You Have To Be Shitting Me

This just gets better and better (via):

The federal agency that insures bank deposits, which is asking for emergency powers to borrow up to $500 billion to take over failed banks, is facing a potential major shortfall in part because it collected no insurance premiums from most banks from 1996 to 2006.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures deposits up to $250,000, tried for years to get congressional authority to collect the premiums in case of a looming crisis. But Congress believed that the fund was so well-capitalized – and that bank failures were so infrequent – that there was no need to collect the premiums for a decade, according to banking officials and analysts.

I’d like to get some car, health, and homeowners insurance like that. I mean, I never have had cancer, have never wrecked my car, and my house has never burned down. Why are they still collecting premiums from me.

In other words, banks gave away a lot of money in the form of bad loans to people who had nonexistent means to pay them back, then lost their asses in the derivatives market in which they gambled on all the bad loans they and others had made, all the while earning money on fees and pretending nothing could go awry. But that is ok, because they are covered by FDIC and the premiums they don’t pay.

I eagerly await learning how this is Obama’s fault.






170 replies
  1. 1
    gopher2b says:

    Words fail.

  2. 2
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    Mother of fucking God. Are you trying to drag the whole fucking world down with you, you gibbering chimps?

  3. 3
    JDM says:

    If they didn’t pay the premiums, it wasn’t really an insurance system. Jesus Christ, thanks, Clinton. Bushco, I guess, regarded this as a fortuitously undotted "i" or uncrossed "t" in the grander scheme of empire. Jesus fucking wept.

  4. 4
    Sasha says:

    I eagerly await learning how this is Obama’s fault.

    Or Clinton’s.

  5. 5
    Chuck says:

    There goes my faith in, well, the monetary system. I should have learned blacksmithing. At least then I could have a real skill. Just change my rates to "chickens and blowjobs" and I’d still be in business.

    (Apologies to Partially Clips where I stole that from)

  6. 6
    Ron says:

    Um…I’m trying to think of a way to describe this and only "EPIC FAIL" comes to mind.

  7. 7
    Comrade Dread says:

    I think the title of this post should be "It’s worse."

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures deposits up to $250,000, tried for years to get congressional authority to collect the premiums in case of a looming crisis. But Congress believed that the fund was so well-capitalized – and that bank failures were so infrequent – that there was no need to collect the premiums for a decade, according to banking officials and analysts.

    Sweet friggin’ Buddha, that is the dumbest crap I’ve ever heard. How in the name of all that is holy can anyone possibly justify not collecting insurance premiums and use low risk as a justification?

    The entire bloody point of insurance is to pool risk. Everyone pays into the fund so when someone needs it money is there, and in return, you get to slap the "Insured by FDIC" on your window and let your customer’s know that their money will allegedly be safe, except, whoops, it might not be because Congress wouldn’t let the insurance company collect any fucking premiums.

    Where is my damn pitchfork?

  8. 8
    Cris says:

    it collected no insurance premiums from most banks from 1996 to 2006.

    See, it is Clinton’s fault!

  9. 9
    geg6 says:

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    /runs out to buy pitchfork and torches/

    Enough with these asswipes. I’m heading to Wall Street and then Capitol Hill. Anyone with me?

  10. 10
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    But James Chessen, chief economist of the American Bankers Association, said that it made sense at the time to stop collecting most premiums because "the fund became so large that interest income on the fund was covering the premiums for almost a decade." There were relatively few bank failures and no projection of the current economic collapse, he said. "Obviously hindsight is 20-20," Chessen said.

    Fuck you, Chessen, you smug prat.

    House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank agreed that officials believed at the time that the good times would last and that bank failures would not be a problem. "We had this period where we had no failures," the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview yesterday. "The banks were saying, ‘Don’t charge us anything.’ "

    Fuck you, Frank, you dickless wonder.

    Do you have ANY fucking idea what percentage of my monthly pay goes to emergency savings, retirement savings, health insurance, disability insurance, mortgage insurance and fire/property insurance? Fuck you, you feckless fuckwits.

  11. 11
    gbear says:

    Now close your eyes and imagine that McCain/Palin had won the election.

    On a different note: Is Bernie in prison yet?

  12. 12
    Hedley Lamarr says:

    Began in 1996, eh? I’d check on who controlled the relevant finance committees in Congress at the time. How did our friend Chris Dodd vote?

  13. 13
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    I eagerly await learning how this is Obama’s fault.

    Because it’s $ociali$m. Also.

  14. 14
    JenJen says:

    We really are living in a banana republic, aren’t we? Only with actual Banana Republic stores.

    Speaking of the Great Financial Industry Brain Trust, here’s an interesting piece over at HuffPo on Jim Cramer; in a 2006 interview, he totally cops to market manipulation, stock-shorting, and out-and-out lying about hedge fund health.

    And we’re supposed to feel sorry for these guys, right?

  15. 15
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    John, you need more tags than "Domestic Affairs". Or are you going for understated elegance while you drink yourself into a stupor?

  16. 16
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    But Congress believed…

    Right there is where you head into FAIL City. Although it was a Republican-majority Congress during those years I trust that there were plenty of Dems along for the ride.

  17. 17
    Adrienne says:

    Jesus Christ, thanks, Clinton. Bushco,

    Actually, this is almost entirely on Congress (ruled by Repubs, of course of course). The FDIC basically lobbied Congress to grant them the authority and the ability to collect and they were rebuffed.

    This is your legislative branch.

    This is your legislative branch on drugs.

  18. 18
    Cris says:

    House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank agreed that officials believed at the time that the good times would last and that bank failures would not be a problem.

    "We had this period where we had no failures," the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview yesterday. "The banks were saying, ‘Don’t charge us anything.’ "

    The banks were saying "Don’t charge us anything" and so Barney Frank said "okay." OMG MOST LIBERAL SENATOR EVER

  19. 19
    Stooleo says:

    I should have learned blacksmithing.

    I have always told myself and others, that if the world collapsed into a Mad Maxian dystopia, I would be a valued member of society cause I know how to make beer. I never dreamed it would be come reality..

  20. 20
    gex says:

    One of the most frustrating things about this is that every protestation that they didn’t know that their actions would lead to the economic collapse we are seeing.

    But on this, we have them. They deliberately did not pay premiums. That either means 1) they aren’t insured (I know if I skip premiums my policy lapses) or 2) that the system would be underfunded. There’s no way to pretend they didn’t know this was bad. Pointing out that there was a low risk doesn’t excuse not paying the premiums on insurance against that low risk.

  21. 21
    Cris says:

    @JenJen: We really are living in a banana republic, aren’t we? Only with actual Banana Republic stores.

    Comments like this make me wish John had a comment-rating system. (5-Comedy Gold)

  22. 22
    geg6 says:

    @Stooleo:

    I know how to make beer.

    Hmmm. Think I’ll cozy on up to Stooleo. Sounds like the right person to spend the Apocalypse with.

  23. 23
    Napoleon says:

    Began in 1996, eh? I’d check on who controlled the relevant finance committees in Congress at the time. How did our friend Chris Dodd vote?

    Were both houses in Rep control at that time?

  24. 24
    SpotWeld says:

    That’s it… I’m going to restock on rum when I head home tonight.

  25. 25
    amorphous says:

    Well, the front page has gone from "Moderately Depressing" to "Rather Infuriating" in record time.

    Currently booking my aeroplane tickets to Siberia.

  26. 26
    Comrade Dread says:

    An important lesson going forward is we need to be building up these funds in good times so you can draw down upon them in bad times."

    Another important lesson: If you are entrusting a random idiot with trillions of dollars of fucking finance, it’s probably a good idea to make sure they’ve mastered a concept taught in fables to 2 year olds.

  27. 27
    Aqualad08 says:

    I’m sure there will be more than enough blame to go around, but as far as Clinton goes:

    But Congress believed that the fund was so well-capitalized – and that bank failures were so infrequent – that there was no need to collect the premiums for a decade, according to banking officials and analysts.

    Hmmm…which party controlled the House from 1995 until 2006?

    And the Senate from 1995 until 2006 save for a year and a half (2001-2003)?

    Three guesses…

  28. 28
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    …or 2) that the system would be underfunded. There’s no way to pretend they didn’t know this was bad.

    See: Social Security Trust Fund, Looting Of.

  29. 29
    nikkos says:

    This is the kind of news that triggers bank runs. This could be the tipping point.

  30. 30
    camchuck says:

    I’ll bet dollars to wingnuts, Phil Gramm is responsible.

  31. 31
    David Hunt says:

    I wish I knew the names of the people most directly responsible for this. I’d dig up my old Kabballah texts and see if I could make them public cases of spontaneous human combustion…just in case it worked. In about ten minutes I’ll have calmed down and then this post will be me joking around, but it’s a good thing that there’s no chance that one of those putzes is going to walk up to me and introduce himself right now.

    I also find a bit of irony that the post immediately preceding this one is titled "It Could Be Worse."

  32. 32
    gopher2b says:

    But that is ok, because they are covered by FDIC and the premiums they don’t pay.

    Note, this isn’t insurance for the banks. This is insurance for the depositors. This akin to your employer not paying their portion of your health insurance because you never get sick and then when you get cancer….whoops, no insurance.

    Incestuous. So incestuous. I hope there is a slew of candidates in 2010 that run against EVERYONE in Congress on an anti-Wallstreet ticket. Both parties.

  33. 33
    NonyNony says:

    @Adrienne:

    Actually, this is almost entirely on Congress (ruled by Repubs, of course of course). The FDIC basically lobbied Congress to grant them the authority and the ability to collect and they were rebuffed.

    While Republicans take the a lot of blame here, I’m NOT willing to let the Dems off the hook. The Dems under Clinton embraced the same free-market, no regulation claptrap nonsense economics that the Republicans were espousing.

    Unlike the Republicans, there were Democrats who thought this stuff was stupid and would say so. But they were in the minority in Congress. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd certainly were pushing the goddamn "more rules lead to poor performance, so let’s ditch the rules" mantra almost as much as any average Republican. Clinton and his financial wizards weren’t any better.

    This bi-partisan embrace of what George Bush the Elder rightly dubbed "voodoo economics" back in the 80s (before he too put political expediency above rational thinking) has trashed this country mightily – the debts of the last 30 years of stupid have come due all at once. And while the Republicans rightly deserve a lot of flack for being the true champions of nonsense economics, the Democrats shouldn’t be let off the hook just because the Republicans have been 100% batshit insane across their caucus while the Democrats have only been 60% batshit insane.

  34. 34
    geg6 says:

    I’m calling my insurance company right this minute. I want this same sweet deal. I mean, I’m 50 years old, never had an accident or a ticket, never made a claim of any kind. Just paid and paid and paid and paid my premiums, always on time and in full.

    So I’ve totally built up enough by now that there’s no need for them to charge a premium, right?

  35. 35
    gopher2b says:

    @Adrienne:

    This has nothing to do with political parties. Congress, both parties, are in bed with Wall Street and have been for decades.

  36. 36
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Here’s your tag. John: Republicans broke the fucking world.

  37. 37
    demkat620 says:

    @Hedley Lamarr: The Chairman of the Senate Banking comittee in 1996 was…

    Phil Gramm.

    Oops.

  38. 38
    Comrade Stuck says:

    In other words, banks gave away a lot of money in the form of bad loans to people who had nonexistent means to pay them back, then lost their asses in the derivatives market in which they gambled on all the bad loans they and others had made.

    Ode to a Banker

    It was a dark and stormy night and I was up for a little soul searching. The Church door was locked, but the Casino was open all night.

    It was safe I thought, no risk to me
    For rounds at the wheel
    with bets for free

    and if I get caught
    I’ll just be a fish
    swimming the corporate sea.

  39. 39
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    Not just the Republicans, Fuckhead. I want Dodds’ and Frank’s shrivelled scrota on a stick.

  40. 40
    John Cole says:

    I’m serious. I hate populist rhetoric and the like, but at what point do we get to start shooting people?

  41. 41
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    but at what point do we get to start shooting people?

    We can no longer afford the bullets.

  42. 42
    Laura W says:

    OBAMA INHERITED A WORLD WITHOUT SADDAM HUSSEIN IN IT!*
    Forchristsakes…what more do you ingrates want?

    (*Ari Fleischer to Tweety)

  43. 43
    demkat620 says:

    @John Cole: Tar and feather the lot of them!

  44. 44
    NonyNony says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m not a violent man, so I’d settle for everyone involved on the Senate and House banking committees from ’96-’06 who wasn’t working to get those fees re-instated being barred from holding any kind of position of power for the rest of their lives.

    And also everyone in the top management at banks that spent money lobbying to have the fees removed have their possessions seized and thrown into a tent city to live until unemployment dips below 5%. Then they can apply for jobs that don’t involve making decisions about other people’s money. I wouldn’t trust them to cashier a McD’s window at this point.

    Hell right now I’d just like to see those fuckers who made such bad decisions lose their jobs. If I screw up like that I get fired. These guys are complaining because their pay might get capped at six figures.

  45. 45
    Mogden says:

    The bankers played this perfectly. Buy the politicians off, loot yourself blind, and if anything goes wrong, the taxpayer is holding the bag.

  46. 46
    The Populist says:

    But, but, but why should we pay into a system that is obsolete and over-regulated? – Some asswipe banker on Wall Street, 2005.

    Fuck these tards. WTF? So is this a case of over-regulation righties? If you own a business and don’t pay insurance and it is robbed/burns down/destroyed by tornado/flood/earthquake/tsunami/storm is it expected that the community and the government (which more or less is one big collective of a community!) is supposed to help you out?

    So how is this not socialism, right wing rubes? If we bail the banks out because the FDIC is broke, it’s socialism? Yet, if your buds in congress and the oval office had just forced the issue and collected the necessary insurance, maybe OUR (aka YOURS AND MINE) tax dollars wouldn’t be at risk. Please, try and TALK TO US here and explain the logic behind another clusterfuck? Is it because the FDIC is an old holdover from FDR that you find it insulting and a hinderance to "free markets?"

    Please, enlighten us. I love how y’all go on your little rightie websites and whine about liberals yet I never see you EVER take responsibility for your fuck ups. Liberals have done so when one of their own steps out of line. How about you, a-holes?

    The right is the party that gets business? I don’t think so. Try the party of greed and short sightedness. You call yourselves conservative? This ain’t conservative folks.

    Dumb ass idiots.

  47. 47
    JenJen says:

    Oh, jeebus! Tweety is really giving Ari Fleischer the business over on "Hardball." It’s highly entertaining.

    Edit: LauraW! Isn’t this astounding? Except for that part where nobody ever remembers the Anthrax Attacks, as in, actually, we were attacked again after 9/11, and people actually died, and that the anthrax attacks arguably f’d up the American psyche every bit as much as 9/11 did?

  48. 48
    The Populist says:

    This has nothing to do with political parties. Congress, both parties, are in bed with Wall Street and have been for decades.

    Well, these problems were exacerbated by the right over the last 8-10 years with Clinton signing off.

    If the Dems had fought, they’d be labeled by the right as loser obstructionists who want to send us into the next great depression.

    Sorry, usually I support your argument but not anymore. The fuck ups are all right there in the lap of the party of deregulation.

  49. 49
    demkat620 says:

    OT but I am watching Ari Fleischer on Hardball and I swear to god, he is the must disgusting, lying, assclown on the planet.

    Fuck you Ari, DIAF.

  50. 50
    The Populist says:

    While Republicans take the a lot of blame here, I’m NOT willing to let the Dems off the hook. The Dems under Clinton embraced the same free-market, no regulation claptrap nonsense economics that the Republicans were espousing.

    Bill Clinton deserves blame for all of this, sure. Both branches of congress were fully in the control of the right though, so I disagree there.

    Bill Clinton and the right fucked us. I agree here.

  51. 51
    amorphous says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I was just going to ask, is there anything – literally anything – that is not completely broken? Anything?

    I can’t fathom being Barack Obama right now. Christ on a cracker. Turns out he was elected President of a real fucking lemon. The wingnuts will be happy to know that our Kenyan President is actually leading a country that is pretty much Kenya.

  52. 52
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @demkat620:

    OT but I am watching Ari Fleischer on Hardball and I swear to god, he is the must disgusting, lying, assclown on the planet.

    Me too, and yes, he is.

  53. 53
    Laura W says:

    @JenJen:

    Isn’t this astounding?

    It is uber-astounding, JenJen.
    I just laughed so loud my dog started barking.
    Ah Ari…must be hard to be so ugly and so devoid of integrity at the same time.

  54. 54
    Sarcastro says:

    @Comrade Stuck:
    Yea, but pointy sticks are free.

    Heads, meet pikes.

  55. 55
    The Populist says:

    See: Social Security Trust Fund, Looting Of.

    Yep, proof there was a masterplan at work here. Thank god they didn’t do it. I really wish Obama would bail us out by letting us dip into our SS accounts. I got a statement saying I have put in close to 100K. I’d sure like to have 20 of that right now.

  56. 56
    The Populist says:

    I can’t fathom being Barack Obama right now. Christ on a cracker. Turns out he was elected President of a real fucking lemon. The wingnuts will be happy to know that our Kenyan President is actually leading a country that is as pretty much Kenya.

    Amorphous:

    But, but, but it’s all his fault! SEE!

    /snark

  57. 57
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    If you didn’t hear Elizabeth Warren on Fresh Air the other day, you REALLY need to listen to this podcast.

    She’s the head of the oversight panel trying to figure out where the hell the TARP money went. She nails Hank Paulson to the outhouse wall for outright lying about how the first TARP funds would be used.

    First half of the interview is about the mortgage situation, second half is about TARP.

    Polish the damn guillotines and put ’em to use.

    Seriously. We are screwed in ways we won’t understand for decades.

  58. 58
    demkat620 says:

    @Comrade Stuck: Oh. My. Fucking. God.

    My head is going to explode.

  59. 59
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse: This absolute clusterfuck we find ourselves in is a direct result of conservative idealogy and Republican hegemony. Singling out individual Democrats who were powerless to stop them or otherwise politically handicapped from doing so is akin to giving a pass to Republicans.

  60. 60
    AnotherBruce says:

    Pure stupidity, compounded daily.

    Can I just say this now? Fuck capitalism. Fuck it, it’s an economic system by and for 3 year olds.

  61. 61

    I am against the death penalty. But we could at least have some investigations, trials, attempt to get people to plea out for info and convict and imprison those responsible. We need to have the legal system work, even for old fat white guys. but only when they’re guilty. I don’t want the wrong people to go to jail for this and I especially want the right people to be punished. The system is not punitive enough.

  62. 62
    former capitalist says:

    I remember receiving the "no premiums required" memorandum from the FDIC. My first thought was "are you shitting me? They’ve got to be fucking nuts".

    But the truth of the matter was that "enhancing stockholder returns" was behind the whole thing.

    Take it to the bank.

  63. 63
    The Populist says:

    Right there is where you head into FAIL City. Although it was a Republican-majority Congress during those years I trust that there were plenty of Dems along for the ride.

    No question but, AGAIN, if a few went along it doesn’t indict the bigger group the way this mess is easily the right’s fault.

    Proof: When the Dems took the house back the first thing they did was enact strict ethics rules that DeLay and the Fat Man took down during their reign.

  64. 64
    JenJen says:

    @John Cole:

    but at what point do we get to start shooting people?

    I’m bullish on guillotines!

    Looking at this picture always helps me bring my blood pressure down a little.

  65. 65
    Comrade Dread says:

    Yea, but pointy sticks are free. Heads, meet pikes.

    Unfortunately, the assholes we’re all pissed at have jets and tanks, so we’d still be a little outmatched.

  66. 66
    Comrade Stuck says:

    ARi– Dick Cheney made One mistake. One ONE ONE

    He never stopped working on wmd, Hussein. LIE

    Christ, I can’t watch this shit. Shameless assholes on my Teevee.

  67. 67

    […] Balloon Juice No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this post) Related PostsAnd Another One Gone, And […]

  68. 68
    The Populist says:

    But the truth of the matter was that "enhancing stockholder returns" was behind the whole thing.

    Which is code for giving the biggest fish their dividends. I am sure you know that when a shark like Icahn or Kirkorian buy into a company, the first thing they demand is a dividend.

    Smart move as they can play it off as a "shareholder benefits" kind of play but in reality they are stripping the company of cashflow and the biggest of the big make out.

  69. 69
    demkat620 says:

    @Comrade Stuck: I have never seen anything like this. Ari Fleischer deserves to burn in hell.

  70. 70
    The Populist says:

    Ari Fleischer, Israeli mouthpiece first, American second (and no, I am not an anti-semite – my wife is jewish—to be an anti-semite means you hate jews, I disagree with Israel which is fine and is not an indictment of the Jewish faith).

  71. 71
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse, So James Chessen and Lawrence Yun must have skipped classes together to go off and bugger each other and snort coke, I can only assume. It would explain why they are both blithering idiots.

  72. 72
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @demkat620:

    YUP!

  73. 73
    Comrade Dread says:

    The system is not punitive enough.

    I think the government should treat them like they treat their customers when they’re in debt and miss a payment.

    Start by calling their home frequently. "Hello, this is the government. Our records show that you borrowed 300 billion dollars from us and have yet to make a payment. Would you like to speak to a representative about arranging one?"

    Repeat 1000 times on their home, cell, and business lines.

    Then fuck up their personal credit. Then put them on the bad check list.

    Then change Gitmo to a debtor’s prison.

  74. 74
    valdivia says:

    @JenJen:

    No self respecting Banana Republic would agree with you. We, original Banana Republics of Latin America, have our standards you know? Kill our own citizens, yes. Sell out to corporate greed, yes. Bankrupt the countries by being totally idiotic and killing the goose that lays the golden eggs? No sir.

  75. 75
    The Populist says:

    Can I just say this now? Fuck capitalism. Fuck it, it’s an economic system by and for 3 year olds.

    Mahmoud Dinnerjacket said today that the capitalist, liberal, freemarket system is doomed. With all this nonsense backing him up, how can anybody argue with his stance?

  76. 76
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Dennis-SGMM, It was those heady wondrous days of the Contract on America. The same congress that made it impossible to actually convict CEOs of corporate fraud, hence the reason people like Kozlowski at Tyco walked.

  77. 77
    jonas says:

    Oh, the 104th Congress (96-98) was wingnut glory days. Gingrich, Armey, Delay, Lott and the gang were all in charge and deregulation was in the wind. Aren’t you glad Clinton and Rubin and Daschle and all these other principled Democrats stood up to these crooks and….oh. Wait.

  78. 78
    Thomas Beck says:

    "I eagerly await learning how this is Obama’s fault."

    Well, it’s the Democrats’ fault (since they didn’t force the GOP-controlled Congress in 1996 to fix the problem by stamping their little feet and holding their breath until they turned blue), and Obama’s a Democrat, so that makes it his fault.

  79. 79
    fledermaus says:

    This is the precise reason I moved my under-FDIC limits account from WaMu and into a local credit union. Everyone laughed at me at the time – pointing to FDIC. "How do you know it has enough money to cover everyone given how many banks are in trouble?" I’d ask.

    Who’s laughing now, bitches?

  80. 80
    The Populist says:

    Then change Gitmo to a debtor’s prison.

    Not a big fan of debtor’s prison, so can we just indict and convict the fuckers so they can never hold a position of power in a public company ever again?

  81. 81
    The Populist says:

    Oh, the 104th Congress (96-98) was wingnut glory days. Gingrich, Armey, Delay, Lott and the gang were all in charge and deregulation was in the wind. Aren’t you glad Clinton and Rubin and Daschle and all these other principled Democrats stood up to these crooks and….oh. Wait.

    Now I agree that they didn’t stand up to them…you got me on that one.

    As for the right, these are the same asswipes who made out like bandits during these times.

  82. 82
    The Populist says:

    Well, it’s the Democrats’ fault (since they didn’t force the GOP-controlled Congress in 1996 to fix the problem by stamping their little feet and holding their breath until they turned blue), and Obama’s a Democrat, so that makes it his fault.

    Snark right?

  83. 83
    Zifnab says:

    @John Cole: The sad thing is… who you gonna shot? There’s no shortage of crooks. And they’re like cockroaches. You kill one and five more spring up to take their place.

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures deposits up to $250,000, tried for years to get congressional authority to collect the premiums in case of a looming crisis. But Congress believed that the fund was so well-capitalized – and that bank failures were so infrequent – that there was no need to collect the premiums for a decade, according to banking officials and analysts.

    Dig up the Congressional record. Find out every bastard involved in swatting the idea down. Then run commercials in their districts day in and day out from now till 2010. Then, if you’re really really really luck, and you oust a few of the bastards, make sure you don’t get stuck with another lemon.

    That’s all you can do.

  84. 84

    PITCHFORKS! Getchore freshly sharpened pitchforks here!

  85. 85
    The Populist says:

    This is the precise reason I moved my under-FDIC limits account from WaMu and into a local credit union. Everyone laughed at me at the time – pointing to FDIC. "How do you know it has enough money to cover everyone given how many banks are in trouble?" I’d ask.

    People never understood why I had bank accounts and money stashed at four different companies: USBank, Wamu, Downey Savings and Union Bank. Funny, Downey is now USBank so I am closing one of those accounts and moving it over to Farmers & Merchants.

    I did this after BofA lost one of my checks and tried to blame me for overdrafts. They found the check and never apologized. Since then I don’t trust any one bank with my complete business. I’ve been doing this since the late 90s.

  86. 86
    Comrade Dread says:

    Not a big fan of debtor’s prison, so can we just indict and convict the fuckers so they can never hold a position of power in a public company ever again?

    But the image of CEO’s toiling in the Cuban heat for 8 hours a day and being paid less than minimum wage to do it is priceless.

  87. 87
    Zifnab says:

    @The Populist: Why don’t you just go make out with Hitler?

  88. 88
    Mogden says:

    You pro Democratic guys are pretty funny on here, as though we’d be saved if only the Dems ran everything forever. When the government gets too powerful, corruption takes hold. Look at Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer, my God.

    One side good, the other side bad is what they want you to think, so you’ll keep your eye off the ball – that both sides are looting…

  89. 89
    The Populist says:

    Why don’t you just go make out with Hitler?

    Hehe, I hope that’s snark!

  90. 90
    The Populist says:

    You pro Democratic guys are pretty funny on here, as though we’d be saved if only the Dems ran everything forever. When the government gets too powerful, corruption takes hold. Look at Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer, my God.

    …and what’s wrong with Barney Frank? He seems to be one of the few that is trying to DO something positive here.

    Thanks for calling me pro-democratic. I do like democracy, thanks.

    Oh and I hate to break it to you but the Dems have corrupt asswipes, sure, but how many over the last 10 years have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar? Not many from what I can see. All politicians pimp to the donors. The best ones still do things to help the average person. I don’t see many righties with any ethics or compassion for others.

    Sorry, nice try.

  91. 91
    valdivia says:

    One of the things that is typical in Latin America are elites that are not just conservative and retrograde but simply predatory of their own countries (see for example Venezuela circa 1985-present). When I came to the States I believed that was not the case here. I have to say, with sadness in my heart, I was wrong.

  92. 92
    Adrienne says:

    @gopher2b:

    This has nothing to do with political parties. Congress, both parties, are in bed with Wall Street and have been for decades.

    Note to all: Notice that I put the fact that it was Republicans who controlled Congress during this time in parentheses, ie: as an ASIDE. I placed the blame squarely on THE LEGISLATURE. I am perfectly aware of the rather comfy cozy relationship btw the political parties and Wall Street. Money and its ill effects know no party.

    Again:

    This is your Legislature.

    This is your Legislature on drugs.

  93. 93

    I am absolutely astounded, as it seems that an entire generation of politicians, bureaucrats, and businessmen sold us out and left us up to our necks in shit.

  94. 94
    Martin says:

    Yeah, the Dems need to take some heat on this one. No, there wasn’t anything they could do about it directly, but Clinton and Dems too often went along with shit like this rather than make a stink. A lot of Dems thought the money would flow forever – and Clinton/Rubin were certainly in that camp.

  95. 95
    Zifnab says:

    @The Populist: Yeah. But look at him. He’s fat.

  96. 96
    gopher2b says:

    @The Populist:

    I bet he quits. Seriously. One morning, he’s going to come out of the White House, look at the reporters and say "I’m out. Girls, let’s go."

  97. 97
    JenJen says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    But the image of CEO’s toiling in the Cuban heat for 8 hours a day and being paid less than minimum wage to do it is priceless.

    Let’s call this "Forcibly Galting." Works for me.

  98. 98
    The Populist says:

    I am absolutely astounded, as it seems that an entire generation of politicians, bureaucrats, and businessmen sold us out and left us up to our necks in shit.

    Could be worse…we could be living in Iceland right now – some rightwing pundit on a news show.

  99. 99
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, they could have screamed "rape!" louder and more often. Honestly. A few did and were hammered by the "liberal" press for it. But really. They were easy to quiet down the next morning with some banker-bought necklaces and flowers. I give them 2 parts blame and the republican noise machine infrastructure like Limbaugh and Fox 10 parts and the republicans whores themselves 25 parts blame.

  100. 100
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @amorphous:

    I can’t fathom being Barack Obama right now.

    I’ve said it before: John McCain should be on his knees thanking God that he didn’t win the election.

    With his stunning grasp of economic matters, he’d have crowds on the White House lawn with torches and pitchforks (if not AK-47s) by now.

  101. 101
    The Populist says:

    I bet he quits. Seriously. One morning, he’s going to come out of the White House, look at the reporters and say "I’m out. Girls, let’s go."

    Snark: Sure he could easily do that.

    Serious: I doubt it as he is not a quitter.

  102. 102
    The Populist says:

    With his stunning grasp of economic matters, he’d have crowds on the White House lawn with torches and pitchforks (if not AK-47s) by now.

    Nope, wrong. Remember, democrats HAAATTTTEEEE guns. /snark.

  103. 103
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @gopher2b:

    I bet he quits. Seriously. One morning, he’s going to come out of the White House, look at the reporters and say "I’m out. Girls, let’s go."

    Sure, Obama can move back to his home country of Indonesia, but what about the rest of us? We’re citizens, we’re stuck here.

  104. 104
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Englischlehrer, Well, the laws were all relaxed to make what they did perfectly legal. That said, the mood is grim and voodoo ceremony enough that retroactive legislation is not impossible. Clawback their possessions, then clawback the rights to steal they lobbied for since 1994, then clawback their liberty. Then the rest of us can get back to rebuilding properly when we can safely know what we build will not be stolen away.

  105. 105
    Martin says:

    Shot over the bow?

    Numerous provisions of the legislation purport to condition the authority of officers to spend or reallocate funds on the approval of congressional committees. These are impermissible forms of legislative aggrandizement in the execution of the laws other than by enactment of statutes.

    Are we to take that as "You’ll get your earmark dollars when I damn well feel like giving you your earmark dollars."?

  106. 106
    gopher2b says:

    @AhabTExpropriator:

    Baby boomers. Don’t even get me started. Their greed is unmatched in the history of the world.

  107. 107
    amorphous says:

    @AhabTExpropriator: Ah, those wonderful Boomers, so full of themselves. Impossibly selfish, won’t stop until we’re all under water.

  108. 108
    The Populist says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, they could have screamed "rape!" louder and more often. Honestly. A few did and were hammered by the "liberal" press for it. But really. They were easy to quiet down the next morning with some banker-bought necklaces and flowers. I give them 2 parts blame and the republican noise machine infrastructure like Limbaugh and Fox 10 parts and the republicans whores themselves 25 parts blame.

    Amen, Comrade. The point I try to make to people is look at the media! When Bush was president, how many times did you see a jerk like DeLay or Armey or Gingrich on these shows selling the Dems are traitors, they hate capitalism shit?

    Go to the radio, where is this liberal bastion of talk we hear about? Oh yes, on the far ends of the dial if they are lucky to have syndication. On TV, you have asshats on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News telling us to buy stocks, it’s safe. Go buy a home and join the OWNERSHIP SOCIETY is what they’d preach. Shit, if you didn’t own a home people looked DOWN on you as a loser.

    In the end, the right reaped what they sewed and we have a mess THEY allowed to happen. The Dems were almost powerless because if they tried to "overreach" the cries of these "pundits" would cause them to hesitate.

    Fuck this argument that the Dems have an equal hand in this mess. I don’t buy it. I am only 8 years removed from being a kool-aid drinking rightie. I look back and cringe.

  109. 109
    Ricky Bobby says:

    All we need is a good fucking WORLD WAR to pull ourselves out of this depression!

    Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran…

    /snark

  110. 110
    The Populist says:

    I was reading some comments on the LA Times website with regards to the Glen Beck phenomenon. I see the comments section is full of rubes! One says we need to take out "news commentators" like Olberman and Maddow.

    Since when are they "news commentators"? How is Beck a "newsman?"

  111. 111
    chopper says:

    words fail. well, except the ones that start with ‘fuck’ as a prefix.

    fucktastic. just fucking fucktastic.

    i’m gonna go plant turnips now.

  112. 112
    The Populist says:

    All we need is a good fucking WORLD WAR to pull ourselves out of this depression!

    Further reason to be on our hands and knees thanking whoever we thank that McCain wasn’t the winner.

    I feel his idea of economic stimulus would be more war.

  113. 113

    @The Populist: Yes, but at least Iceland has Bjork, Gus Gus, and Sigur Ros

  114. 114
    The Populist says:

    @The Populist: Yes, but at least Iceland has Bjork, Gus Gus, and Sigur Ros

    Yep, you got me there!

  115. 115
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Martin:

    "You’ll get your earmark dollars when I damn well feel like giving you your earmark dollars."?

    I think It’s the constitutional scholar saying "Separation of Powers Congress Bitches".

  116. 116
    Indylib says:

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures deposits up to $250,000, tried for years to get congressional authority to collect the premiums in case of a looming crisis

    How the fuck did they ever lose the authority to collect the premiums?

    I’d love to know who introduced legislation taking away the authority from the FDIC to collect premiums from the banks.

    Paging Phil ‘nation of whiners’ Gramm!

  117. 117
    Tsulagi says:

    This just gets better and better

    Doesn’t it? I like black humor, but I’ve had enough laughs. Now we find our brilliant, business savvy Republican majority in Congress waived premiums because as always they see the big picture. Now the standard result that no one could ever have anticipated.

    It is like a slow-motion avalanche. The fucker just keeps getting bigger as it heads toward bottom and not much able to slow it down. Maybe next look forward to major health insurers saying something like “Umm, you know all those billions in premiums we DID collect so we could pay future claims? Well, on brilliant advice, we invested a lot of that money in CDOs. Oops”

    You know, I think you could add a BOHICA tag because that pretty much sums up our domestic affairs news these days.

  118. 118

    I have been a fan of Sheila for a while now, so I am embarrassed of an error. I had stated that she had $19 billion insuring $4.8 trillion, and this was mistaken. The $4.8 trillion was before the limit was raised from $100,000 to $250,000, so who knows what it is now, $8 trillion maybe? I can’t find it anywhere.

    Sheila was looking to boost her reserves from $19 billion to $46 billion, so the fact that she is now looking to ‘borrow’ $500 billion is telling. $500 billion is still only seven or so percent of the insured deposits. Bank of America had $449 billion alone, before the limits were raised.

  119. 119
    Calouste says:

    @Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse:

    But James Chessen, chief economist of the American Bankers Association, said that it made sense at the time to stop collecting most premiums because "the fund became so large that interest income on the fund was covering the premiums for almost a decade." There were relatively few bank failures and no projection of the current economic collapse, he said. "Obviously hindsight is 20-20," Chessen said.

    This was another episode of "No One Could Have Foreseen This" (TM), brought to you by the NeoCon Aristocracy of America.

  120. 120
    Paul says:

    This hits my berserk button. Squarely.

  121. 121
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Mogden:

    Look at the dates, simple really, in 2006 they began paying premiums (Jon Stewart impression) "hmmmmmmm what happened in 2006 (rubs chin) hmmmmmmmm?"

  122. 122
    evinfuilt says:

    The gallows were good enough for Saddam…

    Its time to press "reset" and wipe all the debt. It worked for the romans, and the only people screwed are going to the gallows anyways.

  123. 123
    Beej says:

    Why aren’t these people in jail awaiting trial? Why aren’t former and current members of Congress occupying the cells right next to them? Does anyone in the freaking banking industry or in freaking government give a freaking damn that there are actually people out here depending on them to do their freaking jobs? (I know, I know, but if I get started with the other word, I’m going to type it 100 times just to get rid of some of this mad.)

  124. 124
    justcorbly says:

    @Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse:

    Even if Chessen is right, it means no one had bothered to check lately to determine if the funds from interest were sufficient. So, we have a choice between two different manifestations of incompetence.

  125. 125
    Rick Taylor says:

    Isn’t it about time some prominent trader or CEO had another tirade over irresponsible people who took out mortgages they couldn’t afford, or didn’t buy health insurance so we’re stuck with their bills, while decrying the rush to blame the rich and foment class warfare?

  126. 126
    kay says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Yeah right, Bill. You’re a fan. You trash Bair regularly. Never mind that she took over after this happened, and testified that Congress needed to impose fees beginning in 2001. Nothing happened.

    She’s a distant relative of George Soros, perhaps? Is that why she’s the subject of your fact-free bashing?

    ‘Congress did not grant the authority for the fees until 2006, just weeks before Bair took over the FDIC. She then used that authority to impose the fees over the objections of some within the banking sector"

    As usual, you found the wrong culprit.

  127. 127
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @chopper:

    Beat ya to it, got mine in the ground this afternoon. As we speak my four veggie garden raised beds contain:

    Red, yellow and white onion sets, direct sowed seeds Rutabega (turnip), mustard, kale, mixed lettuce, beetroot, carrots, radish, peas. 36 lettuce plants, four tomato plants, two types of white cabbage (13 plants in total), 9 red cabbage plants, 9 brocalli plants, 9 brussle sprout plants, 9 curly Kale plants, 9 turnip plants, about 300 leeks (well it felt like that planting them), and 50 onion plants (to be used as bunching green onions and later pickled). Finally a "potato tower" I will wait until the soil warms up and then I will plant green beans and cucumber by the peas and put in some green pepper plants around the lettuce.

    If all else fails you can live really well on rice and pasta and veggies.

    PS)

    "Potato tower" really neat way of growing potatoes when you don’t have the space for the regular way.

    http://www.kidsgardening.com/D.....38;id=2245

    Also "Square foot gardening" how to use the minimum amount of space for the maximum amount of produce.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_foot_gardening

  128. 128
  129. 129
    AnotherBruce says:

    This hits my berserk button. Squarely.

    Judging from the comments, (including my own) this hits a lot of people’s berserk button. (including my own)

    Never before have I felt so strongly that the word "kleptocracy" fits our nation so well. The greedheads like to tell us that a person of modest means is somehow morally deficient. There is nothing quite like a thief who derides your character because you’re not dedicating your every waking moment to steal as much money as you can.

  130. 130
    The Moar You Know says:

    Fuck this country. Fuck both parties.

    Words fail me. I could punch a kitten right now, I’m so pissed.

  131. 131
    Xenos says:

    Go9ddamki8dse3ati8nggo9ddamkcr4acke3r4s-w2he3nu7si8ngthe3go9ddamnco9mp0u7te3r4Q!Q!Q!

  132. 132
    binzinerator says:

    @demkat620:

    The Chairman of the Senate Banking comittee in 1996 was…
    Phil Gramm.
    Oops.

    Fucking Phil Gramm. I should have known that fucking bastard would be involved.

  133. 133
    eric k says:

    Comrade Mary,

    Frank is saying what happened, he wasn’t the one who approved it, remember he was in the minority until 2007.

    And contrary to O’Reilly, Frank and Oxley tried to prevent the Fannie/Freddie problems, they even got the bill approved in the House, the Reps in the Senate killed it.

  134. 134
    osmond says:

    it amazes me how repubs sit here and say govt can solve the problem, mainly because when repubs are in charge they really only exacerbate the problem. You keep limiting and shrinking the effectiveness of govt than yes it wont solve it. I wanna know why welfare is wrong for the unemployed and poor but its fine for business? why the hell isnt Tom Daschle Health Secretary if these banks can not pay billions for their own fucking insurance?

  135. 135
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @The Moar You Know, much healthier for your karma to imagine pissing off the kitten and then throwing it into the face of your adversary.

    You’re welcome.

  136. 136
    El Cid says:

    Why was it we used to criticize U.S.-installed Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire as a "kleptocrat"?

    Why didn’t we just call him a "financial innovator"?

  137. 137
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @gopher2b: @amorphous:
    No one under the age of sixty was involved in this clusterfuck – right? All of the twenty-somethings who flocked to Wall Street brandishing their newly-minted MBA’s all fought against the excesses of those evil old men at the top, didn’t they?
    There’s blame enough to go around, apportioning it solely to one generation. to one political party, or to one administration is to give yourself an express ticket to being fucked again.

  138. 138
    Catsy says:

    I can’t fathom being Barack Obama right now. Christ on a cracker.

    Now now, there’s no reason to get racist.

  139. 139
    zircon millionare says:

    Wow! Just when you don’t think it can get worse. Our turkey government makes real banana republics look respectable.

  140. 140
    JWW says:

    John,

    While you are waiting to eagerly defend this point. Why don’t you defend his own words"No Pork". It is because you can’t. You play wiffle ball while the others play hardball.

    You have a habit of defending really good or forgotten lies, the time will or has come that you will live within the lies.

  141. 141
    Blue Raven says:

    Well, well, well. What a day it’s been. Not only do I find out that Jim Cramer fucked over my Iomega stock, I now know that the FDIC is as cash-rich as I am.

    Good thing I’m getting on a new antidepressant tonight. I’m gonna need it.

  142. 142
    Ian says:

    Unfortunately, the assholes we’re all pissed at have jets and tanks, so we’d still be a little outmatched.

    There often comes a critical point when the soldiers, sailors and pilots ask themselves how many of their fellow citizens they really want to kill. Remember that they have families back home who have been deprived of food, shelter and medical care by those giving the orders. That moment is when the guns sometimes get turned the other way.

    Smart plutocrats would be calling for military wage increases and funds for Walter Reed, and they’d do it right quick.

  143. 143
    JenJen says:

    @JWW: Oh, snap! Wait… just kidding.

    Also, why is John McCain running around all persnickety because President Obama won’t honor McCain’s campaign promises? It’s embarrassing.

  144. 144
    KDP says:

    As icing on the cake, banks have started closing or reducing credit limits on credit card accounts, thus screwing with the consumer’s credit score so that they can reduce the potential liabilities on their own books. The reducing limits is the one that is truly f-ed up, since they tend do it after you, the consumer, act responsibly by paying down your balance in a lump sum.

    Sure seems that in this climate, a bank-initiated change in terms that is not triggered by a failure of the consumer to meet the terms of the account should NOT be allowed to reduce the consumer’s credit score. Let the ratings agencies modify their formulas. On MSNBC this morning, their talking head said: "If they reduce your limit and you want to increase your score, open a new credit account."

    I’ve been fortunate, and able to pay off my cards every month, so I’ve seen no impact of these policies, but my sister has been less fortunate and has seen the limits on her cards reduced, received notice of increases in her rates, and most recently, had a Line of Credit account that she’d held for 13 years as an emergency fund cancelled. She’s worked hard for 8 years to keep her credit rating in decent shape, all the while fighting an insurance company over her worker’s comp. settlement. Because of income issues with wc she’s actually had to carry credit debt to cover unexpected costs, and the banks have just screwed her and others royally.

  145. 145
    JWW says:

    JenJen,

    Does that stand for double ass. Being that a Jenny is an ass.

    Oh, from your daddy’s website, "Shine Light on Earmarks and Pork Barrel Spending: Obama’s Transparency and Integrity in Earmarks Act will shed light on all earmarks by disclosing the name of the legislator who asked for each earmark, along with a written justification, 72 hours before they can be approved by the full Senate".

    Lets see how this works out, meanwhile I have a feed bag for homeless asses.

  146. 146
    The Populist says:

    No one under the age of sixty was involved in this clusterfuck – right? All of the twenty-somethings who flocked to Wall Street brandishing their newly-minted MBA’s all fought against the excesses of those evil old men at the top, didn’t they?

    Once these 20 somethings saw the dot com bust, they moved onto banking. These kids tasted excess and wanted more and more.

  147. 147
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Well, to put it in a little more context, here’s what they were thinking back in 1995:

    FDIC Cuts Commercial Bank Premiums

    It looks as though they had reached the congressionally-mandated level of 1.25% reserve, plus banks (evidently) continued to pay into their own insurance program overseen by the FDIC…and risky banks still had to pay the FDIC premium. The Globe says they also estimated the interest on the reserve would cover the amount of the lost premiums.

    Of course plenty of people – including at least one board member – were uncomfortable with the lack of a surplus, but according to the article, they had little discretion over the congressional mandate.

  148. 148
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @JWW:

    JWW- Does that stand for just a wingnut wanker. Because JWW is just a wingnut wanker.

  149. 149
    The Populist says:

    Lets see how this works out, meanwhile I have a feed bag for homeless asses.

    I notice you never mention the fact many of the dirt poor out of work are GOP supporters like you. So are they dirty animals (hence your feedbag comment) too?

    SO sad a freak like you can’t take 2 minutes to realize that sooner or later this mess is gonna envelop you as well.

    Oh yes, you freaks caused this to happen most likely to hasten the apocalypse (that’s snark, maroon).

  150. 150
    JenJen says:

    @JWW: Cute! Ari Fleischer, is that you?

  151. 151
    The Populist says:

    JWW- Does that stand for just a wingnut wanker. Because JWW is just a wingnut wanker.

    Not only that but he’s one of those Rush lovers. I can tell since he has zero empathy for even his own party members being hurt by this fiasco. He thinks only Dems are being hurt by this.

    Let em starve I guess, right JWW? I hope the right leaners who aren’t sold on their party do some research and look up the musings of jerks like JWW. They may wake up out of that stupor and realize that voting GOP because they believed the GOP wanted to be conservative, manage the deficit and shrink government are not at all what they are advertised.

  152. 152
    The Populist says:

    @JWW: Cute! Ari Fleischer, is that you?

    He’s probably all mad that Balloon Juice allows for opinions of all kind. After all, he can’t even question anything on those rightie sites he hangs out on.

    Ari is just mad I called him a mouthpiece for Israel.

  153. 153
    The Populist says:

    While you are waiting to eagerly defend this point. Why don’t you defend his own words"No Pork". It is because you can’t. You play wiffle ball while the others play hardball.

    I’ll do you one better, fool…

    He said it, he means it. How come many of your party’s congress critters inserted so much pork into the bill? Why is it you guys talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

    I trust that if Obama made this a point, it will happen. You hate that he SAID this so now you have to go find something else to carp on him about.

  154. 154
    The Populist says:

    You have a habit of defending really good or forgotten lies, the time will or has come that you will live within the lies.

    Seems the only person here living lies is you. Why oh why can’t you people think rationally instead of take your marching orders from the likes of Rush, Malkin and Beck?

  155. 155
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    JWW: "When I think of Rush, I touch myself."

  156. 156
    TenguPhule says:

    I’m serious. I hate populist rhetoric and the like, but at what point do we get to start shooting people?

    When you look into the Abyss, I look back at you.

  157. 157
    priscianus jr says:

    The congressional testimony that Sheila Bair made back in 2001, mentioned in the article linked above, was at a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, of the Committee on Fianncial Services, on July 26, 2001.

    FDIC chair Donna Tanoue gave the following press conferences on October 30, 2000 and April 5, 2001:

    http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/.....r0074.html
    http://www.fdic.gov/deposit/in.....marks.html

    She left the FDIC in 2001. I wonder why.

  158. 158
    TenguPhule says:

    Maybe next look forward to major health insurers saying something like “Umm, you know all those billions in premiums we DID collect so we could pay future claims? Well, on brilliant advice, we invested a lot of that money in CDOs. Oops”

    $50 says this gets announced in the next couple of months.

  159. 159
    Rick Taylor says:

    @John Cole:

    I’m serious. I hate populist rhetoric and the like, but at what point do we get to start shooting people?

    The only reason there is so little rage is that the big media players are naturally aligned with the wealthy, and so are putting up a thick fog about Obama’s tax hikes on the rich and all the spending, and most people have no idea how they’ve been looted.

  160. 160

    […] Reader Zuzu’s Petals digs up the relevant NY Times story from 1995 that describes the mindset when they decided to stop requiring banks to pay FDIC premiums: […]

  161. 161
    priscianus jr says:

    Here’s a relevant article giving an international perspective — from January 2001.
    http://www.euromoney.com/Artic.....Banks.html

  162. 162
    priscianus jr says:

    And here’s another one from early 2001 (San Diego Metropolitan). Note the villains of the piece: Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers, and Phil Gramm, trying to keep larger deposits away from smaller local banks. What a surprise!
    http://www.sandiegometro.com/2001/feb/banking.html

  163. 163
    Alan says:

    After paying premiums on my property insurance policy for over 20 years and without ever making a claim, my insurance company dropped me. It’s not the insurance company’s fault though. They reserved the right to cherry pick who they want to insure. They have a God given right to be profitable.

  164. 164
    Cyrus says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Unfortunately, the assholes we’re all pissed at have jets and tanks, so we’d still be a little outmatched.

    No problem, as long as we start soon, while all those jets and tanks are overseas.

    It’s funny. In 10 days, there will be a march on the Pentagon commemorating the anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. I’m too generally apathetic to join in stuff like this, but I approve. They’re right overall, and even in the minority of instances where I would disagree with them about more than just nuance or presentation I still think it’s valuable to have someone out there to the left of me pulling the Overton Window their way.

    In this case though, I’m frustrated. They are starting near the Lincoln memorial and walking across the bridge to the Arlington National Cemetery and then southeast to the Pentagon and past it. Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with DC, check a map. The marchers will start at the opposite end of the mall from the Capitol, and then walk in the opposite direction. Priorities, people!

  165. 165

    […] Spot on. Look at the NYT’s editorial page….Anyway, Ralph Nader’s revenge. […]

  166. 166
    RueM says:

    Well, thank you for ruining my evening with facts. As a BofA customer dry blood vessel, I’ve been contemplating jumping to a local credit union. The only thing stopping me was the FDIC guarantee. I know Farmer’s & Merchants pretty well, looks like I may get to know them better.

    And my square foot garden currently holds chard, chard, chard, spinach and chard. I really like chard.

  167. 167
    Rainy says:

    Oh, gosh. I really wish we could abolish Congress for next 4 fours and hopefully another 4 years. Just so Obama can do what he wants, without Congress ruining everything he wants to do. They are screwing up his budget as we speak! Congress is obsolete.

  168. 168
    Chuck says:

    Credit unions have their own equivalent of the FDIC: the NCUA, which insures deposits to the same level as the FDIC.

    And there really isn’t any CU that’s "too big to fail" that would take down the NCUA. A CU’s business is deposit accounts and loan origination, not inventing new derivatives on said loans.

  169. 169
    Mr Furious says:

    @priscianus jr: From that 2001 article…

    “In the 1980s and early 1990s we banks had to bolster up the FDIC funds. For example, in the early ’90s Peninsula Bank was paying $500,000 premiums.” Eventually, he says, the FDIC’s reserves reached the 1.25 percent of total insured deposits that Congress has mandated. When that requirement was met, premiums dropped dramatically to the point where they are “negligible,” Rebelo says, for most banks. In fact, he says, FDIC reserves are at almost 1.5 percent of total insured deposits.

    Let me get this straight. When the FDIC reserves were 1.5 percent of the value of the deposits they insured, everybody thought they were so fat with cash they cold stop collecting premiums?

    That’s worse than AIG! Or am I missing something here?

  170. 170
    Ricky says:

    As you said "Congress believed" Obama was a member of Congress was he not. So it was partially his fault but along with the rest of the loonies in congress.

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