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From the "Best and Brightest" to the "Stupidist Idiots"



April 27, 2011 – Comments (36)

Before 2007, when you were selling us that housing always goes up, you could "self regulate" and that your own "self interest" would keep you honest, you were the "best and brightest" and if we just believed you and trusted you, you would pave the way to sustainable retirements, a solvent Government, and you would trickle wealth down on our heads. "Look at how rich we are getting" you said, "you to could enjoy such wealth by investing with us". :-)

Four years later in the wake of a "financial crisis", as accusations of lies and stealing come out, suddenly you want me to  believe that you were just stupid idiots. You are trying to sell me the idea that you were not "criminal" just innocently wrong. That America's losses were the result of your innocent mathematical miscalculations. But you are still getting paid.

BS. and I am pissed.


How Wall Street Thieves, Led by Goldman Sachs, Took Down the Global Economy -- Their Outsized Influence Must be StoppedIf we don't bust up Big Finance, there soon will be another financial crisis that will destroy what's left of our middle-class way of life. April 25, 2011

For all the damning evidence you’ll ever need about Wall Street corruption, take a look at the recent report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, “Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: An Anatomy of a Financial Collapse” (PDF). The 650-page indictment reveals the myriad of ways Wall Street lies, cheats, steals and defrauds on a routine basis. Arguably the report is as revealing as the Nixon tapes or the Pentagon Papers. Unfortunately, it’s too technical to get widely read. So here are the Cliff Notes.  

This study, broken into four case studies, forms a biblical tale of how toxic mortgages were born, nurtured and spread like the plague throughout the land, making money for the financial philistines every step of the way.  

The first case study focuses on Washington Mutual (WaMu), the nation’s largest savings bank, and its overt strategic decision to go big into selling high risk, high profit mortgages. Here you will find a detailed description of every type of dangerous mortgage foisted onto the public. Your blood pressure also will climb when you read how the bank used focus groups to help its mortgage brokers find better ways to sucker customers into risky mortgages even though the applicants had qualified for and wanted safer fixed-rate mortgages.

The report also details outright fraud committed by brokers – forging documents, making phony loans, stealing money – who then got rewarded again and again by the bank for their high sales records, even after they were caught! Nobody cared because the loans quickly were sold to Wall Street – the riskier the loan, the higher the interest rates and the more Wall Street would pay.   

The second case recounts the pathetic tale of the Office of Thrift Supervision, the regulatory agency that was supposed to halt WaMu’s shoddy and corrupt practices. The report shows that OTS knew of these deceptive practices in great detail for five full years and still failed to stop the pillaging. Why? Because OTS’s top regulators didn’t believe in regulations. Banks should regulate themselves. OTS only wanted to help. And one way it helped was by deliberately impeding other regulators like the FDIC from enforcing stronger regulations on WaMu. The OTS, which mercifully has been eliminated, believed it was partners with the banks it supposedly regulated --- a textbook example of regulatory capture combined with financial Stockholm syndrome. 

The third case study which focuses on the two largest rating agencies (Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s) is a story of prostitution. Here we learn how the rating agencies turned trick after trick for the big Wall Street banks, doling out favors (AAA ratings) to thousands of “innovative” securities based on the junk mortgages that WaMu and others originated and packaged. Then when it became obvious to everyone that the crap was still crap, the whores went virtuous by drastically downgrading thousands of toxic assets overnight. This forced pension funds and insurance companies, who by law could only hold investment grade securities, to dump their downgraded assets all at once. The result was a rapid and deep collapse of all financial markets. (You read this section of the report and you have to wonder how anyone in their right mind could take seriously S&P’s recent “negative outlook” rating on the U.S. Who are they shilling for now?)  

The last case study is the most pornographic as it strips bare two investment banks, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. The report accuses them of packaging and selling toxic securities while, at the same time, betting that those securities would fail. Furthermore, the report argues forcefully, that “Investment banks were the driving force behind the structured finance products that provided a steady stream of funding for lenders originating high risk, poor quality loans and that magnified risk throughout the U.S. financial system. The investment banks that engineered, sold, traded, and profited from mortgage related structured finance products were a major cause of the financial crisis.” (pg 19) 

The Case against Goldman Sachs

It’s obvious that the subcommittee is gunning for Goldman Sachs, and for good reason. This elite investment house, the envy of all Wall Street, is shown to be corrupt to its core. Not only is it accused of creating toxic assets and unloading them on its own customers, but also, the report accuses GS of betting that the very assets they were selling would fail. They profited by selling the junk and then profited even more when the junk they were selling lost value. The deeper the financial destruction, the more they made. And of course, they didn’t tell the buyers of the toxic assets about GS’s hidden bets or the fact that their internal research showed that the assets were totally toxic. The report is the most detailed account ever written about the Goldman Sachs profitable trail of deceptions including lies that were told to Senate committees again and again. 

Lie #1: 'Putting our Customers First'

The path of looting and destruction starts in 2006-'07 when the leadership of Goldman Sachs became convinced that the housing market was in decline and that they had to get rid of all their mortgage-related securities in a hurry. Well, how do you get rid of crap? You package it together, slice and dice it and get your favorite rating agency strumpets to kiss it with AAA-ratings. Then you send your sales force out on a mad scramble around the world to find customers. The problem was that by then most mortgage security buyers knew these assets were toxic AND that the ratings were phony. So GS told its sales agents to seek out customers who knew the least about mortgage-related securities. Nice. 

Lie #2: 'Our interests are aligned with our customer’s interests'

Once the junk was packaged and sold, GS placed billions of dollars of bets that the mortgages contained or referenced in the securities would crash and burn. The more they crashed, the more the bets paid off for Goldman Sachs. However, GS failed to reveal this crucial information to its customers. Rather it said that GS’s interests were aligned with that of its customers, implying that GS was buying into the deal and holding the same garbage as the customers were buying. The report details many cases where GS bet big against what they were selling without providing this material information to its buyers.  

The Goldman Sachs-Paulson Sting

The most egregious example of this swindle was the Abacus deal that GS cooked up with Paulson and Company, the hedge fund that bet billions that toxic mortgage-related assets would fail. Paulson approached GS with a plan to rig a bet that was sure to fail for the buyers and pay off big for Paulson. Without telling the buyers, Paulson was allowed to set the criteria for the selection of the toxic assets that were placed in the securities, and of course he picked the worst ones he could find. As the report says; 

“With respect to Abacus, Goldman knew that the Paulson hedge fund wanted to take 100% of the short side and would profit only if the CDO lost value, yet allowed the hedge fund to play a major but hidden role in selecting the CDO assets.” (p 620) 

To hide Paulson’s role, GS needed an independent “portfolio selection agent” to pretend to be the final arbiter of what mortgage pools became part of the security. They hoped that GHC Partners would play that role. But, as a key Goldman Sachs executive reported to his colleagues, GHC found the deal too unsavory: 

“As you know, a couple of weeks ago we had approached GSC to ask them to act as portfolio selection agent for that Paulson-sponsored trade, and GSC declined given their negative views on most of the credits that Paulson had selected.” (p 564)

They soon found another shill agent to hide Paulson’s role. Within a year, the buyers of the security lost a billion dollars and Paulson made a billion on his bet. Goldman Sachs got the fees for arranging the deal. However, they later had to pay a fine of $550 million to the SEC for failing to disclose Paulson’s role. Meanwhile, Paulson became the most prosperous hedge fund manager in world. In 2010 he earned $2.4 million an HOUR.  

Lie #3: 'Honest, we didn’t try to rig the market'

In order to place more and more bets against the toxic mortgages, Goldman Sachs wanted to purchase credit default swaps, which are like insurance policies. You pay a premium to buy a policy on a given toxic security. If that security fails, you get full value. And you don’t have to own the security to place this wager.  

Around the time that Bear Stearns started to fail in 2007, GS wanted to buy up more and more of these bets. But first they wanted to drive down the insurance policy prices so they could get them on the cheap and make even more money.  Well, it’s against the law to manipulate markets, but nevertheless GS tried to use its market power to “squeeze” the market downward. It didn’t work out because the cascading financial crash intervened. The Senate investigators found the following smoking gun (a self-evaluation from one of the key GS traders): 

“In May, while we were remain[ing] as negative as ever on the fundamentals in sub-prime, the market was trading VERY SHORT, and susceptible to a squeeze. We began to encourage this squeeze, with plans of getting very short again, after the short squeezed [sic] cause[d] capitulation of these shorts. This strategy seemed do-able and brilliant, but once the negative fundamental news kept coming in at a tremendous rate, we stopped waiting for the shorts to capitulate, and instead just reinitiated shorts ourselves immediately.” (p 425). 

He later denied this was really a squeeze by claiming to investigators that they placed too much emphasis on “words.” But, think about what this reveals. This GS employee in a self-evaluation to his superiors thought it would make him look good if he bragged about trying to engage in obvious illegalities. What does that really say about the venerable Goldman Sachs culture?  

Lie #4: 'We’re only doing all this to make markets'

One of the biggest lies can be found in the concerted cover-up during the testimony before Congressional committees and investigators. After obvious coaching from their lawyers, GS executives stated again and again they are only trying to make markets so that sophisticated investors can make trades. The GS executives deny that they pushed the crap off their books onto investors. They were, instead, only trying to help investors find the deals they wanted.  Some, GS argues, wanted to bet that the toxic assets would pay off and others that they would fail, and GS, they claim, only gave them both what they wanted. (They said this repeatedly because the disclosure rules for market making are much weaker than if they are promoting and selling securities to investors.) 

Lies #5 ,#6, #7…….#101

The list goes on and on. GS manipulated assets to benefit themselves at the expense of their customers. They manipulated prices to benefit themselves at the expense of customers. As part of Abacus, they worked out a private deal with Paulson so that Paulson would pay less for his “insurance”, which in turn hurt the investors on the other side of the bet. And, even after all of these revelations, Goldman Sachs to this day continues to deny that it engaged in a strategy to bet big against the housing market.  

In the end you come to one and only one conclusion. Every time Goldman Sachs had an opportunity to profit by cheating its customers, it did so.  

What is to be done?

The Senate report calls for tighter regulations so that banks can’t play these games ever again. It calls for more effective regulatory agencies and rules, and it wants major reforms on the way the rating agencies work --- much of this already contained in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.  But in addition, the subcommittee obviously wants more federal prosecution of Goldman Sachs and others as it asks that “Federal regulators…. identify any violations of law…” (p 638).  

No way are these reforms and indictments going to work.  

We could put all the crooks in jail (and we should), but Goldman Sachs would still be there. We could tighten regulations more and more, but the big banks would still be armed with enormous wealth and power to subvert them.  Regulations and jail are not good enough unless we want to construct massive regulatory and enforcement agencies that rival the banks in size and scope.  

Rather, the report proves why the entire financial edifice must come down. Our nation cannot survive economically unless we do away with the large Wall Street banks and investment houses. It’s not just that they are too big to fail. They are too big – period!  

At a workshop I recently conducted, one student asked if I thought it possible to go back to a system of local and state banks. I had my doubts. But after reading this report I realized that the student was right. Congress should undo the 1994 bill that “explicitly authorized interstate banking, which allowed federally chartered banks to open branches nationwide more easily than before.” (p 15)  

We should break up the big banks and replace them with state and local ones. We should limit financial firms to no more than $10 billion in assets instead of the trillions they now control. We should heavily regulate the hedge fund gamblers. And we should shrink the size of Wall Street through a financial transaction tax. 

You just can’t read this report without concluding that big finance, by definition, is bad.  

I never make predictions, but this report offers a sure bet: If we don’t bust them up and limit their size, there soon will be another financial crisis that will eat away what’s left of our middle-class way of life.  

As this startling report makes all too clear, it’s us or them and there’s no way around it.  

36 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 27, 2011 at 8:29 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

Govt Responsible for Housing Bubble

some excerpts ...


Starting in the late 1990s, the government, as a social policy to boost homeownership, required Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to acquire increasing numbers of "affordable" housing loans. (An "affordable loan" is made to people who normally would not qualify.) By 2007, 55 percent of all loans made by Fannie and Freddie had to be "affordable." 

By June 2008, there were 27 million subprime housing loans outstanding (19.2 million of them directly owed by government or government-sponsored agencies), with an unpaid principal amount of $4.6 trillion. 

Wallison concludes his argument: "What we know is that almost 50 percent of all mortgages outstanding in the United States in 2008 were subprime or otherwise deficient and high-risk loans. The fact that two-thirds of these mortgages were on the balance sheets of government agencies, or firms required to buy them by government regulations, is irrefutable evidence that the government's housing policies were responsible for most of the weak mortgages that became delinquent and defaulted in unprecedented numbers when the housing bubble collapsed." 

The tragedy is that the financial crisis continues because Congress misdiagnosed the problem and came up with a 2,000-page "solution" that will only make matters worse.

Despite the well-known problems with Fannie and Freddie, they were ignored in the Dodd-Frank Act. Why? Because many members of Congress had conflicts of interest in that Fannie and Freddie were very large contributors to the political campaigns of numerous members. 

More direct conflicts of interest, by Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, were well publicized, forcing Dodd to retire and causing Frank to loan personal money to his own re-election campaign.

The numbers show that government policies (including actions by the Fed), not greedy bankers, caused the financial meltdown. 

 As long as the government continues to force its agencies and private parties to give housing loans to those who cannot afford them, taxpayers will be on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars in additional debt. But Washington is still in denial, from the president to the bureaucrats, including those at the Federal Reserve and, most of all, members of Congress — including, of course, the notorious Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi, all of whom won re-election rather than jail terms.

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#2) On April 27, 2011 at 9:05 AM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

It seems like we need to remove current elected leaders and place our money into local banks.  But alas, there aren't many worth electing, so we'll get the same sh*t, and those with a lot of $$ won't use local banks or credit unions.

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#3) On April 27, 2011 at 9:14 AM, devoish (82.57) wrote:


"The Government made me do it".

BS. First, there was no Government Sponsored Entity or lending requirements or CRE or HUD involvement in any Countrywide mortgage. AIG was not a GSE.

Good politics though. 

If Government can make them do it, Then lets have Government make them stop.

Best wishes,

And still not buying that BS.


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#4) On April 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

The fact that two-thirds of these mortgages were on the balance sheets of government agencies, or firms required to buy them by government regulations, is irrefutable evidence that the government's housing policies were responsible for most of the weak mortgages that became delinquent and defaulted in unprecedented numbers when the housing bubble collapsed." 

Don't let the facts get in your way there chief.

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#5) On April 27, 2011 at 10:10 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008



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#6) On April 27, 2011 at 10:16 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

Housing Bubble Hall of Shame®

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#7) On April 27, 2011 at 10:20 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

Vintage Barney Frank: There’s no housing bubble and I’m gonna push for more home ownership Posted by The Right Scoop on Aug 8, 2010 in Politics

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#8) On April 27, 2011 at 10:26 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

The regulators ARE the crooks.

This is like your post yesterday. You and your liberal buddies were all about how good inflation was and how it helps the economy until we actually get it and then you try to blame high oil and food prices on the evil speculators that are simply reacting to all the money you are printing.

Government can't stop the problem because government IS the problem.

What's more you are the problem the problem by trying to put the blame on anyone else that you can when your policies fail miserably.

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#9) On April 27, 2011 at 10:33 AM, Melaschasm (< 20) wrote:

After outlining fraud and corruption in the financial system, you end with a call to support the two politicians who were the primary defenders of the fraud and corruption in the financial system.

When Bush and McCain tentatively looked at reforming the financial system, it was Dodd & Frank who threatened to destroy them both politically if they pursued reforms.  Not wanting to take on two of the most powerful people in congress, Bush and McCain backed down without a fight.

If we want any hope of fixing the system, the first step is to get rid of Dodd and Frank.  I don't care if they are replaced by Green Party candidates, or Libertarians.  As long as the people who created and defended the broken system are in charge of the reforms nothing substantial will be fixed.

The second step is to remove the government promise that banks will never lose money.  The FDIC insurance should be the limit of government bailouts for the financial industry.  Since the FDIC protects individuals from financial loss when a bank goes under, there is no need to provide additional financial protection.

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#10) On April 27, 2011 at 10:57 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

devoish (99.38) wrote: 

BS. First, there was no Government Sponsored Entity or lending requirements or CRE or HUD involvement in any Countrywide mortgage. AIG was not a GSE.

Chris Dodd, Kent Conrad Tied To Countrywide Scandal


Will Obama, McCain, Dodd Return Contributions From AIG Employees?


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#11) On April 27, 2011 at 11:03 AM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

The Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933 (48 Stat. 162), created the regulatory framework for banking following the depression-era collapse of much of the banking system. It established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and included other banking reforms, and placed legal restrictions on combined banking and financial service firms.

The 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed much of the Glass-Steagall Act and is credited with being a contributor to the 2008 financial collapse.[1]

Important regulatory provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act were repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. Gramm-Leach-Bliley was enacted on November 12, 1999, repealing the legal restrictions on combining banking and financial service firms of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. Repealing Glass-Steagall allowed banking companies, securities companies and insurance companies to merge with each other, thus making the Citigroup/Traveler Group merger legal.

Top Citigroup officials were allowed to review and approve drafts of the legislation before it was formally introduced.[1] After resigning as Treasury Secretary and while secretly in negotiations to head Citigroup, Robert Rubin helped broker the final deal to pass the bill.[1]


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#12) On April 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM, mtf00l (46.32) wrote:

First rule in insurance is "follow the money".  I believe the same rule applies here.  Those that have/own the money apply those resources where the havers/owners will receive the greatest benefit.  If A equal B and B equal C then C must equal A.  Politicians are for sale, government is for sale, havers/owners purchase government.

A public service announcement brought to you by mtf00l.

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#13) On April 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM, DarthMaul09 (29.00) wrote:

Guest Post: Into The Economic Abyss


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/25/2011 07:06 -0400

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#14) On April 27, 2011 at 12:46 PM, leohaas (29.47) wrote:

Of course, you can completely ignore the role Fannie and Freddie played. Or you can completely ignore the role the credit agencies played.

Maybe it is a little bit of both?

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#15) On April 27, 2011 at 3:50 PM, FleaBagger (27.34) wrote:

Government and bankers and credit agencies were all involved in an immanent conspiracy of convergent interests, and neither of the other two would have been able to do a fraction of the damage they did without the government's involvement.

I don't know anyone who denies that the bankers and Wall St. wizards were culpable. It's just that they had the full cooperation of the government, even (especially) the government that Steven supports. It is the very fact that government, not unrestricted competition, regulates the financial industry that allows bankers to send lobbyists to D.C. to a single, easily corruptible target to get their way. If monopolies faced thousands of potential competitors with potentially unlimited profits in their sights, they would have no way to keep them all from undercutting them. This is at least as true of financial services as it is with all other industries.

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#16) On April 27, 2011 at 4:55 PM, devoish (82.57) wrote:

Well, as always your replies are fun to read. 

From the article that you think suggests Dodd was bought off by Mozillo;

Countrywide has also contributed a total of $21,000 to Dodd’s campaigns since 1997. While a presidential candidate last year, he filed a bill to ban lenders from charging prepayment penalties and steering home buyers to more costly loans—both practices in which Countrywide reportedly engaged. He also called for criminal charges for such predatory lending.

Senator Conrad acknowledged in a statement that he received financing from Countrywide. “I never met Angelo Mozilo,” he said. “I have no way of knowing how they categorized my loan. I never asked for, expected or was aware of any special treatment…From what we have been able to determine, it appears that we were given a competitive rate.”

So if you have a case, get a conviction. Innuendo is for FOX and feeble minds.

Let's face it, Fannie was around since the 1930's and its lending policys helped established mortgages as the safe AAA investments they were until mortgage brokers were allowed to lend outside of regulatory laws. The CRE was established in the 1970's and it did not crash the hopusiing market. HUD loans have been getting paid back to. But bring on Mozillo and deregulation and look out.  

Sometimes there are other ideas out there than the populist Government bashing ones. Mr Oak seems to have found a few. And frankly, if Calculated Risk says you are stretching truths, I believe him, not you.

From Robert Oak:

It seems the only thing most Republicans know about economics is the price of propaganda to get job killing corporate and special agendas through Congress. This time is a winner, winner, chicken dinner. For a $2 buck derivatives bet you can blame the poor and middle class.

Ya know the housing bubble, all of those derivatives, the sub-prime disaster, credit default swaps that caused financial Armageddon? Oops, not so, say four Republicans on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Panel. They hate truth so much, they are going to write their own report, a tale of spin built upon the weave of woe. Call it Goldisachs in Kansas, or My Pet Scapegoat, but do not call it anything founded in economic theory and financial statistical reality.

The four Republicans appointed to the commission investigating the root causes of the financial crisis plan to bypass the bipartisan panel and release their own report Wednesday, according to people familiar with the commission's work.

The Republicans, led by the commission's vice chairman, former congressman and chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Bill Thomas, will likely focus their report on the explosive growth of subprime mortgages and the heavy role played by the federal government in pushing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase and insure them. They'll also likely focus on the Community Reinvestment Act, a 1977 law that encourages banks to lend to underserved communities, these people said.

The Republicans' report is expected to conclude that government policy helped inflate the housing bubble and that prices weren't expected to crash because the government pushed homeownership so aggressively. They say that the report will note that once the bubble burst, a financial panic followed because firms weren't adequately prepared.

Calculated Risk came to prominence due to his unnerving economic accuracy, in particular on housing data. This is what he had to say about this report:

How depressing.

If Nasiripour story is correct, the explanations offered by these four individuals are blatantly false. Lets name names: Bill Thomas, Peter Wallison, Keith Hennessey and Douglas Holtz-Eakin. These are all subprime thinkers.

Naked Capitalism:

This whole line of thinking is garbage, the financial policy equivalent of arguing that the sun revolves around the earth. Yes, the US and other countries provide overly generous subsidies to housing, and curtailing them over time would not be a bad idea. But that’s been our policy for decades. Calling that a major, let alone primary, cause of the crisis, is simply a highly coded “blame the poor” strategy, In reality, both the runup to the crisis and its aftermath were one of the greatest wealth transfers from the citizenry at large to a comparatively small group of rentiers in the history of man.

Ritholtz on the AEI propaganda paper of similar chants:

I’ve given up reading anything from the AEI. They are idiot savants, minus the savant part.

Its a bore reading the same discredited, data-free memes: The CRA caused the crisis, Fannie Mae caused the crisis, the FHA caused the crisis. Its become embarrassing to read.

Their latest release combines all three memes in one giant clusterf*ck of imbecility:

Paul Krugman also had some choice words:

I really do wonder how this country can remain governable, when one party insists on creating its own reality. Next thing you know they’re going to reject the theory of evolution. Oh, wait …

Economic fiction has got to stop. Just because some corporate lobbyist writes up a PDF and even puts some pictures in it, doesn't make it so. Trust the above bloggers, they read this stuff and I do too. So should you. Learn to get a critical eye on this never ending snow job on what policy does what and which events caused what. Learn to understand a number, recognize a manipulated chart. Over and over again we have pure financial and economic fiction being spun as fact, due to some special interest or corporate lobbyists' desired agenda. It's running this country into the ground.

Best wishes,


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#17) On April 27, 2011 at 7:47 PM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

So you admit he's accepted money from the from the people he was supposed to be policing and your OK with that because it was only $21,000 from Countrywide and the sweet loans that he got doesn't count because Countrywide kept it secret from him. They of course do this randomly for other people as well. They just randomly give them a better loan than everyone else and don't tell them because they don't want anything in return. Boy, this sounds like a really nice bank and not the evil bank that you mentioned above.

As far as Dodd goes, we'll just skip past the $133,900 that he got from Fannie and Freddie and the fact that they were untouched in the Frank/Dodd bill after the scandal.

Let's just talk about about that anti-Countrywide legislation that he put forth (and pretend that he wasn't running for President at the time and knew people would be pointing fingers at him for the mess) Let's just say after he saw the destruction caused by his methods, he had a change of heart. That does happen after all. How does that explain the $103,100 that he accepted from AIG after the scandal?

Are regulators ever ethical by taking money from people that they are supposed to be regulating?

I'll give you this after reading all of your liberal blog posts. They are right that the Republicans are posturing to point the finger solely at the Democrats and the banks are certainly guilty as well. I'll be the first to tell you that there are plenty of guilty Republicans in this case and in other areas of government the Republicans are more guilty.

That still doesn't make what they did right. The argument that police can still be police when they get paychecks from the criminals is insane.

Last but not least...

We do have regulators. They didn't do their job. In fact they helped corrupt the system.

Your theme starting off this thread is the same theme that you repeat over and over again. You want more government. I get it. It's a totally wrong opinion, but I get it. 

If I could convict Dodd, I would, but you can't arrest the police even when the police are corrupt.

Bad government is the problem and your solution of more is suicidal. 

Please if you would explain to me a scenario, where anyone in government that is regulating a bank taking money from a bank is acceptable. Then explain to me how more people paid by taxpayers and also getting handouts from banks solves anything.

You can't bring yourself to admit that what Dodd and Frank did is the problem and since you can't admit that, you'll never find a solution.

Your politics are stronger than your ethics. 


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#18) On April 27, 2011 at 9:03 PM, devoish (82.57) wrote:

My ethics are fine.

You have no evidence he even knew that he was getting any kind of a deal. Just because Mozillo gave him one doesn't mean he asked or knew. Hence there is no crime, just an opportunity to disparage him in the press. Rangel took money and is gone. Your only problem with Dodd is that he tried to regulate you, so you need to trump up some crap.

Or he's guilty as sin and took a pittance for giving Mozillo millions. And yet he has not retired to the private sector to take a big payday for being complicit.

Until you get a conviction, you are gossiping.

In the meantime, you like to blame politicians for not doing enough to prevent crimes, and then the next day you whine they restrict freedom too much.

Your anti-government politics are useless to me.

Unless of course you found that elusive free market success story.

Best wishes 


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#19) On April 27, 2011 at 9:36 PM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

$21,000 from Countrywide.

2 VIP loans from Countrywide.

$133,900 from Fannie and Freddie.

$103,100 from AIG after the scandal.

And those are just from my links.

Are you pretending not to see the dollar signs?

Your ethics suck. 


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#20) On April 27, 2011 at 9:50 PM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

Lets check 2010...

Rank   Contributor                  Total           Indivs   PACs  

1 Travelers Companies        $131,400 $126,400 $5,000

2 United Technologies        $120,750 $110,750 $10,000

3 Citigroup Inc                $111,100 $106,100 $5,000

4 Royal Bank of Scotland         $93,100 $91,100         $2,000

5 American International Group $87,700 $82,700         $5,000

6 Bear Stearns                 $71,950 $71,950             $0

7 Hartford Financial Services $66,050 $61,050         $5,000

8 Merrill Lynch                 $61,650 $61,650             $0

9 FMR Corp                 $61,050 $56,050         $5,000

10 Credit Suisse Group         $59,000 $54,000         $5,000

11 General Electric         $51,550 $43,550         $8,000

12 Bank of New York Mellon         $42,550 $40,550        $2,000

13 Morgan Stanley                 $42,200 $42,200             $0

14 Patton Boggs LLP         $36,050 $31,050         $5,000

15 JPMorgan Chase & Co         $34,700 $30,700         $4,000

16 Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder $33,600 $33,600             $0

17 General Dynamics         $30,300 $25,300         $5,000

18 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu $29,000 $19,000        $10,000

19 KPMG LLP                 $28,500 $28,500             $0

20 IntercontinentalExchange Inc $27,800 $22,800         $5,000


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#21) On April 27, 2011 at 9:58 PM, devoish (82.57) wrote:


You discovered campaign contributions are legal!

Perhaps you are in favor of a law limiting the use of money for politicing?

Or perhaps you favor paying a third party to do your swiftboating for you. Or perhaps you are that third party looking for monopoly?

I think that your problem with HUD loans is that they are cheaper for the borrower, less likely to default, and you don't want to compete.

Best wishes,


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#22) On April 27, 2011 at 10:27 PM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

It's funny that he regulates banks and all his campaign funds come from banks.

That's probably why he won this.

Golden Leash Award

The Golden Leash Award was presented Dodd by Public Campaign, April 29, 1998:

"The Golden Leash is a symbol of the ties between special interest money and elected officials. It is awarded to Members of Congress who demonstrate egregious conduct in the quid pro quo practice of dollar democracy."This award serves as a reminder of Senator Dodd's acceptance of $910,304 in campaign cash from January 1993 to December 1997 from the Securities, Investment, Accounting and High-Tech Computer industries... Goldman, Sachs & Co.Morgan StanleySalomon Brothers and others donat[ed] $523,551 in PAC and individual contributions. The accounting industry - perhaps the biggest winners in the 1995 securities litigation reform law - donated $345,903 in PAC and individual contributions. This includes such giants as Price WaterhouseErnst & Young and Coopers & Lybrand, among others. Deloitte & Touche's contributions to Senator Dodd increased nearly five-fold from 1995 to 1996 soon after Congress passed the reform law the industry championed. The computer industry - a fairly new player in the campaign contribution field - ponied up $40,850 in contributions."

Public Campaign's report cites the following examples: Dodd was an original cosponsor of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and he helped to organize the Senate's override of President Clinton's veto. The National Securities Market Improvement Act which ultimately weakened oversight that would have protected investors. Dodd lined up as a cosponsor of the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act, an extension of the earlier securities litigation legislation. The bill was strongly supported by The Uniform Standards Coalition, an ad-hoc group of securities, accounting and high-tech computer firms. 

I'm sure that the banks are paying for good legislation.

Good for the banks, not the public.


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#23) On April 27, 2011 at 11:36 PM, devoish (82.57) wrote:

Just because bankers are corrupted by money they believe everyone else is.

Seriously Chris, is it Dodds decision who the banks donate money to?  

So here I was thinking, lets add up that money and put it into context of how much campaigning it would buy. One 30 second Super Bowl spot or something more, or less. And then I notice your link

"Lets check 2010"  so I click on it and discover the "ethical" ChrisGraley presented  campaign contributions from 2005 - 2010 as "Lets check 2010".

Thanks for the lesson in "ethics" 

I would have written 2005-2010.

Because my ethics are fine.

Best wishes


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#24) On April 27, 2011 at 11:46 PM, devoish (82.57) wrote:

So lets see. His top 20 twenty donor gave him about $1,200,000 over five years or about a quarter million/ year.

Commercials during less-watched programs are more affordable, but the cost of those commercials may still run in excess of $100,000 per 30-seconds

Well I guess he didn't give them prime time service then.

Best wishes,


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#25) On April 28, 2011 at 1:57 AM, FleaBagger (27.34) wrote:

The regulation of an industry is NEVER meant to keep the largest (and most politically connected) companies in that industry from harming the public. It is meant to keep the smallest companies in that industry from competing with the largest (and best connected). That is always its purpose, and usually its effect.

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#26) On April 28, 2011 at 8:01 AM, devoish (82.57) wrote:


That is what you get when you elect "business friendly" politicians.

That is what you get when you encourage your civil servants to need corporate jobs by taking away their pensions.

And yes, FleaBagger it does cost more to open an auto shop if the law says you cannot dump waste oil into a stream. but it is still good for your neighbors and your children to have such a law.

And that is why it is long past time to stop listening to those that preach accumulating money is the means to all ends and the most noble of pursuits.

Best wishes,


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#27) On April 28, 2011 at 8:12 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

devoish, those are Dodd's top 20 contibutors.

devoish, did you bother to check and see the link below 2010? It's an overlapping cycle of 2003 - 2008. So your play on my ethics is a little mis-stated.

Dodd is owned by banks.

Those evil banks that you are talking about own Dodd.

It doesn't matter if they only donated $20.

They are expecting something for their money and Dodd is giving it to them.

$1.2 million may not seem like a lot of money to you, but it's more than some people see in a lifetime and I'm sure Dodd is willing to do plenty for it. Dodd has been collecting those little campaign contributions for about 30 years now.

Dodd is the police chief that the mob buys off so the can continue their enterprise.

And you still defend him because he is a liberal.

More Dodds can't fix the problem. Dodd is the problem.



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#28) On April 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM, devoish (82.57) wrote:


You tried to present five years of campaign contributions to us as though they were one. It is typical of salesmen and thieves to use such tactics.

Like I said, I would have written 2005-2010. You had to misrepresent your case to make it.

You also chose to promote politicians positions that have been discredited by financial bloggers that many of the rest of us have come to have confidence in, because of their balanced views and accuracy ahead of the housing implosion.

There really is no defense for your politics, it is probably time for you to begin trying to rebrand again.

In the meantime please feel free to accept my support for the freedom of speech that allows you to attack Dodd rather than answer for the failures of your politics.

Let's face it, Rand Pauls plan to replace medicare with vouchers to buy private insurance, or Obama's plan to subsidize low income purchases from private insurers is about the most business friendly and most expensive way of paying for inadequate healthcare in the world.

Best wishes,


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#29) On April 28, 2011 at 11:44 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

Yep, he's bought and paid for and you don't care because it's all legal and he's liberal.


And people wonder why the housing market crashed...

So in essence, since Dodd isn't doing anything wrong, you are saying...

1) You support Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

2) You support the loopholes given to AIG for executive bonuses.

3) You support banks giving campaign contributions to legislatures in control of regulating banks.

4) You support banks giving VIP loans to the same people.

5) You support shady real estate deals with known felons.

I'll leave out my favorite Dodd fiasco because it is off topic.

I think that you are the one that needs to rebrand your politics.

support him and you support the problem.

In his case the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and he is as corrupt as his father.

Congrats Steven, you have the makings of being a great bank lobbyist.


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#30) On April 28, 2011 at 5:33 PM, devoish (82.57) wrote:

Actually chris,

I pointed out that your accusations of crimes by Dodd, are your opinions, not convictions.

I am open to the idea that he is guilty, and the possibility that you can convict him.

But it is not support for the actions of Andrew Mozillo when he gave better terms to Dodd or anyone else he might want to accuse of being on the take later.

Neither is it support for any other policy.

Put words in your own mouth.

Best wishes,


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#31) On April 28, 2011 at 5:55 PM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

Do you support Gramm-Leach-Bliley?

Do you support those loopholes for AIG? 

Does most of his campaign money come from banks?

Do I need to get hired by the government to apprehend and convict Dodd for you to answer those 3 questions?


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#32) On April 29, 2011 at 6:29 AM, devoish (82.57) wrote:


Thanks for asking. Let's start with this one;

Does most of his campaign money come from banks?

But let's ask it the "freedomy" way.

Do you support restricting the freedom and liberty of American citizens who work in banking to donate their hard earned money to the candidates of their choice?

Or just if that candidate is not your choice?

Best wishes,


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#33) On April 29, 2011 at 9:46 AM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

I don't support restricting it.

I support the total elimination of campaign contributions, to all candidates of all parties.

Campaign contributions are bribes plain and simple. The only way to limit coruption is to remove the bribes. 

Now since you didn't answer my questions and I answered yours, it's your turn. 

Do you support Gramm-Leach-Bliley?

Do you support those loopholes for AIG? 

Does most of his campaign money come from banks?

Do I need to get hired by the government to apprehend and convict Dodd for you to answer those 3 questions? 


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#34) On April 29, 2011 at 4:55 PM, devoish (82.57) wrote:


I support campaign spending limits, and very low limits on donations, I could go with you on restricting them to zero depending on the details, but not with pretending that zero is not a restriction.

certainly not all of it.


He raised $9,000,000 in the 2005 -2010 cycle. Total donations over $200 including the top twenty you shared were $2,300,000.

So no, he did not get most of his monety from banks or the financial industry. He got most of it from small donors who like him.


Best wishes,


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#35) On April 30, 2011 at 10:14 PM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

Steven, maybe it's a viewpoint, but I believe that to restrict means to allow a little. I would allow none. In Alstry's digital age the is no need for campaign funds. Viewpoints can be posted on the internet and you might get their actual viewpoints if they can't afford to pay spin doctors.


I think you get my point so I'm not going to press further, but I understand why you won't commit to the first question, you pretend not to understand the second question, and you twist the facts on the third. 

Both of us know what you are supporting, in the case of Dodd.

For you, he's a means to an end and I understand that.

So I'll leave you one last question and you can answer this one with a yes or a no and I'll even give you the choice not to answer at all if you wish.

Should someone in charge of regulating banks be getting any money from the banks he's supposed to regulate?


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#36) On May 01, 2011 at 5:29 PM, devoish (82.57) wrote:

I know there is a lot in Gramm-Leach-Bliley that I did not like. That does not there was no good legislation in it. I understand that to you all legislation is bad, so you can make blanket statements with little thought. I try not to.

I relly did not make the time for you to understand what undefined "loopholes" you have problems with. If you want to explain yourself I might takle the time to try to teach you something, but both of us probably have filled our cups on that one.

I have faced you more blatantly inane than calling simple subtraction twisting facts. It is why I didn't bother with trying to fugure out what you mean by "loopholes" because I know you are trying out your politics, not your intelligence.

And no Chris, I would not pretend to dream I can imagine what a mind like yours is thinking, when you say that both of us know what I am supporting. When you say something as empty  that to me it is just your politics of inuendo that I hear.

As to your last question, who am I to tell the banks how they can or cannot spend their money, and would you like to give me that authority? Or use Democratic processes to share that authority? Or take it for yourself?

I am surprised you support taking away the freedom of US Citizens to support the campaigns of the candidates of their choice.

I do not support banning campaign donations. I support limiting them, to a very low amount.

And I agree with you that the internet is a game changer to reduce the cost of campaigning. In fact it is one of the reasons that I support President Obama's push to bring high speed internt access to all areas of the country.  Everybody gets their vote and if thats how the information is going to get to them, then nobody should lose their opportunity to meet a candidate just because comcast does not think they are in a big enough market.

Nuance, not talking points.

Best wishes,


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