“401(k) plans are one of the few useful things the govt has come up with...tax incentives to save. A little regulation (compulsory index funds, perhaps) here could go a long way in helping a lot of people. Great article.”
“So if I am reading this correctly, the government is planning to tax the assets of the banks, excluding deposits. That means the government is levying a tax on loans (which are assets to a financial institution). Therefore we can expect the banks to restrict lending further, and capital will continue to be constrained by the government.
Also funny we're excluding Fannie and Freddie, the rating agencies, and anyone who got a mortgage they couldn't afford, also known as the real causes of this mess.
Also, this will ultimately be coming to a theater near you if you are an unfavored Democratic voting block. This administration has lost its mind.”
Koreanovice on Jan 14, 2010 at 14:12:49
“All the big banks would do is get a loan for the bonus to eliminate taxes and don't pay it back!”
“Newsflash - most high income people actually pay more than that on most of their income. The highest marginal tax rate in NYC is almost 55%. Who do you think already pays for teachers, firemen, and police? Answer: Wall Street.”
“I would use a community bank except for the obvious issues:
* limited ATM locations in town, nationally, or internationally when I travel
* limited online banking capability
* no brokerage business with scale (good research, online access, etc.) that is connected to my checking account”
drkazmd65 on Dec 31, 2009 at 11:12:20
“I get around that problem (for the most part) by maintaining my regular bank account (shortly to be moved to an even more local community bank) and an E*trade account with attached savings account.
There is an electronic connection between them that lets me move money between the accounts with at least relative ease.
“The sooner we can get the government disentangled from the banks, the better. This seems to be a pretty good sign that things are improving and, gulp, TARP worked.”
OceanSize on Dec 2, 2009 at 21:51:39
“As an aside, I work for one of the other TARP banks that has already paid back TARP, yet we still aren't allowed to have any sort of holiday party whatsoever, not even ones we would pay for ourselves as employees. Seems a bit overboard.”
“While this may sound good in theory, it predictably ignores consequences of the fact that we live in a global economy. The obvious result would be that domestic credit would be controlled by European and Asian banks, like Deutsche Bank, Barclays and HSBC. These organizations would capture virtually all domestic lending business because a) they will be better capitalized than nationalized US banks, b) they will be able to move more quickly, c) they have global resources, and d) they will have far better people working for them, as all all domestic human capital would flow into non-regulated global banks.
So, instead if tilting at windmills in this fantasty world, it would be better for the left to begin getting serious about reforms that actually make sense and have a shot at becoming law: higher capital requirements throughout the banking industry, especially in businesses like proprietary trading, more supervisory authority at the Fed or Treasury, reform of the ratings agencies, mortgage reform (i.e., uniform lending standards) and more shareholder say on pay throughout corporate America (not government regulation of pay).”
Hysterian68 on Nov 26, 2009 at 17:45:03
“Europe and asia are capturing domestic lending as it is now. Unfortunately, Wall Street is successfully blocking ALL reform efforts. Nationalization and the seizure of assets is the only solution, or break up all banks and untether them from the USGovernment in any way. They become something on the scale of private investment banks of the 19th century, but with no entanglements with the US Treasury.”
dctackett on Nov 25, 2009 at 13:39:43
“I never understood the concept that privately owned is superior to publically owned... your a, b, c and d points are just assumptions... as if those working for a public bank would be far more stupid than those working for a private bank, just because... publically owned can be cheaper and meet the needs of those that wouldn't have their needs met otherwise. Publically owned is controlled by the people's representatives, they can actually be held accountable.
There is no need for the public to be owning and producing commercial merchandise like shoes or any of the various pieces of junk that flow through the economy... but the essentials in life should be publically controlled or at least heavily regulated.
I definitely agree about better reform, though the "free market" is not free and is not and never has been the best for the people, only the people with the money and power controlling it all.”
“Dylan, the vast majority of that $10 billion in revenue was from trading on behalf of clients. What do you expect them to do, keep clients from accessing the capital markets to make investments and allocate capital. Give me a break.”
Guscat on Oct 18, 2009 at 07:07:23
“The $10 billion was from trading their own accounts (See,Trading- Principal Investments). Goldman has often been referred to as a giant hedge fund.”
“I like Robert Reich but this article is incredibly misleading. The markets are hardly "booming," the equity markets are lower than they were 10 years ago. They are up substantially from a level that effectively priced in the end of the world, or absent that a massive depression. As the government's initiatives (more liquidity, TARP, etc, etc) were effective in saving us from that scenario, the markets have traded up, but remain at severely depressed levels relative to history, and reflect (i) slower growth, (ii) persistent unemployment, and (iii) more saving and less spending on behalf of consumers.
Also, to put it in pure layman's terms, ask anyone who has been in the stock market for 5 or 10 years whether the market is "booming." The answer is an obvious and emphatic "no."”
Cowboylove on Sep 23, 2009 at 11:09:22
“Booming is a relative term. If you got in the market shortly after Obama became president, you could have nearly doubled your money. If you got in the market in 2006, you are still considering slashing your wrists. The recovery of the DOW was not expected this soon. It is a good sign, but to many the news is their losses are not quite as severe as they once thought. Still expect record bonuses on Wall Street this year. The rich get richer, you know.”
“Really? This would simply drive such transactions to other global exchanges in Europe and Asia where the regulators have the good sense not to tax investment.”
AnotherMcIntosh on Sep 14, 2009 at 09:56:01
“And this would be a problem? Why?”
GardenerNorCal on Sep 14, 2009 at 09:54:33
“Why would that necessarily be a bad thing? Perhaps then it wouldn't be on the shoulders of the US Citizen to bail them out when it all goes south. It would be up to the global and foreign exchanges to keep failing markets afloat.”
ThePeoplesKey on Sep 14, 2009 at 07:53:28
“Yeah right. Typical dumb right wing response. Let's not tax anything because the wealthy will all leave. FYI the reason so many of the wealthy located in the US to begin with is because our income taxes are so much lower then Europe and wealthy Asian countries. If our wealthy were going to leave based on your analogy, they would all have left long ago. Get a clue . . .”
“Definitely was not smart enough to see the collapse coming, as only a few people did, but smart enough to know that keeping it contained required bold measures. If people understood the "do nothing" strategy advocated by Republicans and people like you would have led to massive unemployment and a complete freezing of the economy, then they might get it, but everyone ignorantly thinks absent all of the liquidity the Fed provided everything would be hunky dory. Give me a break. I could care less about the bailed out investment bankers, I have bigger issues to worry about, and most of the people who created the mess on Wall Street are long gone.”
tbone99 on Aug 25, 2009 at 09:58:18
“That collapse was predicted at least two years ahead of time all over the place- and i'm about as far from being an economist as you can get.
If I knew about it 2 years ahead - an economist should have seen it coming five years. ahead at least .
But the "crisis" did get the taxpayer to provide billions in welfare to some of the wealthiest people in the country , while the complain there is no money for healthcare reform. Interesting .”
“Bravo. As an Obama voter, I commend him for making the right decision on this. Without Bernanke's steady hand and fearless intervention, the economy would have cratered into the abyss. As tough to swallow as the financial bailout and other interventions were, it seems they were effective without a doubt, and had we done what the Republicans wanted and essentially let the financial system collapse, we would be in much worse shape.”
betrayed1 on Aug 25, 2009 at 09:26:50
“So which are you, a Wall Street invesment banker who got bailed out or one of the economists that was too stupid to see the collapse comming? After all, those are the two groups that are Bernancke's biggest supporters.”
“Blatant intimidation. What an embarrassment to democracy and to the House. Mr. Waxman should be ashamed of himself and should have better things to do. I hope the companies tell him to pound sand.”
MaryfromMontcoPA on Aug 19, 2009 at 10:53:30
What, the big boys -- who've been sucking our whole economy dry with skyrocketing premiums, denying care, killing and bankrupting patients -- can't take a little sunshine? What are they, vampires?
COMMUNISM -- Government runs all business
FASCISM -- Business runs all government
DEMOCRACY -- Government of the people balances business interests and citizens' interests. (Think Clean Water Act, FDA on pharmaceuticals, requiring insurers to keep enough $ on hand to actually pay claims, stopping DDT, getting lead out of toys and house paint...)
It's fact-finding for absolutely necessary regulation of corporate greed -- not an "embarrassment" but a duty of democracy.”
cbates on Aug 19, 2009 at 10:46:11
“I totally disagree with you on this opportunity to see how we are being gouged by folks who are willing to tell us NO to get a big pay check.”
LemonMeringue on Aug 19, 2009 at 10:42:43
“The insurance industry is spending billions to interfere in our democratic process by organizing fake protests, and by giving millions PER DAY to lobbyists.
They have invited the full participation of government by inserting themselves into government.”
boomer1949 on Aug 19, 2009 at 10:42:25
“One more step to reform...”
scat on Aug 19, 2009 at 10:37:06
“been making that point all morning. And nobody gets it or wants to get it.”
munki on Aug 19, 2009 at 10:36:43
“Not really... Although he could have put it a bit more diplomatic words...
Insurance companies are suppose to take care of us as we pay quiet a handsome premium... Much of American CEOs are siphoning profits for their own benefits.
Reasonable - is the question. Are they worth that much?
Really, we are talking about human life vs greedy profit siphon... corporate executives...
I am for bonus, but at reasonable rate for work well done... Astronomical is questionable...
If you have lived overseas... you will know how fortunate these CEOs are in the US...
No country that I know... pays themselves so well...
Human life... think about it...”
“Goldman is not lending money to "ailing governments." They are acting as an agent by selling such debt to investors like pension funds and mutual funds, some of which you probably hold. This is actually quite a boring business, basically connecting buyers and sellers, and doesn't involve a great deal of risk. You make it sound as if there is something sinister going on. In fact, were it not for Goldman or other banks in a position to underwrite such debt, such struggling governments and municipalities would probably not have access to the capital markets, or they would be paying investors higher interest rates.
It's so easy to criticize when you're not burdened with the facts.”
Nooneyouknow on Jul 15, 2009 at 20:10:28
“And the only reason Goldman is in a position to profit off this "boring" service is because Bushco and Obama have bailed it out; Lehman isn't in a position to profit, because Goldman's representatives in government couldn't be bothered with saving it. And the reason these governments and municipalities are struggling is because Goldman marketed and sold worthless, toxic instruments as first-rate investments.
What was that about facts again?”
federate rate: 39.6% when Obama lets Bush tax cuts expire.
state rate in NY: 8.97%
NYC local rate: ~4%
Total before Obama surtax in top bracket: 52.5%
Obama surtax: 5.4%
Total marginal rate for top bracket in NYC: 57.9%. Further the 5.4% is actually on Adjusted Gross Income before itemized deductions, like mortgage interest, so the actual rate on taxable income is something like 60% or more, depending on deductions.”
LeftRight on Jul 16, 2009 at 09:12:39
“MAXIMUM federal tax rate when the bush tax cuts expire: 39.6%, NOT marginal tax rate!!”
“First, I was referring to the marginal tax rate, not the effective tax rate, so what I wrote is accurate. Second, whether I can afford it or not is entirely irrelevant. I am not interested in what I or anybody else can or cannot afford, I am interested in what is best for the economy, and this isn't it.”
LeftRight on Jul 16, 2009 at 09:11:42
“If that's your marginal tax rate then you REALLY need to get a new accountant, cause there ain't NO ONE paying that much!”
“This is insanity. I am a Democrat and voted for Obama, but in high tax states like New York and California this will result in marginal tax rates on high earners of something on the order of 57% (really?!), if you include federal, state & local, plus the surtax of 5.4% on the highest bracket.
I'm all for paying my fair share, and I agree my fair share is probably more than it is now, but this is absolute madness. It will not raise the revenue it promises and will stifle growth in high tax states.”
Agent420 on Jul 15, 2009 at 10:54:58
“Your calculator is broken.”
LeftRight on Jul 15, 2009 at 10:54:56
“First, that's a lie, because the tax rate listed is the HIGHEST percentage paid, not the ACTUAL percentage paid (since we are in a progressive tax structure).
Second, if you are making $280,000 or more in a year as a single person, or $350,000 per year as a couple, that means that you can afford it. As opposed to my own situation where my wife and I were making less than $40,000 per year and had three kids, and could almost afford to feed them, and some months could even afford to pay to keep the electricity on in our home....”