Monday, October 24, 2011

Teacher says, "Every time a bell rings, another angel gets his wings"

Bad news for the one percent, Swiss banks are getting close to settling a sweeping U.S. criminal probe of offshore tax evasion by paying billions of dollars in penalties and handing over the names of thousands of Americans who have secret accounts. The Swiss government is pushing for the settlement that will include all Swiss banks in a bid to keep their traditional secret banking system intact even though they have already settled in a similar manner with EU regulators. Presumably the secrecy will still be maintained for third world dictators and drug lords.

Eurozone negotiators have asked (or rather demanded) that holders of Greek debt accept a 60% hair cut in the face value of their bonds, this requirement far exceeds losses agreed to in a deal between private investors and eurozone authorities three months ago. Bond traders claim that a 60% cut in face value would really be equivalent to a 75-80% reduction in current value.

Coincidently Bank of America recently transferred $75T worth of derivatives based on things like Greek bonds and such from its Merrill Lynch holdings to its insured deposit division. This was over objections from the FDIC that would have to cover those deposits after the bank is looted of assets by a collapse of the derivatives being held by BoA. This was the downfall of Lehman Brothers that precipitated the 2008 banking collapse.

In theory the International Swaps and Derivatives Association’s determination committees could rule on such a “credit event” after they are asked to intervene. If they determine that debt holders agreed to take losses then derivative contracts wouldn‘t pay off. Germany is pushing hard for this sort of outcome rather than triggering the end of civilization. The bond holders aren’t happy of course, “There are limits, however, to what could be considered voluntary,” said Charles Dallara, managing director and chief negotiator for the Institute of International Finance, representing bondholders.

Closer to home, insurance regulators in Arizona have seized the main subsidiary of private mortgage insurer PMI Group Inc. and regulators will begin paying claims against mortgage insurance by creditors at just 50 cents on the dollar and may stop paying them all together. The company had been skating along by denying claims from banks because they were presenting sketchy paperwork, but they have finally been overwhelmed by the collapse of the housing bubble.

President Obama went to Nevada today to announce the liberalizing of the standards for refinancing homeowners that are underwater. He’s doing this by Executive Order and so it’s only a partial fix at best, since any real reform would require an Act of Congress. The White House won’t say how many homeowners might be helped, and while it could be millions, the program is strictly voluntary from the stand point of the bankers. So the really number is probably zero.

Snidely Whiplash, I mean Mitt Romney, criticized the President for “letting the housing crisis go on too long”, not that more help should go to home owners, but rather they should all be foreclosed on much faster. “Get the houses into the hands of investors that could, you know, fix them up and rent them out”. You know like Romney’s Bain Capital did for our manufacturing base. Mitt sounds exactly like the evil banker in It’s a Wonderful Life, the question we need to know the answer to is Obama’s angel going to get his wings?


Paul said...

Obama is such a piss poor excuse for a president. Did we elect Rodney King or what? Is this Rodney King before or after the beating he got at the hands of the Republicans? FYI Mitt Romney's plan for the housing crisis only proves how out of touch the 1% truly are. In other words Mitt is a jackass.

macnow said...


I think your playing a little to much into rightwing rhetoric yourself.

I get part of where you might be coming from; but lets be honest, Obama hung around a lot of the Chicago business schools types ( neo liberal/con). So part of his policy is based on rubbing elbows with such types. This was evident from before he started even campaigning hard for president. So no R King beatings going on there (racial sterotyping a little to much there bud).

Part of the problem is the Clinton crowd is a scary group which has a lot of say in the democratic party, and what with Larry Summers et all heading up his econimic group for most of his first term... well I felt from the begining this presidency was doomed.

Obama does not have many friends because the democratic party has so many real entrenched problems.

It's hard to be a FDR type, or hell even an Eisenhower type, when you really don't have people who watch your back. Harry Reid...please, Pelosie (little better) but still please.

My gut is he see's the bigger picture and wants to do more, but it's the Democratic senators and congressmen/women that are the problem.

He is got no simple answers, so to get anything thru he is taking a conservative middle road approach.

I don't agree with it, in fact I hate it; but the unemotional logic side of me says if he didn't he might preside over the next civil war.

As I said in many posts here before, I live in middle America, bible belt and all that shit (actually a bit above but still close enough to smell the fire and brimstone). AND these people are ready for it. Hell the guy next to me built a gun range in his backyard. Down the street there is another guy with a mess of secessionist signs (and we ain't even close to Texas).

Point is, when you got a democratic party that has clearly lost it's balls, half the world on fire, and your own country's population going nutts cause a half back man with a arab sounding name is your president... well what the fuck would you do.

He has fired Larry Summers; good fucking move (maybe to late).

Zionist twit Rahm is gone; awesome let Chicago get his special kinda luvven.

In the end Obama has shown he knows how to wheel a big stick (military). Like it or not he has made multiple, multiple guttzie calls. The "Lead from behind" Libya call was just the most recent.

I don't know where this is going to end. Hopefully with a lot of the middle east having already going thru major change (Syria still up for grabs) Obama can focus on the jobs front with some guttzie moves.
Of course the little spoiled brat named Israel could F that up any moment, but their own internal strife has clipped their wings a bit.

Part of me just wants a Republican (batshit crazy type) to get office so we can get the civil war on while I'm still young and can take out some mellons at 500 paces.

Then the logic side of me says, it might just not be civil war that goes on; those batshit crazy Repubs want world war 3, with the final climax being the "end timers" masturbatory fantasy of floating peacefully up to heaven (with the 10% or so of the Jews that convert) and watch the rest of the world burn.

Fuck those nutjobs.

Prairie 2 does a good job of putting out little "Perspective Nibbles" that I can chew on and ruminate over, so I can maybe see an angle I've missed.

Obama is doing better then Jimmy Carter. Carter got screwed on both having to pay for the Vietnam war, and getting fucked on the hostage crisis.

If I get employed fulltime in the next 2 to 4 months, I will vote for Obama, if not... well I guess I better start gearing up for the shit that will come in like a hurricane.

Anonymous said...

As always, your commentary is fun to read and leaves me thinking it makes sense, if I could understand more than the 15% I recognize. Why didn't they teach us financial-wall street shenanigans in a nice high school class right after a civics class. Oh where have the values that built the American society of those that have gone before us to build the America that functioned for the middle class and not the corporate-profit at the cost of the middle class that is strangling the functioning and prosperous economy for the middle class, America I remember? Harumpf! Keep the commentary coming, it dive me direction to learn about things!!

Anonymous said...

The agreement with other countries such as Germany and England include them acting as third party tax collectors of up to 30% in exchange for privacy of the account holder. The US has refused this. Meaning it never was about the taxes it was about controlling people and stripping their right to privacy.

prairie2 said...

Since when is tax evasion fall under "right to privacy". Steal a loaf of bread from these rat bastards and they want you to get life in prison, but they can steal billions as it's their Constitutional right.

Anonymous said...

Let me repeat, they pay the tax, thus avoiding tax evasion. In exchange they protect your right to simple 4th amendment privacy.

prairie2 said...

They haven't been paying their taxes, you or I do that and go to prison. But you're okay with giving rich people who do it have a pass based on the 4th amendment even though that doesn't apply to taxes and never has. You Whiskey Rebellion types were put down by George Washington.

Anonymous said...

The super rich are not the objects of these actions. They will simply move. The goal is to remove the right of the upper to lower classes. And then get used to being searched and made compliant to those really in charge. Do a little research. Its not the money its the control.

John said...

Presumably the "They" who protect our privacy doesn't include the telecommunications corporations who had to be granted retroactive immunity (from their bought and paid for congress, including then Sen Obumma) for their collaboration in Bush's illegal wiretapping program.

Note this is not a comprehensive list but lunch is ready.

John Puma

prairie2 said...

"they [the rich] will simply move" Huh? It's turns out we could find Bin Laden if we really wanted to, we can hunt down the rich tax evaders too. Taking them alive is optional.

Anonymous said...

President Obama went to Nevada today to announce the liberalizing of the standards for refinancing homeowners that are underwater ..

When you have no job or very limited income, refinancing is only going to delay the eventual foreclosure. You can't afford any house payment. ... better off downsizing and renting an apartment or a room that you can afford. Plus, you become more mobile. You are not tied to that mortgage. .. right now, North Dakota is begging for workers. The energy business is booming. All types of jobs are available. Not just oil related jobs. .. messing around with some silly refinance on a home in an area with no work makes no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Why would the 1% bother with Swiss bank accounts? If I was with the 1%, I would build a few fireproof floor safes in my houses. I would open a few USA bank safe deposit boxes, I would take lots of cash and buy gold, silver and platinum coins. I would buy stocks of oil, timber, water, utilities and the total stock market index. Bank accounts and T-bills make no sense to me. They pay nothing. The coins don't pay dividends, either. But those are buried/hidden from the govt. hands. The fiat money is crap. At the other end, the coins will always have value. .. I see no need for a far off Swiss account.