Barney Frank

What Is Capitalism?

On a day when the sad reality of our (AAPL-free) centrally-planned economy came a little unhinged, it is perhaps useful to reflect on just how different our 'capitalism' in the US now is from other 'capitalist' societies and the one we had in the 1900s. Robert Murphy (of The Politically Incorrect Guide To Capitalism book fame) explains how everyone has an agenda - yet everyone agrees that they despise capitalism. Capitalism is the system in which people are 'free to choose' and this is compared to socialist economies (where prices are set by the Fed state and assets can be confiscated for the benefit of the people). The fear of capitalism's citizenry running riot with unregulated actions leaves critics focused on a belief that regulators and bureaucrats know better than private citizens how to make their own decisions. This brief discussion ends with a sprinkling of Ayn Rand, Obama, Geithner, Barney Frank, and Harry Reid and their efforts to evade Capitalism's features, misrepresent its nature, and destroy its last remnants.

Frontrunning: April 3

  • China's Central Banker to Fed: Act Responsibly (WSJ)
  • Spain's debt to jump to 78 percent of GDP: De Guindos (Reuters)
  • Rajoy Needs All the Luck He Can Get (WSJ)
  • Spain Faces Risks in Budget Refit (WSJ)
  • Top JP Morgan banker resigns to fight abuse fine (Reuters)
  • Reinhart-Rogoff See No Quick U.S. Recovery Even as Data Improve (Bloomberg)
  • Program to help spur spending in domestic sector (China Daily)
  • Barnier hits out at lobbying ‘rearguard’ (FT)
  • U.S. CEOs' take-home pay climbs on stock awards (Reuters)
RobertBrusca's picture

  The Fed's new price rule raises more questions than it answers. The real question is whether 'the rule' is a beard for the Fed's coming plan to ignore it and work on its unemployment 'mandate?' Can the expression of a rule, even one that is poorly articulated, cause expectations to cluster around it?  And is that where the Fed is going...  

Geithner Pens Another Ridiculous Op-Ed

Nearly two years after his catastrophic foray into Op-Ed writing, here is Tim Geithner's latest, this time making the hypocritical case to "not forget the lesson from the financial crisis"... which he himself ushered on America as head of the New York Fed. Frankly we are quite sure it is not even worth reading this drivel: the unemployed man walking has been a total disaster during his entire tenure (at both the New York Fed where he supervised all the banks that subsequently fell, and the Treasury), and we are fairly confident that reading anything written by this pathological failure will cost collective IQs to drop by 10 points at a minimum. Hey Tim: is there a risk the US can get downgraded? Any risk?

Presenting 2011's Top 10 Most Corrupt American Politicians

When it comes to corruption, cronyism and general muppetry in Washington D.C., the only real question is 'where does one start?' Yet one has to start somewhere to conclude with a list of the ten most corrupt and despicable marionettes in D.C. Which is precisely what JudicialWatch has done in its annual compilation of the "Top 10 Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington D.C." for 2011. And confirming what everyone knows, that both the left and right are merely irrelevant names for the same general social affliction, or should we call it by its true name - wealth pillage - the split is even between democrats and republicans. In no particular order, the winners of 2011 are...

Live Webcast Of Corzine's Third Testimony Where The Questions Pick Up In Complexity

Following the gotcha moment from Tuesday, fully documented here and here, in which CME Executive Chairman Terry Duffy basically caught Jon Comminglerzine committing an act of perjury, or lying about the chronology of his knowledge of MF Global's commingled loans under oath, today we get the third and last (for the time being) testimony of the former CEO of Goldman and MF Global, this time to the House Financial Services Committee. Grab your popcorn, the hearing is live, and Jon Corzine is about to sound just like Hank Paulson because this time it will be a little more difficult to "recall" events that happened 6 weeks ago, now that the CME chairman has been kind enough to remind him.

Bank Of America Hilarious Denial #2

This is just hilarious: According to Bloomberg, Bank of America’s main hesitation was taking Warren Buffett’s money when bank had said it didn’t need capital, CNBC reports without saying where it obtained the information. It adds, the symbolic value of investment worth boost to confidence; "$5b not lot to raise" - also apparently "Terms better than public market." Here is our retort: Bank of America could have told Buffet: "No thank you" and leaked it. Instead it confirmed what Zero Hedge has been saying since October 2010 - that it is absolutely desperate for capital. Also, as to the saying that "terms were better than the public market" - why of course they are - the bank has absolutely no access to the public market. BAC IS LOCKED OUT! But at least we will soon see just how efficient Dodd-Frank's bank insolvency contingency is in real life. Because we have a feeling the brilliant legislation penned by Barney Frank and Countrywide's senator, may fall just a little short...

Time For Tim Geithner's Annual Top-Ticking Op-Ed, In Which We Learn That It Is Time To Panic About America's Banks

When just under a year ago, Tim Geithner penned "Welcome to the Recovery" he top ticked the zenith of the business cycle to the day if not the hour, with the economy finding itself in a straight line contraction ever since then, blissfully delayed by a 9 month QE2 detour. Now that the QE2 is no longer a factor, we are already seeing economists everywhere cut their Q2 GDP forecasts to sub 2%, an effective stall speed for the economy in real terms, and reducing their full year economic forecasts. Which is why we were delighted to learn that today Geithner has just released his latest iteration of a top-ticking missive, this one titled inappropriately enough "Dodd-Frank Has Made Our Banks Stronger" which is supremely ironic because not only has Dodd-Frank not made anything stronger as it has not even been remotely implemented, but as Bank of America, Goldman and Citi's Q2 results have just confirmed, the US bank sector is now the weakest it has been in years. Thus, when accentuated with a Geithner adminition to not panic our only advice is to do precisely the opposite. Oh yes, it took precisely 25 days between Geithner's heartfelt appeal to America's idiot class last year and Bernanke's Jackson Hole appearance. We wonder if this year it will be shorter.

Barney Frank Goes Apeshit Over S&P Insinuation The Dodd-Frank Is A Miserable Failure, Hypocritical Hilarity Ensues

There is something oddly pot-meet-kettle-esque when Barney Frank, one of the men most responsible for the nationalization of the GSEs, sends out a letter bashing S&P head David Sharma, one of the men responsible for the credit crisis. Especially when the bashing is over something that is actually 100% true: that Dodd-Frank is the most pathetic and corrupt piece of legislation to come out of Washington since Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

Barney Frank On Whether There Is A Chance The US Will Be Put Into Default: "Yes"

Barney Frank, fresh from being caught on live TV picking his nose during Bernanke's Humphrey Hawkins presentation, had a decidedly more sour outlook on the prospects for the debt ceiling. Spoiler alert: in tried and true fashion, the drama king blamed it all on the stupidity and inexperience of republicans. Asked when there is a chance the US will be put into default: "Yes. I take the freshmen republicans and people like Michelle Bachmann
at their word
. I don't think they're kidding. I think they fundamentally
misread this situation as Bernanke, a Bush appointee after all, made
clear today. I think there are people that frankly have an unreal view
of the world. They believe that this is somehow a fake and that you can
push a button and make a lot of these debts go away.
I believe there are
a substantial number of Republicans who are opposed to a huge debt and a
further group of Republicans who understand why it's important to raise
the debt limit, but are afraid of losing a primary to someone." Recapping Frank's view: why deal with a problem under my tenure, when very soon there will be a congressman who will replace me and he, or more likely she, can deal with the sordid mess I created. And this is not even counting the trillions in GSE off-the-books debt of which Frank was one of the key people responsible for letting it be the catalyst that blew up the credit bubble when Fannie and Freddie were nationalized just under 3 years ago.