Monday morning open thread

Work, work, work, work, work….

I don’t have time to blog now, but I can recommend an American Thinker article on the political witch hunt lurking behind the entire torture question.  It’s written by fellow Watcher’s Council member Rob Miller of JoshuaPundit and is just as good as the work at his own blog.

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  • gpc31

    Off topic but picking up on a previous thread of BW’s:

    Confirmation about Elizabeth Warren’s scatter-brained power-grab:

    “As head of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, Elizabeth Warren has massively extended her mandate, using the office as a sort of forum for broad-ranging commentary on the financial crisis. Rather than tracking the expenditure of the funds, she’s increasingly using the oversight board to push her own ideas about what should be done with the banks.

    This is wildly inappropriate. Elizabeth Warren knows a lot about bankruptcy–but just because it has the word “bank” in it, doesn’t make her an expert in banking. Her specialty isn’t even in corporate liquidations; she mostly writes about consumer bankruptcy. The highly specialized world of bank resolution is not one where she has, as far as I can tell, very much expertise.

    Moreover, this isn’t her job. Her job is to watch where the TARP funds go and monitor their effectiveness, not lecture Congress on how hard to punish wayward bank executives.”

    BW, you can’t say that we weren’t warned.

  • suek

    Linking to the main site rather than a particular article. I’m still trying to get an education on the economics situation, and apparently, that means learning more about the stock market than I ever wanted to know. The reason for that is that the stock market is about the only independent measure of what’s happening, and has the graphs to prove it. I haven’t learned what all the graphs are, or what they indicate yet, so I’m still learning. In any case, if you’re interested in a heavy dose of financial stuff, check out this site. He makes it seem almost “human” – though that’s probably deceptive. At least he explains the terms used which is more than most of the sites I’ve visited do! If you go to the site, the first two articles today are of interest.

  • suek
  • Mike Devx

    Suek #3 link:

    Continuum experiment worked! … Where’d everyone go?

  • Mike Devx


    Dates were reluctant after I died…

  • suek

    I thought you’d like that one, Mike!

    But this one absolutely burns me up:

  • suek
  • rockdalian

    In other news……….

    Stunning computer remix of Queen

  • Ymarsakar

    But today’s Democrats are above the law anyhow, what with dozens of current ethical violations swirling about and an utterly disinterested mainstream media. So I suppose Feinstein doesn’t have to even keep appearances up. Only a couple of bloggers will report on this egregious behavior, so it’s like a tree fell in a forest and only a few idiot taxpayers were around to hear it.

    Suek, this is the power of propaganda. Years, decades even, of Democrat propaganda owning the brains of the idiots and dupes of this nation has convinced them that Republicans are better at corruption because fewer Republicans are caught than Dems.

    This is exactly what the “pox on both their houses” cynical retards believe and have said on public and open forums.

    I know both the offensive and defensive natures of propaganda and psychological warfare. What I could do with such an easily controlled population beggars the imagination, had I the resources and the power mad ambition.

    I have said before that propaganda is more powerful than nukes. And now you can see a glimpse of why.

  • Ymarsakar

    Btw, the specific example would be Allan of Blackfive. He who was against the surge, blamed Bush for deficits and spending too much on Iraq, a “mistake” and “distraction”, and, of course, Obama supporter.

  • suek

    Link to the article, copied and pasted the comments I thought were of particular interest. There were 69 comments, and I can’t pretend to be knowledgeable on the topic, so take it for what it’s worth.

    1)Good note about the winners in bankruptcy being the CDS folks. I forgot about that. Any possibility of the government making some money on those through any of their swaps? Or would banko set up the government for (another) AIG payday to other parties?

    I guess my question here, and please forgive my pragmatism, is where do all the stakeholders need to go, and how do they (and we) get there with the least amount of pain?


    Fed Pushes Citi, BofA to Increase Capital
    Regulators have told Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. that the banks may need to raise more capital based on early results of the government’s so-called stress tests of lenders, according to people familiar with the situation.

    The capital shortfall amounts to billions of dollars at Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., people familiar with the bank said.

    Executives at both banks are objecting to the preliminary findings, which emerged from the government’s scrutiny of 19 large financial institutions. The two banks are planning to respond with detailed rebuttals,[..]

    3)Excellent analysis Mish! You noted “Everybody loses but the credit default swap holders. Now who might that be? JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and/or Citigroup by any chance?”

    I’d add to that list China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and any other foreign nation that has “invested” in CDS. Funny how sales of CDS were quite profitable, but making good on that “insurance” is mathematically impossible for the institutions who profited by selling it. They have no reserves with which to make good on the bets that were placed. There are not enough poker chips on the table to pay everybody who’s owed chips.

    Unregulated CDS = Regulatory Capture = Treason

    Massive CDS failure = Financial Nuclear Option

    Regulatory capture indeed. The banksters have us by the balls boys. Obama too and he knows it. The bully on the big block just got called. It’s a small planet now financially. The dollar today and the dollar in 2013 will be two very different things.

    4)Hussman on Bailout Money:

    “What we cannot do is create all of this (baliout money) out of thin air. Understand that the money that the government is throwing around represents a TRANSFER OF WEALTH from an unwitting public to the bondholders of mismanaged financial corporations, even while foreclosures continue. Even if the Fed buys up the Treasuries being issued, and thereby monetizes the debt, that increase in government liabilities will mean a long-term erosion in the purchasing power of people on relatively fixed incomes.”

    (Got gold?)

    5)52% voted for Obama. Yes. And another 44% voted for the other establishment candidate.

    Even Hussman says: “This was the policy of the Bush Administration, and it has tragically become the policy of the Obama Administration as well.”

    But the turnip voters are only getting what they deserve. They all wanted something for nothing. They wanted security. Life to go on as before. And to them it will.

    They won’t notice the decline in their standard of living. They won’t actually see their purchasing power erode, or the quality and choice of what they consume in decline. They certainly won’t understand the significance of more American businesses and resources moving into foreign hands.

    Moreover, the growing numbers of families which have chronic unemployment or underemployment problems will grow. Those families will put this down to hard luck, or to “the bad economy”, but their kids will also grow up with the same economic uncertainty, constant job changes and zero job security. It will be inter-generational.

    But it will be what they deserve. They weren’t paying attention; they failed to educate themselves. They wanted something for nothing, wanted those social programs, wanted guarantees in a life in which there can be none.

    It’s such an insidious process that it is probably also happening to us, here on this board, who are struggling against it in the investment field. We know we’re in the lower-standard-of-living matrix but we won’t be able to tell quite which way is up and which is down…until 10 or 20 years have passed.

    I sense an interesting, growing, omnidirectional drum beat against the Wall Street/Banker cabal that has dictated the “economic recovery” policies. Every day more articles, books, editorials speaking out against the jacking of main street and seriously assessing the motivations and collusion of the Fed and Treasury.

    6)The latest is a rather long article from the New York Times with a scathing critique of Geithner and his Wall Street ties and an extensive review of his record at the New York Fed.

    The recent article in the Atlantic by IMF economist Simon Johnson suggesting that we have repeated the oft seen 3rd world pattern of oligarchs destroying the currency and economy in a frenzy of uncontrolled greed. Johnson directly states that it is GS that is directly challenging Obama in this death match.

    I am reading a book entitled Shattering Orthodoxies that makes these same assertions.

    This may all indeed reach some sort of critical mass. Do those who so outrageously gamed this system, then lost, then engineered their bailout, suppose that the rest of society will tolerate their blithe coexistence?

    7)@Fed: “..the UAW thrown under the bus.”
    That is very true from one perspective (uaw vs bankers). But I saw this (yes, Kudlow is annoying) comparing the treatment of uaw vs bondholders. from
    one thing’s for sure– gov’t handling of the gm bailout has been appalling….

    Geithner: The Fox Guarding the Henhouse? “What is going on in this country? The government is about to take over GM in a plan that completely screws private bondholders and favors the unions. Get this: The GM bondholders own $27 billion and they’re getting 10 percent of the common stock in an expected exchange. And the UAW owns $10 billion of the bonds and they’re getting 40 percent of the stock. Huh? Did I miss something here? And Uncle Sam will have a controlling share of the stock with something close to 50 percent ownership. And no bankruptcy judge. So this is a political restructuring run by the White House, not a rule-of-law bankruptcy-court reorganization. . . . With Geithner running the Treasury and the potentially criminal enterprise called TARP, is his incestuous relationship with Wall Street bigwigs a perfect example of the fox guarding the henhouse? Was he too cozy to keep a critical eye on the very institutions that blew up later?” I think I’ll invest in China, where they respect private property . .

  • Mike Devx

    suek #10:

    >> I sense an interesting, growing, omnidirectional drum beat against the Wall Street/Banker cabal that has dictated the “economic recovery” policies. Every day more articles, books, editorials speaking out against the jacking of main street and seriously assessing the motivations and collusion of the Fed and Treasury.

    Sue, my somewhat cynical thoughts on this:

    Government is primarily about power, and the American economy moves a truly enormous amount of money around every single day.

    Suppose you combine those two things together, and add in investment firms and banks for the management of that money.

    Finally add one more truism: If it can, every large company will use the government to destroy its competition and feather its own nest. I’ll bet there isn’t a single large company that – because they’re already dominant – wouldn’t prefer using the government to forcibly remain there.

    So as government gets larger and more corrupt, business interests intertwine their way in with the powerful public officials, and corrupt money changes hands, back and forth. Money management becomes utterly corrupt, since its use is at the very core of power. Behind the scenes, everything is about increasing power, and the manipulation of money is at the crux of how power is increased.

    Is it any surprise we can’t figure what’s being done with the TARP funds. Follow the money, and you’ll follow the trail from totally corrupted person to totally corrupted person, both in government and in industry. Just follow the TARP money. These people in Congress and in the Investment industry are so riddled with total corruption that it’s nearly an unsolvable problem. How many innocents are there in Congress? If they’re innocent, they sure aren’t speaking up, and that makes them complicit in the entire corrupt system. What a mess. Perhaps the entire nest has to be fumigated, to get rid of the corrupt and their aiders and abettors. Silence is not innocence. Clean em all out.

    — end of my total and complete cynicism —