Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Remember the story of Sisyphus? He was the king in Greek mythology who was punished by being forced to roll a boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down. He was to repeat this activity throughout eternity.

If you recall this story then you'll understand why this piece from Mother Jones makes the U.S. taxpayer out to be little more than an American Sisyphus ...

First you bailed out Fannie and Freddie. Now you're paying their legal bills.

Taxpayers have covered $434 million in legal fees for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their highly-paid executives since the federal government took over the wounded housing giants in September 2008, according to data (PDF) provided to Mother Jones by a congressional source.

In case you forgot, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were privately managed, government backed, institutions who were used to absorb corporate America's toxic mortgage loans. They then bundled them up and dumped these contracts (CDOs) on gullible market players (like union and state pension funds), who ended up taking huge hits when the market collapsed in 2008.

After the American taxpayer bailed out Fannie and Freddie, and backstopped all the toxic loans for Wall Street's wage and bonus bonanza in 2008 and 2009, we're now paying to defend their incompetence too. Great.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm beginning to feel like the American Sisyphus ... condemned to bailout out Wall Street and corporate America's incompetence into eternity.

- Mark

No comments: