September 2 2009 show notes

  • Today's newsletter has details of today's guests and links to the major stories and alerts that Thom covered in the show, plus lots more. If you haven't signed up for the free newsletter yet, please do. If you missed today's newsletter, it is in the archive.
  • Guests:
    • Dan Gainor of the Business and Media Institute.
    • William Gladstone, author of "The Twelve: 12/21/12 A New Beginning".
    • Larry Scott, Founder/Editor of VA Watchdog, who is keeping an eye on the VA because somebody has to!
  • Topics:
    • When are we going to figure out how to win friends and influence people? (3 Cups of Tea)
    • Are we at the tip of the w in a w shaped recession or has it bottomed out?"
    • Everything you know is wrong...about Mayan prophecy?
  • Bumper Music:
  • Article: Time to Get Out of Afghanistan By George F. Will.
    "Allen and others of America's finest are also in Washington's hands. This city should keep faith with them by rapidly reversing the trajectory of America's involvement in Afghanistan, where, says the Dutch commander of coalition forces in a southern province, walking through the region is "like walking through the Old Testament." U.S. strategy -- protecting the population -- is increasingly troop-intensive while Americans are increasingly impatient about "deteriorating" (says Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) conditions. The war already is nearly 50 percent longer than the combined U.S. involvements in two world wars, and NATO assistance is reluctant and often risible."
  • Article: Alexander Hamilton's Advice To The Obama Administration by Thom Hartmann. Henry VII’s Tudor Plan.
  • Video: Elizabeth Warren Introduces COP's July Report.
    "Once we had our numbers and our models we compared them with what Treasury has received for the warrants it has already sold. What we found has us worried. In general, Treasury sold its warrants back to the banks at just 66% of market value. That is, Treasury got about $66 for each $100 that we estimate that those warrants were worth. So far that has created a gap of about $10 million. This raises serious questions about whether Treasury should consider other methods such as auctioning off the warrants or holding them long term in order to get the highest possible price for the taxpayers.Back in October, before this panel was even created, the Treasury Department under Secretary Paulson put nearly $300 billion into the banks. He said it was a par transaction: for every $100 of taxpayer money, the banks gave us back $100 worth of preferred stock and warrants. We analyzed these transactions and we discovered that these securities were not worth $100. On average Treasury got only $66 back for every $100 invested.

    By the time we made our report, the money was gone."

    These warrants are options the Treasury bought from the banks to buy stock in the banks at a fixed price in the future, when hopefully the stock price will have risen above the fixed price so the Treasury can buy shares then sell them at a profit. We were told we would get all our money back. But banks want to get out of TARP restrictions and buy the warrants back now. The banks screwed us and now they're reporting record profits.
  • Article: Debt is capitalism’s dirty little secret By Ben Funnell, June 30 2009.
    "Just why is there so much debt in the Anglo-Saxon world? Bankers and regulators know well that it is in nobody’s long-term interests to have allowed borrowing to escalate to a position where the US now owes far more, as a multiple of the economy, than at the start of the Great Depression.The answer is capitalism’s dirty little secret: excessive lending was the only way to maintain the living standards of the vast bulk of the population at a time when wealth was being concentrated in the hands of an elite."

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