Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Timothy Geithner

The 61st Meeting of the Bilderberg Group: Good Old Boys Getting Together Again

This article first appeared in the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor newsletter:

 

The note from Matthew Holehouse at the British tabloid The Telegraph makes last week’s four-day meeting of the Bilderberg Group at the Grove Hotel in Watford, Hertfordshire, England sound benign. He called it a “gathering of royalty, statesmen and business leaders … [to] discuss how the US and Europe can promote growth, the way ‘big data’ is changing ‘almost everything’, the challenges facing the continent of Africa, and the threat of cyberwarfare….”

It’s just another meeting similar to the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, and there’s nothing to worry about, suggests Holehouse. Except that “meetings take place behind closed doors, with a ban on journalists.”

What would cause major luminaries to take four days out of their busy schedules to spend time at a golf resort if it was just a friendly get-together over tea? Here are some of those luminaries:

  • Jose Barroso, the President of the European Union
  • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
  • Robert Dudley, CEO of British Petroleum
  • Peter Sutherland, Chairman of Goldman Sachs along with his Vice Chairman, J. Michael Evans
  • Timothy Geithner, former Secretary of the Treasury
  • Donald Graham, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Post
  • Stuart Gulliver, CEO of HSBC
  • Simon Henry, CFO of Royal Dutch Shell along with the company’s CEO, Peter Voser
  • Kenneth Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Lazard Frères’ along with his managing director, Vernon Jordon
  • Henry Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates
  • Henry Kravis, CEO of Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts
  • Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
  • Robert Rubin, former Secretary of the Treasury and current co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations
  • Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google

Let’s face it: these are heavyweights. So why, again, would they take four days out of their lives to attend? Is this something more than just getting reacquainted with old friends?

Daniel Estulin thinks so, as he has for years. In his book, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, which he says is based on 15 years’ worth of investigation, Estulin says that this group, along with the CFR and the Trilateral Commission, represents a “shadow government” whose top priority is to erase the sovereignty of all nation-states as a precursor to establishing a global government.

Several members of these groups have admitted as much. For example, in 2001, Denis Healey, a founder of the Bilderberg Group, said:

To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated but not wholly unfair. Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn’t go on fighting one another and killing people and rendering millions homeless.

So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.

There are coincidences that can’t readily be explained away as mere accidents: George H. W. Bush attended a Bilderberg conference in 1985, and became president in 1988. Bill Clinton attended one in 1991, and became president a year later. Tony Blair attended one in 1993 and became England’s prime minister in 1997. Romano Prodi attended in 1999 and within months became president of the European Union. Senator John Edwards spoke to the group in 2004 and was later named by John Kerry to be his vice-presidential nominee.

To some, the long arm of coincidence just can’t reach that far.

Estulin was asked what exactly the Bilderberg Group is. He answered:

It’s a meeting of people who represent a certain ideology. Bilderberg Group is not a conspiracy theory. It’s a conspiracy reality…. It is a self-perpetuating system, a virtual spider web of interlocked financial, political, economic and industry interests. And that in and of itself is a pretty significant factor, because … it is a vehicle through which private financier oligarchical interests are able to impose their policies on what are nominally sovereign governments.

There’s Henry Kissinger, exposed as a Soviet Agent when Soviet Colonel Michael Goleniewski defected, bringing with him the names of 240 soviet spies, one of whom was Kissinger.

And there’s David Rockefeller who wrote in his Memoirs:

Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will.

If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

Even Georgetown University professor Carroll Quigley (to whom Bill Clinton conveniently referred in his acceptance speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention), author of The Anglo-American Establishment and Tragedy and Hope, effectively agreed that there is more going on in Watford this weekend:

This radical Right fairy tale … as a well-organized plot by extreme Left-wing elements … does in fact have a modicum of truth. There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the Radical right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other group, and frequently does so.

I known of the operation of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies … but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.

The question remains: what would these worthies be doing in Watford that requires that they take four days out of their lives if something awfully important weren’t going on? Just asking.

—————————–

Sources:

Bilderberg is ‘a conspiracy reality’

The True Story of the Bilderberg Group

Daniel Estulin

Osborne, Clarke and Balls to attend Bilderberg Group meeting

The Bilderberg Group

Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger Soviet Agent

Bilderberg website

Bilderberg meeting agenda

Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time

The Anglo-American Establishment

Eliminate the Debt Ceiling altogether, says Senior Fellow at Brookings

Isabel Sawhill, Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institute, wrote on Tuesday that “the fiscal cliff…is not the most worrisome economic issue facing the country. The real cliff is the debt ceiling, and if we go off that cliff, it will be catastrophic.”

At $16.4 trillion, the current debt ceiling is likely to be hit before the end of the year but with “extraordinary measures” the Treasury can put off the day when it will no longer be able to pay the government’s bills until the end of February. That will give the Congress plenty of time to consider getting rid of the regular debt ceiling charade altogether.

Said Sawhill,

Those who believe that a refusal to raise the debt ceiling will somehow put limits on spending and shrink the size of government are confusing the need to pay obligations already incurred by Congress with the need to rein in future expenses…

The debt ceiling itself is an anachronism.

This is precisely the point made from the other side of the political spectrum. Peter Schiff, author of numerous books about the current economic crisis and the head of a precious metals company, recommended doing away with the debt ceiling “drama” altogether by giving in to the suggestion that the president be given the power to raise the debt ceiling whenever it is necessary. Wrote Schiff:

Most Republicans have dismissed the proposal as a blatant executive power grab that will significantly weaken both the Congress and the minority party.

While this is certainly true, Congress will only lose a power that it has never shown the slightest courage to actually use.

But in truth, the proposal has the merit of refreshing honesty. By telling U.S. taxpayers, and the world in general, that the U.S. government has no intention of ever balancing its budget or limiting its accumulation of unsustainable debt, then perhaps we can begin to have an honest discussion about our economic future.

He reiterates Sawhill’s contention that the debt ceiling has little to do with reining in government spending but instead merely allows the Treasury to pay the bills the Congress has already authorized. The debates have instead become merely a sham and a fraud, kabuki theatre that provides entertainment only, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Simply put, Schiff says, “If Congress wants to control the debt, let them do so. If they don’t care, just continue on the current path. Dropping the pretense is at least more honest.”

On Tuesday White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked at a press briefing about the debt ceiling. He responded similarly:

It’s certainly not good government … to even hint at the possibility of holding the American economy hostage again to the ideological whims of one wing of one party in Congress. That’s unacceptable. Congress has its responsibility: payment of bills that the United States incurs because Congress passes bills that incur those debts.

What Sawhill, Carney and Schiff are doing is confirming what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said back in November, that the US should get rid of the debt ceiling as soon as possible: “It would have been time a long time ago to eliminate it. The sooner the better.”

Joe Weisenthal, in what many perceived to be a tongue-in-cheek article at Business Insider supporting the notion, said:

This almost completely prevents a debt ceiling crisis ever again, while keeping the ceremonial aspect that people like. There would still be votes, but they’ll mainly serve as a way to let politicians play politics, without putting anything at risk.

One of the last times Congress tried to throw its weight around on the debt ceiling issue was in 1995 when the House refused to raise the limit, forcing the government to stop spending money on nonessentials on November 14th. As Gary North explained:

 That stand-off lasted five days. The House then passed another [continuing resolution], but the next vote was scheduled for early January. The crisis was merely deferred.

In January, 1996, the final showdown could no longer be postponed. The House refused to increase the debt ceiling or pass a new CR. The government officially had to stop all spending over the debt ceiling. Certain checks stopped being printed. Clinton’s popularity rose. The stand-off lasted only a few days. Clinton did not capitulate. The House Republicans did.

It was over. The debt ceiling was raised. Again.

Echoes from that confrontation reverberated in August 2011 when a new congress tried to leverage its influence to force the White House to cut spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. The result was a decision to put off the hard work until December 2012 by setting up the current “fiscal cliff.”

The political damage done at the time to various reputations was considerable. Here, from Wikipedia, is a cogent summary:

The aftermath of the debt-ceiling crisis caused the Tea Party, which was seeing its support somewhat wane prior to the crisis to lose support among many Americans as many House Republican supporters of the movement opposed raising the debt ceiling under any circumstances…

In a poll taken shortly after the deal was signed by the President, 40 percent of Americans held an unfavorable view of the [Tea Party] movement, with only 20 percent supporting it.

Republicans were viewed as holding most of the responsibility for the dispute … The aftermath of the crisis caused the approval ratings of both the Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to drop respectively from 43 percent in July to 33 percent in August and from 27 percent to 21 percent in the same time span…

The Republican Party, [which] controlled the House, saw its approval ratings drop from 41 percent in July to 33 percent in August.

Prior to that confrontation in 2011, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) predicted the outcome:

It is predictable that Congress will once again merely delay the inevitable and raise the debt ceiling, after the usual rhetoric about              controlling spending, making cuts, and yes, raising taxes…

If the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives gives in to establishment pressure by voting to increase the debt ceiling once again, you will know that the status quo has prevailed. You will know that the simple notion of balancing the budget, by limiting federal spending to federal revenue, remains a shallow and laughable campaign platitude.

If the debt ceiling legislation enacted back in 1917 to keep government spending in check is repealed, the president is hopeful that it will send a message of comfort to its lenders that they needn’t worry about a default. Such a hope may in turn explode in the president’s face as it will reveal, once and for all, the inability of the government of the United States to maintain any sort of control over or limitation on its spending.

As Schiff noted: “Such a development many [instead] be the shock therapy our creditors need to finally cut us off for good.”

That will be the true day of reckoning, when the ritual kabuki theatre ends and reality sets in.

 

 

Proposed Changes to US Currency Symptom of Much Larger Disease

US Currency in UV, visible and IR light

US Currency in UV, visible and IR light (Photo credit: xxv)

Within days of each other, two announcements concerning the future of the US currency appeared in the popular press, and each avoided any mention whatsoever of the primary driver of the changes.

First was the announcement on November 26th from Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner that the U.S. Mint will begin removing pennies and nickels from circulation starting the first of the year, allegedly that they’re too expensive to make. It costs the mint nearly 5 cents to make each penny while it costs more than 16 cents to make a nickel. This is costing the mint a lot of money, an estimated $187 million last year alone.

Two days later CNN reported that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has called on the Congress to stop printing one-dollar bills and switch instead to one-dollar coins. The GAO claimed that such a move could actually make the government some money:

A $1 coin typically costs about 30 cents for the U.S. Mint to produce, but then the government can sell them to Americans for a dollar each. That financial gain is called seigniorage, and over a period of 30 years, it could [make] the U.S. government about $4.4 billion, the GAO said.

Avoiding the real issue, the GAO said that although the coins cost more to make, they would last longer, thus turning a profit to the government:

We continue to believe that replacing the note with a coin is likely to provide a financial benefit to the government if the note is eliminated and negative public reaction is effectively managed through stakeholder outreach and public education.

Unfortunately there is little likelihood that any of that “outreach” and “education” will include any attempt at explaining why the change is necessary.

The real issue is the declining purchasing power of the currency. And that goes back to the year 1913 when the Federal Reserve System was

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Boehner Fires First Salvo in Taxmageddon Wars

U.S. President is greeted by Speaker of the Ho...

House speaker John Boehner decided on Tuesday to fire the first round in the coming battle to deal with the huge tax increases taking place after the first of the year (“Taxmageddon”) by setting the terms for the debt ceiling debate. In a speech at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2012 Fiscal Summit in Washington Boehner said that any discussion would revolve around his “Boehner principle”—every dollar of additional debt increase for the federal government must be matched by an equal or greater reduction in government spending.

Said Boehner:

When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase. This is the only avenue I see right now to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance…

Just so we’re clear, I’m talking about real cuts and reforms—not these tricks and gimmicks that have given Washington a pass on grappling with its spending problem…

Previous Congresses have encountered lesser precipices with lower stakes and made a beeline for the closest lame-duck escape hatch. Let me put your mind at ease. This Congress will not follow that path, not if I have anything to do with it.

Democrats immediately fired back. White House spokesman Jay Carney called Boehner’s remarks as inviting brinkmanship similar to that last summer that resulted in an increase of the debt ceiling along with some future spending cuts. Said Carney: 

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Geithner Ignores Subpoena to Testify in Lehman Bros. Case

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasur...

The creditors’ committee representing what’s left of Lehman Brothers asked bankruptcy Judge James Peck last week to force Timothy Geithner—currently Obama’s Treasury Secretary but President of the New York Fed at the time of the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy—to answer some questions. The original subpoena issued by the committee to Geithner to appear last August was ignored and so the committee appealed to Judge Peck.

The committee claims that Geithner played a pivotal role in Lehman’s collapse and may have “unique” knowledge about a last-minute transfer of some $8 billion out of Lehman to JPMorgan just before that collapse. Lehman is suing JPMorgan in an attempt to get that money back and Geithner’s testimony is crucial. Time is running out: The discovery period for the committee ends on March 16.

The committee claims that JPMorgan did a “last-second collateral grab” in order to save itself while inflicting fatal damage on Lehman at the same time. And Geithner was in on it. The week before the Lehman collapse Geithner made 35 phone calls to Lehman’s CEO Richard Fuld and another 10 calls to JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, and at least some of those calls, said the committee, centered on those collateral demands. Therefore, the committee insists that Geithner should be required to reveal what those calls involved.

Geithner has remained silent; however, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, Anthony Coley, said he couldn’t understand what all the fuss is about: “Treasury and the Fed have provided

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Standard and Poor’s Extends, Defends and Explains Its Downgrade

Standard and Poor - not the most popular build...

Image by Haydn Blackey via Flickr

In a series of expected additional press releases, the Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency is expanding its downgrade of debt securities tied to the now-lower-rated sovereign debt of the United States, including Israeli bondsFannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and “pre-funded” municipal bonds. Other credits tied closely to U.S. sovereign debt are also expected to be downgraded shortly, with only a few exceptions.

Most municipal bond issues are not pre-funded with U.S. Treasury securities, and so they aren’t likely to

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Corzine to Replace Geithner as Treasury Secretary?

HOBOKEN, NJ - NOVEMBER 02:  New Jersey Gov. Jo...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Despite protestations from Jon Corzine, former New Jersey governor, that he has no interest in taking Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s place if Geithner decides to step down, Corzine did manage to have a clause put into his company’s bond offering prospectus that if he did accept the position, bond holders would be paid an extra one percent interest, just in case.

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Debt Ceiling Crisis: Putting Things Into Perspective

WASHINGTON - JUNE 22:  U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-...

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The compromise bill that emerged Sunday night from behind closed doors is being loudly trumpeted in an attempt to persuade recalcitrant conservatives in both houses to vote for something—anything—in time to avoid the August 2 deadline.

A careful analysis of the ultimate compromise bill yields some important conclusions. First of all, there is nothing in the law or statutes that

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Treasury Secretly Exploring Options if Debt Ceiling Isn’t Raised

Credit cards

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Unnamed White House and U.S. Treasury sources told MoneyNews.com that options to handle the government’s debts in the event no debt ceiling deal is reached are being explored, despite official protestations to the contrary.

Mary Miller, Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets, is in charge of paying the government’s bills, and on June 21 she repeated the party line in London to bankers holding substantial American debt that there is no “Plan B,” assuring them that the debt limit would be raised before August 2. Official Treasury spokeswoman Colleen Murray expressed practically the same thing:

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Debt-Limit Negotiations: A Game of Chicken Over Chicken Feed

Chicken

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When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced he was leaving the negotiations over raising the debt limit on Thursday, he made it clear that he felt he was getting pressured by the Democrats to accept tax increases as part of the deal. He said: “Each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue.”

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Insider Scoffs at Default Concerns, Blasts Geithner, Bernanke

Barack Obama and Timothy Geithner

Image by Downing Street via Flickr

Although Monday, May 16th is the day the financial world was supposed to end as the federal government’s spending hit the debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) announced that he was able to put off that day of reckoning until August 2nd. In a letter to Congress, Geithner said that by borrowing from a pension fund belonging to federal workers and from an emergency fund set up to “help deal with foreign financial crises” coupled with slightly higher tax revenues than expected, he is able to stave off the inevitable until

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Boehner Caught in the Middle

01-27-11 at 14-34-48

Image by SpeakerBoehner via Flickr

House Speaker John Boehner’s speech to the Economic Club of New York on Monday night revealed much about the pressures he is facing in the fight over increasing the debt ceiling. In attendance were investors, bankers, and other Wall Street suits looking for reassurance that Congress wasn’t going to spoil their party by taking away their punch bowl of profligate government spending, but also that any cuts in spending would be modest and deferred into the future. Such reassurance would

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Government to Sell GM Stock Before It Declines Further

2011 Chevrolet Volt exhibited at the 2010 Wash...

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When the federal government took over General Motors in July of 2009, it was “the only way to avoid an economic calamity,” according to President Obama.

Stuffed full of $50 billion of taxpayers’ money, GM began to revive, a little. It had lost an amazing $103 billion over the previous five years, partly by acceding to union demands for generous compensation packages (including payments to workers even when the plants where they worked weren’t even running!), and partly by

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Bernanke Issues Warnings, Accepts No Blame

Ben Bernanke dollar

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s address to the National Press Club on Thursday was a remarkable blend of hubris, claimed innocence, and warnings.

His opening remarks were condescending and patronizing to the journalists assembled:

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Removing Geithner’s Temptation to Play Chicken with Debt Ceiling

Official portrait of United States Secretary o...

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When Austan Goolsbee, chief economic advisor to the Obama administration, was asked about the impact not raising the debt ceiling would have on the country, he said, “This is not a game. If we hit the debt ceiling, that’s essentially defaulting on our obligations, which is totally unprecedented in American history.” He continued:

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What If the Debt Ceiling Isn’t Raised?

Ceiling Fan

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Following the petulant pronouncement from the Obama administration’s chief economics advisor that any suggestion of not raising the debt ceiling was engaging in a “game of chicken,” two other establishment types noisily concurred.

Timothy Geithner, the U. S. Secretary of the Treasury, said that failure to raise the ceiling “could make it impossible for the U. S. to access global credit markets,” while Bill Gross, the co-CEO of PIMCO, the world’s largest bond fund manager, plainly implied that unless the ceiling were raised promptly, the U.S. could lose its coveted AAA credit rating: “Ultimately, if we continue a trillion-dollar-plus [annual deficit] then, yes, your credit rating will be threatened.”

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GM’s IPO: Where’s the Weevil in the Hardtack?

Logo of General Motors Corporation. Source: 20...

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Steven Rattner, former counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, celebrated in Huffington Post, “In the end, it was a blow out!” With the old General Motors successfully selling shares in its new General Motors at $33 per share, taxpayers will allegedly be getting back part of the $50 billion in bailout money used to rescue the company 17 months ago.

As Rattner exulted:

The mother of all initial public offerings—that of the refreshed, revitalized and revamped General Motors—went off better than almost anyone expected….

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A Primer in Protectionism

Tariff - Anti-Tariff

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Despite opaque and dissembling arguments that what the world needs now is a world currency to replace the weakening dollar, there are significant obstacles confronting that elitist dream. After the IMF (International Monetary Fund) annual meeting in Washington ended, leaders could only conclude that the IMF needed to keep “a close watch on currencies,” using “candor” and an “evenhanded” approach to such observations.

While departing amidst platitudes, the “leaders'” real issue is rising protectionism being waged by its members through currency manipulation. Simply put,

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GM Caught in a Lie, Still Owes U.S. Billions

The New GM (Government Motors) Proudly Introdu...

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Daniel Akerson, the new CEO of General Motors, said last week that the rate of payback of U.S. government bailout monies “will be determined by GM’s performance over the next several years. It would be ‘unrealistic’ to pay the government back all at once.”

He added, “We want the government out. Period. We don’t want to be known as Government Motors…It’s a goal of this company to return that (federal money). [However] I don’t think that’s going to be [done] in one fell swoop. I think that’s unrealistic.”

This was a much different message from that delivered by his predecessor, GM CEO Ed Whitacre, back in March when he announced in a series of TV ads:

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Mortgage Summit: No New Ideas

Dogbert

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When Kevin Hall, writing for McClatchy Newspapers, said “the Obama administration got what it was looking for at its summit on the future of housing finance,” he was very close to the truth: No matter who spoke at the summit or what “new” ideas might be proposed, nothing would change—the government would remain fully in charge of mortgage financing for the country.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.