaluation in January? No real answer….”
While Marc Ambinder asks what will prevent Paulson taking over a key position at one of the “bailed-out companies after he leaves office, we say lets just have a look what is happening with Goldman Sachs today. The majority of commentators agrees that Goldman Sachs is already profiting from the announcement of the plan alone.
So many vested interests and so much money still left to steal.
Marc Ambinder’s blog post at The Atlantic
Note: Henry Merritt “Hank” Paulson Jr. aka United States Treasury Secretary aka “Leader of U.S. government economic bailout” previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. His stock holdings in Goldman Sachs were valued on 23-Sep-2008 at USD 403,914,501.19 after the GS share price rose back to around 133.00 from its 85.88 low during the last days due to the bail-out announcement. This is roughly a USD 127 Million gain on Paulson’s stock in GS alone within less than 5 days.
- Corruption: At least USD 13 Billion Iraq Aid wasted or stolen
- Video: Google’s Master Plan
- USA: The never ending story of money motivated war crimes in Iraq continues
- Visualizing the size of the banking crisis
The Washington Post today (link below) has a very interesting report on fraud, corruption and waste surrounding the U.S. Iraq reconstruction program.
Salam Adhoob, the former chief investigator of the Iraq’s Commission on Public Integrity (the equivalent to the U.S. FBI) estimated in a hearing of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee yesterday, that out of the about USD 50 Billion U.S. taxpayer money that has so far been disbursed to the Iraq reconstruction program, at least USD 13 Billion have been wasted or stolen through various fraud schemes.
The former chief investigator and head of a 200 strong auditors team was one of three Iraqis testifying before the committee yesterday – all providing evidence of widespread corruption and waste up to the point, as one of them said, that Iraqi government officials are financing al-Qaeda terrorists through some of these schemes.
An additional USD 9 Billion were estimated…
Here’s your daily dose of conspiracy theory. The Video Google’s Master Plan – recently made available on YouTube – is looking into the “underlying” plans that are driving Google’s business. The movie is greatly done and uses excellent visualization techniques. A high quality version together with additional information is available at…
What BBC’s popular political TV magazine Panorama yesterday night called the greatest heist in history or Daylight Robbery seems now to be going into another round of new discoveries.
In the more than one hour long broadcast Panorama’s Jane Corbin tells us some of the stories of those who became rich from the war and those who stood up against the crimes and “got burned”.
…If you believe that such corruption happens by pushing around brown envelopes with money under the table, sorry, but that might just be a very small part of it. We have compiled a short list of the most common activities identified within Iraq below. Some of them have also been mentioned in the report of Panorama yesterday night…
Sizing the issue at hand seems to be the first problem. Banks keep the so called derivatives off their balance sheets (because when looking at it with a sense of black humor these instruments are a bit like the banks’ own print run of casino chips – As long as others exchange them freely for real money that’s what they are worth. When that situation changes their value changes too – well, worst case to nothing or – better said, whatever someone is willing to pay for the illusion of value)…