Well, there’s your problem . . .
Posted in financial crisis, fraud, government, Leaders, politicians, celebrities, news, Oligarchs, U.S., tagged cheating, corruption, coup d’état, deception, fraud, looting, Oligarchs, politics, self-serving, wall street on November 18, 2011 | 1 Comment »
Well, there’s your problem . . .
Posted in Economics, trade and business, fraud, global, humor, USA, tagged cheating, corruption, Counterfeit, deception, fraud, health care, NaturalNews, propaganda, Western culture on September 22, 2011 | 1 Comment »
Through a devolving web of greed, self-serving power and a departure from fundamental ethics, Western culture has, over the last hundred years, become the counterfeit culture: (Source)
Posted in Economics, trade and business, financial crisis, fraud, government, Harm, pain and hurt, news, Oligarchs, U.S., tagged banks, bulk-selling, cheating, collapse, corruption, crash, debt, deception, default, discounts to real value, fraud, hedge-fund, looting, losses, Oligarchs, pennies on the dollar, Private equity, private investor conglomerates, real estate, self-serving, transfer of wealth, wall street on August 24, 2011 | 3 Comments »
Answer: To set up the
Oligarch Welfare Program following:
Via: The Street:
The largest transfer of wealth from the public to private sector is about to begin. The federal government will be bulk-selling the massive portfolio of foreclosed homes now owned by HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to private investors — vulture funds.
These homes, which are now the property of the U.S. government, the U.S. taxpayer, U.S. citizens collectively, are going to be sold to private investor conglomerates at extraordinarily large discounts to real value.
You and I will not be allowed to participate. These investors will come from the private-equity and hedge-fund community, Goldman Sachs and its derivatives, as well as foreign sovereign wealth funds that can bring a billion dollars or more to each transaction.
In the process, these investors will instantaneously become the largest improved real estate owners and landlords in the world. The U.S. taxpayer will get pennies on the dollar for these homes and then be allowed to rent them back at market rates. (Source)
Here we finally see the hidden motivation and the real purpose of crashing the real estate market: creating an excuse to force people out of their homes, making it easy for lenders to grab their homes. The lenders then are “bailed-out” by the Federal Reserve, who passes the bill on to the tax payers. Once the lenders are bailed out they no longer want to hold actual properties, so they quickly sell all their repossessed homes to giant hedge funds for pennies on the dollar. The lenders know they have to sell quickly before anyone realizes what they did, before anyone files legal actions. Lol! Once the homes are sold off just try and get them back. Can’t be done. Bwahahahaha !!
Crashing the real estate market was necessary to take homes from ordinary people, so they could then transfer them to the wealthy–who will turn around and rent them back to the very people who lost homes.
Voila! Wealth transfer mission $$ accomplished.
Ahem, why not just give the discount on the homes to the folks who live in them?
Duh. Don’t ask silly questions.
As always, profit before people.
Posted in financial crisis, fraud, government, Leaders, politicians, celebrities, news, Oligarchs, U.S., tagged Center for Responsive Politics, cheating, corruption, Federal Reserve, fraud, lies, looting, Net worth, Obama, Oligarchs, politics, self-serving, United States Congress, wall street on July 23, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
A new Rasmussen survey has found that 85 percent of Americans believe that members of Congress “are more interested in helping their own careers than in helping other people.
Many have had the sneaking suspicion that our elected “leaders” in Congress are not going to Washington D.C. to represent us…but for their own personal gain. This video may just validate that assessment!Using the net worth data compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics we found a disturbing trend. The analysis of the information in this video has not been seen by anyone…not on Fox News…not on CNN…and you have not read about this in the Wall Street Journal…yet. After watching the video click HERE to view “The List” (Source)
Posted in Energy and oil, financial crisis, fraud, Leaders, politicians, celebrities, Oligarchs, tagged arrogance, BP, cheating, Chief executive officer, corruption, deception, Deepwater Horizon, fraud, Gulf of Mexico, Les Visible, lies, looting, Macondo Prospect, Mordor, oil spill, Oligarchs, overwhelming, self-serving, Steven L. Newman, The Wall Street Journal, Transocean, Wall Street Journal on April 3, 2011 | 2 Comments »
Transocean Ltd., the company that owns the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that caused immeasurable damage to the Gulf, recently gave its top executives “two thirds of their total possible safety bonuses.”
This was despite the explosion of its oil rig that killed 11 people and spilled over 200 million gallons of toxic oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Why did execs get “safety” bonuses?
For achieving the “best year in safety performance in our company’s history.”
Posted in financial crisis, fraud, government, Harm, pain and hurt, news, Oligarchs, U.S., tagged anger, angry, cheating, corruption, coup d’état, deception, economy, fail, fraud, frustrated, frustration, looting, losses, Oligarchs, overwhelming, self-serving on October 27, 2010 | 3 Comments »
Economic collapse just happens–no one is at fault. Don’t listen if you hear otherwise.
There was no wrong doing at all in the current economic crash, nor in the subsequent $X trillion dollar giveaways bailouts:
Did you know that in the aftermath of the Savings and Loan (Thrifts) scandal there were more than a thousand felony convictions of financial elites? The cost of the wrongdoing associated with the rip-off and closure of nearly 800 Thrifts cost taxpayers more than $160 billion. The current sub-prime/mortgage-backed security scandal is 40 times bigger according to Economics professor William Black.
Can you guess how many indictments there have been on financial elites who created this enormous mess? Zero, none, nada, zip. Yes, not one single prosecution or conviction has been started or achieved.
That is simply outrageous considering the width and breadth of the many crimes committed. (Source)
Where are the fact finding commissions, the grand juries?
Where is any accountability at all?
“The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. They frankly own the place.” — U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Democratic Party Whip, April 30, 2009 (Source)
People have an incentive sometimes to behave badly, because they can make more money if they can cheat. If our economic system is going to work then we have to make sure that what they gain when they cheat is offset by a system of penalties. . . . We cannot solve the economic crisis unless we throw the criminals who committed fraud in jail. (Source)
Nobel prize winning economist George Akerlof has demonstrated that failure to punish white collar criminals – and instead bailing them out- creates incentives for more economic crimes and further destruction of the economy in the future. See this, this and this. (Source)
One of the things that’s most troubling to people is there seems to be very little relationship between who drove this crisis, the big financial institutions, the CEOs, regulators who didn’t do their job, and the people who are paying the price, which are millions of people who have lost their jobs, lost their homes, lost their life savings. (Source)
Where are the police when you need them?
Any fairytale notions of the United States being a democratic republic built on the rule of law have been utterly dispelled. . . . United States government has been taken over by a financial terrorism network. (Source)
Posted in government, Harm, pain and hurt, health, news, tagged Bayer, cheating, contaminated medicine, corruption, cover up, deception, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, GlaxoSmithKline, health care, lax regulation, MSNBC, Pharma, pharmaceuticals, self-serving on October 25, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
Bayer knowingly sold contaminated medicine.
This is the level of protection you can expect from the FDA, the Congress, and the White House. Another story that came and went and never stuck.
Posted in fraud, government, Leaders, politicians, celebrities, news, U.S., tagged cheating, corruption, fraud, politics, reprogram, Sequoia AVC Edge, tamper-evident seals, touchsreen, U.S., voting machine on October 12, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
Voting in an election is very important as it will influence the future governance of your state and country. It therefore has to be carried out under scrutiny with none of the votes being tampered with. Ballot papers in a locked box are quite easy to keep secure, but how about voting digitally on a machine whose sole purpose it to allow for secure votes to be placed? (Source)
It’s easier to rig an electronic voting machine than a Las Vegas slot machine, says University of Pennsylvania visiting professor Steve Freeman. That’s because Vegas slots are better monitored and regulated than America’s voting machines, Freeman writes. (Source)
Freeman lists below how Americans protect their vices more than they guard their rights, according to data he presented at an October meeting of the American Statistical Association in Philadelphia. (Source)
Researchers J. Alex Halderman and Ariel J. Feldman, from the University of Michigan and Princeton University, purchased a Sequoia AVC Edge, a touchscreen voting machine that was originally going to be used for the Williamsburg, Virginia primaries. It has apparently also been used in a jurisdiction with 9 million voters. Importantly, the tamper seals on the machine were still intact.
They tested the Sequoia touchscreen voting machine to see if it was possible to tamper with the machine without breaking the seals. They decided to try and install a working game of Pac-Man while leaving the machine free of tampering evidence. (Source)
They did it! They were able to reprogram the voting machine without breaking any seals–as the video above shows.
Electronic voting machines are notoriously buggy and hackable. Even the manufacturers of DRE (direct recording electronic) voting talliers have admitted so much. Some states have even gone as far as to ban the touchscreen devices. (Source)
Posted in Economics, trade and business, environment, financial crisis, fraud, government, Harm, pain and hurt, Leaders, politicians, celebrities, Oligarchs, U.S., tagged bankruptcy, banks, cheating, coup d’état, debt, deception, fail, fraud, looting, Oligarchs, politics, self-serving, taxes, U.S. on April 6, 2010 | 2 Comments »
How the nation’s biggest banks are ripping off American cities with the same predatory deals that brought down Greece
By: MATT TAIBBI
Our economic crisis is not an accident. It’s the result of unchecked greed run rampant. Matt Taibbi shares the story of how a big NY bank preyed on Jefferson County, AL–exposing a much larger game plan.
Who will join the party next–at our expense?
While for many Americans the financial crisis remains an abstraction, a confusing mess of complex transactions that took place on a cloud high above Manhattan sometime in the mid-2000s, in Jefferson County you can actually see the rank criminality of the crisis economy with your own eyes . . . our days of laughing at other countries are over. It’s our turn to get laughed at. (Source)
Educate yourself. Click on the link, read his 6-page article:
Matt Taibbi’s related articles:
Posted in Economics, trade and business, financial crisis, fraud, global, Harm, pain and hurt, news, tagged accounting, arrogance, Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, books, cheating, corruption, deception, Ernst & Young, fail, fraud, Lehman, Lehman Brothers, looting, Matthew Lee, Repo 105, self-serving, Wall Street Journal on March 16, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
Update 12/20/2010–According to Matt Taibbi:
It took more than two years, but there might finally be some capital sentences handed out for crimes committed during the financial crisis. That’s metaphorically speaking, of course. Like the accounting firm Arthur Anderson, whose head was sacrificed during the Enron debacle, the once-proud financial auditing firm Ernst and Young now looks poised to take a spin down the toilet of history thanks to its role in the Lehman Brothers debacle.
New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is about to file civil fraud charges against E&Y for the work it did helping Lehman cook its books during 2007 and 2008. The short version of what happened goes something like this. Lehman Brothers, like all the other big banks on Wall Street in those years, was nearing insolvency and desperate for cash. In advance of its quarterly reports in 2007, the firm executed a series of something called Repo 105 transactions in an attempt to make their balance sheet look healthier than it was.
These Repo 105 transactions are just loans that Ernst and Young and Lehman Brothers conspired to book as revenue from sales. If I go to you and I ask you to lend me a hundred bucks to pay for Knicks tickets, that’s a loan, and you and I and the SEC and every investor on Wall Street all know I’m in debt to you, that I owe you a hundred bucks.
Here’s how Lehman Brothers paid for their Knicks tickets: a week before the game, they went to you and offered to you “sell” you their worthless puke-stained lava lamp for a hundred bucks, with the understanding that two days after the Knicks game, it would come back and “buy” the lamp back for the same $100 (plus a small commission for your trouble). And when Lehman pocketed that $100 from the initial transaction, they decided to call that not borrowing but a true sale, i.e. they booked that hundred bucks as revenue from an honest sale of a worthless piece-of-shit lava lamp.
In 2007 and 2008 Lehman would do this before the end of every quarter. They would “sell” billions of dollars of assets, typically bonds, to various companies, and use that money to pay down debt before the quarter’s end, so that they didn’t look so flat-ass broke to investors. Then, a week or so after the end of the quarter, they would go out and borrow more money, and then “buy” the assets back. The reasons they did this were myriad, but in most cases the assets they were “selling” were depressed in value at the time and could not have been sold at anything like face value had they really gone out on the market and tried. So instead of really “selling” these items on their balance sheet, they worked together with other companies to jury-rig these “repurchase” agreements that looked like sales but were actually loans.
Lehman was doing massive amounts of these deals every quarter. In the second quarter of 2008, they lightened up their balance sheets with $50 billion worth of Repo agreements. This technique, apparently known as “window dressing,” isn’t that much different conceptually from the Enron-style book-doctoring that used “independent” special purpose vehicles to hide liabilities. In this case Lehman didn’t use shell companies but instead scattered its dent in the financial atmosphere by booking loans as sales. Ernst and Young, which made over $100 million in fees between 2001 and 2008 working with Lehman, aided the process by signing off on Lehman’s crazy accounting. In the report by bankruptcy examiner Anton Valukas that came out last March, he describes how Ernst and Young threw up a brilliant “We’re not corrupt, we’re just incredibly stupid” defense when confronted with the question of the $50 billion in Repo 105s in the second quarter of 2008. The report (a PDF of which you can view here) talks about what E&Y’s Lehman auditor Hillary Hansen had to say when future E&Y whistleblower Michael Lee confronted her about the $50 billion in Repos:
During the Examiner’s interview of Hansen, Hansen recalled that while Ernst & Young questioned Lee about his May 16, 2008 letter, Lee “rattled off” a list of additional issues and concerns he held, one of which was Lehman’s use of Repo 105 transactions. Ernst & Young had no further conversations with Lee about Repo 105 transactions. Prior to her interview of Lee in June 2008, Hansen had heard the term Repo 105 “thrown around” but she did not know its meaning…
In other words, the lead auditor reviewing one of the world’s largest investment banks had no idea what a series of regularly-occurring billion-dollar transactions committed by her main client were, and apparently wasn’t interested. It also didn’t seem to bother E&Y that Lehman was not disclosing any of this to its investors in its SEC filings.
My guess is that this suit is the beginning of the end for Ernst and Young and, who knows, may be the beginning of a series of investigations that ultimately take down the auditors and ratings agencies that made the financial crisis possible. Without accountants and raters signing off on all the bogus derivative math and bad bookkeeping, a lot of this mess would never have happened. Zero Hedge has an excellent piece detailing all the ass-covering and finger-pointing going on at Ernst and Young; check it out if you have time.
Update 12/20/2010–According to the Wall St Journal:
Auditors Face Fraud Charge: New York Set to Allege Ernst & Young Stood By as Lehman Cooked Its Books
New York prosecutors are poised to file civil fraud charges against Ernst & Young for its alleged role in the collapse of Lehman Brothers, saying the Big Four accounting firm stood by while the investment bank misled investors about its financial health, people familiar with the matter said.
State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is close to filing the case, which would mark the first time a major accounting firm was targeted for its role in the financial crisis. The suit stems from transactions Lehman allegedly carried out to make its risk appear lower than it actually was.
The whistle-blower was Matthew Lee, a Lehman Brothers senior vice president. He had complained to his boss, and eventually wrote a letter in May 2008 to senior Lehman executives expressing concern that the Repo 105 transactions violated Lehman’s ethics code by misleading investors and regulators about the true value of the firm’s assets. Days later, Mr. Lee was ousted from the firm.
According to the Lehman bankruptcy examiner’s report, Ernst & Young auditors saw the letter, and later interviewed Mr. Lee after he was let go from Lehman. Ernst & Young previously said in a statement that Lehman management determined Mr. Lee’s “allegations were unfounded.” (Source)
Original Dregs of the Future blog post on March 16, 2010:
A 2,200-page examiner’s report into the collapse of the 158-year old institution, published last week, uncovered in forensic detail evidence that Lehman used “balance sheet manipulation” to mislead investors and regulators. (Source)
Aren’t highly paid CPA auditors supposed to warn us about this sort of thing?
Ernst & Young came under fire this week after the court-appointed examiner in the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc bankruptcy said the audit firm did not challenge accounting gimmicks that allowed Lehman to hide some $50 billion in assets in 2008, while claiming it had reduced its overall leverage levels.
Ernst & Young said in a statement: “Our last audit of the company was for the fiscal year ending November 30, 2007. Our opinion indicated that Lehman’s financial statements for that year were fairly presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and we remain of that view [because] after an exhaustive investigation the examiner made no findings in his report that Lehman’s assets or liabilities were improperly valued or accounted for incorrectly in Lehman’s November 30, 2007, financial statements.” (Source)
Standard Accounting: Ask Enron.
Accounting, what a scam profession…a method of keeping the books based upon “generally accepted principles” and subject to Congressional rule changes (when those “generally accepted principles” would declare the largest banks in the nation insolvent at the most inopportune time). The profession of financial accounting has disgraced and discredited itself in my eyes; they’re almost as big a bunch of liars and frauds as bond rating firms…
To think Lehman’s was the only big investment house to manipulate its balance sheet via repos would be naive. The whole point of accounting has become to find ways to crook the books without going to jail. Ask Barclays. (Source)
Just as a vampire can’t stand to be seen and thus avoids the light of day at all costs, as it is only able to operate by the deceptive cover of darkness, so the very nature of the institutions and operations by which the phantom wetikonomy functions must be kept hidden from the light of public awareness. The financial instruments of the wetikonomy are purposely crafted to be incredibly complex and hard to understand so as to hide and obfuscate the theft that is happening. Hiding the reality of what they are doing is one of the ‘chief features’ of wetiko finance. Replacing transparency with opacity, it has become standard account-ing practice in the wetikonomy to ‘cook the books’ so as to avoid being held account-able. If clearly illuminated and exposed to the light of collective disclosure and transparency, the shell-game and Ponzi scheme that IS the global financial system will be revealed to be the staggering and unlawful deception that it is. (Source)
Posted in Economics, trade and business, financial crisis, fraud, Harm, pain and hurt, news, U.S., tagged cheating, corruption, coup d’état, deception, fraud, health care, insurance, looting, Obama, self-serving, take-over, unemployment on December 17, 2009 | 2 Comments »
Posted in Economics, trade and business, financial crisis, fraud, government, humor, solutions, U.S., tagged bailouts, banks, bubble, cheating, corruption, debt, deception, Federal Reserve, fraud, Obama, self-serving, stimulus, sucker's rally, U.S. on December 12, 2009 | 2 Comments »
How To Make The World’s Easiest $1 Billion
Henry Blodget, Dec. 10, 2009
With all the banks paying back the TARP money, some folks are assuming that the great Wall Street bailout is finally coming to an end. But of course it isn’t!
Taxpayers are still guaranteeing all big bank bonds (Too Big To Fail) and subsidizing huge bank earnings and bonuses with absurdly low interest rates. But instead of bellyaching about it, you might as well just smile and cash in. After all, that’s what Wall Street’s doing.
So here’s how to make the world’s easiest $1 billion:
STEP 1: Form a bank.
STEP 2: Round up a bunch of unemployed friends to be “bankers.”
STEP 3: Raise $1 billion of equity. (This is the only tricky step. And it’s not that tricky. See below.*)
STEP 4: Borrow $9 billion from the Fed at an annual cost of 0.25%.
STEP 5: Buy $10 billion of 30-year Treasuries paying 4.45%
STEP 6: Sit back and watch the cash flow in.
At this spread, you should be earning at least 4% per year on your $10 billion of capital, or $400 million. Sure, there’s some risk that the Fed will grow a backbone and raise short rates, but there’s not much risk. (They have an economy to fix and banks to secretly recapitalize). And in any event, if the Fed raises short rates, making your $1 billion will just take a bit longer. (And if they REALLY raise rates, causing you to actually lose money, it will be someone else’s problem.)
You’ll have made $400 million in a single year! So pay yourself a fat salary for all your hard work. And pay your “bankers” fat salaries for all their hard work (But don’t worry–your bankers won’t actually have to do anything. You’ll just need one of them to borrow the money from the Fed and buy the Treasuries, which he will be able to do part-time.) At the end of the year, celebrate. It’s bonus time!
Don’t be greedy. Pay yourself and your bankers the industry-standard compensation ratio of 50% of revenue. Your revenue was $400 million, so that creates a $200 million bonus pool. Pay each of your unemployed friends bankers, say, $1 million. And give yourself the rest for being such a smart entrepreneur and creating all the jobs and value.
Now, you’ve already made at least $150 million, so it doesn’t really matter what happens next. But you’re in this for the world’s easiest $1 billion, right?
So proceed to Step 7.
STEP 7: Go public. After bonuses, your bank will be earning about $200 million a year, your capital ratio will be super-strong (10% equity-to-debt!), and your balance sheet will be clean as a whistle (all risk-free Treasuries!). So you ought to be able to persuade investors to pay you at least 20-times earnings, or a valuation of $4 billion. Sell 25% of the company for $1 billion.
STEP 8: Use your $1 billion of new equity to borrow another $9 billion at 0.25% from the Fed. Buy another $9 billion of Treasuries. Collect another $400 million a year. Pay yourself and your team bonuses that are twice as large as last year’s. You deserve it! And you’re now about $500 million to the good.
STEP 9: Wait for your stock to double or triple, which won’t take long given your amazing growth trajectory and clean balance sheet. When your market cap hits $10 billion, sell another 10% of the company for $1 billion. Now you’re really ready to grow.
STEP 10: If you want to get fancy and get nice profiles written about you in business magazines, start buying branch networks from defunct banks (the FDIC will pay you to take them) and start making actual loans. Also, start hiring trading desks to gamble on things more exotic than Treasuries. Yes, all this sounds risky, but just remember–the risk isn’t yours, and you’re already $500 million to the good.
STEP 11: Sell $500 million of your stock to a “strategic investor” and let the rest ride. Don’t worry, if your traders and loan officers turn out to be idiots or the Fed suddenly raises rates, the taxpayers will handle it. And you’ve already made your $1 billion.
So, congratulations, you’re now a billionaire! Now all there is left to do is celebrate!
* If you’ve been paying attention, you will note that the only potentially tricky step in this process is the “raise $1 billion of equity.” Where, exactly, are you going to get $1 billion of equity? Well, you will have to do some selling there.
Basically, you’ll have to tell a few investors about your awesome new business plan (see above) that will earn them returns of at least 20% on their equity from Day 1. A 20% return on equity is a lot, especially when the return is largely risk free. So you should have no problem raising that $1 billion of equity.
Given the government’s desperate desire to get banks to start lending again, you might also want to try to hit up the government for some funds. The pitch will be simple: Old banks aren’t lending because they’re hiding embedded losses and need to protect their balance sheets. You don’t have that problem. You’ll use the equity to LEND. (And you will use it to lend! You don’t have to say that you’re going to lend it to the US government. None of the other banks are saying that.)
Posted in Economics, trade and business, financial crisis, fraud, government, U.S., tagged banks, cheating, corruption, coup d’état, crash, deception, economy, fraud, insurance, investment, looting, losses, Oligarchs, politics, self-serving, take-over on November 19, 2009 | 2 Comments »
“The finance, insurance and real estate sector has given $2.3 billion to candidates, leadership PACs and party committees since 1989, which eclipses every other sector. Nineteen percent of total contributions from the employees and political action committees across all sectors came from the financial sector.” (Source.)
New York Senator Chuck Schumer has received $2,167,300 in contributions from the financial sector. A member of the SenateBanking Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Schumer received more contributions from the hedge fund, private equity, and securities and investment industries than any other member of congress. Credit Swisse, JP Morgan, UBS, and New York Life Insurance are among his biggest donors.
Want more details? Go to OpenSecrets.org to see which members of Congress have received Wall Street money.
Posted in financial crisis, fraud, government, Harm, pain and hurt, U.S., tagged cheating, corruption, coup d’état, crash, debt, deception, fraud, looting, self-serving, take-over, U.S. on August 20, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
William Black, who teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, has been a vociferous critic of US policy on the financial crisis. In this lecture, he not only revisits one of his favorite topics, fraud, but also examines a wealth transfer from the middle classes to the banksters. This video is highly recommended although it runs 1.5 hours. It discusses layers of corruption at all levels, including collusion by Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. (Source.)
Link to the video lecture:
Posted in Economics, trade and business, financial crisis, fraud, U.S., tagged banks, cheating, corruption, deception, Goldman Sachs, self-serving, stock market manipulation, sucker's rally, U.S. on July 11, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
Is anyone still surprised that Goldman will announce huge profits on Tuesday? Does anyone still care? Rigging computerized trading is just one small trick on the repertoire; rigging the government is a bigger one. (Source.)
Ponder the many articles about how Goldman Sachs (along with other large banks) are manipulating the NYSE and most other financial markets. For example:
The conclusion is clear, capital markets are now just a rigged game for taking money away from suckers–ordinary people like you and me. The efficient market hypothesis is a joke, a scam.
“Green shoots”? Bawahahahaha . . . what a cart load.
Even a former US Treasury Asst. Secretary said in a public forum that Geithner works for Goldman Sachs, not for the people. (Read here: http://prof77.wordpress.com/)
Right now is like the calm before the tsunami hits–people are walking around on the seabed looking at the sea shells, thinking this all just a very, very “low tide,” with no idea what is coming.
Bill Black was the former Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention now teaches Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. During the savings and loan crisis, it was Black who accused then-house speaker Jim Wright and five US Senators, including John Glenn and John McCain, of doing favors for the S&L’s in exchange for contributions and other perks.
Now Black is focused on an even greater scandal, and he spares no one — not even the President he worked hard to elect, Barack Obama. But his main targets are the Wall Street barons.
WILLIAM K. BLACK: Fraud is deceit. And the essence of fraud is, “I create trust in you, and then I betray that trust, and get you to give me something of value.” And as a result, there’s no more effective acid against trust than fraud, especially fraud by top elites, and that’s what we have.
Posted in Oligarchs, U.S., tagged bailout, bailouts, banks, cheating, corruption, debt, deception, Federal Reserve, fraud, looting, losses, Oligarchs, self-serving, selfishness, stimulus, subsidies, Treasury, U.S., wealth on April 7, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
Imagine you bet $500,000 on a stock and it dropped to $20,000. If you owned Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, he’d get on TV and explain that if the government didn’t buy your shares for $500,000, the economy would suffer because you couldn’t invest anymore. He’d say the “free market” isn’t pricing the stock “right,” and we have to “help” the market with taxpayer money to make sure you get the “right” price.
The administration and the banks keep talking about a credit crisis, but there isn’t one. Banks are lending. If you want a mortgage and can afford to pay it back, you can borrow at low rates today.
To fix this fake crisis, there are fake discussions about what the government must do. The endlessly recycled plan to buy “troubled” assets isn’t to get banks lending again, because they haven’t stopped lending. The plan seeks for taxpayers to buy worthless assets at high prices to absorb rich investors’ losses. That’s it. It keeps coming back as a different plan, but with that same goal. There is no goal beyond that one goal: keep rich people from taking losses. (Source.)
Accountants trashed “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” today. Accounting deception is the new legal standard! Say goodbye to transparency and disclosure. This confirms for investors that markets are now an officially sanctioned rigged game. All remaining shreds of investor confidence will soon vanish. There is no turning back now:
The Financial Accounting Standards Board, pressured by U.S. lawmakers and financial companies, voted to relax fair-value rules that Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. say don’t work when markets are inactive.The changes approved today to fair-value, also known as mark-to-market, allow companies to use “significant” judgment in valuing assets to reduce writedowns on certain investments, including mortgage-backed securities. (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3)
Background: Congress last month demanded that the Financial Accounting Standards Board ease mark-to-market rules, or the politicians would do it for them. Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) warned FASB Chairman Robert Herz at a hearing on March 12, 2009, “If the regulators and standard setters do not act now to improve the standards, then the Congress will have no other option than to act itself.”
MBAs today are haunted by the thought that the tag really stands for Mediocre But Arrogant, Mighty Big Attitude, Me Before Anyone and Management By Accident. For today’s purposes, perhaps it should be Masters of the Business Apocalypse.
Harvard Business School alumni include Stan O’Neal and John Thain, the last two heads of Merrill Lynch, plus Andy Hornby, former chief executive of HBOS, who graduated top of his class. And then of course, there’s George W Bush, Hank Paulson, the former US Treasury secretary, and Christopher Cox, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a remarkable trinity who more than fulfilled the mission of their alma mater: “To educate leaders who make a difference in the world.” It just wasn’t the difference the school had hoped for.
You can draw up a list of the greatest entrepreneurs of recent history, from Steve Jobs at Apple, to Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google and Bill Gates of Microsoft, to Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Lak-shmi Mittal – and there’s not an MBA between them.
Yet the MBA industry continues to grow, and business schools provide vital income to academic institutions: 500,000 people around the world now graduate each year with an MBA, 150,000 of those in the United States, creating their own management class within global business. Applications to business schools in America and Europe are broadly up, as people search for a safe haven from the recession.
What are they thinking? Many MBA jobs will not be coming back. (Source)
Meanwhile, in another study . . . “A study of cheating among graduate students, published in 2006 in the journal Academy of Management Learning & Education, found that 56 percent of all M.B.A. students cheated regularly – more than in any other discipline. The authors attributed that to “perceived peer behavior” – in other words, students believed everyone else was doing it.” (Source.)