I'm in catchup mode:
In case you missed it—likely, since it was announced Christmas
Eve—the Obama Administration has put
Mr. and Mrs. American Taxpayer (as well as their children,
grandchildren, …) on the hook for unlimited
subsidies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as much as necessary
to keep them from going broke.
Captain Ed speculates:
It looks as though Obama wants to use Fannie and Freddie as proxies for more social engineering and wants to prepare for them to take more losses as a result. That would be the only reason to completely uncap the commitment to cover its losses.Sounds paranoid, but unfortunately also sounds completely realistic. The WSJ article linked above notes some of the jobs "created or saved" by the move:
Under the new packages, Fannie will pay as much as about $3.6 million annually to David M. Johnson, chief financial officer; $2.4 million to Kenneth Bacon, who heads a unit that finances apartment buildings; $2.8 million to David Benson, capital markets chief; $2.2 million to David Hisey, deputy chief financial officer; $3 million to Timothy Mayopoulos, general counsel; and $2.8 million to Kenneth Phelan, chief risk officer.I really doubt whether any of these guys could hit the cutoff man.
At Freddie, annual compensation will total as much as $4.5 million for Bruce Witherell, chief operating officer; $3.5 million for Ross Kari, chief financial officer; $2.8 million for Robert Bostrom, general counsel; and $2.7 million for Paul George, head of human resources.
Bruce Schneier has the best
comment on new air travel
"security" measures that will impose (further) massive
inconveniences on the innocent while doing nothing for
I wish that, just once, some terrorist would try something that you can only foil by upgrading the passengers to first class and giving them free drinks.Prof Bainbridge has more extensive criticism, speculating that TSA really stands for "The Stupid Agency".
You will not want to miss "Dave
in Review: 2009." For example, Dave notes the new administration getting
off the ground in January:
The No. 1 item on the agenda is fixing the economy, so the new administration immediately sets about the daunting task of trying to nominate somebody -- anybody -- to a high-level government post who actually remembered to pay his or her taxes. Among those who forgot this pesky chore is Obama's nominee for Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, who sheepishly admits that he failed to pay $35,000 in federal self-employment taxes. He says that the error was a result of his using TurboTax, which he also blames for his involvement in an eight-state spree of bank robberies. He is confirmed after the Obama administration explains that it inherited the U.S. Tax Code from the Bush administration.