November 28, 2014

Having financial troubles? Contact the Federal Reserve

Around the big top

Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted 4/1/08

$10,000 behind in taxes? Losing your home to foreclosure?

Have no fear! The Federal Reserve will save you!

Don’t you wish it were that easy?

Perhaps those ludicrous statements would be true if you happened to have the first name Bear, the last name Stearns and were merging with JP Morgan and Chase, co.

You know Bear Stearns, one of the largest global investment banks and brokerage firms in the world — a Wall Street fixture since 1923. A great depression survivor that couldn’t survive the current recession that Mr. Bush won’t admit we are in. A company whose stock was selling at higher than $150 a share in January 2007; over $90 in February 2008…

… For $10 when purchased by JP Morgan and Chase about a week and a half ago. Up from the original bid of $2 per share.

So what’s all this say for shareholders? They’re suing. No surprise there.

What’s that mean for Bear Stearns employees? Many of them will be out of a job.

What’s that mean for the Federal Reserve? They’ll be out of… Oh I never mentioned the amount of the loan.

You may want to hold onto something.

They’ll be out of 30 billion big ones until the loans paid off.

Yup, no typo there. $30 billion.

Fortunately, progress has been made since the merger. The stock price is rising and the loan amount is already $1 billion less since the move, meaning that there is hope Bear Stearns can survive.

Good news? Not to me.

I recently heard Senator Obama (if you don’t know him I suggest you call a crane to remove the boulder you are sleeping under or say the words “presidential election” in any public area) describe the Bear Stearns collapse on Wall Street as a “trickle up effect” — that the problems on Main Street were reaching Wall Street.

It makes sense to me.

But it doesn’t make sense why that much money could be spent on saving an investment firm, or whatever it is (I’ll drop the façade, I really don’t understand Wall Street that much), but can’t the Federal Reserve help out with people losing their homes.

The loan may help Bob and Jane Millionaire who bought thousands of shares of Bear Stearns with plans to sell the shares and fund the construction of their VACATION house in Florida, but it’s not helping Bob and Jane Smith and their kids who are losing their ONLY home because they are a year behind on taxes.

Seriously, dig out that foreclosures inserts from the Arenac County Independent, Ogemaw Herald, Pinconning Journal, Roscommon Herald-news and that big paper from Bay City. Now add up the amount owed listed in all these fine publications.

Does it equal $30 billion? Does it equal 10 percent of that?

It’s official.

The powers that be care about the “have a lots” more than the “have nots” and “have a littles.”

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