May 10, 2009

Econ Wm Black: Treasury plan is 'greatest boondoggle in history'

Reading finance analysts Blodget-Black-Krugman-Stiglitz-Shiller-Johnson-Roubini-DeLong, an Obama supporter is left with the feeling: Jesus, I hope these guys are wrong about what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is doing.

One of the problems is Geithner's Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP).

From TechTicker:

While much of the focus is on the stress tests and banks' efforts to raise cash, the real story is Geithner's Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP), says William Black, an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri - Kansas City.

The PPIP is the 'greatest boondoggle in the history of the world,' says Black, a former bank regulator who was counsel to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board during the S&L crisis. As occurred during the S&L era, Black says the PPIP will allow banks to exchange 'trash for cash' and turn 'real losses into faulty gains.'

If the goal of Tim Geithner and other regulators was 'to rip off the American taxpayer for the benefit of the least-deserving wealthiest people you can imagine, well - mission accomplished,' Black says.

Among the masses and a growing number of economists is the distinct sentiment that what Obama and Geithner are doing is in a word: Wrong.

And boondoggling. Isn't that what the Republican geniuses who got us into this mess do?

What does that mean? That banks make a lot of money and the rules of the game have always favored capital?

We know that, that's kind of why many people get into finance: To make money. If this seems unfair, change the rules and start gearing American capitalism towards the middle class. Like soon.

One thing certain is that Obama needs to rebut these economists who are scaring the hell of a growing number of his supporters who just don't feel sufficiently conversant to understand or much less defend what is going on in the financial temples. And looking to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board doesn't seem all that revealing.

And by anecdote, some dudes sure seem confident that the DOW is going back down to 6,500 in the foreseeable future.

How bad is it? Tell me right away.

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