Saturday, March 07, 2009

YOUR MONEY IS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS

Barry Ritholtz continues his uncharacteristic rage over what's happening right under our collective noses:
[W]hat was misleadingly described as systemic risk turned out to be in large part little more than a counter-party bailout — money for the very same people who helped cause the problem. Only the $25 billion figure I mentioned was off by 100% — the WSJ is reporting this morning it was $50 billion dollars, almost a third of $173 billion total AIG loot.

* * *

Now you know why the Fed was so reluctant to reveal who the counterparties were.

This is a giant FUCK YOU to the American taxpayer. Isn’t there some Congressmen (besides Ron Paul) who are morally offended by the Paulson plan, which is slowly becoming the Geithner plan? Isn’t there anything that can be done?

* * *

This is simply unconscionable . . .

This isn't some sort of marginal tinfoil hat thing. The smartest, best-informed (and honest) Wall St. experts are expressing nothing short of screaming, ranting, sputtering outrage over this.

Those who refuse to acknowledge what's happening in the clear light of day are insane. Truly insane, in that they deny reality in favor of their wishes.

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Update - Yves at Naked Capitalism also posts on this same topic. Good one, as usual. A highlight or two:

Bottom line: covert subsidies were given to bank via AIG. Remember, Henry Paulson, who had perilously few inhibitions about shoveling money at banks, even when the pretexts were often dubious and the checks non-existent, nevertheless was afraid to overpay openly for dud assets, which is why he retreated from his original conception of the TARP as as way to hoover up bad debt.

* * *
Wake up and smell the coffee. The public purse is being looted and we the great unwashed are being fed pablum. Just because the perps work for once esteemed institutions and are typically treated with deference does not change the nature of the undertaking.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Applesaucer said...

Stories like these will blow wide open every week or so for so long as Bennanke, Summers and Geithner remain in their posts.

It's just that simple.

Obama must stop taking direction from Wall St. They are not "experts," except at one thing: squeezing every last nickel they can from whatever source. Their morality is a function solely of how it affects their ability to get paid. And, believe me, they like to use the term "get paid" often.

Firing Bernanke, Summers and Geithner will be a start. But their replacements will be the key to understanding Obama's mind on this and the direction this country will take for the remainder of his time in office.

If Obama puts in just another three kleptocrats, that will tell me that he is one of them, or he is too stupid to figure out what's going on. And I do mean stupid, because by now, this stuff is breaking out into the open. It's becoming too obvious to ingnore, except for the fools among us.

I believe that Geithner will go first, and soon, if only because he has failed to perform up to the expectations of his Goldman bosses; he seems to "green." If Volker steps into the treasury position, we will, at least for a second, be able to breath a sigh of relief.

Bernanke's term ends this year. If Obama reappoints him, we're sunk. If he replaces him with Summers -- which I fear is his Plan A or B, depending on whether reappointing Bernanke is Plan B or A -- then we're sunk.

The crucial thing here, again, is less to keep on eye on the "plans" (though that is important), but to keep on eye on the "people."

Applesaucer

p.s., my Word Verification letters spell "viler." I kid you not!

1:03 PM  
Blogger Toast said...

Those who refuse to acknowledge what's happening in the clear light of day are insane.

Ooooooooooooohhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You're right, MIKE! We're INSANE. We're CRAZY GONUTS!!!!! Act NOW and I'll throw in a LOVE SEAT!

Couldn't POSSIBLY be that you have one opinion and other people have a different one. Anyone who disagrees with you is INSANE!!!!!

It's so weird. I can't really picture you in a clown costume, but you wear one on your blog every day. Sad.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Firing Bernanke, Summers and Geithner will be a start.

Yes.

If Obama puts in just another three kleptocrats, that will tell me that he is one of them, or he is too stupid to figure out what's going on.

Yes.

Bernanke's term ends this year. If Obama reappoints him, we're sunk. If he replaces him with Summers -- which I fear is his Plan A or B, depending on whether reappointing Bernanke is Plan B or A -- then we're sunk.

Yes.


Couldn't POSSIBLY be that you have one opinion and other people have a different one. Anyone who disagrees with you is INSANE!!!!!


Toast, you're a smart guy, so I don't understand why you're having such a difficult time grasping such a simple point: it's not about agreeing with me, or with my opinion. I explained that yesterday, I've explained that on your blog.

Instead, it's about looking at facts, at data and acknowledging what's clear. Taxpayer money is going to the banks and institutions that got us into this mess. The taxpayers are not being consulted on this position (though opinion polls show that most oppose it). The federal reserve refuses to tell the taxpayers where their money is going. The banks are getting above-market prices for their
"assets."

And on and on and on.

Yet you say this is a matter of opinion? No. It's a matter of fact. Facts that are open and available.

And, for argument's sake, if anyone's "opinion" is in play, it's the opinion of smart, educated, knowledgeable, honest folks who know what's going on.

I've linked to them repeatedly for months now. Have you read them?

Yet you continue to offer your "opinion," when you've acknowledged you don't really understand economics, and you've never offered an alternate explanation to mine as to what's going on. Nor have you used facts to refute those that I cite.

But for some reason I can't understand you feel the need to disagree with me . . . vehemently and often insultingly.

And as to insanity, there are many definitions. But a refusal to observe reality while instead hanging on to wishes and ideals strikes me as one definition.

And an inability to learn from past mistakes, instead repeating the same failed behavior over and over is another.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I hope you take the time to educate yourself on this matter. Based on your political views and philosophy, I can't see how you'll be anything less than outraged when you do.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

If Toast doesn't see anything wrong here then he is fucking insane.

Geithner needs to go yesterday. He's completely ineffective. But Summers is the guy I REALLY worry about—he cannot be the replacement for any of these posts...

Volker is a step in the right direction, but if Obama wants to be "bold" he'll just skip right a head and tap Krugman or Roubini.

I can dream, can't I?

4:11 AM  

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