The Citigroup bailout

by on November 24, 2008 at 7:37 am in Current Affairs | Permalink

Lots of opinions.  Ugh.  Arnold Kling says ugh too, with this good line: "…the employment benefit of infrastructure projects is more likely to go
to the illegal immigrants who were laid off from housing construction
and who otherwise would be headed back home."

1 MS November 24, 2008 at 8:44 am

My mother became a victim of mortgage fraud, CitiBank’s shoddy underwriting, identity theft, etc. One of the sick parts of this complex mess was that Citi refused to acknowledge the fraud and act because the suspect was making the monthly payments. CitiBank should be getting ready to take a loss of about $740,000 now.

2 save_the_rustbelt November 24, 2008 at 9:11 am

About the illegals…

In the northern states highway and bridge jobs will to to unionized skilled tradesmen.

In the south many of the jobs will go to illegals.

The last I looked, Texas led the country in crane accidents, the price of putting amatuers at the controls of complex, expensive machines.

3 rrgg November 24, 2008 at 10:34 am

That comment about illegals in the north versus south is simply not true. There are tons of illegal workers in New England for example. Give me a break.

4 David November 24, 2008 at 11:28 am

$300B in guarantees but zero changes to management. How is it not Molotov cocktail time?

5 Dirk November 24, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Don’t highway construction jobs pay pretty well? Why do we need immigrants to do them? The mortgage brokers and bond salesmen are too prissy to take these jobs, so we need a financial industry bailout to protect their incomes?

6 P. Blank November 24, 2008 at 2:47 pm

†¦not to mention CAD licenses, GIS software, traffic counts, equipment rental†¦†¦My point is that roadway projects are much more complicated than just F(L,K)!

It really bugs me when economists get things so wrong because of over simplifications of inputs.

7 Save_the_Unions November 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Care to cite anything on your Texas crane accident fact, save_the_rustbelt? Make sure whatever you cite controls for the number of construction projects with cranes in a state, the total number of cranes in a state, or at least the population of the state. Since there are only ~300 crane accidents per year, I doubt such statistics exist beyond “one of the biggest, warmest, most populous states in the nation had the most crane accidents over a two year period.”

But good try at spinning that into a pro-union, pro-rustbelt talking point, none-the-less.

8 Steve Sailer November 24, 2008 at 3:32 pm

A major goal of the Obama Administration is to keep millions of illegal immigrants from going home, thus depriving the Democratic Party of large numbers of votes in coming decades from them and their American-born (and thus birthright citizen) children. Spending hundreds of billions of the taxpayers’ dollars to keep illegal immigrant construction workers previously employed putting up unneeded McMansions in exurban Las Vegas from going back home is a small price to pay for future Democratic dominance.

9 krishna November 24, 2008 at 5:30 pm

That is an ugly line on illegal immigrants, and a classic case of picking on vulnerable
groups to attack a policy. I just lost a lot of respect for Mr. Kling.

10 scottynx November 24, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Krishna, there are ethnic slurs in the comment. It is not ugly. You should make a good-faith assumption that Kling believes the comment is true, as opposed to assuming it is something made up to attack Obama’s plan.

Maybe you should tackle that small detail of whether or not Kling’s comment is true or not.

11 Julian November 24, 2008 at 6:56 pm

[i]I would add the big bankers and some current and former federal folks: picture Paulson, Pandit, Barney Frank, Bernanke, Franklin Raines, etc., standing around leaning on their shovels and complaining about the job, while illegal immigrants do all the work.[/i]

Wearing, of course, an orange suit.

12 Anonymous November 24, 2008 at 7:21 pm

The last I looked, Texas led the country in crane accidents …

A number of people in NYC did in fact die this year (because of the bribery scandal where crane operators paid off the inspectors and licensing people) due to crane accidents.

In Stamford, CT the building across the street from a new high rise had to put up protective walkways because the highly skilled workers kept dropping stuff off their building, endangering drivers and pedestrians.

Good skill levels shown there!

13 Brainwarped November 25, 2008 at 1:56 am

Can someone please direct me to the statements of Bernanke and Paulson where they talk about why they do what they are doing? I hear a lot of people talking about how bad these bailouts are, but I don’t see any viable alternatives. Where is the evidence that these bailouts are a bad thing? And I guarantee that if you want to build a road with your bachelor’s degree, you could get hired. I don’t think aliens are going to leave just because there is a shortage of jobs now. Living in the USA is still better than walking back to Mexico to sleep on the streets there. We would be lucky if illegal immigrants drive the demand for housing UP. Its only a matter of time before they are legalized and save us from a depression.

14 lew December 6, 2008 at 7:17 pm

I recently received a letter from CITIBANK. I have a credit card with CITIBANK. They said: “We are increasing your variable interest rate APR for purchases. Your purchase APR will equal the U.S. Prime Rate plus 13.99%, with a minimum APR of 19.99%. As of October 1, 2008, this purchase APR is 19.99%.†
The default APR equals the greater of (1) the Prime Rate plus up to 23.99% or (2) up to 29.99%.
I have perfect credit. This raise of interest rate is not going to impact me directly because I’m not using the CITIBANK card for new purchases anyway; and, I have not had a default experience and, hopefully, won’t.
HOWEVER, at a time when Americans are trying to deal with an economic collapse of 1930’s magnitude –a good deal of which can be attributed to the greed and bad management of big business, especially in the financial sector, is this what Americans need to “jumpstart the economy†?
How do the financial institutions justify taking taxpayer money to be able to create credit for Main Street businesses and consumers/taxpayers, then charge the taxpayer, whose money they took, outrageous interest rates to use the credit created by the very taxpayer dollars they took in a “bailout†?
What is wrong with this picture? Can we do anything about this?

See the blog
Best regards,
Lew Hagood

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