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Atlas Shrugged Quotes

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I keep hearing people--especially politicians during this election--spew crap out of their mouths remarkably similar to the antagonists in Atlas Shrugged. I would like to make a thread listing some of these quotations from figures (politicians, celebrities, etc.) that bear parallel(s) to reality. Namely, anytime between the 18th century and present.

Ready, Set, Go!

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I keep hearing people--especially politicians during this election--spew crap out of their mouths remarkably similar to the antagonists in Atlas Shrugged. I would like to make a thread listing some of these quotations from figures (politicians, celebrities, etc.) that bear parallel(s) to reality. Namely, anytime between the 18th century and present.

Ready, Set, Go!

I don't really have time to cross-reference the news with page numbers out of AS, but the recent meeting between the Fed and the heads of all the major banks certainly seemed like a scene straight out of Atlas Shrugged (Henry Paulson=Wesley Mooch?):

The terms, officials said, were devised so as not to be punitive. The rising dividend and the warrants are meant to give banks an incentive to raise private capital and buy out the government after a few years. Still, it took some cajoling.

Mr. Kovacevich of Wells Fargo objected that his bank, based in San Francisco, had avoided the mortgage-related woes of its Wall Street rivals. He said the investment could come at the expense of his shareholders.

...

With the discussion becoming heated, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben S. Bernanke, who was seated next to Mr. Paulson, interceded. He told the bankers that the session need not be combative, since both the banks and the broader economy stood to benefit from the program. Without such measures, he added, the situation of even healthy banks could deteriorate.

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy F. Geithner, then proceeded to outline the details of the investment program. When the bankers heard the amount of money the government planned to invest, they were stunned by its size, according to several people.

As they heard more of the details, some of the bankers began to realize how attractive the program was for them.

Even as they insisted that they did not need the money, bankers recognized that the extra capital could be helpful if the economy became shakier. Besides, many of these banks’ biggest businesses are tied to the stock and credit markets; the quicker they improve, the better their results.

Later, Mr. Pandit told colleagues that the investment would give Citigroup more flexibility to borrow and lend. Mr. Dimon told colleagues he believed the relatively cheap capital was a fair deal for his bank. Mr. Lewis said he recognized the prospects of his bank were closely aligned with the American economy.

Mr. Thain was intrigued by the terms of the guarantee by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on new senior debt issued by banks, participants said. He mentally calculated the maturities on debt issued by Merrill Lynch, to determine how the program could benefit his bank.

For Mr. Paulson, selling the bankers on capital injections may not have been as difficult as overhauling a rescue program that had originally focused on asset purchases from banks. In the interview, Mr. Paulson said the worsening conditions made a change in focus imperative.

“I’ve always said to everyone that ever worked for me, if you get too dug in on a position, the facts change, and you don’t change to adapt to the facts, you will never be successful,” he said in the interview.

Mr. Paulson insisted that purchases of distressed assets would remain a big part of the program. But having allocated $250 billion to direct investments, the Treasury has only $100 billion left from its initial allotment of $350 billion from Congress to spend on those purchases.

As the meeting wound down, participants said, the bankers focused more on contacting their boards before signing the agreement with the Treasury Department. With time running short and private space limited, some of the bankers left the Treasury building, heading for their limousines while speaking urgently into cellphones.

“I don’t think we need to be talking about this a whole lot more,” Mr. Lewis said, according to a person briefed on the meeting. “We all know that we are going to sign.”

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's a very creepy quote I heard on the radio this morning:

Jim Moran: We have been guided by a Republican administration who believes in the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards means of redistributing wealth. And they may be able to sustain that for a while, but it doesn't work in the long run.
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  • 5 months later...

I had to find this thread again today to post a few things.

From this story, Obama is speaking about a firm holding out on the Chrysler deal:

"While many stakeholders made sacrifices and worked constructively, I have to tell you some did not," the president said. "In particular, a group of investment firms and hedge funds decided to hold out for the prospect of an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout. They were hoping that everybody else would make sacrifices, and they would have to make none."

and this quote from a great article in the Objective Standard

Fannie Mae’s ex-CEO Daniel Mudd pretended to believe “almost no one expected what was coming” and insisted it was “not fair to blame us for not predicting the unthinkable” (even though his organization was found to have engaged in a massive accounting fraud in order to hide growing losses and razor-thin capital ratios).

I mean, honestly now. A bureaucrat named Daniel Mudd whining that reality isn't fair and he isn't to blame. It's like he was just poured straight out of the pages of AS.

Edited by IchorFigure
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