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June 25th, 2009 | The Big Picture
Counterpointer (profile) wrote on Sun, 6/28/2009 - 7:09 pm
We are all permatoxics now.
dryfly (profile) wrote on Sun, 6/28/2009 - 7:11 pm
I think the stress tests showed that the U.S. should have pre-privatized BofA, Citigroup and GMAC. Oh well ...
I think Churchill would say it's too early to write those options off... seeing how Americans practice 'crisis management'.mmckinl (profile) wrote on Sun, 6/28/2009 - 7:12 pm
We all can't handle the truth now.
The truth is the easy part ...
the consequences will be the hard part ...
Counterpointer (profile) wrote on Sun, 6/28/2009 - 7:24 pm
Basel - "Erin Burnett was trying to justify the increased salaries at Citi by saying it was needed to "protect" the government's investment, so we couldn't let C fail via brain drain." Honestly? Has she moved to SNL?
A bit of preemptive brain drain might head of pretending the gangrene was a few surface lesions.MrM (profile) wrote on Sun, 6/28/2009 - 7:50 pm
so converting debt to equity and orderly write downs are not working for me anymore
Public executions? What are you suggesting to do with depositors?
Jun 26, 2009 | naked capitalism
6/26/2009 | CalculatedRisk
on Versusplus - a little credit card music!
Not One Cent (homepage, profile) wrote (in reply to...) on Thu, 6/25/2009 - 10:30 pm
Rebound In Housing Hampered By Slowdown in 'Short Sales'
I expect a CNBC analyst to say we need another government program to increase the number of underwater houses to strengthen our supply of short sales.
Not One Cent (homepage, profile) wrote (in reply to...) on Thu, 6/25/2009 - 10:44 pmTJ: Mass psychology and macroeconomics are virtually one and the same.
That is why Bernanke and Krugman left the economics business for the propaganda business.
Ahead of Bernanke's 10am testimony on the Bofa-Merrill deal where he and Paulson are being accused of strong arming Ken Lewis to follow thru with the deal on its original terms, it hit me the striking similarity in looks that Bernanke has with Frank Pentangeli (without the beard), the character in Godfather II that went to Congress to testify against Michael Corleone:
Uncle Ar (profile) wrote on Wed, 6/24/2009 - 12:18 pm
Lucifer:"Ya.. underage boys and gay escorts are a careeerkiller for politicians."
But you can change careers and get a front row seat (and get picked often to ask questions) at the white house press conferences.
"Question: If we do see deflation which of the members promised to resign?"
The ones that actually admit that it's happening.
"..........the Federal Reserve will employ all available tools to promote economic recovery and to preserve price stability."
More Vibratory tools I see.
June 11, 2009 | Econbrowser
There was a wonderful story in today's WSJ about how some big banks managed to lose some of their hard-earned TARP money.
Let me begin with a little background. A credit default swap is sometimes described as an insurance contract written against the possibility of default of a particular underlying asset. If I buy a CDS and the specified asset defaults, I get to collect money from whoever sold me the contract. If I also have a long position in the asset in question, I might consider buying a CDS written against that asset as an insurance or hedge against the possibility that the asset loses its value.
But I don't actually have to own the asset in question in order to buy a CDS from somebody else. I might want to buy a CDS as a partial hedge against some other asset I hold with which the specified security could be correlated. Or maybe I just feel like making a bet with somebody I think is dumber than I am.
The fun and games begin when multiple contracts get written on a single credit event and the notional value of outstanding contracts on that event-- the total amount of money that is promised to be paid to the buyers of those CDS in the event of a default on the underlying asset-- becomes larger than the par value of the underlying asset itself. Then it would clearly pay the party who sold those contracts to buy the underlying asset itself at par, relieve the original debtors of their burdensome obligations, and be out only $X (the underlying event) rather than some multiple of $X (all the contracts written on the event).
And so the WSJ recounts the tale of a security based on $29 million (par) worth of subprime loans in California, half of which were already delinquent or in default. Betting that the loans weren't worth $29 million sounds like easy money, and the smart guys were willing to pay 80 to 90 cents for each dollar of CDS insurance.
It appears from the WSJ account as if little Amherst Holdings of Austin, Texas was happy to sell the big guys like J.P. Morgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Bank of America something like $130 million notional CDS on a $27 million credit event, used the proceeds to buy off and make good the underlying subprime loans, and pocketed $70 million or so for their troubles. The big guys, on the other hand, paid perhaps a hundred million and got back zip.
Said big guys, naturally, are screaming bloody murder, trying to bring in the lawyers to show that Amherst wasn't playing by the rules of the game.
For my money, the first rule we need would be a law, not a rule, that notional not exceed actual.
Barring that, here's another rule I trust: a fool and his money are soon parted.
The NAR and NAMB have the ethics of Taiwanese pimps selling 10 year olds girls to the sex tourist trade. To say these shameless whores disgust me is to understate the issue . . .
charles hugh smith-Weblog and Essays
To fully reflect current "inalienable rights," a New Bill of Rights should be added to the U.S. Constitution.
Given the mindsets which dominate American culture, a New Bill of Rights should be added to the U.S. Constitution to reflect our additional "inalienable rights." While the original United States Bill of Rights addressed basic liberties, it simply doesn't cover various financial and global rights which are now implicit in 21st century America.
Here are my proposed New Rights:
... ... ...
Amendment Three: The Right to Borrow From Other Nations
The rights of the Nation to borrow unlimited sums of money from other nations shall not be restricted by matters of finance, debt or international law.
Amendment Four: The Right to Cheap Goods
The rights of the people to buy commodities and manufactured goods from other nations at low prices shall be inviolate. (Also known as the "what's our oil doing under your land?" amendment.)
Amendment Five: The Right to Rising Real Estate
That real estate valuations shall always rise is a fundamental right of the people, and the Government is hereby ordered to move Heaven and Earth to insure this right.
Amendment Six: The Right to a Fiat Currency Which Does Not Fall to Zero
Though all fiat currencies are doomed to fall to zero valuation, it is the right of the Nation and its people to exchange U.S. fiat currency (dollars) for tangible goods without limit.
... ... ...
Middle managers and affiliated secretaries and janitors and such count in the denominator of labor productivity.
unregulated, laissez-faire, speculative capitalism....it's fantastic!!!
Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, quoted one critic’s view that giving the central bank more power was like awarding a son a “bigger, faster car right after he crashed the family station wagon.” He added that he hadn’t made a conclusion on the issue.
See also FRB Supervisory Letter SR 03-14 on fraudulent Federal Reserve note schemes -- July 16, 2003
Dear Mr. Geithner:
No doubt you are already aware of the wild stories circulating in response to the news that two Japanese nationals were caught trying to smuggle some $134 billion in U.S. Government bearer bonds into Switzerland from Italy. Since the Secret Service seems a bit slow in addressing the issue (What's the problem? Haven't you hired an undersecretary of Secret Service motivation yet? Couldn't you get Agent Frank Horrigan out of retirement and send him on special assignment or something?) and the Italians change their story about the instruments almost as often as they change governments, we thought you might benefit from some of our analysis.
Obviously, with respect to authenticity, there are three options:
1. All the documents are fake.
2. Some of the documents are fake.
3. None of the documents are fake.
$134 billion only? That's like children playing. (Hint to Yusuf, they play in Italy my friend).
You see, those two "Japanese" got beat by 4 guys in Denver in 2002.
Thursday, October 10, 2002
Four busted in $250B bond scam
Denver Business Journal - by Paula Moore
On Oct. 10, federal agents in metro Denver broke up a sting operation to sell bogus bearer bonds represented as worth $250 billion.
A deal to sell 250 bonds, supposedly with a face value of $1 billion each, was to have been concluded in Denver on Oct. 9, according to a U.S. District Court filing in Denver.
Officials at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver were unavailable for comment.
The dealers arranged to sell the bonds via a California company called Concord Capital Ltd. to a Greenwood Village-based company called NCO/Capstone Consulting, a fake company created by federal agents. NCO agreed to pay $100 million for the 250 bonds, according an agreement between the parties.
At Wednesday's meeting to consummate the deal, U.S. Customs and Secret Service agents arrested the brokers. They are: Johnny Tal of Agoura Hills, Calif., also called Yoni; Stephen M. Feldman of Encino, Calif.; Nathan A. Bickley of Dallas, Texas; and Jerry J. Tidmore, address unknown.
The four are charged with one count each of attempting to sell fraudulent securities. If convicted, each faces 25 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
The government learned of the dealers in June of this year, when the U.S. Customs Service got a tip that Feldman was trying to broker the sale of fake Federal Reserve bearer bonds.
Bearer bonds are a type of bond not registered on the books of the issuer. Their owner holds them and gets interest payments by detaching coupons from the bond certificate, and delivering them to the paying agent.
A customs agent then went undercover as a representative of NCO/Capstone, and Feldman allegedly tried to sell him bogus bonds supposedly valued at more than $1 trillion. In July, the undercover agent offered Feldman $100 million for the fake bonds and was turned down.
Tal, saying he was client of Feldman's named Yoni, then allegedly contacted the agent in September, and said he would sell $25 billion worth of bonds for $100 million, according to the court filing. "Yoni" supposedly told the agent he had a company called Concord Capital and that he formerly was with the Israeli Secret Service.
FT.com Willem Buiter's Maverecon
where is JOE THE PLUMBER ?
It appears that the "Green Shoots" have not found their way through the still smoldering patches of durable material production.
"as a profession, economics not only has nothing to say about what caused the world to come to the brink of financial collapse last autumn, but also a supreme lack of interest"
When Hank Paulson, who played football at Dartmouth, sought to redo the financial regulatory system back in March 2008, he described the Federal Reserve as the “free safety” in the system. Now Larry Summers, who didn’t play football at MIT, is taking on the same chore — and using the same metaphor.
Paulson in his gridiron days. (Newsweek, via CJR)
- Paulson insisted, though, that the Fed would have sufficient power to act as needed. A onetime Dartmouth College football standout, Paulson likened the central bank’s new role to that of a “free safety,” roaming the field.
– USA Today, April 1, 2008
- The administration backed Paulson’s decision in June 2007 to launch an elaborate program to create a new “Blueprint for Regulatory Reform.” It proposed streamlining regulations, and a new role for the Federal Reserve as overall “market stability regulator,” with an assignment Paulson likens to that of a roving free safety in football.
– Washington Post, July 18, 2008
- In a world where financial innovation is, for good reason, pervasive and where market conditions constantly change, public regulatory authorities need to have the ability to perform what might be compared to the “free safety” function in football: taking a holistic view of the playing field, identifying gaps, pointing to unsustainable trends, and raising questions about new kinds of interactions.
– Larry Summers, June 12, 2009
Turn that BS on Wall Street into biofuel to drive the world economy.
At one point, at least $130 million of bets had been made on the performance of around $27 million in securities ...
Selected commentsScrooge McDuck (profile) wrote (in reply to...) on Thu, 6/11/2009 - 3:32 pm
A corrupt system failing always cheers me up
pavel.chichikov (homepage, profile) wrote on Thu, 6/11/2009 - 6:00 pm
""The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public
debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be
tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be
curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work,
instead of living on public assistance." - Cicero - 55 BC"
Didn't he die an unnatural death?
ResistanceIsFeudal (profile) wrote on Thu, 6/11/2009 - 6:15 pm
pavel.chichikov (homepage, profile) wrote on Thu, 6/11/2009 - 8:10 pm
An incessant and unlimited piling up of wealth at last becomes irrational and without purpose. If in the end our society is based on this and on momentary pleasure it too is irrational and without purpose.
And in the end it turns on itself in an act of self-destruction. The snake eating its own tail.
JD (profile) wrote on Thu, 6/11/2009 - 7:06 pm
credit default swaps are indeed the realm of the absurd. What perverse accounting standards gave birth to these crazy financial instruments from OZ? One group of college educated, but real world ignorant, pinstriped suit wearing, concrete canyon living boneheads generates a 200 page contract to insure a bundle of notes on some real estate they have never seen, and they negotiate said contract with another group of college educated, pinstriped suit wearing, concrete canyon living boneheads... all for the purpose of gaming some accounting guideline. And the boneheads get paid seven figure bonuses for doing that, and the boneheads actually think they deserve the seven figure bonuses, but they are too obtuse to realize it is blood money.
“Borrowers have more choices and greater access to credit; lenders and investors are better able to measure and manage risk; and, because of the dispersion of financial risks to those more willing and able to bear them, the economy and the financial system are more resilient,” Bernanke said, according to a transcript of his speech.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s annual conference
on bank structure and competition
May 18, 2006
- Cramer has a new bar to aspire to.
The biggest emerging new class in America is the "former middle class."
How about a bit of reality? Not the ridiculous promises from Washington: the absurd talk of "green shoots" while unemployment soars and investment falls; the silly guarantees that GM has a bright future, even as its stock price falls to less than the price of a Snickers bar; the nonsense about how if we spend more and inflate more, recovery will come tomorrow morning.
RockyR wrote on Sun, 6/7/2009 - 11:07 am
Something tells me NBER will declare the recession over long before the recession is over.
June 3, 2009 | FT Alphaville
As we reported here, Geithner’s attempts to reassure Beijing authorities that the US government was still upholding a strong US dollar policy were met with loud laughter by an audience of students at Peking university.
This fact, apparently, went mostly unreported among the US press according to Gartman. As he surmises:The utter and harsh reality of the US present fiscal circumstance is that the world is laughing at the Obama Administration’s handling of it. Mr. Geithner is the global vicar of the US fiscal policy, and never, ever in our lifetime have we seen or heard of a US Treasury Secretary being laughed at… until now. It is one thing to be derided; it is entirely another to be laughed at, and the US is now being laughed at.
...an economist will forcefully express the view that the only meaningful goal of the rational business executive is the maximization of his own profits. But, even that is not going to ring true to anyone who has ever experienced a situation where he had to put his son-in-law in a business.
—Stephen M. Axinn, "A lawyer's response," Antitrust Law Journal 52(3), September 1983, p. 647.
Stuart Says:600K new filings each week and records levels of continuing claims, 9.4% unemployment rate, a U-6 of over 16.4% and they post 345K lost. Who the hell is running the show at the BLS? Baghdad Bob?
Rajesh Says:Birth/death model added 220k jobs: I guess a lot of Chrysler workers suddenly opened up new businesses. Who knew they were such go-getters.
06/05/09 | dailyreckoning.com
“Either cuts in spending or increases in taxes will be necessary to stabilize the fiscal situation,” said Ben Bernanke in response to a question posed by a member of Congress. Then, he added…
“The Federal Reserve will not monetize the debt.”
That last sentence has a ring to it. It reminds us of Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook.” Surely, it is destined to make its way into the history books, alongside Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman” and the builder of the Titanic’s “even God himself couldn’t sink this ship.”
The four golden rules of econometrics:
- Think brilliantly,
- Be infinitely creative,
- Be outstandingly lucky,
- Otherwise, stick to being a theorist
...our bet on EU and US unemployment rates, which was that the combined rates of unemployment and incarceration in the US would exceed those in the EU over the next ten years.
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