Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
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(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Financial Humor Bulletin, December 2009

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

[Dec 15, 2009] On equity "cushions" and negative equity

The Mess that Greenspan Made

"In summary, it is encouraging to find that, despite the rapid growth of mortgage debt, only a small fraction of households across the country have loan-to-value ratios greater than 90 percent. Thus, the vast majority of homeowners have a sizable equity cushion with which to absorb a potential decline in house prices."

Alan Greenspan, Sept, 2005

[Dec 14, 2009] Volcker We Need to Think More Boldly The Big Picture#comments

some_guy_in_a_cube:

You would think our elites would be on top of this, but alas ours is a rather low quality bunch, merely concerned with grabbing all the cash they can get their grubby hands on.

bsneath:

“Rahm Emanuel, who has been out of government for only 30 months of his adult life, managed to collect $18 million during his private-sector stint with a Wall Street firm called Wasserstein-Perella”

“The president’s economic czar, Larry Summers, was paid more than $5.2 million in 2008 alone as a managing director of the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, and pocketed an additional $2.7 million in speaking fees from a smorgasbord of future bailout recipients, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.”

MATT TAIBBI
Rolling Stone

[Dec 13, 2009]  Paulson's Statement on Freddie and Fannie with a Nearly Simultaneous Translation

 September 07, 2008 | Jesse's Café Américain

Paulson's Statement on Freddie and Fannie with a Nearly Simultaneous Translation

Some significant excerpts From Mr. Paulson's statment with our irreverent "follow the money" interpretation and a very few gratuitous remarks:

"Based on what we have learned about these institutions over the last four weeks - including what we learned about their capital requirements - and given the condition of financial markets today, I concluded that it would not have been in the best interest of the taxpayers for Treasury to simply make an equity investment in these enterprises in their current form."

Fannie and Freddie were so hopelessly insolvent, and the widening in the spreads so alarming, that the major players, whom we faithfully serve, were concerned that the Credit Default Swaps would start to come into play, risking the banking system. A secondary but important consideration was the anger of the major sovereign nations whom we have financially compromised in general, selling them enormous tranches of GSE debt with 'implicit' guarantees.

"Therefore, the primary mission of these enterprises now will be to proactively work to increase the availability of mortgage finance, including by examining the guaranty fee structure with an eye toward mortgage affordability."

We needed another waste bin to place the bad debt and policy errors and JP Morgan was getting full.

"...the GSEs will modestly increase their MBS portfolios through the end of 2009. Then, to address systemic risk, in 2010 their portfolios will begin to be gradually reduced at the rate of 10 percent per year, largely through natural run off, eventually stabilizing at a lower, less risky size."

The debt will be monetized until the dollar falls from sheer exhaustion. (Have you ever known ANY government program with lots of influential recipients on both sides of the political spectrum to be reduced in size? This is not just a policy statement; it is a political IQ test.)

"First, Treasury and FHFA have established Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements, contractual agreements between the Treasury and the conserved entities. Under these agreements, Treasury will ensure that each company maintains a positive net worth. These agreements support market stability by providing additional security and clarity to GSE debt holders - senior and subordinated...This commitment will eliminate any mandatory triggering of receivership and will ensure that the conserved entities have the ability to fulfill their financial obligations."

The Debt Holders will be paid as close to face value as is feasible. PIMCO, the People's Republic of China, and the Credit Default Swaps players will be happy as the default spreads contract and the potential losses from this enormous Ponzi scheme recede into the future when it will be more convenient to blame this mess on someone else based on some event.

"It is more efficient than a one-time equity injection, because it will be used only as needed and on terms that Treasury has set."

Our cronies are going to bang this gong until the public's ears ring and the dollar reaches near collapse.

"Treasury receives senior preferred equity shares and warrants that protect taxpayers. Additionally, under the terms of the agreement, common and preferred shareholders bear losses ahead of the new government senior preferred shares."

Despite the brave face that Wall Street may wish to put forward on this, the common and preferred shareholders are going to be thrown overboard, and all holders of the dollar are going to absorb significant losses, but it may take some time.

"Market discipline is best served when shareholders bear both the risk and the reward of their investment. While conservatorship does not eliminate the common stock, it does place common shareholders last in terms of claims on the assets of the enterprise."

(Rightfully so. We'd like to see a haircut provided to the debt holders as well though, especially the arbitrageurs like Pimco that loaded up on GSE debt expecting a bailout. They are not being saved; they are being rewarded.)

"Similarly, conservatorship does not eliminate the outstanding preferred stock, but does place preferred shareholders second, after the common shareholders, in absorbing losses. The federal banking agencies are assessing the exposures of banks and thrifts to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The agencies believe that, while many institutions hold common or preferred shares of these two GSEs, only a limited number of smaller institutions have holdings that are significant compared to their capital."

The Wall Street banks have long envied and resented the competition of Fannie and Freddie on 'their turf.' The regional banks are annoying. This can be a win all for Wall Street in that they get to claim another big chunk of the pie, hit the public money for significant gains, and eliminate rivals.

"The agencies encourage depository institutions to contact their primary federal regulator if they believe that losses on their holdings of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac common or preferred shares, whether realized or unrealized, are likely to reduce their regulatory capital below "well capitalized."

Your friendly government is ready and waiting to help you. heh heh Just don't let the public know you are in trouble.

"Preferred stock investors should recognize that the GSEs are unlike any other financial institutions and consequently GSE preferred stocks are not a good proxy for financial institution preferred stock more broadly."

Only buy preferred stocks recommended to you by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, or preferably Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley preferred debt itself. We need to recapitalize.

"The second step Treasury is taking today is the establishment of a new secured lending credit facility which will be available to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks."

We are going to be monetizing our way out of this fiasco, make no mistake. (It will be interesting to see if this money comes directly from the Treasury or the NY Fed. This is not incidental, it is important because it will tell us how many RPMs the printing machine has at the top end.)

"Treasury is initiating a temporary program to purchase GSE MBS... Treasury will begin this new program later this month, investing in new GSE MBS. Additional purchases will be made as deemed appropriate. Given that Treasury can hold these securities to maturity, the spreads between Treasury issuances and GSE MBS indicate that there is no reason to expect taxpayer losses from this program, and, in fact, it could produce gains. This program will also expire with the Treasury's temporary authorities in December 2009."

Here's the money shot. Direct monetization of private debt by Treasury. Cry havoc and bend the Buck over the washtubs.

"Because the GSEs are in conservatorship, they will no longer be managed with a strategy to maximize common shareholder returns, a strategy which historically encouraged risk-taking."

This is making our intent very obvious for all you Harvard business grads out there.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so large and so interwoven in our financial system that a failure of either of them would cause great turmoil in our financial markets here at home and around the globe. This turmoil would directly and negatively impact household wealth: from family budgets, to home values, to savings for college and retirement. A failure would affect the ability of Americans to get home loans, auto loans and other consumer credit and business finance. And a failure would be harmful to economic growth and job creation."

All the financial dons have agreed to this. They expect the foot soldiers to say nice things about it, and how necessary it is to our well-being. The usual sanctions of omerta apply. And we do not wish to hear any talk about Moral hazard and especially any whistle-blowing.

"...our collective work is not complete. At the end of next year, the Treasury temporary authorities will expire, the GSE portfolios will begin to gradually run off, and the GSEs will begin to pay the government a fee to compensate taxpayers for the on-going support provided by the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements. Together, these factors should give momentum and urgency to the reform cause...Because the GSEs are Congressionally-chartered, only Congress can address the inherent conflict of attempting to serve both shareholders and a public mission. The new Congress and the next Administration must decide what role government in general, and these entities in particular, should play in the housing market."

Reform THIS you bleeding hearts.

"there are ways to structure these entities in order to address market stability in the transition and limit systemic risk and conflict of purposes for the long-term."

Here is the Goldman Sachs managed accounts form. Please review it carefully and sign at the places indicated.

Full Text of Paulson's Remarks on Freddie and Fannnie Takeover

[Dec 12, 2009] Ayn Rand: The Boring Bitch is Back By Barry Ritholtz

I like this term ARA -- Ayn Rand Asshole
November 15th, 2009

There is a substantial take-down of pedantic bore Ayn Rand in GQ. They tease it thusly:

2009’s most influential author is a mirthless Russian-American who loves money, hates God, and swings a gigantic dick. She died in 1982, but her spawn soldier on. And the Great Recession is all their fault.

I love that because it is both funny and touches upon so many subtle truths; Here is a longer, funnier excerpt:

“This is because there are boys and girls among us who have never overcome the Randian infection. The Galt speech continues to ring in their ears for years like a maddening tinnitus, turning each of them into what next year’s Physicians’ Desk Reference will (undoubtedly) term an Ayn Rand Asshole (ARA). They constitute a relatively small percentage of Rand readers, these ARAs. But they make their reading count. Thanks to them, the Rand Experience is no longer limited to those who have read the books. It’s metastasized. You, me, all of us, we’re living it. Because it’s the ARA Army of antigovernment-antiregulation puritans who have spent the past three decades gleefully pulling the cooling rods out of the American economy. For a while, it got very big and very hot. Then it popped. And now the rest of us have to spend the next decade scaling the slippery slopes of the huge suppurative crater that was left behind.

Feeling fisted by the Invisible Hand of the Market lo these past fifteen months? Lost a job lately? Or half the value of your 401(k)? Or a home? All three? Been wondering whence the too-long-ascendant political and economic ideas and forces behind Greenspanism, John Thainism, blind Wall Street plunder, bankruptcy, credit-default swaps, Bernie Madoff, and the ensuing Cannibalism in the Streets? Then you, sir, need to give thanks to Ayn Rand Assholes everywhere—as well as the steely loins from which they sprang.”

[Dec 10, 2009] The evolution of  "equity cushions" and Peter Principle

The subject of "equity cushions" has been discussed here on any number of occasions since the middle of the decade, the term apparently originating with former Federal Reserve member Susan Schmidt Bies in this early-2005 speech that was chronicled here.

From the point of view of bank supervisors, affordability products do not necessarily pose solvency concerns. Despite the apparent decline in underwriting standards, less than 5 percent of outstanding mortgages have a loan-to-value ratio greater than 90 percent, which means that the vast majority of homeowners have a significant equity cushion; in the event prices fall, only a very small percentage of owners are likely to see their debts exceed the value of their homes.

Of course, Ms. Bies no longer works at the nation's central bank, having resigned in early-2007, according to this Wikipedia entry, doing so to spend more time with her family. But, a few months ago, the government called, and now she sits on the board of Bank of America, someone with her foresight obviously an invaluable addition to this organization.

...What is most bothersome in this regard is that some of the same "equity cushion" arguments are being made here in 2009 about banks as were being made in 2005 about homeowners. The fact that a lot of the same people are still involved, (e.g., Ms. Bies' new position at BofA) makes it all the more scary.

J.G.:

It's people like Bies that just grind my gears.. completely clueless.

Anonymous:

Don't they call that the Peter Principle??

[Dec 10, 2009] The Rentership Society

American Dream 2: Default, Then Rent

"It's a stealth stimulus," says Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics ...

JP:

And hilariously, the WSJ has a link to this on the same page:

House Flipping Makes a Comeback - WSJ.com

It seems to me that it takes 2 Cali $ to equal 1 anywhere else.

[Dec 10, 2009] Effort to Reform Finance Instead Turning into a Coup by Banksters

John:

Actually, and not to be at all cynical, our representatives ARE acting on behalf of their constituents. Those just don’t happen to be the American people.

Elephant swims:

... Get your GS tatoo now! ...

Francois T :

New Democrat?

Is this Newspeak for “absolutely corrupted asshats beholden to special interests that happen to be Democrats”?

alex:

Yes, although for most purposes both terms can be shortened to “Democrat”.

charcad:

for most purposes both terms can be shortened to “Democrat”.

Then how will we distinguish them from “Republicans”?

Elephant swims:

Size of the pubic/public strap on?

Glen:

Republicans leave the lights on and laugh while they fuck you up the ass.

Democrats turn off the lights and whisper sweet nothings in your ear while they fuck you up the ass.

Mr. Spock:

Colloquially expressed, but essentially correct.

Richard Kline:

Republicans think that there should be no regulations. Democrats think the bankers should write them. Next question . .

[Dec 10, 2009] The evolution of  "equity cushions" and Peter Principle

The subject of "equity cushions" has been discussed here on any number of occasions since the middle of the decade, the term apparently originating with former Federal Reserve member Susan Schmidt Bies in this early-2005 speech that was chronicled here.

From the point of view of bank supervisors, affordability products do not necessarily pose solvency concerns. Despite the apparent decline in underwriting standards, less than 5 percent of outstanding mortgages have a loan-to-value ratio greater than 90 percent, which means that the vast majority of homeowners have a significant equity cushion; in the event prices fall, only a very small percentage of owners are likely to see their debts exceed the value of their homes.

Of course, Ms. Bies no longer works at the nation's central bank, having resigned in early-2007, according to this Wikipedia entry, doing so to spend more time with her family. But, a few months ago, the government called, and now she sits on the board of Bank of America, someone with her foresight obviously an invaluable addition to this organization.

...What is most bothersome in this regard is that some of the same "equity cushion" arguments are being made here in 2009 about banks as were being made in 2005 about homeowners. The fact that a lot of the same people are still involved, (e.g., Ms. Bies' new position at BofA) makes it all the more scary.

J.G.:

It's people like Bies that just grind my gears.. completely clueless.

Anonymous:

Don't they call that the Peter Principle??
 

[Dec 10, 2009] The Rentership Society

American Dream 2: Default, Then Rent

"It's a stealth stimulus," says Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics ...

JP:

And hilariously, the WSJ has a link to this on the same page:

House Flipping Makes a Comeback - WSJ.com

It seems to me that it takes 2 Cali $ to equal 1 anywhere else.

[Dec 10, 2009] Effort to Reform Finance Instead Turning into a Coup by Banksters

John:

Actually, and not to be at all cynical, our representatives ARE acting on behalf of their constituents. Those just don’t happen to be the American people.

Elephant swims:

... Get your GS tatoo now! ...

Francois T :

New Democrat?

Is this Newspeak for “absolutely corrupted asshats beholden to special interests that happen to be Democrats”?

alex:

Yes, although for most purposes both terms can be shortened to “Democrat”.

charcad:

for most purposes both terms can be shortened to “Democrat”.

Then how will we distinguish them from “Republicans”?

Elephant swims:

Size of the pubic/public strap on?

Glen:

Republicans leave the lights on and laugh while they fuck you up the ass.

Democrats turn off the lights and whisper sweet nothings in your ear while they fuck you up the ass.

Mr. Spock:

Colloquially expressed, but essentially correct.

Richard Kline:

Republicans think that there should be no regulations. Democrats think the bankers should write them. Next question . .
 

[Dec 7, 2009] Volcker to Bankers- "Wake up, gentlemen"

Mook:

“Has there been one financial leader to say this is really excessive? Wake up, gentlemen. Your response, I can only say, has been inadequate.”

(whispering in the back of the room)

"Inadequate? What does he mean, inadequate?"
"I dunno. Maybe he means we haven't been giving enough money to the banks."
"Or maybe he wants us to cut interest rates some more."
"No can do. Stuck at zero. You?"
"Point-five percent."
"So it's your fault he's yelling at us!"

Whiskey:

merchants of fear wrote:

..the Stock Market is a HOPE machine

Ah, so markets don't work, then?

broward:

merchants of fear wrote:

depending on the cycle of Hope.

H.O.P.E, the replacement for the F.I.R.E. economy.

H eroin

O pium

P eyote

E xtasy

[Dec 7, 2009] Morgan Stanley- Fed to Raise Rates in 2nd Half of 2010

"They must be smoking something. "

Yancey Ward:

I think the Fed has painted itself into a corner, but instead of using paint, it has used mortar and concrete blocks.

crazyv:

they must still believe the fed is an independent apolitical body. Fed is going to jack up interest rates 1.5% with 9.5% unemployment months before an election. They must be smoking something. They maybe right about the end point 2% at the end of 2011 but if anything I think they have their targets reversed. 0.5% by year end 2010 and 2% by year end 2011 makes more sense. BTW just the fact that the Fed is willing to raise rates even a little bit before the 2010 election will prove their anti inflation bona fides.

EvilHenryPaulson:

lawyerliz:

Basil Too beat me, but why is everything supposed to happen in the 2nd half?

The gambling addict is always one more bet away from striking it rich. Was supposed to be H2 2009, then pushed off into H1 2010, now H2 2010 because it is possible if everything goes well from here on out for there to be hike by H2 2010

Blackhalo:

Speed wrote:

The Fed needs to talk about raising rates

To Hu?

crazyv:

which is scarier -- that they know that these policies are garbage and will only enrich GS or
that they actually believe in them?

tncubsfan:

Was supposed to be H2 2009

I feel like a Cubs fan.

You feel like me? Being a Cubs fan is hard, let me tell you......

kidbuck:

Was Ben being?

a.) stupid
b.) lying
c.) all of the above

"We may see somewhat better economic conditions during the second half of 2008, reflecting the effects of monetary and fiscal stimulus," Bernanke said.
 

[Dec 7, 2009] Economist's View Stiglitz Too Big to Live

Euton:

I wonder if Dr. Bernanke would advise the military to store most of their bombs in five very large piles?

I don’t think so.

TigerPaw said in reply to Euton:

He wouldn't "advise" it, but he'd look the other way when four of the piles conspired to eliminate the fifth pile and distribute it amongst themselves - and claim it was the invisible hand at work.

john c. halasz said in reply to Euton...

Happy Pearl Harbor Day to you, too!

 

[Dec 7, 2009] Consumer Credit Declines for 9th Straight Month Hoocoodanode

Comrade Elmer Fudd:

why do consumers hate 'merica?

[Dec 7, 2009] The Rally Apologista’s Handbook The Big Picture

call me ahab:

awesome-

here is one they may have forgotten-

should i invest now- even after the big rally: you say-

does a cow shit in a pasture?

when they say- but . ..but

you say-

does Raggedy Ann have cotton boobies?

by then they’ll be writing a check- i’m sure of it

[Dec 7, 2009] THE DECADE IN ONE PAGE

Eugene Linden

THE DECADE IN ONE PAGE Eugene Linden

• STOLEN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! (DEFINITELY – FLORIDA!)

• TECH BUBBLE BURSTS, CREDIT BUBBLE BEGINS

• 9/11

• INVADE WRONG COUNTRY, FAIL TO CATCH/KILL PERPETRATORS OF 9/11, SPEND $1-2 TRILLION WE DON’T HAVE, AMERICANS URGED TO FIGHT TERRORISM -- BY SHOPPING!

• TORTURE – YES! GENEVA CONVENTION – NO! HABEUS CORPUS – HABEUS SCHMORKAS! BILL OF RIGHTS -- PABLUM FOR PUSSIES WHO LIKE TERRORISTS

• GLOBAL WARMING? THAT’S FOR PUSSIES TOO!

• SUBPRIME FOR ALL

• FINANCIAL INDUSTRY HEARTS LOAN PACKAGING; SELLS PACKAGES TO ASIANS, EUROPEANS, PENSION FUNDS -- AND EACH OTHER

• RISING HOME PRICES MAKES EVERYONE’S CREDIT BETTER THAN AVERAGE!

• STOLEN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION? (MAYBE – OHIO?)

• BORROWERS GONE WILD – EVERYBODY JOINS THE CREDIT BINGE; RISK - WHAT RISK? LEVERAGE = $$$! SAVINGS – WHY?

• GLOBE WARMS, NATIONS DITHER

• “YOU MEAN I HAVE TO PAY THIS MORTGAGE?”

• “MY MONTHLY PAYMENT GOES TO WHAT?”

• CHINA! OTHER BRICS TOO! ICELAND – GOOD! IRELAND- GOOD!

• HOME PRICES STALL; SUCKERS WHO BOUGHT SECURITIZATIONS GO ON STRIKE.

• AUG 2007 – CREDIT CRUNCH LITE

• NOV 2007 – DOW AND S&P NEW HIGHS! ONE MONTH LATER – RECESSION!

• BEAR! LEHMAN! AIG! TOO BIG TO FAIL! REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT SHOVELS MONEY AT BANKERS, NO SURPRISE.

• AMERICA VOTES FOR CHANGE!

• AMERICA GETS OLD ECONOMIC TEAM, OLD IDEAS. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT SHOVELS MONEY AT BANKERS – BIG SURPRISE!

• UNEMPLOYMENT, CREDIT CRUNCH, DELEVERAGING!

• PEAK EVERYTHING!

• ICELAND - BAD! IRELAND –BAD! ALSO LATVIA, GREECE, DUBAI, ETC.

• GLOBE WARMS, NATIONS DITHER

• RIP: EMH, SHADOW BANKING, NEWSPAPERS/PUBLISHING/PRINT, THE GOOD LIFE…

[Dec 7, 2009] RSS Feed Subscriptions Explode to 130k The Big Picture
VennData:

Newbie investors in Somalia?

“…Piracy investor Sahra Ibrahim, a 22-year-old divorcee, was lined up with others waiting for her cut of a ransom pay-out after one of the gangs freed a Spanish tuna fishing vessel.

I am waiting for my share after I contributed a rocket-propelled grenade for the operation,” she said, adding that she got the weapon from her ex-husband as alimony. I am really happy and lucky. I have made $75,000 in only 38 days since I joined the ‘company’…”

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B01Z920091201

[Dec 6, 2009] Goldman bonuses

The reality of "Audacity of hope"

[Dec 6, 2009] To claim “objectivism” at 20 is predictable. To claim “objectivism” at 60 is plain idiocy.

November 19, 2009 | Asymptosis

Apologies to Churchill for the ripoff. No apologies to Ms. Rand.

I remember quite clearly at age 13 saying to my mother and my sister, “why can’t people just be objective?”

Pretty amusing in hindsight.

[Dec 6, 2009]  Willem Buiter's Maverecon Yapping away at gold lessons from the last days of the Rai
FT.com

Kees van Ravenhorst:

Dear Mr Buiter,

I have always liked the simple story that JK Galbraith recounts in Money, Whence it came, where it went. According to Herodotus the first use gold as means of payment is attributed the the brides of Lydia 8000bC, who would prostitute themselves for gold before getting married. It secured their freedom afterwards. So it seems, gold has a 10,000 years old history of providing some sense of liberty . Enjoyed the provocative article.

[Dec 5, 2009]  3 reasons 2010's economy looks iffy

Trash-out

Honorable Jim Juback,

Is Nostradamus your distant relative ? Indubitably, Albert Einstein is not.

Is 2010, the year of a double dip fiasco?

Is 2011 the year of massive inflation, deflation and commenced depression ?

Is 2012 the infinite crash of Wall Street, absent of any add-on bail outs, all Govs are Bankrupt ?

Is 2012 the Messiah year ? (Caput ? Finito a la musica with socialism, communism, capitalism, imperialism and alike distorted acronyms ?)

Is it possible that in  2013 there will be Independialism, i.e., formation of multi tribal, independent class inhabitants comprised of micron governments, Worldwide ?

[Dec 5, 2009]  A Musical Tribute, The Elves of the Great Depression of 2009 By John Galt

Hat tip to Michael Panzner
December 4, 2009 

First and foremost, blame Bill O’Reilly as he pointed me out to the ElfYourself.com website and thus, it was born. So I thought, hmmm, who are the five little evil bastards most responsible for the onset of the next Great Depression we have really been enjoying this year.  It isn’t really fair to blame Jim Cramer but I had to choose him because he represents all the hucksters on the various Bubblevisons plus he just annoys the dog crap out of me. Turbo Timmy because he represents the years of incompetent political appointees working in government who never held a real job their entire lives. Ben Bernanke as if any explanation is needed. And of course Presidents Tweedle-Dee (Obama) and Tweedle-Dumb(Bush) who have managed to take a nice, ordinary run of the mill financial crisis and turn it into a flaming, smoking hulk which eventually turns the U.S.A. into one giant crater for the Chinese to stop by and pee in like an old urinal as they tour the ruins of our civilization.

Thanks to all of you for all this and in return, dance you little jerks who have made this year one for the history books…….

Comments (2)

[Dec 5, 2009] The Bad Ben Bernanke Bet

john personna:

There are two kinds of people, those who think this is a recovery, and those resigned to their fate.

[Dec 5, 2009] Jim Bunning Does Not ♥ Ben Bernanke

tradeking13:

A ray of light in an otherwise Bernanke ass kissing session.

censeo:

Amazing, just amazing: to hear an elected official speak truth...

Adult Franklin411:

In short, you are the definition of moral hazard

bailey:

...Nell Henderson, Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, October 27, 2005, story titled: “There’s no housing bubble to go bust”.

‘ “U.S. house prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years, noted Bernanke, currently chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, in testimony to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. But these increases, he said, “largely reflect strong economic fundamentals,” such as strong growth in jobs, incomes and the number of new households. ‘

[Dec 4, 2009] Thank you Congress, thank you Ben, thank you SEC, thank you, thank you, thank you !

December 3, 2009 | The Big Picture

bergsten:

There are so many things to be grateful for. Where to even start?

[Dec 4, 2009] Progress on “No on Bernanke,” Including Sanders Putting Hold on Confirmation

AnonymousMonetarist:

That’ll be all, Senator Sanders

SANDERS: You had Geithner sign a phony asset transfer order–

GREGG: Senator–

SANDERS: You doctored the repos.

JOHNSON: Damnit Sanders!!

SANDERS: I’ll ask for the fourth time. You ordered–

BERNANKE: You want answers?

SANDERS: I think I’m entitled to them.

BERNANKE: You want answers?!

SANDERS: I want the truth.

BERNANKE: You can’t handle the truth!

(And nobody moves.)

BERNANKE (continuing)

Son, we live in a world that has markets. And those markets have to be guarded by banksters with money. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Senator Bunning? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for capitalism and you curse the banksters. You have that luxury.
You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That capitalism’s death, while tragic, probably saved jobs. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves jobs.

You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me at the wheel. You need me there … We use words like ‘growth’,’stability’, ‘profits’…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use ‘em as a punchline.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to audit myself for a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very guarantees I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer
you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a private sector job and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.

SANDERS (quietly) Did you doctor the repos?

BERNANKE: I did the job you sent me to do.

SANDERS: Did you doctor the repos?

BERNANKE (pause): You’re goddamn right I did

[Dec 4, 2009] Open Thread- Is the Fed Chair’s Reappointment at Risk-

wally:

“…the public’s perception that Obama is in bed with Wall Street.”

Is he the one whose wife chased him with the golf club, or is that the other one?

[Dec 3, 2009] “Administration Considering Additional Subsidies and Tax Breaks” By Augustus Melmotte

The administration is examining strategies for encouraging the ownership of fluffy kittens. “I think we can all agree,” the president said, “that in troubled times stroking a fluffy kitten can really help a struggling family to stay on course.” The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has calculated that a tax break of approximately $750 for first-time kitten ownership would cost the government less than $400 per kitten in administrative overhead, for a total cost per kitten (CPK) of $1150. 

... ... ...

In related news, in a sudden and uncharacteristic burst of courage, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd has proposed a federal subsidy for vampire hunting. “Nothing brings a community together like a vampire hunt,” commented Senator Dodd. “...

... ... ...

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, though, has doubts about Dodd’s proposal. “One problem is that it can be difficult to determine which blood-sucking supernatural parasites are in fact vampires and which are duly authorized and well-regulated components of the financial system, such as investment banks.

... ... ...

Congressman Barney Frank also indignantly dismissed Senator Dodd’s proposal. “Any attempt to restrain vampires would be disastrous for hard-working American families and their hard-working kittens,” Frank sputtered.

[Dec 3, 2009] Chameleon Ben

Ben Bernanke, it seems, is changing his spots. He is now trying to prove that he is not Alan Greenspan.

[Dec 2, 2009] “Bank Profits Mirage”

Expat:

The major banks have no need for reserves; they have the full confidence and support of the US taxpayer. Why waste money on reserves when you can use it for salaries and bonuses!

I only wish I were being sarcastic.
 

[Dec 2, 2009] Leonhardt on Long Term PEs

patientrenter:

Bernanke, channeling Rumsfeld - "The bubble you pop is the bubble you're not in"

(No, of course he would never actually say it out loud.)
 

[Dec 2, 2009] The Impact of Stimulus on GDP

yagij:

Nuke wrote:

"Oh well, doesn't invalidate the model. We just need to decrease the friction until we get to 0."

The fact that male economists can argue that continuous stimulus will work and that there will be little/no side effects from it always boggled my mind. I've gotten to the point that they all know it is a lie and scheme but just enjoy seeing who they can get to go along with them.
.
Seriously if you stuck a male economist in a room and told him to continually stimulate himself until the process was self-sustaining, how long would it take before he had admit that he couldn't go on? Why think that the economy will somehow accomplish what he himself cannot?

sm_landlord:

Nuke wrote:

Highlights? I can't watch political speeches anymore.

Pathetic, isn't it? I have the same problem. My BS meter pegs immediately, and then I start getting angry if I keep watching.

Not a happy situation.

[Dec 1, 2009] Goldman Staff Packing Pistols to Defend Against Peasants

Expat:

I would like to know how a GS banker can possibly even be considered for a gun permit if one of the requirements is that he be of “good character”.

Keenan:

In the spirit of calling a spade, why not from now on refer to them as Gunmen Sachs
 

[Dec 1, 2009] Krugman- "The deficit doesn't matter"

The Mess That Greenspan Made

Well, apparently there is at least one thing that former Vice President Dick Cheney and Nobel Prize winning economist (and unofficial White House adviser) Paul Krugman have in common. They both feel the same way about deficits - they don't matter.

[Dec 1, 2009] Harvard ignored warnings about investments - The Boston Globe

a graduate.

cash on hand: $18

family of four to feed

meal: breakfast

location: convenience store

shopping list: bread, milk, eggs, butter, bacon

money spend on: Lotto (lost)

bottom line: one hungry family

Joke's on you, Harvard. That's what you get when you gamble with your milk money. A lot of hungry mouths and you looking pretty stupid.

Posted by: (regrettably) a graduate. Now employed by a fiscally PRUDENT University.

TheRealDianeHolbrook :

James F. Rothenberg, Harvard’s treasurer: “We all can look back now and say we wish we did something different."

Some of us did, Bozo.

Wrinkles:

It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

But seriously, isn't the AG or Secretary of State supposed to investigate gross mismanagement of charitable funds? To me, it looks like there should be a state investigation into the malfeasance at Harvard surrounding the endowment. But, I won't hold my breath...

downeastjim:

Yet, the Harvard money managers, as all other 'money managers', were still paid obscene salaries and bonuses. Their bonuses included 'retention' bonuses to keep those money managers from taking their talents elsewhere. And some wonder what is wroing the econoomy? Priceless.

Continued...



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