These mongs still walk among us

July 19, 2010

Is ‘Globalization’ the biggest Ponzi ever?

May 10, 2010

If you don’t think the stock market is corrupt and rigged, consider this: after Thursday’s 1,000 point drop, the biggest nominal decline in NYSE history (percentage-wise, since 1987), the market then, within its last hour, climbed back UP out of the gutter 650 points. That retrace has got to be some kind of record too. Coincidental? Unrelated? I think not.

Manipulated? Isn’t that obvious yet?

And if .gov sets its propaganda wing on bitch-mode about market manipulation, you will take note that the spotlight is cast upon “evil short sellers” when it’s clearly the TBTF banks (“financial terrorists)”. In fact today’s 400 point ramp job at the open is courtesy of the ECB, the Fed, Inc. and the IMF… “juicing the present by robbing from your future.(tm)”

“In the aftermath of Goldman Sachs’ public flogging before the world in Congress, and while under investigation, on the very day that Congress was voting on the “break up the too big to fail banks” amendment and cutting behind the scenes deals to gut the audit of the Federal Reserve, the stock market had its greatest sudden drop in history, plummeting 700 points in ten minutes – shades of September 29, 2008 all over again.

“If you recall, back in September ‘08, as Congress was voting down the first bailout, the big banks made the market plunge a record 778 points in one day, fear and panic then led Congress to pass the bailout. Trillions of our tax dollars, the money that we desperately need to keep our society functioning over the long run, then went out the window and into the pockets of the very people who caused the crash.

“What happened on September 29, 2008 will go down in history as one of the greatest acts of terrorism ever.

“9/29/08 proved that when you have so much power concentrated in the hands of a few, you can manipulate a computer algorithm and make the market and economy go which ever way you want it to go. So on 5/6/10, just as the power of the big banks was threatened again on the floor of the Senate and a deal on auditing the Federal Reserve was being negotiated, in came a sudden and unprecedented ten-minute 700 point market drop. A precision-guided High Frequency Trading (HFT) attack to show Congress who’s boss.

High Frequency Terrorism: How the Big Banks and Federal Reserve Maintained Their Death Grip Over the United States

“These people (Rubin, Summers, Greenspank, Bukkake) designed economic policies that were intended to redistribute income upward.” [ Dean Baker ]

“The Ponzi scheme was very effective, because the impossible dream was so appealing. The euro project gave people and companies and governments in the periphery access to far lower interest rates than they had ever seen before, and encouraged them to enter the gingerbread palace. The result was a manic period of credit expansion where people borrowed vastly more than they could ever hope to repay, just like the US subprime borrowers who indulged in the same dynamic. Attempting to borrow yourself into wealth absolutely never works, no matter where you live. The developing debt slavery further enriches the centre in the meantime, though.”

[ The Automatic Earth ]

Eurozone melt down explained:

Karl Denninger does a good job summing up the perniciousness of the Federal Reserve privatized system.

IMHO, the case was made for auditing the Fed, Inc.  when it was recently revealed Easy Al Greenspank and his hood-rats decided to hide from the American people their concern about the housing bubble because “we’re the only ones who can understand this problem.”

The chimera of prosperity works- until it doesn’t anymore.

Goodbye, middle class

March 5, 2010

“The middle class is finding itself struggling to keep what was once seen as staples of a burgeoning working class in our country. Part of this battle has come from a system that has rewarded easy finance on the backs of the working class. Take for example residential real estate. For decades, this was probably one of the most boring and dull sectors of the economy. Residential real estate, if you were lucky, only tracked the overall inflation rate. That was the case until the banking system figured out a way to securitize bread and butter mortgages and turn them into securities for global consumption. Yet that game is now coming to a quick end. The middle class are literally being squeezed out of their homes. Healthcare costs are also cutting deeper into the wallets of most American families and many are finding that they have no coverage as unemployment is still at record levels. This decade will be a struggle for the middle class to save and prosper.”

[ My Budget 360 ]


America, the fragile empire [ latimes ]

Over the last three years, the complex system of the global economy flipped from boom to bust — all because a bunch of Americans started to default on their subprime mortgages, thereby blowing huge holes in the business models of thousands of highly leveraged financial institutions. The next phase of the current crisis may begin when the public begins to reassess the credibility of the radical monetary and fiscal steps that were taken in response.

American manufacturing sucessfully exported to China! [ American Prospect ]

Since 2001, the U.S. has lost 42,400 factories — and its technical edge. “

“Something has gone radically wrong with the American economy. A once-robust system of “traditional engineering” — the invention, design, and manufacture of products — has been replaced by financial engineering. Without a vibrant manufacturing sector, Wall Street created money it did not have and Americans spent money they did not have.

“Americans stopped making the products they continued to buy: clothing, computers, consumer electronics, flat-screen TVs, household items, and millions of automobiles.

“America’s economic elite has long argued that the country does not need an industrial base. The economies in states such as California and Michigan that have lost their industrial base, however, belie that claim. Without an industrial base, an increase in consumer spending, which pulled the country out of past recessions, will not put Americans back to work. Without an industrial base, the nation’s trade deficit will continue to grow. Without an industrial base, there will be no economic ladder for a generation of immigrants, stranded in low-paying service-sector jobs. Without an industrial base, the United States will be increasingly dependent on foreign manufacturers even for its key military technology.

“All this talk about “free markets” and the virtues of “private market disciplines” go out the window should the actual discipline of markets impose losses on these institutions.” -Marshall Auerback

Whatsa matter?

November 12, 2009

Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable
by Clay Shirky
A fascinating and observant piece examining and articulating, in a much larger context than you have read anywhere else before, many of the reasons newspapers are destined to become extinct.

The Global Oil Scam: 50 Times Bigger than Madoff
by Philip Davis
I have been discussing off-line how just about every system (you name it) in America is either corrupted, broken, or both. About how everything is being gamed, from cell phone contracts to overly complicated mortgage contracts designed to trip you up so they can fee you. Unregulated exchanges and securities (e.g. CDS) are not meant for your prying eyes, nor can you participate. But the exact same sort of churn employed in ICE is very much in evidence today (if you look closely) in the rapid rise of the stock market the last six months. How else can it be explained when the most active stocks traded during this period are zombie banks and fraught-with-fraud GSE’s? So, no surprise, oil prices are kept artificially high using the same method: the churn. What can one do? Do what I do: starve the beast.

Did Christianity Cause the Crash? by Hanna Rosin
Cause or affect?

“America’s mainstream religious denominations used to teach the faithful that they would be rewarded in the afterlife. But over the past generation, a different strain of Christian faith has proliferated—one that promises to make believers rich in the here and now. Known as the prosperity gospel, and claiming tens of millions of adherents, it fosters risk-taking and intense material optimism. It pumped air into the housing bubble. And one year into the worst downturn since the Depression, it’s still going strong.”

THE LLOYD’s Prayer

Our Chairman,
Who Art At Goldman,
Blankfein Be Thy Name.
The Rally’s Come. God’s Work Be Done
On Earth As There’s No Fear Of Correction.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Gains,
And Bankrupt Our Competitors
As You Taught Lehman and Bear Their Lessons.
And Bring Us Not Under Indictment.
For Thine Is The Treasury,
The House And The Senate
Forever and Ever.

[ The Big Picture ]

Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China

New Form of Indentured Servitude @ The Confluence

I have to ask what it is wrong with this country? It seems to pushing its poor to the brink of destruction during a time of when its also funding (through direct funds and also extremely low interest rates) arbitrage profits for the already rich at places like Goldman Sachs. We might as well just call them all Princes and call ourselves the new corporate serfs because we’re going to be paying for our indentured status for some time under what’s going on right now. We’re tithing for the benefit of huge financial institutions be they investment bankers, insurance, or mortgage brokers. They’ve become the residents of the neoGothic cathedrals of the 21st century dark ages of America.


I often ruminate about when it was that humankind first realized that sex created babies. The obvious extension of that is, how come nobody could be bothered to tell my parents?

Your dime

October 30, 2009

Benron et al gorge themselves at the taxpayers trough

Fortunately, the Federal Reserve never took a dime of TARP money. So when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who’s been worried about the federal deficit, went to speak Oct. 19 at the San Francisco Fed conference on Asia and the global financial mess, he was obliged to travel to the spectacular Bacara Resort and Spa near Santa Barbara, where suites in high season can run up to $2,000 a night. (We’re told the resort discounted the rooms — it’s off-season — to a mere $300 a night, though it’s unclear whether that included the primo suites.)

Where better for conferees to worry about saving more than at the uber-swanky Bacara?

[ WaPo ]

Those Federated guys live in a fantasyland. So might as well mark everything to fantasy:

Fed Raises Value of Its AIG Assets, Reversing Potential Loss

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve increased its estimated value of investment portfolios acquired in the rescue of American International Group Inc., reversing potential losses to taxpayers.

The net holdings of three corporations set up by the Fed for the mortgages and securities it took on in bailing out AIG and Bear Stearns Cos. rose by $4.35 billion, or 7.1 percent, to $65.5 billion, the Fed said today in a quarterly revaluation of the assets. The Bear Stearns investments fell by $116 million to $26.3 billion, while the two AIG portfolios gained $4.46 billion to $39.2 billion, the central bank said.

Head, meet pike: The guilty

A Blast from the past

In 2005 the question is asked: should I buy a home?

The answer and subsequent commentary are for the most part a gallery of truth-tellers (excepting the trolls of course). Be emlightened.
[ Should I buy or wait? ]

Fact file-

Almost 50% of Option Arms +30 Days Late
[ acrossthecurve ] [ wsj ]

Almost 19 million homes sit empty
[ .gov ] [ cnbs ]

Do we henceforth refer to it as the collapse of the middle class, or the destruction of the middle class?

Are You Middle Class? Maybe Not For Long

“[Those in the] middle class suddenly discover that they are overqualified for the jobs they can find and have to settle for anything they can obtain, therefore unemployment sky rockets: too much to offer, too little demand. You see they prepare, study for a job they are not going to get. You kids, you are studying Architecture because you simply wish to do so. Only 3 or 4 percent of you will actually find a job related to architecture.

“When one considers how much work can be replaced now by accounting software, electronic sales presentations, flatter organizational structures, and ‘ news persons ‘ filing reports for free on the Internet via blogs, it is obvious that vast numbers of middle-class Americans teeter on the precipice of unemployability, not just unemployment.

“This time it really is different. The final stages of that blind denial included fiscal imprudence that bordered on insanity. The mirage economy can’t return until after the pendulum has swung its full travel to the other side of the arc. That path leads through the valley of a crushing economic depression, one that will radically and permanently alter the lives of middle-class Americans who are almost universally unaccustomed to hardship.

[ ]


Frontline: Close to Home

“ ‘ I’m a Columbia University graduate. I’m smart. I should be able to stand on my own two feet. ‘ Sitting in a hair salon, Emma looks at herself in the mirror. Her husband Andy sits behind her, nodding. They have a young child, and their personal training company, recently thriving, has fallen on hard times, with business dropped some 40 to 50%. Emma has gone back to school, she says, but in the meantime, her mother, Emma says, is ‘ still working because she’s helping us financially with our kids. Of course I feel guilty. She worked her whole life. ‘ Emma sighs, unable to phrase her thoughts exactly. ‘ Why am I even talking about my mother? I’m 40 years old. With this economy, I feel like a child. ‘ “

“Their strength is their weakness. The focus which permits some people to succeed also gives them a ‘tin-ear’ for the effects of their greed. In other words, they always go too far, and begin to blatantly start breaking the law, and acting in ways that are obvious wrong. And when there is a public revulsion to their deformity, they just do not get it.” -Jesse’s Café Américain

Why do we even need banks if 95 percent of the mortgage market is directly subsidized by the government?

October 28, 2009

A good question, asked and expounded upon by Dr. Housing Bubble:

“95 percent of the mortgage market is now backed by the government. As we know, a large part of this growth also occurred with highly risky FHA insured loans that are now imploding at record levels. Last month in Southern California 36 percent of mortgages were FHA insured loans. Now applying the Stockholm syndrome, it would appear that many instead of being angry and calling out the banking fraud for what it is, are starting to believe in what the abductors are pushing. They say things like, ‘ see, the banks are now holding off on the shadow inventory to help the market. Prices are now going up! ‘ As if the banks are concerned about the average American with some banks charging 79.9 percent on credit cards before dealing with the tougher legislation coming in 2010. As you can see from the above chart, the mortgage market is the government which raises the question, why do we even need banks if 95 percent of the mortgage market is directly subsidized by the government?.

His very graphic graphic (not for the squeamish):

“In fact, there have been a few articles talking about the ‘ brain drain’ because of compensation limitations on Wall Street! You have got to be out of your damn mind! People mistake ‘ intelligence ‘ in kleptocracy, cronyism, and financial engineering with actual smarts. They are smart at screwing over our economy so this brain drain argument is absolute insanity. It would be one thing if they were creating life saving drugs or consumer goods but instead, they are an albatross on the rest of the economy sucking taxpayer dollars into their balance sheets. Yes, let us feel sorry for our financial kidnappers. How can they live on a few million dollars (note: read DeanBaker’s rant) a year after all the good they have done? Let us allow them to have the same system that gave them the key to drive our economy off the financial edge.”

That last paragraph was directed at the so-called “brain-drain” by Hank Greenberg’s new firm from the pool of ready able and willing AIG co-conspiratorshorts, which as you know like GMAC is having trouble paying back the taxpayer bailout that saved their nasty-asses (the perpetual bailout that is never gonna take, they’ll keep coming back for more and more throwing good money after bad, until we realize the only solution is to take ’em out back and shoot the poor old mangy critters).

Ever get the feeling that you’re being gamed?

“Oh no! Our top commanders are leaving the ship. As it turns out, they were on their laptops all day ignoring the financial iceberg ahead. When it came time to jump ship however, they were the only people with lifesavers.”

“Children need encouragement. If a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way he develops a good, lucky feeling. ” -Jack Handy

Adding insult to injury

September 11, 2009

Wells Fargo exec used Malibu Colony home lost by Madoff-duped couple, neighbors say
A top bank executive was seen spending weekends and hosting parties in the $12-million beach house. Neighbors say the real shocker came when they saw one of the bank’s top executives spending weekends in the $12-million beach house and hosting eye-catching parties there. What’s more, Wells Fargo spurned offers to show the property to prospective buyers, a real estate agent said.

“It’s outrageous to take over a property like that, not make it available and then put someone from the bank in it,” said Phillip Roman, an 18-year Colony resident who lives a few homes away from the property.

[ LAT ] [ more ]

Why the Foreclosure Crisis Won’t End
Until the labor market become more stable, the unemployment rate tops out, and we have some income generation, it will be hard for the rate of delinquencies in the housing market to stabilize or turn down [ Minyanville ]

Blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the bean-counters

“banks have argued that market values can be misleading, and that their own estimates of the eventual cash flow from assets are more realistic than what they — or others — will now pay for those assets. The rules already allowed them to ignore so called “distress sales” in assessing fair value, but the banks pushed to broaden that exemption in the United States, while in Europe they got the regulators to allow them to retroactively stop calculating market value for assets they said they did not intend to sell.””

[ Floyd Norris, Accountants Misled Us Into Crisis ] [ H/T ]

I reckon they know Harry Macklowe and son really, really well

Buyers of Huge Manhattan Complex Face Default Risk

A recent report from Realpoint, a credit rating agency, estimates the property has a value today of $2.13 billion — less than half of what the partnership borrowed to buy it.

[ NYT ]

Until Obama (a.k.a. Bush 3, or Bush-Lite) has completed the Bushy agenda, we can agree…

Baby Bush: The Worst President in History?

Is it possible that Bush was actually the worst president ever? I’d say he’s a strong contender. He started out with a gigantic lie — that he would cut the size of government, reduce taxes, and stay out of foreign wars — and things got much worse from there.

[ Doug Casey c/o Barry Ritholtz ]

Matt Taibbi takes apart health care ‘reform’

Sick and Wrong – How Washington is screwing up health care reform – and why it may take a revolt to fix it

Let’s start with the obvious: America has not only the worst but the dumbest health care system in the developed world. It’s become a black leprosy eating away at the American experiment — a bureaucracy so insipid and mean and illogical that even our darkest criminal minds wouldn’t be equal to dreaming it up on purpose.

[ Rolling Stone ]

Seriously, you cannot make this shit up:

Two more ACORN officials were fired Friday after a second video surfaced showing staffers in the community organizers’ Washington office offering to help a man and woman posing as a pimp and prostitute acquire illegal home loans that would help them set up a brothel.

[ Faux Nooze ]

“Remember, to arrive at the bailout number the Treasury bean-counters just picked ‘like, a really really big number.’ How do you have confidence in anyone like that, who dares to refer to themself as either an accountant or as an economist? Refer to them by what they really are: bean-counters, ass-hats, pretenders, criminal co-conspirator. They know as much about economics as a priest really knows about God.”