Washington Babylon — February 6, 2009, 8:39 am

Note to Taxpayers: You just lost 30 percent on the federal bailout

From the Washington Post:

The Bush administration received assets that were worth $78 billion less than the amount it invested as part of the massive infusion of capital into the country’s banks, congressional investigators have found.

The investigators concluded that the Treasury under the federal bailout had invested $254 billion into companies but the preferred stock it got in return had a market value at the time of only $176 billion, or 69 percent of what the government paid, according to a congressional oversight panel report scheduled to be released today…

According to the analysis by the oversight panel, the Treasury invested $40 billion in American International Group, the insurance giant, and received shares of equal face value but worth only $14.8 billion, or 37 percent of the price it paid. It said the real value of the $10 billion in Morgan Stanley that the government purchased was only $5.8 billion, or 58 percent of what it spent.

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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