Diary

Nationalizing Industries [UPDATED]...

Welcome to 1984. On steroids. From the Wall St. Journal

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the federal government might remove top bank executives or board members if “exceptional” assistance is required to keep the banks operating in the future.

When in the future — or I would say, if in the future — banks need exceptional assistance in order to get through this, then we’ll make sure that assistance comes with conditions, not just to protect the taxpayer, but to make sure this is the kind of restructuring necessary for them to emerge stronger,” Mr. Geithner said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Where that requires a change of management and the board, we will do that.”

Both the auto and financial industries have received financial help from the government, but the Obama administration has come under criticism for taking a harder line with the auto industry than with Wall Street. Last month, administration officials pushed out former General Motors Corp. chief executive Rick Wagoner, after a federal auto restructuring task force determined he wasn’t restructuring the auto company fast or deep enough.

Highlight is mine.

He, of course, goes on to note that Bush did the same thing. And, he did. Sort of.

In case you haven’t noticed, or in case you just don’t want to, the Federal Government now controls – lock stock and barrel – the banking industry, the mortgage industry and by proxy the housing and construction industries, the auto industry and will soon control the health care industry. With the help of people like the CEOs of Costco and Starbucks, they will have defacto control of retail through the unionization of companies like Walmart and Target (for starters).

I am confident of but one thing. B. Obama will go down in history for one thing, for certain, he will be the most successful President ever at getting his policy initiatives written into law and successfully defended in the courts. I’m also confident that no Republican will ever attempt to “turn back the clock”. We will be Europe.

And Warner Todd Huston’s front page sermon today is an exercise in optimism.
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UPDATE: from The Guardian

US watchdog calls for bank executives to be sacked
* James Doran in New York
* The Observer, Sunday 5 April 2009

Elizabeth Warren, chief watchdog of America’s $700bn (£472bn) bank bailout plan, will this week call for the removal of top executives from Citigroup, AIG and other institutions that have received government funds in a damning report that will question the administration’s approach to saving the financial system from collapse.

Warren, a Harvard law professor and chair of the congressional oversight committee monitoring the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (Tarp)…

Now, to her credit, she does lavish criticism on Timmy-the-Tax-Evader™, but the net result gets us to the same place… Nationalization of industries by the Federal Government. In thinking about it, probably the only real fight here will be between the legislative and executive branches for unconstitutional control of day to day operation of said industries. That, as usual, will be an exercise in mental masturbation because in the end regulators accountable no one will end up in control.

What a country!
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UPDATE #2: from Politico

New GM CEO Fritz Henderson denied allegations that the government is running GM, on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

“The administration and the task force has been very clear: They don’t want to run General Motors, they expect us to get our job done,” he said.

But, noted Henderson, the company must respect the taxpayers who are saving their business.

“One of the happiest days of my future career will be when we pay the money back,” said Henderson.

Oh, and was there any discussion about GM’s pending bankruptcy filing? Apparently not. Talk about being as sharp as a wet corn flake…