Gen. Wesley Clark has been a busy man since retiring from public service with a plan to make $40 million. In addition to chairing notorious investment bank Rodman & Renshaw, the former NATO allied commander and one-time Presidential hopeful has thrown his face and fame behind a plethora of OTC-listed companies, Bloomberg reports. From grilled cheese sandwich trucks to hydroponic lettuce companies run by the real-life Bud Fox, Clark's name has become so synonymous with doomed penny stocks that one fund manager calls his very appearance on a company board "a red flag."
The massive consolidation of wealth, combined with the removal of any limits on money in campaigns, has allowed for the purchase of our government. Americans know that something is wrong, deeply wrong. They see signs of the problem everywhere: income inequality, growing concentration and power of mega corporations, political donations/corruption, the absence of jobs with decent salaries, the explosion of the US prison population, healthcare costs, student loan debt, homelessness, etc. etc. However, the true causes and benefactors behind these problems are purposely hidden from view. What Americans see is Kabuki Theater of a functioning form of capitalism and democracy, but beyond this veneer our country has devolved into the exact opposite.
If you listen carefully, you can hear the stampede of politicians distancing themselves from their once best-friend - Hotel magnate Sant Singh Chatwal - as AP reports, he plead guilty Thursday to charges he secretly funneled more than $180,000 in illegal campaign contributions to three unnamed candidates and coached someone to lie about it. Without the contributions "nobody will even talk to you," Chatwal said. "That's the only way to buy them, get into the system." Welcome to the ugly truth of American politik.
We all know that double digit inflation in HPA is not a good thing for the long term recovery of the housing market.
...the pushback from Wall Street was intense and multi-pronged. The Blob oozed through the halls of government, seeking, through its glutinous embrace, to immobilize the legislative and regulatory apparatus, thereby preserving the status quo. The executive jets of the Wall Street air force flew sortie after sortie, transporting high-ranking emissaries from new York to Washington to meet with the SEC, [Senator Chris] Dodd and [Senator Richard] Shelby staff, and the staff of other senators on the Banking Committee. Some of the executives, no doubt less enthusiastically, even met with Josh and me. The research companies and market experts Wall Street employs also raised their voices against us. At times it got ugly. Ted was called a crackpot and dangerously uninformed. He was accused of “politicizing” market regulation (a strange notion considering he wasn’t running for election). It seemed as if Wall Street, which wasn’t used to someone on Capitol Hill asking in-depth questions about arcane issues, wished to silence or marginalize its critics. Industry people would always ask me, “What got Kaufman so interested in this stuff?” Used to politicians whose top priorities were to please their home-state business interests and raise money, they had trouble fathoming that Ted was so interested because it was the right thing to do. He believed in fair markets. And because he was genuinely concerned about emerging issues that threatened the stock market, where half of all Americans keep a sizable portion of their retirement savings.
The FDIC decided to wait with its dose of pre-holiday humor until after the Barclays fixing for today's market close turned out to be spot on. And by that we mean that official release of the US banks' "living will" statements, which as far as we know is about the most worthless exercise ever conducted, and about the dumbest thing to be conceived by that very undynamic duo of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. Because last we checked, the treatment of living wills in bankruptcy court, where all these firms will end up eventually anyway, is... non-existent. But the real fun is when one actually reads this indicative statement from Citigroup: "Citi is today a fundamentally different institution than it was before the crisis." And that's where we stopped. Because it is banks wasting their time (and taxpayer bailout money) on gibberish like this instead of analyzing the risk inherent in their prop positions that guarantees the next CIO-like blow up will not be just $5 billion but far, far more, and will certainly prove that living wills when one has to equitize tens of billions in unsecured debt are worth exactly didely squat.
As An Encore to Bailing Out the Big Banks, Government to Backstop Derivativees Clearinghouses … In the U.S. and AbroadSubmitted by George Washington on 05/26/2012 12:46 -0400
… Which Will Lead to Bailouts and Encourage Even More Fraud
Nearly two years after his catastrophic foray into Op-Ed writing, here is Tim Geithner's latest, this time making the hypocritical case to "not forget the lesson from the financial crisis"... which he himself ushered on America as head of the New York Fed. Frankly we are quite sure it is not even worth reading this drivel: the unemployed man walking has been a total disaster during his entire tenure (at both the New York Fed where he supervised all the banks that subsequently fell, and the Treasury), and we are fairly confident that reading anything written by this pathological failure will cost collective IQs to drop by 10 points at a minimum. Hey Tim: is there a risk the US can get downgraded? Any risk?
While the chief baddy on SOPA – Lamar Smith – is a Republican, it is really the Democrats who are the ones still trying to censor the web
Chris Dodd Crackdown: Darrell Issa Issues Subpoena Demanding Intimate Secrets Of All "Friends Of Angelo"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/16/2011 19:01 -0400
Chris Dodd's political corpse may just come out of the grave for one last dance. The reason - the even more worthless half of Frankendodd is about to see all of his preferential Countrywide records exposed in the open. Darrell Issa has just announced that he has issued a wide-ranging subpoena to Bank of America for all documents and records related to Countrywide’s VIP program. Yes, this means all of Dodd's dirty laundry is about to be made public. Not like it matters: at this point everyone in America knows too well that the biggest criminals in the country are those in charge of it (and those regulating them, just happen to be the biggest porn-addicted idiots: see Matt Taibbi on the SEC). And it is not like Wall Street's favorite pet Dodd even has a remote chance of getting within miles of a courtroom...
Chris Dodd Asks Department Of Justice To Probe Lehman's Repo 105 And Other Firms' Shady Accounting PracticesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/19/2010 16:34 -0400
"We must work tirelessly to reduce the incidence of financial fraud in order to restore trust and confidence in the financial markets. A task force investigation and taking appropriate Federal actions in these matters will contribute to these goals."
Sincerely Christopher J. Dodd Chairman
Bob Corker, Humiliated By Chris Dodd, Joins The Fed Bashing Brigade; In The Meantime Ted Kaufman Shows Everyone How It's DoneSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2010 13:18 -0400
Earlier today political corpse Chris Dodd said that he would proceed with unveiling a financial reform bill on Monday without Republican participation, in a humiliating blow to Bob Corker, who was most recently seen doing all he could to help his Wall Street colleagues make sure the Volcker plan would never see the light of day. Yet with recent rumors out of Washington that not only is the Volcker plan alive and well, the double whammy for Corker may be coming any day. So what does the Tennessee Senator do? He joins the Fed bashing brigade. Among his remarks from his conference given today after his was "fired" by Dodd, was the observation that the "Fed will have its wings clipped in reform" and that the "Fed is lobbying hard to protect its marble buildings." No doubt Senator: it is people like you who make Fed (and broader Wall Street) lobbying efforts quite easy. We hope that you and all your other bought and paid for colleagues in the Senate can learn from Senator Kaufman, whose speech on financial reform we already posted earlier, but which needs to be read and understood by all who are serious about regulatory reform, instead of puppets like Chris Dodd who huff and puff, yet only want to secure a friendly donation paycheck from his core Wall Street constituency, well into his retirement days.
Bernanke's prepared testimony is the same as yesterday. Full commercial free webcast accessible here.
Here Comes Today's Fire And Brimstone Speech To Facilitate The Bernanke Vote, Courtesy Of Political Corpse Chris DoddSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/22/2010 14:36 -0400
"I think if you wanted to send the worst signal to the markets right now in the country and send us in a tailspin, it would be to reject this nomination. This is not naming someone to be an assistant secretary to something. This is the most important central banker in the world. Rejecting the president's choice for the Fed chairman would have huge economic implications, and people need to think about that." - Chris Dodd
* A Partner at Goldman Sachs
* A Partner at PIMCO
* The CEO of Fannie Mae
* The Secretary of the Treasury
* A Resident of a Jurisdiction With No US Extradition Treaty