27 May, 2010
For example, on page 72 of the '99 report:
"“Gold” is valued at the statutory
price of $42.2222 per fine troy
ounce. As of Sep tem ber 30, 1999,
the num ber of fine troy ounces was
261,571,005. The mar ket value of
gold on the Lon don Fixing as of the
re port ing date was $299.00 per fine
troy ounce. Gold was pledged as
col lat eral for gold cer tif i cates is sued
to the FRBs to tal ing $11.0 bil lion.
See Note 14—Other Li a bil i ties."
While on page 63 of the '09 report:
"Gold is valued at the statutory price of $42.2222 per fine troy ounce. The number of fine troy ounces was
261,498,900 as of September 30, 2009, and 2008. The market value of gold on the London Fixing was $996 and
$885 per fine troy ounce as of September 30, 2009, and 2008, respectively. Gold totaling $11.1 billion and $11.0
billion as of September 30, 2009, and 2008, respectively, was pledged as collateral for gold certificates issued and
authorized to the FRBs by the Secretary of the Treasury and is included in Note 19—Other Liabilities."
Read them for yourself: http://www.gao.gov/financial/fy99cfs.pdf; http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/09frusg/09frusg.pdf.
Notice that Goldfinger's Treasury Department apparently doesn't let the "Government Accountability (*ROFL*) Office" have them any more...
25 May, 2010
The Alternet article goes into more detail on each, but those identified include names most will remember:
1. Robert Rubin
2. Alan Greenspan
3. Larry Summers
4. Phil and Wendy Gramm
5. Jamie Dimon
6. Stephen Friedman
7. Robert Steel
8. Henry Paulson
9. Warren Buffett
10. Goldman Sachs:
-Joshua Bolton, chief of staff for George W. Bush, was a Goldman man
-Current New York Fed President William Dudley is a Goldman man
-Current Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler has been a responsible regulator under Obama, but he was a deregulatory hawk during the Clinton years, and worked at Goldman for nearly two decades before that.
-A top aide to Timothy Geithner, Gene Sperling, is a Goldman man
-Current Treasury Undersecretary Robert Hormats is a Goldman man
-Current Treasury Chief of Staff Mark Patterson is a former Goldman lobbyist
-Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt is now a Goldman adviser
-Neel Kashkari, Henry Paulson’s deputy on TARP, was a Goldman man
-COO of the SEC Enforcement Division Adam Storch is a Goldman man
-Former Sen. John Corzine, D-N.J., was Goldman’s CEO before Henry Paulson
-Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., was a Goldman Vice President before he ran for Congress
-Former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., now lobbies for Goldman
If you've not heard this before, one reason (of many) might be "# 2's" wife: Andrea Mitchell of NBC.
The (Goldfinger) Department of State also has a number of "Goldies".
And now you know why I call this The Goldfinger Chronicles.
19 May, 2010
17 May, 2010
I wonder who provided that "experimental software". NSA(T&T)?
Somebody call Vegas. I want the line on plane crash/earthquake/volcano/"terrorist" strike.
‘Mummy’ Merkel battered as Germans lose faith in EU - Times Online
14 May, 2010
The Bailout of Big American Banks Has Cost Trillions More Than We've Been Told
Granted, the $700 billion dollar TARP bailout was a massive bait-and-switch. The government said it was doing it to soak up toxic assets, and then switched to saying it was needed to free up lending. It didn't do that either. Indeed, the Fed doesn't want the banks to lend.True, as I wrote in March 2009:
The bailout money is just going to line the pockets of the wealthy, instead of helping to stabilize the economy or even the companies receiving the bailouts:
Bailout money is being used to subsidize companies run by horrible business men, allowing the bankers to receive fat bonuses, to redecorate their offices, and to buy gold toilets and prostitutes
A lot of the bailout money is going to the failing companies' shareholders
Indeed, a leading progressive economist says that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans is "a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives"
The Treasury Department encouraged banks to use the bailout money to buy their competitors, and pushed through an amendment to the tax laws which rewards mergers in the banking industry (this has caused a lot of companies to bite off more than they can chew, destabilizing the acquiring companies)And as the New York Times notes, "Tens of billions of [bailout] dollars have merely passed through A.I.G. to its derivatives trading partners".***In other words, through a little game-playing by the Fed, taxpayer money is going straight into the pockets of investors in AIG's credit default swaps and is not even really stabilizing AIG.
But the TARP bailout is peanuts compared to the numerous other bailouts the government has given to the giant banks.
And I'm not referring to the $23 trillion in bailouts, loans, guarantees and other known shenanigans that the special inspector general for the TARP program mentions. I'm talking about more covert types of bailouts.
Guaranteeing a Fat Spread on Interest Rates
Well, as Bloomberg notes:
“The trading profits of the Street is just another way of measuring the subsidy the Fed is giving to the banks,” said Christopher Whalen, managing director of Torrance, California-based Institutional Risk Analytics. “It’s a transfer from savers to banks.”
The trading results, which helped the banks report higher quarterly profit than analysts estimated even as unemployment stagnated at a 27-year high, came with a big assist from the Federal Reserve. The U.S. central bank helped lenders by holding short-term borrowing costs near zero, giving them a chance to profit by carrying even 10-year government notes that yielded an average of 3.70 percent last quarter.
The gap between short-term interest rates, such as what banks may pay to borrow in interbank markets or on savings accounts, and longer-term rates, known as the yield curve, has been at record levels. The difference between yields on 2- and 10-year Treasuries yesterday touched 2.71 percentage points, near the all-time high of 2.94 percentage points set Feb. 18.
Harry Blodget explains:
The latest quarterly reports from the big Wall Street banks revealed a startling fact: None of the big four banks had a single day in the quarter in which they lost money trading.
For the 63 straight trading days in Q1, in other words, Goldman Sachs (GS), JP Morgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), and Citigroup (C) made money trading for their own accounts.
Trading, of course, is supposed to be a risky business: You win some, you lose some. That's how traders justify their gargantuan bonuses--their jobs are so risky that they deserve to be paid millions for protecting their firms' precious capital. (Of course, the only thing that happens if traders fail to protect that capital is that taxpayers bail out the bank and the traders are paid huge "retention" bonuses to prevent them from leaving to trade somewhere else, but that's a different story).
But these days, trading isn't risky at all. In fact, it's safer than walking down the street.
Because the US government is lending money to the big banks at near-zero interest rates. And the banks are then turning around and lending that money back to the US government at 3%-4% interest rates, making 3%+ on the spread. What's more, the banks are leveraging this trade, borrowing at least $10 for every $1 of equity capital they have, to increase the size of their bets. Which means the banks can turn relatively small amounts of equity into huge profits--by borrowing from the taxpayer and then lending back to the taxpayer.
***The government's zero-interest-rate policy, in other words, is the biggest Wall Street subsidy yet. So far, it has done little to increase the supply of credit in the real economy. But it has hosed responsible people who lived within their means and are now earning next-to-nothing on their savings. It has also allowed the big Wall Street banks to print money to offset all the dumb bets that brought the financial system to the brink of collapse two years ago. And it has fattened Wall Street bonus pools to record levels again.
Paul Abrams chimes in:
To get a clear picture of what is going on here, ignore the intermediate steps (borrowing money from the fed, investing in Treasuries), as they are riskless, and it immediately becomes clear that this is merely a direct payment from the Fed to the banking executives...for nothing. No nifty new tech product has been created. No illness has been treated. No teacher has figured out how to get a third-grader to understand fractions. No singer's voice has entertained a packed stadium. No batter has hit a walk-off double. No "risk"has even been "managed", the current mantra for what big banks do that is so goddamned important that it is doing "god's work".
Nor has any credit been extended to allow the real value-producers to meet payroll, to reserve a stadium, to purchase capital equipment, to hire employees. Nothing.
Congress should put an immediate halt to this practice. Banks should have to show that the money they are borrowing from the Fed is to provide credit to businesses, or consumers, or homeowners. Not a penny should be allowed to be used to purchase Treasuries. Otherwise, the Fed window should be slammed shut on their manicured fingers.
And, stiff criminal penalties should be enacted for those banks that mislead the Fed about the destination of the money they are borrowing. Bernie Madoff needs company.
There is another type of guaranteed spread that allows the giant banks to make money hand over fist. Specifically, the Fed pays the big banks interest to borrow money at no interest and then keep money parked at the Fed itself. (The Fed is intentionally doing this for the express purpose of preventing too much money from being lent out to Main Street. That's just dandy.)
The giant banks are receiving many other covert bailouts and subsidies as well.
Too Big As Subsidy
Initially, the fact that the giant banks are "too big to fail" encourages them to take huge, risky gambles that they would not otherwise take. If they win, they make big bucks. If they lose, they know the government will just bail them out. This is a gambling subsidy.
The very size of the too big to fails also decreases the ability of the smaller banks to compete. And - since the government itself helped make the giants even bigger - that is also a subsidy to the big boys (see this).
The monopoly power given to the big banks (technically an "oligopoly") is a subsidy in other ways as well. For example, Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said in September that giants like Goldman are using their size to manipulate the market:
"The main problem that Goldman raises is a question of size: 'too big to fail.' In some markets, they have a significant fraction of trades. Why is that important? They trade both on their proprietary desk and on behalf of customers. When you do that and you have a significant fraction of all trades, you have a lot of information."Further, he says, "That raises the potential of conflicts of interest, problems of front-running, using that inside information for your proprietary desk. And that's why the Volcker report came out and said that we need to restrict the kinds of activity that these large institutions have. If you're going to trade on behalf of others, if you're going to be a commercial bank, you can't engage in certain kinds of risk-taking behavior."
The giants (especially Goldman Sachs) have also used high-frequency program trading which not only distorted the markets - making up more than 70% of stock trades - but which also let the program trading giants take a sneak peak at what the real (aka “human”) traders are buying and selling, and then trade on the insider information. See this, this, this, this and this. (This is frontrunning, which is illegal; but it is a lot bigger than garden variety frontrunning, because the program traders are not only trading based on inside knowledge of what their own clients are doing, they are also trading based on knowledge of what all other traders are doing).
Goldman also admitted that its proprietary trading program can "manipulate the markets in unfair ways". The giant banks have also allegedly used their Counterparty Risk Management Policy Group (CRMPG) to exchange secret information and formulate coordinated mutually beneficial actions, all with the government's blessings.
In addition, the giants receive many billions in subsidies by receiving government guarantees that they are "too big to fail", ensuring that they have to pay lower interest rates to attract depositors.
And the government's failure to rein in derivatives or break up the giant banks also constitute enormous subsidies, as it allows the giants to make huge sums by keeping the true price points of their derivatives secret. See this and this.
And the PPIP program - which was supposed to reduce the toxic assets held by banks - actually increased them, and just let the banks make a quick buck.
Mortgages and Housing
PhD economists John Hussman and Dean Baker (and fund manager and financial writer Barry Ritholtz) say that the only reason the government keeps giving billions to Fannie and Freddie is that it is really a huge, ongoing, back-door bailout of the big banks.
Many also accuse Obama's foreclosure relief programs as being backdoor bailouts for the banks. (See this, this and this).
The big banks - such as JP Morgan - also benefit from foreign bailouts, such as the European bailout, as they are some of the largest creditors of the bailed out countries, and the bailouts allow them to get paid in full, instead of having to write down their foreign losses.
These are just a few of the secret bailouts programs the government is giving to the giant banks. There are many other bailout programs as well. If these bailouts and subsidies are added up, they amount to many tens - or perhaps even hundreds - of trillions of dollars.
And then there is the cost of debasing the currency in order to print money to fund these bailouts. The cost to the American citizen in less valuable dollars will be truly staggering.
13 May, 2010
The next 2,000-page bill data, financial, bill - Opinion - The Orange County Register
Posted using ShareThis
12 May, 2010
BERKOWITZ, HOWARD P.
CRAIG, GREGORY. (revolving door)
DUDLEY, WILLIAM C.
EFFRON, BLAIR W.
GEPHARDT, RICHARD (aka "DICK") A.
GREENSTONE, MICHAEL (revolving door to Hamilton Project)
HAMILTON PROJECT, THE
LEW, JACOB (AKA "JACK") J.
LIDDY, EDWARD MICHAEL.
LIPTON, DAVID A.
OBAMA, BARACK H.
REISCHAUER, ROBERT D.
TYSON, LAURA D’ANDREA.
11 May, 2010
They've come a long way from "John Pierpont"'s sale of inoperable rifles to Lincoln's Army...
JPMorgan Joins "Perfect 10" Club With Flawless Trading Quarter, Morgan Stanley Loses Money On Just 4 Days
Yesterday we discussed the statistically impossible trading desk results of Goldman Sachs, which reported in its 10Q that it lost money on exactly 0 days last quarter, and was profitable on 63 out of 63 days. Today we find that the rape and pillage of the middle class was not isolated to Goldman, and that JP Morgan also had a flawless quarter. And if the odds of Goldman making 63 out of 63 are virtually impossible in any universe in which risk goes hand in hand with return (but in those in which monopolies are encouraged and bailed out), the coincidence of the two main firms that control the world having a perfect track record is impossible2. And since things in reality tend to be zero sum, when everyone makes money, someone may be tempted to ask the question, just who is losing money? And the answer, dear taxpayers, and [Goldman|JPMorgan] clients, is you.
Check out the video "Tea Party Movement Not Realizing U.S. is Bailing Out Greece, Says CNBC Host" by clicking here http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/checker.aspx?v=Xd6USUaG6U
10 May, 2010
Hmm. Goldfinger making "money" no matter what...
Unfuckingbelievable: Goldman Has Zero Trading Loss Days In Last Quarter
If you ever wanted to see what monopoly looks like in chart form, here it is:
In the quarter ended March 31, Goldman made money on every single trading day. The firm did not record a loss of even $0.01 on even one day in the last quarter. That's 63 days profitable out of 63 trading days. The statistic probability of this event is itself statistically undefined. Goldman is now the market - or, in keeping with modern market reality, Goldman is the house, it controls the casino, and always wins. Congratulations America: you now have far, far better odds in Las Vegas that you have making money with your E-Trade account.
07 May, 2010
God, I love good theater!
Euro Surges As Rumor That ECB Will Bail Out 1,100 European Banks Takes Hold
Euro (and the market) surging on rumors that the ECB is preparing to bail out 1,100 banks in Europe. And with that the bailout moves officially to Europe. From the dealer community:
CHATTER OF NEWS ECB LOAN FACILITY GOING AROUND
- Chatter of €600bn ECB loan facility to be announced over the weekend
- Terms mentioned are 1% for 1 year loans to cover 1,100 banks
- UNCONFIRMED - Euro is moving on this chatter
Imagine Lehman. Times 1,000. Now it gets fun.
06 May, 2010
A Note on the Sovereign Debt Crisis: Abandon Ship!
Posted using ShareThis
Blah, blah, blah...
Freddie Mac asks for fresh 10.6 billion dollar bailout
Yahoo! Singapore News - http://sg.news.yahoo.com/
Consider the range of anger right now. Completely different philosophies, completely different views of the world, but the Times Square bomber, the Tea Party movement, the Ron Paul movement and the protesters in Greece have one thing in common, a rejection of control by the global plotters.
05 May, 2010
03 May, 2010
The Subprime Conspiracy: Was there a plan to blow up the economy? By Mike Whitney : Information Clearing House - ICH
The Subprime Conspiracy: Was there a plan to blow up the economy? By Mike Whitney : Information Clearing House - ICH
"Subrime" mortgages became possible - indeed, legally mandated - when Robert Rubin (of Goldman Sachs) was Secretary of the Treasury...under Clinton. Astsute individuals knew a screwing was coming. It was Clinton, after all.
Throughout the bush administration (and yes, the lower-case is deliberate - a manifestation of my opinion of that soon-to-be next-worst "president"), salesmen (called "mortgage brokers") sold mortgages to people they knew couldn't ultimately afford them, and then "sold" these mortgages (written on "flash" paper) to banks (who had to buy them by law, courtesy of Clinton/Rubin/Goldman Sachs).
The banks didn't want them (they knew it was "flash" paper), but they had to buy them by law, (courtesy of Clinton/Rubin/Goldman Sachs), so they packed them into boxes, and then "sold" the boxes to bigger banks (that didn't want them - they knew it was a box of "flash" paper), but they had to buy them by law, (courtesy of Clinton/Rubin/Goldman Sachs); so they packed the boxes onto pallets and sold the pallets to even bigger banks (that didn't want them - they knew they were pallets of boxes of "flash" paper), but they had to buy them by law, (courtesy of Clinton/Rubin/Goldman Sachs); so they packed the pallets into trucks and "sold" the trucks to even bigger banks (that didn't want them - they knew they were trucks full of pallets of boxes of "flash" paper), but they had to buy them by law, (courtesy of Clinton/Rubin/Goldman Sachs); so they called the trucks a fleet, and "sold" the fleet(s) to an even bigger bank (that actually DID want them - knowing they were fleets of trucks of pallets of boxes of "flash" paper), because (courtesy of Clinton/Rubin/Goldman Sachs) they could park the fleets of trucks of pallets of boxes of "flash" paper in a parking lot and "sell" shares of the parking lot to idiots called "investors".
On Auditing the Fed: The Doddering Senate by Gary North
It should come as no suprise that "government programs" intend what they accomplish, and they almost always accomplish the exact opposite of their propaganda. "Social Security" was never intended to provide "security" to society; it was intended to "secure" government debt on the back of society.
- ► 2012 (28)
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- Department of Goldfinger...
- Graphic and Distrubing Images
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- Rape and Pillage Not Isolated to Goldman
- Gene wants you to check out a video on Eyeblast.tv
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- Ultra-rich Megalomaniacs Bent On Ruling The World
- (cue music) "That's Entertainment!"
- A Note on the Sovereign Debt Crisis: Abandon Ship!
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- ▼ May (22)