derivatives

False Sense of Security From Masters of Econ Disasters And The Markets Empty Threats

It is becoming pretty darn clear that the fools that created the economic disaster think they can push us through it on their wishful thinking. Idiots like Geithner are painting rosy pictures of what they are doing - with Obama noddingly approving of it - and hoping you, the average American and the ones that are still being crushed economically, won't notice. Yves there:

Geithner Yet Again Misrepresents TARP “Performance”

Meanwhile and according to Paul Krugman,

Against The Super-Asinine, The Gods Themselves Contend in Vain


Brad DeLong wonders how the proponents of tight budgets and tight money are prevailing in the midst of mass unemployment, low interest rates, and incipient deflation.

It’s actually not all that surprising. Horrifying, but not surprising.

The case for expansionary policies in the face of a slump is intellectually difficult; Keynes described the writing of the General Theory as a painful process of discovery, and so it is. The natural instinct of almost everyone is to think that tough times require tough measures, and that if the economy is suffering, the government should tighten its own belt. It would take a clear consensus from economists to overcome that natural bias.

And that consensus has, of course, been lacking — largely because a significant proportion of the economics profession has spent the last three decades systematically destroying the hard-won knowledge of macroeconomics. It’s truly a new Dark Age, in which famous professors are reinventing errors refuted 70 years ago, and calling them insights.

While we bear in mind that there may be real solutions that will stop this disaster from happening again, and the need to really address the results of it honestly, there are the underlying rules of a market whose obscene motto for years was:

Flushing Out the Ongoing Bank Fraud and Financial Terrorism

The number of foreclosure filings hit a record high in the 3rd quarter: "Despite signs of broader economic recovery,
number of foreclosure filings hit a record high in the third quarter -
a sign the plague is still spreading."

And banks are keeping losses off the books as they ignore the people that are not paying their mortgages:

JUAN GONZALEZ: And William Black, where is the outrage? It
seems to me, at this stage, with the—as the foreclosures continue to
escalate in numbers, and yet we’re seeing these enormous profits less
than a year after the financial crisis. There doesn’t seem to be the
kind of outrage, even in Congress, that there was six months or eight
months ago.

WILLIAM BLACK: There’s no palpable outrage, certainly not
in Congress. The reform efforts on derivatives, for example, are a
scandal. They exempt virtually all of the problem derivatives, and
they’re designed to exempt it. And that’s the bill that’s introduced,
and of course it’s likely to get worse with additional lobbying from
the special interests.

Link the things that you’ve just been talking about. You talked
about foreclosures reaching record highs. But in fact, foreclosures,
relative to delinquencies, are quite low compared to historical ratios.
In other words, banks have tons of folks who are not paying their
mortgages on time, and they’re not foreclosing. And the reason they’re
not foreclosing is, once you foreclose, you have to recognize losses
under the accounting rules. And the banks gimmicked the accounting
rules. They put pressure on Congress, and Congress put pressure on the
accounting profession to gimmick the accounting rules now about a year
ago. Now, these bonuses, of course, are paid compared to alleged
profits.
What happens if you understate your losses dramatically? You
report much higher profits and much higher bonuses. So this is a web of
fraud, in which they are getting as much as they can before the place
goes to hell in a handbasket again.

Here we are neck deep in debt to pay off the gambling debts of the bankers and now they are completely ignoring their very real losses that are piling up at a record rate simply so they can keep the bonus money flowing into their own pockets:

The Dow is Up but Your House is Gone

So here we have another bankster scam being waged on the consuming public. The scam is to create another "too big to fail" scenario as they make record profits and pay out record bonuses by rigging their books.

But the good news is the Dow is up.

So you or someone you care about is likely without a job or looking for more work. But the elite are rigging the system again, and you are going to fix things next time by voting for a Republican.

And what are these bankers with their Enron style accounting doing to help the homeowners that are on the verge of losing their homes? You can be certain that they are still out there offering ARMs to unsuspecting victims of their financial rape of the world.

And as for you? You get nothing but shafted:

ENABLING ACTS FOR AN ERA OF GREED - The Money Party at Work

ENABLING ACTS FOR AN ERA OF GREED

The Money Party at Work

Michael Collins

Huge majorities in both houses of Congress voted for legislation to allow the biggest bank heist of all time.   But this time, it was the banks pulling the heist.

Our financial system looks ruined beyond repair.  The credit default swaps crisis is 40 or so times bigger than the real estate meltdown over subprime derivatives.  The top 25 banks in the United States are loaded down with $13 trillion in credit default swaps and the deal is coming unraveled.  If we accept the highly dubious assumption that the debt from the financial meltdown needs to be repaid by us, were looking at $43,000 a citizen right now.  And we're just starting.

It didn't get that way by accident.  There was special legislation that enabled the current crisis.

Now We Know What AIG says, We Still Need To Know The Answer "What The Hell Is the Real Story?"

So, now we know, two thirds of the bail out money which went to AIG between October and the end of December wasn’t intended for AIG at all, but was passed through to others. The list includes Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Societé Generale, and many others. And, if that wasn’t enough to make you choke on your coffee this morning, there’s the additional fuel of the AIG bonus story. OMG, this is just like totally over the top.

 
There’s a lot of outrage about this which is kind of being stoked by the media, and there’s some useful commentaries which are dealing with parts of the story. These three from Robert Kuttner Robert Reich and the America’s Future blog are ones to take cognizance of, I think. In Kuttner's view Obama's financial team is leading him to destruction. Reich raises his voice against the corruption, and so do the folks over at Progressive Breakfast in their morning release.
 
The outrage is directed at the upfront particulars, the bonuses and the pass-through laundering of bail-out funds. I think though there is a picture beginning to emerge of the structure of the Paulson-Bernanke bailout which raises a whole range of other issues. The banks continue to insist that their assets will come good with a rebound in the economy, and therefore their current pricing structure should be preserved.Yves Smith provided a major service this morning over at Naked Capitalism when she made available Bruce Krasting's discussion of the AIG bonusses and Tyler Durden's guest post on bailout spotting.

Euthanize Wall Street to save the economy

promoted by roxy. Originally posted 2008-04-23 18:57:05 -1000

The “bail out” of Bear Stearns five weeks ago did nothing to solve the underlying causes of the unfolding financial meltdown, so another major crisis is unavoidable. The “bail out” of Bear Stearns has merely bought more time for the big players on Wall Street to try and drag this out past the November election, because what they fear above all else is the rise of a progressive political movement strong enough to pry loose their grasp on the credit mechanism -- the financial system -- of our economy.

The fundamental problem is the big players on Wall Street have misused the credit mechanism for their own private gains through the bloating of debt and speculation, at the expense of actually allocating and supplying capital to the real economy. This is what has caused the 30-year decline of the American industrial economy that Barack Obama observes has made many Americans bitter- a comment that was, all too typically, taken out of context by Obama’s opponents. So this diary will look at the underlying truth of Obama’s remarks, and offer some radical observations on the role of Wall Street, and what needs to be done.

The Crash is past. Comes now Inflation.

-- originally posted 2008-03-02 20:23:36 -- bumped, cho

Seems to me a lot of people don’t realize the worst financial crash since 1929 has already occurred. I suppose they are waiting for a big explosive fireball and a lot of noise like in a Hollywood movie, or for the nightly news on their wide-screen televisions to show pictures of desperate bankers and brokers splattered on the sidewalks in front of 60-story temples of finance.

This diary is my humble little attempt to let these people know that the crash has already happened. It began in August. I guess they didn’t notice, but a number of financial markets have already collapsed. First, of course, there was the derivatives based on sub-prime mortgages. That seems to be about where the common consciousness stops. But before U.S. Secretary Treasury Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (a.k.a., Captain Carnage) even lifted a finger to try and sort out the sub-prime mortgage mess, they first had to deal with the collapse of the market for Structured Investment Vehicles. Since these two crises began last summer many other financial markets have also collapsed: corporate junk bonds, asset-backed commercial paper, municipal bonds. This last was saved just last week by New York State Insurance Commissioner Dinallo basically forcing Moodys, S&P and Fitch to give AAA ratings to the monolines insurers. All these markets have pretty much ceased functioning, with not even the banks that created some of this stuff willing to buy their own product. Financial institutions have also been disappearing, especially a number of hedge funds, the most recent being this past week: Peloton, a London-based hedge fund specializing in asset-backed bonds.

CommercialPaperCollapse

World on the Brink- Depression or Hyperinflation

In August 2007, an obscure bank in Germany disclosed that it had suffered crippling losses on some financial instruments it held, which were based on a pool of sub-prime mortgages in the United States. Within days, traders in financial markets around the world were panicking as they found it nearly impossible to determine which other banks might be having the same problem, and just how large that problem was. Central banks around the world poured in money to calm troubled financial markets, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson made a show of declaring that the problems of the U.S.