Twenty-five people at the heart of the meltdown ... | Business | The Guardian
Hall of shame...if they have any.
The worst economic turmoil since the Great Depression is not a natural phenomenon but a man-made disaster in which we all played a part. In the second part of a week-long series looking behind the slump, Guardian City editor Julia Finch picks out the individuals who have led us into the current crisis
... and six more who saw it comingAIG Implodes: The Two Cows Version
obama's fc plan
obama plan website
A few weeks ago Obama's new secretary or treasury Tim Geitner unveiled the outlines of a plan to fix the financial crisis in our Country. One of the problems with these massive plans from the government is that citizens want to know exactly where their money is going. This is the treasury secretary's answer to that problem this site will document where all the money for the proposed plan will be documented and will be able to track.
Obama run site to track stimuls package spendingFinancial Crisis, Housing Crisis, Recession, Budget Crisis, What It Means to Your Financial Planning | Personal Finance Blog, Online Money Management, Budget Planner and Financial Planning - Mint.com
What do you do if you don't have the money to pay a debt? If you are like most of us, you borrow. The US Government is no different. In order to pay for the $700 billion bailout, it will have to borrow more money, increasing the national debt. But who will pay for this massive bailout? If you are a US taxpayer, you will. Here is a visual guide to understanding how the bailout is funded and a couple of financial experts take on how it could be funded.
What do you do if you don’t have the money to pay a debt? If you are like most of us, you borrow. The US Government is no different. In order to pay for the $700 billion bailout, it will have to borrow more money, increasing the national debt. But who will pay for this massive bailout? If you are a US taxpayer, you will.
A nice graphic showing how the Bailout is being fundedFRONTLINE: inside the meltdown: watch the full program | PBS
long form documentary on the financial crisis. Audio editing/narrative is strongThe Big Takeover : Rolling Stone
Must read. 210309The Atlantic Online | May 2009 | The Quiet Coup | Simon Johnson
The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.
But I must tell you, to IMF officials, all of these crises looked depressingly similar. Each country, of course, needed a loan, but more than that, each needed to make big changes so that the loan could really work. Almost always, countries in crisis need to learn to live within their means after a period of excess—exports must be increased, and imports cut—and the goal is to do this without the most horrible of recessions. Naturally, the fund’s economists spend time figuring out the policies—budget, money supply, and the like—that make sense in this context. Yet the economic solution is seldom very hard to work out. No, the real concern of the fund’s senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis. Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector
The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises.
"In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay."
A former head of the IMF offers an insightful and alarming look at how the United States has been hijacked by a cabal of rotten financiers.No Return to Normal - James K. Galbraith
The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too. Annotated link http://www.diigo.com/bookmark/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonmonthly.com%2Ffeatures%2F2009%2F0903.galbraith.html
"Why the economic crisis, and its solution, are bigger than you think."Bill Moyers Journal . Watch & Listen | PBS
The financial industry brought the economy to its knees, but how did they get away with it? With the nation wondering how to hold the bankers accountable, Bill Moyers sits down with William K. Black, the former senior regulator who cracked down on banks during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. Black offers his analysis of what went wrong and his critique of the bailout
Now Black is focused on an even greater scandal, and he spares no one — not even the President he worked hard to elect, Barack Obama. But his main targets are the Wall Street barons, heirs of an earlier generation whose scandalous rip-offs of wealth back in the 1930s earned them comparison to Al Capone and the mob, and the nickname "banksters."
The former Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention now teaches Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. During the savings and loan crisis, it was Black who accused then-house speaker Jim Wright and five US Senators, including John Glenn and John McCain, of doing favors for the S&L's in exchange for contributions and other perks. The senators got off with a slap on the wrist, but so enraged was one of those bankers, Charles Keating — after whom the senate's so-called "Keating Five" were named — he sent a memo that read, in part, "get Black — kill him dead." Metaphorically, of course. Of course. Now Black is focused on an even greater scandal, and he spares no one — not even the President he worked hard to elect, Barack Obama. But his main targets are the Wall Street barons, heirs of an earlier generation whose scandalous rip-offs of wealth back in the 1930s earned them comparison to Al Capone and the mob, and the nickname "banksters."
video from jonas' recomendationInfo, Comments, Opinions and Facts About Goldman Sachs
Info, Comments, Opinions and Facts About Goldman Sachs
just because Goldman Sachs want to ban it.
threat blog post?FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world
10 principles to rebuild on.
1. What is fragile should break early while it is still small. Nothing should ever become too big to fail. 2. No socialisation of losses & privatisation of gains. 3. People who were driving a school bus blindfolded (& crashed it) should never be given a new bus. 4. No incentives without disincentives: capitalism is about rewards and punishments, not just rewards. 5. Complexity from globalisation and highly networked economic life needs to be countered by simplicity in financial products. The complex economy is already a form of leverage: the leverage of efficiency. 6. Complex derivatives need to be banned because nobody understands them and few are rational enough to know it. 7. Governments should never need to “restore confidence”. 8. Using leverage to cure the problems of too much leverage is not homeopathy, it is denial. 9. Citizens should not depend on financial assets or fallible “expert” advice for their retirement. 10. we will have to remake the system before it does so itself"
Taleb k současné krizi
2. No socialisation of losses and privatisation of gains. Whatever may need to be bailed out should be nationalised; whatever does not need a bail-out should be free, small and risk-bearing. We have managed to combine the worst of capitalism and socialism. In France in the 1980s, the socialists took over the banks. In the US in the 2000s, the banks took over the government. This is surreal.Grasping Reality with Both Hands: The Geithner Plan FAQ
Q: What if markets never recover, the assets are not fundamentally undervalued, and even when held to maturity the government doesn’t make back its money? A: Then we have worse things to worry about than government losses on TARP-program money–for we are then in a world in which the only things that have value are bottled water, sewing needles, and ammunition.
bailout plan overviewThe Great American Bubble Machine : Rolling Stone
Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression
How Goldman Sachs Has Engineered Every Major Market Manipulation Since the Great Depression" The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.
They use the same playbook over and over again: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. When it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again.The real scandal at AIG is the not the bonuses. It's the payments to counterparties. - By Eliot Spitzer - Slate Magazine
It's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full.
What is the deeper relationship between Goldman and AIG? Didn't they almost merge a few years ago but did not because Goldman couldn't get its arms around the black box that is AIG? If that is true, why should Goldman get bailed out? After all, they should have known as well as anybody that a big part of AIG's business model was not to pay on insurance it had issued.
The Real AIG Scandal It's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full. By Eliot Spitzer
Everybody is rushing to condemn AIG's bonuses, but this simple scandal is obscuring the real disgrace at the insurance giant: Why are AIG's counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?Obama's Big Sellout : Rolling Stone
The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway. By Matt Taibbi
"What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside."
The controversial Matt Taibbi December 2009 Rolling Stone article.Bailout costs more than Marshall Plan, Louisiana Purchase, moonshot, S&L bailout, Korean War, New Deal, Iraq war, Vietnam war, and NASA's lifetime budget -- *combined*! - Boing Boing
cost of Marshall Plan
costo del rescate de bancos en la crisis económica del 2008
How much does the bailout cost, compared to other grand government programs? More.
oh. my. god. and where the hell is this money coming from, anyway???
Bailout costs more than Marshall Plan, Louisiana Purchase, moonshot, S&L bailout, Korean War, New Deal, Iraq war, Vietnam war, and NASA's lifetime budget -- *combined*!
$4.6165 trillion? That'sa spicy meataballa!CalvinHobbs.BMP (image)
"15 year old Calvin and Hobbes strip with almost clairvoyance on how we got into our current financial crisis."
Calvin needs a bailout
http://tr.im/glf8 - via gregmankiw.blogspot.com Explains it so well! [from http://twitter.com/hardmanjustin/statuses/1217823016]Wall Street's Bailout Hustle : Rolling Stone
"Con artists have a word for the inability of their victims to accept that they've been scammed. They call it the 'True Believer Syndrome'. That's sort of where we are, in a state of nagging disbelief about the real problem on Wall Street. It isn't so much that we have inadequate rules or incompetent regulators, although both of these things are certainly true. [..] Instead of liquidating and prosecuting the insolvent institutions that took us all down with them in a giant Ponzi scheme, we have showered them with money and guarantees and all sorts of other enabling gestures."
dissecting wall street as a series of cons
Still, the trick for Goldman was: how to collect the insurance money. As AIG headed into a tailspin that fateful summer of 2008, it looked like the beleaguered firm wasn't going to have the money to pay off the bogus insurance. So Goldman and other banks began demanding that AIG provide them with cash collateral. In the 15 months leading up to the collapse of AIG, Goldman received $5.9 billion in collateral. Société Générale, a bank holding lots of mortgage-backed crap originally underwritten by Goldman, received $5.5 billion. These collateral demands squeezing AIG from two sides were the "Swoop and Squat" that ultimately crashed the firm. "It put the company into a liquidity crisis," says Eric Dinallo, who was intimately involved in the AIG bailout as head of the New York State Insurance Department.
Matt Taibbi gets very angry at Wall Street again; I'm not sure how fair some of it is, but it's entertaining stuff.Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown - Telegraph
The unfolding debt drama in Russia, Ukraine, and the EU states of Eastern Europe has reached acute danger point.
EMU - european monetary union
"There are accidents waiting to happen across the region, but the EU institutions don't have any framework for dealing with this. The day they decide not to save one of these one countries will be the trigger for a massive crisis with contagion spreading into the EU."
Brazil lost 650K jobs in 1 mo - Jan apparently??? howDespair over financial policy - Paul Krugman Blog - NYTimes.com
The Obama administration is now completely wedded to the idea that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the financial system — that what we’re facing is the equivalent of a run on an essentially sound bank.
The Obama administration is now completely wedded to the idea that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the financial system — that what we’re facing is the equivalent of a run on an essentially sound bank. As Tim Duy put it, there are no bad assets, only misunderstood assets. And if we get investors to understand that toxic waste is really, truly worth much more than anyone is willing to pay for it, all our problems will be solved.
We should just let the banks and institutions that have been poorly managed fail.
To this end the plan proposes to create funds in which private investors put in a small amount of their own money, and in return get large, non-recourse loans from the taxpayer, with which to buy bad — I mean misunderstood — assets. This is supposed to lead to fair prices because the funds will engage in competitive bidding. But it’s immediately obvious, if you think about it, that these funds will have skewed incentives. In effect, Treasury will be creating — deliberately! — the functional equivalent of Texas S&Ls in the 1980s: financial operations with very little capital but lots of government-guaranteed liabilities. For the private investors, this is an open invitation to play heads I win, tails the taxpayers lose. So sure, these investors will be ready to pay high prices for toxic waste. After all, the stuff might be worth something; and if it isn’t, that’s someone else’s problem.
Krugman talks about structural problems that make Geithner's plan highly unlikely to work, and msot definitely transfers all risk upon the tax payer http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/opinion/23krugman.html
Krugman analyzes The Geithner plan
In effect, Treasury will be creating — deliberately! — the functional equivalent of Texas S&Ls in the 1980s: financial operations with very little capital but lots of government-guaranteed liabilities. For the private investors, this is an open invitation to play heads I win, tails the taxpayers lose.
This plan will produce big gains for banks that didn’t actually need any help; it will, however, do little to reassure the public about banks that are seriously undercapitalized. And I fear that when the plan fails, as it almost surely will, the administration will have shot its bolt: it won’t be able to come back to Congress for a plan that might actually work.Nouriel Roubini: I fear the worst is yet to come - Times Online
For years Dr Doom toiled in relative obscurity as a NYU economics professor under his alias, Nouriel Roubini. But after making a series of uncannily accurate predictions about the global meltdown, Roubini has become the prophet of his age, jetting around the world dispensing his advice & latest prognostications to politicians & businessmen desperate to know what happens next – and for any answer to the crisis. Most other economists scoffed at Roubini & his predictions of imminent disaster. They dismissed his warnings that the sub-prime mortgage disaster would trigger a financial meltdown & that the investment banks would be crushed as the world headed for a long recession. Yet all these predictions & more came true. Few are laughing now.
As stock markets headed off a cliff again last week, closely followed by currencies, and as meltdown threatened entire countries such as Hungary and Iceland, one voice was in demand above all others to steer us through the gloom: that ofbigthree.jpg (JPEG Image, 500x691 pixels)
One year ago nostalgia :-)
PDF at http://buffalobeast.com/133/BIG3.ad.from.BEAST133.pdf . Just brilliant.
"You wouldn't buy our shitty cars, so we're taking your money anyway."Barack Obama Maintains Control Over Banks By Refusing to Accept Repayment of TARP Money - WSJ.com
Under the Bush team a prominent and profitable bank, under threat of a damaging public audit, was forced to accept less than $1b of TARP money. The gov insisted on buying a new class of preferred stock which gave it a tiny, minority position. The money flowed to the bank. Arguably, back then, the Bush administration was acting for purely economic reasons. It wanted to recapitalize the banks to halt a financial panic. Fast forward to today, and that same bank is begging to give the money back. The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest. He's been sitting on the cash for months and has felt the dead hand of government threatening to run his business and dictate pay scales. He sees the writing on the wall and he wants out. But the Obama team says no, since unlike the smaller banks that gave their TARP money back, this bank is far more prominent. The bank has also been threatened with "adverse" consequences if its chairman persists. That's politics talking, not economics.
I must be naive. I really thought the administration would welcome the return of bank bailout money. Some $340 million in TARP cash flowed back this week from four small banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California. This isn't much when we routinely talk in trillions, but clearly that money has not been wasted or otherwise sunk down Wall Street's black hole. So why no cheering as the cash comes back?Video - CNBC.com
Video - CNBC.com
Intense reaction by some financial analysts in Wallstreet to the current plans
Rick Santelli expresses outrage at the prospect of government rewarding bad behavior.
"CNBC's Rick Santelli and the traders on the floor of the CME Group express outrage. . ." It's good to see and hear people who are appropriately angry. Also, note the paternalistic, faux-aristocratic comments of the other anchors, though; particularly how they try to paint a dissenting, informed, concerned, and eloquent citizen as a demagogue stirring up, "mob rule."Visualizing One Trillion Dollars | Mint.com Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice
shitty carsBloomberg.com: Worldwide
content type: text/html;charset=UTF-8
The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.
Congresspersons, after what happened in Iraq, why did you give a green light here, then get surprised that Paulson is acting like a douche?
``We need oversight,'' Paulson told lawmakers. ``We need protection. We need transparency. I want it. We all want it.''
The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral
"The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral."Sinfest
banktron [waupwaupwaupwaup] <-transformer noise
This comic pretty much sums up the bank bail-out of 2008.Bailout Costs vs Big Historical Events | The Big Picture
A diagram comparing the cost of the current economic crisis with large and costly events in US history
It is exceedingly difficult to convey exactly how much we are spending on all these bailouts. Whenever I start talking trillions (versus mere billions), I get puzzled looks from people. Humans have a hard time conceptualizing any number that large. I wanted a graphic way to clearly show how astonishingly ginormous the amounts involved were. So I once again went to Jess Bachman at Wallstats. I gave him my list of expenditures (inflation adjusted of course!) and he went to work. This early Bailout Nation graphic shows the the total costs to the taxpayer of all the monies spent, lent, consumed, borrowed, printed, guaranteed, assumed or otherwise committed. It is nothing short of astonishing.
18 jun 09 / early Bailout Nation graphic shows the the total costs to the taxpayer of all the monies spent, lent, consumed, borrowed, printed, guaranteed, assumed or otherwise committed. It is nothing short of astonishing. It includes the total outlay for all the bailouts to date. In just about one short year (March 2008 - March 2009), the bailouts managed to spend far in excess of nearly every major one time expenditure of the USA, including WW1&2 (omitted from graphic), the moon shot, the New Deal, total NASA budgets (omitted from graphic), Iraq, Viet Nam and Korean wars — COMBINED.Panic in Detroit
Reasons to bail out GM. Basically useful as a device to pull out whenever anyone claims that the problem is easy, and that we should "just liquidate the bastards."
by Jonathan Cohn. This is not your father's Oldsmobile we're rescuing.Bradley Schiller Says Barack Obama Should Stop Comparing Our Financial Crisis With the Great Depression - WSJ.com
I love that the Wall Street Journal writes this but never complained about Bush using fear mongering. Also I don't think he has fear mongered, I think Obama has presented evidence that backs up what he is saying.
the Great Depression are not only historically inaccurate, they're also dangerous. Repeated warnings from the White House about a coming economic apocalypse aren't likely to raise consumer and investor expectations for the future. In fact, they have contributed to the continuing decline in consumer confidence
Mr. Obama's analogies to the Great Depression are not only historically inaccurate, they're also dangerous. Repeated warnings from the White House about a coming economic apocalypse aren't likely to raise consumer and investor expectations for the future. In fact, they have contributed to the continuing decline in consumer confidence that is restraining a spending pickup.The New York Times > Week in Review > Image > A Tally of Federal Rescues
A Tally of Federal Rescues http://nyti.ms/cwSSVf Mind blowing ! The New York Times > Week in Review > Image >
visualization of the recent bailout
Need some time to wrap my head around these figuresTechdirt: Take A Deep Breath: Some Perspective On The Financial Crisis
Comment 42: William: "That, and our economy runs on paper money that the world doesn't accept as currency due to no gold standard. See the financial reasons for war in Iraq and Iran being next due to both economies no longer accepting US Dollars as main trade currency, instead switching to the Euro for its more stable fluctuation in value. When the US buys, the US prints, thus inflating their own economy, essentially taking it out on US citizens, and devaluing the money the foreign sellers recieve. They get tired of taking $9.50 worth of bills at which time of agreement was worth $10; in which time we declare them an international threat and takeover their government to re-establish the dollar as currency to maintain the image in the world. One large economic nation such as China or India stopping trade in US Dollars and our economy is finished." -- Basically