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Friday: Ok, forget it. Just bleed us dry.

Were only taking 2 quarts.  You wont even miss it.

We're only taking 2 quarts. You won't even miss it.

We are finally finding out why the banks are sitting on all of the money we gave them last fall.  It turns out that after they sucked the bonuses out of them, it simply wasn’t enough cash for lending.  They are still undercapitalized.  What we *didn’t* know is that banks were getting much of their money from hedge funds and now those hedge funds are hurting. Now, they need an extra trillion to start lending again.

The Obama administration hopes to jump-start this crucial machinery by effectively subsidizing the profits of big private investment firms in the bond markets. The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve plan to spend as much as $1 trillion to provide low-cost loans and guarantees to hedge funds and private equity firms that buy securities backed by consumer and business loans.

The Fed is expected to start the first phase of the program, which will provide $200 billion in loans to investors, in early March.

But analysts question whether this approach will be enough to unlock the credit that the economy needs to pull out of a deepening recession. Some worry it may benefit only select investors at taxpayer expense.

The program also does not try to change securitization practices that, many investors say, spread risks throughout the world and destroyed financial institutions. Policy makers acknowledge that for now, fixing credit ratings, reducing conflicts of interest and improving disclosure can wait.

Under the program, the Fed will lend to investors who acquire new securities backed by auto loans, credit card balances, student loans and small-business loans at rates ranging from roughly 1.5 percent to 3 percent.

Who could have predicted?  Aren’t hedge funds set up to play on the uncertainties of the market?  Aren’t there complicated sensitivity analysis algorithms written by boy genius biologist billionaires that have this stuff all worked out?  I guess they didn’t count on ultra aggressive MBA’s from Harvard biz school inventing collateralized debt obligations and other fancy “instruments”.  I swear, these people need to be flayed, all of them.

So, we bailed out the bankers and the insurance companies.  Why not the hedge funds?  I mean, if rich people want to gamble their money away, is it moral for us to let them do it?  And is the hedge fund problem the real reason we have been dithering on the second bank bailout?  No one knew quite how to break it to us.  It’s another *trillion* dollars.  It’s just so enormously large.   I can almost hear Geithner and Obama talking about it:

“Wow!  Oh, wow!  That’s a $%@!load of money, Tim.  I don’t envy you when you have to break it to the American people.”

“Me?  *I’m* not going to tell them.  YOU tell them.”

Oh, and did you notice?  The Obama administration is not going to require any changes to the securitization schemes that got us into this mess in the first place.  We just give them the money so they can start playing again and the fixes can wait.  What is it my organic chem professor used to say all of the time? Oh yeah:

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over??”

We’re running out of time.  We are becoming Japan, not Sweden.

In other news:

  • UBS, one of Switzerland’s largest and most secretive banks, is going to be coughing up the names of some of its account holders.  It reached a settlement agreement with the US Government over a severe case of tax fraud.  Yep, UBS found some wealthy American clients and helped them hide their assets from the IRS to the tune of ~$300 million.  The bank made about that much in profit.  The bank’s executives were on the verge of indictment, which would have been the kiss of death in years past.  So, they agreed to pay back the taxes and the profits *and* disclose the names of the tax cheats.  That got the bank off the hook for about $1 Billion in penalties.  My, my, I can’t wait to go through those names.  How much you want to bet we recognize some of those names?  Gee, I wonder how many donated to Obama’s campaign?  Unfortunately, when it comes to disclosing the names of the account holders, the bankers are screwed either way.  The US will indict if they don’t cough up the names and the Swiss government will indict if they do.  What’s a banker to do?
  • Nouriel Roubini wrote an ode to the end of Laissez Faire capitalism yesterday.  Of course, we know it’s not dead, nor is capilatism dead.  But it deserves a long convalsescence while the rest of us clean up the mess.  Republicans, libertarians and their enabler Blue Dogs need to keep their yaps shut if they know what’s good for them.  Personally, I don’t want to hear about how the rich will suffer if they don’t have money to play with, like the rest of us can’t figure out how to play with money more responsibly.  It just hit me yesterday that I completely bought into that line of argument that if we didn’t let the rich have their money free from a lot of burdensome taxation, they would be unable to create jobs.  But throughout my working career, we’ve given the rich tax cut after tax cut and the only jobs that have been created are overseas while the money has been moved into offshore tax shelters (see UBS above).  What have we gotten from the rich for all that we’ve given them except attacks on labor unions, layoff notices that boosted their quarterly earnings and waiting on pins and needles for the pink slip?  It has been 25 years of constant anxiety for me during my career.  Can I afford to take a vacation, finish my basement, save for college or my retirement?  How much of my money needs to be liquid in case I lose my job?  Which relative do I move in with?  What am I going to do instead of research?  Is this any way to live?   It’s a modest existence.  There are no new cars every year.  I shop at The Gap and Banana Republic, not Saks or even Talbots.  I look for bargains for everything.   I don’t live on credit.  But even doing as much as I can responsibly, I can be taken down by a bunch of whiny rich guys who have bogarted the media megaphone for the past thirty years.

I’m sorry, but the rich have exhausted my sympathy.  I simply do not care if they had contractural agreements guaranteeing them massive bonuses based on overall revenue and not profit.  If they threaten to quit because they aren’t getting their million dollar lagniape, I have only one thing to say to them.  It was said to us sciency types one year by our CEO  in a company I used to work for.  The CEO announced hiring and salary freezes after years of dismal raises.   It was during that brief recession just after Clinton took office and changing jobs was not an option.   “Where else are you going to go?”, he said.  Yes, dear bankers, where else are you going to go?  Oh and by the way, your jobs can be outsourced too.  I hear they’re ramping up the finance industry- in Asia.

231 Responses

  1. I want my bonus!!!! Why am I not getting a bonus?! Fuck this! I’m going home!

  2. As to spending, I’ve saved my whole life, and the savings are disappearing with my 401(k). Now I wish I’d spent it — I would at least have the stuff I bought.

  3. I’ve said before and I’ll say again:

    Rich people have never created a single job. The only thing that drives job creation is demand and the ability of the CONSUMER to buy the product to create the demand. No rich person is going to build a business without some indication that there is going to be a reasonable amount of demand for his product or service. Giving the rich more money hurts everyone including the rich at this point. Give the money to those who will spend it.

  4. If I used my egg money to buy a lottery ticket that did not win should I expect the government to compensate my loss because of my irresponsible choice? If the answer is yes, welcome to the USA economy.

    Each of us wants to do better but these “Greedy Gerts” took it to the extremes. What little we have managed to set by for those “rainy days”, along with the loss of equity in our homes, will disappear very quickly in order to just maintain.

    Meanwhile, the weasels and Captains of Industry will be protected since these wizards are considered “irreplacable” owing to their expertise and genius.

    God save us from the experts and geniuses who have led us into this quagmire. They should rot in hell.

  5. From the Roubini article:

    This severe economic and financial crisis is now also leading to a severe backlash against financial globalization, free trade and the free-market economic model.

    To paraphrase Churchill, capitalist market economies open to trade and financial flows may be the worst economic regime–apart from the alternatives. However, while this crisis does not imply the end of market-economy capitalism, it has shown the failure of a particular model of capitalism. Namely, the laissez-faire, unregulated (or aggressively deregulated), Wild West model of free market capitalism with lack of prudential regulation, supervision of financial markets and proper provision of public goods by governments.

    I took American History and economics in high school in th 1960s. We learned about the robber barons and how laissez-faire capitalism had failed, leading to the Great Depression. Now some people are having to learn that lesson again? I lost patience with these people long ago. They nauseate me.

  6. Bush got rid of as much government as he could, because that’s what he believes in. In a lot of ways, it took us back to the “Wild West” unregulated business cycles of the 19th century.

  7. It’s not that these (rich who are stealing from us) people
    don’t know the lessons of the robber barons and
    laissez-faire capitalism. It’s that they don’t care.

    Because they want what they want, and don’t care what
    happens to the rest of the world.

    And they have learned another important lesson,
    begun by Reagan.
    That they can get away with it.

  8. Part of this downturn began when manufacturing jobs were sent overseas and factories shut their doors forever. The companies claimed they could make the product cheaper and so they did. But those making the decision made out like bandits. A pair of sneakers still cost over $100.00 while the outsourced worker was paid $1.00 per hour less benefits.

    The executives and stock holders did not feel the loss while the American worker took it on the chin. Communities suffered immeasurably but the fat cats just got fatter. Instead of perhaps tackling the possibility of restructuring the healtcare costs then, which was used as the reason companies chose to go overseas, that lobbying industry again won out.

    This one sided structure is close to total collapse. I am not certain that anyone has the answer to bind the bleeding that will result.

  9. speaktruth, Said:

    And they have learned another important lesson,
    begun by Reagan.
    That they can get away with it.
    ************

    Especially when the wealthiest 1% get to decide who will be President.

  10. I don’t get how a bunch of bitter dead-ender holdouts can see so clearly what’s going on and the leaders cannot. (We’ve been here before, haven’t we?)

  11. What I would like to know: how come I’m not hearing about massive layoffs at all these Wall St firms that are getting bailout money (or expect to get bailout money?)

    Not that I want anyone to get laid off — even on Wall St it’s the lower-rung people who get dumped first — but since Bear Stearns and Lehman, I haven’t heard of anyone losing jobs. Just tons of people in other industries.

    Did I just miss it? Maybe it got lost in the tidal waves of layoff news I read about every morning? Won’t they need far fewer people now that the securitized toxic waste instruments no longer need to be swapped and hidden and swapped again?

  12. Perhaps because we know firsthand that it takes more than “hope” and “change” to lead. I personally don’t for one minute believe that The One has a clue anymore than I do to the inner workings of the financial industry. I would venture to guess that he is not too heavily invested in the “deriavitives” and “bundlings” of Wall Street gambling techniques.

    Hey, he signed the stimulus package. As far as he is concerned, that was enough. His interest lies mainly in the next “campaign stop” and basking in the cacophony of the adoring crowds. All aboard!

  13. Valhalla: There’s actually going to be a program to help them out:

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday announced initiatives to support New York City’s financial services sector and to encourage displaced Wall Street workers to form startups.

  14. This article talks about layoffs in the Charlotte banking industry:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090213.wcharlotte0214/EmailBNStory/Business/

  15. These little snot nosed 20 something quislings who were his most ardent supporters, who tormented, dismissed, derided those of us who refused to see him in all the glory they heaped on him, are in for a rude awakening.

    As they finally march down that expensive aisle and handed that much sought after diploma, they will find the job market, which they thought was just waiting breathlessly for their vaunted arrival, may not be as impressed.

    They may delude themselves into thinking they are the smartest people in the room, but like the rest of us, you learn soon enough that reality bites big time when you have to pay rent, buy food, pay bills, and get by. Without a job, that can create a problem. Pinning your hopes on The One may prove to be the ride to nowhere you didn’t expect.

  16. Plural – Do you really think that Bush had a “master plan” (sinister music playing) to undo the economy? What makes you say that?

    I think it was so far above his understanding that he just ignored it for 8 years.

  17. I didn’t say anything about a master plan. Or about the economy specifically.

    This is just the Katrina of the financial industry.

    I’ve been saying for years now: This is what happens when you elect people to run the government who don’t believe in government.

  18. Contract?? If the person was making under 100G a year they would bend over backwards and frontwards to find a way out of paying the money and tell them that won’t get it because hello they didn’t have the money — Then fire them.

  19. OG,

    Do you seriously think GW Bush was in charge of the whole “master plan?” The Bush family has been made their fortune by treating the U.S. Treasury as their private piggy bank for generations. They have been deeply involved in the government since the Woodrow Wilson administration. . Prescott Bush was one of the leaders of the effort to take down FDR in a fascist coups. So did the Bushes plan to bankrupt the country and funnel the money to their overlords in the military-industrial complex? Yes, I believe they did.

  20. OG, their plan was to divert tax money to their friends at any point they could. 9/11, Iraq War, TARP. I think Obama is doing the same with the stimulus.

  21. I am so sick and tired of these short-term thinkers. I’ve been reading my daughter’s AP World History textbook and the solutions to our problems are all right there. Societies with a weak central government fall into feudalism. Societies with weak manufacturing bases have weak, second rate economies. Societies with a strong middle class thrive. Societies where women are among the wage earners treat women with more respect.

    If only one of these so called geniuses would crack open a history book they would realize we are heading down the wrong path once again. That’s why we need a President who is more than just a politician.

  22. Now I wish I’d spent it — I would at least have the stuff I bought.

    I spent most of my money on booze and sins of the flesh.

    The rest I just wasted

  23. See, it doesn’t pay to be prudent 🙂

  24. Someone needs to once more educate me on the term “progressive” since applying it to Obama has left me clueless as to the meaning.

  25. If I used my egg money to buy a lottery ticket that did not win should I expect the government to compensate my loss because of my irresponsible choice?

    The Bored of Education would like to thank you for helping to pay the school administrators’ salaries.

  26. I am so tired of hearing people like Cavuto on Fox (he was on Greta last night) complain about “bailing out” all those “irresponsible” homeowners. But it seems that we are to have sympathy for all those poor banks, insurance companies and now hedge funds. Bu11sh!t. If we are bailing out, I would rather it be the average homeowner and not these companies that spend millions on bonuses to their top tier that got their companies into the messes. If we are going deeper and deeper into debt, let it be for universal healthcare, social security increases, mandatory living wages, housing, education, and real job creation. I have no more money to give to the rich. I spent it all on paying for extras such as medication and food for my parents and in-laws.

  27. Someone needs to once more educate me on the term “progressive”

    Since Obama got elected things have gotten progressive-ly worse.

  28. They are blasting Octo Mom but really, is she any different than those on Wall Street? They each made stupid and irresponsible decisions and are now expecting to be bailed out by the rest of us.

  29. There you go! Progressive-ly worst.

  30. Pat,

    The rich are inherently virtuous and deserving *because* they are rich. Social Darwinism is the law of the land.

  31. “Octo-Mom” sounds like the comic book arch-enemy of Misogyny Man

  32. Janicen,

    What the ruling classes want is feudalism. They want to make the U.S. into a third world country with slave wages. That is exactly what they have been working to accomplish since the 1980s at least.

  33. They want to make the U.S. into a third world country

    I wanted to visit the third world, but I didn’t plan on living there.

  34. They want to make the U.S. into a third world country with slave wages.

    Actually they are being very patriotic. This is the ruling class’ plan to bring back all those manufacturing jobs we lost due to globalization.

  35. Pat: actually you can deduct gambling losses on your taxes, so yes, the government subsidizes your losses on lottery tickets, slot machines, and poker.

  36. you can deduct gambling losses on your taxes

    Does that include bad relationships?

  37. dakinikat, just not online poker.

  38. The last few days have been especially depressing. I’m
    so angry and shocked I can barely write about it.

    Obama finally came up with a little teeny plan (60 billion
    out of two trillion so far), with maybe half of it going to
    people behind on mortgages. Poor people,
    mostly people who ended up paying rates like 9 or 10%.
    Also, these went disproportionately to minorities.
    Without cutting down on foreclosures, the real
    estate market will never get back. Unless the real
    estate market is addressed and improved, the entire
    economy won’t get better.
    Doing something here was Hillary’s main priority –
    along with new jobs. Both are related.

    Now, the meme on every network (Fox is the
    worst, MSNBC next) is how those “irresponsible”
    borrowers should not get any help because it
    hurts who are “responsible” and paying their
    mortgages.
    How? Actually it helps, because now their houses
    are worth so little, many won’t be able to sell them. What
    if one of them loses a job, through no fault of their own.
    Then they become one of the “irresponsible”.

    Now, with all that TARP money going to multi-millionaire
    bank CEOs there wasn’t this much outcry.

    I find it hard to believe American people are really this
    selfish and mean. Do they really want to see their neighbors
    out on the street?

    I think it’s a meme created by politicians (Repubs, maybe
    Obama) in service of the banks?, to gove them cover for
    doing nothing.

  39. OT, but zapping through channels I paused on MSNBC who continues the love affair with Obama: they announced he is now the #1 “hero” of Americans, with Jesus being demoted to #2 and MLK #3. I have no words….

  40. Some of the blogs crack me up. Because Octo Mom is female, the bleeding hearts refuse to hold her accountable for her actions.

    Instead of looking more closely at her plastic surgeries, lip enhancements, and the source of the money she used to make herself into a future celebrity, they are pleading her right to do with her body as she chooses.

    Ummm. The fact that she puts all of her children at jeopardy and expects to benefit from a financial reward for this behavior is basically tossed aside. By referring to her situation as a “miracle” grants her the absolution to exploit and manipulate the system. Also, by referring to her as someone with “psychological issues” instead of proclaiming her as just an clear thinking manipulative opportunist is giving her a free pass.

    Those kids are at risk. And right now, the biggest risk factor is their mother. That needs to be acknowledged first and foremost.

  41. Part of Mr. Soertoro/Obama leadership problem is that he has never earned a living but lived off a form of welfare contributions from people like Rezko and Ayers. With no source of income and no financial papertrail he’s completed a college degree, taken world tours and bought mansions while earning less income than we earn yearly before taxes.

    He was “hired” by the democratic party to fix our economic problems when he’s never even lived within his means which is like hiring someone whose never thrown a football to play in the Superbowl!

  42. For what it’s worth, there a couple of things going on here, deferring as usual to dakinikat’s view.

    Credit default swaps and naked short selling were a huge contributor to the end game in the financial system collapse. And though I don’t have hard data, I continue to believe hedge funds were the catalyst if not the agents for this, and they may have been the principle beneficiaries of the redemptions.

    So as you say, the banks were not able to lend, in some measure (perhaps significant) because they owed the hedge funds. As the Times piece says, in the past decade the hedge funds have become the banker for the banks, in a sense the private and speculative version of the Federal Reserve.

    The TALF 1 trillion is a low interest loan from the Fed to any agent in good standing who is willing to securitize and back consumer and small business lending. This may do more than anything else to unfreeze credit markets and get businesses in towns and cities functioning again, else we could see multiple millions more layed off this year.

    The rub is that because most banks, agents and investors are deer in the headlights right now, the fastest way to get TALF into circulation may be through the larger hedge funds. They have the heft and the financial reputation to be able to get the ball rolling and create this secondary markets for loans.

    Congress doesn’t understand hedge funds, they don’t regulate them, so they have no way of getting tough with them, right now at least. But the economy is on the ledge. If it tips over, we could be on our way to a depression, tons more jobs could be lost, lots more companies could go under.

    TALF is a loan from the Fed’s balance sheet. TARP comes from tax dollars, TALF does not. An expanding Fed balance sheet will have other monetary policy implications, but TALF is not Treasury money.

    Is this thing with hedge funds a pact with the devil. Probably. The markets are poised for another huge selloff today. If the selloff is not horrible, that’ll be a partial indication that traders want to see how hedge funds and private equity (variation on same thing) come to play. Given how inept Geithner and company are looking right now, this may be the only arrow left in the quiver for Wall Street.

  43. The press is stuck with their creation. Like someone who just purchased a “lemon” car, they will keep pouring on the “love” until they can’t anymore.

  44. naked short selling

    I had to look that up, and it’s not as much fun as it sounds

  45. Welcome to the land of the non sympathetic rd. I’ve been suggesting these guys go grab a spatula and start flipping burgers just like they told the manufacturing community to do after the “free market” decided it was cheaper to make things in indigent countries with no labor or safety standards. It’s time for them to buck up and retrain the way they have told thousands who ended up unemployed as a result of disproportionate trade agreements. I’ve watched them cheer and high five fattening their portfolios at the American workers expense and I have NO sympathy for them. They wanted a free market so darn bad, well now it’s their turn to downsize and retrain. Perhaps when that is done we can have a real discussion on who deserves what wage and a return to the days when minimum wage meant taking home enough to support your household with a little extra figured in for a luxury or two.

    I think yesterday another poster made a great point when she stated that it is amazing that we need to honor these particular contractual agreements that guarantee the upper echelon hundreds of times what their workers make but contractual obligations to union members are another story.

  46. Like someone who just purchased a “lemon” car, they will keep pouring on the “love” until they can’t anymore.

    In investment terms its “throwing good money after bad”

    In Rehab they call it “codependency” – if they show Big O perfect love he will turn out to be what they hoped he was at the beginning

  47. Look what’s going on with the media down here in the El Paso area….these things slip by, seem innocent when you see them in the paper,,,,but when you look closer….I didn’t know how to describe the organzer succinctly…but she sounds like she could be an Obot-leaning poli sci prof…she’s heavily involved in “community” stuff…

    El Paso Media Conference Pushes “Newspapers as Change Agents”; Interesting Background of Organizer

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/el-paso-media-conference-pushes-newspapers-as-change-agents-interesting-background-of-organizer/

  48. How about a ray of hope? Here in Philly a female judge is helping people to keep thier homes. It’s small, but a start . here’s a vid
    _________________________________________

    http://tinyurl.com/bc9tgv

    ………..Room 676 is not your traditional court of law.
    Here homeowners and lenders are required to try to make deals, a loan modification, or plan that satisfies both parties. “Lenders are working out deals they never would have worked out a couple years ago; they don’t want all these houses and they’re reducing payments and interest rates,” John Dodds of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project said.
    Housing counselors, as well as volunteer attorneys and judges, help and intervene when necessary.

    Judge Annette Rizzo started this foreclosure prevention court and signs off on the deals made here. Now, coming to this court of last resort is a mandatory step before any owner-occupied home in Philadelphia is put up for sheriff’s sale.

    The program has been place since June of 2008, but already more than 800 homes have been saved.
    Courtroom 676 is now a model for the country.

    If you’re facing foreclosure, call the Save Your Home Philly Hotline at 215-334-HOME. ……

  49. ….we have given over trillions because we were told we are in dire straits and in danger of immediate collapse ….but once the the banks HAVE our money… then it”s all business as usual??

    WTF??

  50. naked short selling

    Selling a stock you don’t own for profit. Should be illegal.

  51. myiqx2u, stop it. You are making me laugh too much and I have work to do.

    “Octo-Mom” sounds like the comic book arch-enemy of Misogyny Man

    An instant classic.

  52. insightanalytical, on February 20th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Whenever I hear stuff like ” Change Agents” it reminds me of the guy who said the Upper Crust was really shape changing lizards… I use to laugh at that guy. …now I can’t .

  53. The Daily Cheeto has been named one of Time’s most overrated blogs:

    Markos Moulitsas — alias “Kos” — created Daily Kos in 2002, a time he describes as “dark days when an oppressive and war-crazed administration suppressed all dissent as unpatriotic and treasonous.” Be careful what you wish for. With the Bush years now just a memory, Kos’s blog has lost its mission, and its increasingly rudderless posts read like talking points from the Democratic National Committee.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!

  54. paper doll,

    that is happening across the country. Judges have had it with loan companies and are throwing out foreclosure cases and demanding that the lenders be held to the same standards as borrowers. This is especially true in bankruptcy courts which tend to be (as myiqx2u noted) more sympathetic to borrowers.

  55. bb, have you been over there lately? it is just a bunch of juvenile obama groupies writing the most inane drivel. last time I checked there was a post on the top of the rec list from someone who says she is a black woman complaining that since Obama won white people have been being so nice to her and it is freaking her out.

  56. they’ve become sloppy too, there were several diaries I looked at that were citing things from other sources without telling where they are from or providing links…it’s devolving rapidly.

  57. so now it should read

    “dark days when an oppressive and MONEY-crazed administration suppressed all dissent as unpatriotic
    and R @ c i s t.”

  58. indigo, Clyburn is now saying that southern governors who don’t support the stimulus are racist. That man is a fucking asswipe.

    The highest-ranking black congressman says opposition to the federal stimulus package by southern governors is “a slap in the face of African-Americans.”

  59. Hi, Indigogrrl

  60. it’s devolving rapidly

    They’re suffering the effects of a “brain drain”

    The best GOS thinkers ended up places like here.

    😉

  61. Clyburn’s spokeswoman later said he didn’t mean that he thought those governors were racially motivated, but rejecting it would hurt large black populations in their states.

    This is exactly how Clyburn race-baited Bill Clinton. I remember him saying something like, I’m sure President Clinton didn’t mean for his comments to be racist.

  62. Gary,

    It’s a great wasteland filled with juvenile morons. I check it out very rarely.

    Meanwhile, Charles Lemos is posting at MyDD and being linked by Jane Hamsher. No further comment….

  63. Hi Mawm! Howzit hangin’???

  64. SCOTUS cases on 1st Amendment free speech talk about the “marketplace of ideas.”

    Cheetoville became a monopoly, and monopolies are inefficient and will eventually fail.

  65. DancingOpossum, on February 20th, 2009 at 10:36

    Thank you, that’s good to know!

  66. Dancing: I used to work in poverty law for Legal Aid, a friend who is still with them said they received a grant to assist those in foreclosure and they are winning a huge majority of those cases. She said they have kept about 70% of the people that come to them in time in thewir homes.

    So for anyone in NC in foreclosure, call your local legal aid, they are there, they are good and they will help.

  67. No further comment

    The “zero property of multiplication” says 0 x X = 0

    Or in this case 0 x 0 = 0

  68. DId you see Bill Clinton on Greta last night?????

    It really burned my cork! I just had to report on it…just finished, with links to the video….

    He’s the “Smoother in Chief” for Obama…I’m serious…he pretends he only knows from what he reads in the papers….
    OH PLEASE!!

    Anything More Nauseating that Bill Clinton Shilling For Obama on Greta Thursday Night?? (2/19/09)

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/anything-more-nauseating-that-bill-clinton-shilling-for-obama-on-greta-thursday-night-21909/

  69. The more I learn about my new Senator, Gillibrand, the more I like her (and don’t believe all the pro-gun hysteria coming from Downstate papers. Her “NRA Rating” was based on 3 votes as Rep. because she supported hunting rights in our outdoors district). IMO she has it exactly right on the bail out. She had the courage to vote against it, despite Pelosi’s pressure last fall, and she voted for this one, but is worried abou the lack of detail.

    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) voted against the federal financial bailout by the Bush administration, and she has doubts about the proposal outlined by President Barack Obama’s treasury secretary last week.

    Gillibrand, who spent 15 years as a Manhattan securities attorney, is not worried that the government is playing too large a role in trying to rescue credit-frozen banks.

    Instead, she said she is concerned the plan sketched out by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner does not take enough control of bailed-out financial firms, a mistake that she said former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson made.

    Gillibrand promotes the solution Sweden used to resolve its meltdown in 1992, in which the government took over banks and forced them to recapitalize and write down their assets.

    “This doesn’t have to be a long-term nationalization,” Gillibrand said. “We don’t want to own these banks long term. We just want to get them on a healthy footing.”

    She is not yet sold on Geithner, either, saying she’ll have to meet him, learn more about his views and past performance in the bailout, and see what he does in the future.

    “He was in the room with Paulson,” she said, when Paulson created the plan for the first $350 billion in bailout money. “I want to know, did he agree with Paulson’s approach?”

    She said she’s “hopeful” Geithner is the right man for the job and that she likes the “parameters” of his plan. But she added, “I need to know a lot more detail.”

    That skeptical take puts her somewhat at odds with her mentor, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a champion of Geithner who called his plan “very smart.”

  70. BB I wonder if faux feminist hamsher and the myDD groupies know about Charles’ PUMA past. Maybe that’s why he’s doing the racist thing….shows them he’s a true convert.

  71. I’ve got some other links I found out prowling this a.m. The Big Dawg gives Obama an “A” for his first month in office? He explains that it’s based on the stimulus bill passage (& his appointment of HC to SOS!), and thinks the economy will show positive signs soon. Sorry Bill, I don’t feel as confident. I’m more with Krugman–too little, too vague.

    Bill Clinton: Obama Should Sound More Hopeful

    Bill gives Obama an “A” for his first month in office…and thinks there will be good news from the economic stimulus fairly soon.

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/President44/story?id=6916695&page=1

  72. I agree Insight: I wish Bill would stop with the Obama fest. He knows, better than anyone, what happened last year. How can he do it when he accused him of being a rac*st?

  73. Krugman agrees with Gillibrand:

    Let’s be clear: The Obama administration’s policy initiatives will help in this difficult period – especially if the administration bites the bullet and takes over weak banks.

  74. Speaking of the r*ce card, Clyburn is at it again. Is there ANYTHING that he cannot twist into an accusation of rac*sm?

    Opposing stimulus a “slap” to blacks, Clyburn says

    House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) says GOP opposition to the stimulus — exemplified by his home state governor — is a “slap in the face” to blacks.

    Clyburn, speaking to reporters late Thursday, singled out white governors, who have blasted the $787 billion package, even though it’s likely to help their states’ black residents.

    A spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford accused Clyburn of playing the race card.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0209/Opposing_stimulus_a_slap_to_blacks_Clyburn_says.html

  75. I’m definitely on Gillibrand’s side. She’d have to do something reaaally dumb for me to not vote for her in two years.

  76. Yep, I mentioned Clyburn’s latest race bait last night. This guy is out of control and needs to be called out. And anybody who calls him out needs to not back down.

  77. I think there was a subtle critique there from Bill. Many of us have said that Obama’s fearmongering has been over the top, no matter what the crisis (just like how they criticized Hill’s 3am ad). His threats that we may never overcome this crisis is bad for this country. We need to know the truth, but we also need some “nothing to fear” reassurances as well.

  78. Senor Pompous Ass won’t like my comment to his post:

    The Boston busing riots took place during the Ford administration and Nixon pursued a “southern strategy”

    Facts are stubborn things.

    I notice he’s still bragging about his qualifications too.

  79. Octomom is out looking for a million dollar plus house on the deals she’s made for pictures and coverage for the babies …

    ah, where is PT Barnum when we need him for perspective?

  80. meanwhile Octomom’s mom is $23,000 short on house payments and is in foreclosure

  81. What an ass Lemos is. The race-baiting, will it ever end?

    My suspicion is he realizes accusastions of r@cism are like red-meat to the idiot zombies at myDD.

    Lemos’ post is acutally r@cist, because he assumes the CNBC commenter is talking about black people when he talks about irresponsible borrowers. Supposedly it is the new southern strategy. Lemos is a hack anyway, because we already went through this with anglachel. Lemos is just scamming off that twit.

  82. Real Kim,

    I am investigating on relocating in North Carolina. (I am going to either loose or undersale my condo in Phily). I am thinking of New Bern or Wilmington. Do you know those places?

  83. myiq, I remember him bragging about his qualifications while telling us that TARP had to be passed or we were all going to DIE!

  84. Agree that Bill is providing assurances. Country needs it right now. He and Hill have long memories.

    Gillibrand has not disappointed so far. Saw that Cuomo’s going after Lewis of BofA. Should be interesting.

  85. I agree Gary: Obama has used the word “catastrophe” on a daily basis. Still, giving him an “A” for the bumbling, amateurish and dishonest performance of the past month? That’s a bit over the top.

  86. Okay, if my first one didn’t get me banned from MyDD this ought to do it:

    [new] Charles has a history of falsely crying racist (none / 0)

    It was his excuse for leaving PUMA to jump on the Obama bandwagon before it was too late.

    by myiq2xu on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 11:17:50 AM EST

  87. FrenchNail, me and mawm are in NC and we have a house on the coast not far from new bern. It is a pretty town (it was the colonial capital of NC), but it is kind of a small backwater burg these days. That part of the state is still basically racially segregated and is dominated by right wing conservatives. But hey, Pepsi was invented there! Wilmington is a little bit better and is closer to the beach, which is always good. It’s also a bigger city with easier access to other parts of the state (raleigh is only about a 2 hour drive on I-40).

  88. FrenchNail, my house is about 45 miles from NewBern.

    NewBern is smaller than Wilmington and not a very well run city, but it has some endearing qualities.

    Wilmington has the beach, more industry (including film). It also has terrible traffic problems for being a small city.
    Wilmington has a bigger arts community than probaly most of the rest of the cities in NC.

    NC is a great place to live in my opinion, and it has been rated one of the top states to ride out the recession in.

  89. Still, giving him an “A” for the bumbling, amateurish and dishonest performance of the past month?

    Maybe the A really stands for @sshole?

  90. I think there was a subtle critique there from Bill.

    Bill can’t be openly critical of Obama – so he slips it in with some compliments.

  91. LOL myiq….although you should have said that we ran him out of the movement because he was afraid of boobies.

  92. sister of ye: lol! Good one.

  93. I remember him bragging about his qualifications

    He went to Hahvahd, don’t you know?

    Did I mention he went to Harvard? The Ivy League school?

    He’s a Harvard alumnus too!

  94. you should have said that we ran him out of the movement because he was afraid of boobies

    I might go back and add that later if I still have an account.

  95. DYB: the more I learn about Gillibrand, the more I like her. She’s got a lot of Hillary in her–she’s very intelligent, strong, has keen instincts, and is courageous about facing opponents and brokering solutions. One shrill gun control activist was planning marches and protests, so Gillibrand set up a meeting, sat down with her, and within one hour forged a collaboration. She is definitely one to watch as a possible national contender.

    With a one-hour meeting downstate in the city yesterday, the newly appointed U.S. Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, disarmed one of her most severe critics on the gun control issue, winning time to prove herself while averting a public attack today.

    http://weblogs.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/politics/blog/2009/02/gillibrands_downstate_dance_1.html

  96. off to the salt mines…have a good day all.

  97. HA! he’s getting called out by that asshole geekesque!

    Funny that a No Quarter contributor (none / 0)

    and PUMA is now educating us about those darn white ethnic racists.

    by Geekesque on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 11:18:49 AM EST

  98. myiq
    please while you’re there tell his new friends what a
    “f-ing ray of sunshine” he is…hehe

  99. gary, the race-baiting is biting him in the ass. I love it.

  100. Bill and Hillary are making the best of a bad situation.
    I saw Hillary speak about the economy….unfortunately it was the Japanese economy .

    sigh

    Kirsten Gillibrand, is very promising. However being a Dem who gives a damn, she has to take the hard work page from Hill’s book and I believe she will

  101. and what in the world is a “white ethnic”?

  102. what in the world is a “white ethnic”?

    Obama

  103. Did you read how he paints all the people working on the trading floor as drooling racists, because they would call him Chuckie instead of Charles?

    It never occurred to him that the reason they didn’t like was not because he was latino, but instead because he is an asshole.

  104. Did you read how he paints all the people working on the trading floor as drooling r@cists, because they would call him Chuckie instead of Charles?

    It never occurred to him that the reason they didn’t like was not because he was latino, but instead because he is an asshole.

  105. It never occurred to him that the reason they didn’t like was not because he was latino, but instead because he is an asshole.

    coffee up nose, thanks.

  106. charles lemos has about as much in common with latinos as my ass does. He is from a ruling patrician class (the old criollo ruling class that still holds all the financial power) in colombia that has never done anything but exploit the people he now claims to be one of.

  107. myiq2xu, on February 20th, 2009 at 11:33 am Said:

    what in the world is a “white ethnic”?

    Obama

    Hahaha – good one!

  108. What a fuckstick:

    Well, the President should tell it like it is and President Clinton is right that the President should talk to the public in greater detail about the economy and the President should never fail in assigning blame for the mess we face and that means placing some of it on Bill Clinton’s shoulders though obviously this is largely on the GOP.

    My reply:

    [new] Clinton deserves NO blame (none / 0)

    Unless you’re repeating right-wing tropes about low-income mortgages?

    That’s racist.

    We told you so! (Next time think before you vote)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 11:41:49 AM EST

  109. frenchnail: SOrry I am at work and only pop in to read. I agree with Gary and Mawm, you would probably be much happier in Wilmington.

  110. and 3W is right, TALF is just a rearranging of the Fed Balance sheet and the money doesn’t come from the taxpayer.

  111. I am Colombian by birth, but San Francisco has been my home since 1997 though I attended Stanford University both undergrad and grad so I have lived in the Bay Area on and off since 1981 with stints in San Diego, Vietnam, Indonesia, Colombia and Switzerland.

    ——————–

    Didn’t know San Diego was a country.

  112. Senor Pompous Ass Responds:

    Re: Fact check (none / 0)

    Leave it to a petulant clown to miss the play on words and to miss the historical record. Nixon’s northern strategy was to go after the white ethnics. Hence the landslide of 1972. Go back to your cesspool that is the Confluence and stay there. As I have said previously, the PUMAs are noxious brew and I want nothing to do with them.

    As yes the Boston busing took place during the For Administration because the start of the white ethnic phenomenon is a 1970s one.

    by Charles Lemos on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 11:36:00 AM EST

    Should I tell him we still have his emails and witnesses to threatening phone calls on his behalf from someone falsely claiming to be an attorney?

  113. hey, Myiq2xu, will you go correct that idiot on my DD on this?

    that’s the last link you gave?

    “However there are two differences between Japan’s problem then and ours now. First, Japan’s downturn was just that Japan’s and not a global one.”

    That’s so not true. Japan’s problem was part of the ASIAN financial crisis.

    It wasn’t just japan’s problem at all. That comment is really, really, really WRONG. Completely factually incorrect.
    It impacted many countries in the area adversely and did have create minor problems globally. But it even wrecked Australia’s economy for awhile, not to mention Indonesia, Taiwan, S. Korea, etc. It was never just a Japan problem.

  114. Hi, guys – I’m back from my conference – missed my daily dose of TC!
    Here is an interesting article by Jacki Zehner – Bloomberg Markets Magazine (full article can be found at:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacki-zehner/why-are-goldmans-women-in_b_139650.html)

    unfortunately, although I hate to give Huff more hits one can’t get to the article directly at Bloomberg without a password, if someone can fix that, please do. The article looks at what’s happened to women in finance over the years and makes one wonder what could have been had women been allowed to be a bigger part of the process there as well.

    …Our society does not merely fail to develop, reward, retain, and lift up women leaders, we have done the opposite. We perpetuate their invisibility. As Marie Wilson has said over and over again, “You cannot be what you cannot see” and we do not see women leaders, especially on Wall Street.
    Might this be one of many factors contributing to what is wrong with Wall Street leadership today? Arguably at this moment of financial and economic crisis, after approximately $10 trillion dollars of global wealth has vanished, women remain virtually absent at the decision-making tables that count. For all those men who sat around thinking they were the smartest guys in the room, is it not time to ask “what could we have done differently?” Could the difference possibly have been a critical mass of women? We will never know. Sure you can name a couple of women, but that is just it, a couple? It takes critical mass to know what women’s presence and leadership looks and feels like, and we could sure use that data right about now. Don’t call Goldman looking for that information though as they do not have it… (snip)
    … Though we seem to be at a moment in history when women’s political leadership is more accepted (if not ultimately attained), we are still so far from knowing what women’s leadership across all sectors really looks like. We must all look for GREAT women leaders, lift them up and encourage them to build critical mass. We must hold the media accountable to write inclusive stories and hold corporations accountable for helping them. We must continue to invest in younger women despite tough budgets and not let diversity programs get thrown out the window

  115. did you see mawm’s post?

    You’re an ass Lemos (none / 0)

    This is disgusting race-baiting bullshit. You can argue that Santelli’s rant wronly blames individual borrower’s disproprtionately from the lenders, but there is nothing racist about it.
    You are the racist for assuming he is talking about minorities.

    Charles, you are a hack. You spent the primary criticizing Obama for his race-baiting, and when you assumed he was going to win, you jumped onto the band-wagon and now the confluence is a cess pool.

    The only cess pool I see is this post showing your slavish need to be welcomed by the new Obama race police.

    Did you ever think they called you Chukie because you are an asshole, not because you are latino?

  116. I’m trying to figure this stuff out dak but in a nutshell would the basic consequences of TALF be a weaker dollar? What would the consequences be to our currency in a global market if not?

  117. There must have been some type of mirror catastrophe in San Francisco. Senor Pomposity has three posts up over there just TODAY.

    Also in the comments he called TC a cesspool. I don’t have an account, but anyone who does might want to remind him that even cesspools reject the “world class turds.”

  118. Kim and Gary, Thanks so much for your insider views. They are very valuable. I need to move on and away from this nightmare which has been my life in Philadelphia (not necessary because of the city but the awfull Phily climate and polution did not help). I want to turn this money loss into something positive and take opportunity of being out of a roof over my head into a positive relocation to a better climate. Thanks again.

    And Gary, Chapel Hill was another area I was contemplating but I am afraid the climate was too cold during the winter and the culture too “woodsy”. I look at the temperature average and thought may be not.

  119. Joanelle

    They actually did a video asking if it was possible if this may had been averted if there had been more females in the sector. Apparently we’re more risk averse as a gender then our male counterparts. I think it was MSN. It was pretty interesting even though I find hypotheticals after the fact pretty pointless.

  120. Dakinkat:

    Done

  121. frenchnail, the culture is far from “woodsy” in chapel hill, it is smug, self-righteous, elitist, obotia–I do not reccommend. The climate in central NC is not bad though, winters tend to be mild. we may have a week near freezing, but then you’ll have a week in the middle of feb with highs in the 70’s like we did last week. The triangle in general (not just chapel hill) is a pretty decent place to live. But you may want to find a job first. Although NC has been called a good place to ride out the recession, the prominence of the banking industry in our state (charlotte) along with other big tech companies like nortel slashing jobs, we now have the 6th highest unemployment rate in the country (8.7% I believe). If you work in healthcare, which is big in raleigh/durham, you might do pretty well though.

  122. Joanelle, on February 20th, 2009 at 11:58 am Said:

    ——————–

    Wall Street is a boy’s locker room. That’s got to change. Meredith Whitney left (was pushed out of) Oppenheimer earlier this week. Too much truth telling.

  123. thx, myiqu2xu: that’s just plain wrong and should be corrected

  124. Plural… get the money out of your 401k and put it in to an equity indexed annuity… all the gains of the market when it goes up, but you get rid of the losses.
    Look in to it and if you have any questions I would be happy to answer them for you.
    But for goodness sake stop the bleeding. The market will come back eventually but some people will have nothing left to come back from.

  125. cwaltz: on the dollar, it should probably strengthen it given that it should boost people’s faith in the secondary markets …

  126. we bailed out one insurance company… only AIG and they did not need to be bailed out because their clients would not have lost a single penny from an insurance policy.

  127. Thanks dak

    I usually get small scale economics pretty easily. The large scale stuff is a bit more tricky.

  128. This is getting fun:

    Re: Clinton deserves NO blame (none / 0)

    Both Blair and Clinton deserve blame because they bought into Thatcherism and Reaganism respectively. In the end, Blair and Clinton adopted the unregulated free market mantra with gusto and therein lies why they shoulder some of the blame.

    Try being objective. Oh, I’m sorry I forgot that you’re a PUMA, objecitivity is beyond your capability. History is beyond your grasp.

    You exist but to insult.

    by Charles Lemos on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 12:04:52 PM EST

    ——————————————————–

    [new] Are you sure you want to air this in public? (none / 0)

    We still havwe your bizarre emails and witnesses who can attest to receiving threatening phone calls on your behalf from someone falsely claiming to be an attorney.

    We told you so! (Next time think before you vote)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 12:14:49 PM EST

  129. I don’t think women are more risk-averse. But I think as a gender we find it harder to ignore that real people get hurt when we’re major greedy @ssholes.

    Of course, since the “greed is good” 1980s, the financial culture has been that the biggest scumbuckets win, so the women who did break into the gang may be no better than the men. Men with conscience don’t make it very far, either.

  130. More fun:

    Re: An Economics Professor Responds (none / 0)

    Then she can argue that point with Krugman and Wolf.

    No, the Asian crisis is from 1997. Japan’s problems date to 1991.

    Actually by the end of the hour, you won’t have an account here either.

    by Charles Lemos on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 12:08:00 PM EST
    —————————————————————–
    Re: An Economics Professor Responds (none / 0)

    I guess you can’t handle the truth

    We told you so! (Next time think before you vote)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 12:10:36 PM EST

  131. you can’t separate the Japan decade from the asian financial crisis, sheesh, japan did have problems that were earlier, but you can’t just look at it in a vaccum

  132. TeresainPaAIG got bailed out because they insure the Congressional retirement fund.

  133. [new] Re: An Economics Professor Responds (none / 0)

    It’s petulant clowns that I don’t care for. Or PUMAs. You’re here to disrupt not to add any thing of substance because that’s beyond your abilities. You destroy not create. That in a nutshell is the essence of the PUMAs, the politics of destruction.

    You’re pathetic. And so is that cesspool called the Confluence. I have better things to do than suffer your foolishness.

    Go ahead write your little post on The Confluence attacking me. You’re not liberals, as Wonkette noted your the land of the failed meme. No one pays attention to you and that’s what is killing you and so you come here to drum up old hatreds. It’s true. I hate the PUMAs and you hate me.

    by Charles Lemos on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 12:20:28 PM EST

  134. Cwaltz: well, the dollar would weaken with more dollars out there floating around, but if they absorb and boost the secondary market it would increase the faith in the dollar, so it’s a weird situation

  135. I hate the PUMAs and you hate me.

    At times he is capable of telling the truth.

  136. Senor Pompous Ass is obvious lurking.

    He’s just a little f**king ray of sunshine.

  137. What a moron. That’s why they call it the lost decade, as in 1991 to 2001. It started with a global recession. Remember the one we had here during Bush I, then contributed to the Asian Financial Crisis. I was there.

  138. I’m sorry, but I don’t know who Charles Lemos is, I’ve never been to his blog nor do I even know which one it is but he sounds like an upset teen.

    I know, I know I must be from another planet, however, I frankly would just ignore him until he matures and one can have an adult conversation with him.

  139. he’s (and I guess that REAL cesspool wonkette) right, we ARE the land of the failed meme. What they left out though is that we were right, but no one listened to us….

  140. quick, someone start talking about breasts….his sexist little gay mind can’t handle the female anatomy…

  141. oh, Myiq – I’m in moderation, not sure why though

  142. joanelle, I agree. I’m off the subject for good….

  143. Thanks, Gary. The job situation is not very important for me. I always managed because I always live under my means. One day soon, I’ll take my 14 year old car and take a trip to NC. What can I tell you. I am the tipical old money witch. I run my cars in the ground and more and more start looking like those English ladies sholving horse sh@##$t in Hermes cloves and scarf.

  144. I hate the PUMAs and you hate me.

    ——————–

    His feelings sound hurt.

  145. VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA
    VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA
    VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA
    VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA
    VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA VAGINA

  146. what the heck is yucky Chucky Lemming’s problem?
    Is he obsessed with us because he can’t win us over?

  147. That ought to do it

  148. what the heck is yucky Chucky Lemming’s problem?

    Scary lady parts

  149. myIQ…. lol

  150. Sophie — thanks, that’s very interesting. Since women and minorities are underrepresented in a lot of computer/tech fields I would have liked to see some special efforts to recruit them, esp. if the government is going to setup angel investments.

  151. bwwwwwaaaaaaaaaahahhahah GIRL POWER!
    We can scare them with out girl bits.

  152. TeresaInPa, on February 20th, 2009 at 12:12 pm Said:

    we bailed out one insurance company… only AIG and they did not need to be bailed out because their clients would not have lost a single penny from an insurance policy.

    ——————–

    Except Teresa, AIG was messing around big time with credit default swaps, and when Lehman in particular fell, they got burned bit time, especially by hedge funds.

  153. Thanks, Myiq

  154. OT, dakinikat, but from a Krugman article, describing the Fed’s latest report downgrading the near-term outlook:

    “All participants anticipated that unemployment would remain substantially above its longer-run sustainable rate at the end of 2011, even absent further economic shocks; a few indicated that MORE THAN FIVE TO SIX YEARS would be needed for the economy to converge to a longer-run path characterized by sustainable rates of output growth and unemployment and by an appropriate rate of inflation.

    5 to 6 years. It ain’t getting better.

    Does this mean Bill Clinton is blowing smoke?

  155. yeah, no one has unraveled any of those derivatives yet, that should be exciting.

  156. Dak

    So we’d pretty much be putting all our money on black in hopes that the market would absorb those dollars instead of spurning this as an attempt to fix our troubled economy? Sigh.

  157. dakinikat, what happened to the people who bought the default side of the credit default swap? Don’t they make money when the borrower defaults on their loan?

  158. Mary: that means Bill Clinton is trying to stop us from panicking and helping the dem party out as well as his boss’s wife … is that what you equate to blowing smoke?

  159. He he he:

    Please Ignore the PUMA trolls (none / 0)

    Please ignore and do not exchange comments with PUMA trolls like myiq2xu and mawm. They can’t come to terms that Obama won the nomination under the rules set forth by the Democratic Party. They choose to be bitter knitters and that’s their right. But they are here to disrupt simply because I exposed them for what they are.

    Vile and hateful, I believe, were the words I used to describe their so-called movement. Accurate then and accurate now.

    by Charles Lemos on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 12:34:24 PM EST
    ——————————————————————-

    [new] This isn’t about Obama (none / 0)

    You’re just a little f**king ray iof sunshine aren’t you?

    We told you so! (Next time think before you vote)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 12:37:16 PM EST

    I was afraid today would be boring

  160. make that wife’s boss

  161. Obama Warns Mayors Not to Waste Stimulus Money
    President Obama says he will call out any local government that wastes money from the stimulus package.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    oh my the king O has spoken, LOLOLOLOLOLOLO
    fart blossom, something in the air stinks

  162. that rules setforth by the democratic party is a nice qualifier there … how about we disagreed with how the rules were ‘setforth’

  163. If we got burned by hedge funds and there is little to no regulation of hedge funds is it really wise to hand them wads of cash and hope they lend it here instead of overseas?

  164. What is wrong with them. It was not the ASEAN Financial Crisis. It was the Asian Financial Crisis. South Korea being the biggest beneficiary of the IMF bailout. Too much time in Vietnam and Indonesia.

  165. 3 wickets: and the wall street problems after 9-11 and the lack of us consumers buying … the heck japan’s problem was all its own

  166. Mawn: yup, if just one borrower defaults in a package, the holder of the package pays up for the entire thing … good deal for them

  167. that is the recipient of the payments, not the payer, just to clarify

  168. If you want to watch him gnash his teeth ask how his stock portfolio is doing under Obama?

    I remember the market was a sore spot for Charles.

    He seems to have some sort of ego thing, I certainly don’t hate him, I can honestly say I barely think one way or another on him. I daresay that most of us spend all day long dithering about how we feel about people with disagree with in internet exchanges.

  169. MAWN: to get rich, all you had to do was take the bet that the banks were making bad loans and they would eventually default, if you look at a study done by the COB in 2007, they were project loan defaults by 2009 in the 10 -12 trillions, it wasn’t exactly a bet that required a rocket scientist to figure out

  170. Now, now, dakinikat…..I’m a PUMA and voted for Bill twice.

    But, if his claim that we’ll improve by the end of next year is misleading, for the purpose of “covering” for Obama and the Dem Party in power (political, and not economic truth), then, frankly, it’s blowing political smoke, and it disappoints me, given how much I love seeing him calmly assess things when on TV.

    Sorry if that bothers you. 🙂

  171. personally, all my bets are on we haven’t found the bottom yet

  172. Mary: I didn’t mean that in a snarky way, I’m sure he thinks it’s better not to panic folks. But, realistically, things are going to get a lot worse.

  173. and it doesn’t bother me one way or another 🙂

  174. all you had to do was take the bet that the banks were making bad loans and they would eventually default

    That tends to happen when you loan money to people who can’t afford to pay it back.

  175. New post up! As promised, a play.

    🙂

  176. then, frankly, it’s blowing political smoke

    There is a thing called “consumer confidence”

    If people are convinced the sky is falling they will run for cover and that makes the sky fall.

    It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy

  177. Thanks, dak.

    I agree with you, though: we haven’t found the bottom yet.

    2009 , and possibly 2010, will be nightmare years.

    Brookings has analyzed that deficits will be over $1 trillion every year for the next 10 years. Just IMAGINE the interest our children will be paying on that.

    They’ll be needing my promised Social Security to counter-balance that, won’t they?

    Watch Obama’s “fiscal responsibility” shell game very , very carefully, folks.

    A trillion to the hedge funds will be backed by reductions in SS benefits or raising the retirement age.

    Hide and watch.

  178. Kinda weird but I’m beating the market right now by only losing 22%. That’s a really sad thing to say.

  179. Not to argue, myiq, but if the sky actually IS falling, and we’re being told it’s not, whole lotta people will be left holding the bag.

    I certainly understand the self-fulfilling , and I even understand Clinton wanting to reassure us.

    That’s why I posted Krugman’s direct quote from the Fed’s quarterly analysis meeting, because I trust his FACTS.

    Frankly, I’m glad my husband and I moved a large part of investments to gold 2 years ago.

    But dakinikat is right: we ain’t seen nuthin yet, and we haven’t even hit bottom.

    Making sure my investments are following facts and as safe as possible doesn’t mean I’m playing into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Just means I’m reading the right people for advice.

  180. My last comment to Senor Pompous Ass’ post:

    [new] The purpose of this post (none / 0)

    is to delegitimize the opposition.

    Instead of addressing the merits of Santelli’s argument Lemos just calls it racist.

    The sad part is there is a strong case that Lemos could have made instead.

    We told you so! (Next time think before you vote)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 12:59:37 PM EST
    [ Parent | Reply to This ]

  181. I’m pretty sure at this point the sky IS falling. I’d find it alot more constructive for there to be open conversations on how the government is going to remedy it(rather than vague plans) and be done with it. If they are going to nationalize then do it already because it seems pretty clear that it is on ALOT of folks minds already anyway.

    I’m not much into the hedge fund idea(Now mind you I am far from an expert). I don’t think giving a trillion dollars to frankly a bunch of folks you have no regulatory control over sounds risky. Risky is what got us to where we are today.

  182. U U

    sorry, couldn’t resist…

  183. Hmmm…nobody feels like reading my play?

    Sigh. Guess I’ve been gone too long.

    😉

  184. A little history for our friend.

    Black Monday crash, October 1987 here in US. We head towards post Reagan recession. Global investments flee US, piles into Germany, but most intensely into Japan. Nikkei as a result has an orgy, goes to 50x price/earning to an all time high of 34,000, then pops bigtime in 1990, drops 50% within a year, starting the lost decade. The yen begins to inflate from the stagflation of the lost decade, and fundamentally changes the dynamics of the global economy during the 90s.

    Japan was in a vacuum? That’s NAIVE, especially from such an illustrious former trader. Capital markets have been heavily cross border ever since the early 80s.

  185. I watched Bill last night and felt he was suffering from some illness of the body or mind- his speech was uncharacteristically halting and subdued, his left eye was a little droopy, his humor was absent- that is, until the conversation turned to Hillary, at which time he became more animated, spontaneous, and fluent. I think he was speaking under partial coercion during the earlier portion re: obama’s performance and the stimulus, at least that makes me feel better to think thus!

  186. The market is taking a beating. The investors think the banks are going to get nationalized anyway. Might as well do it and be done with it.

  187. I read it madamab. It was good. I’m just following the market today. I’m wondering if before the month is over it will be closing at under 7000 at this point.

  188. Frenchnail–I more thing to keep in mind about NC in general, and Wilmington in particular. We might have mild winters, but we also have the hurricanes to deal with. I think NC is the third most hit state historically after Florida and Louisiana. Wilimington has mostly avoided a catastrophic ‘cane, but some big ones like Hugo came pretty close.

  189. Yes, cwaltz, and those investors think they’ll get hosed in the nationalizing.

    Keep in mind, those “investors” are lots of pension funds, credit unions, and other middle class people’s retirement. They’re not necessarily “rich, arrogant Wall Streeters.”

    Due diligence for those pension fund operators, if they think those financials will go down, means getting out at the highest for the sake of their pensioners.

    But it is bizarre watching the market fall, gold go up, and confidence dribble away.

  190. Oh RD. Down in the 3rd part of this piece. I know what you mean. Not only were we being “good” as women, and on the job — post what the 60’s gen “got” for us — but like you — I faced the same 25 years or so…

    The big corporate lie…

    First was the newspaper industry. And then?

    After the grad degree, after thousands of “free” hours to help the poor — after the “caregiving” phase all of us tail enders face for our parents — what?

    So—–

    When the last agency I worked for sent me to the streets and I really saw, really really saw. When the bloated exec with the fake Manolos and the fake plastic fingernails kept railing at me to take on more and more clients for “the numbers” — when my clinical supervisors didn’t care about my cases — they just wanted me to handle in the realm of 50+ clients a week…

    All that agency wanted were the grants. The $$$$$$$$ so the top exec could?

    That was it.

    I really think that corporate corruption at the top in the last 25 years held all of us captive. Now we are just seeing it on a global level — how far its roots reach like tentacles into everything.

    Were we stupid?

    No, we were Democrats, and we believed in all those values — helping the poor and the needy, being charitable, being kind.

    Those of us that are professionals, like you RD — you can be a scientist anywhere. But, maybe you might not want to be that anymore. One thing about our gen — it has done a lot of things and we are not defined by labels.

    And in this case — your practicality and perseverance (that so many PUMAS share) are the fab things, in the end. Unlike 1929 — the PUMAS will not be skydiving out of windows.

    Nope.

    Not us kiddos…

    This whole deal is a wake up call to all of us this year…

    To start over, and live as we want to from now on. To never listen to some bs’ing middle manager again. To never compromise on our own ethics.

    And RD! to get the SOFAS we always wanted, gf.

    I’ve been just like you — in my life. No mas.

    I told my teaching friend, well — there are other states where things might look better if your job ends out here via pinkslip by Arnold.

    One thing?

    We never lose those fabulous educations we got.

    And when it takes “street smarts” — the PUMAS have that too — and friends! That’s our GEN. We are so huge…it boggles the mind!

    hugs to my pals here….

    xxoo!

  191. I know Mary

    I loathe the 401k plans because it literally pits American worker against American worker.. All of our manufacturing base got shipped overseas and everyone cheered because it meant a couple extra bucks in their retirement account. Workers have become disposable to ensure profitabilty for investors. It’s a sad, sad thing IMO. Lose lose all around now.

  192. for some reason the FT site is down, but I just looked at Paul’s thread and it doesn’t say anything at all about Japan’s decade being just japan’s problem

  193. Garychapelhill – I am SO HAPPY you’re back!!!

    ((((Gary)))))

  194. Arbitrage. Lehman buys CDS (credit default swap) insurance from AIG and begins paying premiums to AIG. Hedge fund swaps (takes over) that policy and continues the premiums to AIG. Hedge fund then short sells Lehman, contributing to Lehman’s downfall and default. Hedge fund waits to collect huge payday on default from AIG. Now imagine that happening on scale of hundreds, if not thousands of policies or swaps.

    Kind of like buying a house you don’t need, getting a big insurance policy for it, then burning it down to collect. Why is this not illegal on Wall Street.

  195. Mary,

    I look at nationalizing at this point as something that needs to be done. It’s kind of like deciding to amputate in order to save the patient. It’s fairly obvious the banks are being coy after having already been given 700 billion. It’s time for some tough love and to look at the books to see how bad this all is. I’d prefer we do so before the patient dies.

  196. Three Wickets, on February 20th, 2009 at 1:03 pm Said:

    A little history for our friend.

    The Japan Financial crisis was the result of all those things stressing the Japanese banking and finance system and exposing the fault lines for an implode. By the time they were half way through it it was bleeding into the Tigers’ economies. Most of the TIger’s development funds had come via Japanese industry or the Japanese government. They’re really big on developing the markets of their future consumers. Any one that thinks that lost decade was just a Japanese issue and a Japanese problem doesn’t know what they are talking about. And the only place I could found the one sentence I picked on was in his piece and not his references.

  197. Three Wickets: because it turns folks like George Soros into Billionaires.

  198. Roubini is making the same arguments Marx made during the the industrial revolution and Lenin made about banking during the gilded age.

  199. Kat – are you coming up to the new thread or what?

    🙂

  200. Agree with you, cwaltz. Lose-lose all around.

    I remember many a conversation with my own Dad (he’s gone now) who actually grew up poor —his Dad died when he was 3 months old, his Mom raised him on a schoolteacher’s salary and sent him to college—–a diehard Democrat, railing about the “rich Wall Street bastards.”

    As soon as he had his own portfolio and broker, he looked for investments in Mexico, where they paid people 57 cents an hour, so he could make bigger profits, and suddenly thought labor unions were awful.

    Many an angry conversation I had with him, asking what the hell he was doing to my generation, for a few extra pennies in his portfolio. He’d yell back, of course, and we’d go round and round.

    And of course, no one minds buying cheap shit at Wal Mart (I refuse to shop there), while the workers make minimum wage of $5.50. I have a good friend who insists those Chinese are “lucky” to get that much. She’s the same friend who had a magazine-looking home, but only because she milked every single dime in equity on her home, and then walked away when it came due.

    We’re all guilty.

    Pitting investors against workers? YES.

    But I think we must all remember that most of those “investors” are middle class pension funds, and that includes teachers, policemen, firemen, and all the rest.

    What can I say?

  201. ack, missed the new thread announcement, in class giving a test … I’m coming!!!

  202. Instead of addressing the merits of Santelli’s argument Lemos just calls it racist.

    ——————–

    A Columbian American feeling slighted by an Italian American. That’s pretty thin skinned.

  203. kat the financial world is falling down-wish they’d let you have a hand in fixing it.

    IMHO you are absolutely right about nationalizing the banks.

    stop the madness.

  204. cwaltz, I’m FOR temporary nationalizing, just because I don’t think the banks will tell us the truth about their books until we do. I view it more like Krugman does: receivership, auditing, correcting, and then back to private ownership.

    Throwing money at it , over and over and over, won’t help squat. And this hedge fund thing? You have GOT to be kidding (which is what you said, isn’t it?)

    I think the “investors” get that too. If the banks are so bad that nationalizing is now necessary, they want OUT before it get worse.

    Can’t say I blame em, really, but myiq is right, in a way…….it may all cycle downward.

    But until we know the bottom line truth, a la true audits, and let some actually fail, the long term will not improve.

    Feds, according to Krugman , said no improvement for 5-6 years.

    Brookings says trillion dollar deficits for 10 years.

    Facts are facts.

  205. And here’s something I forgot to say:

    Until the international community sees that we are serious about the nationalizing/auditing/getting true facts, they won’t be interested in investing here.

    Especially the Chinese, without whose $$$$$ , we crash.

    They don’t trust us anymore. Can you blame them?

  206. Moderation. I forgot to modify the r@ce word.

  207. A Columbian American feeling slighted by an Italian American. That’s pretty thin skinned

    The racism meme is bogus and Lemos knows it.

  208. At some point instead of fighting each other when everything breaks down, don’t you think there will be some people who, even if it is a suicide mission, go after “leaders” of Wall street and the Lobbyists and even the crooked Congress members who looked the other way during the bubble and breakdown? I mean with terrorist style tactics. I can see it happening.

  209. Constance:

    I hope you aren’t suggesting violence because we don’t condone it.

    😉

  210. 1) Give the 1 trillion to the hedge funds, with strong requirements for their use for consumer/business lending.

    2) But additionally, make the hedge funds take on and unravel these bad banking assets in the market, which they helped create in the first place.

    In a sense, nationalize the damn hedge funds (and private equity), that are above a certain size. Call it whatever you want, private/public investment trust, but FORCE them to do what needs to get done. They don’t cooperate, indict them. Geithner needs to grow a couple. Sorry.

    Imo, nationalizing the commercial banks, 1) won’t complete the job, 2) you’ll get the worst price possible for the assets you are able to unbundle.

  211. I’m not certain there shouldn’t be some regulation with hedge funds considering the mischief that has been caused this cycle as a result of them. That said, wouldn’t regulating and nationalizing them take more time?

  212. Simply put, this country cannot afford the rich anymore. Let them go their own way, but do it somewhere else and on someone else’s dime for a change.

  213. My IQ: No I am not condoning violence I am saying I think it is predictable. Because here is the deal, I don’t have a Y chromosome or much of a testosterone load and I am thinking I would like to get my hands on a few of those Wall street hot shots. It just stands to reason that if my thoughts are turning in that direction it has already occurred to a certain group of people (I don’t want to mention any names here) who are more prone to violent reaction and also more of a threat than I am.

  214. I agree with cwaltz. A trillion dollars thrown at the hedge funds, with little or no transparency or oversight will be wasted money, again.

    We’ll have no facts or balance sheets to check the “version” they tell us.

  215. cwaltz, the regulation question is a shoulda coulda thing, you’re right. Going forward, Geithner has already proposed dealing with the bad assets with this private/public investment fund thing. The thing is no one (the hedge funds) is going to come voluntarily unless they see little downside (guarantee floors) and good upside. And the government or taxpayers should not be giving them that price. Seems there should be a way the govt can MANDATE participation from them, particularly given their unregulated history. But the hedge funds, like the investment banks, have covered their collective political asses, so Geithner has to try and do this politely. Won’t happen.

  216. Really you have to wonder who would want to be President in times like these.

  217. Geithner is a tax cheat. He only got in because he is one of the Wall street boys and they wanted him. I would not expect him to do anything they don’t approve and certainly nothing for the average American.

  218. Mary,

    At the end of the day since the Fed acts independantly of the government(no tax funds utilized in the process) it may not matter. I do wonder about the consequences of the idea though if in fact it does not restore faith in the international community and here on our economy. Devaluing the dollar is great for overseas, not so great for domestically though and people are already having a hard time making ends meet. Furthermore without any sort of guidelines I don’t see how the money would be guaranteed to shore up the US business community rather than to invest in other global ventures. That’d still leave our markets in the same state they are in where loans aren’t being made.

    Dak and it sounds like Wickets are more knowledgable then I on the subject. I’m kinda just throwing out what ifs for worst case scenarios and trying to figure how this will play out on families here. Consider me gloomy gus though.

  219. Mary, there’s two pieces to this. The Talf (up to a trillion) and the bad assets (up to another trillion). I believe Bernanke is doing Talf and Geithner is doing bad assets. Of course, they will work together. Neither piece gets off the ground without private sector engagement, which is why the hedge fund and private equity discussion comes up. The question for me simply is how forceful the govt is in creating this engagement. That’s essentially the point of nationalization anyway, but doing it with the commercial banks only will not get to the root. When Sweden fixed its problem, they did not have hedge funds layered on top of their banking system.

    You are so right from upthread. The investor side of this makes it complex. They are not just wealthy speculators. Hedge funds cover everything from pensions to college endowments. Many of them have pulled out (with big losses) in the last six months.

  220. Geither is between a rock and a hard place which is why many believe he is faling to act. Meanwhile his failure to act is causing market turmoil. It almost seems like it would be better to tell the banking community and its investors to suck it up. They profitted big time for a while on the creative mortgages and what not but now its time to pay the piper. I think he’s having a hard time telling his buddies they are going to have to turn over the books.

    The hedge funds are a whole nother ball of wax because tranparency and hedge funds are like antonyms(which as we now see is problematic).

  221. Do you guys not know there’s been a new thread up for hours? And that it’s a play by moi?

    Or do you just not care?

    (snurfle)

  222. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008764830_belletowers20m.html

    I hope this link comes through. It shows some of the crap the bank who want us to bail them out pulled.

  223. Been juggling a visiting plumber with TC madamab. Coming up now.

  224. plan to spend as much as $1 trillion to provide low-cost loans and guarantees to hedge funds and private equity firms that buy securities backed by consumer and business loans

    Wait a minute…we’re going to give loans to hedge funds? WTF?

    I don’t know how much more of the coddling of the rich that I can take!

    Aux armes, citoyens,
    Formez vos bataillons,
    Marchons, marchons !

    Arrrgghhhh!!!!

  225. Little lighter topic now:

    I watched an interview of Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel in Economics before Krugman)—smart as hell guy:

    He basically said if we had just started a brand new investment bank with the original $700 billion, with none of the hidden toxics, we coulda jump started the economy long time ago, and just let the zombies wither away.

    Why didn’t CONGRESS think of that?

  226. […] Posts Don’t worry guys, its natural to objectify women.Turdblossom Says Obama Is “Winging It”Friday: Ok, forget it. Just bleed us dry.Conflucians Say: “Fire!” over Social SecurityPresident Re-Election Does the Vision Thing: A Play in […]

  227. myiq2xu, on February 20th, 2009 at 9:36 am Said:
    If I used my egg money to buy a lottery ticket that did

    The Bored of Education would like to thank you for helping to pay the school administrators’ salaries.
    ———————————-
    In NYS lottery money does not go directly to education, contrary to their best advertising, Lottery money goes into the general fund; what schools get depends upon what gov. puts into the budget. Education is mostly funded by school taxes.

  228. […] As for the economic crisis, women will be the ones who suffer the most from the Obama Administration’s mistakes and failures, since 70% of the world’s poor are female. Golly gee whiz, wouldn’t it be a good thing to have a Secretary of Commerce who could start re-regulating the mortgage lenders, banks, credit card companies and hedge fund managers who got us into this mess right about now? No, no, those things have to wait while the corporate pigs stick their snouts into the Treasury trough and hoover up one TRILLION more taxpayer dollars. […]

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