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Alt 12.08.2008, 08:49   #544
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Benson's Economic & Market Trends
How Much Will Government Bailouts Actually Cost the American Taxpayer?

Richard Benson
Aug 12, 2008

Over the last eight years, we have watched in horror as a two-term Republican Administration furthered programs that have effectively thrown lit sticks of dynamite into our American factories. These programs have dismantled entire industries in the United States and encouraged their growth in China and elsewhere in Asia because of cheap labor. Also, during this time the illusion of prosperity was maintained by a Greenspan Fed as interest rates were cut to record lows, and a disastrous housing bubble was created. Americans were so seduced by home ownership that they bought houses in a frenzy that they couldn't afford, and then borrowed against them. In addition, under the Administration's policies, the value of the dollar has been trashed, and commodity inflation has robbed workers lucky enough to still have jobs.

As the unprecedented credit crisis continues into its second year, it's becoming crystal clear that the American economy is slipping into the worst post-WWII recession on record. It's even beginning to dawn on third and fourth generation Wall Street Republicans that if the average American doesn't have a good job (much less any job), they won't be able to pay their mortgage, auto loan or credit card.....

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: The FDIC and Controller of the Currency are directly inside the US Treasury. The FDIC has already started mopping up bad banks and merging their deposit-gathering branches into the surviving banks. It's estimated that just the Indy Mac failure alone will cost the FDIC at least $5 billon (or ten percent of its loss reserves of about $50 billion). Even if a large portion of the bad single-family mortgage debt can be pushed back into the FHLB or over to Fannie Freddie, total losses on construction, commercial properties and consumer loans will easily cost the FDIC, and therefore the US taxpayer, $100 billion. What's really scary is that the head of the FDIC has told Indy Mac not to foreclose on delinquent homeowners until the loans are 300 days past due. If the government encourages people not to pay their mortgages and live rent free at our expense, we'll need to increase the expected FDIC bill to the American taxpayer to $150 billion........

......With a record number of homeowners considering whether to live free for 300 days by skipping their mortgage payments, imagine the cash gap that will open up between the cash that comes into Fannie & Freddie from mortgage payments, and the cash that must go out to cover the GSE security payments. For the government, it is more important to spread the losses into the future than to minimize them. Losses on defaulted mortgage loans at the GSEs will be horrible. Put the bailout cost at $300 billion.

Let's tally it up (see table below):

The financial institution bailouts and the government taxpayer bailouts are looking more like socialism every day. I suspect that when we look back at this time in history four years from now, and marvel at the great increase in government ownership and socialism imbedded in the economy, we will have the Bush Administration to thank for sending us down the road to economic serfdom.

Aug 11, 2008 - Richard Benson
full story: http://www.321gold.com/editorials/b...nson081208.html

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