Saxby teleconference.

I listened in to a telephone press conference this afternoon with Senator Saxby Chambliss. Here are some notes from the conference.

Gas situation in Georgia

– The waiver to stop requiring the special blend for parts of Georgia has not had an immediate impact.
– There was a fire at a plant in Pasadena Texas that has slowed supply.
– Gas is being diverted from other parts of the country to sell in Georgia.
– We probably won’t be back at full supply for another five days.

Financial Bailout

– Luquidity and confidence are crucial for any solution to work
– $700 billion plan from Paulson shocked a lot of Congressmen
– The sheer size of the proposed bailout gave most members of Congress pause
– We do have all parties at the table now.
– There was no deal yesterday in spite of what was announced yesterday morning. There will not be a deal until all parties have a say in the process.

– Chambliss is pleased that both McCain and Obama came back to DC. They should both be involved in the process.
– WH meetings like what took place yesterday are not uncommon. It’s also not uncommon for no agreement to be reached in such meetings and Senate and House leadership need input from their members.
– Oversight is necessary. Those implementing the bailout plan must be accountible. An oversight board should be put in place. “Brakes” must be put on executive compensation. Chambliss will not vote for any bill that allows for golden parachutes for executives of participating banks.
– Chambliss is opposed to simply bailing out Wall Street.
– Payments received by the government must be used to pay back the government’s outlay. The current proposal does not allow for that.
– There are four negotiators from both sides of the Capitol and the White House. It’s their goal that by midnight tonight a plan is hammered out.
– Chambliss’ phone has been ringing off the hook in opposition to the initial proposed $700 billion bailout.
– Chambliss has spoken with many bankers, business people, and economists from around Georgia
and the nation about this seeking input. Almost everyone agrees that something must be done, but there is no “perfect plan.”
– This a very complex problem that Congress doesn’t frequently deal with.

The Senator is now taking questions. I’ll update if anything interesting is said.

Questions:

A reported from WDUN (I think): What happens if no deal is reached by the Congress?

Chambliss: Nobody knows for sure. Everyone is telling us that if credit sources dry up, the consequences will be very bad.

Question from Edwin Morris: Will there be a 9/11 Commission style report about what happened and how to prevent it from happening again?

Chambliss: Sub-prime mortgages are the root of the problem. Fannie Mae and other mortgage companies were encouraged to give the loans. Some steps have already been taken on the regulatory front. There are criminal investigations going on to see if some did anything criminal to help cause this crisis. We’ve not talked about a Commission, we’ve mostly been focused on what to do right now.

Question from Tom Crawford of Capitol Impact: Do you agree with government receiving equity in a company in exchange for the banks bad assets?

Chambliss: If you do that on a wholesale basis, then the federal government will own stock in a large number of companies all across America. That would not be a good thing. I don’t

Question from John Fredricks (sp?), Beacon Media: Can you give us any specific positive impact that McCain has had on this process?

Chambliss: Yes I can. He had an immediate impact. McCain announces he’s suspending his campaign and the next day the Democrat engaged Senate Republican for the first time ever and basically caving just so they could get a deal before McCain arrived later that afternoon. McCain has given a list to the negotiators and those items are being used by the negotiators.

Followup: There are reports of about $7 million in earmarks added in, including one by Joe Biden. What do you think about that?

Chambliss: I had no heard that but there is no place for pet projects in this process and I won’t support a bill that includes such things.

Question from Blake Aued, Athens Banner-Herald: Have you heard of any local banks in trouble?

Chambliss: I have not heard of banks in Georgia other than what has already been reported. I’ve seen no indication of anyone’s deposits being in trouble.

Followup: Is Paulson’s proposal “socialism?”

Chambliss: I don’t know if it’s socialism, but it’s a scary thought that the government might own a number of banks. It’s not nationalizing them, but as I said earlier, it’s not good for the government to own an equity stake in private corporations.

I need to sign off now – got some work to take care of.

31 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    Perhaps if all of the Republican Senators got down on a bended knee like Paulson did to Pelosi, we could all become married to Wall Street.

    What an IDIOT we have in charge of the Treasury.

    Of course, the Clinton administration had its dhare of idiots too…and, a LOT of the problems realized today were caused by the Clinonian policies of demanding that banks lend to people with poor credit-worthiness.

  2. AtlConservative says:

    I don’t think now is time to assign blame. Now is the time to sort out a solution that doesn’t screw the tax payers! (Has anyone read the article about the CEO of WaMu making $20 million for 17 days of work?)

    Saxby actually seems to be making some sense – for once. What does Congressman Price think? or one of the other gentlemen who are actually fiscally conservative?

    Finally, a guy in my office called Sonny’s office about the gas. The aid said that he understood the pain of no gas because he may not be able to attend the UGA game… BOO HOO!

    Bill, I’m starting to think they all – both sides – are idiots!

  3. Bill Simon says:

    Atl,

    Come on now…do YOU really think Saxby wrote that? C’mon…most of the crap that has EVER come out of a Senator’s office or a Representative’s office (regardless of party) has been written by some staffer in conjunction with some other staffer….and maybe the elected official had a care enough to read it before it got sent out.

    I doubt Saxby could originate a plagiarized paper on the history of UGA, much less a note about the current financial meltdown.

  4. muffin15 says:

    Bill…I am sorry that you feel that way about Hank..but the truth of the matter is that if you really understood the gravity if the situation you would probably give her a reach around… Hank Paulson is by far the most competent administration official..I will say, Paulson could have sold this pig better to congress than he did.. btw you cant marry wall street if it is gone…Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddy, Lehman, Merrill, AIG, WAMU….all these companies are out of business…nobody is left….so who exactly is getting bailed out? American Citizens…

  5. odinseye2k says:

    “Of course, the Clinton administration had its dhare of idiots too…and, a LOT of the problems realized today were caused by the Clinonian policies of demanding that banks lend to people with poor credit-worthiness.”

    Apparently this comment got into Erick’s naughty filter. News flash, some things in this world ARE vulgar, just like the above.

    Yeah. F-ing. Right. Wall Street’s many gambles, three-card monte credit swap games and financial engineering (why the hell do we waste any mathematically capable mind in this nation on turning out this kind of absolute garbage?) are of course all those poor peoples’ fault.

    That’s just disgusting coming from people like Larry Kudlow (hey, if this guy is a financial genius, why the hell is he hiding in a cushy day job at MSNBC rather than getting super-rich as a day trader?) and other assorted apologists.

    Once upon a time, we tasked the strong with restraining themselves from praying upon the weak.

  6. In the loop says:

    Tom Price says:

    Rep. Price Responds to Flawed Democrat-Paulson Plan

    Washington, DC – Rep. Tom Price (GA-06-R) issued the following statement regarding the flawed Democrat-Paulson plan to aid the nation’s financial markets.

    “Our country is facing serious problems and is in need of real direction from its leaders,” said Rep. Price. “Yet in Congress, we are suffering from a crisis of leadership. It is now time for Democrats to take accountability for being in control, take a hard look at alternatives, and offer responsible market based legislation to restore our teetering economy.

    “Unfortunately, the plan that Democrats have championed is woefully inadequate. It puts taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars. Their plan lacks both private sector participation and a clear and reliable exit strategy. And, worst of all, it rejects consideration of free market alternatives that could protect taxpayers from unwarranted risk.

    “Our markets are at an unprecedented level of volatility, and confidence in our economy has been shaken. We need to come up with a final agreement quickly, but not recklessly. There is simply no reason to act hastily in a ‘take it or leave it’ manner when principled and reasonable alternatives are available for consideration.”

    ###

  7. IndyInjun says:

    Chambliss is either an idiot or he is lying.

    Yes, the first bad apple in the barrel was subprime, but ALT-A loans and prime loans are going down the same path. What about the $3 trillion in CORPORATE securitized debt? What about the AUCTION RATED SECURITIES FRAUD that had NOTHING to do with home mortages?

    The problem, Senator, was SECURITIZATION.

    If it were just bad loans, the fix would cost $250 billion NOT $1.4 trillion.

    Chambliss and the lot of em who are favoring a bailout are about ignite forces not seen since 1776 by aligning with the THIEVES against the rest of us.

    Are there provisions for recalling senators? I intend to start on on Isakson, if he votes for this, and Chambliss, if he votes for it and wins in November.

  8. tb says:

    There is still more work to be done.. It is my understanding and I have heard that some of the payback is going to groups like ACORN. This should not be. The payback should only be going toward the debt to clear the debt.

    Call your senators and reps!!!

  9. btpull says:

    Bailout is inevitable. Foreign governments hold 45% of our treasury debt and 20% of our government agency debt such as the mortgage backed security debt issued by Fannie Mae. We need to keep the foreign dollars flowing in to finance our treasury and apparently our mortgage lending. Politically we cannot “bailout” the domestic companies while we “bailout” the foreigners.

  10. Ga Values says:

    Saxby had collected $1,322,000.00 from Bankers, Real Estate, & Insurance companies as of June 30. Saxby will be voting their interest not the GEORGIA TAXPAYER. As usual Saxby will sell GEORGIA TAXPAYERS out to the Lobbyist. McCain says Country First, Saxby says LOBBYIST (especially Bo Chambliss) First

  11. IndyInjun says:

    If Chambliss votes for this bailout, this PeachPunditeer will stop at nothing, short of a violation of the law, to see that he is defeated.

  12. btpull says:

    Headline in this mornings online edition of the WSJ:

    Lawmakers Reach
    Tentative Deal
    On Bailout

    Key policy makers said a deal to bail out financial markets had been all but finalized after hours of exhausting negotiations

    We will now see if there are any true free market conservatives left in the Republican Party. I am disappointed that Linder does not have a statement on his website about his position on the bailout.

  13. Bill Simon says:

    “Hank Paulson is by far the most competent administration official..I will say, Paulson could have sold this pig better to congress than he did”

    Paulson is a Goldman-Sachs graduate…and he refuses to allow for the insurance component the House Republicans are demanding to become a part of the agreement.

    Paulson is a short-sighted damn fool…and, like SO many other appointees of Bush’s, a person who will make us fail worse until he is jettisoned.

  14. Bill Simon says:

    “If Chambliss votes for this bailout, this PeachPunditeer will stop at nothing, short of a violation of the law, to see that he is defeated.”

    Indy,

    A) You were already adamantly against Chambliss.

    B) You can only vote against him once.

    C) Give only as much money and time to his opponent as you can afford to kiss goodbye forever. (I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an ample supply of either time or money to spend on anything other than earning a real living…unlike the fake one Chambliss et al. can earn AND give himself a raise every f*cking year).

    Just some advice.

  15. btpull says:

    We have now become dependent on China and the Middle East for our financial stability. How long until they decide to push communism or sharia laws on us?

    “WASHINGTON — The success of the pending rescue of the U.S. financial system probably depends as much on the central banks of China and the Middle East as on the U.S. Congress and Federal Reserve.

    The U.S. is turning to foreign governments and other overseas investors to buy a good chunk of the $700 billion in Treasury debt that would be sold to finance the bailout. Foreign investors are also needed to shore up the depleted capital of the nation’s financial institutions, as evidenced by the plan of Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group to buy a large stake in Morgan Stanley, which is weighed down by bad debt and market distrust.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122262725903283485.html?mod=testMod

  16. IndyInjun says:

    Bill Simon:

    Chambliss can be defeated. The outrage from this might do it, despite the weak opposition.

    As for the ammo, the US had to contract with foreigners for that, too.

  17. btpull says:

    Personally I am at the point of voting against any incumbent at all levels. Grabbing a random person off the street could not make more of a mess of things. I swear we are becoming a third world country. Standing in line for gas and depending on foreign governments to fund our treasury.

  18. bowersville says:

    I read a column this morning that had some astounding principals.

    What goes up, must go down.

    You can’t get something for nothing, and

    You reap what you sew.

    Every one wants to talk about saving main street and the middle class. Has any one explained what’s going to happen to the values of current homeowners that work everyday, make timely payments and are victims of the system?

    If there ever was lipstick on a pig, this is it. All we are hearing are platitudes of utopia, paradise lost, especially from Democrats.

    Tough times are ahead, choose wisely.

  19. tb says:

    I am personally thankful that the Republicans voted with their conscience on this bail out bill and will send a note of gratitude to my representative that did so.

    In the meantime, I hope people once again call and write their congressman and read over Newt Gingich’s ideas…. and consider asking your congressman to introduce a bill that incorporate’s Newts’ ideas.

    Please consider doing so today.

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