Countrywide

The Greatest Propaganda Coup Of Our Time?

There’s good propaganda and bad propaganda. Bad propaganda is generally crude, amateurish Judy Miller “mobile weapons lab-type” nonsense that figures that people are so stupid they’ll believe anything that appears in “the paper of record.” Good propaganda, on the other hand, uses factual, sometimes documented material in a coordinated campaign with the other major media to cobble-together a narrative that is credible, but false. The so called Fed’s transcripts, which were released last week, fall into the latter category... But while the conversations between the members are accurately recorded, they don’t tell the gist of the story or provide the context that’s needed to grasp the bigger picture. Instead, they’re used to portray the members of the Fed as affable, well-meaning bunglers who did the best they could in ‘very trying circumstances’. While this is effective propaganda, it’s basically a lie, mainly because it diverts attention from the Fed’s role in crashing the financial system, preventing the remedies that were needed from being implemented (nationalizing the giant Wall Street banks), and coercing Congress into approving gigantic, economy-killing bailouts which shifted trillions of dollars to insolvent financial institutions that should have been euthanized.  What I’m saying is that the Fed’s transcripts are, perhaps, the greatest propaganda coup of our time.

Kappa Beta Phi Exposed (Redux)

As we initially exposed over five years ago, with luminary frat brothers and sister such as Jimmy Cayne, Richard Fuld, Stan O'Neil, Martin Gruss, Michael Bloomberg, Jon Corzine, Mary Shapiro, Alan Schwartz, Larry Fink, Larry Fink, Wilbur Ross, James McDonald, this "secret" organization puts the Masons, Bilderbergs, Skull and Bones, Templars, Fight Club and all other secret societies to shame. Now, as New York Magazine infiltrates the inner workings of the "Kappa Beta Phi" society, Liberty Blitzkrieg's Mike Krieger notes the following will confirm what everyone already thought - that a great many of these oligarch financiers are complete and total sociopaths and a menace to society

Bank of America Head Technician: "Our Bullish View Is Invalidated, Going Neutral; Below 1806 Spells Trouble"

Yesterday's BofA's MacNeill Curry warned that once above $1270, gold becomes "explosive" as the squeeze trap slams shut, which explains why the shorts are desperately defending the critical resistance redline. Today, the chief technician of Bank of Countrywide Lynch looks at the two other key correlation pairs: the S&P500 (via the Emini ESH4) and the USDJPY, which by virtue of being the key funding pair determines the price of risk in virtually every corner of the globe. He is not too happy with what he sees.

Why Obama's Home Affordable Modification Program Failed (Spoiler Alert: Thank Bank Of America et al)

Back when the Executive and Congress at least pretended not to abdicate all power to the Fed, one of the centerpiece programs designed to boost the housing market for the benefit of the poor (as opposed to letting Ben Bernanke make marginal US housing a rental industry owned by a handful of private equity firms and hedge funds), was Barack Obama's Home Affordable Modification Program or HAMP, which attempted to prevent foreclosures by lowering distressed borrowers’ mortgage payments. Under the program, homeowners would be given trial modifications to prove they can make reduced payments before the changes become permanent. The program was a disaster as of the 3 million foreclosures that were targeted for modification in 2009, only 905,663 mods have been successful nearly five years later - a tiny 13% of the 6.9 million who applied (still, numbers which Obamacare would be delighted to achieve). Part of the reason: the program's reliance on the same industry that sold shoddy mortgages during the housing bubble and improperly sped foreclosures afterward. But there was much more. For the definitive explanation of everything else that went wrong, we go to Bloomberg's Hugh Son whose masterpiece released today explains how and why once again the banks - and especially one of them - won, and everyone else lost.

Ukraine President Explains Relations With Russia Using Body Language, While Local Violence Escalates

A week ago Europe was furious, and Putin once again glorious, after Europe's "bread basket", the Ukraine, under president Yanukovich decided to terminate its pro-European stance, and instead in a very symbolic shift, chose Moscow as its future trading partner hub. "This is a disappointment not just for the EU but, we believe, for the people of Ukraine," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement. Yanukovich said he had declined to sign the EU pact as the cost of upgrading the economy to meet EU standards was too great and that economic dialogue with Russia, Ukraine's former Soviet master, would be revived. Today, tensions in the Ukraine finally spilled over when following the break up of a pro-Europe protest by local police, the opposition announced it would call a countrywide general strike to force the resignation of president Viktor Yanukovich.

Peak Insanity: Retail Investors Are Making Direct Subprime Loans In A Reach For Yield

Being somewhat conscious human beings in a world in which our “leaders” have completely lost their minds can be challenging at times. One side effect of this condition is a certain emotional numbness when it comes to reacting to new events occurring in the world around you. It’s simply hard to shock us these days, but every now and then it does happen. The following article had us literally shaking our heads the entire time. If this isn’t peak insanity, we do not want to know what is.

Frontrunning: October 24

  • Central Banks Drop Tightening Talk as Easy Money Goes On (BBG)
  • More Democrats voice Obamacare concerns as website blame goes around (Reuters)
  • Contractors Point Fingers Over Health-Law Website (WSJ)
  • Jury Decides Against BofA on 'Hustle' Program (WSJ)
  • Credit Suisse to overhaul interest rates trading business (FT)
  • Home Builders Target Higher End (WSJ)
  • The Many Lives of Iron Mountain (NYer)
  • Busy tourist season nudges Spanish unemployment lower (Reuters)
  • Morgan Stanley Joins BofA in Broker Recruiting Truce (BBG)
  • Ending World’s Longest Nonstop Flight Adds Five Hours (BBG)

Flipping Frenzy Full Frontal: Bought In December for $1.5 Million, For Sale At $3.3 Million Eight Months Later

We have discussed the flipping frenzy that has gripped the country in 2006 2013 on several occasions previously (most recently here, here and here) so there is little we can add, but this anecdote from Reuters just has to be read to be believed. Presenting Jan Brzeski who stands in a sun-filled, beautifully refurbished living room high in the Hollywood Hills, looking out at a swimming pool and miles below, stunning views of Los Angeles. Brzeski is a private money lender running an investment firm in Los Angeles that provides loans to house flippers - investors who buy a home, refurbish it, and sell it at a profit. Many flippers turn to money lenders because they cannot get banks to provide such short-term, quick financing. Standing with Brzeski is Scott Ryan, the realtor who bought this four-bedroom, five-bathroom house in December 2012 for $1.5 million - with money lent by Brzeski - and has transformed it with another $600,000. This week the property will go on the market at $3.295 million.

Internal Bundesbank Report Predicts New Greek Bailout In Early 2014, More Headaches For Merkel

An internal Bundesbank document discovered by Der Spiegel states, in opposition to the comments by Germany's electioneering Chancellor Merkel, that Europe "will certainly agree to a new aid program for Greece" by early 2014 at the latest. As Reuters reports, Frau Merkel has repeatedly played down suggestions Greece will require more aid (or debt relief) in light of German voters major skepticism over moar of their money being flushed into the Mediterranean. The document notes that the risks of the current aid package for Greece are "extremely high" and that recent approval of the tranche payments were politically motivated - directly contradicting Merkel's 'praise' for Greek efforts as the report concludes Athens' performance as "hardly satisfactory." Opposition parties suggest Merkel is throwing "sand in the eyes" of the electorate as the Bundesbank warns "there is no private buffer left that could protect the European taxpayer."