DrMyers’s Blog

November 20, 2008

Bailout: Chrysler, Paulson or Cheney? Is this just the beginning?

This week several people have sat before Congress, requesting Bail.  Rep Michael Capuano stated that, “He’s not sure that he trusts them” as he was speaking to the Big 3 auto makers, while Rep. Maxine Waters stated, “I am highly disappointed in you”, when addressing Secretary Paulson, and his “Divorcement” from his original plan in dispersing 350 billion dollars (our money) which was sold to Congress as monies needed to buy up “Toxic Assets”, but this did not happen.  

Everyday I watch Richard Sanchez on CNN, and religiously I see him crafting questions and thoughts based upon the input from people on facebook, myspace and twitter (the latter I’m still trying to figure out!).  Following his lead, I went to the local watering hole and listened to the the “Talk of the Town” regarding national matters.  No one believed that Ford, Chrysler, or GM deserved to be bailed out.  Everyone was pretty well informed that if we do not bail them out now, allowing these companies to go bankrupt and having their books closely examined might be a good thing not only for the companies but also for the consumers.  The tone of “Who’s going to bail me out” rang through as they inquired about the qualification of Secretary Paulson.  I informed them that he worked for Goldman Sachs, and Paulson’s actions was not so different from the way he operated in Goldman Sachs.   As most individual investments of hedge funds (which were handled by his company) are not made public, one can see the pattern created and executed in the way he is not so “in-depth” about his actions and thinking, making most decisions appear sporadic and or misleading.

Listening closely to the conversations, everyone was talking about another matter that has just been hinted on Television.  “Is this just the beginning?” many patrons asked?  Will other companies that heavily impact our lives start rising up and asking for “Bail”?  Will, for instance, GE come before congress and ask help or will the local banks start publishing in the papers that they too are bankrupt?  Burying money was suggested as a solution last night, while one patron joked about investing $1000 into GM first thing in the morning.  One older gentlemen brought up a very interesting point,” Who else from this administration will also be needing bail, but in a different sense?”.

Yesterday,  A Texas judge set the arraignment day for Vice President Dick Cheney, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others named in indictments, accusing them of responsibility for prisoner abuse in a federal detention center.  This Friday, they will not be arrested or anything like that, but they will be arraigned by Judge Manuel Banales.  Cheney has been accused of  “a conflict of interest” because of his influence over the county’s federal immigrant detention center and his substantial holdings in the Vanguard Group, which invests in private prison companies.  The Vanguard Group is a United States Investment Management Company that manages approximately $1.3 trillion in assets.  This “Conflict of Interests”, is just one of many conflict of interests held by many people in the Bush Administration, that has caused either the resignation of, or the non-confirmation of many people tied to or within his political associations.  

“Who will be next?” was the most common question asked of me last night, and I was frankly stumped.  Will we be waiting in January to see the President Elect take office and make history, or will we be waiting to see President Bush along with his administration step down, and perhaps step into the courtroom?  Surely, no other president since Andrew Johnson, who was reported drunk at the inauguration, or Aaron Burr who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, has received so much attention from “Judges and Juries”.  

To say the least, the term “Bail” whether dealing with monies or misdemeanor , does not bode well with the American Public.  The term that seems to resonate with the American people is conviction.  Conviction can be used two separate ways.  The first term of conviction refers to a strongly held belief that is arrived at after considering personal experiences and any external inputs that may have been encountered.  For an example:  It is the Conviction of the American People, that they deserve elected officials who represent their interests, honestly and honorably.  This is a conviction, that seems to have been overlooked by many elected officials not only on Boards and Committees in Washington, but also on Chambers and Councils in Municipal Governments.  Using the term conviction within the parameters of the law refers to a finding that a defendant is guilty of committing a crime.  For an example:   Congress has impeached a sitting Cabinet member before; William Belknap, Ulysses S Grant’s Secretary of War, was impeached in a unanimous vote by the House in 1876 for bribery, but the Senate fell just short of the votes necessary to convict him. 

No matter what, Bail has and will always ring one bell in the American mind, and that bell is money.  Now, if we can only make sure that Congress sets some of the “Bail-out” money aside.  Chrysler might not be the only one who needs it, Cheney, Stevens and Gonzales might need a “Get out of Jail Free” card, and my pockets will be empty when we receive that call at 3am in the morning!

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