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Call it "Change", "Hope for Change", or "Hope I Changed My Drawers", but in reality this is the Great Liquidation...
The Big Picture
OK, time to crowdsource some comedy from your creative minds.
So far, we know that GM stands for:
Anything else? Use comments for suggestions . . .
- Generic Mediocrity
- Gigantic Mess
- Geithner’s Mess
- Gross Mismanagement
- Gone Monday
- Geriatric Motors
- Great Misexpectations
- Gone Motors
Good Dilbert cartoon today that is very apropos.
And that raises another issue. One or two day hearings are grossly inadequate venues to get to the bottom of anything. The US needs a full bore major investigation, ideally on the scale of the Pecora Commission. Those took nearly a full two years of hearings, including testimony of pretty much everyone who counted in the world of high finance. These half way measures instead create the illusion that Something Has Been Done at the expense of making real inroads.
- It reminds me of the Roman Senate, which still kept the form of government going for centuries after true power had gone elsewhere.
- Greenspan has become nothing more than Rush Limbaugh with a droopy, hangdog face.
- Sounds as though the Maestro was really the master illusionist.
- Saying a thriving economy is a requirement for bubbles is like saying that living is a requirement for starvation.
- In Obama's world, Bonnie & Clyde should be given top jobs in the FBI, because "Bonnie & Clyde understand the criminal mind better than anybody."
- Wall Street and the Treasury building should be wrapped in yellow Crime Scene tape
- The last scene in Fight Club
is going to be reenacted in short order if these clueless Wall Street idiots don't pull their heads out of their asses and fast. A little food for thought for anyone who might be wondering if the people that caused this mess finally "get it":
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports some AIG employees, "vilified for receiving bonuses amid the $173 billion bailout of their company, are fighting back. Wednesday, employees at the insurer gave a standing ovation for Jake DeSantis, an executive in AIG's financial-products division, who was the first to publicly refuse to return his retention bonus despite an outcry over the payments."
- When he first heard the phrase Freedom Fries used to put down France's lack of support to send troops to Iraq, he thought it was a high school prank. When he heard that it was a Republican Representative, his immediate thought was that this was the end of the Republic. When a society is falling apart, politics becomes theater. (From Chris Hedges' post on truthdig.com)
- I'm shocked ... shocked!!![Glenn, from the post]: Yves Smith last night noted the rather extraordinary (though unsurprising) development that the very institutions that played such a critical role in the crisis -- Citibank and Bank of America -- are now using TARP funds they received not to extend more loans (the ostensible purpose of the bailout), but rather, to buy up more and more of the very distressed assets that Geithner insists they need to be relieved of, because they now know that, under Geithner's plan, they will be able to sell them at a substantial profit courtesy of public funds....-- Arne Langsetmo
That was the plan, buddy, that was the plan. Why expect them to stop looting just because it's the gummint's money? Have they ever shown any morals before? Oh ... forgot ... capitalism has no room for morals; it's all 'supply and demand'.
"Round up the usual suspects."
- Obama's new Monopoly Game
From William Greider, at The Nation:
"President Obama has invented a new board game for Wall Street money guys to play that promises to be a lot of fun. It's very much like the regular Monopoly game that kids play--only better--because this one uses real money, provided courtesy of the taxpayers. The best thing about Obama's game is nobody loses. Usually, the winner in Monopoly is the one who winds up with the most money. In the Obama version, the losers get any losses back from the government at the end of the game. The president has promised....
"Who is going to accumulate the tallest stack? It's like Monopoly Olympics for the grand masters of the universe. Will Warren Buffett take a seat at the table? Bill Gross, the PIMCO bond king, is salivating at the prospect of double-digit returns and says Obama's game is "win-win-win." Can billionaire George Soros resist such an opportunity? Will legendary traders at Goldman Sachs square off against James A. Baker III's Carlyle Group with its oil-rich Arab backers? What a kick that these famous people will be playing with our money....
"Probably there are some naysayers in the public who won't get it. They will whine about the odd ways in which winners always seem to get another chance in US capitalism to win again. Some people will look around them and complain that things do not seem to be improving in their neighborhood. They will attack our president personally, try to undermine his authority.
"President Obama can charm them out of their anger. He might say, 'Hey, guys, lighten up. It's only a game.'"-- CarolynC
The Mess That Greenspan
My set of "Financial Crisis Playing Cards - Most Wanted" came in the mail today. When you do what I do, people send you stuff like this for free which, actually, is kind of neat.
To get your own you'll have to go to this website.
Below are a couple of the face cards from the real estate industry.Read more...
These would go very nicely on dart boards, so, if you place an order (only $6 each), you might want to get an extra deck.
Mar 14, 2009 | Robert Reich's Blog
...any mention of the word "talent" in the same sentence as "AIG" or "credit default swaps" would be laughable if laughing weren't already so expensive.
- Kevin Smith said...
- Yves said: "But I must say, Bernanke is either an astoundingly self contained man or is on the best meds modern science has to offer."
Bernanke's blink rate seems to be about half that of his interviewer, suggesting to me that he is taking a highly lipid soluble beta blocker like propranolol or oxyprenolol. These are commonly prescribed to control hypertension (and commonly taken by public speakers and muscians to block the effects of adrenaline). Propranolol et al are banned in the Olympics because they make shooters TOO calm and tremor-free.
The most frightening part of it was when he said his biggest fear was the political system stonewalling getting anything done. Because I think with psychopaths like McConnell, Boehner, and McCain wielding any kind of power in the process, that's exactly what'll happen.
Moon of Alabama
"There is absolutely no truth to the rumors of liquidity problems."
"Bear Stearns's balance sheet, liquidity and capital remain strong."
Alan Schwartz, CEO, Bear Stearns, March 10, 2008
March 16, 2008: Bear Stearn Forced To Sell For $2 Per Share,
Otherwise humorless White House press secretary Bob Gibbs had his first attempt at cracking jokes when he told Chinese premier Wen Jiabao that the latter doesn't have to worry about anything and that "there's no safer investment in the world than in the United States." [but to please not compare U.S. CDS levels to those of other G7 countries]. This came in response to Wen's earlier admonition that he wants assurances he isn't just funding the U.S. obesity epidemic, purchases of 5th vacation homes and bathroom ceiling-installed plasma TVs, by buying T-Bill after T-Bill
March 13, 2009 02:37 AMCRAMER CANCELS MAD MONEY SHOW..BREAKING NEWS
IDEA FOR NEW SHOW....."SAD MONEY"
The Big Picture
- schoolsout Says:
March 13th, 2009 at 9:20 am
I’d say Cramer got his ass handed to him
Stewart should have been even harsher. If Cramer claims to not know what is going on then he deserves no show. For Christ’s sake, I’m 26, work a full-time sales job, and saw what was going on…
- Stuart Says:
March 13th, 2009 at 9:24 am
BR, you points are well taken. Lots of missed opportunities but enough was articulated IMO to get the message across about CNBC and other financial journalism carrying on more as infomercial storefronts for the offending vested interests. Cramer was in a tough spot, much deserved, some not. Was impressed by how much Stewart “gets it”. Look at the mileage this has received through the media, mainstream and internet. I am watching with interest to see if CNBC makes any changes to their broadcasting ethics as a result of what is undeniably bad press, widely circulated bad press.
- OkieLawyer Says:
March 13th, 2009 at 9:28 am
I think John Stewart did a fine job given the amount of time that he had. He dedicated pretty much the entire show for the interview. And I also felt that Jim Cramer had a tough time defending some of his statements made on the internet interview (that many of us here knew about from back when he made them).
I, for one, appreciate John Stewart’s bringing these facts to light. He is rightfully expressing the outrage that many of us feel at the shenanigans of Wall Street. I particularly liked it when he pressed Cramer on “Who do you work for? The corporations and the (insider) traders or your viewers?”
And I think you have hit on something, Barry: CNBC has become the Fox News of the financial networks. It seems to be letting ideology color its coverage. So-called “permabulls” aren’t so bullish now that Obama is president. (Perhaps that is a contrary indicator?) I for one am going to press for my news outlets/cable/satellite/trading platform to start carrying Bloomberg — or some other ostensibly more balanced financial news network — so that I can have access to better information.
- wnsrfr Says:
March 13th, 2009 at 9:32 am
schoolsout, you are in a better position to not miss certain things by being in a full-time sales job. I do remember Barry writing that he will NOT talk with CEO’s, because they always either lie or slant the truth heavily. We are all subject to influence from those around us that we talk to face-to-face.
Witness the buildings full of pretty smart investment professionals at places like Sanford-Bernstein that rode the banks practically to zero while never seeing the 800 lb bad paper gorillas hiding in their assets.
When you talk to con-men you get conned, and Cramer is talking to everyone all the time including the biggest cons (CEO’s)…
March 13th, 2009 at 9:32 am
It seems clear to me that Cramer is now the fall guy for the multiple failures of financial journalism in this country. His sagging, submissive body language told me that he knows it.
I also think Stewart knows it. He was clearly angry, but equally clearly taking no satisfaction in it.
Prediction: Cramer will face indictment for securities fraud, based on some of the clips that Stewart played last night, and that will be CNBC’s excuse to drop him. Or maybe they’ll just drop him as an embarrassment.
Then business as usual.
At least someone on national television finally said, Where are the indictments?
- Andy Tabbo Says:
March 13th, 2009
It was sort of “beat down” of CNBC. I think the network will have to go into some “soul searching,” if they have one. Because the crux of Stewarts problems is: “You tout yourselves as experts and the channel to watch to know what’s going on, but you guys don’t know shit and you’re part of the problem.” Which, for the most part, is EXACTLY the problem of CNBC. So, good luck with all that NBC….
- super_trooper Says:
March 13th, 2009 I thought Stewart would be lame and just joke about the controversy, instead he stayed focused and delivered a consistent message during the entire show. A message he’s had to all networks (build up to the war in Iraq), for journalists to be investigating, take responsibility and be accountable for their reporting. Stewart could have spend hours pointing out ethical issues at CNBC and especially the snake oils salesmen they consistently put on the show. With all the information we have today, why not call them out for the BS they sell. I do appreciate that Cramer did respond to the issues (the deck was stacked against him). I could easily see numerous TV personalities turn this into a screaming match and be completely in denial.
- rln2433 Says:
March 13th, 2009
I don’t care much for Stewert given his reliance on snark and uninformed outrage on issues but Cramer is just awful and why any respected business network would give him (and Crudblow) a platform is beyond me. CNBC wanted to be the ESPN of financial markets which is half about sports and the rest of it rather trite analysis. They jam far too much into short segments and allow far too many morons on their to promote stock buying. Lastly, the Repubs are the opposition party so if the Democrats are the one driving policy then the Republicans should be the ones offering counters. OTOH, neither party has been good on spending. The dems campaigned for fiscal restraint, PAYGO and restraint then completely threw that aside when they regained power. Anyone who believed that they would do anything but spend is a moron. Let’s hope the Repubs learn their lesson and return sufficiently chastened to enact real change instead of the lies and cheap sloganeering thrown about in 2007/2008.
- b_thunder Says:
March 13th, 2009
The interview wasn’t better because Cramer was clearly taken out of his comfort zone from the very beginning when Stewart started the interview with Cramer’s “self-incriminating” web videos - after that JC wasn’t himself. Especially as Cramer tried to defend himself bypointing out that he was only describing how others “do it on Wall St,” Stewart smacked him with two more clips where Cramer clearly talked from the first person perspective. Cramer clearly wasn’t ready to defend against that. Even though Cramer preaches “buy-and-homework”, he didn’t even mention it against Stewart’s “buy-and-hold” tirade. Seriously, when someone runs on TV (even if it’s basic cable) a video that most people will think is clearly self-incriminating of him, how many of us would remain 100% calm and have a clear mind for a serious verbal combat with JS?
- Marcus Aurelius Says:
March 13th, 2009
There was little or no humor during the interview - the audience seldom laughed, and what laughter there was, was nervous. Jon Stewart, in spite of being the host of a “comedy” show, is highly credible as an investigative journalist. This fact alone speaks volumes on the state of journalism in America. BR: While there were some weaknesses in the interview, I don’t see any of this type of direct confrontation of guests (supported by evidence) taking place on the other Pundit-fests or “news” shows currently on the air.
- franklin411 Says:
March 13th, 2009
I think Cramer had a great point, though: 50.7% of this nation voted in favor of Bushonomics in 2004. They loved it when the market was going up up up, when their home values were going through the roof. They ignored John Kerry when he said we can’t have an upside down economy where workers get poorer and the rich get richer. They did more than ignore him–they laughed at him. And now that we’re seeing the natural result of that ideology (that which produces booms also produces busts), people are looking for scapegoats. Sure, there are people who are directly, criminally responsible for what has happened. But 50.7% of this country is an accessory to the crimes of Wall Street and its traitors. I fear that we haven’t suffered enough to really repudiate the ideologies that got us in this mess. It happened during the Great Depression, but when I see large segments of American society claiming this mess was all caused by a few Wall Street traitors working with “colored” homebuyers who don’t deserve to be in the middle class, I fear for my country.
- JohnnyVee Says:
March 13th, 2009
Stewart’s outrage is that he expects journalist to ask questions and independently confirm responses. He believes that a journalist has an independent obligation to people–they are the watchdogs of the truth. I saw him do an interview with a few pundints from hard ball or I’ll kick your ass, or whatever show, during the Bush and Gore campaigns. The problem is that real journalism is dead and even if it were not, CNBC is not about presenting the news. Its about ratings. The problem is that most people believe what they see and hear on TV.
- aitrader Says: March 13th, 2009
Shame on you Barry! The video clips trotted out by Stewart show Cramer in unethical and probably criminal acts of stock manipulation. You, Barry, probably know what we all suspect. This is just the tip of the iceberg slamming into the CNBC Titantic. Just because CNBC butters parts of your proverbial bread is not reason enough to kow-tow to a stock manipulator or a network of folks in bed, both literally and figurateively, with a financial industry so rotted with incometence, malfeasance, and manipulation that we are all now suffering collectively through what will likely be viewed in retrospect as a second Great Depression. You’re better than than Barry. Show some cojones and call it for what it is. Even if they are friends of yours.
- HCF Says: March 13th, 2009 at 11:16 am
the network is paid by advertising fees by the same people who have proven to be dishonest…
@Bruce: I absolutely agree with you about the advertisers. I’d actually feel better if the ads were mostly for beer, tampons, and ED tablets, instead of mutual fund and brokerage houses.
I guess it’s not a surprise that most TV people are whores, but CNBC is the worst offender.
I see CNBC purely as entertainment. Any “advice” is certainly tainted. I wish the hosts called out guests on their bad calls more often.
That’s one good segment that sometimes shows on ‘Fast Money.’ We need guests saying more often “My call to BUY BUY BUY at Dow 14,000 was f***ked. I am such a conflicted a-hole.” One can only dream… HCF
No matter what Pisani says, this is the Jon Stewart Rally.
Stewart cold-cocked the entire CNBC circus — which extends to the trading floor by way of Steve Grasso and other professional bedwetters — and they’re still reeling.
I loved seeing Cramer soiling himself yet again this morning, with his nursemaid Erin alongside. He’s left pathetic far behind and now creates a new level of sniveling weasel.
It’s lately occurred to me that the CNBC logo should be replaced with a picture of C. Montgomery Burns.
CNBC Gives Financial Advice The Daily Show With Jon Stewart CNBC's Rick Santelli is angry that those loser homeowners are going to get bailed out.
In Cramer We Trust Jim Cramer didn't recommend buying Bear Stearns stock a week before it collapsed -- he did it five days earlier.
March 7th, 2009
This is hysterical (NSFW): The New Nationalized Citibank from Funny or Die
After Citibank becomes nationalized, expect to see commercials like this.
March 6, 2009 | The Big Picture
How low, can she go?
I never expected the infamous Dow 6,800 to become an UPSIDE price target . . . its now 5% above us.
The road to economic hell is paved with good intentions and bad banks.
As a registered Republican, I revoke your GOP book-burning discount card, Republican Ritholtz. May you never enter the eternal kingdom of our party’s official God, Jesus Christ.
All kidding aside, if you did not see it last night, Jon Stewart took on CNBC and the entire U.S. financial system last night, http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=220250.
BIG PAULIE: Good evening Tim. How you doing Kiddo? You still in the office?
TIMMY: Hi Paul. Thanks for calling. I guess I am okay. It was another bad day for me.
BIG PAULIE: Those Senators tough on you? I could not tell. CNBC had you on in a small box in the corner with no sound.
TIMMY: Yes it was tough. Not as bad as the House though. They all want to blame someone and I am always in the way. I am at my desk now, looking at the email and phone messages. 90% are negative. The press, half of Washington, foreign finance officials, industry leaders. Irate voters from every State. They all hate me. They blame me because I am the one in the hot seat.
BIG PAULIE: That bad huh?
TIMMY: You should see the Blogs. It breaks my heart. Half of them refer to me as a tax cheat.
BIG PAULIE: You are a tax cheat.
TIMMY: That was a computational problem. 80% of all Americans have had this problem at one time or another. I did get one nice note from Jeff Immelt. He wrote of kum by ya. What does that mean?
The Big PictureThis collection of seers, pundits and talking heads have a track record that would make the 1927-1933 group of Pompous Prognosticators blush with pride. Their sterling track record includes:
- Failing to recognize the importance of the Housing Boom;
- Not understanding the impact of ultra cheap credit;
- Failing to notice the economy weakening appreciably in 2008;
- Missing all of the warning signs of distress in firms as varied as Bear Stearns, AIG, Lehman, Citigroup, Freddie Mac, Wachovia, Countrywide and WAMU;
- Utterly missing the most telegraphed recession in history;
- Believing the sub-prime problems would be contained;
- Expecting the rest of the globe would decouple form the US economy;
- Believing that deregulation was the path to prosperity;
And many more.
That this pool of idiots missed all of the above merely suggests that are grossly incompetent as market and/or economic observers.
Mar 2, 2009 | naked capitalism
“The market is subdued now because we have enough morphine in our system that we won’t see the spikes we did in October and November,” Britton said. “The uncertainty comes when the medication runs out.”
- Anonymous said...
- Where do the more reliable chartists now have the bottom? The recent 9000 + achievement at the time of the first stirings of the legend of Abraham Delano Obama was clearly a sucker punch with another major down wave, currently in progress, to go. A former trader, I'd venture a 6000 Dow based on instinct alone.
- naked capitalism
- Anonymous said...
- Another 24 months of $25B each to go. Black hole do increase their mass, and emits lights near the event horizon :-(. We're heading for a big bang of $. Long live the United States of Socialist republics.
- Anonymous said...
- I remember when 80B was a lot... That was less than six months ago.
- Anonymous said...
- Looks like Obama's "Spread the wealth around" agenda has morphed into "Spread the losses around."
The guy's really into spreading....
2/28/2009 | CalculatedRiskFor your Saturday evening ...
Posted by CalculatedRisk on 2/28/2009 08:29:00 PM Comments (169)
Dilbert cartoon (old)
PHB - where did employee loyalty go?
Dlibert - It flew out of the window after job security.
- naked capitalism
- alex black said...
- So, Citigroup still has its "stress tests" to endure. Can we use some of the stress tests we used at Abu Ghraib?
- Anonymous said...
- Sy Krass said...
Alex Black, I don't think putting female underwear over Vikram Pandit's head will give us any more clarity on the viability of Citigroup. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!
- February 28, 2009
Case Study Econ. 407, Final Grade:
Company X has a market cap of $8.18 billion as of DJIA market close 02-28-09.
Entity Y purchases 36% of company X for $25 billion on same day.
Solve: Why would entity Y pay a premium of $22.05 billion premium over market price for company X common stock?
32% premium my ass.
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