Buffett and Paulson: Part of the Problem

Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Henry “Hank” Paulson, former Treasury Secretary, were guests of honor at the annual meeting of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce this week.  read more »

One Homeowner, Two Mortgage Holders, No Lien!

I’ve been following this for a while and writing about it on since March – not all mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are actually backed by mortgages. So when the homeowner goes into bankruptcy, there’s no way for the MBS holder to prove a lien on the house and the judge awards the bondholder bupkus.  read more »

Bailout Success!!

“I guess the bailouts are working…for Goldman Sachs!” The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Goldman Sachs reported $3.4 billion second quarter earnings. Mises Economics Blogger Peter Klein says these earnings are the result of political capitalism – earned in the “nebulous world of public-private interactions.” Klein points to an interesting perspective offered by The Streetwise Professor (Craig Pirrong at University of Houston): Moral Hazard.  read more »

$12.8 Trillion Committed to Bailout

Shortly after I told you that is reporting a running total of the money the U.S. government has pledged and spent for bailouts and economic stimulus, reporters Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry updated the totals: So far, $12.8 trillion has been pledged – an additional $1.2 trillion over the earlier report.  read more »

Who's Watching AIG?

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing Wednesday – “AIG: Where is the Taxpayer Money Going?” Questions are being raised about whether the bailout better serves the interests of AIG’s customers and trading partners or the interests of U.S. taxpayers.  read more »

Geithner's Toxic Recycling Plan Nixed by Big Fund

The success of Treasury Secretary Geithner’s Public-Private Investment Partnership Program depends on getting private investors interested in buying junk bonds off the banks’ balance sheets. Now it seems that at least one hedge fund is giving the plan “two thumbs-down.”  read more »

Junk By Any Other Name Would Smell

The Treasury this week disclosed details of their plan to pump $1 trillion into the financial system by removing “Legacy Assets” from the balance sheets of banks. Wading through the multitude of documents and documents, I’m reminded of a remark by Michael Milken in a conversation with Charlie Rose on October 27, 2008 “Complexity is not innovation.”  read more »

Geithner is Wall Street's Lapdog

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is on the cover of the April 2009 issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine. In the lead article, “Man in the Middle,” the authors refer to his time at the New York Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) as “experience as a consensus builder.” This overlooks the fact that it was easy for him to get everyone to agree, to build group solidarity, when he simply gave the banks and broker-dealers everything they wanted.  read more »

Layout for the Bailout: $3.8 Trillion and Counting reporters Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry are reporting a running total of the money the U.S. government has pledged and spent for bailouts and economic stimulus payments. The total disbursed through February 24, 2009 stands at $3.8 trillion; the total commitment is $11.6 trillion. The Federal Reserve is providing the largest share at $7.6 billion, followed by the U.S. Treasury $2.2 trillion and FDIC $1.6 trillion.  read more »