- ICE's NYSE to determine the rate used by key competitor CME: NYSE Euronext to Take Over Libor (WSJ)
- Japan slams China over maritime disputes (FT)
- The Twinkie Returns, With Less Baggage (WSJ)
- Pentagon Workers From Pennsylvania to Ghana Hit by Cuts (BBG)
- Why Prostitutes Aren't Enough to Deprive the World of Eliot Spitzer (BBG)
- Groups gather in Turkish protest park after night of clashes (Reuters)
- Apartment Rents Rise, But the Pace Is Slowing (WSJ)
- Asiana Seen Saving Millions With Tactic to Bar U.S. Suits (BBG)
- Bin Laden's life on the run revealed by Pakistani inquiry (Reuters)
- Fracking Firms Face New Crop of Competitors (WSJ)
- Greece's Economic Future 'Uncertain,' Creditors Say (WSJ)
- Secret Court's Redefinition of 'Relevant' Empowered Vast NSA Data-Gathering (WSJ)
- Thomson Reuters Halts Early Peeks At Consumer Data (WSJ)
- Larry Summers Circles as Fed Opening Looms (WSJ)
- S&P to Argue Puffery Defense in First Courtroom Test (BBG)
- Geithner joins top table of public speakers with lucrative appearances (FT)
- Losing $317 Billion Makes U.S. Debt Safer for Mizuho to HSBC (BBG)
- Pilot Error Eyed in San Francisco Plane Crash (WSJ)
- Investment group sues U.S. over Fannie, Freddie bailout terms (Reuters)
- Egypt officials 'order closure of Islamist party HQ' (AFP)
- Heinz Kerry Transferred to Boston Hospital for Treatment (BBG) - a boating accident?
The old idiom “you can lead a horse to water, but not make him drink” has proven itself true in the course of human learning. Or rather, it would be more accurate to label it man’s inability to learn from mistakes. You can hold a mirror up to grotesque instances of hypocrisy, but most men will remain mules – stubborn in their prejudice and beliefs. The ability to heed lessons from blunders is, often times, a skill unable to be mastered by the mass populace. The mule, being a universal symbol for stubbornness, has become indistinguishable from the average news and politics ingester. Toeing the carefully-planned ideological path of media personalities, divergence from party line is a hurdle most pedestrians are incapable of clearing. What’s not done is a forthright attempt to continually rectify our wrongs and pursue truth – even when it conflicts with inner bias. It’s far less painful to not acknowledge faulty logic.
With everyone convinced that it is only a matter of time before Larry Fink steps into the office about to be vacated by that walking 1040 disaster, Tim Geithner, thereby allowing the man who many say is the shadow king of Wall Street to define US policy for another 4 years (because Wall Street's complete dominance of US politics since JPMorgan's bailout of the US government is certainly not enough), there is still time to consider alternatives to a position that will make sure the only class to benefit from "four more years" are the uber wealthy (even as entitlement policies keep the uber poor at least content). Today, Bloomberg columnist William Cohan proposes his economic dream team, which far from perfect, will at least, superficially, assure that Wall Street won't come first and foremost when policy considerations are discussed. The names: Treasury Secretary: Erskine Bowles; SEC Chairman: Eliot Spitzer; National economic advisor: Carmen Reinhart.
Why a new LIBOR based on Fed Funds (OIS) is determined by back door dealings between government sponsored failures (Fannie/Freddie) and a handful of compromised TBTF banks
Dylan Ratigan, Eliot Spitzer, Matt Taibbi, Van Jones: Superstar Lineup Tackles Financial Crisis and Congressional Collusion. An unprecedented live-streaming event March 27th 7pm EST brings together some of the hottest critics of our political and economic system.
"This will not be resolved quickly or easily." Maybe it will never be resolved.
The only thing that will rally the market is another bailout rumor. Nobody asks who's going to pay for it.
When we first speculated that many women would step up and claim they were being abused by DSK a few days back, we had no idea just how right we would be. Yet even we had no idea about the moral caliber of the women doing the "stepping up." Well, The Telegraph has just released the bombshell. "Dominique Strauss-Kahn hired prostitutes from the "Manhattan Madam" who infamously also served Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced former Governor of New York, she claimed on Wednesday night. Kristin Davis said she provided young women for the IMF chief in 2006, as he ran for the French Socialists' presidential nomination, and that one complained about his "aggressive" behaviour. "He was a client of my agency," she told The Daily Telegraph. "When men abuse women I'm no longer going to protect their identities". As for DSK's preference: ""He wanted an 'All-American girl', with a fresh face, from the
mid-West," she said. "A girl in January 2006 complained he was rough and
angry, and said she didn't want to see him again"."And the hits just keep on coming...
Now that Goldman is back in the spotlight following Carl Levin's concluding report, referring Goldman Sachs to the same law enforcement authorities that are overeager to get a job at none other than Goldman (the most recent example of which came yesterday when Bank of America which hired Gary Lynch, a former director of enforcement at the SEC, to head its legal, compliance, and regulatory relations efforts) for misleading investors and perjury, the wave of indignation at the glaringly obvious is once again back in vogue. To wit: on Friday's Andreson Cooper, Matt Taibbi and Eliot Spitzer presented their views on the fact that several years into the biggest ponzi collapse in Wall Street history, stabilized only by the Fed's pledging of trillions in taxpayer capital and the Treasury issuing like amount in debt to prevent the insolvency of Wall Street's corner offices, nobody has still gone to jail. It was actually an oddly open and forthright show. Some of the notable soundbites from the transcript: "Eliot, do you believe Goldman broke the law and lied? - Yes, I do. And I know people are going to say how can you say that as a lawyer? I have read this report. It confirms our worst fears about double dealing, lying. Goldman Sachs has zero, none, nada credibility in my book"....."Tim Geithner, treasury secretary, apparently reported in today's "New York Times" was calling people saying don't bring cases, it will unsettle the markets, so they let these guys go free. Meanwhile, he signed off on $12.9 billion to Goldman to cover a bad bet they made."....."Goldman Sachs was the number one private campaign contributor to Barack Obama's presidential election campaign. It's one of the single biggest campaign contributors to both parties in Congress"..."Anderson, before I sued, went after Merrill Lynch, which was the first case we filed many years back, I was told by their lawyer -- this is a direct quote -- "Be careful, we have powerful friends"...and the kicker: "Do you think the Justice Department will prosecute? Spitzer: If they don't, shame on them. If they don't, the Attorney General should resign if he can't bring this case." And when Holder resigns, he can go work as Goldman's newest General Counsel, the end. Hopefully, unlike last time people got angry, only to promptly lose interest in Wall Street's crimes, this time it actually leads to something.
Eliot Spitzer challenged investment banker Goldman Sachs: "Sue me. You lied to the public. You should be prosecuted". Is Spitzer right?
Obama's Novel Spin On M.A.D. - "Assured Self-Destruction"; President Tells Congress Not Passing Tax Deal Would End His PresidencySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/15/2010 18:13 -0500
By now America has grown to expect that every failed negotiation by the politico-financial oligarchy always ends up with some version of the "Mutual Assured Destruction" card. And while the bankers of the world at least threaten others with total annihilation if their "much more erudite" suggestions are not adopted up by the great unwashed plebs, the president has come up with a unique spin on this worn out tactic. The Hill reports that the president has been telling members of Congress that failure to pass the tax-cut legislation could result in the end of his presidency. This begs the question: with the domestic (and global) economy in shambles, and not foundering only due to $4+ trillion in fiscal and monetary stimuli, and near-double digit unemployment, (there is, however, a silver lining - Reuters reports 2010 may be the second highest bonus payout season on Wall Street ever), whether Obama's departure would even be considered 'bad thing'...
It's a testament to the odd world in which we live that when a Wall Street firm pays a $550 million fine by conceding negligence in how it dealt with clients, its stock surges, adding billions of dollars in market value for the firm's shareholders. But that's what's happening to Goldman Sachs, as it reached its long awaited settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over how it sold a basket of mortgage related debt to investors in 2007. Back when the SEC brought the case, the conventional wisdom on Wall Street and the financial media was that Goldman didn't have to settle -- the case was weak and Goldman is, after all, Goldman. Now that Goldman has indeed settled, the news is being spun, again mostly by the financial media, that the deal with the SEC was a victory for Goldman's CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who survived the investigation largely unscathed, paying a measly $550 million to the government (equivalent to a few days trading gains at Goldman) and without having to give up any power, such as relinquishing his role as chairman of the board, as senior executives both inside Goldman and at competing firms believed would be part of any settlement. Well, if history is any guide, Blankfein may not go tomorrow, or even next month, but sometime in 2011, Blankfein will at the very least no longer be chairman of Goldman, and may also be forced out of the firm altogether. - Charlie Gasparino
The worst kept secret in New York politics is out: the Attorney General has officially announced he is running for governor. From nydailynews.com "After months of speculation of when he will make the formal announcement, Cuomo tossed his hat into the ring on his campaign website Saturday morning." Alas, any changes at the top will do nothing to cure the number one problem in both New York, as well as all other states: insolvency. Too bad New York is so bankrupt that pretty much nothing can help, least of all those tens of billions in NOL carryforwards at Wall Street's investment banks which will make sure New York State corporate tax receipt coffers are empty for years to come.
At this very instant, many of those in our Senate are in danger of being led off the plank by outgoing Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd. With cloture passing, Senator Dodd now has one final chance to present a manager's amendment to make a weak bill stronger (or possibly even weaker.) Once again, this financial "reform" process has thankfully brought into the light of day that we have politicians who are brazen in their willingness to aid the same fraudsters who have brought a great nation to its knees. But as this week's primaries have clearly shown, there is no hesitation by the voters in throwing out the Establishment that got us into this mess and apparently has no plans to help us get out. Thankfully, once forced to vote, politicians can no longer merely pretend to working for the People as they do the bidding of the Banksters. So once you look beyond all of the well-documented behind-the-scenes work by Dodd to weaken financial reform, we also have his on-the-record votes on a few of the meaningful attempts at real reform: