Amid growing losses, Bank of America announced today that it would receive another $20 billion in federal help and that the government would limit its potential losses on $118 billion in assets. That is addition to the $25 billion in government help it received last year.Remember, way back in ancient times (fall 2008), when the Detroit Big Three car companies wanted to hold out their hats to catch a little bit of the rain of Bailout Largesse? This was after the initial $100B or so to AIG, after the don't-even-ask-what-we're-gonna-do-with-it $700B for the bankster class in general, and those dirty-fingered rustbelters wanted, what, $32B? 34? I don't know ... it was such a paltry sum, I forget. I do recall, though, that there wasn't a tax-sucker in Mordor-on-the-Potomac -- elected, appointed, or hired -- who missed his opportunity to let those car execs know that their "business model" was laughable and that the whole industry was going to have to remake itself in Mordor's image if it wanted to be able to hope for alms. (Mordor, as we all know, is masterful balancer of budgets, and a shining standard of fiscal prudence and responsibility.)
My point is: when three manufacturing companies asked for ~$30B, that made a big hoo-ha; it caused a heated debate. When just one bank that's already burned through $25B grabs another $20B -- $45B in all, so far -- it's entirely unremarkable. It doesn't seem to be worth talking about, almost. As I've said here before, I'm against every bit of the "bailout" crapola. The constitution doesn't authorize any of it; the government doesn't have the money; and it's theft -- any of those is a sufficent reason to laugh at the idea, and taken together, they're quite compelling. Still, the difference between the treatment of an insolvent bankster who's dipping into the empty U.S. treasury and the treatment of a mendicant manufacturer who fishes for a few pennies for every dollar grabbed by the bankster: that difference is, to me, quite arresting. What it tells us about who really pulls our supervisors' strings is kind of ugly.