Mish asks "Where The Hell Is The Outrage?
MY COMMENT: One of Mish's best posts here: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/10/where-hell-is-outrage.html Summary:
As long as the playing field is level, corporations are entitled to make what they can and do with the profits what they want, and that includes granting whatever bonuses a corporation wants. Let's see how level the playing field was and still is. AIG Goldman Sachs makes the case that it was hedged so it deserved not to lose anything. However, as the New York magazine points out, the odds are high that those hedges were worthless because of the sheer amount of leverage and counterparty risk. Yet, Goldman received $13 billion, the entire balance of its claim on AIG while "Banks like Merrill Lynch that bought credit-default swaps from failed insurers other than AIG were paid 13 cents on the dollar."
Every financial institution involved should return every cent of that money because they all would have failed without government (taxpayer) handouts.
GM It is incredibly peculiar that in "one hectic week in May in which the nation faced the looming bankruptcy of General Motors and the prospect that the government would take over the automaker, Mr. Geithner wrapped up his night with a series of phone calls" to JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs.
I suspect those calls were in regards to concerns over the derivative books of JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs. It is no secret that more credit default swaps were bet on GM than there were underlying bonds.
Of course, the realm of possibilities says those calls may have been to arrange last-minute details for a group fly fishing trip to Paulson's private island off the coat of Georgia. However, the realm of probabilities is much narrower.
Is it too much to ask the precise nature of those calls? I suppose it is.
The SEC Appointment
Is Storch really the most qualified candidate? Will a Goldman appointee overlook or squelch investigation into the practices at Goldman in favor of investigating Aunt Martha or some firms that Goldman just might want to step on?
Regardless, It sure does not hurt when you have someone at the SEC who will turn a blind eye to anything Goldman might have done wrong or is still doing wrong or alleged to be doing wrong. There are a lot of allegations against Goldman about front running trades, naked shorting, high-speed program trading, and the sheer volume of program trading at Goldman Sachs. What are the odds any of this gets investigated, or that if is investigated any wrong-doing will be found?
Think any derivatives legislation will be passed that is not specifically beneficial to Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan? Think again.
All hail "Government Sachs" the king of kings and master of the universe of influence peddling. Salon.Com details position after position of ex-Goldman Sachs employees in positions of influence. Yes, there is some public anger about Goldman Sachs. Sadly, much of it is misdirected towards the bonuses. The real outrage should be over the favoritism, influence peddling, and business as usual environment in which Goldman Sachs can do what it wants, when it wants, while in a position to know in advance (and potentially trade off that knowledge) of what the government is about to do. Where's The Outrage? I don't know about you, but I am outraged.
I am outraged and not just about Goldman Sachs, but about a process that allows, even encourages political pandering, by time and time again rewarding leveraged riverboat gamblers and failed institutions and at taxpayer expense.
I am outraged that real people are suffering massively while the influence peddlers have stolen the country for their own personal benefit.
I am outraged at a political system that is totally unresponsive to the American people. I am outraged by campaign contribution and lobbying processes that allows corporations to buy votes with donations. I am outraged how legislators ignored the wishes of the people who clearly did not want these bailouts in the first place. I am outraged that very little of this is in mainstream media. Why is this stuff not on the frontpage of every newspaper in the country or at least in the editorial pages? I am outraged that the average US citizen is not aware of any of this, instead depending on CNBC, or "The View" for their interpretation of the world. I am outraged how special interest groups have exercised their power to monopolize the economy for the benefit of themselves, US citizens be damned. I am outraged that all these bailout programs are doing nothing to alleviate the massive consumer debt problems. Every program, virtually every program was designed to bailout lending institutions, not consumers. I am outraged at fees charged by banks receiving bailouts. I am outraged over government pension plans and government pay scales massively out of line with the private sector. I am outraged that Congress and this administration thinks the solution to massive budget deficits are still higher budget deficits in excess of a trillion dollars. I am outraged about indictments. Paulson Admitted Coercion to force a shotgun wedding between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch yet no indictments were handed out. Let the Criminal Indictments Begin: Paulson, Bernanke, Lewis. I am outraged that US citizens are not concerned enough and not educated enough to demand change. I am outraged that the two party system has failed. Neither party has delivered meaningful change on budgets, on taxes, on social security, on deficit spending, on the size of government, on military spending, or fighting needless wars. I am outraged at a Fed that purports to be "inflation fighters" when the only source of inflation in the word are central bankers, and their fractional reserve lending policies. I am outraged that Greenspan and Bernanke could not see a housing bubble that 1000 bloggers could see. I am outraged at the selective memory of Bernanke when speaking to Congress about these problems. I am outraged that Bernanke's one sided response to asset bubbles, letting them grow without end, then bailing out the financial institutions that cause them. I am outraged the Fed exists at all. It is a useless organization that cannot see bubbles, that panders to banks, that supports inflationary policies that are tantamount to theft by fraud. I am outraged that the Obama Administration promised changed and did not deliver. "Yes We Can" was a lie. The reality is "It's Business As Usual, Only Worse, With Higher Deficits". I am outraged there is not enough outrage over this. Where the hell is the outrage?