Janet Tavakoli Writes In

Tyler Durden's picture

Do you wonder why SIGTARP put out a couple of interesting facts yet missed the really damaging information: Goldman’s underwriting of CDOs that had suspect collateral, Blackrock’s history of CDO management failure, mismarking of the assets in Maiden Lane III, previous settlement by a French bank for ten cents on the dollar, and so on?  These reports are designed to miss.
FCIC is already engaging in the type of advance information asymmetry engaged in previously by the Senate Banking Committee (I have first hand experience with both). 

In response to a query for information, I responded to FCIC staffers with links to information on my web site (free and publicly available), and recommended Dear Mr. Buffett, wherein I provide notes and references to public documents, which should help with the final report due in December 2010 (these people are much too slow, and DMB is a good playbook to begin their investigation.  It’s easier than Structured Finance, but how they will investigate without that background is anyone’s guess.  Expect a watered down, whitewashed report similar to SIGTARP’s November 17 effort).
They will have a future hearing at which they will question Jamie Dimon (CEO JPM Chase), Lloyd Blankfein (CEO of Goldman), Mack from Morgan Stanley and a representative from Bank of America.   It is a preliminary meeting on why all these banks needed TARP.  But they aren’t going to discuss AIG or Merrill and so on.  Well, one cannot discuss systemic risk and TARP funds without covering that, can one?  [But let’s not grill them too hard before bonus time.  In fact, let’s give the public the impression that individually these banks didn’t really need TARP after all.]
A key staffer presented himself as negative on the banks.  Yet he was just hired by the committee and admits he is not familiar with the facts.  It seems he is pandering to ingratiate himself with people he thinks may be hostile to a Wall Street point of view.  That way, he gets all of those thoughts in advance.  Inevitably any really damaging advance information will get leaked to the banks.  He claimed the banks are supposed to give him testimony three days in advance, but that won’t be available, because the banks will actually submit at the last minute (that way, you get no information, but any damaging information you hand over will be leaked to the banks’ huge staffs to prepare for the committee hearing).  The banks somehow will be very well prepared for whatever the committee will throw at them, and any subsequent witnesses will be marginalized and ignored.  By the way, this is exactly how the Senate Banking committee operated when it was “grilling” the rating agencies.  How did that work out?
Credit derivatives have been criticized for information asymmetry, so why not criticize how these committees operate?  I am happy to publicly state that they are rigged. [emphasis ours]
Naturally I won’t agree to these made-up “rules.”  I responded that I decline to give free consulting advice to the committee or to make free consulting a quid pro quo for the “honor” of testifying.  I pointed out that the committee could have hired my services months ago if they were interested in actual expertise, he responded that I might do it for free because it is my “patriotic duty.”  Ignoring how manipulative and offensive that is, I responded that he is welcome to the information I put in the public domain for free.  (Between the committee and the banks, I am the only one providing transparency, at least with what I have made public so far.)
I wrote in an email that if they want my testimony without the quid pro quo of helping them in advance to formulate questions and strategy for the hearing, I will consider testifying and will give them an answer in a couple of days.  If their questions are weak, I can address it in my testimony, and I may have new facts and information not yet in the public domain that I wish to present myself.  I have not heard back from them, and I do not expect I will.
P.S.  The staffer who spoke to me said they wished they could have found me sooner.  Let’s see, type in “structured finance” on Amazon….or type it into Google.

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AnonymousMonetarist's picture


The truth squad caught the latest Federales lie. The Big Lie is always a lie in plain sight. It is discerned by a bottoms -up approach, the application of the empirical method. The first to catch it was the venerable Bill King of the King Report, who actually reads government reports before he comments on them, it was picked up by Art Cashin in his morning note yesterday, and then picked up by the New York Post.

Posted: 1:56 AM, December 17, 2009
by John Crudele
New York Post 

Washington announced last week that retail sales rose a very healthy 1.3 percent during November from the previous month. Wall Street told us to applaud and the media, right on cue, proclaimed that the consumer was back in business.

The trouble is, the 1.3 percent gain was very misleading. In fact, misleading is a kind term for it. It was a lie -- but not one perpetrated by the Commerce Department, which released the figure.

Why am I questioning the 1.3 percent growth in retail sales? Because the Commerce Department questioned it, in a cryptic fine-print note, a sort of footnote, only it was at the top -- the top -- of the press release announcing the figure.

In a box, highlighted in the Dec. 11 release, was this statement: "Special Notice -- The advance estimates in this report are the first estimates from a new sample. The new sample for the Advance Monthly Retail Trade Survey is selected about once every two and a half years." The problem is, you actually have to ask the Commerce Department what that means if you want to know. Government bureaucrats aren't known for clarity. And nobody I could find bothered to ask.

One news organization, which should be ashamed of itself, proclaimed after seeing the release that "consumer spending was solid in November, suggesting that the economy is on sounder footing than previously thought." Not even close…

Well, here's the answer. It seems that the Commerce Department surveyed only 2,600 of the same retailers and restaurants in both October and November. The other 2,700 or so were new to the survey and were only asked about business conditions in November. ..

But this time a lot of the retailers that weren't questioned in November might have gone out of business because of the economy. To borrow a tired, old phrase -- the Commerce Department was trying to tell us that it was comparing apples in October with oranges in November. And the comparison really didn't add up to 1.3 percent growth. But there's more.

That 1.3 percent gain -- even if you were to accept it as valid -- was seasonally adjusted. That means the Commerce Department's computers changed a number here and there because of what has come to be expected over the last five Novembers…

Without the seasonal adjustment retail sales were absolutely flat from October to November -- 0.0 percent. Flat. No change.

AM here : Obviously this does not matter until it does. It is but another piece of kindling on the fire of deceit and fraud.

For this humble blogger, the tipping point for the common man, is looming as a sword of Damocles, the horsehair splintering, the capitulation towards the American Scheme as the American Dream.

The stealth stimulus of sending the banks jingle mail, the vitriol of opinion on both fences couched in either moralizing or justifying, would seem to suggest that many others also view this as a seminal event that will train-wreck itself through 2010.

To understand the markets think of water ... this tide will come back in and drown the fire. And then ... the Federales will spew kerosene.

Some of the smartest folks in the room have recommended that individuals should view their investment portfolio as if they were their own central bank.

Not exactly the right role model dontcha think?

The butterfly wings of the bankster enabling Federales and the insolvent prospering banksters, are causing the hurricane that is the true emulation advised in being your central bank... be you're own corporatocracy.

Life liberty and synarchy for all is one hell of a way to go through life son.

On that path, most assuredly the devil will have his due.


spekulatn's picture

Well done, as usual, AM.


You said:

Some of the smartest folks in the room have recommended that individuals should view their investment portfolio as if they were their own central bank.


Please elaborate. Who are these "smart folks in the room?"


Lonewar's picture

Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

All campaign contributions shall be limited to an amount no more than $20 dollars, per registered voter, per candidate, per year.

A political candidate shall be able to spend an amount of their own money, while running for office, of $100,000.00.

Only natural born persons, who are registered voters in the district of the office being contested, may make campaign contributions.

Only natural born persons may receive a campaign contribution, and this money must be kept separate from all other monies of that natural born person.

No person may be elected to the same, or similar political office more than two times in their lifetime.

Any monies received by an elected or appointed office holder, while they hold an elected or appointed position, or for an amount of time after leaving office that they were in office, that are in excess of their annual salary as determined by the office they hold, or held, shall be forfieted to the Treasury of the United States for the purpose of paying down the national debt.

The rights and duties of the Constitution of the United States and any amendments thereto only apply to natural born persons unless those rights or duties explicitly state otherwise.

Congress does NOT have the right to delegate the determination of the value of money to others, nor does it have the right to delegate the printing or coining of money to others.

All money of the United States of America shall be backed by, or made of, gold or silver; the value of that money is regulated by Congress, but Congress shall not allow the value of that money to rise or fall over any ten year period on average.

Neither Congress, nor the President of the United States shall ratify any treaty or law that removes from Congress the ability to print or coin money or to determine the value thereof.

AnonymousMonetarist's picture

See past populist movement platforms here..

'Will our Alpha Males be able to maintain Omega Zen? Regardless any revolution that might occur will most probably be plagiarized.


deadhead's picture

sorry man, i feel the frustration but we got a little problem with that first amendment free speech gig as well as the right to petition for redress of grievances.

once we start limiting free speech and the right to petition, we are dead.

Lonewar's picture


Why should a fictious entity have ANY rights (Other than the right of contract, and I agree, the right of redress of grievance).

By corporations having those rights, especially unlimited free speech in the form of campaign contributions, they make my free speech right worthless. Take a look at TARP, Bernake second confirmation, etc. Corporations have too many advantages and resources available to them to allow them to compete fairly with the average person. As they say, money talks and bullshit walks. And all 90% of our politicians understand is money, because with enough of it you can flat buy elections.

As far as limiting campaign contributions to registered voters in the district of the elections, this is to prevent outside interests from buying elections in areas where they have no presence. (In California several of the water bonds issued several years ago were financed and passed by companies that are outside the state because those companies wanted the resulting contracts.) I want the person that is making the contribution to have a stake in the outcome of the results.

And thank you for the feedback, this is why I posted this on boards, to gain insight to what I am missing and what are the potential unintended consequences.

ATG's picture

Corporations are not natural born citizens, but

foreign entities whose emoluments enjoy no

protections under our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The day of reckoning with complete corporate

government collapse approaches...




Anonymous's picture

"once we start limiting free speech and the right to petition, we are dead"

Well then I guess the USA died in the 1700s so we may as well not even try now. Ever hear of the Alien and Sedition Acts? They were never overturned. Even Jefferson challenged them primarily as violations of the Tenth Amendment, not the First. And sought to change them through the ballot box, not in the courts.

The First A has been limited (on various grounds and in various ways) throughout the history of the USA. It's still limited. A very quick perusal of its history will make that clear almost immediately.

Depending on your philosophy of the purpose of the First Amendment, limiting campaign contributions in a manner that increases the power of the average American would not violate the First Amendment so long as everyone has the ability to communicate his/her views.

Problem Is's picture

Justice Roberts Trumps You Lonewar

"Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

All campaign contributions shall be limited to an amount no more than $20 dollars, per registered voter, per candidate, per year."

I completely agree with your sentiment. Legalized bribery of politicians is what moved America from the Republic era to the Imperial oligarchy era.

However, the Supreme Court's never ending rulings supporting a corporation as a person (see the assault on the 14th amendment) has clearly ruled that corporations have rights as a person to campaign bribes. The money cannot be limited because it infringes on the person's (corporation's) free speech rights...

And now Robert's, Scalia, Alito and Thomas are about to bring full fascism home to Amerika by removing even more restrictions on corporate bribery. Robert's is a treasonous corporate hack.

As citizens of the Roman Empire, I think this is the point at which we are supposed to enjoy the bread and circuses, debauchery and systemic corruption under Emperor Egalabulus (a barracks emporer by the way) while the ship goes down.

Lonewar's picture

Problem Is,

There is a reason that this is a proposed Constitutional Amendment and not just a bill to become a law.

If this was ever approved (And it started snowing in hell...) it would trump the Supreme Court rulings.

Anonymous's picture

You need to read the Constitution of the United States and "Pieces of Eight" by Edmund Vieira (2 volumes, approx 1700 pages) to know what you are talking about.

Molon Labe's picture

Thanks Janet, for all you are doing to shine light in dark places.  You are fulfilling your patriotic duty, but don't expect the Federales to recognize that or thank you for it.  The institutional survival instinct is flowing at an all time high in Washington and New York right now.

Happy Holidays

Assetman's picture

I kinda like this Janet person you are talking about... can we keep her?

Anonymous's picture

Thanks to you, Janet.

The truth is sad, very sad indeed.

Perhaps one day we may see your name signed on the US dollar.

Miles Kendig's picture

Janet, after my experiences and observing your responses I hope you remember your sense of humor. After all, life is better with dessert first.

etrader's picture

Thanks Janet.

Its appreciated even more when its personally directed to ZH.

Anonymous's picture


Why would you prohibit all the 'un-naturals' from contributing? Maybe part of your background conspiracy theory includes the presumption that alien clones live among us, and apparently you think they are all democrats.

Lonewar's picture


No, natural born person is there to differentiate it from fictious entities (Corporations, Partnerships, Non-Profits, etc).

A corporation, as an immortal entity, with resources that far exceed those of the average citizen, can and will squew laws and regulations that benefit them while it hurts the average citizen. A corporation is a fiction and should not have the same rights as a person (of any race, nationality, etc.).

Careless Whisper's picture

a bad girl with street smarts.  me loves.

deadhead's picture

Thank you very much Ms. Tavakoli.

Please, please continue your important work in this regard.


Art Vandelay's picture

Thank you, Janet. Your contributions here are deeply appreciated.

Bolweevil's picture

go janet go janet go janet

Rainman's picture

I am shocked...shocked I tell you......to hear that the game is RIGGED !!

Anonymous's picture

Your winnings, sir...

Objective Soul's picture

Thank you Janet for shining your light.

You are a treasure to the People.

Anonymous's picture

Another bright light...

Thursday - December 17

Ungovernability in the US


Anonymous's picture

Look at how patriotic the center of Washington is: what scumbags!

The defense bill is always the worst and most morally reprehensible, and this year is no exception. It should be noted that defense pork is one of America’s great bipartisan traditions. The scheme is the same every year, regardless of who is in the majority: Congress quietly shoves in earmarks for unnecessary and ridiculously expensive weapons programs, and pays for them by gutting the existing budgets for actual soldiers.

It’s always amazed me that this stuff isn’t more of an issue with the right. We’re talking about robbing soldiers to pay defense executives. They pull this scam like clockwork every year and nobody ever says a word — weird stuff.


Anonymous's picture

I can think of no bigger circus than to have this loose cannon testify in front of congress.

Admitting that a key staffer is negative on banks is an admission the hearings will be little more than a pointless, grandstanding kangaroo court.

It should be a fact finding endeavor. When her facts are in error, she just screeches louder, and starts hand waving at hummingbird intensity. I can stand people who cannot man up and admit error after lying about somebody. And she can't.

Commander Cody's picture

A bankster in every bunch!  GTH.

Anonymous's picture

Except, I'm not a bankster and never have been. She writes some crap that is not true.

Anonymous's picture

Could you be more vague? That always furthers discussion.

Specifics (preferably with cites) please. Otherwise this (and especially your comment above) is pure abusive, libelous, sexist ad hominem that has zero credibility.

Anonymous's picture

I can see where your coming from Lloyd....

Molon Labe's picture

Loose cannon, eh?  As in someone who the banksters cannot control?  You haven't seen anything yet.  This country is full of loose cannons, feckface.

economessed's picture

Janet, please add my sentiments of appreciation to this growing list.  If more hands could help with the heavy lifting you're engaged in, please don't hesitate to ask. 

Ruth's picture


The goobermint just acknowledged (by which representative, I don't remember) that the defense dept has been getting ripped off in their mentoring program, and the mentors were charging up to and prob over $500/hr.  ----AND THEY WON'T PAY YOU FOR YOUR SERVICES?!

TOTALLY UNEXCEPTABLE!  This is more of the same ridiculous stuff we are tired of.  You have a wonderful site and have remained as transparent as feasible, and you were the FIRST PERSON I found to help me understand and digg thru this CRAP OF LIES AND UNDERSTAND THE CROOKEDNESS WITH DERIVATIVES AND RELATED SITUATIONS.  Thus, we appreciate you so much for what you have contributed to society and the entire financial industry.

Thank You for everything you do, Have a wonderful Holiday, and Keep On Keepin On (as Marla would say)!

WE ARE Outrageously P-O'd As WE SHOULD BE!

Thank You ZH and ALL Our Wonderful Contributors and Commenters,

Happy Holidays!

Anonymous's picture

No surprises here.

The whole thing is going to burn to the ground.

Janet, you're doing the right thing.

You'll escape the guillotine.

Mark Beck's picture

Janet you are not alone in marveling at the inaction to uncovering root cause of the financial crisis, and what to do about it. My impression of the root causes, and looking at interdependency, lead me to conclude that the real solutions to the problems with derivative regulation and clearing (market place), are pervasive and interlinked across the securitization market, Bank Holding Companies, the FED, the SEC and to some extent the IRS. This makes it difficult to address through legislation, without putting together a private / public committee to understand the dynamics (risk and linkage), and bring all available resources to bear like the CRS. The committee would have to established a clear understanding of the mechanisms of the crisis. Cleaning up the mess properly would mean extensive changes.

You are probably aware of Dodd's non-solution to derivatives trading and markets. What is interesting to me is the amount of time that has elapsed before even this stripped down attempt was made. But as you noted, it is important to understand the problem before proposing solutions. There has been no real attempt at a comprehensive investigation of root cause. 

So where are we now? What are the current structured finance systemic banking risks? What is the real bank interdependency, and is the banking sector fundamentally more robust than a year ago?

Mark Beck

Anonymous's picture

The Rhineland situation is not very comparable to the Federal Reserve's bailout of AIG. She is just hand waving. As hard as she can.

Molon Labe's picture

Anonymous to his Bankster Overlord:  "Sir, there is a crowd of people outside the building.  They have weapons and torches and are trying to break in!  What do we do?"

Bankster Overlord to Anonymous:  "This situation is not very comparable to the British Crown's passage of the Stamp Act.  They are just hand waving.  As hard as they can. How many times have we seen the peasants come to us for help?"

Anonymous to his Bankster Overlord:  "But sir, they aren't bent over this time.  I've never seen them standing up straight before...will you hold me?"

Bankster Overlord to Anonymous:  "WHAT THE?"

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Janet you are a amazing woman - keep up the good work.

SWRichmond's picture

Thank you very sincerely, Ms. Tavakoli, for your continued work.