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Corporate Bailout

Chris Hedges: Bandaging The Corpse

The established ruling elites know there is a crisis. They agreed, at least temporarily, to throw money at it with the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 bill known as American Rescue Plan (ARP). But the ARP will not alter the structural inequities, either by raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour or imposing taxes and regulations on corporations or the billionaire class that saw its wealth increase by a staggering $1.1 trillion since the start of the pandemic. The health system will remain privatized, meaning the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations will reap a windfall of tens of billions of dollars with the ARP, and this when they are already making record profits. The endless wars in the Middle East, and the bloated military budget that funds them, will remain sacrosanct.

Make Corporate Landlords Pay The Bills During The Pandemic

The Covid-19 crisis has both exposed and exacerbated racial and wealth inequality in the United States. As unemployment skyrockets and tens of millions of Americans struggle with a sudden loss of income, many are unable to pay rents or mortgages and are facing eviction, foreclosure, and possible homelessness. We’ve seen this eviction crisis brewing for months, and despite platitudes about racial justice, our elected officials and corporate landlords haven’t taken any meaningful action to prevent it from hitting poor people of color hardest.

How Big Businesses Got Government Loans Meant For Small Businesses

The Paycheck Protection Program was launched to rescue the little guy, the millions of small businesses without the deep pockets needed to survive the COVID-19 shock. But among the restaurants, dentists and mom-and-pops was Vibra Healthcare, a chain of hospitals and therapy centers spread across 19 states with over 9,000 employees. The biggest PPP loan was supposed to be $10 million, but Vibra found a way to land as much as $97 million. ProPublica’s findings bring into sharper focus how companies with thousands of employees were able to get assistance, just as some small businesses were reluctant to even apply. So far, the PPP has paid out more than $517 billion to 4.9 million companies — loans that can be forgiven if used to cover payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. It was among the most generous of programs for businesses in the CARES Act. Loan programs for medium and large businesses spelled out in the bill generally were not forgivable. Appraisals of the PPP by economists and policymakers have been mixed:

The Fed Is Bailing Out Polluters While Cities Struggle

Ever since bailout talk began this spring, climate campaigners have worried funds would be funneled to Big Oil and other polluting giants. Now it seems that fear was more than justified. While economic recovery money is being disbursed through multiple channels, including the Main Street Lending Program and various tax breaks, on Sunday the Federal Reserve released the list of bonds it has purchased so far through its BlackRock-managed Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, in its attempt to prop up the investment-grade corporate bond market. The Fed’s disclosures show the institution is making it easier for fossil fuel corporations to get relief than it is for struggling state and local governments, some of which are facing unemployment rates north of 40 percent.

Meet BlackRock, The New Great Vampire Squid

BlackRock has been called “the most powerful institution in the financial system,” “the most powerful company in the world” and the “secret power.” It is the world’s largest asset manager and “shadow bank,” larger than the world’s largest bank (which is in China), with over $7 trillion in assets under direct management and another $20 trillion managed through its Aladdin risk-monitoring software. BlackRock has also been called “the fourth branch of government” and “almost a shadow government”, but no part of it actually belongs to the government. Despite its size and global power, BlackRock is not even regulated as a “Systemically Important Financial Institution” under the Dodd-Frank Act, thanks to pressure from its CEO Larry Fink, who has long had “cozy” relationships with government officials.

While Pushing Big Oil Bailouts, Trump Slaps Wind And Solar With $50 Million In Old Rent Bills

While giving fossil fuel companies access to relief funds ostensibly meant for small businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration on Monday slapped solar and wind power firms with retroactive rent bills dating back two years. The Interior Department is demanding rent payments from renewable energy companies operating on federal lands, two years after it suspended rent for the operators as it investigated whether the Obama administration had charged too much. The administration plans to collect $50 million in rent this year from 96 companies operating on federal property—the same amount of money that a recent report showed is going to fossil fuel companies in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Scheer Intelligence: Big Banks Got The Sweetest Deal From The Covid-19 Bailouts

It’s been over a decade since the 2008 banking meltdown, and yet many Americans are still living with the consequences of the financial crisis and the Obama administration’s decision to bailout banks over people with their own tax money. As Covid-19 spread around the world, and the economic impacts of the public health crisis began to take shape, the U.S. government once again faced a similar choice regarding bailouts. This time, Congress passed the CARES Act, which, on paper, aimed to help working people and small business owners most affected by both the virus and the lockdown measures used to combat the crisis, seemingly marking a shift from the 2008 crisis handling. Yet, as banking expert Nomi Prins points out to “Scheer Intelligence” host Robert Scheer in the latest installment of his podcast, banks and large companies are once more taking advantage of a crisis to swindle the public. 

On Market Solutions To The Covid-19 Crisis

In 2008 the Federal Reserve provided more than $4 trillion to bail out the banks. Now it is providing more than $6 trillion (thus far)—and this time the banks haven’t even failed yet! The Fed has opened a free money spigot to investors, bankers, and to big business of all types, and has simply declared ‘come on in and take it’. And if the $6 trillion to date isn’t enough, we’ll provide more. For the first time ever the Fed is now providing free money not only to bankers, but to credit card companies, mortgage companies, corporate bondholders, and even to investors in derivatives like Exchange Traded Funds, or ETFs. Next, it will start buying stocks to prop up those markets. Its cousin central bank, the Bank of Japan, has been doing that for years now.
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