Bank bailout: Got a good angle worth sharing?

Many of you are now weary of calling local experts, and doing regular-folks-on-the-street interviews about the now faltering $700 billion bank industry bailout. So, who’s got a really fresh angle to share? Save your newsroom colleagues from re-inventing the wheel or heading into the morning meeting with an empty budget!

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Photo: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to opening statements during a congressional hearing yesterday; by AFP/Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla]

14 Responses to “Bank bailout: Got a good angle worth sharing?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Bernanke and Paulson need to be grilled over their involvement in the Bildeberg group. They are the ones who orchestrated this debacle in the first place. Think not? Look it up. There’s a video of Bernanke going into a meeting with more security than the President! Problem, reaction, solution at it finest! Don’t ever hear about this in the mainstream TV or print media. Wonder why?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Are you paying for the rights to use the images you post from Getty and AP? Or is there a free use ruling or agreement from Blogger that allows bloggers the ability to use pieces of wire photos to link back to the original the same way you can use a story lead to link back to the original? Just giving credit may not cover you from owing fees. You might check to make sure you aren’t violating copyright.

  3. Jim Hopkins Says:

    I follow Rob Haggart’s advice on fair use for bloggers, at APhotoeditor; you can read it here:

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Bernanke is really doing the best he can. He was dealt a very very bad hand.

    We are entering a once in 50-80 year Economic Depression. The have occurred many times in our history, but they are spaced more than two genrations apart, so people get into the same bad Debt-toGDP (debt-to-income) habits.
    The have been period like this in the 1930s, the 1870s & the 1830s.

    However, with the huge debt obligations of the US Government, the most probable course for the economy will be a HYPER-INFLATIONARY DEPRESSION; where the Government prints money to cover its massive deficits.

    For further insights, GOOGLE the following: Kondratiev Wave, Panic of 1873. Also go to NOBELPRIZE.ORG and read Robert Mundell's 1999 Nobel Lecture (economics).

    Panic of 1873 & the “Long” Depression of the 1870s

    Run on the Fourth National Bank, No. 20 Nassau Street (New York City, 1873).
    The Panic of 1873 was a severe nationwide economic depression in the United States that lasted until 1877. It was precipitated by the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia banking firm Jay Cooke and Company on September 18, 1873 along with the meltdown on May 9, 1873 of the Vienna Stock Exchange in Austria (the so-called Gründerkrach or “founders' crash”). It was one of a series of economic crises in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
    In 1873, the American economy entered a crisis. This followed a period of post Civil War economic expansion that arose from the Northern railroad boom and the outbreak of equine influenza in 1872.
    Called the “Great Epizootic”, the whole street railway industry ground to a halt. Every aspect of American transportation was affected. Locomotives came to a halt as coal could not be delivered to power them while fires in many major cities raged unchecked. One fire in Boston destroyed over 700 buildings. Even the United States Army Cavalry was reduced to fighting the Apaches on foot, who likewise found their mounts too sick to do battle. The outbreak forced men to pull wagons by hand, while trains and ships full of cargo sat unloaded, tram cars stood idle and deliveries of basic community essentials were no longer being made. The effect this disease had on the US economy should not be understated.[1]
    The Coinage Act of 1873 changed the United States policy with respect to silver. Before the Act, the United States had backed its currency with both gold and silver, and it minted both types of coins. The Act moved the United States to the gold standard, which meant it would no longer buy silver or mint silver coins.
    The Act had the immediate effect of depressing silver prices. That hurt Western mining interests, who labeled the Act "The Crime of '73." But it also reduced the money supply, which hurt farmers and anyone else who carried heavy debt loads. The resulting outcry raised serious questions about how long the new policy would last. This perception of instability in United States monetary policy caused investors to shy away from long-term obligations, particularly long-term bonds. The problem was compounded by the railroad boom, which was in its later stages at the time.
    At the end of the Civil War, there was a boom in railroad construction, with 35,000 miles (56,000 km) of new track laid across the country between 1866 and 1873. The railroad industry, at the time the nation's largest employer outside of agriculture, involved large amounts of money and risk. A large infusion of cash from speculators caused abnormal growth in the industry.
    In September 1873, Jay Cooke and Company, a major component of the country’s banking establishment, found itself unable to market several million dollars in Northern Pacific Railway bonds. Cooke's firm, like many others, was invested heavily in the railroads. President Ulysses S. Grant's monetary policy of contracting the money supply made matters worse. While businesses were expanding, the money they needed to finance it was becoming scarcer. Cooke and other entrepreneurs had planned to build a second transcontinental railroad, called the Northern Pacific Railway. Cooke's firm provided the financing. But on September 18, the firm realized it had become overextended and declared bankruptcy.
    Years of government-promoted speculative credit created vast overexpansion of the nation’s railroad network. The failure of the Jay Cooke bank set off a chain reaction of bank failures and temporarily closed the stock market. Factories began to lay off workers as the nation slipped into depression.
    The New York Stock Exchange closed for 10 days starting Sept. 20. Of the country's 364 railroads, 89 went bankrupt. A total of 18,000 businesses failed between 1873 and 1875. Unemployment reached 14% by 1876, during a time which became known as the Long Depression (of the 1870s).
    Wage cuts and poor working conditions among railroad workers resulted in Great Railroad Strike of 1877, preventing the trains from moving. President Rutherford B. Hayes sent in federal troops in an attempt to stop the strikes. Fights between strikers and troops killed more than 100 and left many more injured. The tension between workers and the leaders of banking and manufacturing lingered on well after the depression lifted in the spring of 1879, the end of the crisis coinciding with the beginning of the great wave of immigration into the United States which lasted until the early 1920s.
    Poor economic conditions caused voters to turn against the Republican Party. In the 1874 congressional elections, the Democrats assumed control of the House. Public opinion during the period made it difficult for the Grant Administration to develop a coherent policy regarding the Southern states. The North began to steer away from Reconstruction. As Southern states fell to the Democrats, African Americans found that they could no longer pursue activist policies of reform. Retrenchment was a common response of southern states to state debts during the depression. As funds were cut from state governments, education often suffered, despite being an integral part of blacks’ hopes for social reform.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Wow. Great information. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Leave it to Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” to zoom in on the one aspect that should make headlines.

    The bail out should be “non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion and may not be reviewed by any court of law or administrative agency.” (Quote from the plan by Paulsen.)

    Check out the “Debt to America” video at

  7. Anonymous Says:

    @8:36 said: “Bernanke and Paulson need to be grilled over their involvement in the Bildeberg group.”

    Yeah, that’s right … turn the Gannett Blog into a conspiracy wacko site. That’s an awesome idea.

    Every once in a while I get phone calls in the newsroom from folks like you. You just need to be polite and get off the phone ASAP.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    1:10 LOL that was funny.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    From what I hear from listening to the analysts, is this bailout will probably end up not costing the taxpayers a dime. The government will end up selling these bad loans over time to investors and healthy banks.

    I’m hoping this plan passes fairly soon, if not I’m heading to the bank. From what I hear, if this plan doesn’t pass things will get ugly pretty darn quick.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Angles: This bailout is unconstitutional. It props up a part of the market that nobody wants to invest in, which gives worthless assets to the American people. Then we hold onto it in the hope that someday it will be worth something. That’s not a free market. That’s not a good idea. And the fact that most Americans oppose any sort of bailout should be front page news every day.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I’d like to see more than just the $$$ part of the plan. Why isn’t there a push to report projected timetables of this so called bailout? I just keep hearing about the cost, but I want the meat and potatoes too. I want to know what it will do in a month, six months, a year, five years and ten.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Sorry to digress from the main topic, but the advice on that blog doesn’t protect you from violating copyright. And fair use may cover celebrating coverage but not the use of Bernanke in editorial coverage as you do here. You are safer when you clip portions of actual coverage than when you use the photo as you do here. All is subject to interpretation and argument, but be careful using them as signature or teasers. If you are discussing the photo and its relationship to coverage — OK. You seem to be operating in gray area using original work without paying for the rights.
    Maybe you could ask a photo rights expert with legal background — maybe NPPA or APPM president.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    so i just got an email, as you read it imagine doing this with the 700 bil bailout

    You've got to read this.

    Were any of you wondering how AIG was going to pay back the american
    people? It is a loan right? Our government is bleeding us with this
    sh!t. There are no consequenses to greed and mismanagement of money
    anymore. Check out what this guy says below – he is preaching to the
    choir over here… Maybe this guy should run for President?

    The difference between a successful person and others is not the lack of
    strength, not the lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will –Vince

    An outstanding plan!

    I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

    Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in

    a We Deserve It Dividend.

    To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000

    bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

    Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman

    and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

    So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals

    My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a

    We Deserve It Dividend.

    Of course, it would NOT be tax free.

    So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.

    Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.

    That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

    But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.

    A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

    What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

    Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.

    Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads

    Put away money for college – it'll be there

    Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

    Buy a new car – create jobs

    Invest in the market – capital drives growth

    Pay for your parent's medical insurance – health care improves

    Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else

    Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks

    who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company

    that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed

    If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it…instead of
    trickling out

    a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that is being proposed
    by one of our candidates for President.

    If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult
    U S Citizen 18+!

    As for AIG – liquidate it.

    Sell off its parts.

    Let American General go back to being American General.

    Sell off the real estate.

    Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

    Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.

    Sure it's a crazy idea that can "never work."

    But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

    How do you spell Economic Boom?

    I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion

    We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in
    Washington DC.

    And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because
    $25.5 Billion is returned

    instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

    Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

    Kindest personal regards,


    T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

    PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it's either good for a

    or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!


  14. Anonymous Says:

    Nice 1:10. You throw the word up, conspiracy, just like grade school kids said “i know you are but what am I”. Just another sheeple journalist maybe who would rather hide under big momma Gannett’s apron than search for real truth? It’s out there to find but you have to WANT to find it first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: