Congressional Republicans can sponsor and drive a major effort to supersize the US economy, brighten their own listing side of the political balance sheet, and play a “private sector” card that won’t generate budget deficits, as more federal appropriations or stimulus spending might.
It’s called, “Lean on large and small commercial banks to get off some of the $1.8 Trillion dollars on which they are sitting and lend it to businesses, large and small, and individuals alike in the communities where those same banks raise deposits.”
Not a hugely catchy title, but you get the idea.
That is huge pot of private sector stimulus that could jumpstart the economy and which would represent a welcomed large financial “giveback” of all of the federal support the financial institutions received through the TARP era.
Yes, current federal financial regulators would have to support that new lending, but it is a ton of new money and would rely on “market mechanisms” and underwriting legitimate borrowers, which in term should stimulate growing private investment and lower our current 9.5% jobless rate.
It sounds like something Democrats would jump on and advocate, but it needs the GOP’s blessing before it could truly happen.
How much more bedrock Republican can you get?
It is what first the Bush Administration and then the Obama Administration should have demanded as a quid pro quo from the banks, which originally received the TARP money.
Those financial recipients willingly took Uncle Sam’s money but--rather then lend it in communities where they have branches—they chose instead to inflate their balance sheets with cash and arbitrage it, putting little of the money back into the economy.
Oh and the bankers also managed to pay themselves handsomely for performing this “no brainer” transaction.
I believe if the Republicans rallied behind a major demand for the banks to begin significant new lending, it would help the GOP politically more with moderate and independent voters than taking extreme policy positions which appeal only to the Tea Baggers and Birch Society elements in their party.
The first prominent Republican Senator or Governor—who fancies himself or herself 2012 presidential timber--will earn significant political cache and followers by endorsing this approach to infuse the national economy with fresh capital that doesn’t require new congressional spending. That means tapping the banks current balance sheets.
The GOP seldom challenges the large financial institutions, instead providing huge protection for them, as it did in the recent financial regulatory reform bill. How about insisting that the banks give back to the nation in a traditional way, like making loans rather than making 1% trading financial instruments back and forth between the Treasury and Fed?
Every business or individual borrower out there is not a deadbeat who won’t repay their debts. But the latter characterization seems to be how banks now are viewing those who—five years ago—would be natural bank customers and good ones.
If the R’s don’t want the federal government to do the necessary economic infusion with taxpayer dollars, Lincoln’s party should, at least, insist that the commercial banks and Wall Street do it with private capital.
Many in the GOP have scoffed at Paul Krugman’s suggestion that we need more federal spending, now, for the national economy to recover. I am sure that Krugman would endorse the banks and investment banks taking on that role.
But what do the Republicans think will bring stimulate new businesses and job creation aside from their tired bromides of “business tax cuts and less regulation?”
Asking the big and small financial players to use their money to lend and invest in America and Americans would help immeasurably. After all, this is what they were created to do.
This plan is so “red, white, and blue” and “apple pie and Joe DiMaggio.” I almost can hear Simon and Garfunkle singing, “Where have you gone Grand Old Party….”
The Russian Spy Swap!!
“Don’t Trust the Russians,” I’ve often suggested.
What really is behind the timing of US officials disclosing this elaborate Russian spy network and “sleeper” agents and others and, now, sending them all home in exchange for a few handfuls of sickly Russian prisoners?
So, this disclosure might embarrass the Russian? BFD. They should be embarrassed. They all are “curveh and goniff.”
Did we squeeze enough intelligence from the dozen Russians or so that we’ve been watching for a few years—as they live underground with phony names--to roll up Russian spy networks throughout the US, which inevitably still exist.
Or does anyone think that the crafty Old Russian spymaster Vladimir Putin stopped at inserting just these 12 folks into our lives?
Did we get enough of our “assets” in return for the Russian resources we released and traded? It doesn’t feel that way.
So we get a handful of our spies and maybe another country’s agents back. But does “spy life” then go on between the two countries, as usual. If so, why give up any of our Russian chameleons, who could be future pawns?
Why can we never seem to appeal successfully to the Russians on Iran, North Korea, the Middle East, yet in the space of less than two weeks, we can arrest, process through our courts, generate guilty pleas and then swap a dozen and a half people between countries.
Some part of this story still is missing. Our “spies” were withering away in Russian jails, while their guys were living middle class lives in US communities and swapping 10 for four is an even deal?
Of course the “other side” doesn’t have effective courts or legal system processes. Just some “Jackboot” in an Armani suit who decides that he needs to get his thugs out of the US, ASAP, so he can continue to produce more of them, who understand—if captured--they won’t be allowed to languish in American prisons.
Even the official Russian statement about the swap sounds like bullpoop.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the move was made "in the general context of improving Russian-American relations, and the new dynamic they have been given, in the spirit of basic agreements at the highest level between Moscow and Washington on the strategic character of Russian-American partnership."
If you have to deal with the Russians—which I would discourage—keep one hand on your wallet and the other on your virtue, since both are subject to theft!
I think that Medvedev and Putin today are laughing at us.