This is, to put it nicely, complete and utter bullshit:
In an extraordinary turn, the Federal Reserve was close to a deal Tuesday night to take a nearly 80 percent stake in the troubled giant insurance company, the American International Group, in exchange for an $85 billion loan, according to people briefed on the negotiations
All of A.I.G.’s assets would be pledged to secure the loan, these people said, and in return, the Fed would receive warrants that could be exchanged for an ownership stake. Stock of existing shareholders would be diluted, but not wiped out.
A person briefed on the matter said the agreement does not require shareholder approval.
Shareholder approval? Shareholder approval‽ How about Congressional approval? Taxpayer approval?
Let’s put this in perspective. $85 billion is more than the entire annual discretionary budget for the Department of Health and Human Services — those lazy welfare cheats, don’t’cha know. It’s half again as large as the entire annual discretionary budget for the Department of Education. It’s more than twice the annual budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than twice that of the Department of Homeland Security. It’s more than the combined annual discretionary budget of the Departments of Labor, Interior, Treasury, Transportation, Agriculture, and NASA combined.
And this is being done with no vote from Congress? We’re putting almost four times as much money as we receive annualy from estate and gift taxes on the line to nationalize AIG? And when AIG defaults, what then?
The bad actions of the rich and powerful have led us to this spot, my friends. And maybe the government has to act, but it shouldn’t be able to act by fiat.
But I never, never want to hear another goddamn “fiscal conservative” whining about helping a poor family who needs an extra $200 this month to make the rent. I never want to hear another word about providing for the health care needs of the people of this nation. I never want to hear another sound bite about how the poor are just lazy. Fuck that noise.
If We the People are going to be on the hook for the rich, I don’t want to hear another word about why we shouldn’t be on the hook for the poor. The rich people aren’t going to bed hungry tonight, and the smart folks in charge of AIG, Merrill, and Lehman are still sleeping in the same mansions they were last week. They’ll not miss a meal, nor a tee time. And yet tonight, it’s them who’s getting your hard-earned tax dollars, folks. It’s them for whom the Fed is going to the mat. And if that doesn’t enrage you, it should.