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And The Lehman Disclosure Hits Just Keep On Coming; If Fuld Has Not Yet Left The Country, Doing So ASAP May Be A Very Good Idea

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Reading through the thousands and thousands of pages of Valukas' report has proven, as we suspected early today, quite entertaining. After having first uncovered the Repo 105 accounting gimmick, and E&Y (and, in a normal society, Tim Geithner) coffin nail, we are convinced that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and sure enough, as we read along, more stunners come to light. We will update this post with new discoveries, but for now, we present the episode of the Fenway Tri-Party Repo Market Clusterfuck ("FTPRMC"), The Part Where Lehman Lied To Its Shareholders, And The SEC Gets The Middle Finger (Again), and the parable of Ben Bernanke's And His Scale Of 0 To 100 Of Systemic Fuckedupedness.

1. The Fenway Tri-Party Repo Market Clusterfuck ("FTPRMC" or "The Clusterfuck")

In the days before Lehman filed for bankruptcy, JPM, which was a tri-party clearing bank, in a relationship we discussed long before most had even heard the name Anton Valuklas in our piece from October "A Rare Glimpse Into The Fed's Discount Window Courtesy of The Brewing Lehman-Barclays Scandal", started to escalate its collateral demands, in a foreshadowing of what was soon going to happen to AIG. Notwithstanding that this action may result in credible legal action against JPM, as, in the words of Valukas, "The Examiner concludes that there may be a colorable claim against one clearing bank – JPMorgan – arising from these collateral demands in 2008", we uncover something quite brilliant as to the quality of assets backing up collateral posted in the tri-party repo system. Note this is not the Repo 105 synthetic contraption, which apparently nobody had heard about before, not Geithner, not anybody at the FRBNY, not even Dick Fuld; this is a pure plain vanilla matched repo obligation, and a core component of the $3 trillion shadow banking system, which again was the topic of our prior post on this topic. Back then we ventured to guess that nearly worthless assets are used "on occassion" by assorted tri-party repo participants, and collateralized by JPM as clearing party, and ultimately by the Fed as end party on the other side of a tri-party repo. Little did we know just how far the stench went, and that worthless assets (and we do mean worthless) are very likely the norm. To wit from the report:

On September 11, JPMorgan executives met to discuss significant valuation problems with securities that Lehman had posted as collateral over the summer. JPMorgan concluded that the collateral was not worth nearly what Lehman had claimed it was worth, and decided to request an additional $5 billion in cash collateral from Lehman that day. The request was communicated in an executive?level phone call, and Lehman posted $5 billion in cash to JPMorgan by the afternoon of Friday, September 12. Around the same time, JPMorgan learned that a security known as Fenway, which Lehman had posted to JPMorgan at a stated value of $3 billion, was actually asset?backed commercial paper credit?enhanced by Lehman (that is, it was Lehman, rather than a third party, that effectively guaranteed principal and interest payments). JPMorgan concluded that Fenway was worth practically nothing as collateral.

At this point anyone who has even half a brain is feeling their front lobe liquefy. And in case one's brain is still semi-solid, lets simplify - Lehman was pledging as collateral "assets" whose explicit worth was contingent on Lehman's viability! Surely someone at Lehman brothers must have known about this. And the fact that they were so brazen as to suggest something that, as JPM rightfully concluded, was worthless in a catch 22 valuation, highlights the level of criminality and stupidity that serves at the backbone of what people assume is a sound and credible $3 trillion + shadow economy. This also means that should anyone ever delve into the collateral that banks hand off to each other in exchange for the tens of trillions in daily liquidity to gun the SPYs higher, they will find very little of actual value.

Oh, and just in case Lehman creditors and owners of billions of Lehman sub claims trading in the low double digits feel like suing someone, we fully expect that Jamie Dimon will soon be getting a summons. From the examiner:

Finally, the Examiner concludes that the evidence may support the existence of a colorable claim – but not a strong claim – that JPMorgan breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by making excessive collateral requests to Lehman in September 2008. A trier of fact would have to consider evidence that the collateral requests were reasonable and that Lehman waived any claims by complying with the requests.

2.The Part Where Lehman Lied To Its Shareholders, And The SEC Gets The Middle Finger (Again)

There used to be a thing about lying in public regulatory filings. We don't remember when the rule was phased out precisely, or when the SEC said that all its enforcement officers (roughly 2 of them) are going on a lifelong vacation to eunuch country, allowing the market to self-regulate, but we distinctly recall that lying to one's investors was marginally frowned upon courtesy of the Exchange Acts of 1933/34 (no, not the Gold confiscation act), even before the advent of Tiny Tim to the Throne Treasury And Tax Trickery. The reason why we are modestly perturbed is the following Valukas disclosure:

Lehman represented in regulatory filings and in public disclosures that it maintained a liquidity pool that was intended to cover expected cash outflows for 12 months in a stressed liquidity environment and was available to mitigate the loss of secured funding capacity. After the Bear Stearns crisis in March 2008, it became acutely apparent to Lehman that any disruption in liquidity could be catastrophic; Lehman thus paid careful attention to its liquidity pool and how it was described to the market.

See, the thing about "representing" is that if one know said representation is flawed and/or purposefully misleading, the one in charge (in this case Dick Fuld) would stand trial with civil and criminal charges. Which is exactly what happened:

Lehman reported the size of its liquidity pool as $34 billion at the end of first quarter 2008, $45 billion at the end of second quarter, and $42 billion at the end of the third quarter. Lehman represented that its liquidity pool was  unencumbered – that it was composed of assets that could be “monetized at short notice in all market environments.”

The Examiner’s investigation of Lehman’s transfer of collateral to its lenders in the summer of 2008 revealed a critical connection between the billions of dollars in cash and assets provided as collateral and Lehman’s reported liquidity. At first, Lehman carefully structured certain of its collateral pledges so that the assets would continue to appear to be readily available (i.e., the Overnight Account at JPMorgan, the $2 billion comfort deposit to Citi, and the three?day notice provision with BofA). Witness interviews and documents confirm that Lehman’s clearing banks required this collateral and without it would have ceased providing clearing and settlement services to Lehman or, at the very least, would have required Lehman to prefund its trades. The market impact of either of those outcomes could have been catastrophic for Lehman. Lehman also included formally encumbered collateral in its liquidity pool. Lehman included the almost $1 billion posted to HSBC and secured by the U.K. Cash Deeds in its liquidity pool; Lehman included the $500 million in collateral formally pledged to BofA; Lehman included an additional $8 billion in collateral posted to JPMorgan and secured by the September Agreements; and Lehman continued to include the $2 billion at Citi, even after the Guaranty and DCSA amendments.

So of the $42 billion represented as being unencumbered in Lehman's liquidity pool, a stunning $11.5 billion was, in fact, encumbered. To say that this was information that potential Lehman investor might have wanted to have up until such time as Lehman filed for bankruptcy, is a wry understatement. And somehow the Syndicate Encouraging Corruption, aka SEC, has found this materially criminal misrepresentation to be, well, immaterial, and demand recompense from exactly zero Lehman executives.

And maybe if the above is insufficient, how about this observation, which should promptly force Mr. Fuld to buy a one-way ticket out of the US at some point tonight:

By early August 2008, JPMorgan had learned that Lehman had pledged self-priced CDOs as collateral over the course of the summer. By August 9, to meet JPMorgan’s margin requirements, Lehman had pledged $9.7 billion of collateral, $5.8 billion of which were CDOs priced by Lehman, mostly at face value. JPMorgan expressed concern as to the quality of the assets that Lehman had pledged and, consequently, Lehman offered to review its valuations. Although JPMorgan remained concerned that the CDOs were not acceptable collateral, Lehman informed JPMorgan that it had no other collateral to pledge. The fact that Lehman did not have other assets to pledge raised some concerns at JPMorgan about Lehman’s liquidity.

So scratch what we said above. Lehman's real liquidity pool was not $42 - $11.5 = $30.5 billion in Q3, it was bloody zero! Misrepresenting your available liquidity reserve by 25% is one thing, and probably would lead to a misdemeanor charge, a slap on the wrist, and a fine that can be satisfied by pledging Fuld's Porsche to the New York Superior Court. Yet disclosing at $42 when in reality it was $0, should be sufficient (again, in a normal society) for populist screams demanding euthanasia (or malthanasia, especially as pertains to a variety of Manhattan-based Chief Executives).

And, the zinger: guess who supervised the liquidity pool:

The SEC and FRBNY both monitored Lehman’s liquidity. The SEC monitored to verify that Lehman’s liquidity pool was unrestricted and could be monetized quickly, [which as shown above was not the case, meaning a case of criminal negligence can be brought against the SEC] while the FRBNY monitored Lehman’s liquidity as a potential lender. While both agencies theoretically had access to the same information, they did not necessarily share the information they collected with one another.

Oh but get this:

A former senior SEC CSE [Consolidated Supervised Entities] staff member, Matthew Eichner, told the Examiner that the Liquidity Inspections Scope Memorandum was never formally implemented as part of the CSE Program.

Well done, SEC, well done. While surely less exciting than tranny porn, doing your job may have well saved investors a few hundred million dollars. Oh, and just in case you thought the SEC is not an expert in scapegoating as well, think again. The culprit this time: Bear Stearns.

Eichner said that the SEC only “sampled” the CSE’s liquidity pools to ensure that the firms’ representations were accurate. Eichner stated that this sampling was not statistically significant, and that he never received any report indicating that Lehman did not pass these sampling tests. Eichner said that the SEC never had the opportunity to implement fully the steps set forth in the Liquidity Inspections Scope Memorandum because of the chaos surrounding Bear Stearns’ near collapse. The SEC was aware in June 2008 that Lehman’s liquidity pool included a $2 billion “comfort” deposit at Citigroup. The SEC staff viewed Lehman’s inclusion of that deposit in its liquidity pool as problematic, and discounted the value of the pool accordingly. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that the SEC directed Lehman to remove the comfort deposit from its calculation of reported liquidity. Eichner told the Examiner that “we applied a much different standard [for including assets in the liquidity pool] than anyone else,” and that the SEC “was very comfortable living with a world where the numbers in the public were the ones the firms worked out with their accountants.

In other words, the SEC was well aware that Lehman was materially misrepresenting the one most critical part of its financial situtation to the entire world, and did nothing about it! The SEC should be disbanded for this gross, criminal negligence, and all of its senior executives sent into exile.

As for those other occassions when even the SEC was not aware of what was going on, it finally got the memo... On the Thursday before Lehman filed.

The SEC was not aware of any significant issues with Lehman’s liquidity pool until September 12, 2008, when officials learned that a large portion of Lehman’s liquidity pool had been allocated to its clearing banks to induce them to continue providing essential clearing services. In a September 12, 2008 e?mail, one SEC analyst wrote: Key point: Lehman’s liquidity pool is almost totally locked up with clearing banks to cover intraday credit ($15bnjpm, $10bn with others like citi and bofa). with This is a really big problem.

Luckily, nothing, NOTHING, escapes the staff of the SEC where anything greater than a single digit IQ is grounds for immediate termination.

Valukas himself pours some oil on the fire of material market misrepresentation:

The exhibit below shows that the public market (for debt and equity) indicated that Lehman was insolvent on a balance sheet basis (1) between July 11 and July 15, 2008 (around the time of the IndyMac collapse); (2) on July 28, 2008; (3) on several dates between August 19 and August 28, 2008 (during certain KDB rumors and when certain customers were leaving); (4) on September 4, 2008; (5) and on all dates on and after September 8, 2008 (Fannie and Freddie failed on September 7;the termination of KDB talks became publicly known on September 9).There is evidence, however, that the markets were not fully informed with regard to Lehman’s true liquidity position, because of issues such as Repo 105 and Lehman’s liquidity pool.6095 Accounting for this potential for misinformation would result in findings of less solvency on all dates impacted by the misinformation.

How much more do we need to uncover before there is a riot next to SEC's offices if, after all this, it still does nothing?

3. Where We Learn About Ben Bernanke's Scale Of 0 To 100 Of Systemic Fuckedupedness

From the report:

Bernanke told the Examiner: “I speak for myself, and I think I can speak for others, that at no time did we say, ‘We could save Lehman, but we won’t.’ Our concern was about the financial system, and we knew the implications for the greater financial system would be catastrophic, and it was.”5838 According to Bernanke, a “range of views” existed about the likely effect of Lehman’s failure on the economy. If the effect was measured on a scale of 0 to 100, some thought a Lehman failure would be a “minor disruption” – in the 1?15 range. Bernanke’s own view was in the 90?95 range. However, the actual effect turned out to be “maybe 140.” “It was worse than almost anybody expected."

We are eagerly awaiting the purchase of the  www.amiinsolventornot.com domain, and its prompt funding by Menlo Partners, into a site where every bank is rated by the community on a scale of 0 to 100, with 140 reserved exclusively for the Federal Reserve.

Oh and remember how Paulson in his memoirs blamed it all on the UK? Well, Bernanke just implicitly did the same: and we were wondering where Greece learning to scapegoat so well.

The Examiner asked Bernanke whether, in hindsight, he believed that he or the Fed could have done anything different that might have saved Lehman. Bernanke responded that he should have been more engaged in dealings with the U.K. about Barclays’ pre?bankruptcy efforts to acquire Lehman. Nevertheless, Bernanke did not believe that the Fed had the legal authority to bail out Lehman in September 2008. He noted that a Federal Reserve Bank such as the FRBNY could make a loan only if it was satisfactorily secured, that is, that the bank could reasonably expect a 100 percent return. Bernanke said a “fundamental impediment” existed for Lehman: By mid?September, Lehman lacked not just “standard” collateral, but “any” collateral.

So the Fed was factualy certain of Lehman's insolvency in advance of the firm's bankruptcy, and yet it did nothing to notify the SEC, or to remove Lehman from the tri-party repo system, where the firm was stuck for weeks after its bankruptcy, leaving JPM and Barclays to fight over the CCC-rated scraps of paper that were fundamentally collateralized with taxpayer money. What a shitshow.

 

More to come.

P.S. we wont reference which volume the selections above come from just to make the lives of all the other mainstream, and otherwise, media (and in some very amusing and loss-generating cases, both at the same time) who have an uncanny desire to copy and paste from ZH without attribution just a little more difficult.

 

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Fri, 03/12/2010 - 00:15 | 262828 Crummy
Crummy's picture

Something told me, "eh, click ZH one more time before bed...", and once I hose down the roof real good I can sleep soundly.

 

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 00:24 | 262837 mikla
mikla's picture

Guys, Dudes, I just need $5B.  Here, you can hold my IOU's where I've previously pledged $5B as collateral.  That should do it, right?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 00:42 | 262851 John Self
John Self's picture

Why didn't Lehman just make it simpler and offer some common stock as collateral?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:09 | 262864 Crummy
Crummy's picture

Sounds kewl. Here, buy my $30 electric bill for 200 bucks, then I'll but it back from you for 50mil and leverage it for 6bil, pay my bill  and buy a yacht with the balance.

Now you know why Dimon is THE HARDEST METAL KNOWN TEH MAN!

KKTHXBAI

~J-DAWG

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:17 | 262945 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

+1

That about sums it up.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 04:01 | 263010 Reggie Middleton
Reggie Middleton's picture

P.S. we wont reference which volume the selections above come from just to make the lives of all the other mainstream, and otherwise, media (and in some very amusing and loss-generating cases, both at the same time) who have an uncanny desire to copy and paste from ZH without attribution just a little more difficult.

Whoa!!!

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 05:16 | 263027 Squid-puppets a...
Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

as if they'd have the courage or conviction to use this material

i'm in awe of the bravery of ZH in how hard they slam the SEC here. Holy shit id not be surprised if it causes SEC to sue for slander. Then retract the lawsuit on realising ZH are friggn RIGHT!

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 13:36 | 263378 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"It's not what you know Officer Hoyt, its what you can prove"

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 08:14 | 263066 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

There are indeed aspects of propriety that must be observed within and between the "professions". Proper accreditation is a cornerstone.

Sat, 03/13/2010 - 09:50 | 264241 gilligan
gilligan's picture

Thanks to ZH I'm living on progressively less and less sleep.  Compelling reading all this.

 

Tyler and Co., you truly rock. 

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:00 | 262865 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Again and again, the rabbit hole goes deeper and deeper, until it finally leads to GOLD BITCHES!!

I am Chumbawamba.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:00 | 262866 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I think that I saw this in Volume 5. What is fascinating is in the section that deals w/disposal of LEH’s derivative positions huge blocks of text are blacked out. Now who bought those assets and why is it a guarded secret?

But the examiner goes on to say “Thus, LBI may have a colorable claim against CME, or any of the firms that
bought LBI’s positions at a steep discount during the liquidation ordered by the CME,
for the losses that LBI sustained as a result of the forced sale of house positions held for
the benefit of LBI and its affiliates.”

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:04 | 262868 Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

And here I thought the endless financial fiasco of 2007-09 had finally blown out completely and eliminated every last bit of Wall Street's credibility.

But no.  That sh*t just keeps coming.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:25 | 262887 ShankyS
ShankyS's picture

Some Fed flunke is out behind the building kinking up the hose. When it lets go, the full frontal will finally occur. We have not even scratched the surface. Sadly, transparency, regulation and any sort of legal accounting are far and away out of the question - FOREVER. Was't that someone's platform for election?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:44 | 262997 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

who was that masked man?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 08:41 | 263077 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

You called?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:17 | 263129 Postal
Postal's picture

Lots of strange words on ZH lately: "Planning", "credibility." Told 'ya I didn't understand this stuff. ;)

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:28 | 262891 Augustus
Augustus's picture

There may be some sort of claim against JPM, but I sure don't see it explained here.  The whole system had operated on the honor system for years and years.  Lehman was a high rated credit and should have been reliable for the reasonable valuation of the posted collateral.  Sure, it has come to light that they were not.  But the point is, why is JPM at fault for requiring more cash collateral when they figure out that there are some problems with the valuations?  

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:10 | 263126 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

An honor system presupposes...honor.  It's pretty clear that there has been precious little of that in many governmental and financial quadrants for quite some time.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:29 | 262892 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Seems that worthless collateral was double or even triple posted against more worthless paper and hence leverage was built on air. A perpetual hairdryer inflating the Bubble in the Dark.

If a bubble pops in the dark can anyone see it?

Nothing's changed. Still inflating full speed with Ben's hairdryer.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:32 | 262896 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

You know what's going to come of this? Nada, zip, zero, a big fat nothing. Fraud, sorry, business as usual. That art of being seen to be doing something while doing nothing.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 04:25 | 263018 20yearRevolution
20yearRevolution's picture

If our fellow sheep...i mean americans can understand this then it may result in charges if for no other reason than it is an election year.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 09:59 | 263065 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It can be easily understood by we Americans. But it will not be understood because to do so would mean accepting responsibility to effect change. We Americans are good at calling for change, not so good at actually changing and never good at forcing others to change.

You see, if I point my finger at you, then you might point your finger at me. Since I don't want to do the hard work of changing myself, I'm not going to expect you to change. Thus we both slide further down into the cesspool, complaining all the way about the smell and how someone should do something about it. Righteous indignation about the conditions but lacking the desire or balls to actually do anything about it.

"Someone should do something about this mess. What's on TV honey? Pass the nachos and dip over here. Oh good, Heroes is on. Now those guys know how to fix things"

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:19 | 263131 Postal
Postal's picture

“How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”
-- Adolf Hitler

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:03 | 263222 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” -Adolf Hitler

... eventually reality caught up with everybody. Nobody escaped the truth. It was not pretty, and a whole nation was shamed forever.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:15 | 263233 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Yup
+100

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:36 | 262900 BlackBeard
BlackBeard's picture

Dickie Boooooyyyy!! Bubba's a comin' for youuuuuu.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:07 | 262906 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

If this administration doesn't prosecute this the next one will.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 11:47 | 263209 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

that is bullshit, carbonmutant. war fog will take care of this attrocity and thousands of undisclosed debt games just fine.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 01:56 | 262916 knukles
knukles's picture

Gotta love it.  Every party imaginable being drawn into the shitstom, the malestrom of felonious wrongdoing on a grand scale.  The parties to all transactions, regulators, investment bankers selling and buying the corpse, central banks, legislators, hedgies, CDS writers and buyers, CLO, CDO originators, parkers and buyers, by God, it just doesn't end..   

Add in the additional pressure for the Fed audits, and the whole game could pop!

Refreshing!  Get ready for an environment of low to no credibility and trust.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:13 | 262938 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"Refreshing! Get ready for an environment of low to no credibility and trust."

You say that like there is any trust now.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:49 | 263003 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

can one imagine what a pecora type commission (with unlimited scope) could find?   the mind boggles.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:00 | 262925 Bear_Cub
Bear_Cub's picture

P.S. we wont reference which volume the selections above come from just to make the lives of all the other mainstream, and otherwise, media (and in some very amusing and loss-generating cases, both at the same time) who have an uncanny desire to copy and paste from ZH without attribution just a little more difficult.


Classic ZH. Spot on.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:02 | 262929 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

dick fuld is a piece of shit

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:10 | 262936 Dr Hackenbush
Dr Hackenbush's picture

Way better than a Ponzi.  Leads me to believe that they would still be carrying on had the economy had not been called into question and forced "the clearing bank" to cover its ass.     

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 09:58 | 263121 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Way better than a Ponzi.  Leads me to believe that they would still be carrying on had the economy had not been called into question and forced "the clearing bank" to cover its ass.    

Indeed; even now, JPM, Goldman, the Fed, U.S. dot gov et al are carrying on as if they were solvent, all while evidence continues to mount (some might say it's plain to see) that they're not.  The whole thing is built on lies.  And see the above post by Augustus as to why: http://www.zerohedge.com/article/and-lehman-disclosure-hits-just-keep-co...

The whole system had operated on the honor system for years and years.  Lehman was a high rated credit and should have been reliable for the reasonable valuation of the posted collateral.  Sure, it has come to light that they were not.  But the point is, why is JPM at fault for requiring more cash collateral when they figure out that there are some problems with the valuations? 

See?  It's an honor system.  You believe me and I believe you, and we're both aware that the regulators have got our backs, so it's all good among friends.  For the rest of us out here in the hinterlands, who can believe the valuation of anything going forward?  Who can rationally estimate the viability of any business?  Who has a client base that will be able to keep buying?  Whose business model is sound?  Whose capital is misallocated?  Who even has any capital?  It's all based on confidence; any financial system is.  But this one has been stretched and abused past the breaking point.  It's a dead man walking.

My pending decision to cash out my IRAs is getting to be easier and easier to make.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 11:53 | 263214 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

SWR,

"You've been living in a dream world, Neo" comes to mind as I read your post. Since all currencies have no basis in reality, everything bought/sold/denominated in those currencies has no basis in reality. This is the logical progression of a fiat currency system. They have always failed and they will always fail. There are two reasons why this one has lived longer than most expected.

1) The powerful (illusional) compounding power of computers allows for massively more permutations of derivatives then ever before thought possible in the simple fiat currency concept, building in a patently false sense of permanency, reliability and solidity.

2) The wide spread mind control methods use by all governments (primarily through television and especially over the past 10 years) has given those who weave the illusion more credibility than has ever been accomplished in the past 2 thousand years. Since a fiat currency is by its very nature a faith based currency, the delusional world of television has help create a more stable illusion (thus engendering faith) for longer than previously though possible.

But every trend line always reverts to mean. Always. 

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:11 | 262937 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

We should expect Congress to interview Turbo Timmy about this. I'm sure the White house is.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:54 | 262969 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

I doubt any of them have any freaking idea what any of this means.

If it can't be conveyed in one sentence (preferably with a few words that rhyme) and understood by someone with an IQ of 50, they won't be interested.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:11 | 263229 John Bigboote
John Bigboote's picture

Nice job Rusty. I have been an admirer of your work over at JawaReport for several years now.

http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/Technology/internet-monitors-tracked-jihad-jane-years/story?id=10069484  

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:23 | 262950 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I thought the "buying insurance on the Titanic from someone sailing on the Titanic" was just an expression, but Lehman being the guarantor on paper it is using as collateral is just that. Amazing and really scary.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:53 | 262967 Matto
Matto's picture

It needs to be summed up in a nice simple soundbite and issued as a press release.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 02:59 | 262971 chindit13
chindit13's picture

I believe it's time to close ranks.  BAC?  Put out a conviction buy on the Lehman carcass.  JPM?  You've got BAC's behind.  WFC?  You don't need us, you've got Warren to bless your cheese grater level of new loss reserves on your California RE portfolio, 2nds, and HELOCs.  And we at God'S own firm will orchestrate.

And I'll see you all in Costa Rica this weekend.  No extradition treaty, you know.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:07 | 262977 chindit13
chindit13's picture

I'm going to give Tim Geithner the benefit of the doubt and say he probably isn't smart enough to be as corrupt and devious as he would have needed to be to oversee all of this madness. 

Stupid might save your heinie from Three Strike Bubba and his eight pound salami at Rahway, Timmyboy.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:54 | 263007 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

might not.  remember he's episcopalian. 

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:26 | 263135 Postal
Postal's picture

Spot on. In my years of military and civil service, I have rarely encountered anyone who was smart enough to orchestrate any kind of "conspiracy." Lots of last minute, "oh, shit" CYA.

Anyone smart (and capable) enough to intentionally hid this mess is too smart to work for the government.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 13:41 | 263387 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Bull shit.  The regulators didn't need to be smart enough to invent the scheme, only go along with it.  Plus, it isn't rocket surgery.  When you're short a few $M and "the Q is due" the solutions become far more clear and the consequences very foggy.  Plus, who is going to find out?  The FRBNY?  The SEC?  The fix is in; so, nobody will ever know.  Or so they thought.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:07 | 262978 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Leave the country??! You are assuming he'll get arrested? This is the look forward not backward administration. He'll keep his 100M after all Eddie Curry almost makes as much.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:09 | 263228 tmosley
tmosley's picture

I think it's more likely that a lynch mob might show up on his doorstep one night than a few government enforcers showing up on his doorstep one afternoon.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:20 | 262983 Matto
Matto's picture

... time to take over wikipedia with additional entries agaisnt all these assclowns.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:30 | 262991 dumpster
dumpster's picture

well i still get my 4 billion dollar bonus

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:45 | 263000 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

So what are the probabilities on :

A) Fuld heads for Venezuala and gets a job running their economy into the ground faster than Chavez is managing

B) Fuld gets picked up by the cops, tarred and feathered before being whipped down wall Street and put up for a CNBC show trial which goes on for 3 months and leads to him getting two years in a holiday camp style jail.

C) Fuld plays extend and pretend with lawyers fending off the Feds, a criminal trial collapses because his lawyers are good and the jury are dumb as stirred pigshit and don't know a CDO from HBO. Attempts at a civil case look like they will be more successful at which point Dickie declares bankruptcy and finds a sudden enthusiasm for Emigration to Hong Kong or Switzerland, surrendering his US citizenship.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 13:15 | 263339 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

>> B <<

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:47 | 263002 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

His lawyer has come out stating that he"wasn't aware" of the repos or of their accounting effects (in contradiction to statements by subordinates).

So Dick's chosen defence appears to be "I was fucking incompetent".

Great. Thanks for letting us know a few trillion in GDP later.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:29 | 263137 Postal
Postal's picture

So Dick's chosen defence appears to be "I was fucking incompetent".

Just might work: This is likely to be lost on a group of 12 jurors, most of whom were probably lucky to finish high-school. Keeping the sheeple dumb is key.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 03:57 | 263008 Alexandra Hamilton
Alexandra Hamilton's picture

I thought so when I read this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/25/lehmans-richard-fuld-sold_n_160...

He seems to have sensed something coming in his direction at some point.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 05:18 | 263030 Alitak
Alitak's picture

I am amazed that no one was able to bury this report! We need Valukas to AUDIT the FED, now that would be a piece of work.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 05:37 | 263035 theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

And Barclays still wanted to buy Lehman while it was still breathing?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 08:46 | 263079 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Nawwww.  Barclays just wanted to be the first in line to strip the corpse.  In this they succeeded quite well, at least to this point.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:02 | 263123 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Yeah, remember the "good bank, bad bank" model, where the buyer gets the good stuff, and the taxpayer gets the bad stuff.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 15:01 | 263186 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Along with folks like the mini-bond inwestors in Hong Kong... even if they are being better cared for by their market regulators and courts than our inwestors are.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 05:51 | 263038 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Actually....

ALL OF THIS IS GOOD NEWS

Why ?

Because this just might be a big enough deal such that total structural change of the system can occur....

What is clear....

Rating Agencies
SEC itself
US Govt. itself
GS, JPM, LEH others
Fed Reserve

The above information clarifies beyond the shadow of a doubt that the system is rotten to the core.....and can no longer exist as is....

The above also solidifies the fact that most every party that invested in securitized assets has been DEFRAUDED....both ethically, morally....and most importantly ...clear financial damages....

So...

Now the US is clearly at a crossroads....

It can do nothing ....and thus render itself as a "LEGAL FRAUD PARTNER"....and thus place a whole new meaning to selective justice....

Or ....perhaps the government can finally replace most every person in the Senate or Congress that were around when these frauds were taking place....AND ACTUALLY RECONSTRUCT ITSELF....

My friends....

It is time to hit the RESET BUTTON....

THE US LEGAL/GOVT SYSTEM IS A FRAUD....RUN AND CONTROLLED BY

THE BANKS....

................................

TBTF is certainly one of the issues.....but TOO BIG TO JAIL....is quite the other....

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 05:57 | 263039 plocequ1
plocequ1's picture

Dont worry. Congress will question the Banksters and life will go on. Rally on mates

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 05:57 | 263040 whydtinogo
whydtinogo's picture

Seems that Hank's quote that the British screwed us, should be changed to, we tried to screw the British, but the fckers figured it all out and gave us the finger.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 13:44 | 263394 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Bingo!  We have a winner.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 06:50 | 263048 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

And just what do you think the AAA/CCC crap that Bernanke bought is worth ?

So....

It is not possible that the Fed Reserve is solvent....

It has $1.2 Trillion and rising ....of CRAP....

So what do you call it ?

$1.2 Trillion FACE VALUE

$1.2 Trillion PAR VALUE

$1.2 Trillion OFF BALANCE SHEET

$1.2 Trillion GOOD WILL

$1.2 Trillion (I HAVE A MONEY PRINTER....)

$1.2 Trillion (who's gonna know better anyway ?)

$1.2 Trillion (HELD TO MATURITY)

...................................

Look....beyond the shadow of a doubt....the Fed has committed major FRAUD to the public in even mentioning that there is indeed $1.2 Trillion at the Fed....

But since THEY are the police....THEY do what THEY want...

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 11:09 | 263172 Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

Yes, but the Fed is ultimately backstopped by the United States military.

And who's going to argue with them?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:21 | 263244 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Anyone, but only AFTER they run out of diesel, which will be shortly after oil stops trading in dollars.  It all comes back to our fundamental insolvency.  

Come to think of it, anyone with a significant number of nukes can argue with the US military.  I remember watching a documentary on the first Gulf War a few years ago, where one of the generals admitted that if Saddam had had just one nuke, he could have won that war decisively, by setting it off in the desert as our tanks advanced.  That would have wiped out the entire armored division we had on the ground, and he would have been in Riyadh within 48 hours.  At that point, Iraq would have been the nucleus of a new Arabian superpower, and the only way for us to stop it would have been a full scale nuclear offensive.  Imagine if it had been China on the other side of that battle...

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:28 | 263254 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Well that military doesn't mean a thing without a massive support infrastructure and massive resource consumption.  And really are we going to invade China/Japan/Russia or anyone else who might step away from our paper or not want to deal in dollars?  After all it looks like we are getting a rough go of it from some "guys in caves".  The idea that we could occupy China is downright laughable.  Though it would solve the employment problem, draft every man 16-60.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 07:12 | 263051 docj
docj's picture

As if we didn't already know, this is precisely why "extend and pretend" is the name of the game, and the only game they have left to play - can't let the Sheeple find out that they're all already bankrupt, don't-cha-know - it might make them, antsy.

So the DOW will be up triple-digits today.

Rally on.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 07:13 | 263052 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Fu#k, the US is a mess.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:34 | 263139 Postal
Postal's picture

You must not live here. We've known that for years.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:08 | 263227 Hulk
Hulk's picture

The level of fraud and corruption is off the scale.
I am going to start pounding on my congress people
to get Black involved. I know that Black has been hounding Congress
himself to start investigating and prosecuting this bullshit
I'll use the repo 105 transactions as leverage myself

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 07:54 | 263061 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

How about auditing as well few debtors of Lehman turned as its assets purchasers?
The main strategy when dealing with a financial company on the verge of bankruptcy is to turn one s liabilities in to larger liabilities.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 08:16 | 263068 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

The hits just keep on rolling....  WhoT!

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 08:16 | 263069 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

While they state there are "colorable claims" against JPM and Citi, they elected not to even determine if "colorable claims" exist against BoA. They state:

"The Examiner elected not to examine the BofA transactions for
purposes of determining whether colorable claims exist with respect to such transactions because they are the subject of on?going litigation"

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 08:43 | 263078 SDRII
SDRII's picture

Fuld was a repo trader and shared a seat on the board of the NYFRB (with JD at the time).

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 09:36 | 263097 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

The issue in my Opinion also comes with Insider Trading.  If Citi, JPM, HSBC, Bank of America and others knew that the collateral posted was insufficient and that LEH was including collateral posted in its balance sheet as cash on hand then traded on that infomation it would appear to be Insider Trading. 

I would investigate if Citi, JPM, HSBC, Bofa had any CDS's or Short Positions on LEH. 

My guess is that they were locked and loaded for the KILL.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 09:53 | 263114 DavosSherman
DavosSherman's picture

Unfuckingbelievable. 

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:15 | 263128 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I think the coverage of this report is going to by zh's "blue dress" moment. You guys are out so far ahead of the old media on this it's comical (and yet, sad). Well done.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 13:23 | 263358 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Just for ha ha's would you care to expand on "blue dress Moment" :-))

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:17 | 263130 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Rupert Murdoch can keep WSJ pay-per-view. I get my due diligent news from ZH for free.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:50 | 263148 chinaguy
chinaguy's picture

This level of "slight-of-hand" was common, but this is not an "Enron moment".

This was, IMO, just the level of corruption considered "acceptable" at the time & now it isn't.

Why does everyone think the banks are sucking up Gov't money & not lending it out? Because they need to CYA on all of this phony paper they been calling good. 

 

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 10:57 | 263157 AnonymousMonetarist
AnonymousMonetarist's picture

Yes Virginia, there is no collateral. (AM Rule #4)

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 11:01 | 263162 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Do we know how much the examiner is charging for this work (excellent work)? Lots of times Zero Hedge posts what bankruptcy professional services firms are charging. Whom is the examiner working for? Lehman's creditors or the court?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 15:15 | 263494 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

according to WSJ, the report cost $30million. Nice work if you can get it. I assume it's taxpayer money.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 11:27 | 263190 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

"A Ducking Did They GO"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkwHraMhpmE

The depths of depravity knows no bounds, how much of a society's foundation has to be eaten away before it collapses?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 11:36 | 263201 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

9'th rule of fight club - you don't get to leave the country.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 11:49 | 263212 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

ZERO HEDGE team - kudos and respect - well on the way to becoming, if not already, an historically significant website. No mean feat and hopefully just reward for your hard work. Thanks! Keep fighting the good fight!

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:21 | 263242 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Am I the only non-lawyer who wonders what the hell a "colorable claim" is?

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:40 | 263273 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

HOW ON EARTH IS LEHMAN'S FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL, THOMAS RUSSO, NOW EMPLOYED BY THE US TAXPAYERS AS GENERAL COUNSEL FOR AIG???????

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 13:17 | 263345 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Time to hit reset indeed. The problem is, we have so many sectors in our economy and government that need to be fixed that the reset buttons are going to break after about a dozen hard smacks.

And colorable claim, defined: "A plausible legal claim. In other words, a claim strong enough to have a reasonable chance of being valid if the legal basis is generally correct and the facts can be proven in court. The claim need not actually result in a win." H/t Cornell Law School website fro the definition.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 13:42 | 263391 laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

Folks:

It's way past time for audits, investigations, etc.

Show Trials - NOW.

Followed by tar and feathers, tumbrils, guillotines,trees and boiled rope.

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 14:51 | 263457 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

It's funny reading this story at economist.com

http://www.economist.com/business-finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=1569...

after reading this posting...

Fri, 03/12/2010 - 15:20 | 263505 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Witnessing the post-scoop mad dash by old/mainstream media to catch up with Zero Hedge, it's really comical.

Expect more frivolous lawsuits by envious 'competitors' in the future.

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mark456's picture

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sun1's picture

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