In Advance Of Tomorrow's "Future Of Housing Finance" Kabuki Theater; Or Why The GSE Zombies Will Suck The US Middle Class Dry Forever, AmenSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/16/2010 21:16 -0500
Tomorrow, a variety of luminaries, such as Bill Gross and Mark Zandi, will be panelists in a worthless and futile spectacle titled "Conference on the Future of Housing Finance" which has the aim of doing something or another to extend and pretend the ticking timebomb that are the bankrupt GSEs. It will most certainly succeed in that regard. What it will definitely fail at, is to provide some resolution to the $7 trillion mortgage "holding" problem, which incidentally was the first domino to fall in 2008, which just so happened nearly took down western-style capitalism with it (and morbidly, it should have: the result would have been a system infinitely better). Yet as we prepare for this hearing (and try to track down Mr. Gross' testimony to validate his previous statement that absent an implicit government guarantee he would buy MBS/Agency securities only with 30% down), here is another view, this one from none other than Edward Pinto, who himself was an executive vice president and chief credit officer at Fannie Mae in the late 1980s. As Pinto says, echoing the previous high dB statements by Rick Santelli, "We'll never get a rational mortgage system until the government's affordable housing mandates are ended." We couldn't agree more.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: The Triumph of Crony Capitalism (Part 1)Submitted by Econophile on 08/11/2010 23:13 -0500
Until I began to examine the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill I had no idea that it would so significantly change the direction of the United States. It's scope is so vast and pervasive that it is difficult to grasp its totality. I wrote this article to try to explain this and why I believe it is so important for us to understand it. Because of its complexity it was not possible to do this briefly, so I wrote this major "white paper" and divided it into four parts to make it easier to digest. Please stick with me for the next four days; your eyes will be opened.
As if the main rumor of the prior week, that the government was going to automatically push rates on all mortgages down to market rates (which as of today hit a fresh record low of 4.49%) was not enough, today James Pethokoukis reports that the latest iteration in the "let's make Fannie and Freddie broker than ever" rumor mill is that the "Obama administration is about to order government-controlled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive a portion of the mortgage debt of millions of Americans who owe more than what their homes are worth." As readers will recall, we highlighted a few days ago that the number of underwater mortgages is at least 14.7 million (and likely far more), and amounts to just about $770 Billion in underwater equity. In other words, if the rumor is true, the US taxpayers are about to subsidze over three quarters of a trillion in underwater equity (and bail out banks on the hook for over $2 trillion in impaired debt). There is no indication if the "instarefi" plan contemplated by Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch has been scrapped, but what is certain is that the two plans target two very distinct beneficiary groups: the former plan would mostly benefit middle and upper class mortgage holders who are likely preoccupied to bother with a 200-300 bps refi differential. The loan absolution plan, on the other hand, focuses squarely on the poorest 15 million US households of society. While it is distinctly possible that Obama, in all his economic lunacy, will pass both plans, his advisors have likely done the math and are now convinced which way the negative IRR to the taxpayer will be greater: that is certainly the plan that will be undertaken.
If you've been too busy to pay attention to the details, and if you're hoping that the financial reform bill which has just been passed will fix the economy, this essay will bring you up to date.
The G20 meeting has revealed two important things that tell us something about our combined economic future. First we learned that the US lost the battle to try to get everyone back on the Keynesian print-a-thon bandwagon. This tells us something about US leadership in these troubled times. Once-upon-a-time, the US could dictate such things, and those days are apparently over which deserves to be noted. The second thing we learned is that, despite these differences in how to fund future growth, there is nothing yet to indicate that any the world leaders are aware that the very concept of perpetual growth is an unworkable fallacy. It’s obvious, hopefully to even the most casual of thinkers, that someday, sooner or later, whatever growth one is engaged in will have to stop. Nothing grows forever; everything has a limit.
Geithner Urges Europe To Repeat US Stress Test Fraud To Restore "Confidence" In Insolvent Ponzi SystemSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/25/2010 11:30 -0500
A few days ago we wondered if Tim Geithner was a pathological liar, an idiot or just confused. Today we may be one step closer to getting the answer. In an unprecedented gesture of magnanimity, also known as an expression of the US banking cartel's control over the world, the Treasury Secretary will advise Europe to conduct the same sham exercise in fraud and lies, as America did when it conducted its own Stress test, which found that all US banks are perfectly solvent (as long as they all have direct access to the Fed printing press). Geithner's thinking is that once Europe also "realizes" that each and every bank is "perfectly viable" despite all the evidence to the contrary, that investors will say "boy, we sure look like idiots being worried, when the very credible EU itself says everything is fine." Of course, this is the opposite of what will happen. It does, however, bring questions to the legitimacy of our own stress test, which as everyone knows was a well-engineered goal seeked sham designed to do nothing but to also fool investors into a false sense of calm that the ponzi still has some life in it.
Welcome To The Banana Republic: GM In Hot Water With FTC Over Misleading "Repaid Bailout" Ad When All Just TARP ShuffleSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/23/2010 15:34 -0500
We are too busy maxing out our credit cards buying AAPL shares after hours into the parabolic blow out (using Sigma X of course, how else could we subpenny front run our own orders?), stacks of Kindles, 7th vacation homes with negative equity, and LBOing zero EBITDA companies to comment on this, suffice to say that if you ever needed confirmation that America is a banana republic in which fraud, corruption and lies are now the norm, here you go: Government Motors is now blatantly lying to its existing and future buyers, and everyone in the administration is complicit.
The Good: The president had strong language for backing real derivative reforms.
The Bad: Vague language about the "Volcker rule" will not stop Too Big To Fail; but a plan like this (or even one like this) for breaking up the current mega-banks and limiting their liabilities will.
The Missing: NONE of this matters while our cops still work for the crooks.
"Mr. President, please show the American people the AIG emails. In the wake of the disclosures associated with Friday's government fraud accusations against Goldman, Sachs & Co., one of our nation's wealthiest, largest and most politically well-connected banks, it is inexcusable the U.S. government still refuses to release the thousands of emails that exist between AIG and Goldman Sachs. Unlike the Icelandic volcano, this was no natural disaster. Trillions of dollars have been defrauded from the U.S. taxpayer by a banking scam run by the top 1% of our country." - Dylan Ratigan
Although it would seem that the Goldman-linked SEC case single-handedly killed the price of gold, it was only a catalyst to a technical correction that was overdue. Furthermore, gold’s long term outlook is further solidified by a couple of new “China factors.”
Like A Swiss Watch, The Witchhunts Are Here: Blankfein, Fuld, Bernanke, Geithner, And Schapiro All To Testify Before Congress As Distraction Game ContinuesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/16/2010 16:55 -0500
In keeping with the tradition of bread and circuses, Obama has managed to channel the public anger at precisely the right time to deflect from the fact that today the US debt increased by $51 billion as seen below. This has many wondering if the whole SEC action against Goldman (which some have already pointed out is a rather weak case) is nothing but smoke and mirrors to distract the broader public for a few weeks until anger once again dies down while in the meantime the administration pushes this country deeper and deeper into insolvency. If it means sacrificing the SEC which, whose downfall is a given anywa, and will take a few years of legal wrangling and millions in legal fees charged to Goldman's shareholders, so be it. For those who care where the real news is, we direct your attention to today's Daily Treasury Statement, which disclosed that total US debt just jumped to $12.817 trillion, $51 billion higher on the day, $101 billion higher for the month of April, and $965 billion higher for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2009 (so six months ago).
Presentation By David Yerushalmi Suing The Fed On Grounds AIG Takeover Was Illegal Money Laundering SchemeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/15/2010 16:41 -0500
Some time ago, the law office of David Yerushlami, which a week ago filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, sued the Fed over its takeover of AIG claiming the entire transaction was illegal and was in essence a money laundering scheme. Below we present the powerpoint presentation prepared by the law firm. Here is how Yerushalmi explains his motive: "The Law Offices of David Yerushalmi, P.C. presents an online PowerPoint presentation fully narrated illustrating rather graphically just how Timothy Geithner, who was then (Sept. 2008) the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, orchestrated the illegal acquisition of 77.9% of AIG's equity and voting rights. As the presentation makes clear, while the FED certainly had authority to loan AIG billions and to take all of the company's assets as collateral, which it did, it had no legal authority to acquire nearly 80% of AIG's shares and voting rights. But this is exactly what it did when it created with great fanfare what is called the AIG Credit Facility Trust." Attached also is a latter by David to SIGTARP Barofsky, discussing the same.
Whew. That was fast. It didn't take long for Wall Street to figure out how to game Obama's new mortgage modification program, did it? The plan was hyped as help for "struggling homeowners", but it turns out, it's just another stealth bailout for pudgy bank-execs. It's funny, the program hasn't even kicked in yet and, already, bigtime speculators are riffling through their filing cabinets looking any garbage paper they can find to dump on Uncle Sam.
The Latest Stimulus Windfall: Tax Refunds Increase By 10% Even As Tax Withholdings Collapse To Decade LowsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/22/2010 10:24 -0500
It was just yesterday that we touched again on the topic of whether or not excess refunds are boosting consumer appetites for gadgets and other China imported items, keeping retail sales artificially high. It turns out that not only were we right in our assumptions, which in light of collapsing tax withholdings seemed to be counterintuitive, but that the White House is actually proud of this most recent non-recurring (which means it will stay with the US in perpetuity or US Chapter 7, whichever comes first) Keynesian travesty. The administration announced that as part of the stimulus package (what iteration are we on: 20? 100?) the average tax refund has increased by 10% or $260. Once again, seeing that tax withholdings are plummeting, this seems like the dumbest thing the Treasury can do. Which is precisely why it will continue doing it until America goes broke.
Geithner Hints At State Bailout; Says "There Is No Way [A US Downgrade From AAA] Is Going To Happen"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2010 11:02 -0500
Just reading between the headlines:
ROMER: STATE,LOCAL BUDGETS TO REMAIN 'VERY VERY BAD'
GEITHNER: V.STRONG CASE FOR ASSISTING STATES ON SIGNIF SCALE
GEITHNER: NEED REFORMS FOR STRONGER ECONOMY IN THE FUTURE
GEITHNER: NEED TO CONTINUE TO REINFORCE ECONOMIC EXPANSION
And on the threat of a US downgrade Geithner adds: "There is no way that's going to happen," he replied. "There's not a chance that's going to happen to this country."