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Price tag of TARP bailout: $109 billion!!!!!!

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Sure, it makes sense, the gov't bought millions of shares of large banks like Citi. If Citi's stock went up, the gov't surely made a lot of money. That's no doubt where the $7bn profit number came from.


But it doesn't change the fact that it's downright humorous (and sadly tragic) that the gov't made a big bet on these "neuvo small cap" mega bank stocks. It's basically one step above Hank Paulson and Big Ben Bernake taking a fistfull of sweaty treasury bonds to the dog track.


The debt level in this country is not yet crippling. Real estate wealth in this country even now, post boom, is over a hundred trillion dollars. Trillions more in the stock market. And more in other equities. We can certainly afford our national debt. So far. But christ... if this debacle wasn't a wakeup call to get our financial house in order then nothing will and a long slow decline is going to be inevitable.

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I think CBO is doing some fuzzy math here.... It all depends on what you count. But I think it's certainly a lot more then $109 billion...





July 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. taxpayers may be on the hook for as much as $23.7 trillion to bolster the economy and bail out financial companies, said Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.


The Treasury’s $700 billion bank-investment program represents a fraction of all federal support to resuscitate the U.S. financial system, including $6.8 trillion in aid offered by the Federal Reserve, Barofsky said in a report released today.

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Politics do affect many aspects of our lives, and it is a shame that the subject cannot be discussed in a civil manner on this board. However, we found through difficult experience, that it is impossible. We made a decision at that point not to allow political discussions on CB.


We will not revisit that decision, as I have said numerous times.


Those of you who joined after that debacle will not likely understand, since we have put all those posts in an archived forum, and they are not accessible to the general membership. We have no plans to make those posts available in the future. You will just have to accept what we say. We tried it, it didn't work.


We found that many members do enjoy a knock-down-drag-out political fight, so we created a separate politics board, http://www.politicsfirst.com


It's fun, essentially unmoderated, mostly not all that serious, but it's a brawl. It is not for the faint of heart.


CB enjoys a strong sense of community. The "family" atmosphere, the feeling that one's thoughts and feelings will be accepted without judgment, is central to our success. The political discussions bring out the opposite in those individuals who feel a need to convert others to their political views, and those who feel a need to fight back against such individuals.


As a result, CB has not only adopted a "politics neutral" stance, we have established a standing rule that any subject which is political in nature, or leads to a politicallly oriented discussion, may only be discussed on the PF site. That is why these threads will be closed, and the participants redirected.


In some cases you may see a thread closed when it borders on political topics, but has not yet taken a turn in that direction. That's because, in our experience, we know it will take that turn in the near future.


Occasionally, some members feel a need to test the boundaries (a psychological phenomenon well-known in internet communities), by "baiting" other members into a political discussion. Others innocently post a subject they feel warrants discussion, and inadvertently open Pandora's box. We don't try to decide which is which, we just close the threads. It is not personal. If we had our way, we would be able to debate the subject sensibly. Occasionally, someone brings up the question of the owner's political views. We owners do not all agree on politics. It is not an issue that divides us, however. Our focus here is the board, and the welfare of the board, not our political views.


We do not get into debating the merits of a particular thread, if we did, we would be putting ourselves in a very difficult position, and we have more important things to do. So, if your thread gets closed, and the participants directed to PF, there is no point in arguing about it. We've already been there and we're not going back.


This rule, and the other hard-and-fast rules we have established over time on CB, have proved to be a strong basis for our success. We will always maintain the sense of community and our emphasis on the things we have in common, rather than the things that divide us.


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