Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obama's Telling Posture?

Here is a little verbiage from Obama last night on Nightline.

Obama: Nationalization "Wouldn't Make Sense"
By Zachary Roth - February 10, 2009, 6:57PM
In the wake of Tim Geithner's speech this morning, laying out the Treasury's plan, such as it is, for Bailout 3.0, most smart observers have concluded that the Obama administration has at least left the door open for a possible nationalization of failed banks at some point, if it decides circumstances warrant that step.

But in an interview with ABC News' Nighline, set to air tonight, the president seemed to all but rule out that idea. He told ABC:
[Sweden"] took over the banks, nationalized them, got rid of the bad assets, resold the banks and a couple years later, they were going again. So you'd think looking at it, Sweden looks like a good model. Here's the problem -- Sweden had like five banks," he said, laughing. "We've got thousands of banks. You know, the scale of the U.S. economy and the capital markets are so vast and the, the problems in terms of managing and overseeing anything of that scale, I think, would -- our assessment was that it wouldn't make sense. And we also have different traditions in this country.
True, Obama, like Geithner, has always seemed skeptical of nationalization. But his answer to ABC would appear to go further than he yet has in declaring that he'll avoid adopting any version of that approach.

Of course, things might look different once we get done with these "stress tests," and find out how many major banks are truly insolvent. But as of now, the president seems dead set against even short term nationalization.

At this point, with the Republic in ruins - take the hard road, it will lead to another term. His problem is in the Senate and the House and people like Dodd.

Poll shows Rell rates, Dodd down


HARTFORD — New Quinnipiac University polls show a growing distrust of Sen. Christopher J. Dodd but soaring popularity for Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

The poll reported that 54 percent of state voters aren't satisfied with Dodd's explanation of sweetheart loans he got from a failed mortgage lender. Worse, 51 percent of voters aren't inclined to vote to re-elect Dodd should the Democratic senator choose to run next year.

"The numbers are bad news for Senator Dodd. He is in real trouble. Clearly, he is vulnerable," said Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

Republicans in Connecticut and Washington, D.C. also see vulnerability and sense Dodd's time may be up after 28 years in the U.S. Senate.

Christopher Healy, state chairman of the Republican Party, declared that new Quinnipiac poll shows Dodd is on "life support."

A spokesman said Dodd is preparing for a vigorous re-election campaign. The senator continues to enjoy strong support among Democrats in this Democrat-leaning state.

Dodd doesn't appear to have helped himself concerning controversial allegations that he received special rates from Countrywide Financial Corp. when he refinanced two home loans in 2003.

Schwartz said Dodd's poll numbers have been steadily sliding since the mortgage controversy broke last June. The senator's job approval rating dropped 10 percentage points in the last year to 41 percent in the Quinnipiac poll and his disapproval rating increased 20 percentage points.

Healy said several Republicans are considering challenging Dodd and some others have been mentioned as possible candidates.

Meanwhile, the Quinnipiac poll suggests Rell has ideally positioned herself politically a little more than 18 months before the next election for governor. She isn't saying what her election plans are yet, but Healy said he expects Rell will seek a second full term in 2010.

Rell received an approval rating of 75 percent one week after she delivered a grim budget message to lawmakers. Even Democrats approve of their Republican governor, 67 percent to 26 percent.

Welcome to trading and investing through Washington. The center of the capital universe has moved a few hundred miles south of NYC. God help us all.

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