Monday, April 26, 2010

SAR #10116

The country has been captured by knaves.

Blood In The Water:  More chum to draw the lawyers to Goldman's doors, this time in the form of emails from one-time darling Fabrice Touree, who wrote that the CDOs he was structuring were"pure intellectual masturbation” and were “a ‘thing’ which has no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical and which nobody knows how to price.”  Maybe a jury will help with that.

Teaching Point:  The price of crude-oil futures has increased more than 70 percent over the past year.

Repeat After Me:  The crisis in Greece is over.  The crisis in Greece is now over.  The crisis in Greece is over now, really . But if Greece doesn't clean up its room, Germany won't give it an allowance.  A “tough restructuring program” lasting for many years is an “unavoidable and an absolute prerequisite” for Greece to receive the aid it needs.  Strikes, walkouts and riots will be the “unavoidable and absolute”  byproduct, too.

Financial Reform:  Here's an idea, let's make banks be depository institutions and set up a Federal Gaming Commission to oversee the gambling on Wall Street.

Long Division:  Take all the houses now on the market, add in all the houses the banks have on their 'to do' list, then add in all the houses that will most likely end up in foreclosure as the months go by.  Divide by the going monthly sales and find there is a 9 year supply of homes waiting to be drive down housing prices.

Coincidence?  93% of the 2006 vintage AAA-rated subprime MBS are now junk bonds.  Nothing to see here, move along.

Water Is Wet!  Carefully crafted surveys have revealed that the American public, by and large, are pissed off about being lied to and screwed over by the government and Wall Street.  A surprising number actually felt their opinions matter.

Words, Carefully ChosenThe lawyer who lead George Bush's Office of Special Counsel has agreed to plead guilty to “failing to truthfully answer questions”.

Low Mileage:  The same guys who told you that the little old lady's car had only been driven on Sunday are claiming they've paid back the government money they borrowed.  Well, they did, but they borrowed that money from another government bailout-program.  And what they paid back was just one of several different gobs of billions they borrowed.  It's like Geithner claiming the bailouts only cost the government $87 billion, if you ignore the $2 or $3 trillion that no one wants to talk about.

Baby Steps:  The next Supreme Court nominee should know how to send a text message, but be too modest to Twitter.

Irony:  AIG, which went broke insuring the crap that Goldman Sachs originated, is going to have to pay the fines levied on Goldman execs and make up the losses others suffered through their acts and omissions.  This would seem nearly hilarious if AIG wasn't a wholly owned subsidiary of the US taxpayer.

Double Bubble:  The greater fool school of investing says that the recent Whatever is over and that up, up and away is the path to the future.  And perhaps they are right in the short term.  They just don't read to the end of the chapter, where it all comes tumbling down.

Porn O'Graph:  Connect the dots, add an arrow.


Drew said...

If I go to the bank and get a home equity loan for $50,000, deposit that in my bank account, use $20,000 of it, and send $30,000 that I ended up not needing back to the bank plus some interest, the bank considers that $30,000 repaid and it still has a $20,000 lien on my house. If I sell my house (think IPO) the bank has a right to that $20,000 before I do.

What is difficult to understand about this? It *is* a success that GM doesn't need that money to be able to continue it's turn around.

CKMichaelson said...

Drew - Yes, it is very nice that GM doesn't (still) need all the money it borrowed. What is even 'nicer' from both GM and Geithner's point of view, is presenting this (and other partial repayments) to the public as though it were a complete payback and - even more wondrous - that the taxpayer has made a profit on the entire undertaking.

The truth is seldom the whole truth. (Even here.)


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

If one compares Drew's hypothetical example with the details with regard to GM (as stated by Nick Massey and published by the Canadian newspaper the Edmond Sun), important differences emerge:

"He forgot to mention the $52 billion bailout from the U.S. government, i.e. you and me, and $9.5 billion from the Canadian government. Then there’s that little matter of Congress allowing the company to change $43.3 billion of our $52 billion loan into equity (stock) in the company, therefore taking the loan off the books. This left just a $6.7 billion loan from the U.S. and $1.4 billion from Canada, which they recently have repaid with some of the $43.3 billion in equity investment.

Look carefully at that last sentence again. We were literally repaid with our own money. I’ve seen shell games that were less rigged than that. To use a very technical economic term, we got taken to the cleaners."