THe FeDeRaL ReSeRVe FiRe DePaRTMeNT...

williambanzai7's picture




My wife looks up from the newspaper with bewilderment at another story about people in the financial world or their lobbyists complaining about Wall Street Fire codes.

Four years ago, on an evening in March 2008, I received a call from Jimmy Con the CEO of Bear Stearns informing me that they had a giant toxic inferno in their building.

Bear Stearns was the smallest of the major Wall Street fire traps, but it was deeply entwined in financial markets and had the perfect mix of innovative flammables.

When the CEO of Bear Stearns called that night, it was not because I was his firm's supervisor or regulator, his mistress or his poker partner, but because I was then the head of the Federal Reserve Fire Department of New York, which serves as the volunteer fire department for Wall Street.

The financial fire regulations in the law at that moment were as tragically antiquated and weak as they are today. Neither the Fed, nor any other federal agency, has the necessary comprehensive fire code enforcement authority over Ponzi tinderboxes like Bear Stearns, hazardous waste operations like AIG, government-sponsored chemical waste dumps like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and financial arsonists like Goldman Sachs.

Fire Code Regulators such as myself did not have the mental bandwith they needed to oversee and impose prudent fire safety practices on large nonbank financial institutions. And they had no authority to extinguish fires at these firms, or bank holding companies. The fire safeguards on banks were much tougher than those applied to any other part of the financial waste origination and storage system, but even those provisions were not strong enough to prevent the mother of all blazing asset backed/derivative kahunas.

The failure to modernize the financial fire safety system sooner is the most important reason why this financial wildfire was more severe than any since the Great Depression, and why it has been so hard to extinguish the fires of the crisis. Our failure to implement safety reforms is why the crisis has caused gross domestic product to fall at an annual rate of 9% in the last quarter of 2008; why millions of Americans lost their jobs, homes, businesses and savings; why the housing market is still so far from recovery; and why our national debt has grown so significantly.

In order to calm the sheeple, President Obama asked Congress to create the appearance of fire reforms quickly, even though no one in office seems to know how to put the fires out and even if they did who would pay them to do so? Put simply, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Fire Code Reform and TBTF Protection Act, signed into law by the president on July 21, 2010 is a flame retarded regulatory farce.

Four years after the financial wild fires began to unfold, some people seem to be suffering from amnesia about how close America is to complete financial conflagration under the outdated regulatory system we now have. May I say Lloyd, no small feat to deliver. 

My wife occasionally looks up from the newspaper with bewilderment while reading another story about the proliferating wild fires in the financial world and says: "WTF are you doing everyday numb nuts?"  

To this I confidently reply...absolutely nothing.

Tim Geithner



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winter2012's picture

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disabledvet's picture

But the arsonists burned their firms to the ground. Why do we need a fire department now? It's seems we've gone from "Plan B" to "Problem C" here...

Killtaker's picture

There is a new kid in town...

Yen Cross's picture

 Bernanke =

Cassowary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Now I have to purge Russia and China.

williambanzai7's picture


I never read that Gogol story, but I will later.

Yen Cross's picture

   No mas ( Blow Jobs).   Mr. Happy likes limpness.

bugs_'s picture

who you gonna call?

Downtoolong's picture

I like all six of Subprime Smokey’s recommendations. But here's the real challenge today. Even if you manage to accomplish them all yourself, how do you convince your government to do the same with their share of your money?

ptoemmes's picture

I close my eyes and hope to one day see..

Car 54 Where Are You?

I think the theme song is just asking for the Limerick King - Williambanzai7 treatment.

Is Ben a better Toody or Muldoon?  Timmah gets the left over.



nmewn's picture

Another homerun

And when not on the clock, their hobby is arson.

dontgoforit's picture

That is Curly & Larry, right?

williambanzai7's picture

Yes, a cameo in it's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

crzyhun's picture

Probably the funniest movie for its time. Sid C trying to get out of the basement would be a great visual in here/your work somewhere. Today it is best seen stoned.

The Disappointed's picture

So! That's what happened to all of the MFGlobal money! Its' under the Big W.

ebworthen's picture

Pyromaniac firemen that set fires so they can lustfully watch them burn before putting them out with public water and equipment.

Talk about job security...

chunga's picture

Demand to see you Mortgage Note - I love it.

The Bankers are coming! The Bankers are coming! They are coming for YOU!

What we are witnessing here folks, is a modern day Beer Hall Putsch. I'm not really sure if anything matters anymore; but the time to be heard is now. Florida is just the beginning of the end. Lured by lust, our monied minions serve their masters in some strange sort of bizarre Stockholm Syndrome. It is happening in MA as well. This legislation will render the Ibanez decision moot.

Senator Moura Steamed Over Chase Foreclosure Flunkies

"I have personally called and spoken with your staff. They are unprofessional, rude, use their power to frustrate callers, and do what they can to prohibit (instead of facilitate) meaningful resolution(s). If a State Senator is treated that way, I shudder to imagine how your customers and my constituents are treated. It's atrocious."

Senator Moura acts in good faith and allows Chase the whopping benefit of the doubt that Chase (or any alleged assigns) even posess legal standing to foreclose.

Since you're taking requests; this fiesty freshman [R-RI] would look great in a warrior

Nobody For President's picture

Hill - damn - arious!

As a 25 year volunteer firefighter, you got it perfect. The Chief is smiling, the Captain looks not so happy, and both oblivious to the house behind them being on fire.

And a 1940 (?) Buick as Chief's rig? Man, I want one! (Mine was a 1965 International Harvester Scout pickup - the Buick has tons more class.)

And I have some places to post the Smokey poster - good idea.

What a great combination: a strange and twisted mind keeping up with real economics, and really good with photoshop... ;-)

azzhatter's picture

Mrs. Geithner says "when you bring the fire hose home Timmay?"

bullet's picture

memo just obtained from the justice dept. :

any person or entity that sells any equity or treasury product or

and person or entity that buys any energy or pm product

shall be considered an enemy combatant and immediately sent to guantanamo bay...

Zero Govt's picture

Reading your headline i imagined Turbo Tim spraying the fire with the petrol of 'Easy Money' onto a house named 'Easy Money' aflame with Mssrs Greenspan and Bernanke (damsels in distress) screaming for "Help" in a top window

Let the firestarters burn in their own fire

williambanzai7's picture

That would require a little more preparation.

astoriajoe's picture

Mr. Banzai,

Can you make that smokey the bear graphic bigger and in .pdf form?

That might be something that people could actually post about town.


williambanzai7's picture

Ok, click the image and you can now get to it downloadable in various sizes. 

williambanzai7's picture

I did that 2 years ago. I think it's time to improve it.

Don Birnam's picture

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Uchtdorf's picture

I believe there is a large segment of our population that will not understand the meaning of "end the FED now!" They may think that FED is an acronymn for something other than the Federal Reserve.  For the poster to be effective, you must, unfortunately dumb it down a smidgen.

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

A sharp spear will penetrate more deeply. It's not necessarily because people are "dumb". There's a flood of inputs coming at you at all times and the "smart" human brain has effective filters to manage it.

"Eliminate the U.S Federal Reserve --the unelected, unconstitutional 4th branch of Government"

I personally like the classic graphic work from U.S. WW2 propaganda but I defer to the experts.

GovtMediaLiars's picture

Long time fan of your work man!
I would love to occasionally use some of your work on our site. With all due credit of course.
Check us out and let us know!

Market Madness 

Keep up the great work,

williambanzai7's picture

Sure, just link back to me at

That link you put up does not work though.

Wakanda's picture

Subprime Smokey - Kick Ass WB7 combat art


evolutionx's picture

Mises is absolutely correct: “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion”. Whatever politicians, bankers, economists or others experts say, there is no solution to this crisis. We have reached the end of the road and are now staring into the abyss.

The credit manufacturing system that started in 1913 when the Fed was founded, began its terminal phase in 1971 when Nixon abolished gold backing of the dollar. It has been clear to us for at least 20 years that the outcome was inevitable. It was never a question of “if” but only “when” it would happen.



BidnessMan's picture

It is remarkable the final collapse has been avoided for this long.  But ZIRP; a free pass on mortgage foreclosure robo-signing fraud; MF Global "vaporizing" $1B+ of customer funds and now at risk of only a $140,000 fine; ISDA still claiming there is no default yet with Greece to avoid triggering CDS; last day of the month drive by shootings of gold and silver prices; etc. etc. etc. all show how ever expanding tortured and corrupt action and lies are required to kick the can a little further down the road.  A blind man would see it in a minute.

Reminded of Casey's "Inevitable does not necessarily mean imminent". But I think we are getting close to the imminent part.

AnAnonymous's picture

Made me laugh.

Why makes credit expansion a different story from expansion?

To sell your own flavour of expansion scheme that will follow the same path as any expansion scheme?

CompassionateFascist's picture

A dog just ran by, and hungry Chinese citizenist citizen got distracted.

NotApplicable's picture

Why don't you make an effort to answer that first question on your own, rather than belittling the concept and exposing your ignorance?

All of the other expansion that you're referring to has natural limits due to natural scacity of available captial. Credit expansion, is an effort to get around those limits by manufacturing IOUs to be used in place of actual captial, distorting any part of the economy it touches, as there is no getting around these natural limits. All that can happen is to delay them while increasing their consequences.


DevilsPrinciple's picture

What NA said. This is true of ALL things in life. It eventually ia all self~correcting. In the case of credit expansion, the sooner this pile implodes, the better.

GovtMediaLiars's picture

Mises was the man and Human Action is practically my economics bible. 
I would encourage anybody with an interest in econ to at least check out some of his shorter works (Human Action is a beast, and not for the beginner by any stretch). 

rosiescenario's picture

Spontaneous Combustion....who could've known?