Monday, December 22, 2008

Where's My Money?


It's something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where's the money going?

But after receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation's largest banks say they can't track exactly how they're spending the money or they simply refuse to discuss it.

Full Story

Monday, December 15, 2008



Meanwhile, a federal judge on Monday threw a lifesaver to investors who may have been duped, saying they need the protection of a special government reserve fund set up to help investors at failed brokerage firms.

U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton ordered that clients of Madoff's private investment business seek relief under a federal statute created to rescue cheated investors. Stanton also ordered that business be liquidated under the jurisdiction of a bankruptcy court and named attorney Irvin H. Picard as trustee to oversee that process.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Funny Quote

"What this Bernie Madoff did privately is no worse than what Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke are doing publicly to the U.S. taxpayers. In a sad way, Madoff should be admired for having been able to accomplish such a swindle without the help of the U.S. Congress." - the Snarkmeister

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ron Paul on the Bailouts

Ron Paul is the man.

Hands and Cookie Jars

Bloomberg is reporting some interesting news in a piece entitled Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion :

The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral.

Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Fed responded Dec. 8, saying it’s allowed to withhold internal memos as well as information about trade secrets and commercial information. The institution confirmed that a records search found 231 pages of documents pertaining to some of the requests.

“If they told us what they held, we would know the potential losses that the government may take and that’s what they don’t want us to know,” said Carlos Mendez, a senior managing director at New York-based ICP Capital LLC, which oversees $22 billion in assets.

If I were the Fed, I wouldn't want us to know the real deal either. A big part of the economy is a con game. By that, I mean a confidence game, where our confidence in the system is the essential ingredient for the entire thing to work.

If you have a minute, go listen to Wizards of Money for some thought food.

Auto Bill Dies, Most Banks Bankrupt

The good news...the auto bailout died in the Senate. A lot of the media coverage is calling this a bad thing. If the media knew about business, maybe all the newspapers wouldn't be going bankrupt.

Regardless, it is not my responsibility to make sure that failing businesses stay afloat. Free markets work when they are left alone. Freedom of failure is an essential element. Yay Senate!

Following that is this great quote from Jim Rogers:

"Without giving specific names, most of the significant American banks, the larger banks, are bankrupt, totally bankrupt," said Rogers, who is now a private investor.

"What is outrageous economically and is outrageous morally is that normally in times like this, people who are competent and who saw it coming and who kept their powder dry go and take over the assets from the incompetent," he said. "What's happening this time is that the government is taking the assets from the competent people and giving them to the incompetent people and saying, now you can compete with the competent people. It is horrible economics."

Taking the assets from the competent and giving them to the incompetent. That's a great way to spell B-A-I-L-O-U-T. Why give more money to people who couldn't handle it the first time? Seems obvious to me... you reward incompetence, you get more incompetence.

Bailouts Delenda Est.