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Financial Reform Bill is Done

June 25, 2010
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Financial Reform Bill is Done

As expected, the bill contains no curb on too-big-to-fail institutions.
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What Lehman Did

March 12, 2010
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What Lehman Did

The long-awaited autopsy on Lehman Bros. is out. Big news: The bank hid liabilities off its balance sheet! Everyone is shocked, shocked. The amazing thing is the mundanity of Lehman’s methods: Repos. This was inside-the-box thinking even 10 years ago, when the bank apparently started using them. As the New York Times explains: Repos,...
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TBTF Administrator: “There Is No Such Thing as TBTF”

March 4, 2010
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Somewhere, Rene Magritte is smiling (from the WSJ): Herbert Allison, who oversees the Treasury’s $700 billion financial rescue plan, disagreed with members of a congressional oversight panel that some financial firms benefit from the assumption that the government would step in to prevent their failure. “There is no too big to fail guarantee on...
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30 Years Later, the Times Discovers “The New Poor”

February 22, 2010
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“Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs,” the New York Times noticed on Saturday in a story about people it dubbed “the new poor.” The story is a good reminder to the ruling class. One should never forget that millions of rich douchebags pretend to have no idea how the majority of us live....
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An Old Skool Banking Idea

February 4, 2010
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Simon Johnson’s Economix blog on the New York Times’ site has some notions to chew on regarding too-big-to-fail. His key idea: Banks’ capital ratios need to be increased three or four fold from what’s proposed (and being fought by bankers as too high). What would a 25-percent cap ratio requirement do to “the system?”
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Bernanke Confirmation in Doubt

January 22, 2010
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Both ABC News and the Wall Street Journal are saying that the Senate vote to reconfirm Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term expires Jan 31, is no longer a sure thing.
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Dubai-ous Deals

December 1, 2009
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Dubai-ous Deals

This makes total sense. Right? The WSJ estimates CitiGroup’s exposure to Dubai World’s defaulted $80 billion (est.) debt at $1.9 billion. The beauty part is Andrew Sorkin’s reminder (in the NYT) that Citi lent $8 billion to the palm-island-building megajoke last Dec. 14, shortly after the U.S. government pumped $45 billion into the ailing...
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Happy (belated) Gramm Leach Bliley Day

November 13, 2009
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Yesterday (Nov. 12) was the 10th anniversary of the signing ceremony for the Gramm Leach Bliley Act. Though hailed at the time as a great breakthrough in financial regulatory reform—headlines predicted the coming time of consumer plenty, big savings on mutual funds, insurance premiums and bank fees—it was never anything more than a scheme...
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Greenspan Changes His Mind

October 15, 2009
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Alan Greenspan has changed his mind, proving finally that he has one. As Bloomberg reports, Greenspan told the influential crowd at the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday that the too-big-to-fail doctrine must end: “If they’re too big to fail, they’re too big,” Greenspan said today. “In 1911 we broke up Standard Oil—so what happened?...
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More Pay on Wall Street

October 14, 2009
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The Wall Street Journal crunched some numbers and declared that, even though 10 percent of U.S. citizens are out of work while most of the rest are taking pay cuts, the Gilliganesque bunglers in the financial sector are again partying like its 1999, only more so. According to the Journal: Total compensation and benefits...
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ACORN Update

September 11, 2009
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Fox and The Baltimore Sun both reported that ACORN has fired the two part-time workers who appeared in the hidden camera video we posted about yesterday. So, ACORN says the vid is “defamatory” and false, but fires the employees because they “acted outside of the ACORN policy?” Comedy gold. On the other hand, tons...
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Where’s Your Money?

August 25, 2009
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Good news today as Bloomberg News won its federal lawsuit to find out which giant corporations the Federal Reserve lavished big money on, and how much. It’s pretty outrageous that it took a nine-month legal battle to get this basic information, but that’s life in a democracy, right? Of course, in addition to its...
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