Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I last commented on this on 2 January 2009: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2009/01/with-little-help-from-my-friends-2.html. The SEC should clean its own house and leave FIAs to the states.
I agree with Dworkin.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Bank runs are good! They discipline banks! The regulators can't or won't.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
"I was just leafing through my new hijab catalogue, trying to decide which color to order for wearing under The New Order when the good news arrived: Charles Freeman is not going to be the head of O'Bama's [NIC]", Dymphna at Gates of Vienna, 10 March 2009, link: http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2009/03/charles-freeman-fails-to-show-up-at.html.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
"A top [Fed] official, under fire for the government's rescue of [AIG], acknowledged Thursday that the aid contributed to 'moral hazard' risks by allowing some of the big insurer's trading partners to fully recoup billions of dollars tied to the firm. ... The government's help for AIG's trading partners illustrated the policially volatile decisions officials have made in the name of financial stability, pouring tens of billions of dollars into troubled firms to prevent a borader financial meltdown. ... Facing lawmaker objections, Mr. [Donald] Kohn defended the Fed's move as necessary to avoid broader threats to confidence. 'We're not so much worried about those particular counterparties,' he said. 'I'm worried about the knock-on effects in the financial markets. Would other people be willing to do business with other US financial insitutitons ... if they thought, in a crisis like this, they might have to take some losses?' ... 'It's not clear who we're rescuing--whether it is whatever remains of AIG or its trading partners,' said Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat. 'It's reasonable to ask why holders who would have received only pennies on the dolar for their credit-default swaps absent any government intervention would expect or deserve payments for what is essentially a bankrupt company'," Sudeep Reddy and Michael Crittenden at the WSJ, 6 March 2009.
"Lawmakers blasted state and federal regulators for dodging blame and keeping secrets after the failure of giant [AIG], which now has access to more than $170 billion in taxpayer money. ... In turns apolofetic and defensive, the regulators explained why their agencies weren't set up to oversee a company like AIG, or why the company's problems were outside of their jurisdictions. ... 'I share your concern. I share your anger,' Bernanke told the Senate Budget Committee Tuesday. ... Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Chris. Dodd, D-Conn., demanded to know Thursday which other banks had benefitted from the billions of dollars AIG has spent winding down its credit-default swap business and other relationships. ... [David] Kohn refused to say who had been made whole after deals with AIG went bad, arguing that the information would undermine what little confidence remains in the financial markets", my emphasis Daniel Wagner at the Houston Chronicle, 6 March 2009, link: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/biz/6296671.html.
"The beneficiaries of the government's bailout of [AIG] include at least two dozen US and foreign financial institutions that have been paid at least $50 billion since the [Fed] first extended aid to the insurance giant. Among those institutions are Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Germany's Deutsche Bank Ag, each of which received roughly $6 billion in payments since September and December 2008, according to a confidential document and people familiar with the matter", Serena Ng and Carrick Mollenkamp at the WSJ, 7 March 2009.
I say bring the system down. People laughed at Ben Stein's comments about GSG, my 4 December 2007 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2007/12/bloodless-coup-continues-4.html. I didn't. All the more reason to indict GSG and its employees. If they now claim they did not understand AIG's business and make a public profession of incompetence consider the implication: GSG doesn't understand finance! Incomptence is GSG's defense to fraud charges. Indict 'em all, let a petit jury sort it out! Who? Balogna. As I read about 19 years ago in a law review article on White Collar Crime, fraud is not a "who dunnit", but a "what was done". We know who. Now it's what. Well DOJ. What are you doing about this? Chasing down nickel and dime (ugh) crack dealers?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
When cash buyers come out, it's a good sign there is value present.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
The attacks on Schumer were absurd. Even Treasury figured out, "that 'the underlying cause of the failure was the unsafe and unsound manner in which the thrift was operated',". See my 26 July 2008 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/07/full-cover-up-mode.html. This is an object lesson for those who favor replacing the Big 87654 with federal auditors to improve financial reporting. I think the federal auditors will be under more pressure to conceal wrongdoing than the Big 87654. Really. At least you can sue the Big 87654. Go sue the SEC. Or the OCC, or OTS.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
How punish? This is a bailout. What did the US get for the preferred to common conversion? Nothing as far as I can see.
Kill this monster. Now!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Well said Wilders! The Churchill quote is from The River War, 1899.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Does anyone remember what Pentagon "Brain Boys" did during Vietnam to our F-105 pilots? It killed many and got others captured during "Operation Rolling Thunder", 1965-68. Sometimes even when the next threat is anticipated, it is ignored, like Fleet Problem 14, my 10 November 2008 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/11/us-air-force-rip-2.html. Reader Printfaster asked in response to my 1 March 2009 post, if I remembered Francis Gary Powers (FGP) ill-fated trip. I specifically recollect FGP was shot down 1 May 1960 over the USSR. FGP flew our most advanced 1960 reconaissance aircraft, the U-2A, supposedly untouchable at its then 85,000 foot ceiling. Khruschev said when FGP was hit he was at 68,000 feet. Why not? FGP "knew" the Rooskies had no SAMs that could hit him at 68,000 feet. The Rooskies had just developed the SA-2 which our pilots became familiar with in Vietnam. Yes, I remember. Reading suggestion, Vannevar Bush (VB) (1890-1974), Modern Arms and Free Men, 1949. Even our smartest are wrong. In 1949 VB estimated the USSR could not set off an atomic bomb for ten years. It exploded its first A-bomb on 29 August 1949!