As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trickle To Nowhere

So how's that financial bailout going? Depends on who you ask. Richy McRicherton, CEO of Globo-Capital, thinks it's the straight awsom!!1! Regular folks across the country, not so much.

Reporting from Las Vegas -- In this hard-hit corner of the nation's mortgage meltdown and credit crisis, it's hard to find anybody who sees evidence that the Treasury Department's $700-billion rescue plan is working after two months.

In the first public hearing of the Congressional Oversight Panel -- a three-member board mandated to keep close watch on the bailout program enacted in October -- economists, local bankers, beleaguered homeowners and government officials said here Tuesday that the billions of dollars paid out by Washington to the banking industry were not filtering down and that Nevada's desperate condition was growing worse.

Clark County has the nation's highest foreclosure rate. Unemployment has jumped above 7% and lines for free food at charity centers are growing.

"It is a sad day when a child writes to Santa that all she wants for Christmas is food," said Julie A. Murray, who operates the Three Square food bank [...]

The government's solution to the crisis was to bolster the nation's banking system by handing out about $250 billion to scores of banks.

But "there is little evidence of what effect these billions of dollars are having on us," said Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard University law professor who chairs the panel.

Warren has repeatedly asked Treasury Department officials for an explanation of their strategy and how the bailout is supposed to help solve the credit crisis, but so far her panel has not received any answers.

The Las Vegas Sun has more.

Meanwhile, that homeowner relief program the White House put into place? Designed to help 400,000 homeowners, so far it's received 312 applications, because it's way too expensive and requires too many forms that lenders and borrowers want nothing to do with it. Predictably, everybody's blaming everybody.

Democrats want to hold back the next installment of $350 billion for the TARP program until the White House comes up with a legitimate plan to help out homeowners. That should be fun to watch.

This is theft.

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