Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bush Offers U.S. Chamber More Corporafornication

Fresh from a promised $3 trillion in federal bailout money for the flagging financial sector, President Bush visited the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The group brainstormed the next industries where losses could be socialized and profits privatized.

Nonprofit health care

The Bush-McCain plan is a prescription for financial difficulty for local community hospitals. Disaster capitalism means tough years for nonprofit facilities, as they crater under legions of America's uninsured. Some will be forced to sell out to their for-profit peers at fire sale prices. Former community assets will end up in proprietary hands. Jeb Bush serves on the board of one potential beneficiary, Tenet Healthcare, an owner of for-profit hospitals. In just over a year's time Jeb amassed 15,000 of Tenet stock and 93,000 stock units, a potential $430,000 at the stock's current price of $4 a share.

Health Insurance

Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance will continue their march toward privatization, where the government contacts with private insurance companies for services. As employers shed that pesky health insurance benefit, government sponsored coverage is the major growth sector. President Bush's Uncle Bucky, William H.T. Bush sits on the board of WellPoint, a huge health insurer. He earned $360,000 for his wise governance last year and holds 97,000 shares of stock, currently trading at $40 a share. That grosses $3.9 million.


Water, sewer, roads and bridges across America are badly in need of repair or replacement. Government penny pinching contributed to lack of maintenance. Ready to fill the gap are huge private equity underwriters (PEU's) and foreign owned sovereign wealth funds (SWF's). In return for their private investment, PEU's get contracts guaranteeing a 15% annual return. Congress cites infrastructure projects as a way to stimulate our flagging economy. PEU's win!

Auto manufacturing

Ford, GM, and Chrysler were targeted for the next great benefit jettisoning. Airlines achieved much success in cutting wages, benefits, even dropping pension funds altogether. Automakers want to follow their lead. The jury is out on the role unions will play in the dismantling. One large union President called employer sponsored health insurance dead and not coming back. Maybe he wants it to be union sponsored?

The President finished his talk by inviting key Chamber leaders to walk across H Street and Lafayette Park to the CorporaWhorehouse at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. A good time was had by all...