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Archive for Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Treasury takes $1.6B loss on Chrysler loan

May 18, 2010

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— The Treasury Department said Monday it will lose $1.6 billion on a loan made to Chrysler in early 2009.

Taxpayer losses from bailing out Chrysler and General Motors are expected to rise as high as $34 billion, congressional auditors have said.

Treasury said Monday that Chrysler repaid $1.9 billion of a $4 billion loan, which was extended before the company filed for Chapter 11. The government hopes to get another $500 million from the company that emerged from bankruptcy, Chrysler Group LLC.

Treasury officials said that the government had no plans to boost its stake in the new Chrysler to cover those losses. It also acknowledged another $1.9 billion in potential losses from a separate loan that had been made to the company that went through bankruptcy proceedings.

Comments

jmadison 4 years, 7 months ago

This is peanuts compared with the losses the American taxpayers are covering with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The financial reform bills before Congress provide no solutions to stem the massive losses these governmental agencies are running up. Once again Congress and the Executive branch are providing zero leadership in tackling our fiscal problems.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

A history of the S&L situation can be found here:

http://www.fdic.gov/bank/historical/s&l/

What is important to note about the S&L scandal is that it was the largest theft in the history of the world and US tax payers are who was robbed.

The problems occurred in the Savings and Loan industry as they relate to theft because the industry was deregulated under the Reagan/Bush administration and restrictions were eased on the industry so much that abuse and misuse of funds became easy, rampant, and went unchecked.

Additional facts on the Savings and Loan Scandal can be found here:

http://www.inthe80s.com/sandl.shtml

There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and still part of the Bush Jr. administration today. Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this is about one quarter of our national debt).

Between 1981 and 1989, when George Bush finally announced that there was a Savings and Loan Crisis to the world, the Reagan/Bush administration worked to cover up Savings and Loan problems by reducing the number and depth of examinations required of S&Ls as well as attacking political opponents who were sounding early alarms about the S&L industry. Industry insiders were aware of significant S&L problems as early 1986 that they felt would require a bailout. This information was kept from the media until after Bush had won the 1988 elections.

Jeb Bush defaulted on a $4.56 million loan from Broward Federal Savings in Sunrise, Florida. After federal regulators closed the S&L, the office building that Jeb used the $4.56 million to finance was reappraised by the regulators at $500,000, which Bush and his partners paid. The taxpayers had to pay back the remaining 4 million plus dollars.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

"Between 1981 and 1989..." Way to stay current there, merrill. Give us another Iran/Contra link & your day will be complete.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

Neil Bush was the most widely targeted member of the Bush family by the press in the S&L scandal. Neil became director of Silverado Savings and Loan at the age of 30 in 1985. Three years later the institution was belly up at a cost of $1.6 billion to tax payers to bail out.

The basic actions of Neil Bush in the S&L scandal are as follows:

Neil received a $100,000 "loan" from Ken Good, of Good International, with no obligation to pay any of the money back.

Good was a large shareholder in JNB Explorations, Neil Bush's oil-exploration company.

Neil failed to disclose this conflict-of-interest when loans were given to Good from Silverado, because the money was to be used in joint venture with his own JNB. This was in essence giving himself a loan from Silverado through a third party.

Neil then helped Silverado S&L approve Good International for a $900,000 line of credit.

Good defaulted on a total $32 million in loans from Silverado.

During this time Neil Bush did not disclose that $3 million of the $32 million that Good was defaulting on was actually for investment in JNB, his own company.

Good subsequently raised Bush's JNB salary from $75,000 to $125,000 and granted him a $22,500 bonus.

Neil Bush maintained that he did not see how this constituted a conflict of interest.

Neil approved $106 million in Silverado loans to another JNB investor, Bill Walters.

Neil also never formally disclosed his relationship with Walters and Walters also defaulted on his loans, all $106 million of them.

Neil Bush was charged with criminal wrongdoing in the case and ended up paying $50,000 to settle out of court. The chief of Silverado S&L was sentenced to 3.5 years in jail for pleading guilty to $8.7 million in theft. (Keep in mind that you can get more jail time for holding up a gas station for $50.)

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

As badly as our banking system operated in recent years, the housing bubble was not a Ponzi scheme. In some respects, however, it was even worse than a Ponzi scheme!

A Ponzi scheme is based on fraud. The operators of the scheme deceive the participants, telling them that their money is being used to make real or financial investments that have a high return. In fact, no such investments are made, and the operators of the scheme are simply paying high returns to the early participants with the funds put in by the later participants. A Ponzi scheme has to grow—and grow rapidly—in order to stay viable. When its growth slows, the early participants can no longer be paid the returns they expect. At this point, the operators disappear with what’s left of the participants’ funds—unless the authorities step in and arrest them, which is what happened with Charles Ponzi in 1920 and Bernard Madoff this year.

Fraud certainly was very important in the housing bubble of recent years. But the housing bubble—like bubbles generally—did not depend on fraud, and most of its development was there for everyone to see. With the principal problems out in the open and with the authorities not only ignoring those problems but contributing to their development, one might say that the situation with the housing bubble was worse than a Ponzi scheme. And Madoff bilked his marks out of only $50 billion, while trillions were lost in the housing bubble.

Bubbles involve actual investments in real or financial assets—housing in the years since 2000, high-tech stocks in the 1990s, and Dutch tulips in the 17th century. People invest believing that the price of the assets will continue to rise; as long as people keep investing, the price does rise. While some early speculators can make out very well, this speculation will not last indefinitely. Once prices start to fall, panic sets in and the later investors lose.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

A bubble is similar to a Ponzi scheme: early participants can do well while later ones incur losses; it is based on false expectations; and it ultimately falls apart. But there need be no fraudulent operator at the center of a bubble. Also, while a Ponzi scheme depends on people giving their money to someone else to invest (e.g., Madoff), people made their own housing investments—though mortgage companies and banks made large fees for handling these investments.

Often, government plays a role in bubbles. The housing bubble was in part generated by the Federal Reserve maintaining low interest rates. Easy money meant readily obtainable loans and, at least in the short run, low monthly payments. Also, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan denied the housing bubble’s existence—not fraud exactly, but deception that kept the bubble going. (Greenspan, whose view was ideologically driven, got support in his bubble denial from the academic work of the man who was to be his successor, Ben Bernanke.)

In addition, government regulatory agencies turned a blind eye to the highly risky practices of financial firms, practices that both encouraged the development of the bubble and made the impact all the worse when it burst.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

Your tax dollars at work. How's that hopenchange working out for you?

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