Bob Corker, Humiliated By Chris Dodd, Joins The Fed Bashing Brigade; In The Meantime Ted Kaufman Shows Everyone How It's Done

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier today political corpse Chris Dodd said that he would proceed with unveiling a financial reform bill on Monday without Republican participation, in a humiliating blow to Bob Corker, who was most recently seen doing all he could to help his Wall Street colleagues make sure the Volcker plan would never see the light of day. Yet with recent rumors out of Washington that not only is the Volcker plan alive and well, the double whammy for Corker may be coming any day. So what does the Tennessee Senator do? He joins the Fed bashing brigade. Among his remarks from his conference given today after his was "fired" by Dodd, was the observation that the "Fed will, no dobut, will have its wings clipped in reform" and that the Fed "likes their marble buildings" as the Fed is actively lobbying on regulatory reform, with a material amount of turf protection in play. No doubt Senator: it is people like you who make Fed (and broader Wall Street) lobbying efforts quite easy. We hope that you and all your other bought and paid for colleagues in the Senate can learn from Senator Kaufman, whose speech on financial reform we already posted earlier, but which needs to be read and understood by all who are serious about regulatory reform, instead of puppets like Chris Dodd who huff and puff, yet only want to secure a friendly donation paycheck from his core Wall Street constituency, well into his retirement days.

Here are the key Kaufman speech highlights as selected by Shahien Nasiripour of the HuffPo:

Kaufman on the need for fundamental reform:

I start by asking a simple question: Given that
deregulation caused the crisis, why don't we go back to the statutory
and regulatory frameworks of the past that were proven successes in
ensuring financial stability?...

Mind you, this is a financial crisis that necessitated a $2.5
trillion bailout. And that amount includes neither the many trillions
of dollars more that were committed as guarantees for toxic debt nor
the de facto bailout that banks received through the Federal Reserve's
easing of monetary policy...

Given the high costs of our policy and regulatory failures, as well
as the reckless behavior on Wall Street, why should those of us who
propose going back to the proven statutory and regulatory ideas of the
past bear the burden of proof? The burden of proof should be upon those
who would only tinker at the edges of our current system of financial

Congress needs to draw hard lines that provide fundamental systemic
reforms, the very kind of protections we had under Glass-Steagall. We
need to rebuild the wall between the government-guaranteed part of the
financial system and those financial entities that remain free to take
on greater risk...

The notion that the most recent crisis was a "once in a century"
event is a fiction. Former Treasury Secretary Paulson, National
Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers, and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon
all concede that financial crises occur every five years or so.

Kaufman on the growth of megabanks:

Most of the largest banks are products of serial mergers.
For example, J.P. Morgan Chase is a product of J.P. Morgan, Chase Bank,
Chemical Bank, Manufacturers Hanover, Banc One, Bear Stearns, and
Washington Mutual. Meanwhile, Bank of America is an amalgam of that
predecessor bank, Nation's Bank, Barnett Banks, Continental Illinois,
MBNA, Fleet Bank, and finally Merrill Lynch.

Kaufman on the failure of regulators:

Regulatory neglect, however, permitted a good model to mutate and grow into a sad farce...

In fact, one of the primary purposes behind the securitization
market was to arbitrage bank capital standards. Banks that could show
regulators that they could offload risks through asset securitizations
or through guarantees on their assets in the form of derivatives called
credit default swaps (CDS) received more favorable regulatory capital
treatment, allowing them to build their balance sheets to more and more
stratospheric levels.

While this was a recipe for disaster, it reflected in part the
extent to which the and complexity of this new era of quantitative
finance exceeded the regulators' own comprehension...

In the brief history I outlined earlier, the regulators sat idly by
as our financial institutions bulked up on short-term debt to finance
large inventories of collateralized debt obligations backed by subprime
loans and leveraged loans that financed speculative buyouts in the
corporate sector.

They could have sounded the alarm bells and restricted this
behavior, but they did not. They could have raised capital
requirements, but instead farmed out this function to credit rating
agencies and the banks themselves. They could have imposed
consumer-related protections sooner and to a greater degree, but they
did not. The sad reality is that regulators had substantial powers, but
chose to abdicate their responsibilities.

Kaufman on Too Big To Fail and the government's response during the crisis:

This provided them with permanent borrowing privileges at
the Federal Reserve's discount window - without having to dispose of
risky assets. In a sense, it was an official confirmation that they
were covered by the government safety net because they were literally
"too big to fail"...

We haven't seen such concentration of financial power since the days of Morgan, Rockefeller and Carnegie...

By expanding the safety net -- as we did in response to the last
crisis -- to cover ever larger and more complex institutions heavily
engaged in speculative activities, I fear that we may be sowing the
seeds for an even bigger crisis in only a few years or a decade...

Because of their implicit guarantee, "too big to fail" banks enjoy a
major funding advantage - and leverage caps by themselves do not
address that. Our biggest banks and financial institutions have to
become significantly smaller if we are to make any progress at all.

Kaufman on current financial reform proposals:

Unfortunately, the current reform proposals focus more on
reorganizing and consolidating our regulatory infrastructure, which
does nothing to address the most basic issue in the banking industry:
that we still have gigantic banks capable of causing the very financial
shocks that they themselves cannot withstand...

While no doubt necessary, [resolution authority] is no panacea. No
matter how well Congress crafts a resolution mechanism, there can never
be an orderly wind-down, particularly during periods of serious stress,
of a $2-trillion institution like Citigroup that had hundreds of
billions of off-balance-sheet assets, relies heavily on wholesale
funding, and has more than a toehold in over 100 countries.

There is no cross-border resolution authority now, nor will there be for the foreseeable future...

Yet experts in the private sector and governments agree - national
interests make any viable international agreement on how financial
failures are resolved difficult to achieve. A resolution authority
based on U.S. law will do precisely nothing to address this issue...

While I support having a systemic risk council and a consolidated
bank regulator, these are necessary but not sufficient reforms - the
President's Working Group on Financial Markets has actually played a
role in the past similar to that of the proposed council, but to no
discernible effect. I do not see how these proposals alone will address
the key issue of "too big to fail."

Kaufman on separating Main Street banking from Wall Street trading:

Massive institutions that combine traditional commercial
banking and investment banking are rife with conflicts and are too
large and complex to be effectively managed...

To those who say "repealing Glass-Steagall did not cause the
crisis, that it began at Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG," I say
that the large commercial banks were engaged in exactly the same
behavior as Bear Stearns, Lehman and AIG - and would have collapsed had
the federal government not stepped in and taken extraordinary

By statutorily splitting apart massive financial institutions that
house both banking and securities operations, we will both cut these
firms down to more reasonable and manageable s and rightfully limit the
safety net only to traditional banks. President of the Federal Reserve
Bank of Dallas Richard Fisher recently stated: "I think the
disagreeable but sound thing to do regarding institutions that are
['too big to fail'] is to dismantle them over time into institutions
that can be prudently managed and regulated across borders. And this
should be done before the next financial crisis, because it surely
cannot be done in the middle of a crisis."

A growing number of people are calling for this change. They include
former FDIC Chairman Bill Isaac, former Citigroup Chairman John Reed,
famed investor George Soros, Nobel-Prize-winning-economist Joseph
Stiglitz, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Thomas
Hoenig, and Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, among others. A
chastened Alan Greenspan also adds to that chorus, noting: "If they're
too big to fail, they're too big. In 1911 we broke up Standard Oil --
so what happened? The individual parts became more valuable than the
whole. Maybe that's what we need to do."

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Mako's picture

New Fed Z1 report out... system is in a deathspiral.  Credit creation in negative for 3rd staight quarter, the only player left at the table is the US government.

Q1 52882.7

Q2 52686.7

Q3 52549.1

Q4 52416.7 $-134B

It's over folks.  :) Time for liquidation.

The price for using compounding interest will be beyond anyones worse nightmare.

Assetman's picture

Thanks for the info, Mako... I think I'll have the 5 margarita lunch today at the El Burrito Especial.

Mako's picture

You probably have some more time to enjoy a drink or two, eventually the US government and the central banks of the world will be overwhelmed by the coming flood. 

The whole thing was/is a fraud from the beginning, now all the fraudsters are pointing fingers at one another.   There is no final victory against the equation, the equation always wins the war even though it loses countless battles along the way.

You simply can't service $52.5T with -$134B for a quarter.  Running on empty comes to mind. 

The only way you get the ship back running in say 40-60 years is large scale liquidation that would make WW2 look like a slingshot war.

Wynn's picture

Andrew Mellon comes to mind

Mako's picture

Andrew Mellon tried to voluntarily liquidate so called "assets", but the unfunded liabilities were still there.   It took basically a 100 million in liquidation plus the destruction of europe and parts of asia and africa.   You don't have to voluntarily liquidate, it's going to happen either way.   They system is magnitudes larger, liquidation won't be as pleasant this time, there will be no where to run this time.

Figure a lost generation or two this time and probably billions in the liquidation column. 


crosey's picture

So who will attack who?

Ripped Chunk's picture

"large scale liquidation"  Has been the historical answer

But perhaps there is more?

Problem Is's picture

"Running on empty comes to mind."

Jasckson Browne?

Obama:      "Running on, running on empty"
Geithner:   "Running on, running blind"
Summers: "Running on, running into the sun"

Bernank-ster: "But I'm running behind..."

faustian bargain's picture

As a financial near-illiterate, I really need someone to predigest and analyze that seems crucial, but I can't read it well enough to formulate coherent thoughts about it.

Meanwhile, what does the chart "L.200" on page 84 mean, in line 3, where apparently the government's (or the Fed's?) position in the Exchange Stabilization Fund rocketed up from 9.4B in Q2 of 2009 to 57.9B in Q3? What does that mean?

deadhead's picture

i think the Exchange Stabilization Fund is Geithner's petty cash account, kinda like the one in some offices where you don't have to put receipts in to offset expenditures.  If I am confusing the ESF with something else, someone please correct me and I apologize in advance if I am mistaken.

Sancho Ponzi's picture

Meanwhile, excess reserves are growing 200-250B/Quarter, so banks are betting on deflation, collapse, or consider the private economy uninvestable.

Note to Bernanke: What now? Guaranteed business and personal line of credit loans? How about more helicopters? Or maybe QE on steroids? Continuing down your current path guarantees Armageddon, so grow a backbone and make some tough decisions. You are running out of time!

Note to Senators and Representatives: Don't spend another freaking penny of my hard-earned money on freaking GMAC! 

Assetman's picture

Sancho... you hit it right on the mark.

The bankster's bank (Bernanke) and the Members aren't operating in a vacuum from one another.  If the banks are operating on the basis of future deflation/collapse... from where do you think that directive is coming from?

Bernanke and the Fed are not running out of time-- they ARE out of time.  They know it-- and they probably told their Member banks a year ago that they had one year of QE to prepare for Financial Armageddon.

Ironically, that may well be the Fed's last great attempt for a stick save that has a chance of working.

Ted K's picture

Corker is an ass. Plain and simple.  Corker and Shelby have been in cahoots to stop any legitimate bank reforms.  If Shelby, Corker, Schumer, and Gillibrand took a bath together to get the bank CEO/lobbyist germs off them the water would turn black.

Sancho Ponzi's picture

You got that right. He's a pimp for the payday loan trash, and that should tell you everything you need to know. He also conveniently sold his considerable CRE holdings just before everything went to hell. The good people of Tennessee need to send that sleaze packing.

Lothar the Rottweiler's picture

Presently, if not actionally, working on that. TN politicos are bought/paid for at all levels, and we need to change that for the better.

Anonymous's picture

TN!! You need to vote Corker, the Bank-owned Criminal OUTTTT as soon as you get the chance.

What has happened to our nation that greedy and corrupt bastards like him are allowed to run rough-shodd over taxpayers like this? It is beyond outrageous.

Ripped Chunk's picture

It would be better if it turned to 14 molar sulfuric acid and dissolved them.

John McCloy's picture

 I just sent Kaufman a congratulatory email. These fellas need to be reminded when they are doing the proper thing.

Rick64's picture

Why dont you post his email address. Those that support him can let him know.

Rick64's picture

Kaufman said things that everyone can unite on regardless of race, gender, political affiliation. He left out one fact though, that the CFTC tried to regulate the derivitive market but failed because of the banking cartel's power over the politicians.

Ripped Chunk's picture

CFTC slapdown back in the late 90's. Worth another look.


Anonymous's picture

Corker should be humiliated for supporting another government bailout. This time for the investors/speculators in Madoff and Sanford. The so called victims took their chance to make big $$ and their chance to lose it all. Why should the taxpayer bail them out?

Corker should be humiliated for supporting loan sharks but he is not. Charge any interest you like is his motto, or is it I will support your position because the pay day loan industry contributes to me.

Anonymous's picture

Why is Dodd still allowed to talk and have an impact. If it wasn't for Schiff bullying him he would not have discussed his future plans so soon.

gigeze787's picture

Doesn't Wall Street Quisling Corker also work in a "marble building"?

lsbumblebee's picture

Whatever's fashionable, right Bob?

spekulatn's picture


Originally published 05:00 a.m., March 11, 2010, updated 08:38 a.m., March 11, 2010 Gov't workers feel no economic pain



The recession and the ongoing jobless recovery devastated much of the private-sector work force last year, sending unemployment soaring, but government workers emerged essentially unscathed, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department.

Meanwhile, the compensation for state and local government employees continued to easily outdistance the wages and benefits for workers in private business, a separate Labor Department report showed.

Private-industry employers spent an average of $27.42 per hour worked for total employee compensation in December, while total compensation costs for state and local government workers averaged $39.60 per hour.

The average government wage and salary per hour of $26.11 was 35 percent higher than the average wage and salary of $19.41 per hour in the private sector. But the percentage difference in benefits was much higher. Benefits for state and local workers averaged $13.49 per hour, nearly 70 percent higher than the $8 per hour in benefits paid by private businesses.

Paul Booth, executive assistant to the president at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), attributed the pay difference to a changing government work force that has increased its proportion of higher-skilled workers during the past 15 to 20 years.

"In government payrolls, you no longer have low-wage occupations, such as janitors, whose jobs have been contracted out to the private sector," he said. This trend has effectively increased the average wage of those higher-skilled workers who remain, said Mr. Booth, whose union represents 1.6 million workers.

Small-government advocates see it differently.

Compensation for government workers "is a gigantic problem" that will only get worse in future years, said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, which advocates less government and lower taxes.

"The defined-benefit pension plans for state and local workers and their post-retirement health care costs do not include the extent to which those benefits are underfunded or overpromised," Mr. Edwards said.

The cost of today's benefits for government employees ($13.49 per hour) assumes that these retirement benefits are fully funded. However, Mr. Edwards estimated that the benefits are underfunded by $3 trillion.

Benefit costs eventually will soar, and taxpayers will be required to pay the difference between available resources and the overpromised benefits as government workers of the baby boom generation, who start to turn 65 next year, begin to retire en masse. Government workers also have the rare privilege of being able to retire at age 55.

With state budgets under extreme stress, the pension problem is worsening because workers are accruing future benefits that are not reflected in current data, Mr. Edwards said.

Meanwhile, private-sector workers who are unemployed or working part time are not paying as much in taxes.

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia reported double-digit unemployment during January, the Labor Department said Wednesday, as the private sector continued to shed jobs.

The recession reportedly ended in July, but the private work force suffered its biggest percentage decline in 2009 for any year since the end of World War II.

After shedding 3.8 million net jobs during 2008, private employers slashed an additional 4.7 million last year. During the same two-year period, the public sector, including the federal government, gained more than 100,000 jobs. The combined work forces of state and local governments added 35,000 jobs during the 2008-09 period.

While private-sector jobs declined in every state except North Dakota over the previous 12 months, public-sector employment increased in 23 states, the Labor Department report showed. Even in North Dakota, as the private work force gained 300 jobs over the past year, the government sector surged by 1,000 new workers.

In states where government employment declined during the previous 12 months, the drop has been relatively inconsequential, while the decline in private employment has been far more severe. In California, where the state government is still in the grips of a wrenching budget crisis, private employment has plunged 5.5 percent, nearly four times as fast as the 1.5 percent dip in government employment.

Mr. Booth of AFSCME acknowledges that total government payrolls are higher today than they were at the beginning of the recession. During the two years since the recession began, government workers took their economic medicine by accepting furloughs in lieu of layoffs, he said. Workers kept their jobs but received pay for two fewer days per month, he said.

He noted that government payrolls have been shrinking since April. State and local government work forces historically decline after a lag, he said. School district payrolls, for example, are based on property-tax revenues, which generally follow a two-year lag, he said.

Citing projections by Moody's and Goldman Sachs, Mr. Booth said state and local government work forces could decline by as many as 900,000 workers during the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

"Furloughs are likely to yield to RIFs," or reductions in force, he said.

Taxpayers in the private sector fortunate to have jobs were working more days and for less money to finance the vacation and holiday time of state and local workers, according to the compensation report.

For every hour worked in December, state and local government workers earned $2.99 in paid leave. Private-sector workers earned $1.86 per hour worked for paid leave, or nearly 40 percent less. Holiday pay for state and local workers was 50 percent higher per hour than it was for workers employed by private businesses.

The biggest difference in compensation was in payments for defined-benefit pension plans, in which employers (a private company or, in the case of government workers, the taxpayer) commit to paying their employees a specific benefit for life beginning at retirement.

State and local workers received an average of $2.86 for each hour worked for their defined-benefit pensions. That compares with 38 cents per hour paid for defined-benefit plans for private workers, the vast majority of whom now participate in defined-contribution pension plans.

"Many companies have eliminated their defined-benefit plans, and others have reduced the value of benefits and shifted to providing benefits through 401(k)s and other defined-contribution plans," notes the AFL-CIO Web site. "Defined-contribution plans shift the risk and responsibility to individual workers and typically reduce corporate costs."

In the cases of state and local government workers, the pension costs are principally borne by the taxpayer. The trillions of dollars of underfunded pension liabilities are augmented by increasingly expensive and underfunded health care costs in retirement before and after government workers become eligible for Medicare at age 65, Mr. Edwards of Cato said.


Anonymous's picture

Dodd's idea of reform is bonuses that continually go up like home "values."

Christopher J. Dodd, what a shameless, good for nothing money slut, just like Alan Greenspan.

Anonymous's picture

In other words Dodd pisses into wind, says he's excited for new career as weatherman.

suteibu's picture

Regulation...deregulation.  It makes no difference to the people who own the system.  Political PR and lobbying payback, no matter which side of the issue you are on.  It's no wonder Congress, K-Street, and Wall Street continues to get away with all of this corruption.

JW n FL's picture

"I think the disagreeable but sound thing to do regarding institutions that are ['too big to fail'] is to dismantle them over time into institutions that can be prudently managed and regulated across borders. And this should be done before the next financial crisis, because it surely cannot be done in the middle of a crisis."

Quoted from above...

But who is going to dismantle extremely profitable entities?

Goldman Sachs Earnings?

J. P. Morgan

Goldman borrows at what rate? As a Bank?

No one will give up the profits now, especially when they don’t see any quick profits coming in the Near or Mid Term…

The best thing that ever happened to Banking reform failing in this Country was National Healthcare… the sheep are all stirred up looking over there at "Health Care" more than where the real, or should I say much.. Much, MUCH! Larger problem lies… (pun intended)

Managing the Cloud has never been easier for the Lobby.

Cloud computing?

Cloud data mining?

Cloud or Public Opinion Management?

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind
Gustave Le Bon
Courtesy of the Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
"THE following work is devoted to an account of the characteristics of crowds. The whole of the common characteristics with which heredity endows the individuals of a race constitute the genius of the race. When, however, a certain number of these individuals are gathered together in a crowd for purposes of action, observation proves that, from the mere fact of their being assembled, there result certain new psychological characteristics, which are added to the racial characteristics and differ from them at times to a very considerable degree. Organised crowds have always played an important part in the life of peoples, but this part has never been of such moment as at present. The substitution of the unconscious action of crowds for the conscious activity of individuals is one of the principal characteristics of the present age."

It may not be a new idea.. just new tech..

The simplest fact, that is over looked…every minute that “Glass-Steagall” is left out of the laws that Govern Financial Institutions… is yet another minute or how many milliseconds that monies flow like a river for the Winners of the war on Wall Street? The Media runs around 24 hours a day worried about Free Health Care (that’s not free, but that’s not the point) and the effect it will have on the Tax Payer. Congress and the House both spend how many more hours talking about Health Care than Banking (or “AAA” Rated Corps that are now Banks)… The Billion Dollar Lobby for Health Care (Six Lobbyists Per Lawmaker Work to Shape Health-Care Overhaul  ) with great coverage… all to steer the public’s interest away from the best funded lobby in the History of the World highest paying clients… which I have to point out that the Banks are using the Tax Payers Monies to Lobby against the Tax Payers / Publics Safety… but Health Care reigns “Supreme” in regard to T.V air time (for the masses, on Main Stream T.V. stations and even the Financial networks as well if someone were to count the hours spent discussions.. Financial verse Health care)


To those who say "repealing Glass-Steagall did not cause the crisis, that it began at Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG," I say that the large commercial banks were engaged in exactly the same behavior as Bear Stearns, Lehman and AIG - and would have collapsed had the federal government not stepped in and taken extraordinary measures...

By statutorily splitting apart massive financial institutions that house both banking and securities operations, we will both cut these firms down to more reasonable and manageable s and rightfully limit the safety net only to traditional banks.”

Quoted from above...

"The cloud management that is occurring now… is to keep the attention off of Wall Street and perception of burden on Main Street…. Damn you Main Street! And your expensive Health Care! Never mind that Wall Street is RAPPING! Main Street in the milliseconds of every day… I think that they have accomplished their goals, easily. Too bad for us that we refuse to be more aware of how we are handled.


FED_Up's picture

Ya just gotta love the way the MSM reports this.  From Yahoo: Dodd Decides to Go it Alone with Financial Regulation Bill.


Excuse me, but hasn't Dodd been in the back pocket of the banksters for some time now? If it wasn't for a few of us semi-financially literate peasants screaming bloody murder, wouldn't he have been content in maintaining the status quo?  He's finally flipped a bitch and is now doing the right thing and the MSM paints him to be a friggin' saint.  How quaint.

Anonymous's picture

CORKER is the biggest CON MAN Fuc##$ing SHILL of all time. He is OWNED by the Banks and could give a a rat's ASS about the people who elected him to represent their interests.

Can politicians in America SINK ANY LOWER???????????

Vote each and every one of these bank-owned criminals out the very next chance you get!

The American people need to be in the damn STREETS protesting this theft and corruption daily! We need to show these ass clowns what civil unrest really looks like and remind them WHO they work for.

Anonymous's picture

VOTE CORKER OUT immediately! He should be in jail for his complicity and collusion. God willing, there will be trials someday.

There arent enough jails in America to house the Banking and political criminals in our midst.

Anonymous's picture

I see Monica Durden is still wearing her kneepads.

Anonymous's picture

Dodd engineered our economic meltdown along with Barney Frank, and now we want to trust him with banking reform? He is part of the financial elite cabal squeezing the middle class with tax money for the financial institutions. He is the problem, not the solution.

Anonymous's picture

A US senator authored this speech? Really? I'm impressed. Seriously. Such an intelligent and conscientious policy proposal from what we have rightfully come to regard as a lower class of pimps and harlots is truly encouraging.

mark456's picture

Good Linux hosting option package offered by ucvhost which not only provides the best in terms of hosting packages but also believes in truly being there for the customer, 24x7. cheap vps Moreover , they offer unlimited bandwidth as well as nearly 1GB storage along with database maintenance, email facility along with storage, availability of sub domain and many other important features for a very low price. ucvhost thanks