Matt Taibbi Asks Why The Fed Gave $220 Million In Bailout Money To The Wives Of Two Morgan Stanley "Bigwigs"

Tyler Durden's picture

Matt Taibbi has resurfaced with another stunner of Wall Street impropriety which will lead to merely more silence, even more unanswered questions and be quickly buried by the kleptocratic oligarchy.

The Real Housewives of Wall Street: Look Who's Cashing In On the Bailout

Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?

From Rolling Stone Magazine

In August 2009, John Mack,
at the time still the CEO of Morgan Stanley, made an interesting life
decision. Despite the fact that he was earning the comparatively low
salary of just $800,000, and had refused to give himself a bonus in the
midst of the financial crisis, Mack decided to buy himself a gorgeous
piece of property — a 107-year-old limestone carriage house on the Upper
BeerEast Side of New York, complete with an indoor 12-car garage, that
had just been sold by the prestigious Mellon family for $13.5 million.
Either Mack had plenty of cash on hand to close the deal, or he got some
help from his wife, Christy, who apparently bought the house with him.

The Macks make for an interesting couple. John, a Lebanese-American
nicknamed "Mack the Knife" for his legendary passion for firing people,
has one of the most recognizable faces on Wall Street, physically
resembling a crumpled, half-burned baked potato with a pair of
overturned furry horseshoes for eyebrows. Christy is thin, blond and
rich — a sort of still-awake Sunny von Bulow with hobbies. Her major
philanthropic passion is endowments for alternative medicine, and she
has attained the level of master at Reiki, the Japanese practice of
"palm healing." The only other notable fact on her public résumé is that
her sister was married to Charlie Rose.

It's hard to imagine a pair of people you would less want to
hand a giant welfare check to — yet that's exactly what the Fed did.
Just two months before the Macks bought their fancy carriage house in
Manhattan, Christy and her pal Susan launched their investment
initiative called Waterfall TALF. Neither seems to have any experience
whatsoever in finance, beyond Susan's penchant for dabbling in
thoroughbred racehorses. But with an upfront investment of $15 million,
they quickly received $220 million in cash from the Fed, most of which
they used to purchase student loans and commercial mortgages. The loans
were set up so that Christy and Susan would keep 100 percent of any
gains on the deals, while the Fed and the Treasury (read: the taxpayer)
would eat 90 percent of the losses. Given out as part of a bailout
program ostensibly designed to help ordinary people by kick-starting
consumer lending, the deals were a classic heads-I-win, tails-you-lose

So how did the government come to address a financial crisis caused
by the collapse of a residential-mortgage bubble by giving the wives of a
couple of Morgan Stanley bigwigs free money to make essentially
risk-free investments in student loans and commercial real estate? The
answer is: by degrees. The history of the bailout era reads like one of
those awful stories about what happens when a long-dormant criminal
compulsion goes unchecked. The Peeping Tom next door stares through a
few bathroom windows, doesn't get caught, and decides to break in and
steal a pair of panties. Next thing you know, he's upgraded to homemade
dungeons, tri-state serial rampages and throwing cheerleaders into a
panel truck.

The impetus for this sudden manic expansion of the bailouts was a
masterful bluff by Wall Street executives. Once the money started
flowing from the Federal Reserve, the executives began moaning to their
buddies at the Fed, claiming that they were suddenly afraid of investing
in anything — student loans, car notes, you name it — unless
their profits were guaranteed by the state. "You ever watch soccer,
where the guy rolls six times to get a yellow card?" says William Black,
a former federal bank regulator who teaches economics and law at the
University of Missouri. "That's what this is. If you have power and
connections, they will give you a freebie deal — if you're good at

This is where TALF fits into the bailout picture. Created just after
Barack Obama's election in November 2008, the program's ostensible
justification was to spur more consumer lending, which had dried up in
the midst of the financial crisis. But instead of lending directly to
car buyers and credit-card holders and students — that would have been
socialism! — the Fed handed out a trillion dollars to banks and hedge
funds, almost interest-free. In other words, the government lent
taxpayer money to the same assholes who caused the crisis, so that they
could then lend that money back out on the market virtually risk-free,
at an enormous profit.

Cue your Billy Mays voice, because wait, there's more! A key aspect of TALF is that the Fed doles out the money through what are known as non-recourse loans.
Essentially, this means that if you don't pay the Fed back, it's no big
deal. The mechanism works like this: Hedge Fund Goon borrows, say, $100
million from the Fed to buy crappy loans, which are then transferred to
the Fed as collateral. If Hedge Fund Goon decides not to repay that
$100 million, the Fed simply keeps its pile of crappy securities and
calls everything even.

This is the deal of a lifetime. Think about it: You borrow millions, buy
a bunch of crap securities and stash them on the Fed's books. If the
securities lose money, you leave them on the Fed's lap and the public
eats the loss. But if they make money, you take them back, cash them in
and repay the funds you borrowed from the Fed. "Remember that crazy guy
in the commercials who ran around covered in dollar bills shouting, 'The
government is giving out free money!' " says Black. "As crazy as he
was, this is making it real."

read the full article here

Comment viewing options

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

sd i love u and ur engleeeeesh

Bob's picture

Absolutely systematic.  And they're way better at this than they are at respectable business. 

It seems to truly awaken their latent creativity.  And, for rich people, you gotta admit that's different. 

I always knew they really were special in some way. 

And they have a free army of useful idiots to pave the road for them.

max2205's picture

I am sure they hired thousands of unemployed workers too

disabledvet's picture

"aliens" i think they're called.  and "they want them driving tractor trailers now, too."  and i mean "now" when i say that.

Hacksaw's picture

Ya, but we can't have all those dead beat mortgage holders who don't want to pay payments on mortgages that are more than the collateral is worth. They have a moral obligation to pay their debts. Bwahwahwah

Arkadaba's picture

Thats what they are really scared of. The sheeple finally understanding the ponzi game. Which is also why the trolls on this site go after certain members.

Infinite QE's picture

+1. Revolution is brewing but Joe Sixpack has become too much of Joe Fluoridehead mixed with GMO burgers.

calltoaccount's picture



David DeGraw ( will be at the "Sounds of Resistance" concert and protest in New York's Union Square this Friday at 11 AM. Chris Hedges explains why he will be there as well: 

“The banks and Wall Street, which have erected the corporate state to serve their interests at our expense, caused the financial crisis. The bankers and their lobbyists crafted tax havens that account for up to $1 trillion in tax revenue lost every decade. They rewrote tax laws so the nation’s most profitable corporations, including Bank of America, could avoid paying any federal taxes. They engaged in massive fraud and deception that wiped out an estimated $40 trillion in global wealth. The banks are the ones that should be made to pay for the financial collapse. Not us. And for this reason at 11 a.m. April 15 I will join protesters in Union Square in New York City in front of the Bank of America.” 

Where: Union Square Park, New York, NY - When: 11:00 AM - Who: The People Angry at Big Finance - Why: To Break Up the Big Banks

dark pools of soros's picture

sick of the BS here..  break up the banks for what?? if the people do not take charge and create their own alternatives then nothing changes..  break them up and they'll just form again


With peer-to-peer lending, you see an alternative.  If it ever really caught on, you will know it since it would get attacked by legislation or dirty tricks by the rich paying people to default en mass to discredit it. 


But what we need is more steps like this. Peer-to-peer business, entertainment, etc but you know the majority of the people who complain are shitty workers. They say they work hard but they are just drained by their crap tasks and do not really push productivity to a high level. And would take any easy road if bought out for a song


I can go on, but it's a waste of time - like those protests that people think they are accomplishing something since they gave away their sacred free-time.. 

dark pools of soros's picture

and there you have it..  instant gratification junking with no effort to reply


exactly my point



tip e. canoe's picture

"peer-to-peer lending" : the most efficient way for an individual to take control & responsibility for their own personal risk management.

anyone with a belief in free markets & efficient market theory should be all over this.

Harlequin001's picture

With gold back in money these people can't leverage these so called opportunities to make these so called peofits. There would be no need to complain about banks, just politicians who will forever promise more than they can deliver, and idiots prepared to vote for anyone that promises it.

Gold back in money, it's the only way.

anonnn's picture

Upon first learning of Student Loan program that was  promulgated by the banking industry, i understood the gambit. 

The new law enabled banks to make government-guaranteed loans to students, in volumes limited only to fractional-reserve creation of electronic accounts.

That explained the craze to offer loans to any student---naive kid or silly child or newly-18 yr old adult---even begging the student to take the cash...because the 18-yr old kid suddenly had a signature worth a fortune to the banker-is-an-authority-figure scammer.

 The bankers simply had no risk of loss playing with OtherPeoplesMoney. Not gambling and not speculating at all, just rigged clever-stroke theft...a license to steal...literally, a privilege.


disabledvet's picture

far worse actually.  "you are required by law to repay your student loan."  ask your doctor.  in short "in your absence government we will be the government."  i'm sensing "absenteeism" on a Biblical scale right now.

Sancho Ponzi's picture

A snippet from the full article at RS:

The technical name of the program that Mack and Karches took advantage of is TALF, short for Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility. But the federal aid they received actually falls under a broader category of bailout initiatives, designed and perfected by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, called "giving already stinking rich people gobs of money for no fucking reason at all." 

Dr_Dazed's picture

Excellent writing - but why is that this sort of reporting only shows up in Rolling Stone, Salon, Vogue and on NPR w/ their Planet Money series?  I know all about the lame-stream media whining, but it still seems like someone ought to pick this sort of thing up.  I guess we are a nation of zombies captured by elitist cabals and corporate controlled government.  Sad.

Infinite QE's picture

Because the people who took advantage of this own the media.

Clancy's picture

NPR is actually running interference for the banksters.  It's subtle usually, but unmistakable.


Pay close attention to who they *dont* blame.

calltoaccount's picture

Right.  NPR has swallowed the Koch-ade and skunked over to the dark side.

Natasha Fatale's picture

PBS is doing the same thing. Did you watch their documentary on 'Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton' last night?

It was revisionist history at its finest: they had the nerve to equate the Obama's bailouts as a courageous response modeled after Hamilton's own actions during the speculative bubble during Washington's Administration. Can you f$%&ing believe that?! Shameless, especially the part when they interviewed Hank Paulson, depicting him as possessing some Hamiltonian wisdom.

I had to turn it off after the first hour and a half, I couldn't take it anymore.

dark pools of soros's picture

the only problem with all that is that you must feel to see Hamilton in a positive light.  Hamilton was a cancer so I feel the comparisions are perfect... 

Ned Zeppelin's picture

Looks like you answered your own question. Correctly I might add.

RockyRacoon's picture

Taibbi appeared several times in the past on Olbermann's show talking about his articles.  Everyone didn't ignore Taibbi.   This stuff gets around.

IQ 145's picture

 Well, look at it this way; which of the three owners of the mass media do you want to get fired by? Your article won't make it out of the editors office, and you will get fired. Simple, eh? There isn't any "someone"; there only employees of the three superrich owners; who are interchangable.

In Fed We Trust's picture


What ever happend to the Muckety maps?

In Fed We Trust's picture

Not surprised. Just read that in Boluder CO, they pulle the plug on green energy upgrades to your house.  And its reactactive. Meaning people who bought solar panels 5 years ago with sweet financing deals are finding out that, all of a  sudeen they owe 20,000 grand more on their mortgage beccause the FEDS pulled the plug on these loans. They say they fimnd them to risky! Imagineb that, the banker s say that that efficient energyup upgrades to your home, are your considered risky!

Popo's picture

Clawback first.  Then guillotines.  

Actually, screw the guillotines.  Let's just tie 'em to the rear fender and take 'em for a drag -- one by one...



trav7777's picture

I'm still kinda stunned that not one person laid off, foreclosed, evicted from one of these companies hasn't taken an assault rifle to HQ and capped the executives whose pay went up by 12%

Vendetta's picture

The lack of payback is a sad reflection of the state of disunion and lack of focus on what is righteous in the US

Dburn's picture


Unreal. I didn't think of it that way. Not one fucking person went postal. I'll bet they have triple tiered layers of protection at those banks, sharpshooters, laser rays, database profiles and identities from NSA computers right next to the HFT computer banks. If a guy looks like he can't walk a straight line he is vaporized on the spot.

Poof. Clean up on Hallway 13. File missing persons report automatically with NYPD. Mark case 4 years old and closed.

Have a nice day people :-)

long juan silver's picture

Click the link and read the whole article. Some fucker needs his balls whacked with a hammer and soon.

Excuse me. I've got to go out to the yard and bring in the chair I just threw out the window.

TheMerryPrankster's picture

With gasoline prices nearing 5$ usd, I'd prefer we drag them in groups as it is more cost effective and environmentally friendly, plus it gives them a chance to network so they'll have more friends in hell.

willien1derland's picture

Great idea, however, since they named their fraud 'Waterfall TALF' after you drag them a little send them over Niagara Falls & in the spirit of Obam's Healthcare initiative, let's rescue them each time, nurse them back to health & do it over & over again - but I am NOT ANGRY...

slaughterer's picture

Could somebody post some pictures of these women here immediately?  I want to see the face of the enemy.


slaughterer's picture

Well, just did a google image search for "Christy Mack" and saw the face of the beast.  Funny, lots of good porn star girls mixed in with the same name.  Must be the SEC connection...

willien1derland's picture

LMFAO!!! +1,000 - Thank you, I really needed a laugh!

Zero Govt's picture

just Googled 'Christy Mack photos' and low and behold, up came a charity bash for The Nature Conservancy... at the bash was the Honorable Henry M. Paulson Jr., former chairman of the Charity (my what a mighty small world Wall Street is!!) ......"Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was joined by more than 400 prominent New Yorkers and leaders of the world's top financial institutions and corporations to raise $2.5 million to fight climate change..."

Another (green) mask for 'saving the world' by robbing the public, just like 'saving' the worlds financial system there no end to the goodness of these parasites charitable work on our behalf?!!! 

tom a taxpayer's picture

Zero Govt - I need a barf bag after reading about that Mack-Paulson-Bloomberg-Nature-Conervancy clusterflock. Yuck!

tip e. canoe's picture

if you dig into the Nature Conservancy a little deeper, you will see that it's the lynchpin in the GoldSack boys' carbon credit scheme.    then look at a map of Eastern LI and see how much land NC owns out there (which I bet they got for a song).

G-R-U-N-T's picture

The depth of blatant in your face corruption is mind boggling. How much more can us tax payers take? What will be the breaking point?


Bob Paulson's picture

TARP was the Government's money, TALF was the Fed's money, so not the taxpayers. The article is wrong.

mogul rider's picture

F'ng Bastille Day Bitchez

They must have a civilian killing and fighting force ready, cause I'm about to go Telco?

blindfaith's picture

we are kidding ourselves, nothing will happen to them...ever.  They have the full faith, credit, and Homeland security of the United States of America to watch out for their best, very best, personal safety and financial interests.

Why would anyone think or believe that any of these criminals will ever pay for their crimes when history has proven otherwise.