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Mistaking the Transmission for an Engine

March 30, 2010
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The Times’ David Leonhardt had a long and thoughtful take on financial re-regulation Sunday, focusing mainly on the details and their larger implications. But he brushed past the real issue in a couple of places. Here’s the closest he gets: What may be more worrisome than the size of any individual bank is the...
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Posted in Crash Course | 74 Comments »

The Fed Told AIG Not to Disclose Payments to Goldman et.al.

January 7, 2010
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Here’s the government trying to hide the bad deal it made on taxpayers’ behalf. The e-mails leave no doubt: Tim Geithner gave the banks, including a foreign bank, at least $13 billion extra U.S. taxpayer dollars over and above the amount AIG execs were negotiating. Bloomberg got it first. NYT‘s Dealbook gives you the...
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Posted in Crash Course | 372 Comments »

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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NYT spotlights the derivatives lobby

June 1, 2009
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The New York Times posted a long and important story by Gretchen Morgenson and Don Van Natta yesterday discussing the derivative industry’s sneaky lobbying campaign to prevent effective regulation of their profitable scam. It notes that the flaws in the Obama Administration’s proposal to regulate derivatives appear to track nicely with the industry’s desires....
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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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Posted in Crash Course | 593 Comments »

Over-The-Counter Attack

May 14, 2009
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Yesterday, just about 15 years after the General Accounting Office warned it was necessary, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to regulators expressing President Obama’s interest in regulating the market in Over the Counter Derivatives. The news spent a few hours on the front of New York Times’ web page before being relegated...
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No Conflict, Just Distraction

May 9, 2009
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The Wall Street Journal (pay site) published a great story today explaining the power of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and its coziness with the very intelligent, extremely rich people who, despite their extraordinary powers of financial intelligence, essentially bankrupted our economy. Stephen Friedman, chairman of the New York Fed, resigned Thursday, saying...
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We’ll Call Them, um, “Bail Bonds”?

April 9, 2009
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We’ll Call Them, um, “Bail Bonds”?

| Image by Newtonian Finances Ltd The New York Times has a story about the Obama Administration’s propsal to allow ordinary folks to invest in the bank bailout: As part of its sweeping plan to purge banks of troublesome assets, the Obama administration is encouraging several large investment companies to create the financial-crisis equivalent...
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Posted in Crash Course | 352 Comments »

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Audits!

April 6, 2009
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Here’s a surprise: The IRS audits fewer financial-services companies than any other type of big company–even though it finds nearly double the tax cheating at financial companies when it does audit them. These are the findings released today by TRAC, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. From the report: Overall, the large corporate sector–composed of...
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TARP-pay Diem!

February 2, 2009
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The New York Times finally caught on today, publishing this pretty good story about the perils of bailing out Level 3 assets held by profligate banks. To recap our saga: Back in September, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson rolled out the Troubled Assets Relief Program, fondly known as TARP, and told congress that the $700...
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Posted in Crash Course | 592 Comments »