May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Financial Humor Bulletin, October 2009

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

[Oct 31, 2009] Outside The (Cardboard) Box

There you have it - Outside The (Cardboard) Box’s 2009 Scary Halloween Costume Ideas for the Economically Depressed. It’s worth mentioning that a couple could dress as Blankfein AND Goldman and essentially rule the Halloween Universe….

[Oct 31, 2009] Breakfast_with_Dave_102909

the best headline of the day belongs to the Investor’s Business Daily — page A5: No Matter How Bad it Gets, Consumers Will Still Buy Toilet Paper

[Oct 31, 2009] "You Cheat, I Cheat, as Wall Street Acts as Model" by Susan Antila

“the Madoff effect,” a swine-flu-grade virus that causes people who witness corruption to conclude that cheating has become acceptable, and to wind up cheating, too.

Bloomberg News

Trickle down really does work. Consider these inspired words, from an online reader of USA Today, reacting last week to news that Americans were lying, cheating and law-breaking to get their hands on an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers:

“The system is scamming you, so why not scam back a little,” wrote the reader, using the name “None in 08.” “You’ve seen what crooks in Washington and on Wall Street can get away with.” So “it’s time to get yours.”

Amen, brother.

[Oct 30, 2009] What Is Money Part 10 When Money Dies

"If money dies, a lot more than money will die. This includes Bernanke's pension. He knows this. "

[Oct 30, 2009] mean-street-a-sham-gdp-for-a-sham-economy

Oct 29, 2009 | WSJ Blogs

Americans rejoice! GDP grew by 3.5% in the third quarter and the recession is over.

It’s time to drink champagne, dance in the streets, and have a group hug with Nancy Pelosi and Ben Bernanke. But whatever you do, don’t ask yourself why the recession has ended. The answer might ruin the party.

[Oct 30, 2009] New Name Floated In Geithner Replacement Talks


Not Obama’s favorite banker, Jamie Dimon, though you’re on the right track in assuming it’s someone who doesn’t take shit or prisoners from anyone (though he will take a bullet). Someone who, perhaps unlike our current Treasury Secretary, could stand up to Larry Summers and say “No, you’ve had enough Diet Coke for today,” and pass the big boy a Vitamin Water.

Someone, like Fifty Cent. And as luck would have it, Mr. Cent has already stated publicly that should the President decide to shake up the economic dream team, he’s there.

[Oct 30, 2009] Brooksley Born, the Cassandra of the Derivatives Crisis

Such people should be eligible for retirement into specialized mental institution for maniacal-depressive disorders this probably was a height of maniacal stage) ;-)

Greenspan had an unusual take on market fraud, Born recounted: "He explained there wasn't a need for a law against fraud because if a floor broker was committing fraud, the customer would figure it out and stop doing business with him."

[Oct 30, 2009] World War Three Anybody-

Clusterfuck Nation

When Alan Greenspan predicted three percent economic growth showing up in the reported figures for the third quarter of 2009, did he mean executive compensation packages?  Maybe the lesson here is: don't ask a crackhead to predict the future supply of crack.  Greenspan's greatest success may be to drive economics into such disrepute that it will be cut loose from the universities and only be taught by mail order or internet subscription...

[Oct 29, 2009] Sprott Surreality Check Part Two Dead Government Walking zero hedge

Dimon is on Bloomberg TV right now (SIFMA conference):

"... some people cheat on their taxes and shame on them"

that comment sounds a might powerful...was he trying to bitch slap little Timmy Geithner?


"Hurry up, I hear that there's still some copper wiring left in Rhode Island!"

(Rahm overheard in the Oval Office.)

[Oct 28, 2009] Dumping Equities to Support Bucky and El Bondo Mondo

Jesse's Café Américain

So, could money be flowing out of stocks as a reaction to the dumping of support in preparation for the liquidity required by the notes, purposefully by design, as speculated by Denver Dave? In the manner of pushing the investor around, like the vegetables on your plate?

Or not. One can only wonder in this brave new world of opaque quantitative easing and Federal Reserve innovations.

A quick message of inquiry to Treasury Tim and Zimbabwe Ben brought no response, as they are tied up all day in a Working Groups meeting. Lloyd and Jamie are attending on speakerphone to maintain a low profile, obtain status updates, and provide direction as required to their staffs at the Treasury, the Fed, and their proprietary trading desks, not necessarily in that order.

[Oct 28, 2009] Dismal scientists how the crash is reshaping economics - The Atlantic Business Channel

Economists as porno stars  in Viagra economics: make it bigger, make it harder ;-)

In the long post WWII boom, as free market ideology triumphed, economists have won for themselves a privileged place inside academia.

First there is the cash. It astonished some when Washington University, a school with an economics department of modest prestige, hired economists David Levine and Michele Boldrin by offering salaries well in excess of $500,000.  But most high ranked economics departments have professors earning in excess of $300,000.  Not much by the pornographic standards of finance, but a fat paycheck compared to your average English or Physics professor.

[Oct 27, 2009] Damien Hoffman Touches A Jim Cramer Nerve zero hedge

Several funny points from the feedback:
Damien Hoffman over at Wall Street Cheat Sheet seems to have gotten into the crosshairs of none other than book (and stock) promoter extraordinaire James Cramer. Subsequent to our post on potentially being in hot regulatory hot water, Damien penned the following post:

Jim Cramer Says Sell, Sell, Sell His Company

According to transitive logic, Jim Cramer recommends selling the stock of his company The (Nasdaq: TSCM). In his books, Cramer says to dump stocks when executives depart suddenly or companies miss their filings. Therefore, once The Street “failed to produce their 10-Q filing for the second quarter” and executives started jumping ship, an honest Cramer would have been forced to “Sell, Sell, Sell.”

If you are looking for supporting evidence to dump your TSCM shares, here are a few strong data points:

1) The Street has sunken so low as to offer stock picks from professional psychics;

2) The Street is losing key executives and board members faster than the Phillies knocked out the Dodgers;

3) The Street’s great stockpicker Lenny Dykstra went belly up (and not sliding into home plate);

4) The Street’s last go-to guru, Doug Kass, has an incredibly questionable track record for RealMoney subscribers (See “Buy the Financials. Yes, Buy” JANUARY 2008, and Doug’s schizophrenic Twitter stream of picks (e.g., April and May 2009) which contradict his jumpy calls and articles;

5) The Street introduced a new newsletter by Ron Insana and claimed the newsletter had a track record based on performance BEFORE the newsletter even existed (Hat Tip: Michael Comeau); and,

6) Jim Cramer’s true value has been proven in Barron’s and he was waterboarded while (not) debating Jon Stewart.

Looks like the circus may be leaving town …


[Oct 27, 2009] Capital One- Shred Your Wallet (COF)

This morning my phone rang.  It was Capital One's Fraud Department, calling to ask me if I had placed some charges on the card.  Now to be fair, this card hasn't seen much use since I found PenFed (, a very nice credit union that has an auto-crediting reward card and is a credit union besides.

They went through their spiel about how I wasn't liable because of their "superior" guarantee (rank BS; there is no liability, ever, for fraudulent charges as a matter of Federal Law) and similar. 

But I noticed something.  I was having trouble understanding the woman on the phone.  I also couldn't stop her from script-reading; I asked for access to be restored to the online system so I could look at what, if anything, had gotten through their screen, and was refused - then script resumed.

I asked for a supervisor.  My first question: "Where are you?"

Answer (no, I'm not making this up!): "A caribbean island"

[Oct 27, 2009] Hutton- "Mervyn King is right"

[Oct 26, 2009] More on the "Job Loss" Recovery

"How about we call it a recoveryless recovery? Then we can be accurate and the Dems can take credit for a recovery..." Potyomkin recovery might be even better term...
10/25/2009 | CalculatedRisk

From Carolyn Lochhead at the San Francisco Chronicle: Experts see rebounding economy shedding jobs

Forget a jobless recovery. The economy may be entering a recovery with job losses.
... ... ...


alchemist move over- Bernanke and Co. don't need you guys anymore. Grow and economy while putting more people out of work. Lead to gold anybody?

Angry Saver:

 I'll say it again. There is no such thing as a jobless recovery.

Angry Saver, you are a born and bred American dope of the highest order. As long as the jobs and wealth of the bankers and top 1/100th of 1% are saved it IS a recovery. The jobs and wealth of the majority are meaningless in the new (e)CONomy.

More to the point, this job-loss recovery will be reported as a Fed created miracle and dopes like you will be brainwashed into believing that not only is it a strong recovery, but that asset values are inexpensive and you and other B&BADs should go further into debt to acquire said assets.

And another thing, sock puppets are totally inappropriate.

Angry Saver:

Lead to gold anybody?


How about trash to cash. That seems like more of a miracle than lead to gold, no?

[Oct 26, 2009] Bohemian Bankruptcy – A tragedy by Drag Queen

"Excellent Vocals! Excellent Adaption! Excellent Sound!"
Perfect for a Saturday Night!

I posted this when there were 50 views — lets see how many this thing cranks up to . . .

Hat tip Mike!


[Oct 26, 2009] The Vilification of Goldman Sachs’ Pay Practices

It is that these folks — many of whom are assholes — make oodles and oodles of money, much more than they would be permitted to if a munificent and just deity were paying closer attention to this little ball of earth and water

[Oct 25, 2009] Citigroup's Hail Mary Pass: How To Know Citigroup Is In Serious Trouble

That actually smells Lehman:  It might be that Citibank real problem is rolling the short term financing it uses to lend money to cardholders. So they were cut off oxygen themselves and need to react.
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

This sort of "terms change", which is an effective declaration of default even against those who haven't defaulted (see above; the same 30% rate is being applied to defaulted and non-defaulted accounts!), will drive two consumer behaviors that could ultimately destroy Citibank's credit card business and perhaps the bank as a whole:

A significant number of people, on receipt of this notice and understanding what it means (a declaration that non-defaulted accounts are being charged the same penalty rate as a defaulted account!) will immediately go out and charge up the entire unused balance on their card and then intentionally default.

In short, this looks to me like a "Hail Mary" pass. If Citigroup is looking for an award, it can take the blue ribbon for greed, arrogance, and stupidity in the off balance sheet category.

[Oct 24, 2009] Wall St. Is Winning Elizabeth Warren Speechless About Record Bonuses Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance

Who is our bigger enemy? Folks in Afghanistan or companies like Goldman??

[Oct 24, 2009] The truth about banks and dogs

Over-aggressive, yappy and totally incapable of fending for themselves - today's banks are similar to small breeds of dogs created by man's manipulation of nature.

[Oct 24, 2009] Gloating with Wall Street's goodfellas

If the intention of United States economic mandarins was that tough regulations would force the large investment banks that survived the crisis to adapt to quiet, reserved suburban lifestyles, the reality is that they've acted more like former gangsters placed into a witness protection program, taking over the numbers racket on the Saturday pee-wee sports fields.

[Oct 24, 2009] The Bernanke-nator

"This Fed has neither the will nor the inclination to preemptively tighten policy. They will keep the pedal to the metal until they drive us over the cliff ";-)
Interest Rate Roundup

Just a thought, but maybe we should call our Federal Reserve Chairman the "Bernanke-nator." As Kyle Reese said in the original Terminator movie ...

"Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until your dollars are worthless."

[Oct 24, 2009] New Jersey Pays Goldman Sachs for Interest-Rate Swaps on Nonexistent Bonds

See also Asymmetric Information Strikes Again - The Market Ticker

The most-densely populated U.S. state is making the payments under an agreement made during the administration of former Governor James E. McGreevey in 2003, when New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund Authority sold $345 million in auction-rate bonds whose yields fluctuated with short-term interest costs

The trust fund paid $4.5 million in penalty interest payments when the auction-rate market collapsed and some borrowers’ costs soared. After it failed to put together a sale of a different type of variable-rate bonds, New Jersey then issued 11-year, fixed-rate notes yielding 4.18 percent in August 2008, according to the Office of Public Finance.

Refinancing the bonds cost $2.1 million, reducing the authority’s savings on the transaction to $3.3 million, state records show.

Since then, the fund has paid almost four times that amount on a contract that hedges nothing.

For New Jersey, the swap became “a tool for no purpose,” former regulator Taylor said.

New Jersey, which Moody’s Investors Service called “one of the largest users of swaps in the municipal market,” has 28 such contracts outstanding on $4.4 billion worth of debt, according to a monthly valuation report.

[Oct 24, 2009] Dollar’s Doom Puts a Face on New $1 Million Bill David Reilly -

This raises for some the prospect of a dollar crash and runaway inflation. That is why it may pay to start thinking about the design of a $1 million bill.

Face in the Crowd

So whose face should adorn this new bill? Here are some candidates with the winner at the end.

Great Reminder

Mirror Image

And the winner is: A little mirror that allows U.S. consumers to see their own reflection.

[Oct 23, 2009] Guest Post- Herding the Sheep

The change we can believe in turned to be a status quo ;-)

“Citizens, it is believed with some justification, cannot handle the truth.”

[Oct 22] Goldman Sachs Doesn't Have Government Guarantee, Viniar Says ...

GS CFO David Viniar sure has a good sense of humor. He might think working part-time for Onion in retirement.

[Oct 21, 2009] Who is Carlos Slim

The Baseline Scenario

Lloyd Blankfein said, to an aide, on their way to the greatest sales job in the history of the republic, “You’re getting out of a Mercedes to go to the New York Federal Reserve.  You’re not getting out of a Higgins boat on Omaha beach.”

[Oct 21, 2009] Here Comes the Windfall Profit Tax -- The Big Picture


Ringo Starr said it best:

We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden with you.

… seems the Vampire Squid needs someone there, to tell ‘em what to do.


Please pay GS bonuses in GS stocks, not deliverable before 2014.

[Oct 21, 2009] Goldman Sachs Salutes America’s Working Men

"They screw us. We ridicule them. Guess who’s laughing."

Winston Munn:


New York, New York
October 21, 2009

Goldman Sachs today announced they would lay off 1500 U.S. Treasury Department employees and cut the salaries of another 52,000 federal workers in order to compensate for lower-than-anticipated bonuses for Goldman Sachs executives.

In a bipartisan measure meant to reassure those federal workers affected, both the House and Senate passed by voice vote a “Fuck it, What Are We Supposed To Do About It?” resolution to absolve themselves from any blame over loss of wages, jobs, or home.

[Oct 21, 2009] Wall Street Mess Welcome to Zombieland USA

The ‘green manure’ recovery ;-) It seems no matter how large the cracks and fractures in our institutions become, the camera stays firmly pointed at the facade. As reader Hugh remarked (Oct 10, 2009): "The whole financial sector is bankrupt. Banks, investment banks, hedge funds, private equity, pensions, bonds, insurance, it is all paper chasing its own tail... And we don’t have just one emperor with new clothes we have a whole kingdom that is naked."

Welcome to Zombieland USA

The new movie - Zombieland - about a group of survivors in a world of zombies did fairly well at the box office. I can already picture the sequel......

Welcome to Zombieland USA - starring Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, Hank Paulson, and a cast of thousands of Wall Street banksters.

Survivors of the US economic bubble of 2002-2007 must defend themselves from the zombies!

Survivors are being attacked in the streets, in their homes, and in their workplaces. Zombie banks - kept alive only by artificial stimulants provided by the feds - take the survivors' money and their homes.

Meanwhile other zombies at the Federal Reserve and the Treasury department gnaw at survivors' savings by debasing the dollar and thus encouraging inflation. The only goal of these zombies is to allow the US to repay their debts with nearly worthless dollars.

All kidding aside, what we have done in this country is that we have saved zombie companies with zombie assets (debts that must be repaid for generations to come) at the expense of the living, breathing engine of the true free market capitalist system - small businesses and the middle class.

[Oct 20, 2009] Hank Paulson Held A Secret Meeting With Goldman Sachs In Moscow



Gordon & other PERMA BULLS =

the Stock Market was NOT created to create wealth for YOU re-read above over and over till it sinks in

the Stock Market = IPO and Secondary do not have your retirement in mind

IPO = so insiders can SELL OUT a BUSINESS = you should ask only one question WHY?

Secondary Market = so people that bought the IPO can sell = once again ask WHY?

do you notice that NONE of this has anything to do with your retirement

the Stock Market as retirement machine is an invention of the Wall St. Shills that sell PRODUCTS

all of the big money made on Shill St. is made SELLING ADVICE / PRODUCTS not following the advice or owning the products

how long before you wake the fuck up?

grey on Oct 20, 6:10 PM said:

GAZA: Gaza makes an important point here. In life, to fully understand something, one needs to try to look at things from as many angles as possible. The 'angle' that GAZA is referring to to relook at the stock market from the insider's (or "seller's" if you will) point of view.

Over the past 40+ years, a common perception had grown that the "stock market" is the ideal place to put money for retirement. Well, ...

We all should have learned the true nature of these "wall street insider's" over the past two years ... scumbags who would sell their grandmothers into slavery for the cost of a sandwich. The thought that they care in the least about laws, honor, ethics is just laugh-out-loud funny. If they are selling you something, you can guarantee that it is very bad for you. They are selling stocks - so why buy from these dirtballs? They not only would screw you out of your money in a heartbeat ; that is what they do, all of them, all of the time. That is how they make their money. You are the sheep; they hold the knife, and they are addicted to your blood. Open your eyes and stop walking willingly towards the slaugherhouse. ReThink! Stocks are not "for the long run", nor for the short run, nor for any "run". Actually, run is a good term, as in "run in the other direction".

I predict, and apparently so does Gaza, that in short time, the common perception of the stock market as a wise place for investment will change drastically, and people will be no more likely to put their retirement savings in the stock market as they would to put it all on "Red" over in Vegas. Actually, that is not quite fair, since in Vegas at least you have the pretty lights ... and maybe free food ...

I am not yet a gold-bug, but I might be soon enough.

[Oct 21, 2009] On the US dollar, Europe Sings a Classic Meatloaf Hit, Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

The strong dollar policy is the rock solid foundation of the strong dollar policy.

You can't make this stuff up.

...Please consider Treasury Secretary Snow reiterates strong dollar policy.
AP Worldstream
Dateline: NEW YORK
U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow reiterated Friday that the Bush administration has a strong dollar policy.

Snow's comments, made in an interview with CNBC, came as the dollar sat at an all-time low against the euro and near a 4 1/2-year low against the yen.

Asked if the administration has a policy of benign neglect toward the U.S. currency or if it still has a strong dollar policy, Snow said, "Well of course, there has been (a strong dollar policy) and it continues. It's the rock solid foundation of our policy."

[Oct 21, 2009] One of the few growth industries left in the USA

The multi-billion dollar business of tattoo removal is enjoying some recession-proof growth -- with one LA-based clinic even planning on going public next year to help fund a national expansion plan.

"More than 40 million people have tattoos and about seven million, or 17 percent, are in the process of figuring out how to get rid of them," said John Keefe, the CEO of Dr. Tatoff, a Californian tattoo removal clinic, who hopes to use the proceeds from a 2010 initial public offering to grow to a 10-location chain.

"More than 66 percent of those tattooed are between the ages of 25 and 45 and what was cool to them at 18 is an eyesore now that they are a mother with kids," says Keefe. The executive said revenue per client is about $1,600 -- which comes out to $40 per square inch, per laser treatment with an average of 10 treatments required. The average tattoo is four square inches, he said.

"It costs 10 times more to remove a tattoo than to put one on and it takes one year for safe and effective removal," says Keefe.

The national market is currently fragmented, with dermatologists operating on a one-off basis and usually not dedicating their entire practice to tattoos removal.

The growing unemployment rate is also helping the company ink new business as job hunters feel the need to be competitive. Of course, many look to get rid of their tattoos because of personal taste -- they may have simply fallen out of love with their tattoos or out of love with the name of the person indelibly inked on their arm.

[Oct 21, 2009] Einhorn on gold, sovereign risk, and more

[Oct 21, 2009] King gets Churchillian and declares- ‘Break up the banks’

Never in the field of financial endeavour has so much money been owed by so few  to so many. And, one might add, so far with little real reform.

[Oct 20, 2009] Munchau Next Crisis Coming Sooner Than You Think

naked capitalism

Vinny G.:

Indeed, indeed, the next crisis is nigh at hand. Behold, it is descending upon us already, like a thief in the night!

You need to be prepared. So, once again, here’s Dr. Vinny’s 5-easy step prescription for your continued health and well being:

1.) A residence outside of the US and Western Europe

2.) 2+ passports

3.) Enough physical gold and silver to survive for at least 20 years

4.) A high quality blue-ray recorder and digital cable service, so you can record in high definition the collapse of the evil western world as we know it

5.) A stockpile of high quality coffee and a decent cappuccino machine, so you can maximize your viewing pleasure of the recordings made in point (D) above.

Now, if you have not already covered items (1) through (3) above, may I politely ask, “What is wrong with you?”

Vinny G.


The System seems incapable of dealing with the after-effects of previous bubbles without blowing new ones. This process reminds one of that definition of insanity that goes something like “… doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.” Meanwhile, the Wall Street makes off like bandits, the middle class shrinks even further, and the country is in deeper debt…

This surely cannot go on forever.

Vinny G.:

These bubbles do resemble the process of addiction, where relapse is part of the very definition and diagnosis of the disorder.

Unfortunately, addictions are not an easy thing to treat. Take an alcoholic, for example. The physiological withdrawal from alcohol (although painful and potentially dangerous) clears up in a matter of days. However, the psychological addiction lingers on for a lifetime. Every time such a “recovering” addict passes by the bar where he used to hang out, the cravings will return. Every Friday evening rolls around (when he used to do most of his drinking), the cravings will return. And, most importantly, every time one of his old drinking buddies calls, the cravings will return. In order for this person to truly prevent relapse, he needs to end his contact with his drinking friends, needs to take a different route back home (avoiding the bar where he used to hang out), and needs to fill his Friday evenings with non-drinking activities such as going to see a movie or two.

The same is true about our society which is addicted to easy credit, excessive consumption, and an arrogant attitude of entitlement. The booze pushers here are Wall Street, so we need to cut them down to size, and we need to get them out of our face so we don’t have to listen to their lies and empty promises day in and day out. Then we need a radical change in lifestyle. No more credit, no more keeping up with the Johnses, no more getting a new car every 3 years, no more 3000 square feet homes for a family of 3. It is possible, but it takes work. And, first and foremost, it takes putting Wall Street in its place.

Just a few thoughts from a guy who dealt with a lot of addicts.

Vinny G.

Vinny G.:

If I may add to my analogy between addiction and our economic system above:

The fundamental question that any addict must answer is the following: “Is it worth going through all the trouble of kicking the addiction, losing your current friends, changing your lifestyle, just not to drink anymore? Is it worth doing this, especially considering that that is the only thing you know how to do well?”

The answer is emphatically “Yes!” In the long run the life of any “recovering” addict will be infinitely better. His relationship with his wife will improve immensely (assuming she did not already leave him, as she should have, years ago), his children and grandchildren will now not be afraid to hang around him, and his relationship with the rest of the family will improve immensely. Additionally, his legal standing will improve (no more DUIs or spending the night in jail after a bar fight). The money that used to be spent on booze can now be spent on more constructive and useful things. His health will also improve dramatically, with the probability of dying of liver disease or ending up with dementia decreasing radically. And, his mental stability will improve for the better — no more alcoholic mood swings, no more unprovoked explosions, and a dramatic improvement in self-esteem. All these are good things.

The same type of improvement can occur at national level if we change our economic model to one that is not based on financial addiction. An America without a Wall Street driven economy will no longer need to get into mindless wars, it will not be hated or despised by most of the world, and will be able to provide decent health care and education for its people, rather than paying off massive bailouts to the crooks that caused the problems to begin with. We can then rebuilt this decaying infrastructure, enjoy a prosperous lifestyle anchored into reality rather than phony credit, and most importantly, we will be able to live in peace with the rest of the world.

All it takes is putting this Wall Street drug cartel in its place. Yet, this entire discussion is purely academic, considering this cartel of criminals already turned this nation into the type of plutocracy they had wanted. As such, I simply need to refer the “sane” people amongst us to my “Dr. Vinny’s 5-easy step prescription for continued health and well being” above.

Vinny G.

[Oct 20, 2009] Lloyd Blankfein Goldman Sachs Was Never At Risk To Fail Except For When It Was, Which Would Explain The Screaming And Crying Coming From My Office

As another headline aptly states "Goldman Sachs Freaked Out Over Being So Damn Good It Hurts"

“We would have been in that snowball tumbling down the hill with everybody else. It would be ludicrous to say otherwise. As a member of the system, we were all at risk. I will tell you I was more scared than you, because I was closer to it and I knew more. If you had known as much I did, you would have been as scared as I was.”

[Oct 20, 2009] Alan Blinder Gives Obama an "A-" for Making the Bankers Richer Than Ever

"Of course Blinder (what an unfortunately apt name for an establishment economist!) is a major stakeholder in the status quo"

The American Prospect

In his monthly column, Princeton economist Alan Blinder gave President Obama an "A-" for his financial rescue plan, commending him for "wisely resisted the siren songs coming from both the left (“nationalize the banks”)."

Of course, Professor Blinder does not have a clue about what would have happened if we tried some path of nationalization. (This guy couldn't even see an $8 trillion housing bubble.) We do know what has happened in the absence of nationalization. The banks share of corporate profits now exceeds even the peaks reached in the bubble years. The executives at banks like Goldman Sachs stand to earn higher bonuses than ever before. Nothing has been done to prevent a comparable collapse in the future and there is every reason to believe that the financial sector will siphon off an even larger share of GDP in the future than it did in the past.

If this merits an "A-," then Professor Blinder is a very easy grader.

--Dean Baker

Selected comments


Maybe Obama should be flunked for using others' work. The bank rescue plan was conceived and mostly executed during the Bush administration. It was designed by actual bank executives like Paulson and their supporters in the Fed including Bernanke and Geithner. Obama has simply carried on the policy of letting the big banks regulate themselves and back up their mistakes with taxpayer money.

Blinder himself is a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve - should grades be given out by the students themselves?


"If this merits an "A-," then Professor Blinder is a very easy grader."

He can't help it. He's an intellectually insipid academic welfare tart.


"The last duty of a central banker is to tell the truth."

A personal motto to which Alan Blinder has always been faithful.

[Oct 20, 2009] More Words from the Wise

October 18, 2009 | Financial Armageddon

Diane Garnick, Investment Strategist, Invesco:

"The credit crisis may be over, but the credibility crisis is just getting started."

Richard Bookstaber, Author, A Demon of Our Own Design:

"Derivatives are the current weapon of choice for gaming the system."

[Oct 20, 2009] Nader on Obama A Frightened Man Very Disappointing

Yahoo! Finance


If War is Peace and Peace is War, then Peace Prize, War Prize, whatever...Is there a Banker's Puppet Prize?

[Oct 20, 2009] Robert Shiller We Could Have Another Housing Boom But I Doubt It

...hey, the DOW is booming so who cares about housing .. who cares about jobs.. the DOW is booming..that's all that matters...

[Oct 17, 2009] Where The Hell Is The Outrage

Except for the banksters and the offshoring CEOs, there is no source of consumer demand to drive the US economy.

[Oct 17, 2009] Is the Recession Over The Big Picture#comments

We are broke. (That is with the exception of those Goldman Sachs employees who are buying the imported luxury goods.)

“Like Bill Maher once said (I paraphrase), ‘Only in America do we see breast cancer as an opportunity to make a buck.’”

[Oct 17, 2009] Online Follow the money By Matt Bivens

Oct 8, 2009 | Asia Times

There are many possible responses to the news that the United States government has committed more than US$4 trillion of public money to Wall Street. Mine is a roar of admiration. Four trillion dollars! Holy hell! I didn't even know that was possible! USA! USA!

After all, the cost of World War II in inflation-adjusted dollars was $4 trillion. This bailout thing is just getting started, and already we've burned through that. Without even noticing. Certainly without rationing sugar or collecting scrap rubber or any of that nonsense. Who's the Greatest Generation now, baby?

[Oct 17, 2009] Jon Stewart: "Party Like it's 1999!"

Compare with Stephen Colbert  the-money-shot
10/16/2009 | CalculatedRisk

Dow Jones Rebounds to 1999

Selected Comments


Kudos to Max Keiser, my new hero.

Time mark is 4:55:

“Another SUICIDE BOMBERS operation, give us another $ 700 Billion or we are going blow this economy up, you know these bankers in WallStreet are the equivalent of SUICIDE BOMBERS in another countries. They threaten to blow themselves up and blow up the economy in an exchange for huge bailout money”

YouTube - Max Keiser - Face Off - "Is the Crisis Over?" (1/2)


TJ and The Bear wrote:

That Stewart clip is hilarious, especially the ending. Gawd that guy is good!

Anyone that knows anything should realize that 10K in 2009 isn't worth anywhere near what it was in 1999, too.

That last comment had me rolling. Same with the dollar vs. dow inverted graphs. Hmmm... J6P might be waking up.

[Oct 17, 2009] Is the Recession Over The Big Picture#comments

Marcus Aurelius:

We (meaning, in this case, TPTB) didn’t recognize the recession until it was 2 or 3 quarters old. Now, the same people are prematurely (and, in my mind, dishonestly) saying that it’s over. What would motivate them to do such a thing?

Who ya’ gonna’ believe – people who would benefit should you believe what they’re telling you, or your own lying eyes?

[Oct 17, 2009] Quelle Suprise! Banking Profits Might Be Due to Big Government Subisdies!


... No, rape is a good and accurate word. And when firms counterfeit credit, inflate profits falsely, blow themselves up, get bailed out by taxpayers, pay bonuses with taxpayer monies and laugh in your face — they are raping you and they are “rapists” at an elemental level.

And so the good men and women, the MBAs, CFAs, the gentle yoga class going, bottled water drinking, organic food eating, marathon running and symphony going worker bees in the brutal corners and principal trading desks of the financial industrial complex — Yes, you are “rapists”. And you, central bankers, academics, bailout lobbyists and regulator enablers. You are aiding and abetting financial rape.

You don’t like that word, do you? It makes you get angry and squirm a bit.

Yeah, that’s the point.

Now think about it. And imagine what if feels like for the person underneath you, while you’re doing it to them.

[Oct 17, 2009] Wealth Matters - All This Anger Against the Rich May Be Unhealthy By PAUL SULLIVAN

Looks like banksters pay well for NYT pen-pimps...  As one commenter on this crap aptly noted “Bowties and Reaganomics are for losers. You can cry for the rich all you want, the rest of us will be happy to see them get taxed.”
October 16, 2009 |

...if you’re wealthy and no one likes you, you still have lots of money. But if you spend your free time obsessing about the rich, you could end up in worse shape emotionally, personally and financially.

“People who get caught up in this paranoia spend all night reading these blogs, and six months later they haven’t done anything to better themselves,” Dr. Dammann said. “Even if they’re right, there is a lot of wasted energy put into this. They need to look at the mistakes they’ve made in their life.”

[Oct 17, 2009] Your Rights Online Story IBM, Intel Execs Arrested Over Insider Trading


spun (1352)

It's called, 'getting caught.' You see, when you get caught, everyone else in business has to pretend they don't do it, and that they are shocked! Shocked and appalled at the bad apples ruining the barrel. By 'bad apples,' they mean, 'people just like me except they got caught' and by 'ruining the barrel,' they mean, 'drawing the attention of the peons to our utter corruption.'


 Alter Relationship It's just the bad 99% giving the other 1% a bad name. ;-)

[Oct 16, 2009] Blankfein Puts Mouth Where Goldman’s Profit Is

"The pig men over stepped and were aided and abetted by Congress and the Bush administration. Congress abdicated its oversight responsibility and let the pig men go wild."

... Chief Financial Officer David Viniar [told] that the firm doesn’t have a too- big-to-fail guarantee from the government

[Oct 16, 2009] What Caused the Financial Crisis

Travis Fast:

I suppose smart *rich* guys using other peoples money to buy-off congress, the senate, and the regulators would have been more accurate.


Hey, I read recently that it was because the government had been interfering too much in the markets. If the government hadn't had so many regulations, etc., the market wouldn't have collapsed. It was the government's fault. LOL I like that interpretation. I like crazy ideas. America deserves lots of crazy ideas circulating around to confuse people. That's what makes America so adorable: a population of confused people. Just relax and enjoy it.

Buffett agrees, I think, with the guy in the bar. He famously said (channeling Vigil): "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."


Some truth to that state about smart guys. Set the Wabac machine to 1997 when two men wone and shared the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences:   
"Nine months before LTCM failed 1997, Merton and Scholes shared the Nobel prize in economics. Merton, Scholes and Stanford's William Sharp (famous for developing the sharp ratio to measure risk) are some of the founders of modern finance, which attempts to apply quantitative techniques to market analysis. Merton and Scholes jumped at the chance to join LTCM where they could not only apply their theoretical work but make a great deal of money. " "When Genius Failed."   
In 1998, LTCM failed as its $4.6 billion collateral ran out on the hedged $100 billion leveraged for $1.4 trillion. Damn Russians . . .   

[Oct 16, 2009] Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal

Beat the Press Archive | The American Prospect

Given the quality of the economics reporting, parents would be well-advised to prohibit their children from reading the Washington Post so that they don't get confused on basic arithmetic concepts.

[Oct 16, 2009] MSM Reporting as Propaganda (No One Minds Our New Financial Masters Edition)

our press corps hasn’t yet managed to draw a distinction between good news on Wall Street for companies like Goldman, and good news in reality.

[Oct 16, 2009] Blast from the past Worldwide

`The low-hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government.

``All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other sides of my trades. God Bless America.''

[Oct 15, 2009] Fed's Kohn: Economic Outlook

10/13/2009 | CalculatedRisk


The social conscience:


We firmly believe that new household formation, and standard 'natural wastage' of puppies will assure continued strong puppy demand, and that the minor retrenching of delivered puppies is a temporary phenomenon.

This assures a permanently high plateau in puppy demand.

Juvenal Delinquent:

Never underestimate the power of words and ideas, once planted in well-grounded mindfields.


 Demagoguery is a wonderful palliative.


scone wrote:

I think that's what's going on at the Fed and Treasury now.

Hmmm. I think you are being too "nice". In my cynical world the people at the top (which the Fed is) are the best that society has to offer. It's a natural selection thing. The people that run the financial system in the US are the smartest amoral scum-bags in our society. That's why they are running off with all the loot. The Fed isn't THE smartest people - otherwise they'd be working for GS - but they are still smart amoral scum-bags, and are ONLY concerned with saving their betters (the smarter amoral scum-bag above them).

The Fed, Treasure, Congress, both Parties have evolved to have the best people of our society running things. These people are now looting the country. It's all working as evolution intented.

[Oct 15, 2009] Goldman Sachs- “A Bunch of Clever Thugs”

Who cares about “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” if you can take couple of million bucks as a bonus...
October 15th, 2009

Goldman executives were wounded by how seriously Mr Taibbi’s piece was taken despite their riposte that vampire squids are small creatures that present no danger to humanity.

  1. bsneath:

    Definition of a Clever Thug:

    “And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Sir John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

  2.  Transor Z:

    The best or elite in any occupation be it sports or investment banking are always suffering from public opinion.

    That must be why the elite surgeons who reattach limbs, transplant faces, save people with traumatic injuries get so much bad press for their work. And elite fire jumpers are so hated by society. And personally, there’s nothing I hate more than an elite marathon runner. It’s all about the glamor with them and they never sign autographs.

  3. Robespierre:
    “The Golden Years of the Capone Era Al Capone and Rocky Point Mexico – Puerto Penasco

    At the age of twenty-six, Al Capone assumed control of the Torrio Organization, with over one thousand people on the payroll of $300,000 a week.

    The profits continued to roll in because the majority of people felt that betting and bootlegging were minor vices and the man that made these things possible was a public servant who did what he could to meet the needs of the people. Capone, himself attempted to put his feeling in regards to his business by stating,

    “This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.”

    “Public service is my motto. Ninety percent of the people in Chicago drink and gamble. I’ve tried to serve them decent liquor and square games. But I’m not appreciated. I’m know all over the world as a millionaire gorilla.”

    Now does that sound familiar to anyone?

  4. Mannwich:

    But they totally “deserve” all that bonus money. Heck, they deserve MORE for being such “brilliant” crim….., I mean, “business-people”, yeah, business-people. That’s the ticket.

[Oct 15, 2009] Mirable Dictu! The Republicans Are Now Scheming to Tank the Market!

Team Obama’s only claim to fame thus far. And in case you missed it, it appears that all this great PR is working. They managed to turn a combo relief rally/short squeeze into something bigger by getting the media to play along (this is not just our conclusion, BTW).

And then they cleverly pointed to the stock market as proof certain that Things Are Getting Better when the reality is Things Are Merely Getting Worse Less Rapidly.

But this is America, the land of open skies, pink flamingoes, Prozac, and plastic surgery, so we’ll happily go along with the idea that maybe the powers that be can restore status quo ante, since the alternative is painful, and we don’t do the hair shirt and sack cloth routine very well.

[Oct 15, 2009] Wall Street Vs Main Street

Speaking to financial executives last month, Obama said: “We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess that was at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses.”

Here is a link to the raw data, below a list of the top 10. NOTE: This includes only public companies


[Oct 15, 2009] Much Ado About Nothing $23B Goldman Sachs Bonus The Big Picture#comments

“Sheesh… it’s a corporate welfare system w/a CAPITALISM sign hanging out front.”

[Oct 15, 2009] Calvin Trillin’s Theory

According to Calvin Trillin (or, more accurately, the probably-at-least-semi-fictional interlocutor he meets at a bar in Midtown), the financial crisis was caused by smart people going to work on Wall Street. In the old days, the story goes, it was the lower third of the class that went to Wall Street, and “by the standards that came later, they weren’t really greedy. They just wanted a nice house in Greenwich and maybe a sailboat. A lot of them were from families that had always been on Wall Street, so they were accustomed to nice houses in Greenwich. They didn’t feel the need to leverage the entire business so they could make the sort of money that easily supports the second oceangoing yacht.”

Then, however, as college debts and Wall Street pay grew in tandem, the smart kids started going to Wall Street to make the money, leading to derivatives and securitization, until finally: “When the smart guys started this business of securitizing things that didn’t even exist in the first place, who was running the firms they worked for? Our guys! The lower third of the class! Guys who didn’t have the foggiest notion of what a credit default swap was.”

Selected comments

  1. The cream rises to the top. Our system gives our best and brightest astronomical rewards for extracting rents and fees from the productive economy. And amazingly, we don’t even call it sociopathy.

    As a wise woman once said, eventually you run out of other people’s money.

  2. “Society is like a cup of coffee: the dregs sink to the bottom while the scum rises to the top.”

    – G. B. Shaw (?)

  3. Then of course there’s the Hemingway novel, via Hunter S. Thompson:

    The Scum Also Rises

[Oct 15, 2009] FOMC Minutes Considerable Uncertainty about Economic Growth when Fiscal Stimulus Wanes Hoocoodanode

Looks like "FOMC whatever" tattoo will be immensely popular in 2010...


It must be fun when you get to run the Economic experiment, write the history book detailing the results and have full control over all editorial changes as well as own the publishing house.

Rob Dawg:

• Jobless nonrecovery
• Federalconomy for the indefinite future
• Vietnam type entanglement in the markets
• We were wrong and don't know what we are doing


Hence the "pushing on a string" metaphor.

Stop confusing Mr. Sixpack.

Dow 10K, all the way!


There are some unfortunate names among the attendees:

Ms. Low, Open Market Secretariat Specialist, Division of Monetary Affairs, Board of Governors

Clearly, she needs to be replaced by Ms. High before things will turn around!


I don't dare tell him to look at the dollar, as he obviously is clueless anyhow.

Hearing some happy talk here at work also. 401k's recovering. Most people aren't planing on selling their houses anyway, so that housing-problem is fading. The virtual wealth affect. Things are looking up dude. Yeah, like totally. Sure paid off to stay in stocks dude. Yeah, dude, gotta think long-term dude. Totally. Feel sorry for those pussies that sold! HA!!! (High-five) Dude, Merica rocks, dude.


I'm not a f***ing consumer, I am a United States Citizen. Damn corporate media.

You will be assimilated!


Check CNN, Obama is quitting and joining the Village People...


Yep...will fiscal and monetary policy be in the hands of alumni of Citibank, or of Goldman? Or maybe it's time to turn it over to former employees of J.P. Morgan.

Our two party state - the party of GS and the party of JPM.

[Oct 14, 2009] Wall Street rewind and the coming bout of ‘squid’ outrage

FT Alphaville

[Oct 14, 2009] Jim Rogers on the Next 10 Years -- Seeking Alpha

“He’s going to run those printing presses until we run out of trees, because that’s the only thing he knows,” Rogers said of Bernanke.

[Oct 14, 2009] Calculated Risk Rosenberg on Economy String of lowercase Ws for the next five years

We could call these alligator teeth:

“It’s going to look like this whole string of lowercase Ws for the next five years,” with periods of growth followed by periods of contraction.


Oh the irony that one of Dubya's legacy is using his initial to describe the economy as it bounces among cliff branches and ravine bottoms.
Now when the economy starts doing the same thing after Obama's term, we can describe them as Os as in we are just going in circles like being stuck in an undercurrent.

From the market peak in 9/1929 until 9/1938 (nine years later), the S&P 500 had annualized real total returns (including dividends) of -2.95%.

From the market peak in 9/2000 through 8/2009 (nine years later), the S&P 500 had annualized real total returns (including dividends) of -4.82%!!!

In real terms, stocks in the first nine years of the Great Depression outperformed stocks over the past nine years by 18% (nine years @ 1.87%)!!! Of course Nasdaq investors fared much worse (winners of the new world, woohoo! Cramer rocks!).


Oops, somone at the London office of Marketwatch did not eat the roastbeef:

By MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- In a decision as shocking as Friday's surprise peace prize win, President Obama failed to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Monday.


gibbons'the decline and fall of the roman empire" is in ten books. our decline and fall maybe in half that.

Rob Dawg:

Ah - that's why I see so much crying to audit the Fed. Then all of the dirty laundry comes out, and people have to accept that this country is bankrupt. Eep.

First you have to admit you have a problem.

"Hi. My name is America and I have a credit addiction."

"Hi, America!!"

"Thanks. It's been 36 years now since I even pretended I could control my urges. It's ruined my health, my relationships, everything."

"We, know america. We've been there."

"The thing is I wake up and I realize I haven't hit bottom yet. That depresses and so I make myself feel better by going deeper into debt. At this point I'm powerless. I need an intervention... [sobs]"

"S'Okay America. we want to help. this is Hu. He'll be your mentor and guide."

"Hi, Hu."

"Hi, America. Let's go spend money to make you feel better. We'll start austerity tomorrow."

"Thanks, you're a great friend... [walk out arm in arm]"

[Oct 12, 2009] Larry Kantor: another bullish clown

Hat tip to Calculated Risk. This was Jun 30, 2008. Another nice candidate for Abby Joseph Cohen award.
Jun 30, 2008 | Telegraph

Larry Kantor is not like other economists. While his peers have been engaged in a vicious spat as to who can predict the darkest scenario for the American economy, Kantor has been quietly and self-assuredly forecasting quite the opposite.

In spite of oil closing at a new all-time record above $140 on Friday, more than one million Americans facing the loss of their homes, and major US stock markets on the verge of entering a bear market, Kantor remains one of a small band of economists to remain positive on the prospects for US financial wellbeing.

Kantor, global head of research at Barclays Capital, predicts that the US economy will experience a growth rate of 3pc in the second half.

Confused? You shouldn't be, argues the straight-talking American. The US economy is not doomed, he argues, as evidenced in the strength of consumer spending.

The more common school of thought suggests that US consumers have stopped spending because they're being hit by a double whammy of being unable to sell their home and price inflation.

"But there's no empirical evidence to support that at all," says Kantor. "If that were the case, you'd see the savings rate go up. In other words, people would be spending less out of their income, but they're not, they're spending the same amount."

The big change is that "more of that spending is being taken up by higher prices for gasoline and food, leaving less of that money for discretionary spending".

Although he admits the rising oil price could knock his forecast - due to the average American's reliance on his or her car - his research implies that it will not keep on increasing, in spite of his firm belief that the current price run is based on "fundamentals, not a bubble".

"Yes, $140 is a high price, but we see the price average for 2008 between $125 and $130, and could even go as low as $110."

Kantor argues that for his forecasts to be proven accurate, the price at the pump doesn't need to go down, it just needs to stabilise.

Growth in the second half will, he argues, be driven by the Bush administration's $150bn (£75bn) fiscal stimulus package and the fact that the US housing market will finally reach its nadir after almost two years of trying.

He estimates that Americans will spend roughly 30pc of their $600-$1,200 rebate cheques - " an enormous impact" - helping to boost growth in the third quarter, with the rebate effect steadying off in the fourth quarter, by which time fuel prices should also have steadied.

On the housing market, Kantor is not naïve, acknowledging that the contraction has been "dramatic", but he points to recent home sales data which appear to be showing some signs of stability at last.

"I'm not saying that housing is going to bounce. What I am saying is that this big drag on the economy should start to fade in the second half of the year."

[Oct 11, 2009] Constance Ash's discussion of Capitalism: A Love Story:

Hat tip to Angry Bear
There are some scenes that that must have been shot around the period when enraged screwed-over people gathered at the New York Stock Exchange yelling, "Jump! Jump! Jump!" Moore has said in an interview, that while at the NYSE the NY cops came up to him and the crew.

He told them "Hey guys, we’re just here to film a little comedy and we won’t be long," thinking they were going to run him and crew off. The cops responded, "Mike, these bastards took a billion and a half dollars out of our police retirement fund so you just take your time." [emphasis mine]

[Oct 11, 2009] Sell’ for Research Renegades Becomes Business Off Wall Street Bloomberg

Famous Wall Street one trick pony ( aka analyst) Abby Joseph Cohen's has a very strong following ;-). In '08 she called for a sharp rise in the S&P 500 to a 2008 year end-level of 1675.  The index finished the year below 1000.  Ouch.
In October 2008, as the global financial system teetered on the brink of collapse, “sell” calls in U.S. markets constituted 6 percent of the total recommendations by analysts, with “buys” comprising 36 percent and “holds,” 58 percent, according to Bloomberg data.

[Oct 11, 2009] The Incredible Stupidity of Ben Bernanke

The lesson from the Lehman collapse seems to be, "Take whatever you can and, when it crashes, you get to keep it."

Lehman Brothers collapsed one year ago. The U.S. government refused a bailout and warned other financial institutions to be careful. ... Little did the government realize that the whole financial system was one giant Lehman.

[Oct 10, 2009] Death of Petro-Dollar, Told Ya So By Jim Willie CB

the conclusion is easy. ...except to the biased broken bastardos who continue to crawl like cockroaches in corridors of finance on Wall Street.

[Oct 10, 2009] SPY About To Hit 52 Week High... On Lowest Volume Of The Year zero hedge

[Oct 10, 2009] Payback time

Those day the best way to rob bank is to be CEO in one...

The late American bank robber Willie Sutton, when asked why he robbed banks, used to say because that's where they kept the money.

[Oct 9, 2009] Follow the money

Helping banksters is more expensive that fighting Nazi...

The cost of World War II in inflation-adjusted dollars was $4 trillion. This bailout thing is just getting started, and already we've burned through that. Without even noticing.

[Oct 9, 2009] Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

I was certain I was reading an Onion headline

Is the award taxable?

[Oct 9, 2009] Obama's permanent depression By Spengler

It's pretty funny that a chief architect of Great Recession, Ben Bernanke, has earned the confidence of President Barack Obama, who lavished praise on Helicopter Ben :-)

Oct 6, 2009 |  Asia Times

President Barack Obama may be remembered for permanent depression, the way that Leon Trotsky's name is linked with permanent revolution. Fiscal stimulus combined with near-zero interest rates have proven to be a toxic cocktail for the United States, the macroeconomic equivalent of barbiturates and alcohol.

[Oct 9, 2009] Cocaine Survivors Losing London Bonus See End to Bubble’s Binge

‘I finally realize what a shit job I have got,’” Hopley says. “‘If it wasn’t for the bonus, I wouldn’t be working these hours and I wouldn’t be working with these people.’”

[Oct 9, 2009] Saudis Want Aid if World Kicks the Oil Habit

naked capitalism

Why don’t they just start a bank holding company like normal people?

[Oct 8, 2009] Too Politically Connected To Fail In Any Crisis « The Baseline Scenario

Geithner: How about those Yankees?

Blankfein: You betcha! We’ve got some swaps out on those guys right now — a billion in the bank if they lose!

Geithner: Why didn’t you just go to Vegas or use a local bookie?

Blankfein: Then we wouldn’t be able dump the loss on you guys if things do work out.

Geithner: Okey-Dokey. Let me know if you need some help. Oh — somebody’s calling — it’s Barney Frank. (Shouts away from the phone: “Tell him to leave a message!”)

Blankfein: I’m not rooting against the Yankees, but you’ve got to cover your ass!

Geither: Or I’ve got to cover your ass!

[both guys break up laughing]

Just another day at the office for Tim & Lloyd

[Oct 8, 2009] More American Workers Outsourcing Own Jobs Overseas The Onion - America's Finest News Source

A new report from the Department of Labor finds an increasing number of American workers are outsourcing their jobs. For more on this crucial issue, let's go to Joshua Russel in the Money Room.

Thanks Brandon. For years, corporations have been outsourcing their labor to developing nations as a way to cut costs. But recently, many individual employees have been sending their own work overseas. I take the money that I would have spent on coffee and pay someone in India to do my job for me. It's allowed me to unleash my full potential. Philadelphia accountant, Donald Felton, outsources the majority of his daily workload to Jahanara Kashem, an accountant based in Bangalore, India. I give my assignments from my supervision and I send it off to Jahanara. Sometimes, I'll look at it when it's done, but usually, everything is right. Mr. Kashem says he's extremely happy with the .68 cents an hour Donald pays him. I am able to feed my family and Mr. Felton can devote more time to his fantasy football team. And Donald is just of the close to 7 who have come to rely on overseas labor. I've gotten two raises since Jahanara started. He's really good at doing my work. But it's not just lower level employees who have embraced the trend. In Donald's firm, many senior level managers are now outsourcing their jobs as well. Workers representing the companies executive officers meet via conference call every Friday. (arguing in background, between Americans and their outsourced workers in India) Some overseas workers have done so well, they've been able to outsource their own outsourced work to those even poorer them themselves. I pay a starving man in Jakarta one handful of rice per day to fill out the expense reports that are send to me from the U.S. Analyst predict that if the trend continues, by 2 Ahmed Khalili of Afghanistan, will be doing 83% of the globes work. It's a scenario that would suit Donald Felton just fine. I'm trying to get to a point where I can just lay in one place and not have to do anything ever. With the Onion News Network, I'm Joshua Russell.

Thanks Joshua. Personal outsourcing is expected to grow as much as 2 according to the Filipino team that completed the Department of Labor's report. Coming up next: A new study find the meth epidemic is hitting worthless Americans hardest.

[Oct 8, 2009] The Most Hated Rally in Wall Street History

The Big Picture

if you’re deemed too big to fail, given billions of money for close to nothing, and have access to trillions more at the price of NOTHING, your operating profits will be reasonably positive unless you are a complete idiot.

[Oct 8, 2009] Deep Thoughts From Kyle Bass

zero hedge

If money printing could solve so many problems why haven't we done this before and why don't we continue it forever until everyone has their own house, 3 cars, and a yacht?

"Three B's Hedge Fund": Beans, bullets and bullion.

you missed a 'B' in there: Bourbon

You think our ruling oligarchs are better than Robert Mugabe?

[Oct 8, 2009] Cash On The Sidelines" Anti Spin

“Any time you hear a money manager say there’s $3.5 trillion dollars in cash on the sidelines, take your money away from them. Because he doesn’t know what he’s saying.”

[Oct 8, 2009] Quelle Surprise! Bankers Claim Regulating Them Will Be Bad for Us

Which means that we of the great unwashed can look forward to continuing to subsidize them.

[Oct 8, 2009] Banks Under-reserving for Commercial Real Estate Losses


Are you seriously suggesting that banks would play accounting and legal games to avoid owning up to losses and taking a capital writedown?

If so, you must be some kind of Communist!

[Oct 8, 2009] Securitization Drought Exposes Policy Bind, Threatens Recovery « naked capitalism

"Think of the main US banks and dealers, along with their regulators, as the Iraqi government – though without the same unity, purpose or long-term planning…."

[Oct 7, 2009] Tit for tat over derivatives dangers

FT Alphaville

“The industry will argue for self-regulation, which bears the same relationship to regulation that self importance does to importance”

"Derivatives and debt are the needles of finance and bankers will continue to supply them to all the Dr Jekylls and Mr Hydes alike for the foreseeable future as long as there is a buck to be made in the trade."

Satyajit Das

[Oct 7, 2009] Gang that Couldn't Rate Straight

Financial Armageddon


The gang that couldn't rate straight operated in a defunct amusement park that is called US Economy.

[Oct 6, 2009] Ex-Fed Employee Pleads Guilty in Identity-Theft Case (Update1) By David Glovin

Oct 6, 2009   | Bloomberg

A former technical analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York pleaded guilty to federal charges that he used false documents to obtain student loans and a boat loan.

Curtis Wiltshire pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court, about five months after he was charged with bank fraud and identity theft, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said in a statement. His brother, Kenneth Wiltshire, pleaded guilty in the same case last month.

Curtis Wiltshire worked at the New York Fed from 2001 until Feb. 15, when he was fired for conduct unrelated to the alleged student-loan scam, prosecutors said. Investigators said his work computer contained an image of a driver’s license and other documents in the names of other people, including someone who worked at the bank. Wiltshire used them to win student loans of more than $100,000, prosecutors said.

Kenneth Wiltshire helped his brother, using a fraudulent Florida driver’s license as part of his application for a mailbox in Jersey City, New Jersey, prosecutors said. The license photo was that of a Fed employee, they said. A boat loan application addressed to another Fed employee who never sought the loan was sent to the mailbox, prosecutors said.

[Oct 6, 2009] Secret of Stock Markets, Revealed

The Big Picture

Jay Hancock of the Baltimore Sun pulls out the money quote from our commentary yesterday: Finally, the secret of stock markets, revealed:

Barry Ritholtz has the answer to the question that Nobelists, professors, economists and soothsayers have been asking for for 300 years. What drives the stock market?

“Such is the result of giving two million primates lots of money and keyboards and a belief they can make a living based on numbers and letters moving around — on a screen, in a futures pit, on an exchange floor, or even under a buttonwood tree.”

Thanks for the kind words, Jay!

[Oct 6, 2009] Fund My Mutual Fund Guest Post - the Alignment of Asset Reflation and a Collapsed Economy

You can think of the US economy as a kind of defunct amusement park, over which the FED has poured trillions of dollars of syrupy goo. The caramel candy is there for tasting, but it doesn’t turn the machines back on. The ferris wheel is silent.


... ... ...

Our society’s hierarchy rests in part upon the following assumption: that the intellectual capacity of the chairman of the Federal Reserve, with his PhD and his white papers, is superior to that of a mortgage broker from Orange County, California. I think we need an adjustment to this type of assumption.

[Oct 5, 2009] A Short Question For Senior Officials Of The New York Fed

Goldman, “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” morphed in Halliburton. Another vampire squid. What a metamorphose :-)


Clearly the Government is in collusion with Wall St. to keep the gambling parlor doors open.

You know, Barack Obama is looking more like one Class A BS’er. Says one thing, does quite another…..

Yeah, it makes me nostalgic for ol’ W, who always spoke the truth. You know, about the WMDs, torture, the housing bubble, jobs, the greenhouse effect, and anything else you could think of.

I believe he said once: “When I was a boy, I cut down a cherry tree, and my father said ‘George, did you cut down this tree?’ ‘Yes Dad,’ I said, ‘I cannot tell a lie. I hate trees and someday I’ll pave over this place and put a parking lot here.’”

That’s how he got the nickname “Honest George W.”


Michael M Thomas: “I believe GS, a month or so ago, departed bank holding company status and became something else, a strange mutant entity neither fish nor fowl”

They morphed into Dick Cheney?

[Oct 5, 2009] Mohamed El-Erian vs Lakshman Achuthan The Big Picture#comments


>Being wrong doesn’t have consequences anymore.

Yes it does… The more wrong he is, the more likely he’ll be nominated to be Fed chairman!


[Oct 4, 2009] After the Storm No Immaculate Recovery Hoocoodanode

[Oct 3, 2009] FT Alphaville » Blog Archive » Finra get an F - ‘failed to investigate’

All of which forces the question - did anyone do their jobs? Anyone?

[Oct 3, 2009] FT Alphaville » Blog Archive » Dave’s furious

Welcome to the latest new paradigm — jobless prosperity.

[Oct 2, 2009] Uh-Oh: Greenspan Likes Equities ;-)

He’s a regular one man contrary indicator:

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan talks to Bloomberg about the rebound in investment in listed corporations and the impact of that on financial markets.

Video here

[Oct 1, 2009] The Daily Show takes on HFT

High Frequency laughing

“So douchey traders are being replaced by douchey computers?”

“If I know about a stock’s activity a day before it’s insider trading…if I know about a stock’s activity one second before it’s HFT”


[Oct 1, 2009] Red Menace

In best Bolshevism tradition taxpayers are in real danger of becoming plucked chickens

[Oct 1, 2009] Do it Like an Eagle Scout 'Be Prepared' if the Recovery Fails 

Going Concern

Wall Street behaves like a bunch of crack addicts; instead of cutting them off of the financial crack pipe, the powers that be fed their addiction with easier money and more securitization, essentially handing over the dope to the dope fiends instead of serving their regulatory purpose and saying “enough is enough, now give me your keys and sleep it off.” The combination has, of course, proved to be deadly, at least in the financial sense.

[Oct 1, 2009] W/P = MP?

"It takes more than a 9-5 effort to turn the world's most powerful financial, economic and military super power into an indebted, dysfunctional and militarily impotent state in a few short years. "

Bankers are, apparently, being rewarded generously for their fine performance in recent years:



It takes more than a 9-5 effort to turn the world's most powerful financial, economic and military super power into an indebted, dysfunctional and militarily impotent state in a few short years. Perhaps they should owe us a bonus!

But, but, but bankers must be paid a lot more than their shareholders 'cause they need the extra cash on hand to buy off politicians to make certain that the game stays rigged in their favor.




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