Recent comments

  • Reply to: Trade Deadline Day Open Thread   1 min 19 sec ago

    Except that the term "joke", pretty much by definition, should contain some element of actual humor, amusement, light-heartedness, etc,: this latest demonstration of Congressional-Republican buffoonery is really just pathetic. From Speaker Boehner's comments (emphasis added):

     

    This situation shows the intense concern within our conference – and among the American people – about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president’s refusal to faithfully execute our laws. There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries.

    Even sadder, IMO, is the likelihood that Mr. Speaker is completely oblivious to the contradictory irony in his urging the President to take action on the border issue via Executive Order - those same Executive Orders he and House Republicans consider such an overbearing, tyrannical, dictatorial abuse-of-power that they have spent wasted a great deal of time authorizing the House to actually SUE the President for promulgating. I guess when it comes to pushing the GOP's pet issues, the definition of "tyranny" suddenly becomes somewhat flexible...

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   45 min 15 sec ago

    The feasibility of liquidation isn't remote - proceeding to liquidation is easy.  Closing the books is tough.  Receivership is tough to administer, think of a standard BK, it's a mound of details.  D-F doesn't change the underlying complexity of some of these institutions.  Here's the problem, in a nutshell.  Wall Street and the various markets are tough to regulate and tougher to prosecute, for many reasons, some good, some bad.  D-F doesn't go nearly far enough, I'll grant you.  It's the creditors who gum up the works and not all of them will be happy.  But it sure beats runs on the banks.

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   58 min 35 sec ago

    might lead to a gigantic conservative freakout predicting the collapse of all social programs.

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   1 hour 48 sec ago

    time to damage the economy doesn't seem remotely feasible, even though that's what Dodd-Frank requires.

  • Reply to: Trade Deadline Day Open Thread   1 hour 20 min ago

    as the House goes sideways on the immigration vote.

     

    In other news, prepare yourselves for a Big Shock, gennemens.  Sitting down?  Good.  The CIA lied about spying on the US Senate.

  • Reply to: Trade Deadline Day Open Thread   1 hour 40 min ago

    and much more docile than usual?  It's not just you.

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   1 hour 53 min ago

    Even for a smallish estate, it takes months to go through the motions of winding it all down.  With a bank, there aren't many tangible assets to manage:  the building, some art maybe.  But that stuff is moved out quickly.  A bank is mostly obligations.  In an outfit the size of Lehman, it's not a single chart of accounts.  Lehman was spread out across many corporations, each of which had to be dismantled. Can't close out all these corporations at once and you'll do even more damage than the original failure.  

     

    And there's venue.  I'm not privy to all this but I've been around bank mergers.  The checking account I opened as a mere lad of 17 went through seven different incarnations.  During one such incarnation, I watched from the inside as First Chicago was merged into Bank One and Bank One was merged with Chase.  You can't imagine how many lawyers were involved - and all of them were Busy Busy Busy.  Winding down a bank might turn into multiple cases within a single state.  It's not easy to open a bank, nor is it easy to close one.

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   2 hours 7 min ago

    and why believe institutions 4x Lehman's size and with 10x the number of subsidiaries can be wound down in even that timeframe? 

  • Reply to: Trade Deadline Day Open Thread   2 hours 10 min ago

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   2 hours 15 min ago

    I know guys who work on Fed and Treasury systems, LCR is very well understood.  Financial Stability Oversight Council handles a lot of this stuff.  Liquidating these banks isn't all that difficult:  they enter receivership through FDIC.  

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   2 hours 24 min ago

    The healthcare bill that radically transformed the entire sector of the world's largest economy, and which is being implemented incrementally over many years, runs a little over 2,400 pages.

     

    Yellen asserted that a plan to wind down a single large financial institution in the US runs 10s of thousands of pages and is "very complex". 

     

    It's incredible that she thought that was a point *in favor* of these institutions not yet having a credible plan to be liquidated in "a rapid and orderly manner" w/out threatening the economy, as Dodd-Frank requires.

     

    It shows the opposite -- large financial institutions aren't within a country mile of having a rapid and orderly plan for winding down and Yellen is dithering around the margins.

  • Reply to: Trade Deadline Day Open Thread   2 hours 30 min ago

    After ten brutal losses in test matches, England give India a magnificent thumping.

     

    Man of the Match, James Anderson, who faces the music tomorrow to account for his disgusting row with Ravindra Jadeja.

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   2 hours 38 min ago

    reading of legislation,  it's just that you have to pass it so that the crowd can read it and tell you what's in it.

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   2 hours 46 min ago

    .

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   2 hours 48 min ago

    That's a new one for the financial industry, though familiar to me from my grade school English classes.

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   2 hours 50 min ago

    that the US economy is likely to stay depressed until banking fraud is brought to heel, Dean Baker believes that the 2014 data so far suggest it will not be an accelerated year of recovery:

    ... the economy grew at less than a 1.0 percent annual rate in the first half of 2014. That is hardly cause for celebration. 

     

    [Recent reports] imply an underlying rate of growth close to 2.0 percent [for the year], the same as the rate for 2011-2013. This pace is at best keeping even with the economy's potential growth rate, meaning that it is making up none of the ground lost during the recession. According to the Congressional Budget Office's estimates, the economy is still operating at a level of output that is almost $800 billion (@4.5 percent) less than potential GDP. It will not close this gap unless it grows more rapidly than its potential.

    To date:

     

     

    Is failure to prosecute bank fraud one cause for the continuing underperformance by the US economy? 

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   3 hours 1 min ago

    You can't just give a pass/fail on whether banks can be resolved in bankruptcy each year, even though that's exactly what the law orders, because these are incredibly complex plans running to tens of thousands of pages. How can we know each year whether the liquidation plans of banks are credible, when the liquidation plans themselves are actually too big to read? I will now just continue repeating variations on this theme until time runs out on this session.

  • Reply to: Systemic Financial Fraud - It's Real and the Government is Typically Indifferent   3 hours 52 min ago

    Other nations, notably Canada, regulate their banks.  Their banks didn't face the problems of 2007-8 to the degree endured by USA, Germany and other nations where the governments have been reduced to whores.   We could simply have nationalised the banks, gone Ilk Hunting and evicted these money barons.  We didn't, because leaving them in place was the politically sound move.

     

    It's not an If.  The whole organization was systematically violating the law, including the regulators, whom one can barely distinguish from the regulated any more, so often do they walk through those revolving doors.  

  • Reply to: The Bird Dog Doctrine   3 hours 59 min ago

    Civilisations fail.  The world of ancient China was incredibly brutal under its first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, books were burned, scholars murdered, the Great Wall built by the vast enslavement of millions of workers.   Qin Shi Huang was a genocidal destroyer, his treatment of the state of Zhao is an exemplar of fanatical cruelty.  The Khmer, likewise, expanded their empire with incredible ferocity.  

     

    Everyone's great - except the West, all of whom are dubbed Faintly Ridiculous.  

  • Reply to: The Bird Dog Doctrine   4 hours 7 min ago

    But successful entities seem to have this common theme.  I learned how the different components of ancient China came together in Xian.  I'm going to Indochina later this year, especially to check out the wonderful civilisation of the Khmers.

     

    All the cultures we discuss grew and developed for several centuries.  After going to the Gandhara exhibition I have been overwhelmed by the delicacy and the humanity of the vision of the people of that age.  They have given us so much in the way of knowledge and beauty.  I discount the brutality, violence and urge to genocide that comes with some visions of civilisation.  Many Buddhists and Jain cultures have shown us that civilisation, and more especially an atheist civilisation, does not have a necessary congruence with brutality.

     

    As for lasting, what does last in the end?  All cultures begin, develop and die.  Maybe we make the error that ours will last longer than the others.

    The Yaksha asked,--'What is most wonderful?'

     

    Yudhishthira answered,--'Day after day countless creatures are going to the abode of Yama, yet those that remain behind believe themselves to be immortal. What can be more wonderful than this?'