Home > economy, events, news, politics, thoughts > needy bank gets a helping hand

needy bank gets a helping hand

citigroup_sff_mi_embedded_prod_affiliate_741The government just gave the massive banking behemoth a $20 billion bailout so they can continue raising your credit card’s interest rate for years to come. Now that Citigroup  just got a $20 billion government gift, are you gonna pay your Citibank credit card bill this month?    -23/6  (Comedy News Ventures, Inc.) 

Just thinking out loud here.

Homelessness in our great and treasured country continues to grow at an alarming rate and the poverty rolls aren’t getting any shorter.  More and more of us are losing our homes, our jobs, and our opportunities to provide for our families.  Last I read, over half the world wasn’t even able to consume a clean glass of drinking water today. 

And the Detroit Lions are 0-11 and play the best team in the NFL on Thursday here in the Motor City.

So the fact that the Federal Government wants me to swallow their sales pitch that one of the world’s largest banks needs a helping hand this Thanksgiving isn’t digesting very well, and I haven’t even started nibbling on any holiday goodies yet.

Somebody please hand me the Rolaids.  Boo hoo.  Get me a box of Kleenex too.  I feel so bad for these guys who have had the misfortune of mis-managing and blowing gazillions of dollars and assets while loaning money like it was free.  Since we are talking about turkeys, we all need to pitch in and buy these bozos a turkey dinner too.  And I am supposed to have a heart.  Maybe these masters of deception can sneak another interest rate hike past their customers and use the spoils to bail themselves out.  Or maybe they can create another bogus service charge to add to the stack of them they already charge.  For all I care these slimy predatory lenders and all of their counterparts can take their bat and ball and go home. 

Stop and consider that these shysters have individual compensation and benefit packages that would be enough to provide for a small nation.  

We can live without the banking bandits.

The local credit union would serve me just fine.

Now, I’m about the last guy who feels sorry for the Big Three—it seems they are in line waiting for a much smaller slice of the pie and may have to do a little more lobbying and begging than their banking cousins.  But they will get theirs too. 

I was born and raised here in Detroit and some years ago now I sold cars out in the burbs to a good number of these factory workers who on many fronts sunk their own ship.  Some of them would shamelessly brag to me at my desk about working two hours a day and getting paid for twelve (in all fairness, I did have a good many customers/UAW workers who didn’t have such a despicable ethic and deplorable attitude).  It bothered me that I made squat the weeks I didn’t sell a car—zip, zilch, nada—and they were milking the very system that I was supporting.  I could work my tail off and see nothing while they could go in and lolly gag around and get paid like a king.  Here they were bragging to me about how easy they had it while I slaved away pushing their product.

But the double standard of our government is what is killing me now.  These mega-bankers that Uncle Sam is rescuing have put on a public display of humility that reminds me of Castro, the compassion of Hitler, and the discretion of Marylin Monroe.  So it should come as no surprise that some of us are fuming mad while these mouches are getting handouts like candy on Halloween.  The chiefs in charge of these financial raping machines continue to live large while the auto execs are about to be hung.

Now, I do wonder why the government is so giddy and anxious to make sure the financial institutions enjoy caviar uninterupted while the auto executives eat crow.  I mean, are the lawmakers and folks at the Treasury just in a giving mood one week and in a stingy one the next?  The Detroit News reported the following yesterday (stats according to the Center for Responsive Politics):

The auto industry, including car dealers, ranks No. 34 among contributors to congressional election campaigns—down from 16th eight years ago. Industries that rank among the top 15—including securities and investment firms, commercial banks, insurers and mortgage companies—are the primary beneficiaries of the $700 billion…              

Am I the only one who thinks there might be a direct correlation between what you give the politicians and what they’ll do for you—no matter how reckless or abusive you have been?  Money talks they say.  And now that these banks need money, I guess it’s time for Johnny public servant to pony up. 

And while I am at it—a little in defense of the Big Three: Their quality ratings have rivaled the Japanese for roughly the last decade now, and all this while our own governments lax and unfair trade laws haven’t helped them.  The Big Three are not only deprived of a level playing field to compete on, the press machine has failed to give these guys a fair shake when their quality ratings have soared and their mediocrity has been in steep decline.

In a day when banks like Citigroup should be lending a helping hand to so many in need, they are instead hoarding and hiding their gaudy profits while they to continue to fleece our government (us) for everything we don’t have in their reckless pursuit to mortgage the future of our children with a debt so large, it’s sure to bankrupt our country.  The scope and scale of these bailouts is mind boggling.  

I say let the banks go belly up.  And for once, let them taste what it’s like to suffer financially.

For more and an interesting perspective see Jane Hamsher’s piece at The Huffington Post.

  1. steve
    November 26, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    well said…there is certainly a correlation between lobbying monies and decisions congress makes…how about getting back all the jobs we have sent overseas,,,easy credit means nothing if men and women cannot find jobs….I see no effort to create jobs like the effort given to save banks…”is it just me”

  2. kenstoll
    November 26, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    yes yes Steve. I certainly wasn’t the expert here on this one but I think I make some sense. You mention jobs and the evaporation of good jobs while the government has seemed to have been our worst enemy—when jobs began to file out of our country it was as if our government thought they’d just snap their fingers and find some more for the American taxpayer and worker but all that has happened (it seems to me anyways)—is gotten worse the last 10-15 years on that front. How many jobs “created” under Clinton were low paying entry level good for teenager jobs (Taco Bell and the like)? I’d say a ton of them. Good jobs have left, and when they have been replaced its been with minimum wage jobs. The problems not that no one wants to work that our middle class continues to disappear, its that there are so very few jobs anymore that pay middle-income wages. How many people go get a degree now and end up working 30 hours a week at Target or Barnes and Noble?

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