U.S. Central Bank commits US taxpayers to foot 100% of $85 billion AIG bailout, despite the company’s INTERNATIONAL existance and importance (read-bailed out at behest of foreign central banks with only US tax payer money!!??)

Click here to read a Great Opinion Piece  (‘The fleecing of America’) concerning America’s new, diminished role as a pauper nation amongst the world’s new “wealth centers” in China, India, Brazil and the Persian Gulf States and about the lack of foreign investment support in helping to save the international conglomerate AIG (billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars spent to save international company????) Written by Roger Cohen, Published in the New York Times on Sunday, the following is an excerpt:

“…But toxic mortgage-backed securities were pedaled by plenty of foreign banks. And the decision to pour $85 billion of U.S. taxpayers’ money into the rescue of American International Group (A.I.G.), the insurance giant, followed appeals from foreign finance ministers to Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary, to save a global company.

Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told me: “Paulson said he was getting calls from finance ministers all around the world saying, you have to save A.I.G. Well, they should have been asked to contribute to the pot.”

Frank has a point. (He should coach Barack Obama on how to put economics in plain language.) As Frank said on “The Charlie Rose Show,” “I don’t think the European Central Bank should be free to spend the Federal Reserve’s money and not put any in.”

I know, you reap what you sow. Nobody’s itching to help the Bush administration. World central banks did inject billions in concerted action to help stabilize money markets. But the U.S. has essentially been on its own. Now foreign banks with U.S. affiliates will want a slice of the $700 billion bailout. That doesn’t make sense until the burden of this rescue starts reflecting a globalized world.

I asked Frank why Paulson and Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, did not get more foreign support. “I think it’s a perverse pride thing,” he said. “We don’t ask for help. We’re the big, strong father figure. But let’s be realistic: we’re no longer the dominant world power.”

It’s time for a responsibility shift. Call it the Hirst reality check. If he can sell a formaldehyde-pickled sheep with gold horns for millions while Lehman goes under, perhaps it’s time for everyone to help a little when Americans get fleeced.”  😦

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We took the boy to the zoo.

Lion Sleeping at the Memphis Zoo

Lion Sleeping at the Memphis Zoo

African Elephants at the Memphis Zoo

African Elephants at the Memphis Zoo

Giant Panda Bear at the Memphis Zoo

Giant Panda Bear at the Memphis Zoo

Tiger Sleeping at the Memphis Zoo

Tiger Sleeping at the Memphis Zoo

Been to the Zoo Man is Hot and Tired!

'Been to the Zoo Man' is Hot and Tired!

Nuclear Missile fuses accidentally exported to Taiwan, 2 top Air Force Brass lose their jobs.

excerpt from an article in the Salt Lake Tribune today:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates forced the resignation of two top Air Force officials Thursday, saying an investigation into the mistaken shipment of missile parts from Hill Air Force Base to Taiwan exposed a systemic “lack of focus” on nuclear accountability.
In addition to the resignation of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, Gates said a “substantial” number of other officials – presumably including some from Hill – might be fired or reprimanded.
According to the investigation, recently completed by Navy Adm. Kirkland Donald, employees at Hill’s Defense Distribution Center violated a series of protocols for shipping and receiving supplies, leading to the inaccurate labeling of the missile fuses as helicopter batteries. When Taiwan ordered a set of batteries in the summer of 2006, Hill employees shipped the fuses instead.
The mix-up, which took nearly two years to resolve, may have violated international arms control treaties and caused further strain in relations between the United States and China, which considers Taiwan to be a renegade province.
But Gates said the Hill case was only the beginning.
“This incident represents a significant failure to ensure the security of sensitive military components, and more troubling, it depicts a pattern of poor performance,” he said. “Rather than an isolated occurrence,

Most logistics services at Hill are run by military contractor EG&G Inc., which won its $64 million contract at the northern Utah base in 2002 despite having a record of extremely poor performance ratings while doing similar work in Georgia. Gates’ statement did not mention the contractor specifically, but a timeline provided by his office points to several failures at Hill leading to the transfer of the missiles to Taiwan.

the shipment of the four forward section assemblies to Taiwan was a symptom of a degradation of the authority, standards of excellence and technical competence,” within the Air Force’s nuclear missile force.
Coupled with an August 2007 mistake in which an Air Force bomber was flown across the country by a pilot and crew that didn’t know they had nuclear weapons on board, Gates said it has become clear that the Air Force was suffering from a ”lack of critical self-assessment culture.”
Speaking more specifically to the problems identified by the investigation into the Hill error, Gates said that “individuals in command and leadership positions not only fell short in terms of specific actions, they failed to recognize systemic problems.”