GE’s announcement that its getting out of the finance business should be a reminder of how crony capitalism is corrupting and debilitating the American economy. The ostensible reason the company is unceremoniously dumping its 25-year long build-up of the GE Capital mega-bank is that it doesn’t want to be regulated by Washington as a systematically important financial institution under Dodd-Frank. Oh, and that its core industrial businesses have better prospects. We will see soon enough about its oilfield equipment and wind turbine business, or indeed all of its capital goods oriented businesses in a radically deflationary world drowning in excess capacity. But at least you can say good riddance to GE Capital because it was based on a phony business model that was actually a menace to free market capitalism. Its deplorable raid on the public purse during the Lehman crisis had already demonstrated that in spades.
Fraud grows in good times because rescission is rarely sought (or granted) when asset values rise. Fraud is not a problem, till it is.
Goldman confirms precisely what we’ve been saying all along which is that the risks inherent in subprime lending are materializing and at the margin, growth in US auto sales has all been created by lowering credit standards and extending terms to a whole load of 'new' auto buyers.
Under normal circumstances, after 2008's conflagration of the calamitous collateralizations, we shouldn’t have seen such irrational, reckless, greedy behavior from Wall Street for another generation. But, Wall Street didn’t have to accept the consequences of their actions. They were bailed out and further enriched by their puppets at the Federal Reserve, the lackey politicians they installed in Washington D.C., and on the backs of honest, hard-working, tax paying Americans. The lesson they learned was they could continue to take excessive, reckless, unregulated risks without concern for losses, downside, or consequences.
While not entirely surprising, the fact that GM Financial has admitted that:
*GM FINANCIAL: SEC PROBING SUB-PRIME LOAN SECURITIZATION
Of course, we should not worry about this... we are sure it is "contained" as GM reports it is "investigating matters internally" - just like it did with the ignition switch year ago?
Well, actually, we have seen this bubble before haven't we? Is GM really doing that well? In 2007, they did well too. In 2008 their finance arm= .gov bailout, 2009 GM Bankrupt! It's amazing what mainstream media will report, and even more amazing how many "smart" people (including analysts) will go along with it. Reggie's truth laid bare...
The surreal nature of this world as we enter 2015 feels like being trapped in a Fellini movie. The .1% party like it’s 1999, central bankers not only don’t take away the punch bowl – they spike it with 200% grain alcohol, the purveyors of propaganda in the mainstream media encourage the party to reach Caligula orgy levels, the captured political class and their government apparatchiks propagate manipulated and massaged economic data to convince the masses their standard of living isn’t really deteriorating, and the entire façade is supposedly validated by all-time highs in the stock market. It’s nothing but mass delusion perpetuated by the issuance of prodigious amounts of debt by central bankers around the globe. But now, the year of consequences may have finally arrived.
Despite the authorities' best efforts to keep everything orderly, we know how this global Game of Geopolitical Tetris ends: "Players lose a typical game of Tetris when they can no longer keep up with the increasing speed, and the Tetriminos stack up to the top of the playing field. This is commonly referred to as topping out."
"I’m tired of being outraged!"
If yesterday's Citi debacle was a buying opportunity (which it is according to the pre-market), then news that Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) is under regulatory and DoJ investigation must be great news:
*ALLY CITES REQUEST FROM SEC ON SUBPRIME AUTO FINANCE PROBE & MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES; REQUESTS INCLUDE SUBPOENAS FROM DOJ
Of course, do not forget that GM itself recently admitted to the DoJ probing its subprime auto loan underwriting practices. But, but, but - isn't this exactly what FHFA's Mel Watt wants?
When stock prices go all wonky, as they have in recent days, it pays to think a little about what really moves asset prices and determines long term business success. For ConvergEx's Nick Colas, the key driver has been – and always will be – return on capital. What investment analysts know as the DuPont model is now 100 years old, but its lessons and applications still drive innovation today.
Let's take a look at the amount of settlements/fines from various banks and financial institutions around the world since the crisis.
Another day, another 'failed' IPO. Ally Financial - aka GMAC - that bastion of subprime auto loans and risk management, IPO'd at $25 last night (at the very bottom of the $25 to $28 range) but investors seem to prefer to sell their allocations than pile into this 'bank'. Enabling the Treasury to exit more of its losing proposition (raisng $2.38 billion), ALLY opened well below its IPO price... at $24.25. As a gentle reminder, ALLY filed to go public in March 2011.
When Arthur Levitt's SEC adopted Rule 2a-7 in 1998, it handed the TBTF banks and GSEs a mortgage monopoly on a silver platter.
The MSM did their usual spin job on the consumer credit data released earlier this week. They reported a 5.4% increase in consumer debt outstanding to an all-time high of $3.051 trillion. In the Orwellian doublethink world we currently inhabit, the consumer taking on more debt is seen as a constructive sign. The storyline being sold by the corporate MSM propaganda machine, serving the establishment, is that consumers’ taking on debt is a sure sign of economic recovery. They must be confident about the future and rolling in dough from their new part-time jobs as Pizza Hut delivery men. Plus, they are now eligible for free healthcare, compliments of Obama, once they can log-on. Of course, buried at the bottom of the Federal Reserve press release and never mentioned on CNBC or the other dying legacy media outlets is the facts and details behind the all-time high in consumer credit. They count on the high probability the average math challenged American has no clue regarding the distinction between revolving and non-revolving credit or who controls the distribution of such credit. A shocking fact (to historically challenged government educated drones) revealed by the Federal Reserve data is that credit card debt did not exist prior to 1968. How could people live their lives without credit cards? 1968 marked a turning point for America...
First it was Research In Motion, then in an act of desperation (remember, it's not GMAC, it's Ally Bank although it can't IPO no matter what) it changed its name to Blackberry. And while we doubt it will happen, perhaps today's plunge of the stock price back to single digits should result in the final and correct name of the company that may have run out of kitchen sinks: RedBerry.