My early morning reads:

• Trouble for ‘Big Crony’ (Clarion Ledger)
• Why Narcissistic CEOs Kill Their Companies (Forbes)
• David Rosenberg Explains What (If Anything) The Bulls Are Seeing (Zero Hedge)
• Why TARP Losses Don’t Get Reported (Government Accountability Office)
• Big Banks Face Inquiry Over Home Insurance (NYT) see also Financial Frankness Is a Bad Dream for a Bank (Bloomberg)
• Study: Americans believe conflict between rich, poor is growing (Washington Post)
• A World Without China (HuffPost)
• Underwater Homeowners May Swim Freely (Pro Publica) see also Corruption in the Florida AG’s Office: Staff Helps Lender Processing Services (Naked Capitalism)
• Mister, I Don’t Sell to Fish (Interloper)
• Working In Word, Excel, PowerPoint On an iPad (All Things D)

What are you reading?

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Banks Still Struggle to Find Happy Returns

Source: WSJ

Category: Financial Press

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.

17 Responses to “Thursday AM Reads”

  1. SOP says:

    Dance of the Marionettes

    Electioneering in the US is steadily expanding to fill more and more time and space even as it provides worse and worse results with each election cycle…

    … the elections provide a spectacle, the media are conditioned to lavish attention on the candidates, and the people are once again beguiled into thinking that it matters who gets elected. A few years of Obama impersonating Bush should have taught them that it doesn’t matter who the Prisoner of the White House is… the senators are just marionettes controlled by giant bags of money.

    As for the rest of us, who do not have the means to hire lobbyists, there are still a few things we can do: we can starve the system by withholding resources from it, and we can bleed the system by extracting payments from it. If we are clever, we can also find ways to frustrate the system by artificially generating complexity.

    The system has been gamed to our disadvantage. We are not going to win by playing along. But we all win whenever we refuse to play the game…

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2012/01/dance-of-marionettes.html

  2. VennData says:

    The trouble for Big Crony states, “Too Big to Fail” bailouts are just the latest and grossest example of crony capitalism, where political connections seem to matter much more than competence.”

    Now I don’t care about the Bush Bank Bailouts, as they worked to keep the financial system afloat. I do care at the way the bankers continued to pay themselves. That is the problem. If they would have cut their pay in half I would be OK with them.

    But the argument they gave (the only one the Maria Bartiromo’s of the world could articulate) was that these skilled moneymen would go elsewhere if they didn’t get their bonus. Where? SocGen? A Chinese bank? Go. Go then.

    I understand they want the money, but to be so tone deaf about what just happened. How they were resonsible….and as an aside, this shows that the vast majority don’t by the Big Lie that Fannie and Freddie caused the crisis. The people who have put any time into understanding this crisis know it was the bankers who caused this. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  3. blinddog26 says:

    Overheard on the Goldman Sachs Elevator

    Anonymous Goldmans employee opens Twitter account to share comments allegedly overheard at work. Here are some of the more extraordinary. “I never give money to homeless people. I can’t reward failure in good conscience”

    http://totalfratmove.com/769302

  4. VennData says:

    Southern GOP governor Barbour pardons 200 on his way out of office…

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/01/mississippi_democrats_pardons.html

    “…The pardons were intended to allow them to find gainful employment or acquire professional licenses as well as hunt and vote,” Barbour said. “My decision about clemency was based upon the recommendation of the parole board in more than 90% of the cases.”

    ROFL. We want those killers out there hunting! Gotta love the shamelessness of the GOP. Is this where the bankers got their salary shamelessness?

  5. VennData says:

    … and what about the other ten percent Barbour? They just got a lot of money?

    Former GOP party head. Go GOP. This guy almost ran for President.

  6. Doofus says:

    The Pew study described in the article in the Washington Post is important if only for the fact that more people sense the increasingly bi-modal distribution of wealth in this country.

    Unfortunately the Post author fails to cite research by the WP itself just a few weeks ago, describing the increasing wealth disparity between members of the House and Senate and the rest of America. See Growing Wealth Widens Distance Between Lawmakers And Constituents.

    Additionally, based on the WP article only, respondents to the study appear to be reasonably ignorant with respect to one of the key factors in the increasing wealth disparity: US Tax Policy.

    Morin wrote that although Americans are more aware of this significant shift in class in America, it does not necessarily signal an “increase in grievances toward the wealthy.” As many as 43 percent believe that the rich become so because of their own hard work, ambition or education, the study showed, compared with 46 percent who believe that the wealthy become rich through connections or birth.

    Nothing here about the changes in tax policy over the last twenty years, and how these changes have significantly benefited the wealthiest Americans at the expense of everyone else.

  7. Arequipa01 says:

    Ski Resorts Say Uncle Sam Illegally Grabbed Their Water

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/12/42984.htm

    I wonder what this Govt action presages. What is the end game here? It certainly isn’t to keep the ‘water rights’ within the US Forest Service context. Is it to prevent the Resort operators selling the water to Fracking and Drilling scumbags. Seems to me definition of ownership is a necessary step before the water rights are ‘auctioned’ off to O&G operators in closed proceedings at pennies on the dollar- you know, ‘Capitalism’, brought to you by the GOP/Democratic Party.

    So, two regimes of water rights in the country. But only one real rule.

    riparian and use-based.

    http://georights.com/system/publications/show_publications/?article_id=49

  8. GeorgeBurnsWasRight says:

    I’m sure the ethical problems in the Florida AG’s office will quickly be sorted out by that paragon of virtue, their Governor.

  9. Moss says:

    Barbour is the latest example of the Big Crony revolving door.

    http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/200955-haley-barbour-to-rejoin-lobby-firm

  10. willid3 says:

    letting regulators to be captured and removing regulations guarantees the next bails outs.

    http://baselinescenario.com/2012/01/12/refusing-to-take-yes-for-an-answer-on-bank-reform/

  11. willid3 says:

    coming oil bubble burst will hit corporate profits (because only financial corporate profits have recovered. others not so much)
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/01/philip-pilkington-fear-and-loathing-in-the-financial-markets-%E2%80%93-what-happens-to-the-economy-when-the-oil-bubble-bursts.html

  12. streeteye says:

    Comedy gold from FOMC transcripts, ca 2006
    http://www.crossingwallstreet.com/archives/2012/01/so-this-central-banker-walks-into-a-bar-2.html

    Romney – any question about income distribution, Wall Street practices is just ‘envy’
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/romney-questions-about-wall-street-and-inequality-are-driven-by-envy/2012/01/11/gIQAJ6L2qP_blog.html

    re: Ben Stein – hilarious, I didn’t realize the law prohibited discrimination against morons, it does explain quite a bit

  13. willid3 says:

    how capitalism kills companies

    http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/01/12/how-capitalism-kills-companies/

    by demanding more and more growth.

    never mind that that can lead to bankruptcy

  14. Jim67545 says:

    Yesterday I responded to the article on lax regulation as a contributor to the housing blow up emphasizing their role. Among the articles above is one on force placed insurance. This is another example of regulator blindness.

    Regulators inspect servicing processes to determine if the servicer (if a lending institution they examine) is trying to get the borrower to obtain homeowner’s insurance (letters satisfy the examiners) or, failing that, is placing force placed insurance. So far so good. However, there is no required content as to a notice to the borrower. For example, there is no warning that the insurance is more expensive and only covers the property to the amount of the mortgage balance – not its market or replacement value. Of course a distressing percentage of delinquent borrowers either cannot read or routinely pitch letters from their lender.

    Further, the regulators seemingly have not realized that force placed insurance piles onto the mortgage balance (negative amortization) and, if foreclosure occurs, adds to the size of the loss the lender experiences. So, who ultimately pays for the insurance? Answer: the borrower if they keep their mortgage out of foreclosure but the lender if it goes into foreclosure. Despite the probability for this to increase losses the regulators and practically all lenders seem to be oblivious and so, once they are on forced placed the lender just keeps paying the premium ad infinitum making the eventual loss larger and larger.

    At the bank which I ran in this respect, we aggressively notified the borrower by letter and phone and, if appropriate, advanced moneys against the loan to pay private insurance for the borrower and get them off of much more expensive forced placed. Many borrowers simply assumed that the bank is paying for their homeowners insurance. An unexpected freebie.