I saw this advertisement posted to a telephone pole the other day:
FREE LIMOUSINE FORECLOSURE TOURS
Tour economically-ravaged neighborhoods in style! You can point and scoff at all the derelicts who couldn't pay their mortgages - maybe even snatch a house for dirt cheap! Turns out these tours are big in these parts. After all, Orange County is groundzero for the mortgage meltdown.
At a school meeting this week, my wife mentioned that the meeting organizer opened their session with a few excerpts from a book called "Quotes from Great Leaders". The quote for the day came from St. Ronnie:
Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.
Remember yesterday, when AIG CEO Edward Libby said that AIG’s other insurance businesses were just fine thank you? Not so fast:
Thomas Gober, a former Mississippi state insurance
examiner who has tracked fraud in the industry for 23 years and served
previously as a consultant to the FBI and the Department of Justice,
says he believes AIG’s supposedly solvent insurance business may be at
least as troubled as its reckless financial-products unit. Far from
being “healthy,” as state insurance regulators, ratings agencies and
other experts have repeatedly described the insurance side, Gober calls
it “a house of cards.” Citing numerous documents he has obtained from
state insurance regulators and obscure data buried in AIG’s own
300-page annual reports, Gober argues that AIG’s 71 interlocking
domestic U.S. insurance subsidiaries are in hock to each other to an
From his fainting couch, Richard Cohen clutches his pearls and complains that Jon Stewart was mean to CNBC and Jim Cramer:
What Jon Stewart needs is Jon Stewart. He could use a droll comedian to temper his ferocity and correct
him when he’s wrong, as he was about the financial media, particularly
CNBC and its excitable analyst Jim Cramer. They didn’t cover up the
story of financial shenanigans. They didn’t even know it existed.
Setting aside the fact that lots ofpeople knew - shouldn’t CNBC have known about the problem? They’re the experts.
This is sad and kind of awesome. Maurice “Hank”
Greenberg, the man who built up AIG into the global powerhouse, before
being forced out by Eliot Spitzer, is suing his old company for securities fraud. Greenberg says that mirepresentations by the company caused him to overpay for the stock.
It’s as though he killed his own parents and is now complaining because he’s a fucking orphan.
Jacob A. Frenkel - AIG vice chairman, former Israeli central banker, and wanker:
Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) — At the World Economic Forum two years ago, Nouriel Roubini warned that record profits and bonuses were obscuring a “hard landing” to come. “I really disagree,” countered Jacob Frenkel, the American International Group Inc. vice chairman and former Israeli central banker.
No more. “Roubini was intellectually courageous, and he called the shots correctly,” says Frenkel, whose AIG survives only on the basis of more than $100 billion of government loans. “He gained credibility, and he deserves it.”
Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community’s top legislative priority.
Participants on the October 17 call — including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG — were urged to persuade their clients to send “large contributions” to groups working against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill.
And why, you might ask, have I posted a picture of an asshole in a Home Depot smock?
Yesterday I posted
on the Satyam fraud - Satyam is an Indian outsourcing company.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers is Satyam’s auditor. And because PwC missed
the $1 billion elephant in the room, they might have a problem:
PwC said it was examining [Chairman and CEO] Raju’s statement but could not comment further due to confidentiality issues.
The fraud could cause problems for PwC. Since Satyam was listed in
the US, investors can turn to the courts there for recompense, and
there are legal precedents for holding auditors accountable.
Commercial real estate groups have been
meeting with members of Congress, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury,
the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as well as Mr. Obama’s
transition team, to press their case. And they say they have a
Now that Walter Noel is in trouble for steering $7.5 billion into the Bernie Madoff abyss, the pristine reputations of his five gorgeous daughters - Corina, Lisina, Alina, Alix and Marisa - are getting tarnished, too.
Ramazan Baydan, owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe
Company, has been swamped with orders from across the world, after
insisting that his company produced the black leather shoes which the
Iraqi journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi threw at Bush during a press
conference in Baghdad last Sunday.
Baydan has recruited an extra 100 staff to meet orders for 300,000
pairs of Model 271 - more than four times the shoe’s normal annual sale
- following an outpouring of support for Zaidi’s act, which was
intended as a protest, but led to his arrest by Iraqi security forces.
This Ponzi scheme
will probably be the largest and longest-running investment fraud
uncovered during the downturn, but it will not be the last. It’s
related to Big Shitpile because, among other things, hedge funds are
some of the big losers. From the New York Times:
The zoning lawyer in Miami trusted him because his
father had dealt profitably with him for decades. The officers of a
little charity in Massachusetts respected him and relied on his advice.
Remember Plymouth? Oldsmobile?
Those car brands disappeared mostly because they duplicated another
line’s models (in this case Dodge and Buick) by just changing the
badges. “Badge engineering” some called it.
AIG, which said in a September filing that 130 managers will get “cash awards” to stay through 2009, isn’t providing enough information, said Cummings, a Maryland Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in a letter to AIG dated yesterday.
And if you don’t think they’re going to steal it all, get a load of this:
THE TRAGEDY OF THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY:A Play in Three Acts
BIG THREE, a manufacturer of automobiles UAW, Big Three’s employee MITT ROMNEY, an idiot
BIG THREE: I have plans to build automobiles, but I need labor to do so! UAW: I will labor for you if you will pay me $40 per hour. BIG THREE: I will not pay you $40 per hour. UAW: But I need to save for my inevitible retirement, and any health concerns that may arise. BIG THREE: I will pay you $30 per hour, plus a generous pension of guaranteed payments and health care upon your retirement. UAW: Then I agree to work for you!
Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government is prepared to lend more than $7.4 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers, or half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, to rescue the financial system since the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.
The money that’s been pledged is equivalent to $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. It’s nine times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office figures. It could pay off more than half the country’s mortgages.
From the people that brought you GE Capital’s
participation in the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program - FDIC is
now insuring ‘Stored Value Cards’.
Yes, that would be Stored-Value-Cards (and other non-traditional access mechanisms). According to the definition provided by the NY Fed these are:
… one of the
most dynamic and fastest growing products in the financial industry.
Anyone who makes purchases with a merchant gift card, places phone
calls with a prepaid telephone card, or buys goods or services with a
prepaid debit card is using a stored value card.
In other words, gift voucher cards, pre-paid telephone cards and any other prepaid debit cards.
Hundreds of hedge funds will fail and policy makers may need to shut financial markets for a week or more as the crisis forces investors to dump assets, New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini said.
“We’ve reached a situation of sheer panic,” Roubini, who predicted the financial crisis in 2006, told a conference of hedge-fund managers in London today. “There will be massive dumping of assets” and “hundreds of hedge funds are going to go bust,” he said. … “Systemic risk has become bigger and bigger,” Roubini said at the Hedge 2008 conference. “We’re seeing the beginning of a run on a big chunk of the hedge funds,” and “don’t be surprised if policy makers need to close down markets for a week or two in coming days,” he said.
Keep in mind, fellow Stinquers, that the costs of the accountants, law firms, and bankers that will be cleaning up after the Bush administration’s administration of our economy will be over and above what cash we’re injecting into the banks and insurance companies we now own.
The credit crunch claimed its first sovereign scalp last night as Iceland readied itself to accept an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. … The IMF may provide about $1 billion in emergency cash for Iceland with the balance lent by Norway, Sweden and Denmark and additional money possibly coming from Russia and Japan. … The IMF is likely to attach stringent conditions to the loan, including the stipulation that Iceland quickly deleverage its three nationalised banks Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitner.
Who’s next? Pakistan? California? Did you forget Poland?
Located N. Atlantic Ocean, pop. 320,000; 285,274 BR; 279,305 FB; 102,992 HB; 103,000 sq. km. lot. Excellent loc. due to global warming; first world infrastructure w/ old world charm. Extras include abundant geothermal energy, great fish stocks, and Bjork. Recently 4th most productive country in world. All reasonable offers considered. Payment methods acceptable: rubles, euros, MC, Visa, Diners Club. No personal checks, no dollar-denominated offers. Ask for Mr. Grimsson.
it’s not ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
“Mark to Market” accounting means that you show assets on your balance sheet at their market value. Although the SEC and FASB (an organization that writes accounting rules) are resisting, the bright lights in Washingon are working to have the mark-to-market rule suspended:
Congressmen, banking lobbyists and companies including American International Group Inc. have urged the SEC to suspend fair-value accounting, saying it forces firms to report losses they never expect to incur. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and other proponents say removing the rule would erode confidence that firms are owning up to losses.
If we close our eyes, think real hard, and click our heels together three times, the toxic waste on our balance sheets will magically turn into ponies, and everybody gets one!
Representative Todd Tiahrt, a Kansas Republican, said the House probably would have approved a $700 billion bailout of financial companies yesterday had the legislation included a suspension of fair-value accounting. The House rejected the measure 228-205.
It would have passed “easily” if the rules had been suspended, Tiahrt, who opposed the legislation, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview.
Not in the mood to call anyone out, but I am struck by the faith of some that the Wise Men In Nice Suits know what they're doing, conveniently ignoring the fact that these people let this disaster happen in the first place.
The leading proposal had been to divide
Lehman into two entities, a “good bank” and a “bad bank.” Under that
scenario, Barclays would have bought the parts of Lehman that have been
performing well, while a group of 10 to 15 Wall Street companies would
agree to absorb losses from the bank’s troubled assets, according to
two people briefed on the proposal. Taxpayer money would not be
included in such a deal, they said.
But that plan fell apart on Sunday, making it likely that Lehman would be forced to liquidate.
The issue is that no one knows what Lehman is worth, and this is
especially true because its share of Big Shitpile may not be worth
anything at all.
Like scores of evangelists and hypocrites and moralists who spew and praise family values and pretend to be holier than thou and are then regularly caught cheating or cross dressing or found to be perverts these Bush hypocrites who spewed for years the glory of unfettered wild west laissez faire jungle capitalism (and never believed in any sensible and appropriate regulation and supervision of financial markets) allowed the biggest debt bubble ever to fester without any control, have caused the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression and are now forced to perform the biggest government intervention and nationalizations in the recent history of humanity, all for the benefit of the rich and the well connected.
And, sports fans, did you know Lehman and WaMu are tanking? Stay tuned for another federal bailout! Those fucking losses won’t socialize themselves!