Friday, September 26, 2008

Freaky Friday

As the events of Thursday and Friday, with the meetings at the White House and in Congress, keep changing, the issues will continue to be fluid.

That being said...


Lee Terry has emerged, apparently, as one of the hundred or so House Members who has "revolted" (Rep. Barney Frank's words) against the Treasury Secretary's original plan on the banking crisis.

However, Terry, who is in favor of Congressional action, was quoted in the L.A. Times, saying, "Whatever is going to be done has to be done this weekend. Allowing it to go beyond Sunday into Monday will devastate the markets."

Senator Chuck Hagel has noted that constituent reaction coming into his office is 50 to 1 against the bailout as originally proposed (we hear from our sources that it's actually more like 100 or 200 to 1). Voicing this position, Terry notes, "There is no way in heck any Congressman would support putting that money into the pockets of these CEO’s that caused this problem."

No word right now as to whether Terry is or was on board with the Wall St. self-insurance proposal that was thrown out by some House GOPers. But, assuming that a deal does get made, and the markets don't tank, Terry could be on the right side of this.

However, there will likely be no real political "winners" in this matter.


Jim Esch tried to make some political hay a few days ago as this came up. Esch put out a release saying that Terry was wrong to agree to a plan that would "give Wall Street a blank check".

While Esch may have jumped the gun on this, we would guess that he would be joining Barney Frank and Speaker Nancy Pelosi's position now. Does that include the blank check that Esch alluded to a few days ago?

We are not sure, though we would assume that he will be coming out with another statement on the crisis shortly.


We were a bit stunned by a report from leading pollster John Zogby who said the Presidential election could be a "landslide".

And who does he pick? John McCain.

Interesting. (Though we're sure he could change his mind at about any time.)

If the debate comes off tonight (which it now looks to be), feel free to come back to Leavenworth Street and give your comments on what happened.

And...Go Huskers!!

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macdaddy said...

I'm sure the entire financial system is waiting anxiously to hear what Esch would do about the current crisis.

Street Sweeper said...

No word whether Jim has Hank Paulson's ear.

But I'd guess 2nd Dist voters would be curious to hear what he thinks...

Uncle Wiggily said...

While I don't currently have confirmation on this, I would be very surprised if Adrian (and probably Fortenberry) aren't also part of the so-called "rebellious House Republicans". God bless 'em all ... looks like they're listening to We The People for a change.

As Sweeper noted, I'm hearing that the public response to the Paulsen Bailout is OVERWHELMINGLY negative.

You know they're doing something right when Barney Frank is squealing like a pig caught under a gate.

Every once in a while the good guys win.

Eric said...

This is quite the stunning flip flop for Terry. I'm glad though, to see that even though Terry thought the bailout plan was a good idea last week (whether or not he tried to claim ownership of said plan), he's found a new bandwagon to jump on to.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Did you read all of Terry's comments on the link to the Nebraska Radio Network site?

Mr. "Tough guy Terry" says "Bull!" Twice. Now there's evidence of a sharp economic mind, huh? I guess he's trying to show us that he's taking this serious now. At first he couldn't be bothered with it because he didn't see anything about it in his crystal ball, but now that his constituents are actually showing him they're mad, now, NOW he's taking it seriously.

Oh, and this other gem from the article: “Don’t reward the people that cause the problem.” Yes, that was a quote from Lee too.

You know Lee? I couldn't agree with you more on that one. My thoughts exactly. Vote for Jim Esch!

Anonymous said...

UW, I'm sure the entire Congress is just hanging on and ready to follow Adrian Smith with his amazing leadership abilities. He's such an economic genius. And if you believe that, I've got some stock in WaMu to sell you. Adrian will do whatever John Boehner tells him to do. He has no real thoughts of his own. Of course, its people like Boehner, and Lee Terry, and their way of thinking that got us to this point.

Anonymous said...

Eric, why don't you call the Congressman's Office when you figure out whether you want him to vote for a bailout with no strings attached. Or, would you rather he not vote for it and then you could support him for reelection, 'cause until you take a stand, you sound like you just want to disagree with whatever side the Congressman decides to vote on. Government Bailout with no oversight, or No Government Bailout and we can all wait and see what happens. The Congressman stood on the "wait and see" side for the tiny little bailout a few weeks ago (which Esch must have supported since he criticized Terry for not voting for it). The little bailout did nothing to prevent the current crisis. Now Wall Street wants a blank check.

Honestly Eric, what the Hell is it that you hope to see happen or do you just prefer to sit back and attack whatever position Congressman Terry takes on the subject? I don't really care either way, it would just be nice if you followed some line of logic!

Anonymous said...

SS, am I the only one that thinks it is humorous the way the Anon Dems like to place Lee Terry in and out of Leadership positions to fit the framework of their argument?

It sure would be nice if Jim would actually take a stand, and stand by it, on this Bailout. Previously I was instructed to check out his Website to read for myself his stand on the Bailout Plan, but all I found was him blabbering about was some Charity he started in college to benefit his family and that he agrees with Congressman Terry about what Congressman Terry has already done to help Americans with disabilities.

The only position that they differ on in his most recent post is what kind of stem cells to research for a cure for Parkinson's Disease.

Where is Jim Esch's outrage at the over paid executives? Where is his outrage toward the investment bankers and short sellers and speculators? Where is his outrage at the greed of this Country that drove us to the Cliff of Collapse?
The only time we see Jim's outrage is when his views are widely distributed to the voters of the 2nd Congressional District, and that has nothing to do with his stand on our economic future!

Anonymous said...

Lee Terry says, "Bull! Get me my crystal ball!"

asecurityguard said...

I would like to hear from Paulson or Bernanke or any govet official what the odds are of us the taxpayers getting our money back if this thing goes through. If im correct, we did get our money back from the Chrysler bailout, and i think we did from the S&L crisis. If the odds are that we are going to get the short end of the stick, HELL NO.

Holdonasec... said...

Let's not forget it was Bush and paulson who floated the idea of giving Wall Street $700 billion without any strings attached. And on top of that the $700 Billion number was made up:

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

It was the Congressional Democrats who said "Whoa" first. Then the House Republicans got a backbone and began to raise questions. The Dems have put a sensible plan on the table - that infuses cash and accountability at the same time. Of course, the WH and the Republicans oppose that - just like they did when the Dems tried to add accountability to the war funding in Iraq.

We are looking at two TRILLION dollars in deficit spending because this Adminstration and its congressional allies like Lee have refused to pay for anything.

So Lee's 'opposition" is to what exactly? He seems to be on Barney Frank's side doesn't he? He opposed the blank check sought by the geniuses in the Administration - so did the Democrats. But he hasn't offered a single idea on how to go forward. His lack of leadership is the real "bull."

Anonymous said...

Now wait there Holdonasec, don't go getting all logical and factual on this. We're supposed to THANK Lee for his part in all this, remember?

macdaddy said...

Holdonasec: the Dems have control of both houses of Congress. The House needs no Republicans to sign onto anything. Bush wants the $700 billion, the Dem leadership wants the $700 billion. What's the problem? The problem is that their constituents are calling in overwhelmingly against the bailout and the Dems are too gutless to do what they think is right. Their plan calls for 20% of whatever money comes in to go to groups like ACORN rather than deficit reduction. (You left out that little nugget of the "sensible" plan). Who could vote against that? Come on. Vote it through. The American people will hail you as heroes! The Dems, despite their previous examples, continue to outdo themselves in shamelessness.

fromthehill said...


I. Wall Street – Not Taxpayers – Should Fund the Recovery

The most troubling part of Sec. Paulson’s plan is that it relies wholly on taxpayer funds. House Republicans believe that rather than providing taxpayer funded purchases of frozen mortgage assets to solve this problem, any rescue package should adopt a plan to insure mortgage backed securities (MBS) through payment of insurance premiums.

Currently, the federal government insures approximately half of all MBS and can insure the rest of those still outstanding. However, rather than taxpayers funding the insurance, the holders of these assets should pay for it. The working group’s proposal would direct the Treasury Department to design a system to charge premiums to the holders of MBS to fully finance this insurance.

II. Private Capital – Not Tax Dollars – Should Be Injected Into Financial Markets

Instead of injecting taxpayer funds into the market to produce liquidity, private capital can be drawn into the market by removing burdensome regulatory and tax barriers that are currently blocking private capital formation. In short, too much private capital is sitting on the sidelines during this crisis, and it is well past time to unleash it.

Temporary tax relief provisions can help companies free up capital to maintain operations, create jobs, and lend to one another. In addition, the working group recommends a temporary suspension of dividend payments by financial institutions and other regulatory measures to address the problems surrounding private capital liquidity.

III. Immediate Transparency, Oversight, and Market Reform

Both Republicans and Democrats have made clear that they believe there is not a strong enough oversight component in Sec. Paulson’s plan. The House Republican working group’s proposal addresses this flaw. To begin, the plan would require participating firms to disclose to the Treasury Department the value of their mortgage assets on their books, the value of any private bids within the last year for such assets, and their last audit report. Additional safeguards include:

To limit federal exposure for high risk loans, the working group’s recommendations mandate that Government Sponsored Entities no longer securitize any unsound mortgages.

The plan would call on the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to audit reports of failed companies to ensure that the financial standing of these troubled companies was accurately portrayed.

The blueprint would guarantee that Wall Street executives do not benefit from taxpayer funding.

The proposal would call on the SEC to review the performance of the credit rating agencies and their ability to accurately reflect the risks of these failed investment securities.

The working group recommends that Congress create a blue ribbon panel with representatives of Treasury, SEC, and the Federal Reserve Board to make recommendations to Congress for reforms of the financial sector by January 1, 2009.

Anonymous said...

The reason you do not hear Esch on this issue is because he does NOT understand it. He is trying to figure out if Congress is going to pass a Resolution or a bill.

Esch has no clue about this issue or we would be hearing something. Esch get off the talking points (anything Opp. of Lee's) that is about the only way he can take a position. See what Lee says then jump on the other side. Face it Esch just can't come up with his own ideas. He can always follow democratic leader Pelosi. That will fly with the Nebraskan voter.

I bet if you ask Esch the inner working of the issue he would have no idea what to say. SUCH AN EMPTY candidate.

Eric said...


Did you not read the part where I said that I'm glad Terry changed his position?

Terry has been on the "wait and see" side, the pro-bailout at complete taxpayer expense side, and the anti-bailout "wallstreet should fund the bailout" side all in the course of three weeks. Last week he was for socialism; this week he isn't. I don't give him much credit for being a political kite.

I am, however, glad to see that you are willing to change positions equally as often as he has. I find it ironic that you tell me I've changed my position (when I haven't - and as if my opinion means anything anyway) to always be against him when you'll change to always support him. Of course, Anonymous, it looks like you've had about 8 or 9 different positions just over the last few days. And, that was you that hacked into Governor Palin's email account, right?

Anonymous said...

Dems have been for the bailout, yes, but they were the first ones to call for oversight and regulation before ANYTHING is approved. They had something worked out. Then a WEEK after everyone (both Democrats and Republicans)had been working on an agreement, in comes the extreme right suddenly saying they're the ones on the high ground and going to save the day - and throwing up I was impressed to be a VERY NON PARTISAN agreement - up in the air because they want the spotlight. And John McCain was the "leader". Of course, he wasn't the one asking questions in the closed door meeting with Bush. It was Obama. And it wasn't Obama that took a campaign staffer in with him to the meeting. Get a grip, Republicans, your people got us there, and Democrats & Moderate Republicans have been working hard to get something put together! But you all will jump in with the neocons who care only for political power instead of really putting country first.

One Out In The Third said...

Smith had one of his Constituent Conference Calls to folks in the Third a couple nights ago. Looking back I would bet he was getting a feel of what Thirdee's thought and was testing the water. Most folks on the call told Smith not only "no" but "hell no."

The House Reps are a no-sh** bunch.. Hagel...Nelson and Johanns could all learn from them.

Anonymous said...

Anoyn 3:29PM - Even the Chief of the Congressional Budget Office said he didn't understand the bailout package.

The problem with Lee is he thinks that he knows more than anyone else and that is a JOKE!