The bigwigs running Citigroup, Inc. can rest easier in their plush offices, now that the Bush administration has tossed them $20 billion of taxpayer money. This is the second money lifeline for this mega-financial services company. Earlier, the government pumped $25 billion of our money into Citigroup.
During a news conference this morning, President George Bush defended the rescue of Citigroup saying, “We have made these kind of decisions in the past. We made one last night. And if need be we will make these kind of decisions to safeguard our financial system in the future.” Oh, wonderful. The government is going to keep shoring up these alleged “too big to fail” companies, while those of us in the Middle Class continue to struggle in this bad economy; created in most part by the greed and mismanagement of many of the financial institutions.
Also today, President-elect Barack Obama officially announced members of his economic team. They are Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary, Christina Romer as director of the Council of Economic Advisers, Lawrence Summers as National Economic Council director, Melody Barnes as director of the Domestic Policy Council and Heather Higginbottom as deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council. Obama says his team “… share my fundamental belief that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.”
Obama’s approach to the ailing economy clearly differs from that of the Bush administration. Nevertheless, with the speed the administration is going through the $700 billion bailout, one has to wonder if there is going to be any of that bailout money left to help those of us on Main Street when Obama takes office on January 20, 2009.