President Touts $1.8 Billion 'Profit' on Bank Bailout

Mr. President,

Congratulations are in order. You have an annualized rate of return of one-half of 1 percent on your $750 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) investment.

Please let us know how many banks will not be returning capital to TARP. Will taxpayers ever see a return on the $50 billion converted to Citibank stock? Or the $50 billion of AIG stock? Or the $20 billion of Bank of America stock? What is the rate of return you're expecting from the $50 billion spent on the automotive industry prior to bankruptcy?

Most investment professionals view their rate of return and successes on the entire investment portfolio, not one or two successes in an otherwise lackluster portfolio. The rate of return on 10-year Treasury bonds is 3.9 percent. The U.S. government is borrowing money at 3.9 percent to get a return of 0.5 percent. It is obvious that you and your economic advisers have no visceral feel for finance on any level.

A pearl of wisdom, Mr. President, as you continue along this dangerous and disastrous financial path: Remember the aphorism "Don't count your chickens before they hatch.” In other words, don't tout your profits until after you have realized your losses.


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