Showing posts with label Wall Street Meltdown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wall Street Meltdown. Show all posts

Monday, November 21, 2011

Everyday People ... Stand!

Sly and the Family Stone - Everyday People





Totally Outrageous!


Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis





And sorry, to those Police State Mouthpieces, who are endorsing this, saying it would prevent worse injuries.


I call BULLSHIT!


Look at the above, now look, when the shoe is on the other foot.


UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car (higher quality)





To you, Officer Pike (the cretin pepper sprayer) and to you Chancellor Linda Katehi, the world IS watching!


So is Will Bunch, over on Attytood

This much is clear: The campus cops 3,000 miles away have offer a blueprint of what not to do. The swelling tide of police violence against peaceful demonstrators comes after 10 years of citizens’ passive acquiescence toward the Patriot Act and expanded government snooping, waterboarding terror suspects, and giving urban police departments more high-tech firepower than many Third World nations. Now our security-state-on-steroids is being turned against non-violent protesters here in the “homeland.” Talk about blowback!

Take us out, Sly ...


Sly and the Family Stone - Stand!


Thursday, November 03, 2011

Top Ten Cloves: Possible New Fees Banks Will Start Charging


News Item:  Banks likely to try range of new fees


10.  The Kardashian Charge - Get divorced after 72-days, fees, fees, fees ...


  9.  Don't have your own Deposit or Withdrawal Slips? ... Just rent one of the banks, for a fee


  8.  ATM's will have "Coin Slots" (like old public pay phones) if you want to use them


  7.  HuffPo Model:  You can work at the bank, not get paid salary - and get charged with a fee


  6.  Need to speak to the Bank Manager? ... You can book time with him, for a fee ...


  5.  Fee for just walking into the bank


  4.  Don't have a pen to write out deposit/withdrawal slip? ... Bank has one, for a fee ...


  3.  The Jeopardy Fee; You didn't phrase your transaction request in the form of a question


  2. Car loans, instead of based on amount/time/years/, will be based on cars' weight


  1.  Groucho Marx Fee - Don't know the Secret Word, it will cost you a $100 fee


 


(Image courtesy of Tom Priest at "In a Nutshell")


Bonus Riffs


Will Oremus: Fee-Market Capitalism - Bank of America learns it has to be more subtle about screwing its customers.


Lauri Apple: More Banks Scrap Debit Card Fee Idea


Even The S.E.C Thinks Goldman Sucks!


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How's Goldman Sachs Going To Exploit This?

Certain individuals, particularly centered on those with a gambling problem, have been known to "bet the house", from time-to-time.

Now, thanks to some new "innovative financing", they can also "bet the stadium" (perhaps, along with the house).



Colleges offering ‘sports mortgages’

Now, combine that frustration with cash-strapped college athletics departments, struggling to upgrade aging stadiums, and you’ve got the latest innovation in marketing for big-time athletics — the sports mortgage.

At Kansas, Jayhawk fans who sign up to pay up to $105,000 over 10 years will earn the right to buy guaranteed top seats for football over the next three decades. In return, the seats themselves will stay locked in at 2010 prices.

[snip]

The new pricing plans are known as “equity seat rights,’’ and are being pitched as a win-win for fans and teams. Diehard fans can be certain of what they’ll pay to see their favorite team well into the future — and can always sell tickets in the secondary market while taking a tax write-off for donating to a school. Teams can bank on extra revenue and avoid borrowing.

Stadium Capital Financing Group, the Chicago company behind the change, says it has the potential to transform how both college and pro teams court their most loyal fans. They’re confident sports mortgages will overtake the personal seat license, which doesn’t necessarily lock in ticket prices.




Okay, we're coloring outside the lines here, putting the ol' thinkin' caps on.

But what happens if the mortgage company, perhaps due to other investments, tanks?

How's Goldman Sachs going to exploit this?

Does, say, Goldman Sachs raise there hand, purchase the company, chop up the companies debt, and start selling "Stadium Derivatives", essentially just repackaging their programs that helped tank the world's economy?

Sports Mortgages?

Sounds like "three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-a-financial-mess" getting ready to come out of the locker room.


Bonus Goldman Sucks Riffs

Matt Taibbi: The Great American Bubble Machine

Paul Krugman: The Joy of Sachs

John Cook: Congrats Goldman Sachs! You're the New Symbol of Banker Greed

Survey Shows Name Should Be "Goldman Sucks"

Yet More Reasons The Survey Says Goldman Sucks!

Today's Ignorant Dolt - Brian Griffiths, of Goldman Sachs


Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Next PartyofNoican War

Good Frank Rich today, as he lays out the next front for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to lie, distort, and, otherwise, continue their gameplan of obstructionism.



Obama, Lehman and ‘The Dragon Tattoo’

Anger over the last crash and the bailout of its high rollers spans the political spectrum, from neo-New Dealers on the left to Tea Party protesters on the right. As the battle over financial regulatory reform began in earnest with Chris Dodd’s introduction of a Senate bill last week, Lewis told an interviewer, “There is a war that is about to happen over not just who regulates Wall Street but what the rules are.”

The question for the politicians at the center of this battleground is simple enough: Which side of the war are they on? The Republican leadership revealed its hand unequivocally last week. Addressing the American Bankers Association, the party’s House leader, John Boehner, promised to delay and fight any finance-reform bill. “Don’t let those little punk staffers take advantage of you, and stand up for yourselves,” Boehner instructed the poor, defenseless bankers. In late January he met the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, to make a pitch for donations. That may have been unnecessary. Chase and its employees, an A.T.M. for the Democrats in 2008, gave 73 percent of their contributions to the G.O.P. in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Republicans in the Senate will be no different. Mitch McConnell’s strategy of unmitigated obstructionism remains gospel there. Just as Charles Grassley and Olympia Snowe played the Democrats with months of fruitless negotiations on health care reform, so Richard Shelby and Bob Corker have been stalling a financial reform bill with similarly arid feints at “bipartisanship.” Corker insisted that any bill exclude regulation of extortionate “payday lenders,” who just happen to be among his biggest campaign contributors.

No doubt they will still be whining about healthcare, as they rev up the Right Wing Freak Show to go out and defend, honor and shower with platitudes, the slimeball Wall Street dwarfs, finks, phonies and frauds, who pulled the greatest heist in our history, thanks, in large part, to all that PartyofNoican deregulation.

Well, it will pump up the economy, to the extent Cable News covers it, and how many empty talking heads they rope in, and the shields we'll have to purchase, from all the flying bullshit that comes with it.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yet More Reasons The Survey Says Goldman Sucks!

Well, now we have a clue, on why Goldman Sach's Brian Griffith was so hawkish for achieving greater prosperity and opportunity.



Goldman Fueled AIG Gambles ... Wall Street Titan's Role Shown in Journal Analysis; Firm Says Problems Hidden

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. played a bigger role than has been publicly disclosed in fueling the mortgage bets that nearly felled American International Group Inc.

Goldman was one of 16 banks paid off when the U.S. government last year spent billions closing out soured trades that AIG made with the financial firms.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of AIG's trades, which were on pools of mortgage debt, shows that Goldman was a key player in many of them, even the ones involving other banks.
Barry Ritholtz suggests there's some action needed;
Any Congress people — Bernie Sanders maybe? Perhaps Senators Schumer or Dodd might forget all of the Finance driven campaign contributions they have gotten over the years and come up with a plan. I would imagine Alan Grayson is one of the few Freshman Congresmen who can think of a way to clawback some of the ill gotten booty Goldman grabbed from Treasury.

Read the entire article, our computer doesn't have the font "Profound Creepiness".

In the meantime, we'll trot out Richard Dawson, for a hearty call out;

"Survey Says ... Goldman Sucks!"


Bonus Links

NYT Editorial: Goldman’s Non-Apology

Igor Volsky - Goldman Sachs Report: Watered Down Senate Bill Would Lead To ‘Bull Case Scenario’ For Insurance Industry


Greg Gordon | McClatchy Newspapers: Goldman takes on new role: taking away people's homes


Monday, September 21, 2009

Ignorant Dolt of The Day: Ross Douthat

I was surprised, to some extent, that there wasn't a big roll out.

You know, trumpets blaring, long, ego-pumping press release.

But, no, nothing.

Only his column announced that NYT columnist Russ Douthat had jumped aboard the Bush Legacy Team, earning him a spot on the ever-growing roster of The Garlic's, Ignorant Dolts.



It was a doozy today, going well beyond the "when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade" kind-of-thing.

Douthat actually praises The Commander Guy for the disasters he created, in short, for the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, Bush aces it because he escalated the war, and as to the Nightmare On Wall Street, The Ek-A-Lec-Tic Reading Guy decided to let Heistin' Hank Paulson turn over the U.S. Treasury to his old cronies, bailing them out from their own greed.

Here's some gems from Douthat's "The Self-Correcting Presidency";

But if Bush is destined to go down as a failed president, come what may, he looks increasingly like an unusual sort of failure.

America has had its share of disastrous chief executives. But few have gone as far as Bush did in trying to repair their worst mistakes. Those mistakes were the Iraq war — both the decision to invade and the conduct of the occupation — and the irrational exuberance that stoked the housing bubble. The repairs were the surge, undertaken at a time when the political class was ready to abandon Iraq to the furies, and last fall’s unprecedented economic bailout.

Both fixes remain controversial. But for the moment, both look like the sort of disaster-averting interventions for which presidents get canonized. It’s just that in Bush’s case, the disasters he averted were created on his watch.

[snip]

It’s true that Bush didn’t personally formulate the surge, or craft the bailout. But he was, well, the decider, and if he takes the blame — rightly — for what Donald Rumsfeld wrought, then he should get credit for Gen. David Petraeus’s successes in Iraq, and for blessing the sweeping decisions that Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke made in last September’s desperate weeks.

And if we give Bush credit on these fronts, it’s worth reassessing one of the major critiques of his presidency — that it was fatally insulated, by ideology and personality, from both the wisdom of the Washington elite and the desires of the broader public.

[snip]

And perhaps his best decisions, on the surge and the bailout, were made from the bunker of a seemingly-ruined presidency — when his approval ratings had bottomed out, his credibility was exhausted and his allies had abandoned him.

This is not a blueprint that future presidents will want to follow. But the next time an Oval Office occupant sees his popularity dissolve and his ambitions turn to dust, he can take comfort from Bush’s example. It suggests that it’s possible to become a good president even — or especially — when you can no longer hope to be a great one.


You would have thought some editor at the NYT would have walked the copy back to Douthat, reminding him, that "Hey, no way, Worst-President-Ever!", and give him the choice of rewriting it, or having some advertisement run in his column space.

And, if you think The Garlic is being tough on him, that Douthat isn't deserving of the IDOTD ...

From Blue Texan, over on Firedoglake;
I never thought I'd write this, but I'm starting to miss Bill Kristol.

Put another way, if I get totally wasted on smack, pass out on the couch with a lit cigarette and set the house on fire, but am shaken out of my drug-induced stupor by the billowing smoke in time for me to pull one of my children out of the conflagration -- that makes me a "good" parent not a "great" one.

Some sliding scale! And I thought conservatives opposed affirmative action.
Brad, at Sadly No;
Yeah, OK, so Bush fucked up everything he touched, but at least he had the good sense to scramble around at the very last minute while spending lots of lives and money to avert a complete zombies-roaming-the-streets type of disaster. In conclusion, Bush was a good president.
Even Glenn Greenwald, on his Twitter, weighed in;
Ross Douthat, every week: I'll explicitly renounce right-wing myths to prove I'm reasonable, then spend the whole column justifying them

Yeah, Douthat, we know that the NYT brought you in to replace Little Billy Kristol, that you are one of the young tigers of the Right Wing Freak Show (the non-screaming division), but Jesus, were you in a coma for the past 8+ years?

One thing if you playing around with this idea, over cocktails (you could always blow it off that you were drunk).

But, to run this Bush Legacy Package as your column?

Only an Ignorant Dolt would do such, and you, Ross Douthat, are today's Ignorant Dolt.


Friday, August 21, 2009

And, In The "Fuck You Very Much" Department ...

If Digby had her way, she would call it, simply, hubris.



New Chief at A.I.G. to Be Paid at Least $7 Million a Year

How much will it cost the American International Group to keep its chief executive to help stabilize the troubled insurer? At least $7 million a year.

A.I.G. disclosed Monday in a regulatory filing that it would pay Robert H. Benmosche, 65, the former head of MetLife, $3 million a year in cash and $4 million in stock.

Mr. Benmosche will also be eligible for up to $3.5 million in stock as part of an incentive plan, A.I.G. said in a regulatory filing.

[snip]

A.I.G. said in its letter formally offering Mr. Benmosche the job that his compensation would be subject to “clawbacks” by Mr. Feinberg’s office, meaning that at least some of the money could be recovered if the bonuses were paid based on financially misleading data. Mr. Benmosche will also not receive a severance package if he is dismissed from the company, according to the regulatory filing.
Oh, "clawbacks" ... That may be too harsh, right?

I mean, AIG, and "financially misleading data ...

I'm sure we have absolute no worries there ...

And, there is this gem;
This month, A.I.G. reported its first quarterly profit since 2007, though Mr. Liddy warned that the insurance businesses “remain challenged.”
Really?

AIG has paid back all the money, the billions-upon-billions, given to them by the U.S. Government, and still made a profit?

How come that wasn't in screaming headlines?

Yeah, the insurance business may remained "challenged", but with the Obama Financial Team (Ruben and, of course Secretary of the Treasury Tim "What's that, Lassie? (Woof, woof!!) Timmy Geithner's in the well?!!" Geithner), at the helm, there's no worry.

A bailout, simply, is just around the corner.

And, when we want to look into the "Clueless Corner", Yves Smith, over on Naked Capitalism, had this;
Tim Duy pointed out this priceless remark from AIG's new CEO, Robert Benmosch:

Benmosche told employees that he “had the luxury to say to the government, I’m not going to rush to do this. I’m appalled at how much pressure has been put on all of you to just sell it no matter what, because the Fed wants out, or the Treasury wants out. If they want out in a hurry, they shouldn’t have come in in the first place.”
This ought to be rather interesting to watch.

That is, how soon into the "Benmosch Dynasty", does AIG come whimpering to Washington again, begging for money.


Bonus AIG Riffs

Dennis Overbye: They Tried to Outsmart Wall Street

Larisa Alexandrovna: AIG = BCCI

Eliot Spitzer: The Real AIG Scandal - It's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full

Paul Krugman: AIG

Michael Lewis: The Man Who Crashed the World

Zachary Roth and Ben Buchwalter: The Rise And Fall Of AIG's Financial Products Unit

Breaking! ... Obama Takes Action, Siezes AIG's March Madness Office Pools and Brackets


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Not Sure What Kind of Stimulus Package Would Be Appropriate Here ...



Picked up this interesting gem, yesterday, from SiliconValley.Com;

This recession is so bad not even sex sells

How bad is this recession? Even sex doesn't sell.

That's the glum assessment of those in the adult entertainment industry, hundreds of whom gathered last week for the annual Cybernet Expo conference in San Francisco. The industry, now a multibillion-dollar online business, has discovered that people just aren't willing to click-to-pay for vice the way they once did.

"Times are tough," Jay Kopita, director of operations for the expo, said with a sigh. "You'd think this would be recession-proof."

Turns out pay-per-view sex is just another sector struggling in the downturn.

[snip]

Piracy is also cutting into profits with the proliferation of "tube sites" — the YouTubes of porn where copyrighted video clips are frequently illegally uploaded. "We are being devastated by this," said Dick Webber, who operates a Silicon Valley-based Web site and who, like the actors, goes by a stage name.

"The Internet is both a help and a hindrance," said longtime porn performer and producer Dave Cummings, who expects his next movie, "Knee Pad Nymphos Volume 10," to fall victim to online thieves. "I'm convinced the first day it's out it will be a popular video to be stolen."

Many at the conference talked of altering business plans to provide content, such as live Webcams, that can't be ripped off. "There is no incentive for a surfer to subscribe to a site unless you have some offering that is unique and can't be replicated on a tube site," Webber said.
Hmmmm ...

Foley, Vitter, Craig, Ensign and, now, Governor Gaucho ...

Maybe they need to hire some congressman, and other elected government officials, to boost sales.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

They Don't Hand Out Those Nobel Prizes For Nothing ...

Maybe Team Obama should be listening (harder, more) to this guy;

Nobel Winner Krugman Sees U.S. Recession Ending Soon (Update1)

The U.S. economy probably will emerge from the recession by September, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said.

“I would not be surprised if the official end of the U.S. recession ends up being, in retrospect, dated sometime this summer,” he said in a lecture today at the London School of Economics. “Things seem to be getting worse more slowly. There’s some reason to think that we’re stabilizing.”

U.S. stocks erased an earlier decline after Krugman made his comments. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index was little changed at 939.14 at 4:07 p.m. in New York after slumping as much as 1.5 percent earlier, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.36 points to 8,764.49.

Krugman, a Princeton University economist, has warned recently that the U.S. government hasn’t done enough to help the country’s economy recover. Last month, at a conference in Abu Dhabi, he said the fiscal stimulus is “only enough to mitigate the slump, not induce recovery.”

[snip]

Even with a recovery, “almost surely unemployment will keep rising for a long time and there’s a lot of reason to think that the world economy is going to stay depressed for an extended period,” Krugman said.

The unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in May, the highest since 1983, partly reflecting more people joining the labor force to look for work.

[snip]

The Fed’s swollen balance sheet is “a little alarming. In the long run you really don’t want the central banks to be so involved in the business of lending,” Krugman said. “But it’s arguably necessary” even if there are questions about “where does it stop?”
Dig "U.S. stocks erased an earlier decline after Krugman made his comments ..."

Hmmm ... I wonder if Secretary of the Treasury Timothy "What's that, Lassie? (Woof, woof!!) Timmy Geithner's in the well?!!" Geithner is already formulating a plan, to intravenously feed Krugman caffeine, and then have the FCC clear a channel for him to be speaking 24/7, if his comments are going to make Wall Street jump.


Bonus Krugman

Three Cheers For Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman!

A Tale of Two Gippers


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shorter Krugman - Smack! ...Upside The Head!

"In 2008, overpaid bankers taking big risks with other people’s money brought the world economy to its knees. The last thing we need is to give them a chance to do it all over again."

We meant to get this up yesterday, but some kind of Flu-thing knocked this out of the box.

It seems, that, happy-days-are-here-again, if you read the article in the Saturday New York Times;

After Off Year, Wall Street Pay Is Bouncing Back

Workers at the largest financial institutions are on track to earn as much money this year as they did before the financial crisis began, because of the strong start of the year for bank profits.

[Snip]

If that pace continues all year, the money set aside for compensation suggests that workers at many banks will see their pay — much of it in bonuses — recover from the lows of last year.



Hmmmm ... Then why do we keep hearing that Wall Street is going to need billions more to stay afloat?

Well, on Sunday, Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman was having none of that.

Money for Nothing

Remember that the gilded Wall Street of 2007 was a fairly new phenomenon. From the 1930s until around 1980 banking was a staid, rather boring business that paid no better, on average, than other industries, yet kept the economy’s wheels turning.

So why did some bankers suddenly begin making vast fortunes? It was, we were told, a reward for their creativity — for financial innovation. At this point, however, it’s hard to think of any major recent financial innovations that actually aided society, as opposed to being new, improved ways to blow bubbles, evade regulations and implement de facto Ponzi schemes

[Snip]

Still, you might argue that we have a free-market economy, and it’s up to the private sector to decide how much its employees are worth. But this brings me to my second point: Wall Street is no longer, in any real sense, part of the private sector. It’s a ward of the state, every bit as dependent on government aid as recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a k a “welfare.”

I’m not just talking about the $600 billion or so already committed under the TARP. There are also the huge credit lines extended by the Federal Reserve; large-scale lending by Federal Home Loan Banks; the taxpayer-financed payoffs of A.I.G. contracts; the vast expansion of F.D.I.C. guarantees; and, more broadly, the implicit backing provided to every financial firm considered too big, or too strategic, to fail.

One can argue that it’s necessary to rescue Wall Street to protect the economy as a whole — and in fact I agree. But given all that taxpayer money on the line, financial firms should be acting like public utilities, not returning to the practices and paychecks of 2007.
Those fat cats on Wall Street are going to need some of that extra dough - for make-up, to cover up the palm print of Krugman's slap, upside-the-head.


Bonus Riffs

This Didn't Make The 11PM News ...

In A Nutshell ...

Breaking! ... Obama Takes Action, Seizes AIG's March Madness Office Pools and Brackets

A Night At The Wall Street Meltdown

Rich on Ruben: "The Citi may never sleep, but he snored ..."

Top Ten Cloves: Things About Citigroup Keeping Stadium Sponsorship After Getting Government Bailout


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Like Bush, Obama Wants Us To Go Shopping

Hmmmm ...

On a day where someone in the Administration (or a friendly) leaks out that "Hey, surprise, the banks are acing those Stress Tests", comes another floater that, get this, we, the public, should buy stocks and bonds of those toxic assets that the banks don't want to keep (but want to get paid for, just the same).

U.S. Imagines the Bailout as an Investment Tool

During World War I, Americans were exhorted to buy Liberty Bonds to help their soldiers on the front.

Now, it seems, they will be asked to come to the aid of their banks — with the added inducement of possibly making some money for themselves.

As part of its sweeping plan to purge banks of troublesome assets, the Obama administration is encouraging several large investment companies to create the financial-crisis equivalent of war bonds: bailout funds.

The idea is that these investments, akin to mutual funds that buy stocks and bonds, would give ordinary Americans a chance to profit from the bailouts that are being financed by their tax dollars. But there is another, deeply political motivation as well: to quiet accusations that all of these giant bailouts will benefit only Wall Street plutocrats.



WTF!

Is this the Summers and Geithner version of the Clean Skies Act?

And, right there is the rub.

All those billions in bailouts are benefiting only those "Wall Street plutocrats"

Christ, I mean, the whole game has been rigged for them.

Now, the Obama Team wants to go into to backwoods carny mode, telling us to "Step right here ...Have we got a deal for you"?

So, along with already giving the dwarfs, finks, phonies and frauds of Wall Street our tax dollars, we are supposed to slip on the Uncle Sam suit, go all-jingoistic and start giving them our "disposable income"?

Will there be retro-Dough Boy posters, substituting soldiers, with slimy "financial instrument" sellers, extorting us to "Get into the Fight - Buy Toxic Asset Bonds"?


The embrace of smaller investors underscores the concern in Washington and on Wall Street that Americans’ anger could imperil further efforts to stimulate the economy with vast amounts of government spending. Many Americans say they believe the bailout programs — and the potentially rich profits they could yield — will benefit only a golden few, including some of the institutions that helped push the economy to the brink.
No shit, Dick Tracy!
For the investment managers, the benefits are potentially large. These big firms can charge healthy fees to investors for taking part. They will also have the marketing prestige of being the firms the government turns to at a time of crisis to help sort out the country’s financial mess.
Oh please, give me a break!

Translation here is "They will also have the marketing prestige of being the Governments' hand-picked front man"

We made reference to this once, already, but it looks more-and-more like the Obama Administration has hired the Lincoln Group to hawk their shit.

And those Bank Stress Tests ...

"Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic mirror, tell me today. Have all banks had fun at play?"

From Yves Smith;
The whole point of this charade exercise was to show the big banks weren't terminal but still needed dough, and I am sure it will prove to be lots of dough before we are done. But they now have the Good Housekeeping seal, so the chump taxpayer can breathe easy that the authorities are taking prudent measures to make sure his money is being shepherded wisely.

If you believe that, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

[Snip]

How does one parse tripe like this? First, the public private partnership program, aka cash for trash, is voluntary. Banks are not being compelled to sell. The idea that the banks "have to sell" is a canard. Second, the gaming of the program has already started (notice no lecture from Geithner about that?), so there is pretty much no risk that anyone will take a loss on the values they have in their books. The best summation of how bad this will get is from Rortybomb, who expects all the old Enron tricks to be employed (notice the terms of the PPIP prohibit the fund managers from gaming the process, not the banks trading among themselves. You can drive a truck through this oversight. And the Treasury has remained silent as the banks themselves have been loading up their balance sheets with toxic sludge, paying more than private investors are willing to bid).

I'm sure all the bankers understand full well the massive disconnect between talk and action, and are dutifully following Treasury's lead in maintaining appearances.
It’s been awhile, but this is a legitimate moment of crises;

Help Me Mr. Wizard!



Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Follow-Up To Screwing JP Morgan Chase (and others)

Well, things are moving along at a brisk pace.

Just last evening, highlighting the plight of Mr. and Mrs. Emptywheel, from Firedoglake, news is busting out all over today, on some protestin' and activism taking place soon.

From Jane Hamsher;
Want to Join Marcy and Me to Protest Banks on Saturday, April 11?

On Saturday, April 11, there are going to be demonstrations all across America to protest what the banks are doing to the country.

No, not the stupid teabagger protests, where people who never cared about George Bush spending like a drunken sailor are suddenly "fiscally responsible," and want to hold hands and blame black people for taking out subprime loans. We're joining with A New Way Forward to demand real structural change to our financial system

[Snip]

We'll be talking about our campaign with Progress Michigan to boycott JP Morgan for trying to break the labor contracts and keep all the money for themselves by driving Chrysler into bankruptcy, even though they themselves are only alive because of $25 billion in taxpayer dollars.
There's a petition you can sign, and a Facebook Group you can join.

No prisoners!


Bonus Riffs

Libby Spencer: Break up the banksters - Update

dday: JP Morgan Chase Greedier Than The Actual J.P. Morgan


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Hit'em Where It Hurts - Support The Chase Boycott!

I wish I had a Chase bank account, just so I could go in there today and close it, much in the same manner as Emptywheel, over on Firedoglake.

Save American Jobs: Close Your Chase Account

Here's how I explained to the Chase people why we were closing our accounts.

I’m closing my Chase accounts because JP Morgan Chase has placed its corporate interests above the jobs and health care of the people of my community, unlike other banks that continue to invest in rebuilding Michigan.

JP Morgan Chase insists on putting Chrysler into bankruptcy

On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that JP Morgan is “resisting government pressure to swap” its Chrysler debt for equity in a restructured Chrysler. But if JP Morgan refuses this swap, then Chrysler will be forced into bankruptcy within a month.

According to the Wall Street Journal, JP Morgan prefers bankruptcy because, “billions of dollars of government debt and the UAW retiree health-care obligation [would] be wiped out before the secured lenders [JP Morgan and other big banks] lose anything.” In other words, JP Morgan wants to force Chrysler into bankruptcy so it would get repaid before all other creditors—including Chrysler retirees and US taxpayers.

JP Morgan Chase has already gotten billions from US taxpayers



Mr. and Mrs. Emptywheel, after withdrawing their stash from Chase, "put that money into a credit union that's supporting Michigan, not trying to bankrupt it."

Bob Fertik agrees:
Excellent idea. But could we take this idea one step further? What if we all took our money out of Big Banks and moved it into a "Blue Bank"?

Obviously we're a pretty large group: 70 million of us voted for Barack Obama. We may not be rich, but if we each deposited $1,000 that would be $70 billion.

If we wanted to start from scratch, we could start a new credit union (assuming we could qualify as an "Association") or a bank. But why jump through all the startup hoops? If we collected deposit pledges worth a decent amount ($10 million?), we could negotiate with existing smaller banks to find one "worthy" of our collective funds.

[Snip]

This idea has many precedents, both in the U.S. and abroad. Perhaps the most famous is Amalgamated Bank, founded in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, which is a commercial bank chartered in New York with nationwide service ...
Maybe, JP Morgan Chase, if they do this callous, cowardly, self-centered, "Me First" action, can hire Joe Pesci to do some new ads for them, to explain it all;

"Always the dollars ... Always the fuckin' dollars. ..."


Bonus Wall Street Meltdown Riffs

This Didn't Make The 11PM News ...

Top Ten Cloves: Things About Citigroup Keeping Stadium Sponsorship After Getting Government Bailout

Rich on Ruben: "The Citi may never sleep, but he snored ..."

In A Nutshell ...

We're All In The Dance

Breaking! ... Obama Takes Action, Siezes AIG's March Madness Office Pools and Brackets




Monday, April 06, 2009

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Tim Geithner Will Fire Bank CEO's

News Item: Geithner Grows A Spine!

10. Use them as Human Shields, when Obama goes to speak at Notre Dame

9. Throws'em in Debtors Prison

8. Put them through the Obama Team Vetting process - They'll quit after months of frustration, waiting ...and waiting ...and waiting

7. Label them as Toxic Assets so they will move in the upcoming auctions

6. Rounds'em all up and ships them to Sweden

5. Beats them to within an inch of death with a new, giant bailout check

4. Gets Rush Limbaugh to take them out of town with him

3. Hires Rick Santelli to browbeat them, yelling and screaming, until they run out the door

2. Have one of his staff do the deed ... Oops!

1. Well, actually, before he does any firing, he has to talk Larry Summers, and get approval for the plan


Bonus Secretary of the Treasury Timothy "What's that, Lassie? (Woof, woof!!) Timmy Geithner's in the well?!!" Geithner Riffs

James Doran: US watchdog calls fo
r bank executives to be sacked

Henry Blodget: The Question Tim Geithner Refuses To Answer

John Carney: Geithner Wrong, Crap Assets Correctly Priced, Say Harvard And Princeton Profs

Jeffrey Sachs: The Geithner-Summers Plan is Even Worse Than We Thought

Robert Reich: Will Geithner Fire Corporate
America?

Glen Greenwald: Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and Wall Street's ownership of government

Mike Madden: Pay no attention to the treasury secretary behind the curtain ...President Obama figures out the key to selling his economic policies: Hide Tim Geithner

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Obama Spams The World

Boy, that had to turn some heads this morning.

And, you know, a few of them had to be thinking, was the Lincoln Group back in business, retained by the new administration?

Those, picking up Le Monde, or the Saudi Gazette, or about 30 other newspapers around the world, and seeing President Barack Obama on the Op-Ed page, "A time for global action."

In case their satellites went out, or they don't watch CNN International any longer (maybe in protest, after Zain Verjee couldn't stop from spouting "penis" during a broadcast), Obama wanted to be sure that they all knew our economy was in the tank, and Obama wanted to play "Tag", that they all have to pitch in as well

It was, kind of, an economic Knute Rockne thing, or Mickey Rooney/Andy Hardy "Hey gang, let's put on an economy!"

He didn't say so in the article, but I think he's going to hand out laminated, autographed copies at the G-20, just in case they missed it.

Maybe, they'll put a Gordon Brown-type package together, throw in some DVD's of his Tonight Show appearance, or his speeches.

Raw Story has a copy of it.

So does the Chicago Tribune.

No word yet, if Obama, just to piss off the Flying Monkeys of the Right Wing Freak Show, was chewing gum, or not, while writing the piece.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

In A Nutshell ...

They should have a big, confetti-falling, band-playing, ribbon-cutting ceremony at 30 Rockefeller Center in the coming days.

Perhaps to distance themselves from their own folly, their front-row cheering of the Wall Street Meltdown, General Electric will be changing the name of its' flagship business channel, giving it a dose of "truth in advertising".

No, they don't need to do esoteric, like Xe.

In fact, they can keep the same call letters, CNBC.

Just now, they translate to Can Not Be Credible.

For CNBC's Mark Haines to say to someone (and elected member of Congress, to boot), criticizing the Wall Street Meltdown, the naked, obscene raping of the financial system, to the point of complete ruin, that the steps to correct it are "Witch Huntery", says, in the nutshell, how in-the-tank Can Not Be Credible is, and how screwed the "media" really is (or, how screwed we really are).

Rep. Sherman (D-CA) vs. CNBC's Mark Haines



"What do people on Main Street know about running a financial system?"

Well, Mister Mark Haines, we don't have to look back to sepia-colored history, to turn that question around on you, and ask "What do people on Wall Street know about running a financial system?"

Hilzoy, over on Obsidian Wings, in fact, illustrates that point rather well;

A couple of years ago, it would have been hyperbole to suggest that we would all be better off if the senior executives at all our major financial firms were people picked entirely at random out of the phone book. Now, it's arguably true. People picked at random would, admittedly, be likely not to have been to business school. They might not know a lot about futures or derivatives or put options. But so what? At least they might have been more likely to know that they were clueless, and a few of them might have had the common sense to ask questions like: will housing prices really go up indefinitely?

In any case, what's the worst they could have done? Bankrupted their companies with ludicrously risky gambles that fell apart once markets went south? Destroyed trillions of dollars in value? Brought the world financial system to the brink of collapse? Left taxpayers across the globe on the hook for trillions of dollars? Bankrupted entire countries?

Oh, right.



And Now, We Come To The Sanity Clause

It may, or may not, be accidental, that news of the long-awaited Geithner-created, Obama Administration plans for the failed banks, stocked to the brim with those "toxic assets", was leaked out, just as March Madness was getting underway.

Perhaps they were looking for a "Cinderella Story" run with it, however, the early reviews coming in show it getting bounced, in the first round.

Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman was brought to "Despair" over it, citing "The zombie ideas have won";
The Obama administration is now completely wedded to the idea that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the financial system — that what we’re facing is the equivalent of a run on an essentially sound bank. As Tim Duy put it, there are no bad assets, only misunderstood assets. And if we get investors to understand that toxic waste is really, truly worth much more than anyone is willing to pay for it, all our problems will be solved.

[Snip]

But it’s immediately obvious, if you think about it, that these funds will have skewed incentives. In effect, Treasury will be creating — deliberately! — the functional equivalent of Texas S&Ls in the 1980s: financial operations with very little capital but lots of government-guaranteed liabilities. For the private investors, this is an open invitation to play heads I win, tails the taxpayers lose. So sure, these investors will be ready to pay high prices for toxic waste. After all, the stuff might be worth something; and if it isn’t, that’s someone else’s problem.
A few hours later, Krugman, still despaired, added;
Why am I so vehement about this? Because I’m afraid that this will be the administration’s only shot — that if the first bank plan is an abject failure, it won’t have the political capital for a second. So it’s just horrifying that Obama — and yes, the buck stops there — has decided to base his financial plan on the fantasy that a bit of financial hocus-pocus will turn the clock back to 2006.
Economist James K. Galbraith;
If I'm right and the mortgages are largely trash, then the Geithner plan is a Rube Goldberg device for shifting inevitable losses from the banks to the Treasury, preserving the big banks and their incumbent management in all their dysfunctional glory. The cost will be continued vast over-capacity in banking, and a consequent weakening of the remaining, smaller, better- managed banks who didn't participate in the garbage-loan frenzy.
Publius, on Obsedian Wings, heralds that "This banking business may well be Obama’s Vietnam ...", while Frank Rich, today, slaps Obama upside the head, respectfully, but forcefully, pointing out that his "Katrina Moment" has arrived.

Digby, perhaps, got it down, on what Obama, Summers and Geithner must need, to either breath life into the plan, or themselves, with "Clap Louder".

Well, not only "Clap Louder", but yell, scream, jump up-and-down, louder, until it is a deafening roar, is, apparently what is needed.

After the last eight-years, "trust us" isn't going to cut it, something Glenn Greenwald got into yesterday;
This anti-anger consensus among our political elites is exactly wrong. The public rage we're finally seeing is long, long overdue, and appears to be the only force with both the ability and will to impose meaningful checks on continued kleptocratic pillaging and deep-seated corruption in virtually every branch of our establishment institutions. The worst possible thing that could happen now is for this collective rage to subside and for the public to return to its long-standing state of blissful ignorance over what the establishment is actually doing.

[Snip]

Atrios has been writing a version of the same key observation virtually every day for weeks -- that almost every plan to "solve" the financial crisis involves nothing more than transfers of enormous amounts of public money into the pockets of the same unchanged system and the same people who caused the collapse in the first place:

The issue is that [Geithner] and friends never distinguished between bailing out the system and bailing out the players. There was a way to do that, and they didn't do it.

[Snip]

The AIG scandal vividly reveals how corrupt and self-interested are the people who are still exerting primary control over this process, which is why our establishment class is so eager to demand that everyone look away. For months, Americans have been told that they must sacrifice and trust the Government to engage in extraordinary actions if they want to stave off another Great Depression, only to watch as hundreds of billions of dollars fly to the very people who are the prime culprits. As Jane Hamsher put it: "The 'populist rage' that the pundits find so unseemly is actually the appropriate response."

But Wait!

Matthew Yglesias is optimistic, and Brad DeLong weighs in on the positive side;
Q: This sounds very different from the headline of the Andrews, Dash, and Bowley article in the New York Times this morning: "Toxic Asset Plan Foresees Big Subsidies for Investors."

A: You are surprised, after the past decade, to see a New York Times story with a misleading headline?

Q: No.

A: The plan I have just described to you is the plan that was described to Andrews, Dash, and Bowley. They write of "coax[ing] investors to form partnerships with the government" and "taxpayers... would pay for the bulk of the purchases..."--that's the $30 billion from the private managers and the $150 billion from the TARP that makes up the equity tranche of the program. They write of "the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will set up special-purpose investment partnerships and lend about 85 percent of the money..."--that's the debt slice of the program. They write that "the government will provide the overwhelming bulk of the money — possibly more than 95 percent..."--that is true, but they don't say that the government gets 80% of the equity profits and what it is owed the FDIC on the debt tranche. That what Andrews, Dash, and Bowley say sounds different is a big problem: they did not explain the plan very well. Deborah Solomon in the Wall Street Journal does, I think, much better. David Cho in tomorrow morning's Washington Post is in the middle.
Krugman still isn't on-board;
And a final point: I’m with Atrios here. If getting the prices of toxic assets “right” isn’t enough to rescue the banks, that doesn’t mean that we’re doomed; it means that we actually have to, you know, rescue the banks, Swedish style, rather than rely on fancy financial engineering to make the problem go away.
"I'm with Atrios?"
Actually, it's worse than that, it's "If Timmeh is wrong about the ponies in Big Shitpile then it's Mad Max for all of us."

But, this all gets put in motion, tomorrow morning, before the opening bell of trading, when Tim "What's that, Lassie? (Woof, woof!!) Timmy Geithner's in the well?!!" Geithner meets with reporters and lays it all out.

Then, we wait and see.

Either the economy starts its' Herculean rise, and money is flooding the streets like a summer cloudburst, or, it's Harry Lime time;
"...and don't be so gloomy. Remember what the man said: under the Borgias there was warfare, bloodshed and murder and they had Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they have brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace. And what have they produced? The cuckoo clock! ..."