Posts filed under “Really, really bad calls”

On Mark-to-Market

I love this quote:

“Next time you hear a banker denounce mark-to-market rules, ask if he runs his business that way. Will he offer you a mortgage loan based on what you think your home should be worth, which you can repay only if you make a lot more money than anyone will pay you? If so, then perhaps the bank should be able to use “Alice in Wonderland” accounting on its own books.

Or maybe that is not such a good idea. The banks already tried that, with liars’ loans. Those loans did not work out so well.”

-Floyd Norris

If any of you Mark-to Market defenders care to take a swing at that one, have at it . . .

Category: Credit, Really, really bad calls

Searching for the Truth in an Age of Disingenuousness

On the last day of the year, I like to think back about the truths I learned this year. Some were revealed accidentally, others were the work of challenging data analysis. We happened upon some Truths during deep contemplation, and occasionally stumbled across them accidentally. And of course, there was Wikileaks. Regardless of your method,…Read More

Category: Investing, Legal, Philosophy, Really, really bad calls

Thieves’ Paradise: Griftopia

Matt Taibbi’s new book, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America, was reviewed this weekend in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. The review was rather positive, with some quibbles towards the end. If you find Taibbi’s writing entertaining — and I do — then you should read…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Books, Really, really bad calls

Going Bankrupt: 100 Bailed Out Banks

The WSJ reports today that nearly 100 U.S. banks that got TARP funds from the federal government in Q4 2008 are in danger of going bankrupt. So far, 7 bailout recipients have failed, resulting in more than $2.7 billion in lost TARP funds. The balance of the remaining potential failures relatively small banks — the…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Really, really bad calls

More Illegal Foreclosure Bank Break-Ins

I wonder if you could go to a Bank CEO’s home, break into his house, and throw out all of his personal possessions — family heirlooms, photos, awards — then claim a paperwork error. That is the excuse they have been using: “In an era when millions of homes have received foreclosure notices nationwide, lawsuits…Read More

Category: Credit, Foreclosures, Really, really bad calls

Blame the Accountants — and Deregulation

I never want to make excuses for the excesses of Wall Street or the horrific judgment exercised by iBank management — you cannot, its inexcusable — but it long past time we begin holding the Street’s grand enabler’s responsible for their actions. Which brings me to the accountants. The New York attorney general may be…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Legal, Really, really bad calls, Regulation

Winding Down with an Xmas Rally

Here we are beginning the final 2 weeks of the year. The economy continues to limp along, improving, albeit rather slowly. “Recession fatigue” is likely to make this holiday consumption spree appreciably better than the past 2 years. Markets have looked a bit tired — and yet — every opportunity to see big whackage has…Read More

Category: Commodities, Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Gold & Precious Metals, Markets, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

Dogma Versus Reality

In tday’s NYT, Joe Nocera calls out FCIC member and long time AEI analyst Peter Wallison, and his inconsistent narrative about Fannie and Freddie: “As he wrote in 2004, “Study after study have shown that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite full-throated claims about trillion-dollar commitments and the like, have failed to lead the private…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Really, really bad calls

Repeat A Lie Enough Times . . .

All last year, I kept getting emails from people asking me: “Why do you keep hammering  on these issues?  Why do you beat up on the eejits who push the Fannie Freddie CRA meme? Its dead, everyone knows its nonsense.” Except, not so much. That 4 members of the FCIC could push such as discredited…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Financial Press, Really, really bad calls

10 Questions for GOP Members of Financial Crisis Inquiry

I never wanted to write Bailout Nation. That only came about after Bear Stearns collapsed. McGraw Hill approached Bill Fleckenstein to do a follow up to his successful Greenspan’s Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve, about the end of Bear. Fleck turned them down. When the publisher asked him who else was…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Really, really bad calls