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The End

May 3, 2011
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The End

At the start of this blog, I predicted that the financial crash would cause the government to spend huge money bailing out the people who caused it, adding a great deal to the national debt and sparking a crisis of confidence in the country’s ability to repay it, which would lead to a policy...
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Operation Broken Trust?

December 6, 2010
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a giant sweep of scammers today during a noon press conference at the Department of Justice. More than 500 people have been charged in various Ponzi schemes, mortgage frauds, securities frauds, and the like during the past three and a half months as “Operation Broken Trust” fanned out...
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Fan-Fred and FHA Together Own a City the Size of Baltimore

August 12, 2010
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Fan-Fred and FHA Together Own a City the Size of Baltimore

Picture every occupied house in Baltimore city. Now picture them empty. That’s the situation we have now, all spread across the country.
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HAMP Re-default Rates Higher Than First Reported

July 28, 2010
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HAMP Re-default Rates Higher Than First Reported

So far something like 400,000 have received permanent modifications—but more than half of HAMP borrowers get bounced from the program for non-payment.
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Call It Corruption

April 16, 2010
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The Wall Street Journal has a boffo take on corruption as a macroeconomic drag. The story is about Greece, but the methods are applicable worldwide, and in places like Baltimore. Leaning on forthcoming research from the Brookings Institution and reports from Transparency International, the story links Greece’s culture of corruption to its flagging tax...
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It’s The Acronymy, Stupid: $13.9 Trillion

June 16, 2009
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Our friends at Calculated Risk have posted an FDIC chart detailing all the alphabet-soup programs and all the money pledged to prop up the financial Ponzi scheme. The total is just shy of $14 trillion. The FDIC report it’s based on is linked in CR’s post. (It’s 52 pages and it crashed my machine-apparently...
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AIG chief resigns

May 21, 2009
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AIG Chairman and CEO Edward Liddy announced his resignation today, the New York Times reports.
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Mustang Tally

May 4, 2009
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The New York Times has a lovely little feature in its cars section today about an old inventor and his 1971 Mustang. Richard Fuchs Mustang has 600,000-plus miles on it, and he’s kept track of the gas mileage (about 19 per gallon, overall) ever since he bought it new. Given all the trouble Detroit’s...
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Fannie-Freddie Updates

April 22, 2009
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The Chief Financial Officer of Freddie Mac apparently committed suicide this morning or last night. The New York Times says there is no way to know yet whether his death is related to an ongoing investigation of Freddie’s finances. Meanwhile, Fannie and Freddie have reported a 70 percent surge in delinquencies of prime mortgages...
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Hank Greenberg: “Don’t Blame Me for AIG”

April 2, 2009
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From the Wall Street Journal (pay site): “I think they got greedy. I think they wrote considerably more business than they should have,” Maurice “Hank” Greenberg told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday. They got greedy? Them? Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) was more direct, asking Mr. Greenberg during a heated exchange,...
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Who Got The Haircut?

March 27, 2009
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Who Got The Haircut?

Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore) sent a letter yesterday to the inspector general for the TARP program, asking what could be a relevant question about the bailout of AIG: Who is watching out for the taxpayers? The letter, signed by 26 other representatives, received coverage in the New York Times this morning along with a...
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AIG Financial Services = “Capital Decimation Partners”

March 19, 2009
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In a book last year (and in a very complicated, fairly obscure paper in 2001, downloadable here), MIT Professor Andrew Lo, one of the most quoted and respected of the quantitative analysts who have lately transformed the financial universe, imagined a hedge fund he called Capital Decimation Partners. Lo described a simple investment strategy...
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