Thursday, January 17, 2008

Profit Poo

@ Reuters

WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a long-time free trade skeptic, warned on Wednesday that the United States may come to regret allowing major Wall Street banks to sell sizable ownership stakes to foreigners.

"These big bankers and fund managers will stop at nothing for a profit, even at the price of our national security. They are selling out America," said Kaptur, a 13-term lawmaker who is now the senior female Democrat in the House of Representatives.

Many U.S. banks are recording big losses on subprime mortgage market investments. To patch up their books, some are turning to overseas sources for capital injections.

Just this week, Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Merrill Lynch & Co Inc (MER.N: Quote, Profile, Research) announced raising $20 billion in capital from investors and sovereign wealth funds, some affiliated with foreign governments in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere.

Last month, Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said it sold a $5-billion stake to China Investment Corp. Citigroup earlier sold a large stake to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

"We're raising money from foreign governments to pump into U.S. banking institutions?" Kaptur said on the House floor.

"Foreign capital indebts us more than the face value of the transaction," she said. "This kind of borrowing means America is no longer free. We owe, and our children will owe ... And they won't owe Uncle Sam. They'll owe the premier of Communist China, the king of Saudi Arabia, the emir of the United Arab Emirates, the bank of Singapore."

Kaptur said: "These creditors won't forget what we owe. They like the influence they are wielding. They will call in their favors to Wall Street, as they are calling in their favors as our troops are staged all over this globe.

"To those candidates who were elected with Wall Street's help and their enormous financial support, they will call." (Reporting by Kevin Drawbaugh; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

From the US Treasury Dept.

Introduction. The United States has traditionally welcomed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and provided foreign investors fair, equitable and nondiscriminatory treatment with few limited exceptions designed to protect national security. The Exon-Florio provision is implemented within the context of this open investment policy. The intent of Exon-Florio is not to discourage FDI generally, but to provide a mechanism to review and, if the President finds necessary, to restrict FDI that threatens the national security.

The Exon-Florio provision is implemented by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ("CFIUS"), an inter-agency committee chaired by the Secretary of Treasury. CFIUS seeks to serve U.S. investment policy through thorough reviews that protect national security while maintaining the credibility of our open investment policy and preserving the confidence of foreign investors here and of U.S. investors abroad that they will not be subject to retaliatory discrimination.

The Statute. Section 5021 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 amended Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950 to provide authority to the President to suspend or prohibit any foreign acquisition, merger or takeover of a U.S. corporation that is determined to threaten the national security of the United States. The President can exercise this authority under section 721 (also known as the "Exon-Florio provision") to block a foreign acquisition of a U.S. corporation only if he finds:

(1) there is credible evidence that the foreign entity exercising control might take action that threatens national security, and

(2) the provisions of law, other than the International Emergency Economic Powers Act do not provide adequate and appropriate authority to protect the national security.

To assist in making this determination, Exon-Florio provides for the President or his designee to receive written notice of an acquisition, merger or takeover of a U.S. corporation by a foreign entity. Once CFIUS has received a complete notification, it begins a thorough review of the notified transaction. In some cases, it is necessary to undertake an extended review or "investigation." An investigation, if necessary, must begin no later than 30 days after receipt of a notice. Any investigation is required to end within 45 days.

Information provided by companies contemplating a transaction subject to Exon-Florio is held confidential and is not made public, except in the case of an administrative or judicial action or proceeding. Nothing in section 721 shall be construed to prevent disclosure to either House of Congress or to any duly authorized committee or subcommittee of the Congress.


Profits at what cost? will it cost us our homes, our businesses, our lives.

Seems to me it is not wise to allow foreign entities to buy up financial losses in the first place, recession or no recession the financial industry has been playing fast and loose with money in order to produce profits like have never been seen before with the big losers being the American people. Now like a kid that gets in trouble and does not want to pay the price for his indiscretions, has someone bail him out so he can continue misbehaving without worry.

The influx of foreign investment is having the same effect temporarily keeping the profits from declining while the foreign entities gather up more and more. Do the financials think they will be able to continue on like this forever? Yup, short sightedness is what got us all into this pickle to begin with. They will wake up one day to find the foreigners are now taking the profits and leaving the little golfers in the cold to fend for themselves.

That would be OK and would be a valuable lesson for the greedy little buggers with the one exception, our monetary based credit system would be subject to foreign control. The statement was made that the Saudis could own Wall Street on four days oil earnings, do we really want that?


micki said...

How'd that happen?

My screen has flipped.

John Edwards is on the left side now -- the right side, in a sense.

DEN said...

Gnu template.

The googles don't have much to offer but I thought it was time for a change so I will try this unless the democratic majority objects.

micki said...

Don't blame this blurb on the MSM -- it's lifted, intact, from DEMOCRACYNOW! ( under today's "headlines"

Obama Appears to Laud Reagan for Confronting 1960-70s “Excesses”

In campaign news, Senator Barack Obama is coming under criticism for appearing to slight the civil rights and feminist movements while expressing admiration for former President Ronald Reagan. In an interview with the editorial board of the Reno Gazette, Obama lauded Reagan’s challenge to what Obama called the “excesses” of the 1960s and 1970s.

Senator Barack Obama: “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path, because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown, but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people—he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

Obama did not specify what he believes those “excesses” were. But Reagan is widely credited with leading a rightwing backlash against the gains of the civil rights and feminist movements that preceded his 1980 election. (my emphasis)

WTF is he smoking -- or snorting? :-) Well, maybe it's just his Marlboros that's causing his thinking to go gerstucken.

DEN said...

I watched him say that shyt too.

Reagan was not anyones savior by any stretch, he bred the neo-con majority.

Obama who?

micki said...

Den -- that type of comment from Obama makes me wonder, what else is he hiding?

That comment could be construed that he is pandering to the right -- way to the right, in a rather shameless way.

Besides, the GOPhers are constantly praising the Gipper, why does Obama have to help 'em out?

Huh? I think Obama has a few things up us sleeve.

Carey said...

New look! Wow.

In a rush as usual plus it's Brandon's birthday tomorrow.

Obama, where the hell did that come from?

Obama has positions which, no doubt about it, are Republican. Too Republican for my taste. That must be sculpted eventually. The Reagan comment--some silly campaign advisor's idea.

DEN said...

Obama has been a Senator since 2005, 3 years this month.

Meanwhile HERE is a rundown on his record.

Gerald said...

When American presidents prepare for foreign wars, they lie. Robert Higgs

David B. Benson said...

This climate restoration plan might work:

No climate policy, no nookie

Gerald said...

The picture on todays blog is on my favorite column list.

I was reading an article and opium is now being farmed on Iraqi land to help farmers make ends meet. We are spreading opium and not democracy around the world.

You may have heard that our soldiers are being drugged to help them forget about the war and dying. These opium plants may be part of Nazi America's plan to continue endless wars.

Gerald said...

Obama is some kind of piece of work. He is pandering to the hate Bill Clinton voters and to the love Ronnie Reagan voters.

We must study Obama or we will be in for a nightmare come February 6, 2008.

Gerald said...

Studying his record offers the voters a background on Obama. I found the information on Obama quite helpful. Parts of his voting I like and parts of his voting record I dislike.

My guess is that Hillary's record will have parts I like and parts I dislike.

I have some concerns about Edwards who would left the Senate to lay the ground work to run for president. To date I know more about his wife than him. And, I am not voting for his wife.

Gerald said...

Maybe February 6, 2008 will offer some uncomfortable sleeping nights and not the dire nightmares.

There is one thing that is a given, I will not vote a Nazi.

Gerald said...

The candidates must begin to articulate their positions on various issues.

Here is my personal opinion. I view abortion as a dastardly act but I will not judge a woman and her state of mind during pregnancy. The abortion issue should never have been a wedge issue. This issue should be left to the woman and her doctor. Family input, of course, is important. I OPPOSE LATE TERM ABORTIONS.

David B. Benson said...

Today's picture reminds me of the article in today's TNYT about an extinct South American rodent:

Big as a bull!

That's some guinea pig...

Gerald said...

Bringing Death and Destruction to Muslims

DEN said...

DJIA:12,159.21, -306.95


micki said...


Carey, I think Obama totally believes what he said about Reagan -- I doubt if a campaign advisor put the words in his mouth. Unless, of course, he had a ghostwriter for his book, The Audacity of Hope, because in his book, he praises Reagan and his policies with abandon.

In that book, Obama sprinkles his prose with very, very Republican-sounding “code:”
"liberal rhetoric"
"failures of liberal government"
"spending taxpayer money"
"the welfare state"
"Reagan offered Americans a sense of common purpose that liberals seemed no longer able to muster"

One theme in his book is a “different kind of politics” but at the same time, he deftly attacks New Deal liberalism, and tries hard (to me) to camouflage his conservative support for the shift to the right in Europe and other countries.

While telling sweet stories about his mother, he writes: “her incorrigible, sweet-natured romanticism...her heart a time capsule filled with images of the space program, the Peace Corps and Freedom Rides, Mahalia Jackson and Joan Baez.”

Then! Bingo. He gives a tribute to Reagan: “All of which may explain why, as disturbed as I might have been by Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980...I understood his appeal.... Reagan spoke to America’s longing for order, our need to believe that we are not simply subject to blind, impersonal forces but that we can shape our individual and collective destinies, so long as we rediscover the traditional virtues of hard work, patriotism, personal responsibility, optimism, and faith.”

Obama seems to be saying that social forces and policies have nothing to do with ills such as poverty, homelessness and social inequality. Get off your ass, you welfare Queen! Worship that market and you can get rich just like the rest of us!

Obama, as I mentioned, uses code words of the extreme right in his book, saying that Reagan’s message “spoke to the failure of liberal government,” government at every level had become “too cavalier about spending taxpayer money.... A lot of liberal rhetoric did seem to value rights and entitlements over duties and responsibilities.... Reagan offered Americans a sense of common purpose that liberals seemed no longer able to muster,” etc.

Obama says he does not like “either/or” thinking -- but then says he rejects: “the assumption that we must either tolerate forty-six million without health insurance or embrace ‘socialized medicine’.”

He’s very comfortable attacking traditional liberalism -- devoting time to write that the Democratic Party ran away “from a debate about [moral] values.”

He also wrote that while (corporate) boardrooms should have a “stronger sense of empathy” he added...that this “does not mean that those who are struggling...are thereby freed from trying to understand the perspectives of those who are better off.”

Continuing with his understanding theme, Obama wrote: “Union representatives can’t afford not to understand the competitive pressures their employers may be under. Well, maybe so. But, that’s empathy for the worker in his view?!!

I won’t even mention the chapter on RELIGION in his book! But, it’s quite a genuflection to the paean that there isn’t enough religion in American life. Oy.

Gerald said...

Every country in the world, except America, knows by now that the US is the world's leading state sponsor of terror and that the neoconservative drive for US hegemony over the world threatens the security of nations everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Bootboy here: Its 20 degrees today if youre sittin in the sun. The cow leavins makes a strange crunching sound as ya drive the ol ford tractor around the barnyard. That there elephant surely left a pile for some poor soul ta clean up. I think I'll take a few swigs of JD and take a nap, when I wake up I think I'll drive that ol ford around the barnyard just so I can listen to that strange sound once more!

micki said...

No nookie as a panacea for addressing climate crisis ?

Don't kid yourself.

No offense guys, but most men would find an "alternative" if women cut 'em off.

DEN said...

Bootboy sez:
"That there elephant surely left a pile for some poor soul ta clean up."

Look closer, that poor soul is UNDER that pile!

Gerald said...

Why I am a Democrat and not a Republican? We only have to look at today's blog picture. If you find yourself underneath a GOP elephant and he takes a dump, you will suffocate to death. But, if you find yourself underneath a Democratic donkey and he takes a dump, you may smell terrible but a good shower and you are set to go. Republican shit offers you death and Democratic shit still offers you life. That is the choice you have to make!!!

DEN said...


First it might snow an inch or two on Friday and then the bottom will fall out of thermometer, with wind chill levels in the 50-60 below zero range Friday night into Saturday.

Several outdoor events already have been canceled for today and the weekend with officials warning that children and pets are especially vulnerable to the extreme cold.

Temperatures Friday won’t climb above zero with northwest winds blowing to 20 mph, creating wind chills during the day of 30 below and colder, the National Weather Service in Duluth forecast on Thursday.

By Saturday morning, low temperatures will plummet to near 25 below in Duluth, and more than 30 below north of the Iron Range, with northwest winds gusting to 30 mph spurring wind chill values close to 60 below zero.

Gerald said...

I still lean toward Hillary. I am of the belief that women need a chance to set the world in the right direction because men have screwed it up to the point that repairing it may be impossible.

DEN said...

XM listeners, Rachel Maddow will have Paul Krugman as a guest today. Also John Amato.

Carey said...

I'll go put her on Den--thanks.


Leave it to you. I was just thinking, girl, you don't have much time, would Micki do a "surmise" of where she thought Obama was coming from? Because she's so thorough and might have read his book.

Lo and behold.

Obama seems to be saying that social forces and policies have nothing to do with ills such as poverty...

Yes, it was that one that so angered me. I saw a black man perhaps, well, adopting a belief that he had to stretch intellectually, experientially, emotionally and sociologically to reach, in order to get ahead.

Shelby Steele, etc. I can't think of any other names. Is that a coarse, "liberal" reaction, I don't think so. These are fundamental opinions.

Carey said...

with wind chill levels in the 50-60 below zero range Friday night into Saturday.

I don't think I could handle that.

David B. Benson said...

Rodham was a Goldwater Repug and a corporate lawyer. Is a DINO.

So know I learn that Obama is a Reganite.


Gerald said...

My message to the Democrats is that they should not be too excited about this election (if we have an election) because Nazi American elections are rigged.

Here is my message to Huckabee, the Christian fundies, and the Christian evans. You are hypoctrites, one and all.

G. K. Chesterton said and we must remember his words during this election cycle. "It's that Christianity has been tried and failed. It's that it has never been tried.

Nazi America worships the anti-Christ of money, nuclear weapons, and Hitler Bush's words.

Nazi Americans are products of a culture of violence. It is part of the American psyche. WE ARE VIOLENT PEOPLE.

In Nazi America war is the name and murder is the game.

Gerald said...

Chesterton's words - "It's not that Christianity has been tried and failed. It's that it has never been tried."

Gerald said...

The Baptism of the Lord

After listening to Bishop Gumbleton's homily I am reminded that my journey to be a good Christian has a long way to go.

fixed point said...

-40, yes minus forty, is the only temperature which is the same on both the Farenheit and Calcius scales.

That is cold!

Gerald said...

“When forgiveness arrived at the killer’s home within hours of his crime, it did not appear out of nowhere. Rather, forgiveness is woven into the very fabric of Amish life, its sturdy threads having been spun from faith in God, scriptural mandates, and a history of persecution. The grace extended by the Amish surprised the world almost as much as the killing itself. Indeed, in many respects, the story of Amish forgiveness became the story, the story that trumped the narrative of senseless death in the days that followed the shooting.

“Amish grace and the way it affected the world did not rob the tragedy of its horror, nor did it eradicate the grief of those left behind. Still it may have been an answer to Amish prayers, that somehow, somewhere, some good would come out of this terrible event.”

As I listened to Bishop Gumbleton's homily, I realized how far I must go to be a Christian.

I also realize that as a violent people forgiveness is not part of the American character. Violent people are not forgiving people.

David B. Benson said...

Last night I bought a six pack of Belgiun-style white wheat beer. Does that mean it is made from soft white wheat?

(Bread is made from hard red wheat.)

Whatever, today I learned it has 171 calories (that's food calories, kilocalories in SI units) per bottle.

Carey said...

I had a change of plans so I was able to fully listen to Krugman on Rachel Maddow. As this Reagan comment is hitting the airwaves everywhere, people are looking.

Interesting. Obama is so ahead in the polls in S.C.

My goodness about Obama, once again confirmed by Krugman on the existence of icky views. But Ron Brownstein among others I've read even earlier have said that Obama has this incredible luggage.

Yes, that's true about Clinton, David. So was John Dean, however--he still calls himself one. It's like the Bruce Fein thing, holding to certain solid constitutional sancities like no one is above the law. They won't defend their partisan, law-breaking friends.

stop the word, i want to get off said...

Physical fighting is its own reward?

Male mammals crave violence

David B. Benson said...

Er, world. I know that the word is unstoppable...

micki said...

Dr. B, this is not an attempt to change your POV on Hillary Rodham Clinton, but in the interest of fairness, she was a so-called Goldwater Republican when she was 17 years old -- she volunteered for his campaign in 1964 (she was born in 1947).

By the time she was a senior at Wellesley College, she was a supporter of anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy. She had resigned her post as president of Wellesley's Young Republicans, because her views had evolved on the Vietnam War and because she was involved in the Civil Rights campus activities. (Because of her mothers' interest in social justice, she and Hillary met with Martin Luther King, Jr. when she was only 15-YO. Her father was a conservative. Her mother wasn't.) Many of my friends from high school came from Republican households -- of those I am currently in touch with, not one is a Republican! People grow.

She worked as an assistant to Senator Walter Mondale on migratory farm workers' issues. She was on the House impeachment inquiry staff, researching in preparation of the Articles of Impeachment that were drawn up against Richard Nixon.

One summer, during her college years, she slimed fish at a facility in Valdez, AK. She was fired because she lodged complaints that the facility was unsanitary. Subsequently, the facility was cleaned up and workers said it was largely due to her efforts -- she was their voice.

So, say what you want about Hillary Clinton, but some of the accusations that people throw at her are just not well-founded.

BTW, Edwards is still my #1 choice of those in the race. So, this is not a campaign speech for Hillary.

Obama's comments and writings, however, in which he praises Reagan and uses "code" words are CURRENT DAY.

micki said...

It's kinda scary.

One of my sisters called, she watches a lot of crapola on TeeVee to see what the "other side" is saying. (Good thing she has that job -- I wouldn't want it!)

Anyway, Tucker Carlson had nothing but praise for Obama and his laudatory remarks on Reagan. Tucker is just dandy with Obama.

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- Thanks. But it is true that she was a coporate lawyer, yes? That she voted for the Iraqi war, yes?

Convince me she is actually, at heart, a progressive.

micki said...

a propensity toward aggression is not beneficial and can be a problem.

I could have told them that without even getting the mice to battle each other!

micki said...

I'm not trying to convince you of anything.

Anyone who thinks that being a corporate lawyer is an automatic "sin" will not change his/her mind on how s/he feels about Clinton.

I know some corporate lawyers who are actually nice, decent, caring progressive people. Maybe they work for corporations that aren't totally evil, I don't know.

micki said...

That she voted for the Iraqi war, yes?

That could be debated.

Carey said...

I must speak up in my brother's interest and defense--not all corporate lawyers are bad.

Staunch left Dem just like me, all us Selfs are.

micki said...

Yea! For good corporate lawyers!

Hear, hear! Here, here!

DEN said...

lights out in Den land

carry on?

micki said...

Yup, Den...carrying on...words are unstoppable...

Dr. B - because of your comment on corporate lawyers, I think it is (next to) impossible that I could ever convince you to change your negative opinion of Hillary Clinton, because many (not all) progressives oppose all corporate influence in government and consider themselves more as watchdogs and whistleblowers, than as supporters of any policies presented by government. (I'm all for watchdogs and whistleblowers -- in fact, I practice that!) Progressives have become, in large part, as disdainful of government as the far-right has, and that disdain, I admit, is understandable to a great degree considering our current situation.

However, I think in their zeal for perfection they often throw the baby out with the bath water. You take exception to Hillary "voting for the Iraq War" but yet you have expressed your support for John Edwards, who (using the same test) "voted" for that war, too. Okay, you'll say....Edwards eventually said his vote was a mistake and Hillary hasn't made that same confession. So, that makes him more progressive? I'm only guessing.

Hillary has been supportive of labor unions, workers' rights, raising the minimum wage (which isn't enough, I know, but she's always been in favor of a living wage), children's health, education, health care for all, women's rights, civil rights, and other issues that are important to liberal-leaning (and progressive) American citizens.

The fact is that most U.S. progressives are totally disillusioned with the 2-party system (for ample reason at this point in the United States, I won't pretend otherwise). I do not think I will ever convince you or any other Hillary-hater to change his/her mind because those who find monumental fault with her will never change their minds. To them she is cold, calculating, not to be trusted, and unacceptable.

But, I do find it curious that your passion, your most important issue, is the climate crisis and that you are willing to lend your support to John Edwards, yet what has he done that convinces you that he is more committed to addressing that issue than Hillary is?

(For what it is worth, I believe the Edwards and Clinton both would do more on the climate crisis than Obama would. But, that's another story.)