Trump's temporary surge in the polls (I hope
it's temporary) is good for giggles, especially when he gives weirdo speeches like this one
Trump proposed that protesters and critics were being sent by the government of Mexico to oppose him.
"They were so sophisticated. I guarantee you that the country of Mexico had those people [sent there]," Trump said.
We've entered an age in which the political candidates are even better at coming up with paranoid horseshit than are Alex Jones and David Icke.
My purpose in writing about Trump this day is not to talk about Machiavellian Mexicans, but to draw your attention to the concepts of money, debt, and bankruptcy. You see, Trump claims to possess lots and lots of the long green...
Trump mocked media outlets for doubting his self-proclaimed $9 billion fortune, proof of which the real-estate mogul claims that he will release next week.
"I'm much, much richer than what they say," Trump said. "I'm a private person, nobody knows."
(A "private" person who appears on reality TV and runs for the presidency? Giggles galore!)
Now, if Trump really is worth billions, then he obviously did not have to endure much austerity when his businesses went through bankruptcy -- four times
. A company files Chapter 11 only when it cannot pay its debts. Except for the first go-round (which did hit his personal interests fairly hard), Trump never got his infamous hair mussed by these crises.
Nevertheless, Trump says that he would have forced GM to go under.
What, I wonder, would he have to say about Greece?
At this writing, Germany is now preparing for a "temporary" Greek exit
from the euro -- a move which may well presage the end of the euro project. The end of the euro would hit Germany hard, since a return to the Deutschmark would probably make it harder for Germans to move their high-end products. This factor gives the debtor some leverage over the debt-holder. Thus, this
On Moon of Alabama a few days ago, one of the comments made an interesting comparison
The money Greece owes, $370 billion, compared to the taxpayer-funded bailouts banks got...
Citigroup - Citigroup $2.513 Trillion
Morgan Stanley - $2.041 Trillion
Merrill Lynch - $1.949 Trillion
Bank of America - $1.344 Trilliom
Barclays PLC - $868 Billion
Bear Sterns - $853 B
Goldman Sachs - $814 B
Royal Bank of Scotland - $541 B
JP Morgan Chase $391 B
Deutche Bank - $354 B
UBS - $287 B
Credit Suisse - $262 B
Lehman Bros - $183 B
Bank of Scotland - $181 B
BNP Paribas - $175 B
Wells Fargo - $159 B
Dexia - $159 B
Wachovia - $142 B
Dresdner Bank - $135 B
Some will say "Yeah, but the banks paid back the money." True enough. But was that outcome known at the time? For the full, infuriating truth about the TARP bailouts, read Matt Taibbi's classic 2013 piece
. Did you know that some banks (smaller ones, mostly) that repaid the TARP money did so by borrowing yet more money from the Treasury, thereby escaping restrictions on executive bonuses? It's crazy
Despite all of that borrowed cash -- backed by Joe and Jill Taxpayer -- the people who ran those banks never had to institute austerity measures. Lloyd Blankfein never had to move into a 3+2 in the suburbs with a seven-year-old Hyundai in the driveway.
In this world, austerity is not for elitists like Trump or Blankfein. Austerity is for 70 year-old Greek fishermen who worked hard, didn't follow politics very closely, and were just hoping to relax a bit in their senior years.