I am trying to figure out who is the biggest jerk in this story. It is a challenge, given the collection of utter clowns and ne’er-do-wells that run that office.

First, you have some moron who helped cost the taxpayers a hundred large ($100B) back in the 1980s. How this idiot ever ended up in a position of responsibility in any regulatory agency again is beyond my comprehension. There are some who would point to all government regulation as the root cause, but crony capitalism and the disbelief in and and all regulations is what leads to putting someone so unsuitable in this position of authority.

Second, you have to wonder about just how frickin’ dumb the idiots who run the office of Thrift Supervision have been the past 8 years. These were the clowns that blamed Schumer for the collapse of Indy Mac, after backdating their capital levels.  As you will see below, if the OTS weren’t incompetant boobs, Indy Mac should have been shut down months before their run!

That the OTS is run by such half-wits and morons, that they blamed a US Senator — for having the temerity to ask how much money the criminally incompetant managers running Indy Mac were going to cost the taxpayer — rather than their own inadequate supervision. (BTW, the answer to Schumer’s question was about $9 billion).

Recall that when James Gilleran took over the Office of Thrift Supervision, he took a chainsaw to a stack of regulations to symbolize how his agency was going to “cut red tape” for thrifts (a.k.a. S&Ls), which were heavily involved in mortgage lending. The ideologue in him declared: “Our goal is to allow thrifts to operate with a wide breadth of freedom from regulatory intrusion,” Gilleran said in a 2004 speech.

Nice work.

This wasn’t mere malfeasance by Gilleran — as we have been repeatedly noting, it was nonfeasance — the intentional failure to perform a required legal duty or obligation.

As for the FBI, the division in charge of enforcement, after sounding the warning bell, subsequently made a “strategic alliance” in 2007 with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) the trade association for (then) major industry players like IndyMac and Countrywide Financial. Imagine if the FBI division in charge of organized crime set up a joint venture with the Cosa Nostra. That’s what this was the equivalent of at the FBI.

It all comes back to the radical deregulatory philosophy we discussed Sunday:  Appoint cabinet level people who share that same belief system, who think government can never work — and voila! –  this is what you get.

Anyone who thinks that really bad behavior in the corporate world needs no proscribing should not be put in charge of Regulatory agencies.

Excerpts after the jump . . .

WSJ:

A senior bank regulator was removed from his job after being accused of helping mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp alter its records so it appeared to be in better shape — weeks before it was seized by the government.

The Office of Thrift Supervision has reassigned its top West Coast official, Darrel Dochow, who was also a controversial figure in the regulatory lapses surrounding the savings-and-loan crisis of the late 1980s.

In a letter sent Monday to Sen. Charles Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, the Treasury Department’s inspector general wrote that the federal OTS allowed the bank to backdate records of capital infusions last spring. That leeway made IndyMac appear more solid than was actually the case, shortly before federal regulators seized the bank in July — at a cost of $8.9 billion to the government’s deposit-insurance fund.

Bloomberg:

IndyMac Bank’s regulator let the mortgage lender backdate a capital infusion to make it appear healthier than it was and escape regulatory restrictions two months before it failed, the Treasury Department’s watchdog said.

The Office of Thrift Supervision allowed IndyMac Bank to record $18 million of a $50 million infusion from its holding company on May 9 as first-quarter capital, Eric M. Thorson, the Treasury Department’s inspector general, wrote yesterday in a letter to U.S. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. Thorson said similar backdating was discovered at other OTS-regulated lenders.

“It is unclear what information OTS had at the time and what its basis was for allowing the capital infusion to be recorded for the quarter ending March 31,” Thorson wrote. “A separate inquiry as to a motive for approving and recording this transaction in the manner it was recorded is still ongoing.”

The move came to light as part of a routine federal review of the July 11 failure of IndyMac, one of five OTS-regulated lenders to be shuttered this year. The OTS, a Treasury Department agency, also oversaw Washington Mutual Inc., whose September collapse was the biggest bank failure in U.S. history.

NYT:

Two months before IndyMac Bancorp collapsed in July, at a cost of $8.9 billion to taxpayers, a top federal banking regulator allowed the bank to backdate a capital infusion and gloss over its deepening problems, the Treasury Department’s independent investigator said Monday.

In what industry analysts said was an example of the excessively cozy relations between high-flying subprime lenders and federal bank regulators, the Office of Thrift Supervision’s West Coast director allowed IndyMac’s parent company to backdate an $18 million contribution to preserve its status as a “well-capitalized” institution.

Investigators reported that similar officially approved backdating appears to have occurred at other financial institutions, though they did not name them.

IndyMac, based in Pasadena, Calif., was one of the nation’s biggest subprime mortgage lenders at the time. But analysts said it was already in trouble when the maneuver occurred, because of rising default rates and a big stockpile of subprime loans on its books that investors abruptly refused to buy.

The Office of Thrift Supervision’s western regional director, Darrel W. Dochow, allowed IndyMac Bank to receive $18 million from its parent company on May 9 but to book the money as having arrived on March 31, according to the Treasury Department’s inspector general, Eric M. Thorson. The backdated capital infusion allowed IndyMac to plug a hole that its auditors had belatedly found in the bank’s financial results for the first quarter. If IndyMac had not been able to plug that hole retroactively, its reserves would have slipped below the minimum level that regulators require for classifying banks as well capitalized.

Though the $18 million transaction was minuscule in comparison to IndyMac’s $32 billion in assets, it had tremendous significance. If IndyMac had lost its well-capitalized status it would not have been allowed to accept “brokered deposits” from other financial institutions. Brokered deposits are typically high-yielding certificates of deposit arranged by brokers and sold to savings and loans. IndyMac relied heavily on brokered deposits, which amounted to $6.8 billion or 37 percent of its total deposits last spring.

>>

Sources:
Irregularity Uncovered at IndyMac
EDMUND L. ANDREWS
NYT, December 22, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/business/23thrift.html

Regulator Let IndyMac Backdate Infusion
MICHAEL M. PHILLIPS and JESSICA HOLZER
WSJ, DECEMBER 23, 2008

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122998621544328009.html

Regulator Let IndyMac Backdate Capital, Watchdog Says
Alison Vekshin
Bloomberg, Dec. 23 2008

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aF2cCzfmLwFA&

Letters:

  1. Dec. 21 letter from Office of Thrift Supervision to Inspector General Eric Thorson
  2. Dec. 22 letter from Inspector General Eric Thorson to Sen. Grassley

Banking Regulator Played Advocate Over Enforcer
Binyamin Appelbaum and Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post, November 23, 2008;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/22/AR2008112202213.html

FBI Press Release:
FBI ISSUES MORTGAGE FRAUD NOTICE IN CONJUNCTION WITH MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION,
FBI, March 8, 2007

http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel07/mortgagefraud030807.htm

Category: Corporate Management, Legal, Markets, Regulation

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

34 Responses to “Office of Thrift Supervision: Asshat Central”

  1. polizeros says:

    Um, perhaps this wasn’t all driven by neocon idelogy. Perhaps the vast sums of money involved had some bearing on it too.

    Given the numbers and breadth of the coming investigations, I would be startled if no regulatory officials got indicted for taking bribes.

  2. BR,

    it’s one thing to bring a lamp to this dark party, and for that–well done.

    though, something is telling me that these catz, the whole sack of ‘em, are going to skate, clean through..

    when does Personally, and Severally, Liable kick-in?

    past that, while I understand that dumping on ‘neocons’ is all the MainStReam-rage, somebody has to point out: that without their ‘neo-lib’ enablers, they, the ‘neocons’, wouldn’t have travelled, near, as/or far..

    We’ve some Serious Problems; the false Left-Right-dichotomy is, merely, a bog, and we’re not Peat, yet, all to set to repeat..

  3. all too set to repeat..

    and, with that Correction, maybe, one day, we can illuminate what it was that these ‘banks’ were ‘lending’, who funded that transaction, and what the ‘true’ yield on those ‘notes’ really is…

  4. capt dave says:

    As with Pearl Harbor, the S&L bail-out, 9-11, Katrina, and the Madoff scandal, no federal employee will be fired or publicly disgraced by this disaster. What a great place to work!

  5. Bob A says:

    “Anyone who thinks that really bad behavior in the corporate world needs no proscribing should not be put in charge of Regulatory agencies.”

    Well… that covers just about the entire Republican party if I’m not mistaken…

    Is that a lifetime ban? Cause it should be.

  6. danm says:

    Isn’t it obvious by now? The government is a puppet of Corporate America.

  7. matt says:

    Barry, this is the best argument AGAINST regulation that a person can make. Regulation is not intrinsically bad. As you have logically argued, regulation tends to be good at keeping people in check. The problem comes from two areas:

    1. Who regulates? People from the industry are always seen as the most qualified and end up being appointed. At the government level, you always end up with industries effectively “regulating” themselves until the bailouts come.

    2. How do you regulate in a way that won’t just drive the risk taking underground or, generally, cause some other unintended consequence? A great example of this is the rise of the shadow banking system. You have to be incredibly prescient–even omnipotent–to effectively regulate.

    With those two points in mind, I still have mixed feelings about regulation. Laissez faire works a lot better than regulation if it is practiced to its essence (i.e., without the implicit guarantee of bailouts if you screw up big time). The problem is that no one wants laissez faire in hard times. Because we are a bailout nation, we need more regulation (I can’t believe I said that). We just need to approach it differently.

    You can’t have stuttering Hank and his minions comes straight out of the banking system and then regulate the banking system. But, who else is qualified to do it? I know zero people outside of the financial services industry that could tell me what a derivative is. That’s not promising.

  8. JackInTheBox says:

    Spelling note: Incompetent, not incompetant. That is one word you really do not want to misspell..

  9. VoiceFromTheWilderness says:

    Way to go BR — sure is nice that someone is standing up for the importance of regulation and supervision, though there is a bit of a closing the gate after the horse has left the barn quality to it. As there is indeed to all the governmental interest in regulation right now.

    In general I agree that it’s mostly non-feasance (nice word) not malfeasance that is/was the modus operandi of the anti-government government, but it seems like this has an actual malfeasance component: helping someone cook their books would seem to be an active not passive act, even if in this case the ‘help’ only amounted to giving permission. What with that being the hard bit, it’s a fairly key bit of help.

    The only problem with the distinction between non-feasance and malfeasance is that it makes it possible (for some) to pretend that the regulatory breakdown that is the primary proximal cause of the economic crisis is some kind of random or ‘unexpected’ phenomena. It isn’t and it wasn’t. It was a deliberate policy, and a deliberate process, enterred into to achieve precisely the aim that those who supported this government desired: destruction of federal regulatory structure, and raiding of the federal treasury by and for ‘private enterprise’. They did it in Iraq, they did it in New Orleans, and they have done it systematically and massively this year: allow the situation to spin out of control and then use the resulting public demand for action as cover for transfering assets from the public to specific loyal friends — those willing to play ball with a pirate government.

  10. matt said:
    “How do you regulate in a way that won’t just drive the risk taking underground or, generally, cause some other unintended consequence?…But, who else is qualified to do it?”

    Good points brought up. Obama and his new government have the opportunity to fix a lot of things. I’m skeptical they will do a damn thing but I will at least give them a chance. Here’s a starting guide for what they can do…

    #1 Go through the records of the past past year, 5 years and 10 years. Regulators, senators, congressmen and others almost all have public statements out there. Find out who has been right in predicting the current situation and who has been wrong.

    Those that poo-pooed the crisis as it started in the past year are immediately tossed out of their job. This includes all the idiots who laughed when a housing bubble was suggested. These then include those who denied it as it was happening – “it’s only subprime and that’s a tiny sliver of the market!” Paulson and Bernanke are obvious choices but the list is a mile long.

    Those that denied there were issues over the past 5 years need to also be removed. They are people that denied there were issues with Freddie/Fannie, that hedge funds need not be regulated and that derivatives can police themselves.

    Those that helped push for changes in the past 10 years that have been disastrous need also to be out of government. The push to remove glass-steagal. The insistance on nonsense like sarbanes-oxley. I’m sure readers can think of even better examples then these.

    #2 Find out who has been right about all of the above issues over the past year. The internet has kept a living, breathing record of everything that has been written and said over the past 10 years. Go though it and find who called it correctly and GIVE THEM JOBS. If they are already in government (there has to be a few, right?) PROMOTE THEM. I don’t care if it’s a blogger or a nobel laureate – if they were right then find a way to get their ideas into action. Even if they won’t take a job, bring them before congress and have them testify why they thought the way they did. Use their ideas to generate policy going forward.

    That’s it really – it’s beyond simple. Get the smart and competent people in the important positions and get the morons out of the picture. Unfortunately, government rarely seems to act as a self-correcting mechanism.

  11. debreuil says:

    “I know zero people outside of the financial services industry that could tell me what a derivative is. That’s not promising.”

    I hope you aren’t suggesting that people *in* the financial industry know exactly what a derivative is.. At least surely not people who actually bought them.

    My first rule would be no getting around transparency with fake complexity. Second would be in order to buy something, you have to take a test to prove you know what it is. Man, where was I when they needed me!

  12. sellthekids says:

    yesterday when this scandal broke, i had to do a little Googling to figure out who Darrel Dochow was. the following link has by this AM moved to the top of Google’s returns on his name:

    http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/submitted/black/whistleblower.html

    you’ll have to control F to get to the parts on his past, but for those who aren’t intimately aware of the S&L crisis and our buddy Keating, this is a good link to start with why Dochow should have never been allowed back into a regulating agency. evar!

  13. ottovbvs says:

    Bazzer: I see Cox has an interview in todays WAPO praising his own hands off regulatory approach. He says he was a calm hand not over reacting to situations. I’m laughing too much to go on, so over to you!

  14. Mannwich says:

    It’s called a Corporatocracy. The U.S. has been one for quite some time, although it’s becoming even clearer to the masses now, hence the uneasiness.

  15. Tom K says:

    The OTS undoubtable screwed the pooch here – this tale troubles me on several levels:

    - More regulation, better regulation doesn’t equal better enforcement
    - More transparency seems every bit if not more important than more regulation. Markets can’t work if there isn’t transparency…markets become Let’s Make a Deal.
    - Risk needs to be bared solely by those who stand to profit: company officers, board of directors, stockholders, and borrowers. Not taxpayers. Government policy that implies or gurarantees bailouts encourages imprudent risk-taking
    - Regulation can easily run amok. How many of you deal the nonsense that came out of Sarbanes-Oxley?
    - Whether you’re on the left or right, we need to recognize all politicians and public servants make decisions that aren’t necessarily in the best interest of the rest of us.

    ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.” – Barney Frank

    NY Times – Sept 11, 2003
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E3D6123BF932A2575AC0A9659C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print

  16. What is the FDA supposed to do? If a drug has FDA approval, what does that mean? Isn’t the FDA intended to be just an agent of drug-consuming taxpayers, tasked with determining for all of us so that each of us won’t have to do so individually, whether or not a drug is safe and does what it is supposed to do?

    This type of regulation is helpful. It is, or can be, efficient. Lone taxpayers rarely have the resources and time to determine the claims of drug makers.

    The same doesn’t obtain with financial system regulations, so long as publicly-traded companies operate under a well-designed accounting system requiring the disclosure of true and accurate results. Then, anyone can determine the viability of a company, or hire someone that better understands such things to do it for them (like BR).

    The government has a role in such a system. It is to force truthful disclosure such that market participants can decide for themselves whether a company is viable or not. The SEC fails over and over again so far as publicly-traded companies are concerned. The best remedy for perceived bullshit on financial statements, however, is the market– specifically the ability to bet against a company’s prospects. Banning short sellers–a REGULATORY action of the SEC recently–shows how truly complicit the government has been in this vast fraud. The fact the FDIC won’t even publish the names of banks in which it senses weakness is more evidence.

    Disclosure, plus severe penalties for lying, is the only regulation in which government help is needed. The rest can be taken care of by the market. Sadly, when the government believes that prices should have only one trajectory, the market can hardly do its job in the calculus.

  17. larster says:

    I’m guessing that the clowns in OTS took no bribes, but simply sold their souls for some nice dinners, a hooker or two, etc. You would have to understand something about the business and how much money was being made to undertake bribery. It is apparent that these people were clueless.

  18. gloppie says:

    Corporatocracy, or Coprocrapocracy ?

  19. Moss says:

    It really does come down to the core ideology belief system. The Ronald R. revolution had the single minded belief that government was the problem not the solution to anything. The goal/mission then became to use the regulatory apparatus as a tool to eliminate any perceived burden on the business in question. Examples of this are evident in all business sectors not just the financials.

  20. Curmudgeon,

    the FDA, seriously? from you?

    besides the Fact that FDA-approved Prescription drugs, taken as Prescribed, kill more than 100,000 ‘Caines per annum..

    why couldn’t the, beleaguered, ‘lone taxpayer, pay a ‘Dr. BR’ for his counsel(?)–much in the same way an ‘individual Investor’ can pay BR for his insights into matters Financial?

    and, to be clear, ‘Dr. BR’, does not portend BR as a ‘quack’, but, rather, his Twin, studied in yon’ Medicinal Arts..

    and, to make it simpler, the FDA, CDC, NIH, AMA, their ilk, et al., fall under the category: “There aren’t Serious Questions that need to be Answered, There are some Answers that need Serious Questioning.”

  21. Patrick Neid says:

    “It all comes back to the radical deregulatory philosophy”………

    And there you have it. It’s nice when its a nice little pile.

  22. mknowles says:

    Dear VoiceFromTheWilderness,

    I hear you, and here is what I think is the next step that Wall St. intends to take, now that taxpayers owe $700B+ and are “tax fatigued”, we are now primed for the next con (there are man more articles available on the subject, but this is a good example):
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9736
    excerpt:
    Wall Street to privatize US infrastructure – August 3, 2008
    ALTERNATIVE TO TAX HIKES

    According to the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 29 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia may face a combined $48 billion of budget deficits in fiscal 2009.

    But politicians might be loathe to cut spending or raise taxes at a time mortgage debt, $4-a-gallon gas and rising food prices leave consumers — of whom many vote — dispirited. Tapping public debt markets might also be too costly.

    Meanwhile the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates $1.6 trillion is needed over five years to raise the often aged U.S. infrastructure to “good” condition.

    Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell in July called for the United States to establish a capital budget to pay for such repairs. It was a year ago August 1 that the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis plunged into the Mississippi River, killing 13.

    Critics say some infrastructure transactions are short-term budget fixes that deprive governments of steady cash streams from taxpayer-funded assets. There is also the risk that private operators won’t do their jobs well.

    Advocates of privatization say entities might do better managing assets than a government answering to voters.

    Politicians could also get a boost if they can take credit for reinvesting sale or lease proceeds in needed projects.

    “The argument for a public-private partnership is the private sector is a lot smarter about paying attention to costs, and because it has skin in the game will be more attentive to maintaining an asset over its life,” said Joseph Giglio, a privatization expert and professor at Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration in Boston.

    “Elected officials often shortchange funding of maintenance because they don’t want to increase user fees or taxes to pay for it,” Giglio added. “Their election cycle is four years. They can pass it on to someone else’s watch.”

    Collins, who also advised Pennsylvania on the turnpike, said infrastructure can also go beyond roads and airports. He said Morgan Stanley is advising Akron, Ohio, on exploring the leasing of its wastewater system, and Indiana on the possibility of private management for its state lottery.

    “Lotteries have infrastructure characteristics in that they have stable cash flows and high barriers to entry,” he said. “They could even attract private equity investment because they are self-financeable and require minimal capital expenses.”

    BIG NAMES

    At Goldman, Carey and Ma replaced Mark Florian, who is moving to First Reserve Corp, a private equity firm specializing in energy, a person close to the matter said.

    Goldman itself raised a $6.5 billion infrastructure fund in 2006, and is reportedly trying to raise a $7.5 billion fund.

    Morgan Stanley raised a $4 billion fund in May. Global Infrastructure Partners, a joint venture between Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and General Electric Co (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), raised a $5.6 billion fund the same month. Private equity firm Carlyle Group CYL.UL last year raised a $1.15 billion fund.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This article was written before the too big to fail big bank bailout. I guess now the investment bankers are in even better position to buy up U.S. infrastructure today than they were in August when this article was written. They get money from the U.S. taxpayers with no strings attached and no consequences for “nonfeasance” (wink, wink, we didn’t mean to) and then get to set up the next con. What happens when investment bankers with no ethics (e.g. Goldman Sacks-USA) are responsible to rebuild and control U.S. infrastructure?

    I’ve written to Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, twice now regarding this issue, still no response.

  23. Thisson says:

    In all seriousness, can we start the revolution yet? Or do we first need to move to Galt’s Gulch?

    I watch CNBC daily and I wonder how any of these folks can be optimistic about America’s future. We are borrowing money hand over fist so that we can spend Trillions on nonproductive make-work just to keep people busy.

    What will happen when China, Japan and the rest of the world realize that our Government debt is worthless and will never be repaid?

    I’m very scared that our paper currency will become completely worthless and we will be back to a barter economy. So what can we do to prevent this? And if we can’t prevent it, what do we do to prepare?

  24. mcrcr4 says:

    Barry, good day.

    “mere malfeasance”? Sort of like jumbo shrimp. Malfeasance is a willful departure from accepted practices knowing of the likely bad consequences whereas nonfeasance is the recognition of duty and failure to perform it. But you knew that. What we do not (and may never) know is the extent to which the folks in charge of positions of trust crossed the line between nonfeasance (which should get you fired) and malfeasance (which should get you a prison term). It appears to me that, the higher up you are, the more outrageous your behavior has to be in order to get the attention of the authorities (assuming they even care). It will be interesting to see what Mr. Obama’s Justice Department is allowed to do with information brought to its attention.

    I wish you and your readers a very good holiday and new year. I hope it is all you need it to be.

    Best regards,
    RF

  25. matt says:

    I don’t understand why you keep using “nonfeasance.” You should switch to “misfeasance” for the OTS. They didn’t just abdicate regulatory authority; they actively stifled any investigations of the national banks and played the jurisdiction card when the states tried to regulate. That’s a lot more criminal than plain old nonfeasance.

  26. Mark E Hoffer…

    The FDA is perhaps a bad example. The point is that FDA regulation of drugs COULD, in principle, be more efficient than market regulation, if only the FDA weren’t a conflicted drug company whore parading around as a representative of the people.

    Personally, I’d prefer no regulation, except the standard legal system to support private property rights. Caveat emptor. Don’t trust anyone, not even your mother. Investigate every seller’s claim as if you knew he were lying. And suffer the consequences for being stupid; for trusting a charlatan. Real consequences for misplaced beliefs would quickly eliminate business models based on fraud, which is to say, most of them. And there would go the “economy”, also built on fraud. Which is why it will never happen. The fraud will continue until there is nothing left to lie about. This is our future. Please put my deck chair closer to the listing side, sir.

  27. Thisson says:

    And what shall be the role of plaintiffs’ class action lawyers in the new “regulatory” environment?

  28. Curmudgeon,

    this: “And there would go the “economy”, also built on fraud.” Is the hideous Truth that many of us realize. So hideous, when pulled into view, as to paralyze, with Fear, those that gaze upon it. These Frauds, too, are, rather like Medusa, her ownself. For, as many as we find, and Slay, by our knowledge of them, More grow from a, seemingly, ever-flowing Font..

    The hideousness, of it, lies in our ready Knowledge that we are priming the Font..

    from away back when: “Defund to Defend.”

  29. EDF says:

    In Thomas Frank’s excellent book, “The Wrecking Crew”, he discusses how the neocons in the Bush Administration placed in the various agencies, people dedicated to the destruction of those self-same agencies. Do you remember James Watt and the Department of the Interior? This business with the OTS is simply more of the same.

  30. surferdude says:

    br, the only thing that amazes me about this story is the lack of media attention to all of the bank regulatory agencies. does anyone really think the ots is the only place where there was a total derelection of duties. start turning over the stones at the fdic, occ, frb, ncua, etc. and all types of malfeasance will jump out. none of these so-called “cops” bothered to even patrol their respective beats. do we get the largest banking crisis since the great depression with only the ots not doing its job? not possible, the assets and number of institutions supervised by the ots pale in comparision to the commercial bank side.

    specifically, take a look at the fdic. it has 3 main operating divisions — resolutions, supervision, and insurance. we all know how busy resolutions is; although some observers say not busy enough as they are dragging their feet in closing insolvent institutions. but what about fdic’s failure prevention divisions — supervision and insurance. the fdic failed in its front-line supervision activities. even today, bair has not made any substantial expenditures to beef up the fdic examination efforts. exactly how many experienced examiners have the hired in the past year; exactly how many budget hours have they added, etc.? most of the staff and budget increases are going into resolutions. what about the fdic’s insurance division, which was formed after the last crisis to identify macro risks that could threaten the viability of the insurance fund. where are the analyses, the warnings from this group? thet stopped publishing anything meaningful in 2006 just when the fdic’s chief economist was making public comments that there was no housing bubble. this same economist continues to be a primary advisor to bair. the media should direct its attention to the failings of the fdic and other bank regulatory agencies not just the ots.

  31. KJ Foehr says:

    “We’ve some Serious Problems; the false Left-Right-dichotomy is, merely, a bog, and we’re not Peat, yet, all to set to repeat..”

    Why has it suddenly become a bog now when for the last 8 plus years, right-wingers were dumping on Dems to the point that liberal became almost synonymous with pinko commie terrorist?

    Dems and any other person who had the guts to criticize this government had to put up with being called unpatriotic and worse for the last years, so I think the Republicans can toelrate a year or two of criticism.

    But beyond that our new president does intend to bridge the dichotomy, and I believe he will do it to significant extent; that is certainly more than Bush and the neocons did for 8 years.

  32. KJ,

    it’s False because it has nothing to do with Right-Left, or (R) v. (D)..

    it has Everything to do with Right and Wrong.

    and, of course, Two Wrongs don’t make a Right..

    as I’ve said, before, there are Good people throughout the Political Cartesian Plane..
    see: http://www.theadvocates.org/

    our Differences, our Diversity, makes us stronger..there are, only, to me, a, relatively, few things that need to be agreed upon–probably 20, found in 2 sets of 10.

    Past that, Liberty provides a broad playing field, we should be Free to run it, side-line to side-line, without being side-lined by rougue Referees, or beFouling Players..

    to that end, don’t be like this guy: Joseph Ellis, ‘professor’ of ‘history’, Mount Holyoke College

    towit: “August 17, 2001

    Dear Members of the Mount Holyoke Community:

    I write to inform you of the College’s disposition of the disclosure, first published in the Boston Globe on June 18, that Professor Joseph J. Ellis had falsely claimed military service in Vietnam, a charge he subsequently confirmed in a phone call to me and in a statement published on June 19 in the Globe. On June 27, the College’s Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments, Reappointments, and Promotions assumed responsibility for an inquiry into the matter…”
    http://www.mtholyoke.edu/offices/comm/news/ellisdecision.shtml

    result, for this Ford Doundation hack? he’s back, off the mat, punching and swinging. his target? this time? Madison & Jefferson, again.

    his ‘thesis’? based on, self-admitted, ‘indirect evidence’, these Men, whom, in Fact, endeavored to bring to the Earth something never before seen in Human Political History, a Republic–based on maximal Individual Freedom, should, to his, Ellis’, mein, by rebuked..
    see: http://inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080/cspan/cspan.csp?command=dprogram&record=567702879

    KJ, again, to your point, it isn’t about it being the (R)’s turn to take a stick in the eye. It’s about understanding that those, wielding the stick, are beFouling Players, no matter the uniform..

  33. KJ,

    it’s False because it has nothing to do with Right-Left, or (R) v. (D)..

    it has Everything to do with Right and Wrong.

    and, of course, Two Wrongs don’t make a Right..

    as I’ve said, before, there are Good people throughout the Political Cartesian Plane..

    our Differences, our Diversity, makes us stronger..there are, only, to me, a, relatively, few things that need to be agreed upon–probably 20, found in 2 sets of 10.

    Past that, Liberty provides a broad playing field, we should be Free to run it, side-line to side-line, without being side-lined by rougue Referees, or beFouling Players..

    to that end, don’t be like this guy: Joseph Ellis, ‘professor’ of ‘history’, Mount Holyoke College

    towit: “August 17, 2001

    Dear Members of the Mount Holyoke Community:

    I write to inform you of the College’s disposition of the disclosure, first published in the Boston Globe on June 18, that Professor Joseph J. Ellis had falsely claimed military service in Vietnam, a charge he subsequently confirmed in a phone call to me and in a statement published on June 19 in the Globe. On June 27, the College’s Faculty Advisory Committee on Appointments, Reappointments, and Promotions assumed responsibility for an inquiry into the matter…”
    http://www.mtholyoke.edu/offices/comm/news/ellisdecision.shtml

    result, for this Ford Doundation hack? he’s back, off the mat, punching and swinging. his target? this time? Madison & Jefferson, again.

    his ‘thesis’? based on, self-admitted, ‘indirect evidence’, these Men, whom, in Fact, endeavored to bring to the Earth something never before seen in Human Political History, a Republic–based on maximal Individual Freedom, should, to his, Ellis’, mein, by rebuked..
    see: http://inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080/cspan/cspan.csp?command=dprogram&record=567702879

    KJ, again, to your point, it isn’t about it being the (R)’s turn to take a stick in the eye. It’s about understanding that those, wielding the stick, are beFouling Players, no matter the uniform..

  34. KJ Foehr says:

    Thank you for that explanation, and I completely agree with your point. If only people could see the right and wrong of it in the more enlightened sense you discuss, how great that would be! But given, what I see as their inherently dualistic nature, people ascribe right and wrong to “my” view and “your” view respectively, thus always feeling compelled to criticize the other.

    Among the many reasons I disliked the Bush administration, the subtle suppression of dissent and opinion was the most worrisome.

    Unfortunately, when the Dems / liberals deign to “fight back” they are called weak; so who is willing to unilaterally give up that battle to claim the greater right? Perhaps Obama, but he is just one man and will come and go too leaving us with lesser minds in charge again.

    Re Ellis: bayoneting the defenseless is the coward’s way to “victory”; but, there is no doubt, in the end Their ideas will always remain victorious.