Return to the Household Finances Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

Posted by dreamgarden (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 27, 09 at 11:28

Great story in Rolling Stone magazine that details who was responsible for the bailout and why they will probably never see the inside of a jail.


The Big Takeover
MATT TAIBBI
Mar 19, 2009

The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution

The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron �" a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers..........

A link that might be useful:

www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/26793903/the_big_takeover


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

Hi Dreamgarden,
(How long HAS it been since we were on the same side of the drums? I like it!!!)

whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers..........

Oddly enough, we've already forgotten (at BOTH political party extremes) that we'd once abolished slavery, theoretically for reasons of societal values.

Here we are... except its no longer reserved to the color of your skin, but rather if you are "fortunate" enough to be born as an American citizen, and thereby permanently indentured.

Miserably sad... and then enraging!

Dave


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

Dave-"How long HAS it been since we were on the same side of the drums? I like it!!!"


Dave, if you support those hard working taxpayers who didn't buy into subprime mortgages yet are STILL being asked to subsidize the corrupt activities of those who would indenture the 'unwashed masses', then we are most definitely on the same side!

Here is another article you might find of interest. Enjoy!

A link that might be useful:

THE FED NOW OWNS THE WORLD’S
LARGEST INSURANCE COMPANY --
BUT WHO OWNS THE FED?

Ellen Brown, October 7th, 2008

www.webofdebt.com/articles/time_to_buy_the_fed.php


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

Let me see if I can sum up my feelings:


  • Let them fail. You cannot limit failure without also limiting success.
  • No artificial safety net. A company only starts acting like it is "too big to fail" when it is assured that it is, in fact, "too big to fail". That is, risks are taken that, under normal circumstances, would not be, simply because they know that they won't have to suffer the consequences. They privatize the rewards and socialize the risks.
  • The "invisible hand" has no master. I'd rather deal with the natural ups and downs of the "invisible hand" than the protracted and artificial movements caused by the visible, but hidden, hand of a group that has ostensibly ulterior motives.


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

Dreamy,
We are *definitely* on the same page! Looks like Shadow's right there with us also!

Dave
(PS. Dreamy, I think I confused anonymous monikers anyway... if I remember correctly, I've frequently agreed with you ;~)


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

Dave"Dreamy, We are *definitely* on the same page! Looks like Shadow's right there with us also!"

Hi Dave. Glad to hear we are on the same page. Here is another article you might find of interest. Don't forget to check out the white paper in the story to see why JP Morgan Chase could be the straw that breaks the camels' back.

Dangerous Unintended Consequences
by Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D.
03-23-09

I have great admiration for Martin Weiss. He is one of the few persons (with any real experience in the finance industry) who has been willing to tell it like it is about the bankers and derivatives market.

I've taken a fair amount of ridicule for posting his info. One poster even compared him to a popular TV evangelist from the 60's, but I could care less because I'm laughing all the way AWAY from the banks! Following Martin Weiss's FREE newsletters gave us enough warning to get our money out of the market BEFORE our portfolio (would have) lost 40%+.

Check out his archives. You'll see he's been passing along these warnings for at least 5 years.

A link that might be useful:

www.moneyandmarkets.com/dangerous-unintended-consequences-2-32820


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

dreamgarden, Where has Martin Weiss actually worked so that he could gather what you call "any real experience in the finance industry)"?

Are you a salesperson for his work?


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

kec01-"dreamgarden, Where has Martin Weiss actually worked so that he could gather what you call "any real experience in the finance industry)"?

Are you a salesperson for his work? "

No. I am not a salesperson for his work and I don't paid to spread news about him, I do it as a public service. I receive his free newsletter but do not invest with his brokerage. I like him because he is one of the few experts in the business who is willing to tell it like it is.

Here is his background so you can determine what 'real experience' he has had in the financial industry. Far more than those writers for financial publications that keep telling us that now is the time to buy..... ;)

MARTIN D. WEISS is one of the nation's leading providers of a wide range of investment information. He is chairman of The Weiss Group, Inc. which consists of four separate corporations, including Weiss Research, Inc., the publisher of the Safe Money Report. The Weiss companies companies have helped thousands of individuals make informed investment decisions and objectively discriminate between strong and weak stocks, insurance companies, HMOs, banks and S&Ls.

Dr. Weiss began his career in 1971 when he founded Weiss Research, dedicated to evaluating the safety of financial institutions and investments for consulting clients. After spending two years in Japan as a Fulbright Scholar studying management techniques at Japanese financial institutions, Dr. Weiss returned to the United States in 1980 to begin issuing formal safety ratings on banks and savings institutions. His firm issued the first independent insurance ratings in 1989, the first ratings of brokerage firms in 1992, and the first HMO ratings in 1994.

Acclaimed for his accurate, objective evaluations, Dr. Weiss has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, and network news programs, including The Today Show. He has been quoted in hundreds of newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Esquire Magazine, Money, Business Week, Fortune, and The Institutional Investor. Plus, books by Weiss have been published in Japanese and serialized in major Japanese business magazines and newspapers such as Economisto and the Japan Economic Journal. Articles have also appeared in the London Spectator and other European economic journals.

His Weiss Ratings, based largely on the Weiss proprietary computer model, has won acclaim by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) for having beaten the competition by three to one in accuracy.

Dr. Weiss has testified before Congress and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators regarding insurance company stability, where he has proposed legislation requiring full financial disclosure to the consumer. He testified before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations when it considered the financial difficulties befalling Blue Cross/Blue Shield member companies. He is also a frequent guest speaker and lecturer at major investment seminars in the U.S. and abroad. Most recently, Dr. Weiss presented to the National Press Club his solution for eliminating the conflicts of interest rampant in the brokerage industry.

Dr. Weiss is the editor of the financial newsletter, Safe Money Report, known for its track record in picking major turns in interest rates. Dr. Weiss also serves as editor or co-editor for a number of Premium Services. He is also the author of The Ultimate Safe Money Guide: How Everyone 50 and Over Can Protect, Save and Grow Their Money and Crash Profits: How to Make Money When Stocks Sink AND Soar.

Martin Weiss holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.


A link that might be useful:

www.martinweiss.com/about/martinweiss.asp


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

That's what I thought - he's an academic who has never had a "real" job. He's also had a cease and desist order placed against him, if I remember correctly....


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

"That's what I thought - he's an academic who has never had a "real" job."

Never had a real job? Hah! What qualifies you to make such an assumption? What articles have you written? What research have you conducted regarding this economic mess we are in. Care to share any pearls of wisdom from real 'working' experts you admire who called this sub-prime debacle before it started?

"He's also had a cease and desist order placed against him, if I remember correctly....""

Yep, great to refer to the SEC as a 'credible' reference. If I remember correctly, the SEC missed the Enron and WorldCom debacles. For at LEAST 9 years, the SEC also chose to ignore that dung heap they call Madoff. Last year they failed to act against Bear Stearns in its pricing of about $63 million in collateralized debt obligations, also cited by the inspector general.

Which 'fish' do you think the SEC should have been paying attention to? The bigger ones who had family working for them and whose actions stood to imperil our entire economy? Or the littler ones who could create problems for them by warning the public that the SEC is corrupt, toothless, worthless agency to begin with?

You didn't answer my question. Do you work in the finance industry?


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

Please note the date this was published. I didn't answer your question because you didn't ask it. Yes.

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES
Published: Thursday, September 30, 1999

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3 per cent.

In contrast, the number of non-Hispanic whites who received loans for homes increased by 31.2 per cent.

Despite these gains, home ownership rates for minorities continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites, in part because blacks and Hispanics in particular tend to have on average worse credit ratings.

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

The change in policy also comes at the same time that HUD is investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the automated underwriting systems used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine the credit-worthiness of credit applicants.


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

dreamgarden,

I'm curious.

You like to dis the entire finance industry & speak of it as though the same dozen people run every bank in the entire country. OK, that's not accurate; but you're entitled to that opinion.

But, I rarely see you expressing thoughts from your own experience. Let's say that tomorrow Bernanke decides to release all CAMEL ratings to the general public. Are you qualified to interrupt the financial data contained within that report? Can you break down a financial institution's financial statement to the primary ratios? Do you know what the primary ratios are? Do you know current liquidity requirements for your bank & how they stack up to that requirement? Or, do you rely on others' analysis? Would you be able to spot that, say, a ratio provided on bankrate.com or thestreet.com looked suspiciously incorrect & is likely a typo?

If the answer is, "No, I don't/can't.", to any of those questions then I take your posts with a grain of salt as coming from a disgruntled person with some kind of agenda since CAMEL ratings aren't going to be of much value in your decision-making processes.

As for Martin Weiss...well, we all know he's got an agenda. He's no different than Bill O'Reilley, Sean Hannity, Keith Olbermann, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, or the late Jerry Falwell. They are/were all highly compensated individuals who generate(d) their wealth from arousing emotions in people. If they can "create" a conspiracy it's even better because many people can't resist a good conspiracy story. It feeds into our humanness, I guess. Sorta the same thing as people enjoying hearing the latest gossip around the water cooler.

If somebody spouts off enough (as all of these individuals most certainly have) they are bound to occasionally say something that proves accurate. The key in listening to these people, IMO, is to make darn sure you've done your own research & have more than a rudimentary understanding of the topic at hand before placing trust in their oft twisted ramblings spouted as "facts". These people are pros at half-truths & inuendos. Give a couple believable facts & folks just naturally go along with the rest of the goop.

/tricia


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption///

Posted to wrong thread...sorry.

/t


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

Do you work in the finance industry?

kec01-"yes"

Figures. Most people in the finance industry don't like Martin Weiss because he is willing to talk about things other people aren't....

What is the purpose of the outdated Fannie article. Did you write this?

Did you see this subprime stuff coming down the pike and if so, what did you do about it? Personally as well as professionally.


 o
RE: The Bailout-A huge, impenetrable black box of corruption

Hi Dream,

What is the purpose of the outdated Fannie article. Did you write this?

I'm (obviously) not kec01, but I've referenced the article he's just posted many a time, and can tell you why *I* expose it;

Our credit bubble basically began during Clinton's realm when he instructed the GSEs to begin lowering their standards & more aggressively competing in the mortgage secondary markets against private industry, which (as we can easily observe in arrears, 20/20 vision so perfect as it now is) created a "race to the bottom" of the credit quality cycle.

NOT that I particularly "blame" Prez Clinton... in so many ways he was more economically conservative than Bush #2... and therein lies the real rub; Our current regression cycle *SHOULD* have more mellowly turned over & begun softening a good decade ago, or so. When we look at real national (and indeed global) productivity, its been virtually solely due to government intervention-caused credit extension that the general public has continued to have more and more buying power (rather than even, or less<0 for the last 8-10 years... during which time real productivity has grown almost nil.

The reality of natural cycles is inescapable and inevitable... but the severity of them *IS* influencable. In the case of the last decade, we've had the rubberband overstretched to the upside and held there for an everextended period of time. Foreseeing the inevitable regression back to, and then THROUGH the mean, doesn't really take rocket surgery.

Did you see this subprime stuff coming down the pike

Absolutely! When I saw loan terms being ofered that I would not only *NOT* choose to make with my own money... but would not want to OWN any company that WOULD do such insanity... I saw the writing on the wall.

and if so, what did you do about it? Personally as well as professionally.

Personally I started positioning my balance sheet to be protected from the inevitable credit collapses, and to benefit from the future inescapable inflation (looking forward to "what will the 'saviourists' do to overcompensate, and what real effect will that create?")

Buying non-revenue hard assets is the speculators game (IMO.) Metals, etc... is easy, but your gamble is entirely on market direction, and the assets require cash w/o leverage, and provide no self-supporting revenues.

I've positioned myself into revenue-producing hard assets (rental real estate in an employment center core.) Its not as simple as metals, et. al... but it pays its own way, its value is a catch-basin value recipient of a printing-press inflationary government schema, the payback burden of leverage available to acquire it (much greater than metals, etc.) is directly decimated by inflation, and the inflationary effects on future revenue trends (rents) is positive.

PROFESSIONALLY, I've virtually endlessly ranted publically about exactly what I just explained above. On an individual client basis I've done all I could to emphasize the critical importance of reserves and equity balancing.

I don't think we will return to the markets we've now left at all within the lifetimes of anyone reading these posts (at least not anyone reading them this year...) We've left behind an era. Times *WILL* get better, but in an entirely different manner than people have become accustomed to.

We're going to have to work our way THROUGH the current emotional desperation... its not reversible... the emotional process, on a mass-psychological basis, muyst run its full course. That will no doubt include fascist takeover politics (in many parts of the world, if not on North America, which certainly cannot be immune.) There will be whichhunts, pitchforks, and the like.

As I was explaining in a luncheon today with a group of traders and investors... it reminds me of an old joke;

=====================

Two hikers were tromping through the woods, and as they turned around a bend they saw a huge momma grizzly bear 50 yards away to the right, and pair of wrestling cubs 50 yards to their left. The Momma bear looked up and immediately let out a large snarl.

The 2 hikers froze in their tracks, looked at each other in terror, and then one of them dropped to the ground and began pulling his tennis shoes out of his backpack.

The other hiker said "what the heck are you doing!?! Changing your boots to your tennies is insanity... you'll NEVER be able to outrun the bear!!!"

The sitting hiker replied; "I don't HAVE to worry about outrunning the BEAR... I simply have to outrun YOU!"

=====================

The point being, the world is in for what is most likely going to be a fairly ugly, angry bear that is intent on hunting down & destroying as many as it can catch.

As a society, this is going to be miserable, and inescapable.

As an individual, it is COMPLETELY escapable... if you *get your tennies on" and prepare to be extremely nimble, quick, & flexible.

Cheers,
Dave Donhoff
Leverage Planner


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Household Finances Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here