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"The enormity of this bailout is being under-reported. The number you’re 
hearing is $500 billion. Of that, $75 billion goes to the airline industry and 
the mysteriously named “businesses critical to national security.” The other 
$425 helps capitalize a $4.25 trillion, with a T, leveraged lending facility at 
the Federal Reserve. The taxpayer dollars would soak up any losses from that 
lending program. The loans won’t be secret anymore, but the oversight is 
largely after the fact, without subpoena power, and mainly reduced to writing 
reports. How exactly do you expect a small, underfunded panel to find fraud in 
a $4.25 lending facility! Especially when the current administration explicitly 
believes they are not required to turn over anything to Congress.

"So it’s not a $2 trillion bill, it’s closer to $6 trillion, and $4.3 trillion 
of it comes in the form of a bazooka aimed at CEOs and shareholders, with 
almost no conditions attached. At the moment nobody’s seen language, but 
there’s apparently only a buyback ban for the term of the loan. The money 
cannon can therefore go to executive compensation or mergers or wholesale 
purchases of distressed businesses or whatever other financial engineering the 
accounting department can muster. And once the company returns to health, it 
can leak out cash to investors (and during the loan too, in dividends). There’s 
no requirement to keep workers hired; in fact, the (necessary) provision to 
boost unemployment insurance for four months to 100 percent of median salary 
(including furloughed workers, gig workers and freelancers) means that these 
companies can fire with relative impunity. Members of Trump’s family can’t get 
bailout funds, so, yay.

"This is a robbery in progress. And it’s not a bailout for the coronavirus. 
It’s a bailout for twelve years of corporate irresponsibility that made these 
companies so fragile that a few weeks of disruption would destroy them. The 
short-termism and lack of capital reserves funneled record profits into a 
bathtub of cash for investors. That’s who’s being made whole, financiers and 
the small slice of the public that owns more than a trivial amount of stocks. 
In fact they’ve already been made whole; yesterday Wall Street got the word 
that they’d be saved and stocks and bonds went wild. BlackRock, the world’s 
largest asset manager, is running these bailout programs for the Fed, and could 
explicitly profit if the Fed buys its funds, which it probably will.

"This is a rubber-stamp on an unequal system that has brought terrible hardship 
to the majority of America. The people get a $1,200 means-tested payment and a 
little wage insurance for four months. Corporations get a transformative amount 
of play money to sustain their system and wipe out the competition.

"Small businesses get their own program, and can’t participate in the $4.3 
trillion bonanza. They get $300 billion, so do the math on who’s supported 
more. They get forgivable loans if they keep staff on payroll; there’s no such 
requirements for the corporates. While the Federal Reserve, which can transfer 
money from the cash cannon with ease, runs the corporate bailout, the hapless 
Small Business Administration will deal with the small businesses; they have 
been endlessly criticized for delays on their couple billion in loan guarantee 
programs, let alone $300 billion. The monopolists get concierge service, the 
small businesses get to take a number. And the result will almost certainly be 
massive concentration of power.”


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